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Elections & Politics

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry: Mirror Images on Women's Health

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 05.05.12

Attacking Planned Parenthood

PERRY: Targeted Planned Parenthood in the State, Bragged About Defunding Planned Parenthood.  With Perry's blessing Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued the federal government in March over the issue of banning funds in the Texas Women's Health Program from going to Planned Parenthood. Said Perry, "We don't want Planned Parenthood and their affiliates who are in the abortion business engaged in this process, it's just pretty straight up." When Perry was challenged on this position due to the fact that money is restricted from funding abortions, Perry responded, "We would rather be very sure of it."  Previously, Perry bragged that the budget he signed in 2011 largely defunded Planned Parenthood in the state. [MSNBC, Martin Bashir, 3/16/12; CBS News, 3/15/12; Think Progress, 10/17/11]

ROMNEY:  "Planned Parenthood, We're Going to Get Rid of That."  Mitt Romney spoke with voters in Kirkwood, Missouri, in March and listed the ways he would tackle the nation's debt. Said Romney, "The test is pretty simple.  Is the program so critical, it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." [KSDK-TV, 3/13/12]

Funding for the Title X Family Planning Program

PERRY: Gutted Title X Funds as Governor. Perry bragged that the budget he signed in 2011 largely defunded Planned Parenthood in the state by cutting the state's family planning budget by nearly 66 percent. In 2012, Perry rejected federal Title X funds rather than allow them to be used at Planned Parenthood affiliates.  Wrote columnist Frank Rich, "Republicans in state government are not waiting for a Romney presidency to gut Title X and act on the rest of their wish list. Rick Perry has already rejected Title X money for Texas." [Think Progress, 10/17/11; New York magazine, 3/25/12]

ROMNEY: Singled Out Title X for Elimination in Budget.  In a USA Today Novemeber op-ed, Romney wrote that he would reduce government spending by eliminating "family planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood." He also singled out Title X, a program established in 1970 to provide access to contraceptive services and supplies. "The test should be this: 'Is this program so critical that it is worth borrowing money to pay for it?'" [Concord Monitor, 11/9/11]

Standing Against Birth Control Coverage

PERRY: Perry Supported Lawsuit Against the Obama Administration on Birth Control.  Rick Perry gave his blessing to a lawsuit filed by Texas and six other states against the Obama administration related to the administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that contraception and other preventive services must be provided by health insurance plans without a co-pay. [Houston Chronicle, 2/24/12]

ROMNEY: No Co-Pay Birth Control "Not What I'm About."  "'So your all like, yay, freedom, and all this stuff,' said the first woman to approach a microphone. 'And yay, like pursuit of happiness. You know what would make me happy? Free birth control.' Romney responded, 'You know, let me tell you, no no, look let me tell you something,' he said waiting for the crowd noise to die down. 'If you're looking for free stuff you don't have to pay for? Vote for the other guy, that's what he's all about, okay? That's not, that's not what I'm about'" [CNN, 3/19/12]

Supporting "Personhood" Amendments That Could Ban Common Forms of Birth Control, In Vitro Fertilization

PERRY: Supports Personhood Amendments.  "I don't know if there's anyone whose been engaged with more issues that have been protective of life and parental consent, parental notification.... I happen to believe in putting justices on the Supreme Court that are pro-life, and Roe v. Wade would be found to be unconstitutional. It would go back to the states until there would be a constitutional  amendment in the United States that would clearly defend life and that life be from the time of conception until death, and I would support that pro-life amendment in a constitutional way." [Youtube.com, PP Votes, 11/16/11]

ROMNEY: Romney Came Out in Support of Personhood Amendment.  Romney was asked if he would support a dangerous proposal, commonly called a "personhood amendment," that could potentially ban common forms of contraception like the birth control pill, as well as prevent a pregnant woman experiencing complications that threaten her life or health to obtain safe abortion care. Said Romney, "absolutely." [Concord Monitor, 11/9/11]

PERRY: Perry Signed Personhood USA Petition.  In December, Perry joined Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum in signing Personhood USA's petition, which, according to Personhood USA, shows his commitment to "action by championing efforts to enact Personhood legislation in the sovereign state of Texas." [Personhood USA Press Release, 12/15/11]

ROMNEY: Romney Meets Personhood USA's Criteria for Support. Jennifer Mason, Communications Director for Personhood USA, said, "I believe so," when asked if supporters of personhood included people like Romney who believe "life begins at conception" and also support expanding the definition of a person under the 14th Amendment. [Huffington Post, 11/21/11]

Overturning Roe v. Wade

PERRY: Called Roe v. Wade "shameful."  At an anti-choice rally in Los Angeles, Perry said: "Roe v. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation's history books." [Reuters, 6/13/11]

ROMNEY: Said Roe is "Bad Law and Bad Medicine."  Romney: "I support the reversal of Roe v. Wade, because it is bad law and bad medicine.  Roe was a misguided ruling that was a result of a small group of activist federal judges legislating from the bench." [Boston Globe, 6/20/11]

PERRY:  Wanted Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade.  Said Perry, "I happen to believe in putting justices on the Supreme Court that are pro-life, and Roe vs. Wade would be found to be unconstitutional.  It would go back to the states until there would be a constitutional amendment in the United States that would clearly defend life and that life be from the time of conception until death and I would support that pro-life amendment in a constitutional way." [Youtube.com, PP Votes, 11/16/11]

ROMNEY: Would "Welcome the Overruling of Roe." Mitt Romney has stated that he would welcome the overruling of Roe v. Wade, saying that he would like to "see each state be able to make its own decision regarding abortion rather than have a one-size-fits-all blanket pronouncement by the Supreme Court." [Hugh Hewitt, A Mormon in the White House, p.103-104, 3/12/07]

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.