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?