Evan Vucci / AP
Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally Oct. 9, 2012 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told The Des Moines Register he does not plan to pursue abortion-related legislation if elected.
The media immediately seized on the comments as a promise by Romney to back away from some of his harsher rhetoric on abortion. He has said he would prefer Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman’s right to abortion, be overturned and that abortion should be allowed only in instances of incest, rape, and to protect the health of the mother.
Yet, parsing the words of a man who has changed his mind on this subject in the past (he ran as a pro-choice candidate for the U.S. Senate and governor of Massachusetts), isn’t easy.
Here’s what he said:
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney told the Register’s editorial board on Tuesday.
So no current legislation, but does that mean he would consider approving anti-abortion legislation brought forward by a Republican Congress? A clarification from a Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul seemed to suggest he would.