Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he doesn’t intend to pursue anti-abortion legislation if elected, a stance that threatens to alienate some core supporters just as he’s surging in national polls.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board yesterday before an event in the swing state of Iowa.
His running-mate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, sponsored a bill during the last Congress that would deem a fetus a person and effectively criminalize abortion without exceptions, including for rape victims.
President Barack Obama’s campaign and abortion-rights advocates accused Romney of trying to hide his previous stance on the contentious issue in an attempt to win over women, a crucial constituency for both candidates.
While Romney’s comments may widen his appeal among independent female voters, they risk raising questions among other independents about where he stands on the issue and depressing turnout among anti-abortion Republicans who already had misgivings about his past positions.