The Washington Post

Ad targets Romney on abortion, Planned Parenthood

President Obama goes after Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion and Planned Parenthood in a TV ad that starts airing Saturday in Virginia and seven other swing states.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney carries his granddaughter Soleil, 3, as he participates in the Fourth of July Parade in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Romney’s campaign called the claim that he objects to abortions in cases of rape and incest “completely false,” pointing to his June 18, 2011, op-ed in the National Review. Romney wrote then that he opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest or when the mother’s life is at stake.

“I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother,” he wrote in the piece, titled “My Pro-Life Pledge.”

Said Amanda Henneberg, spokeswoman for the Romney campaign: “It’s no coincidence that a day after a disastrous jobs report, the Obama campaign drops viciously negative and false ads against Gov. Romney desperate to change the subject. The economy has gone negative on President Obama, so he has decided to go negative on Mitt Romney.”

The Obama ad also quotes the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican nominee vowing to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, which, the ad says, “provides life-saving cancer screenings and family planning services.”

“Planned Parenthood, we’re gonna get rid of that,” Romney says in a video clip spliced into the ad along with images of women in various medical settings.

Romney’s desire to overturn Roe v. Wade and withhold federal funding from Planned Parenthood is no secret; he states those positions on his campaign Web site. The site says nothing about rape or incest.

The Obama ad bases its claim that Romney opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest on a CNN debate that took place in November 2007. Romney said then that he wished the country would not have abortion “at all, period.” He did not explicitly say anything about rape or incest, however.

“I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, ‘We don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period,’ ” Romney said in the debate, according to a transcript provided by the Obama campaign. “That would be wonderful.”

Romney went on to say, “But that’s not where we are. That’s not where America is today, where America is is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in the country, terrific.”

Titled “Troubled,”the Obama ad spot will air in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada. It could have special resonance in Virginia, where the General Assembly drew national attention this year with a bill that would have required women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound before getting an abortion. The bill was eventually amended to require a less invasive abdominal ultrasound.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.



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