The Democratic National Committee is hitting Mitt Romney over his support of life at conception legislation, which is on the ballot in Mississippi, and could crop up on ballots across the country.
In a letter from Patrick Gaspard, the executive director of the DNC, the “personhood amendments” are described as radical measures “that would elevate a fertilized human egg to the status of a legal person.”
“They would ban IUDs, the morning-after pill, in-vitro fertilization, and all abortions — with no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or in cases where the life of a woman is at stake.
“In other words, a leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president is on the record in favor of a law that would classify literally all abortions — and even many forms of birth control — as murder.
“To be clear: This is the most radical position any of the Republican candidates have taken on this issue, and may be the most radical position any of them have taken on any substantive issue in the race for the nomination so far.”
In an interview this week with Mike Huckabee, Romney said that he would “absolutely”have signed life at conception legislation while he was Massachusetts governor.
While social issues have taken something of a back burner in this economy-focused campaign, the “personhood” bills are being considered in key states, including Florida and Ohio, and could have a galvanizing effect, especially for women voters, who will be crucial to the election.
In Mississippi, the bill faces a vote on Tuesday, yet Gov. Haley Barbour, who is anti-abortion, says that he isn’t sure how he will vote on the measure.
“Some very strongly pro-life people have raised questions about the ambiguity and about the actual consequences — whether there are unforeseen consequences,” Barbour said in a USA Today interview. “They give me some pause.”
Democrats have had a two-pronged strategy in trying to frame Romney: They have hit him over his changing views on major issues, but also linked him to the more extreme views of the Republican Party.
“It’s too bad this White House isn’t as focused on attacking unemployment as they are in attacking our campaign,” said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman.
The DNC prepared a video which shows Romney saying that he supports a constitutional amendment that says life begins at conception.