- (Photo: Reuters)
If Mitt Romney wins the presidency he would be the first Mormon president in America and Ann Romney would be the first pro-life First Lady in three decades. Ann Romney discussed abortion and other issues with celebrity hosts on one of the nation's most popular female talk shows while also defending her husband's lack of military service.
Since Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S., none of the First Ladies – even the Republican ones – were pro-life. Although First Ladies Betty Ford, Nancy Regan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush were married to Republican presidents, none espoused pro-life positions. Both Bushes only spoke of their personal views on abortion after their husbands left office.
In an interview on "The View," a popular woman's talk show that features Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg, Mrs. Romney showed no signs of backing down from the controversial issue and brazenly declared her pro-life position.
"The good news is, I'm not running for office and I don't have to say what I feel," she said. "But I am pro-life. I'm happy to say that."
Mrs. Romney admitted when her husband first ran for governor of Massachusetts he had pro-choice views, but changed his stance after reviewing the issue of embryonic stem cell research.
"Mitt has always been a pro-life person. He governed - when he ran, as a pro choice, but when a decision across his desk…to use embryos for experimentation, he could not have [that] on his conscience - creating human life for experimentation. And that's when he came out with an editorial saying he was pro life," she said.
"I think we have to understand that this is an issue that is so tender, and there are people on both sides of the issue that have, with very good conscience, with different opinions."
However, Romney was quick to point out that the most important issue that concerns women this year are not social issues such as abortion but economic issues that impact their husbands.
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, agreed. "Women are concerned about the issues that impact their husbands, children and family," Nance told The Christian Post. "Women want to know that either and/or their spouses have job security and can put food on the table and clothe the children. Under the current administration, they are finding little to be secure about."
Ann Romney made her appearance without her husband who had a previous scheduling conflict. Aside from pointed questions from Walters on her abortion stance, the former Massachusetts First Lady also fielded questions from Goldberg about her husband's lack of military service.
"I believe your religion does not allow you to fight," Goldberg began.
"No, that is not true. We have many members of our faith serving in the armed forces," said Romney who went on to say both her husband and five sons served the Mormon Church as missionaries, but did not serve in the military.
"I sent them away boys, and they came back men," she said. "And what the difference was, and I think this is where military service is so extraordinary, too, where you literally do something where you're helping someone else, you're going outside of yourself, and you're working and helping others."
Walters also pressed Romney on her compassion for the families of fallen soldiers and how she would explain to them that her husband and sons did not serve.
"I would say it's the hardest thing that a president and a first lady can do," Mrs. Romney said. "We have the most extraordinary fighting men and women and we have to be grateful for them."
Recent polls show Romney even with Obama among likely women voters with some polls showing him pulling ahead of Obama in a dozen key swing states.