Romney’s Planned Parenthood Debacle

Is Mitt Romney on a crusade to shut down Planned Parenthood? Not exactly, but he is looking to remove federal funding from the organization, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Romney experienced somewhat of a “flub” when it appeared that he wanted to get rid of Planned Parenthood to help balance the federal budget. According to the Huffington Post, Democrats took this nugget and went running with it. Romney’s campaign staff fights that his comment was taken out of context, but it still could cost Romney some female supporters.

Huffington Post shares the original remark that set the motion in fire. At a Missouri television station interview, Romney said “”Is the program so critical that it is 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. But there are others: Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I would eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, both excellent programs, but we can’t afford to borrow money to pay for these things.”

This statement only adds to anger from when, in January, Romney said “I’m not concerned about the very poor” because he felt there was adequate support for them. You can see more of that remark in Politico’s article. Planned Parenthood is a service often accessed by those who find themselves struggling financially, and some Democrats are fighting hard that pulling funding from Planned Parenthood only goes to show how much Romney “doesn’t care about the poor”.

 In a later interview, Romney said “Planned Parenthood is a private organization. What I want to get rid of is the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.”  Top Romney Campaign Advisor Eric Fehrnstromr explained that Planned Parenthood has other sources of funding, and difficult decisions need to be made when it comes to balancing the budget, according to Aurora Sentinel. Romney’s campaign staff quickly worked to explain that Romney was not looking to eliminate women’s health care but was simply looking at where to shave some money from in the budget.

Many, however, are not seeing it as economic decision to help the budget. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said his statement was “an assault on the judgment of women”. An interesting twist to the situation also comes to light in the aftermath of his statement. In 2002, when Romney was a gubernatorial candidate, he signed a document that offered broad support for Planned Parenthood. In that document, he supported using state tax dollars to fund abortions through Medicaid and he supported easy access to the “morning after pill”.

Romney has declared that he had a shift from pro-choice to anti-abortion after becoming governor. He maintains that all his other social views have been the same, but it still causes concern for those who believe that Romney is too liberal of a candidate to have the GOP nomination. Romney spokeswomen Andrea Saul explained that “”Mitt Romney is firmly pro-life and he explained his reasons for becoming pro-life many years ago.”

How do you weigh in on this issue? Do you think Romney had a slip of the tongue? Do you think he actually wants to eliminate Planned Parenthood? Or do you think he is trying to cover his past to seem republican enough for the position?

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6 thoughts on “Romney’s Planned Parenthood Debacle

  1. Jules says:

    I think Romney said just what he meant, Planned Parenthood is a private organization and the Federal Government has no business giving taxpayer dollars to it. I wish Romney would just come out and say “OK, I’m a moderate” because this great tug of war between radical conservatives and radical liberals is a NO WIN situation. I also think it it is OK to change your mind about things as you grow older and look at things differently. What if we were bound in stone about something we believed 10 years ago? and I sure wouldn’t borrow money from China to donate to a charity! The foofarah made of this “debacle” is diverting people from the really important message: this is what Romney would do to help our bankrupt country. somebody has to do it and we all see where “hope and change” got us.

    • Thank you for your comment! I agree that it is important to keep in mind that people evolve. Our country has been changing (which is a good thing!) and having politicians who are willing to renegotiate their viewpoints and speak up for what they really feel is a good quality.

  2. Kelly says:

    I also agree that it okay to change your mind. With age comes perspective. Sometimes you can feel strongly for against a social issue until the ramifications of it knock on your own door. I don’t know if Romney had a slip of the tongue or was really showing his true colors on this matter. I also think that so much laser focus on everything candidates say becomes exhausting to listen to. The picture is so much bigger. I also know that something has to give. We cannot save federal money without taking it away from causes that may be perfectly worthy. No candidate, on either side, will ever suggest reducing federal funding and have everyone say, great idea – no problem! To crawl out of this financial hole we have dug for ourselves it is going to hurt, but we have to do it – kind of like vaccinations.

    • Thank you for your comment! I think we live in a political cycle where if someone can possibly be offended by what a politician says, they are going to make a huge deal out of it. Whoever becomes president is going to have to pick their battles (just as every president has already had to do!) and it unfortunately seems like each candidate will be met with their fair share of angry people.

  3. Corey says:

    I’m not a big fan of government funding to private organizations. Partly because this takes away money from government funding of government programs. In times when our budget woes seem to only continue, it is hard to imagine pumping out money to private groups. I must say however, that the way much of the debacle is being handled by the right is a little upsetting (whether you’re liberal, conservative, or moderate). For instance, funding cuts to reproductive programs in Virginia (by the right) is being challenged by the left, who have said they will forfeit any proposal to finalize a state budget. The point is, like Kelly says, no candidate and no party would ever say they would reduce funding to any program outright and forever when they need the votes. Someone, some program, has to suffer somehow. In times like these, private organizations have to take the cut.

    • Thank you for your comment! I would imagine that some of the anger that comes from this statement is centered around all the debate about women’s rights in politics right now. I think for a couple of weeks, anything that slightly hints at women or health or reproductive rights is going to create a huge outburst. People are letting their own social views get in the way of fiscal responsibility…a delicate line to walk.

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