Twice-failed presidential Republican candidate and current Utah Senator Mitt Romney sat down with CNN's Jake Tapper today to discuss a wide range of topics, but when asked about the recent pro-life legislation in Alabama signed by Gov. Kay Ivey, the former Massachusetts governor told Tapper that he "doesn't support the law" and thinks something "much more toward the center makes a lot more sense.”
“I don’t support the Alabama law," says Sen. @MittRomney on the state's strict abortion law. "I think something much more toward the center makes a lot more sense.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ENoSPiQb4I— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) May 19, 2019
"I am pro-life, but...I believe there ought to be exceptions for rape, and incest, and where the life of the mother is at risk. But look, you're seeing laws on both sides of this argument that are in the extreme," Sen. Romney told the host. "And whether it's New York and Virginia, or whether it's Alabama and Missouri, people have gone to the wings if you will. I don't think that's productive and something much more toward the center makes a lot more sense."
Sen. Romney held a pro-choice position for much of his political career until he decided to run for the presidency in 2008. In 1994, he said during a debate against incumbent Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy that, "I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, we should sustain and support it. And I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice."
In a 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate, Sen. Romney said, "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose. I am not going to change our pro-choice laws in Massachusetts in any way. I am not going to make any changes which would make it more difficult for a woman to make that choice herself."
In a 2007 presidential primary debate, Romey was suddenly pro-life, calling Roe v. Wade a form of judicial activism. In 2011, Romney doubled down on his anti-Roe v. Wade stance in a National Review op-ed, saying "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. I support the reversal of Roe v. Wade, because it is bad law and bad medicine. Roe was a misguided ruling that was a result of a small group of activist federal judges legislating from the bench."
His comments today, supporting the right to an abortion only in the cases of "rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother" are consistent with his position on abortion since 2011.