Romney attempts to play the Reagan Card on abortion stance
February 25th, 2012
CBS News / By Sarah B. Boxer
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Rolling out a new line of defense of his flip flop on abortion rights, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday that conservative icon Ronald Reagan underwent a similar ideological transformation on the issue.
At a town hall meeting at Western Michigan University, a woman in the audience asked Romney why "we should regard you as a man of high standards and integrity when you have flip flopped on your position regarding the sanctity of life?" Romney replied that Reagan was "pro-choice before he became pro-life," and named other Republican figures who he said had similar experiences on the issue, including former President Ge orge H.W. Bush and the late former Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, who went on to become a leader in the effort to stop the expansion of abortion rights in Congress.
"We need people who recognize that pro-life is the way to go, and we're getting more and more people joining our cause as time goes on," Romney said.
Romney also addressed a recurring issue about whether abortions were forced on Catholic hospitals under the health care law he signed as governor of Massachusetts. "A court in our state decided that anyone who was receiving subsidized care was entitled to abortion on a very inexpensive basis. That was decided before our law was passed, that had nothing to do with our law whatsoever," he said.
He said that during his tenure as president, he would stop funding for Planned Parenthood, and took a swipe at rival Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who he said voted for bills to fund the organization while he was in Congress. "I'm a pro-life person and I'll be a pro-life president," Romney said.
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