GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney isn’t exactly known for his consistency on women’s health issues. He’s spent much of his time running away from his pro-choice record as governor of Massachusetts, and frequently panders to social conservatives by flirting with extreme legislation like the recently defeated “personhood” amendment in Mississippi.
In an interview today with the Nashua Telegraph, Romney doubled down on his position of having no position at all. When asked to clarify his stance on abortion and redefining personhood, Romney made the laughable claim, “I’ve had the same position since I faced this issue as governor”:
ROMNEY: I’ve had the same position since I faced this issue as governor. As you know when I campaigned I said I wouldn’t change the law, which effectively meant pro-choice legislation would be kept in place. But then when a bill came to my desk to expand, if you will, the killing of human life, embryos, I vetoed that…We in Massachusetts had provision that said life begins at conception that did not prevent contraceptives or in vitro fertilization but it did protect the life of an unborn child. For instance, in the instance of cloning or for stem cell research. And I came out very squarely on the side of life.
Romney effectively avoids taking a position on extreme modern incarnations of personhood legislation by simply noting that Massachusetts had a different sort of life-at-conception legislation that did not criminalize contraception.
When asked about his position on personhood legislation last month, Romney once again studiously avoided addressing the stickier side of the issue — whether he supports hormonal contraception (like birth control pills) that can also prevent eggs from being implanted, which many conservatives think is tantamount to abortion. Romney has also been less-than-straight about his pro-states’ rights approach to abortion. Although he claimed that “I would like to see the Supreme Court return this right to the states,” he has recently pledged to push for federal abortion restrictions.