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Elections & Politics

Mitt Romney, Opponent of Women’s Contraception, Fundraises With Makers of Emergency Contraception

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

For Immediate Release: 05.16.12

Mitt Romney can’t have it both ways.  Today he is holding a Miami fundraiser at the home of a Teva Pharmaceuticals executive, a major manufacturer of contraceptives, including Plan B One-Step.  Yet Mitt Romney has repeatedly opposed access to contraceptives for women, specifically criticizing the Affordable Care Act and the required coverage of the emergency contraceptive pills, including Plan B One-Step.  In addition to his criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, Mitt Romney has even gone so far as to ignore basic science and falsely refer to emergency contraception as, “abortive pills.” 

"Mitt Romney can’t have it both ways,” says Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “The record is clear: Mitt Romney has vowed to restrict access to birth control, including emergency contraception, and undermine millions of women's access to family planning.  Women want a leader who will fight for their access to preventive care, not a typical politician who puts politics before women’s health.  The smartest thing we can do for women’s health and fiscal responsibility is invest in family planning, not cut access, as Romney has pledged to do.” 

Key Background

• In Romney Op-Ed, Called Contraception “Abortifacients.”  In a Washington Examiner op-ed, Romney wrote, “On January 20, 2012, the Obama administration affirmed a rule that would force Roman Catholic hospitals, charities, and universities to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization, in violation of their religious principles.  This is wrong.”  [MittRomney.com, posted 2/3/12; op-ed for the Washington Examiner]

• At Rally in February 2012, Romney Called Emergency Contraception “Abortive Pills.”  When attacking the Obama administration rule to have health insurance plans cover contraception without a co-pay, Romney said, “This same administration said that the churches and the institutions they run, such as schools and let’s say adoption agencies, hospitals, that they have to provide for their employees free of charge, contraceptives, morning after pills, in other words abortive pills, and the like at no cost.  Think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views.  This is a violation of conscience.” [Mother Jones, 2/7/12]

• Romney Argued That Morning-After Pills “Cause Abortions.”  “In July, Romney vetoed a bill to expand the use of the morning-after pills by requiring hospitals to offer them to rape victims and requiring pharmacists to dispense them without prescriptions.  At the time, the governor embraced opponents’ argument that the pills not only prevent pregnancies, but cause abortions.  The Legislature overrode the veto in September.”  [“Romney signs bill on family planning,” Boston Globe, 10/15/05]

• Romney Vetoed Bill Offering Emergency Contraception Over The Counter And To Rape Victims.  Romney has switched positions on critical preventive care, such as emergency contraception.  In 1994 he supported women’s access to emergency contraception, calling it a “positive thing to have women have the choice of taking the morning-after pill.”  But in 2005, while readying himself for a presidential run, Governor Romney vetoed a bill that would have allowed pharmacists to offer emergency contraception over the counter and required hospitals to offer it to rape victims.  [New York Times, 7/26/05]

• In July 2005 Boston Globe Op-Ed, Romney Argued That Morning-After Pill Plan B Would “Terminate Life After Conception.”  “Yesterday I vetoed a bill that the Legislature forwarded to my desk.  Though described by its sponsors as a measure relating to contraception, there is more to it than that.  The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception:  The drug it authorizes [emergency contraception] would also terminate life after conception.”  [Mitt Romney, “Why I Vetoed Contraception Bill,” Boston Globe, 7/26/05]

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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.