Overnight, a new advertisement for Mitt Romney popped up online unannounced, claiming that “Romney doesn’t oppose contraception at all. In fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.”
The new ad is an overt attempt to frame the candidate as a moderate on women’s issues, as the Romney campaign has been attempting to do for the past week. But it covers up at least five of Romney’s most extreme positions on these issues — ones that any voter casting their ballot this election season deserves to know:
1) Romney supported the Blunt amendment. The Blunt Amendment would allow employers to deny contraception to their female employees because of religious objections. That means any woman working for an employer who didn’t support contraception would be denied the right to have her birth control costs covered. When asked if he supported the amendment, Romney said, “Of course.”
2) Romney wants to defund Planned Parenthood. Seventy six percent of the patients who go to Planned Parenthood are seeking affordable contraception options. Low-income women, particularly, rely on the organization to get family planning options that might otherwise be out of their price range. Because the organization uses a sliding scale pay system (PDF), it allows the poorest women to get the most affordable care.
3) Romney would restore co-pays for birth control. By repealing the Affordable Care Act, Romney would get rid of the requirement that insurance companies offer women a variety of birth control options without a co-pay attached. That makes it harder for women to get contraception, especially the most effective kinds, which tend to have the highest up-front costs.
4) Romney supports a ‘personhood amendment.’ Romney once told reporters that be would “absolutely” support a state constitutional amendment defining a fertilized egg as a person. Had it passed, that law would have outlawed some forms of contraception — as well as all abortions and in vitro fertilization.
5) Romney promised to reinstate the “global gag rule.” Romney could cut off family planning services that the United States currently offers to women abroad by using an executive order to reinstate the “global gag rule,” denying funding for any international organization that discusses abortion or provides abortion referrals for their clients. In an op-ed, he promised to do just that.