(Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
A day after the Obama campaign lashed out at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for allegedly trying to cover up his conservative views on abortion to appeal to moderates, the former Massachusetts governor has re-stated his commitment to the pro-life cause.
"I think I've said time and again. I'm a pro-life candidate. I'll be a pro-life president," Romney told reporters on Wednesday while greeting supporters at an event in Delaware, Ohio. "The actions I'll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I've indicated I'll reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy."
Critics had questioned Romney's commitment to tackling abortion after he said on Tuesday that "there's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda" -- causing some to wonder if the GOP candidate might introduce such legislation himself if elected to the presidency.
Seemingly that would not align with the promises he makes on his campaign website that he would fight to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America. In a 2011 editorial for the National Review, titled "My Pro-Life Pledge," Romney directly states: "I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother."
In the pledge, he outlines several current policies related to abortion that he says he will uphold. Among them, he mentions the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for abortions, the Mexico City Policy that ensures nongovernmental organizations that receive funding from America do not use the money to support the abortion business, and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which seeks to protect unborn children who are deemed capable of feeling pain from abortion.
It was not made clear how these policies would relate to Romney's comments that he is not familiar with any legislation with regards to abortion that he would support. Andrea Saul, the candidate's campaign spokeswoman, however, immediately clarified following his Tuesday comment: "Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life."
Some conservatives have also pointed out that while Romney was Massachusetts governor, he signed bills that were supportive of abortion rights, although the candidate has maintained that he has kept a consistent view on the issue.
The Obama campaign had looked to accuse Romney not so much of changing his views, but trying to appeal to moderates who might be uncomfortable with a strictly conservative view on abortion.
"Romney is trying to hide what he really believes," Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told reporters.
"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 Christian Post recently released a report comparing President Obama and candidate Romney's official stances on abortion, which they have promoted on their respective campaign websites.