The Des Moines Register reports:
Mitt Romney today said no abortion legislation is part of his agenda, but he would prohibit federally-funded international nonprofits from providing abortions in other countries.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” the GOP presidential candidate told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board during a meeting today before his campaign rally at a Van Meter farm.
But by executive order, not by legislation, he would reinstate the so-called Mexico City policy that bans U.S. foreign aid dollars from being used to do abortions, he said.
On Tuesday night, the Romney campaign seemed to walk back the statement by the Republican presidential nominee. In an email to National Review's Katrina Trinko, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote: "Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life."
As president, Mitt Romney would affect abortion policy in large part by issuing executive orders and appointing Supreme Court justices that would (hopefully) allow the states to legislate on abortion--not by signing federal legislation. But the Supreme Court currently allows a small space for Congress to legislate on the issue, and within those confines Mitt Romney has pledged to support some modest legislative restrictions related to abortion.
Most importantly, Romney would repeal Obamacare. Romney may not think of Obamacare as an abortion-related issue, just as he forgot that Obamacare is also a tax issue at a September 25 event. But Obamacare provides taxpayer dollars to purchase insurance plans that cover abortion-on-demand--a policy that is politically toxic and nearly brought the bill down in an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress. Obamacare also forces almost all insurance plans, including plans provided and purchased by religious Americans, to cover abortion drugs.
The issue here does not appear to be that Romney is backing off his stance on abortion--indeed, he says he will use an executive order to cut off funding to groups that perform abortion overseas. But he is mistaken in thinking that there aren't issues related to abortion-funding are handled through the legislative process at the federal level.
In a June 2011 blog post titled "My Pro-Life Pledge" at National Review Online, Romney declared: "I support the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions. And as president, I will support efforts to prohibit federal funding for any organization like Planned Parenthood, which primarily performs abortions or offers abortion-related services." The Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions under Medicaid, does not apply to Obamacare. President Obama opposes the Hyde amendment and would like Medicaid to pay for elective abortions.
Mitt Romney also pledged in June 2011 to support restrictions on late-term abortions: "I will advocate for and support a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion." In 2003, Obama indicated he's "pro-choice" on third-trimester abortions. But when the House of Representatives tried to ban late-term abortions in the nation's capital earlier this year, Obama didn't take a position on the legislation.