Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan: Bad for Women
As we enter the final four weeks of the campaign, Mitt Romney’s strategy is apparently to hide his real positions on everything from taxes to Medicare to covering people with pre-existing conditions when it’s convenient for him to do so. As President Clinton said yesterday, it’s as if Romney is now saying, ‘I didnt say all that stuff I said the last two years.’
We got a vivid example of this strategy yesterday when Romney tried to disappear his extreme position on abortion. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney told the Des Moines Register.
After securing a favorable headline in a key swing state, the Romney campaign quickly reversed course. A Romney spokeswoman later told a conservative publication, “Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”
Let’s take a closer look at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s real positions on women’s health and some of the anti-abortion legislation they support:
- Overturn Roe v. Wade: Romney says he supports overturning Roe v. Wade, which he has called “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.” He has also stated that he will appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe, something he could have as many as three opportunities to do in just a single term.
- Total Ban on Abortion: Romney and Ryan both support radical “personhood” amendments and other Constitutional amendments that would ban abortion in all circumstances, including rape, incest, and the life or health of the woman.
- Restrictions on Birth Control: Romney and Ryan both support a proposal that would allow employers to deny coverage for birth control (or any other service) for basically any reason, effectively putting your boss in your bedroom. The personhood amendments that Romney and Ryan both support could also outlaw common forms of birth control and in vitro fertility treatments.
- “Get Rid of” Planned Parenthood, Title X Funding: Romney has pledged and Ryan has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. In addition, Romney has pledged and Ryan has voted to eliminate the entire Title X family planning program. This could deprive millions of women, many of whom have little or no other access to health care, of family planning and life-saving screenings for breast and cervical cancer.
- Treat Women as a Pre-Existing Condition: Romney supports repealing Obamacare and Ryan has voted to do so dozens of times. This means going back to the days when insurance companies could charge women more simply because they are women. It also means that insurance companies would once again be able to deny women coverage based on pre-existing conditions like breast cancer, domestic abuse, and sexual assault.
- Redefining Rape: Before Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) uttered his infamous comments about “legitimate rape,” Ryan worked with him to try and redefine rape.
Romney claims that he is for certain exceptions to a ban on all abortions, but the actual policies he supports preclude any such exceptions. And he once said that he would be “delighted” to sign a bill banning all abortions.
And you don’t have to take our word for it. Anti-abortion activists today expressed supreme confidence that Romney does indeed share their extreme views. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that Romney is “deeply committed” to an anti-abortion agenda.
Ryan told reporters this afternoon that Romney’s anti-abortion views had not changed, adding that the two of them were “unified” when it came to opposing abortion.
Finally, even Mitt Romney reminded reporters of his extreme views today, including re-upping on his promise to defund Planned Parenthood:
“I think I’ve said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president,” Romney said. “The actions I’ll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I’ve indicated that I will reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy which keeps us from using foreign aid for abortions overseas.”
Just for the record, a provision known as the Helms Amendment already bans foreign aid from being spent on abortion care. The Mexico City policy would deny funds for voluntary family planning services to any organization that uses non-U.S. money to provide, refer for, or advocate for abortion.
For the complete rundown on how Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan threaten women’s health and economic security, check out this recent report from our colleagues at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
BOTTOM LINE: As Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said today, “There’s no way for [Romney] to hide from the positions he’s taken repeatedly over the years.”
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
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