The abortion question was catapulted back into the political spotlight Thursday night when CNN's Anderson Cooper grilled Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for incorrectly defining Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's abortion stance.
Romney supports abortion in cases of rape, incest or situations threatening to the life of the mother, a position that would define him a pro-choice candidate by many pro-life advocacy groups, according to Cooper.
He wrote an op-ed for NRO's The Corner blog in which he stated in his opening sentence: “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."
And in the same article he refused to sign the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List’s pledge for public officials saying:"[I]ts well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America."
American Life League (ALL), a large grassroots Catholic pro-life organization, argues that Romney's policy stance is not good enough for pro-life Americans.
"Today, the Republican party, wanting to move on from social issues to economic issues, is facing the same temptation to satisfy the conscience of her socially conservative constituents with a pro-life presidential candidate that has pledged to limit abortion to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother," wrote ALL columnist Walter Hoye II on June 20. "This is the Republican Compromise of 2012."
Romney's view also contradicts those of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on abortion. Ryan restated his opposition to abortion even in dire cases on Thursday.
“I’m very proud of my pro-life record,” he said on WJHL-TV in Virginia in an interview after the Todd Akin gaffe. “I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”
He has no qualms admitting to disagreeing with Romney's abortion viewpoints, but he said he felt comfortable joining Romney on the 2012 election ticket because Romney's abortion policies would be, “a good step in the right direction.”
Both the National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony list have endorsed Romney for President but have done so clearly stating that their goal is to defeat President Barack Obama and his pro-abortion agenda; however, they have stopped short of praising Romney's abortion record.
To make matters even more confusing, there are many damning YouTube videos from earlier in Romney's career that show him discussing his pro-choice views.
"I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose, and I am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard," he said during his gubernatorial race debate in 2002. "I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts' pro-choice laws."
Romney will undoubtedly face heavier scrutiny on his abortion flip-flops than ever before as the race heats up, the debates begin and the Democratic Party does everything it can to either paint Romney as a rape-supporting woman hater or as so close to Obama on abortion that he'll lose the pro-life vote.
Either way, it means Ryan as the choice for Vice President, with his 100 percent pro-life voting record, may prove to be the solid rock that grounds Romney's wishy-washy past.