Romney again promises to defund Planned Parenthood

Speaking to reporters in Ohio today, Mitt Romney emphasized his opposition to abortion after pivoting away from that position in a recent interview. 

“I think I've said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president," Romney said. "The actions I’ll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I've indicated that I will reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy which keeps us from using foreign aid for abortions overseas.”

Speaking to the Des Moines Register editorial board Tuesday, Romney said that “there’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

In that interview, Romney mentioned the Mexico City policy -- which would prevent NGOs that receive federal funding from promoting or performing abortions. He explained that the change would be "done by executive order and not by legislation."

Romney's comment to the Iowa newspaper drew sharp criticism from Democrats, who cast the remark as an effort by the GOP nominee to draw attention away from his anti-abortion-rights stance. Social conservatives reminded Romney of his pledge to do "everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America."

The president only makes a budget request; eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood would require legislative action. But it would be part of his budget, not an abortion-specific bill. Romney repeatedly announced his intention to strip the family planning organization of federal funds during the Republican primary

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Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Natalie Jennings · October 10, 2012