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Obama Campaign: “Romney’s Rhetoric On CBS Doesn’t Match His Record On Women’s Health”

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STATEMENT: Romney’s Rhetoric On CBS Doesn’t Match His Record On Women’s Health

 

“The Republican Party – led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan – included the Akin amendment in its platform, which would ban abortion for all women even in the cases of rape and incest. Despite what Romney said on CBS tonight, the Los Angeles Times reported that  the platform was ‘written at the direction of Romney’s campaign,’ and several Romney advisers reportedly stood silently by as this amendment was included. The truth is that Mitt Romney supported this exact language in past platforms and Paul Ryan fought to ban abortion in cases of rape and incest, even callously referring to rape as merely a ‘method of conception’ in an interview last week. Women across America understand that this is the official position of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s Republican Party, and know that their current rhetoric means nothing when it comes to women’s health.”—Lis Smith, campaign spokeswoman 

 

ROMNEY-RYAN HAVE BACKED OUTLAWING ALL ABORTIONS

 

THE 2012 REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM WAS WRITTEN AT THE DIRECTION OF THE ROMNEY  CAMPAIGN AND INCLUDES A HUMAN LIFE AMENDMENT TO BAN ABORTION, BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE EXCEPTIONS FOR CASES OF RAPE OR INCEST

 

The Republican Party Platform “Was Written At The Direction Of Romney’s Campaign.” “It didn’t take long for strains within the Republican Party to surface Monday as national delegates got down to work on a final draft of the party platform, one week before the nominating convention opens. … There is no doubt about who is in charge, of course. Delegates for presumptive nominee Mitt Romney are voting down substantive changes to the platform language that was written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/20/12]

 

·         CNN’s Political Ticker: “Platform Committee Chairman Gov. Bob McDonnell Of Virginia Thanked The 110-Member Committee For ‘Affirming Our Respect For Human Life’ And Quickly Moved On To Other Topics As Top Advisers To Mitt Romney’s Republican Presidential Campaign Looked On From The Back Of The Room.” [CNN, Politicalticker blog, 8/21/12]

 

2012: The Republican Party Platform “Will Include Language Calling For A Constitutional Amendment Against Abortion, Leaving Out Any Mention Of Exceptions For Cases Of Rape Or Incest.” “The Republican Party's platform will include language calling for a constitutional amendment against abortion, leaving out any mention of exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The draft platform as first obtained by CNN: ‘Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.’ Amid a very brief debate in which several largely technical amendments were considered, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the platform committee, closed discussion on the abortion section after no further amendments were offered.” [Buzzfeed, 8/21/12]

 

·         The Republican Party Platform “Will Include Language Calling For A Constitutional Amendment Against Abortion, Leaving Out Any Mention Of Exceptions For Cases Of Rape Or Incest.” “The Republican Party's platform will include language calling for a constitutional amendment against abortion, leaving out any mention of exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The draft platform as first obtained by CNN: ‘Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.’ Amid a very brief debate in which several largely technical amendments were considered, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the platform committee, closed discussion on the abortion section after no further amendments were offered.” [Buzzfeed, 8/21/12]

 

·         CNN’s Political Ticker: “Republicans Drafting Their Party’s Official Policy Platform On Tuesday Ratified A Call For A Constitutional Ban On Abortion That Makes No Exceptions For Rape Or Incest.” “Republicans drafting their party’s official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.  The vote to endorse the party’s long-standing opposition to abortion and support for a ‘human life amendment’ took place at a meeting of the GOP’s official platform committee in Tampa, the site of next week’s Republican National Convention.” [CNN, Political Ticker blog, 8/21/12]

 

ROMNEY HAS REPEATEDLY ENDORSED IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM, WHICH INCLUDES A HUMAN LIFE AMENDMENT TO BAN ABORTION NATIONWIDE – WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS FOR RAPE & INCEST…

 

ROMNEY ENDORSED THE 2004 AND 2008 REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORMS

 

2012: Romney Suggested He “Could Hardly Be Opposed” To The National Republican Party Platform. “We reminded Romney that from 1980 until 2000, the national GOP platform contained clear-cut planks calling for abolishing such government agencies as the National Endowment for the Arts and several Cabinet-level departments (notably the Department of Education), but that references in the platform to shutting down parts of government were eliminated in 2000 at the insistence of advisers to presidential nominee George W. Bush.  Would Romney be open to his party’s platform once again calling for abolishing government agencies and departments? ‘We’re getting down to semantics here,’ he replied, ‘but my position, as I said, is for smaller government and if the platform reflects that, then as the nominee, I could hardly be opposed to it.’” [Human Events, 3/29/12]

