Santorum Campaign Circulates Romney’s 2002 Pro-Choice Pledge At South Carolina Debate

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"Santorum Campaign Circulates Romney’s 2002 Pro-Choice Pledge At South Carolina Debate"

CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) criticized fellow presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s (R) record on abortion issues at Thursday night’s debate, saying Romney had been inconsistent in his support for anti-abortion causes. Romney, Santorum noted, supported abortion during his 1994 Senate campaign and his 2002 campaign for the governorship of Massachusetts.

Romney, predictably, attempted to deflect the criticism, saying he had “made a mistake” years ago. “Is there any possibility that I ever made a mistake in that regard?” Romney asked. “I didn’t see something that I should have seen? Possibly.” Watch it:

Immediately after the exchange, Santorum’s campaign began distributing copies of the pledge Romney signed in 2002 for Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, which included Romney’s signature, which featured the following questions and answers, among others:

Do you support the substance of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade? YES

Do you support state funding of abortion services through Medicaid for low-income women? YES [...]

Do you support the teaching of responsible, age-appropriate, factually accurate health and sexuality education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools? YES

In the pledge, Romney also expressed support for expanding access to emergency contraception and for legislation to help prevent “violence, intimidation, and harassment directed at reproductive health providers and their patients.”

Romney spokesperson Stuart Stevens would not further expand on Romney’s explanation of his past support for the pledge as a “mistake,” saying after the debate that Romney’s response stood for itself. In November, the Romney campaign insisted that he “does not believe that federal taxpayer dollars should be used to fund groups that provide abortions or abortion-related services,” despite his support for Planned Parenthood’s 2002 pledge.

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