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Elections & Politics

Romney Far Outside the Mainstream on Women’s Health

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

For Immediate Release: 05.09.12

Supports “Personhood” Measures That Oklahoma’s Supreme Court Rejected

Today, as Mitt Romney appears in Oklahoma for a fundraiser, Oklahoma voters and women across the country need to know:  Mitt Romney has extreme views on women’s health that would be dangerous for the country.  Mitt Romney has a history of “absolutely” supporting “personhood” legislation, which would define a fertilized human egg as a legal person, a view out of touch with voters. Personhood measures have been roundly rejected by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and voters in Mississippi – the most conservative state in the union – by a 16-point margin.

“Mitt Romney’s support of so-called ‘personhood’ measures is dangerously out-of-touch with Oklahoma voters and a clear sign that he cares more about politics than the health needs of women”, said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “Personhood measures aregovernment gone too far, and could ban everything from common forms of birth control to fertility treatments.  Health decisions should be left to a woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith — not politicians like Mitt Romney.”  

Key Background

MITT ROMNEY FAR OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM ON “PERSONHOOD”; HAS SUPPORTED THE MEASURE IN BOTH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

Romney Came Out in Support of Personhood Amendment, Positioning Himself to the Right of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.  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]

 In a 2007 interview, Romney Said He Supported Personhood Amendments.  In 2007, Romney was interviewed on Good Morning America and asked about a plank in the Republican platform that would include fertilized eggs in the definition of a "person" under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Romney was asked, “Do you support that part of the Republican platform?”, to which he responded, “You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform, and I'm pro-life.” [Huffington Post, 11/21/11]

Romney’s “Political Perspective” in 2007:  Life Begins at Conception.  Romney: “I believe from a … political perspective that life begins at conception…. I don't pretend to know, if you will, from a theological standpoint when life begins.”  [NBC Meet the Press, 12/16/07]

In 2011, Romney “Absolutely” Supported Personhood Amendments.  In 2011, Mike Huckabee asked Mitt Romney on his Fox News show, “Would you have supported the constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?”  Replied Romney, “Absolutely.”  [ABC News, 11/3/11]

Romney “Supportive of Efforts” Directed at Personhood.  When asked about Romney’s affirmative response to Huckabee on personhood amendments, Romney’s Communications Director Ryan Williams said Romney was “supportive of efforts to recognize life begins at conception”.  The Mississsippi personhood amendment was formally titled the “Life Begins at the Moment of Fertilization Amendment”.  [The Lobby NH, 11/10/11; WJTV.com, accessed12/21/11]

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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.