 

·         2007: Romney On A Human Life Amendment To The Constitution: “I Do Support The Republican Platform, And I Support That Being Part Of The Republican Platform.” “Appearing Monday on ‘Good Morning America,’ Romney was asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos if he supports the Republican Party’s 2004 platform on abortion rights, which states, ‘We support a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.’ Romney replied, ‘You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform and I’m pro-life.’” [ABC News, 8/7/07; Good Morning America, 8/6/07]

 

THE 2000, 2004, AND 2008 REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORMS INCLUDED A HUMAN LIFE AMENDMENT…

 

2008 Republican Party Platform: “We Support A Human Life Amendment To The Constitution, And We Endorse Legislation To Make Clear That The Fourteenth Amendment Is Protections Apply To Unborn Children.” “Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.  We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.  We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.” [2008 Republican Platform, pg. 52]

 

2004 Republican Party Platform: “We Support A Human Life Amendment To The Constitution And We Endorse Legislation To Make It Clear That The Fourteenth Amendment’s Protections Apply To Unborn Children.” “As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.” [2004 Republican Platform, pg. 84]

 

2000 Republican Party Platform: “We Support A Human Life Amendment To The Constitution And We Endorse Legislation To Make Clear That The Fourteenth Amendment's Protections Apply To Unborn Children.” “The Supreme Court's recent decision, prohibiting states from banning partial-birth abortions — a procedure denounced by a committee of the American Medical Association and rightly branded as four-fifths infanticide — shocks the conscience of the nation. As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.” [2000 Republican Platform, accessed 7/9/12]

 

…WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS FOR RAPE AND INCEST

 

Factcheck.org: “The GOP Platform For 2008 Still Does Not Specify Any Exceptions” In Its Call To Outlaw Abortion With A Human Life Amendment. “For the record, the GOP platform for 2008 still does not specify any exceptions. It speaks only of support for ‘a human life amendment’ but doesn't say precisely what it should say: ‘2008 Republican Platform: [W]e assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.’” [Factcheck.org, 9/8/08]

 

·         Bill O’Reilly: The Human Life Amendment In The Republican Party Platform Does Not Contain An Exception For Cases Of Rape Or Incest. In a discussion about an ad by MoveOn.org, Bill O’Reilly and Margaret Hoover had the following exchange: MARGARET HOOVER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: “As a Republican, while I don't like it, I actually think it is a hard-hitting and will be highly effective ad.” O'REILLY: “But what kind of person would associate an entire political party with a few people's opinions? HOOVER: There — well, there are people and it's not just a few people. I mean, the Republican Party in its platform has a human life amendment in it.” O'REILLY: “It doesn't have a rape deal in it, and that's what they're hanging this commercial on. This is a Move On strategy.” … HOOVER: “The reality is there is a — there is a gender gap in our voting. And Republicans do have a challenge reaching out to women.” O'REILLY: “But this is — this ad demonizes an entire party, the Republican Party, for you know, a fairly small, I think, point that, even if it is rape or incest, you should carry the child to term.” [The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 3/15/12; emphasis added]

 

Family Research Council President, Tony Perkins: Changing The GOP Platform In 2008 To Include Exceptions For Rape And Incest “Would Be Political Suicide” Because “That Is Such A Critical Issue To So Many Republican Voters.” “Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., faces enormous pressure from social conservatives to ignore his repeated commitment to change the GOP's platform on abortion. ‘If he were to change the party platform,’ to account for exceptions such as rape, incest or risk to the mother's life, ‘I think that would be political suicide,’ said Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, to ABC News. ‘I think he would be aborting his own campaign because that is such a critical issue to so many Republican voters and the Republican brand is already in trouble.’” [ABC, 5/9/08]

 

Republican Majority For Choice Co-Chairwoman Supported Changing The GOP Platform In 2008 To Include Abortion In Cases Of Rape, Incest, And The Life Of The Mother. “While leaving the platform untouched would please many in the GOP's socially conservative base, it could alienate some of the more moderate voters that McCain hopes to woo. ‘If he doesn't change the platform, then he's being the same kind of hypocrite that he accused Bush of being in 2000,’ said Jennifer Blei Stockman, the co-chairwoman of Republican Majority for Choice. ‘To not accept abortion in cases of rape and incest, give me a break. That's sick. That's inhumane.’ ‘And the life of the mother?’ she added. ‘These are things that we can't even put our arms around because they are so inhumane.’” [ABC, 5/9/08]

