- (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that he will not be pushing any specific abortion legislation if he is elected for office, which some, including President Barack Obama, are calling a shift in his previous position.
"There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney said during a campaign visit to Van Meter, Iowa – although he did not address whether or not he would be introducing his own laws.
Obama's campaign immediately jumped on those comments on Wednesday by organizing a conference call, where deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told reporters: "Romney is trying to hide what he really believes."
"His severely conservative positions that got him through the GOP primary are still there," Cutter continued. "Now he's trying to cover them up."
The president's campaign noted that they believe Romney is indeed a conservative, but is trying to appear more moderate in order to attract independent voters.
"Every step of the way he has been anti-choice, against Roe v. Wade," Cutter claimed.
"It's troubling that Mitt Romney is so willing to play politics with such important issues," added Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.
Romney's remarks have sparked a bit of confusion, with different interpretations emerging on what this means for his potential plans to challenge the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, as his remarks do not rule out future legislation that he could push for.
"Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life," Andrea Saul, the candidate's campaign spokeswoman said, trying to clarify his remarks, adding that he is "proudly pro-life, and he will be a pro-life president."
The Christian Post produced a report earlier this week comparing Obama and Romney's different views on abortion. Romney's own campaign website states:
"Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view. But while the nation remains so divided, he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges. With Roe overturned, states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate."
The candidate has also promised to stop funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.
It is possible the abortion issue may come up in the next presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 16, where the candidates will primarily focus on foreign and domestic policies.