In the video above, William Saletan at Slate Magazine walks us through the labyrinthine twists and turns in Mitt Romney’s various positions, walk-backs and lies about his position on abortion during his political career. Warning: Make sure you are seated when you watch this because it will make you dizzy, if not woozy — but not in a good way.
Yesterday, inspired by a dramatic shift in his favor among unmarried women voters in post-debate polls, Romney added another twist to his ever-changing views on abortion when he told the editorial board of the Des Moines Register that “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”
That is, of course, a lie. In June 2011, the online version of the right-wing National Review published an article under Romney’s name titled, “My Pro-Life Pledge.” In it, he promised to defund Planned Parenthood, which is the leading provider of women’s health care in the nation. Elsewhere, he has pledged that, as president, he would appoint religious extremists in the mold of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court.
While Romney has said he would be delighted to sign a bill outlawing all abortions, he also says he would preserve the right to abortion for women who are victims of rape and incest and instances where the life of the mother is at risk.
This puts him at odds with his running mate, Paul Ryan, who is a militant advocate of a government role in ensuring that all pregnancies in America come to term, even when the father is a relative, a rapist or when the birth will lead to the death of the mother.
Reacting to Romney’s latest switch back on abortion yesterday, Ryan said, “Our position’s unified. Our position is consistent and hasn’t changed.”