  

ROMNEY SAID HE WOULD SIGN A BILL OUTLAWING ALL ABORTIONS

 

ROMNEY SAID THAT HE HAS THE SAME POSITIONS NOW THAT HE HAD WHEN HE PREVIOUSLY RAN FOR PRESIDENT…

 

2012: Romney Said He “Had The Same Positions Today” As “When I Ran For President Last Time, So What You See Is What You Get.”Romney: “In terms of my positions, my conservative positions were seen in my work as governor. I wrote a book that describes my view for the country. I’ve run for president before. Had the same positions today that I had when I was governor, when I wrote the book and when I ran for president last time, so what you see is what you get.” [Tommy Tucker Show, WWL (New Orleans, LA), 3/23/12]

 

2011: Romney: “I Have The Same Positions Today I Had Four Years Ago Where You Know I’m A Conservative Guy.” “You know, I think people got a good chance to know me four years ago. As you may recall the people to my left in the party were probably John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Mike Huckabee and I were the two conservatives that really ran as conservatives in the race. I have the same positions today I had four years ago where you know I’m a conservative guy.” [The Sean Hannity Show, 11/16/11]

 

…AND THEN ROMNEY SAID HE WOULD BE “DELIGHTED” TO SIGN A BILL TO OUTLAW ALL ABORTIONS

 

Romney Said He Would Be “Delighted” To Sign A Bill Banning “All Abortions.” QUESTIONER: “Hello, my name is AJ. I'm from Millstone, New Jersey. I would all of the candidates to give an answer on this. If hypothetically, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it? Yes or no?” COOPER: “Governor Romney?” ROMNEY: “I agree with Senator Thompson, which is we should overturn Roe v. Wade and return these issues to the states. I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don't want to have abortion in this country at all, period. That would be wonderful. I'd be delighted.” COOPER: “The question is: Would you sign that bill?” ROMNEY: “Let me say it. I'd be delighted to sign that bill. But that's not where we are. That's not where America is today. Where America is is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.” [CNN Debate, 11/28/07]

 

RYAN SUPPORTED ABORTION BAN EXCEPT TO SAVE MOTHER’S LIFE

 

2012: Asked About His Stance On Abortion In Cases Of Rape, Ryan Said “The Method Of Conception Doesn’t Change The Definition Of Life.”In an interview with WJHL-TV’s Josh Smith, the following exchange occurred: “SMITH: Abortion, now. Something we’re talking about. And I think our viewers would love to know exactly where you stand, specifically when—you’re pro-life and Catholic… RYAN: Oh, yeah. Yeah. SMITH: …but specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped. RYAN: I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that—the position that—the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” [Ryan Interview, WJHL (Tri-Cities, TN/VA), 8/23/12]

 

Los Angeles Times: “[Ryan] Opposes Legal Abortion In All Circumstances Except When The Life Of The Mother Is At Risk.” “Overall, Ryan's record in Congress reflects his conservative stand on social issues. He opposes legal abortion in all circumstances except when the life of the mother is at risk. On this he is more stringent than Romney, who would make additional exceptions for rape and incest — the official position of the ticket. Planned Parenthood's Action Fund gave Ryan its lowest rating possible for his votes to defund Planned Parenthood and comments against abortion.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/13/12]

 

Ryan Supported Abortion Ban With Exception Only For Mother’s Life. “Ryan has said he favors only one exception to a ban, to save a woman’s life.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/30/98]  

·         Ryan: “I’m As Pro-Life As A Person Gets.” “‘I’m as pro-life as a person gets,’ Ryan continued. ‘You’re not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they’re unavoidable, and I’m never going to not vote pro-life.’” [The Weekly Standard, 7/19/10] 

RYAN SUPPORTED PERSONHOOD BILL THAT COULD BAN ALL ABORTIONS AND MAKE CERTAIN FORMS OF BIRTH CONTROL ILLEGAL

 

2011: Ryan Co-Sponsored Personhood Bill That Defines Life As Beginning At Conception. “On January 7, 2011, U.S. Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) introduced House Resolution (H.R.) 212, the Sanctity of Human Life Act. Co-sponsored by 62 representatives, including Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the bill declares that: the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” [Pro-Life Wisconsin website, accessed 6/21/12; HR 212, Co-Sponsors, introduced 1/7/11]

