The Fact Checker: Abortion

Do 60 percent of women use ‘birth control’ for something other than family planning?

Do 60 percent of women use ‘birth control’ for something other than family planning?

“When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it’s outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous.”

-- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Democratic National Committee chair, on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” March 25, 2014

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Newt Gingrich’s claim that Romney governed as a ‘pro-abortion’ governor

"What happened after Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney changed his position from pro-abortion to pro-life? He governed pro-abortion. Romney appointed a pro-abortion judge, expanded access to abortion pills, put Planned Parenthood on a state medical board but failed to put a pro-life group on the same board.”

— Newt Gingrich ad attacking Mitt Romney

Gingrich, still justifiably angry at a tough ad by a Romney-affiliated Super PAC that mischaracterized his position on abortion, has counterattacked with his own ad that calls into question Romney’s support for restrictions on abortion.

 Romney, of course, has spoken openly about his conversion on the abortion issue, so Gingrich must prove that Romney was an inconsistent convert to the cause of fighting abortion. Romney’s record was certainly inconsistent but was it indeed “pro-abortion”? Let’s look at some of the claims in this ad.

 

The Facts

 The definitive list of Romney flip-flops on abortion was compiled in 2007 by our predecessor as The Fact Checker, the estimable Michael Dobbs. After meticulously examining Romney’s twists and turns on the issue, Dobbs awarded Romney Three Pinocchios for his comments on abortion, saying he has “changed his position so often on abortion that he lacks much credibility” to claim that every piece of legislation he signed as governor was “on the side of preserving the sanctity of life.”

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