Tracking Romney’s Positions on Women’s Reproductive Rights, His Reversals on Those Positions and Lies about His Former Positions

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.”


  • Linda Dapper
    October 18, 2012 - 2:24 pm | Permalink


    Talk to your friends and relatives & make sure that have the truth and our not voting on just one issue. Woman will lose all their reproductive rights not just the one they don’t agree with so be very careful to talk them through the changes Romney has gone through just in the last 6 months. Get them to open their eyes.

  • Lighning Joe
    October 24, 2012 - 12:09 am | Permalink

    Do you trust a liar who keeps “changing his mind?” (quotes, because the NORMAL mind-changing process does not seem to apply)

    WHO KNOWS what Romney will do once he’s in office? Listening to him TELL us what he will do really tells us exactly nothing, about what he will actually do.

    He has changed his mind so many times, and seems to hold so many impossibly-simultaneous opinions, and hollow stories about what’s possible to do with a reduced tax budget and “harsh” governmental retrenchment, that there seems simply NO WAY to fathom the real workings of his mind.

    To someone like me, he literally seems insane.

    And from his record, ANYTHING might happen once he takes office — notably including things he’s promised to his supporters recently.

    Romney is the PERFECT Fog Candidate, that species of politician who can look like ANYTHING to ANYONE — so long as his lies aren’t called.

    One Perfect Fog Candidate + One suck-up VP Candidate + Focused Election Fraud and Suppression + A BILLIOOO,OOO,OOON dollars for ads == President Romney.

  • Bev Chaney
    October 24, 2012 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Mitt allegedly financed his son’s surrogacy arrangement, with a contract permitting abortion at the son’s request. For his own family, he appears to be pro-choice. What a hypocrite.

    In addition to rape and life-threatening pregnancies, we need educate politicians about ectopic pregnancies (1% of all pregnancies). They can never become viable, but often cause infertility by rupturing the fallopian tube or spreading infection, if not aborted promptly. Ryan’s total ban on abortion would leave tens of thousands of couples infertile each year.

  • scott campbell
    October 25, 2012 - 3:11 am | Permalink

    go out and knock on doors, call friends, tell anyone who will listen that this man is the most dangerous man to seek the white house since richard nixon. a liar and a cheat will always lie and cheat.

  • Natalia
    October 25, 2012 - 7:10 am | Permalink

    As a woman, I am so offended that politicians are trying to make people believe that we, as a gender, are so pathetic that we NEED the government to provide our healthcare and that we are so pathetic that we want tax payers to pay for our birth control. Add to that the fact that they are twisting the facts to imply that we can only control our own body and health AFTER we get pregnant. I am not pathetic. I do not want the government providing my birth control or my healthcare! There is no room for the government in my bedroom. I am actually bright enough to know that my right to choose is BEFORE I get pregnant. If you want the government paying for you to go to planned parenthood and paying for your birth control, then you are pathetic. A woman’s right? You have got to be kidding me. If you don’t want a man making these decisions for you, why in the world do you want the government to do it?

  • Susan
    October 25, 2012 - 12:55 pm | Permalink


    There is a difference between “controlling” and “making the option available.” The only government that is trying to control your bedroom is the conservative anti-abortion measures. Otherwise, government is tasked with giving you, the woman, the opportunity to choose whatever path is right for you. That stands even if you don’t have enough money to pay for your own health procedures. It’s more freedom, not less.

  • Natalia
    October 26, 2012 - 5:22 am | Permalink

    The options are available. The deal for you is not if it’s available. It’s that you want me to pay for it. Bottom line, that is the real issue. You want ME to pay for YOUR choices. And, you must believe that you don’t have control of your body or your choices until after you’re pregnant or you wouldn’t think abortion is birth control. So be a woman and say what you mean instead of pretending it’s about choice. You want the choice but you don’t want me to have a choice about what I pay for. You want birth control, abortion, planned parenthood? Pay for it yourself. Now that would be YOUR choice.

    • Madison
      October 26, 2012 - 9:11 am | Permalink

      Natalia – Viagra is covered by insurance plans but right wingers want to prevent birth control from being covered. How is that fair?

      This is not about the government paying for contraceptives. It’s about private insurers covering the cost of the prescriptions. That is the issue. TURN OFF FOX. You’re being lied to every minute you watch it.

  • Jen
    October 26, 2012 - 8:19 am | Permalink


    No one is asking YOU to pay for BC. The issue is including or excluding BC from insurance plans. If I am already paying for my insurance plan, why should reproductive services be excluded from that plan based on someone else’s objections. If someone is on a public insurance plan- it makes even more sense (if you want to save taxpayer money) to include contraceptives because the insurance companies actually charge MORE for plans that don’t include that coverage. This is because over time, they pay far less for the contraceptives than the statistically likely pregnancies, related care, and related complications.

    As for abortion- I think it is insensitive and judgmental to assume that women seeking abortions are using it as birth control because they wouldn’t take responsibility ahead of time. There are a lot of very complex reasons for having an abortion. Many women who find themselves faced with the decision were actually trying to get pregnant and have a family, but due to horrible circumstances either their health is at risk, or they are carrying a fetus that may not survive, or in some cases is already dead but remains in the woman’s body. In some cases it is a very complex combination of medical scenarios.

    Abortion should remain legal so that bureaucrats aren’t deciding which cases are worthy.

    Would you make a woman whose life is in the balance wait until her doctor makes sure her case “is within the law” so he won’t be arrested?

    Would you make a rape victim have to jump through legal hoops to “prove” she was raped, all the while the pregnancy is getting farther along, and the symptoms are just additional violations to a body that already feels out of her control? People who have suggested legislation that allows exception for rape often include clauses that detail punishment for lying to obtain an abortion. After being violated, how many women would want to risk being imprisoned for an abortion because no one would believe them and their proof was considered insufficient.

    What about just an accidental pregnancy by a teenage girl? If legal, safe abortion isn’t available, does it “serve her right” to wind up on the table of some illegal butcher, or kill herself because in her immature mind she has no other options?

    I understand that some people believe that life begins at conception, but what about separation of church and state? What about those who want to outlaw BC entirely because it goes against their religious beliefs? Do we outlaw BC as well?

  • Jen
    October 26, 2012 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Bev Chaney-

    I also found the surrogacy thing interesting. They claim that the abortion clause was an oversight and had been removed from a previous contract. Ok- I buy that. I would actually argue further that giving them the right to abort for issues related to the health of the child actually protects their position, because it prevents the surrogate from aborting for those reasons.

    I think what is most interesting is that they were pursuing surrogacy at all. I know they aren’t catholic, but the catholic church has been opposed to surrogacy because (among other reasons) the procedure results in more embryos than needed and these are often used for experimentation or discarded. Given that Mitt opposed embryonic stem cell research as governor for similar ethical reasons, isn’t it hypocritical of him to finance his son’s surrogate pregnancies so that they can have genetic children? I would think those beliefs would guide them towards adoption rather than surrogacy.

  • ken
    November 5, 2012 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Lightning joe — your ignorance is beyond comprehension. To call Mitt a liar after 4 years of this liar is a farce. And a billion $$$$

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