 

Personhood Amendments Like The One Facing Voters In Mississippi Would Ban Virtually All Abortions Including Those Resulting From Rape Or Incest. “A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder… The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and ‘morning-after pills,’ which prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.” [New York Times, 10/25/11] 

·         Mother Jones: Federal Personhood Bills Are “Nearly Identical” To The Mississippi Amendment. “The Mississippi amendment alters the state's Constitution so that “the term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.” Nearly identical language appears in three bills that have been endorsed by scores of Republicans in Congress.” [Mother Jones, 11/8/11] 

·         Mother Jones: Sanctity of Human Life Act “Includes Language That Directly Parallels That Of The Mississippi Personhood Amendment.” “Sixty-three House Republicans, or over a quarter of the GOP conference, are cosponsors of HR 212, Rep. Paul Broun's (R-Ga.) ‘Sanctity of Human Life Act,’ which includes language that directly parallels that of the Mississippi personhood amendment. That bill declares that ‘the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent…at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.’” [Mother Jones, 11/8/11] 

·         Mother Jones: “Like The Mississippi Amendment, None Of The Personhood Bills Being Considered In Congress Contain Any Exemptions For Victims Of Rape Or Incest.” [Mother Jones, 11/8/11] 

·         The Hill: “One Of The Bills [Ryan] Co-Sponsored Would Define Human Life As Beginning At The Moment Of Fertilization – A Far-Reaching Approach That Could Limit Access To Contraception And Procedures Like In Vitro Fertilization.” “One of the bills [Ryan] co-sponsored would define human life as beginning at the moment of fertilization — a far-reaching approach that could limit access to contraception and procedures like in vitro fertilization. It’s similar to the ‘personhood’ approach, which voters in deeply conservative Mississippi rejected last November. Another would let hospitals decline to perform abortions, based on religious conviction, even if the life of the pregnant woman is at stake.” [The Hill, 8/15/12] 

RYAN SUPPORTED LEGISLATION TO REDEFINE RAPE

 

Paul Ryan And Todd Akin Co-Sponsored And Voted For The “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act,” Which Redefined “Rape” As “Forcible Rape” In Order To Limit Federal Funding Of Abortion Procedures. In 2011, Ryan and Akin co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act.  According to the Washing Post, “[a] Republican bill seeking to permanently cut off federal funding for abortions has angered women's groups that say it alters the definition of rape, permitting coverage for the procedure only in cases in which the rape is considered ‘forcible.’ The bill, called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, would make permanent several provisions that have been law for years but require annual renewal by Congress. It is a top priority of Republican leaders who took control of the House after the November elections. The most well-known provision that would become permanent under the bill is the Hyde Amendment, which prevents some federally funded health-care programs from covering abortions. For years, it has allowed exemptions in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the woman is threatened. Under the proposed language, however, rape becomes ‘forcible rape.’ Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats. ‘It speaks to a distinction between rape where there must be some element of force in order to rise to the standard, and rape where there is not,’ said Steph Sterling, director of government relations for the National Women's Law Center. ‘The concern here is that it takes us back to a time where just saying no was not enough.’” [HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th Congress, Vote #292; Washington Post, 2/1/11

·         New York Times: Bill “Narrows The Definition Of Rape To ‘Forcible Rape.’” “The bill, sponsored by Representative Christopher H. Smith, Republican of New Jersey, has drawn fire over language that undercuts a longstanding exemption on the ban on using federal money for abortions in the case of rape or incest; the measure narrows the definition of rape to 'forcible rape,' a term that his office has never defined. Democratic lawmakers and others repeatedly hammered on the term, saying it suggested that victims of statutory rape and other crimes could not get abortions paid for with federal money.” [New York Times, 2/9/11] 

·         Boston Globe: Bill “Reveals Archaic Attitudes About Women’s Health And Equality.” “And it reveals archaic attitudes about women's health and equality. Under the original bill, filed by Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey with 172 Republican cosponsors, only pregnancies resulting from ‘forcible rape’ would be grounds for an exception to the funding ban. Incest would be considered only if the victim was under age 18. This would have sent women back to the bad old days, where a broken jaw or other obvious injury was required to “prove'' a rape. The reality is that most rapes are not committed by total strangers, and drugs, alcohol, and power relationships are the weapons of choice.” [Boston Globe, 2/5/11]