The Femo: A call for transparency

Mitt Romney

by Ashleigh McEvoy

In his latest flip-flop, Governor Mitt Romney said to a Des Moines Register reporter before an Iowa rally on Tuesday, “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

That’s a quintessential Romney statement if I’ve ever heard one. His website states his position on the matter quite clearly: “Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view. But while the nation remains so divided, he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade — a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges.” The website also indicates that the governor supports the Hyde Amendment — which prevents federal funding from going to abortions — and that he will strive to reduce abortions abroad.

However, Governor Romney uses clever wording to momentarily disguise this position and appear more moderate. By using the word “legislation,” he dodges the fact that he will appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices with the hopes of overturning Roe and reinstate the Mexico City Policy by executive order. The words “that I’m familiar with” are vague and leave open many loopholes — not to mention that they do nothing to address the onslaught of anti-choice bills in Congress. Is Romney so blissfully unaware of his fellow Republicans’ efforts? I think not.

His statement attracted headlines, and Andrea Saul, campaign press secretary for Governor Romney, moved quickly later in the day to clarify, saying, “Mitt Romney is proudly pro-life and will be a pro-life president.” Saul added that he would “of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”

The next day in Ohio, Romney said, “I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I’ve indicated I’ll reverse the Mexico City position of the president.”

My point is not to argue with Governor Romney’s anti-women, backwards stances. I ask him only to stand by his positions and not misrepresent his platform. If you are an anti-choice candidate, Governor Romney, why waffle and then backpedal? Why say there’s “no legislation in regards to abortion that I’m familiar with”? Why not just come out with the answer to the question that you know you’re being asked?

Romney’s campaign manipulates the truth and intentionally perpetuates misinformation, as we all saw in the first debate. This is a crucial problem since it may affect the views of undecided voters, who read these statements and may base voting decisions off of them.

Governor Romney, I do not ask you to take a pro-abortion position; I will find that in the Democratic Party. I ask you only for transparency and consistency.


photo by Austin Hufford