Mitt Romney might be pro-life, but that doesn’t mean that he will push for abortion legislation.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney explained to the Des Moines Register.
Romney’s statement is so nuanced it’s impossible to pin him down as flip-flopping on this important issue. The Obama campaign, however, is predictably horrified that Romney appears moderate on one of their key issues.
Romney has promised to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood – which arguably could be described as “fiscal legislation” rather than “abortion legislation.” He would also enshrine the values of the Hyde Amendment – to block federal funds for abortions and reinstate the Mexico City policy – banning federal funds supporting abortion overseas – by executive order.
Abortion, Romney believes, is an issue that belongs in the Supreme Court - overturning Roe vs. Wade. Afterwards, according to Romney’s website, he would let the states decide their own abortion laws.
Would Romney support a human life amendment to the Constitution, Mike Huckabee asked him last year? “Absolutely,” Romney replied — but presidents don’t sign constitutional amendments or have anything to do with their passage.
After the Des Moines Register interview, Romney’s spokesperson quickly clarified that Romney plans to be a “pro-life” President and would "support" pro-life legislation.
Romney indicated, however, that he has no plans to use his presidency to push forward restrictions on abortion. That, apparently, will be up to Congress.
Pro-life supporters are likely disappointed with Romney for failing to voice the horrors of abortion in his interview. I doubt, however, that they are surprised. Most pro-life activists know that their guy didn’t win the Republican nomination. If elected president, Romney will not be their “champion,” but will likely offer a more sympathetic ear and appoint far better Supreme Court justices.