Last week, President Obama joked that some Romney surrogates are suffering from “Romnesia” — an ability to forget the candidate’s old positions on major campaign issues, in favor of his new positions. On Sunday, during an appearance on Meet The Press, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was presenting severe symptoms of that condition, spending a good portion of his interview trying to explain how Romney’s stances on contraception and abortion have not changed and ignoring the campaign’s efforts to to obscure Romney’s record on women’s health issues.
For instance, Rubio tried to sweep under the rug Romney’s support of the Blunt Amendment, a measure that would have allowed employers with “moral objections” to deny contraception coverage to their female employees. He also refused to say if Romney would “sign a bill that banned abortion,” as the former Massachusetts governor had promised during a GOP primary debate in 2007:
DAVID GREGORY (HOST): If [Romney] supports a measure that would say to employers you don’t have to provide access [to contraception], and then he is saying everybody should have access, how do both things become true?
RUBIO: Well, I think that’s a general statement about most employers. But there are a handful of employers that have conscientious objections to it, like the Catholic Church. No one is talking about contraception or preventing people from gaing access to contraception.[...]
GREGORY: On the question of abortion, true or untrue, Governor Romney has said he would sign a bill that banned abortion, should that come to his desk.
RUBIO: And I think what he is saying is laying out very clearly what his record is on it, and the exceptions that he supports.
Not only would the Blunt Amendment prevent women from gaining access to abortion, but Romney has also pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act writ large. Doing so, would eliminate provisions that require insurers and employers to offer contraception coverage without additional co-pays. Romney’s pledge to defund Planned Parenthood would also significantly weaken women’s access to affordable contraception.
Romney and Paul Ryan have both supported personhood amendments — on the state or federal level — that would outlaw all abortion, as well as some forms of contraception and in vitro fertilization. As Romney put it during a GOP debate in 2007, “I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period.” “[I]f the Congress [banned abortion], we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.”