WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reiterated his pro-life views after he made a statement in an interview that sparked concern about his dedication to protecting the unborn.
“I think I've said time and again that I'm a pro-life candidate, and I'll be a pro-life president,” Romney told reporters in Ohio, according to Politico.
The former Massachusetts governor said that he would immediately “remove funding for Planned Parenthood.”
“It will not be part of my budget,” he stated.
“And also, I've indicated that I will reverse the Mexico City position of the president,” he added. “I will reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which keeps us from using foreign aid for abortions overseas.”
The comments came one day after controversy was raised by reports that the GOP contender had contradicted his previous position on abortion.
In an Oct. 9 interview with the Des Moines Register, Romney said, “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”
He explained that he would use an executive order rather than legislation to revive the Mexico City Policy, which President Barack Obama had removed. Recent presidents have used executive orders to either remove or reinstate the policy, according to their views on abortion.
The statements caused a stir among those who feared that the former governor was backing off of his commitment to the pro-life cause.
Some of Romney’s critics have been skeptical of his claim that he had a pro-life conversion in 2004, after he confronted the issue of embryonic stem-cell research and saw that it was wrong to create a human life simply to later destroy it.
However, Romney’s advocates say that he has maintained a solidly pro-life record since his conversion, even in difficult political situations. As governor, he supported abstinence education in schools and vetoed legislation that allowed the morning-after pill to be sold over the counter.
Spokeswoman Andrea Saul reiterated that Romney is “proudly pro-life” and “would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”
Romney has previously voiced support for the Hyde Amendment, which is already part of current law and largely prohibits the use of taxpayer money for abortion, as well as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prevent abortion from the point at which unborn children can feel pain.
He has also repeatedly promised to appoint judges who adhere to the Constitution rather than activist judges who seek to define it in alignment with their own views.