Mitt Romney on Protecting the Innocent
When Mitt Romney was running for the Senate in Massachusetts in 1994 against incumbent Sen. Ted Kennedy, he wanted voters to know that he favored legalized abortion at least as much as Kennedy did.
When he and Kennedy debated on Oct. 25 of that year, reporter Sally Jacobs of the Boston Globe asked Romney about the issue.
"Mr. Romney, you personally oppose abortion and as a church leader have advised woman not to have an abortion," said Jacobs. "Given that, how could you in good conscience support a law that enables women to have an abortion and even lets the government pay for it?
"If abortion is morally wrong, aren't you responsible for discouraging it?" she said.
"I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country," Romney said in part of his response.
"I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate," he said. "I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice."
Eight years later, when he was still in Massachusetts but now running for governor, Romney reiterated his support for the legalized killing of unborn babies.
"I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. I will not change any provision of Massachusetts' pro-choice laws," Romney said in a debate during that campaign.
Five years after that, when he was running for the Republican presidential nomination, Romney took a dramatically different position on abortion.
He now declared that if there were a national consensus that "we don't want to have abortion in this country at all," he would be "delighted" to sign a bill to completely prohibit it.