Saturday, December 20, 2014

Obama ad distorts Romney's positions on abortion

The Obama campaign falsely claims that Romney would ban all abortions - even in the case of rape, incest and threats to the life of the mother.

Obama ad distorts Romney's positions on abortion

Factcheck.org, the vigilant guardian of truth in politics, takes the Obama campaign to task for its “distortion of Romney’s position on abortion.”

A new ad, Women Speak on Mitt Romney, claims that Romney “backed a bill that outlaws all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.”

The claim is false, states Factcheck, which also notes this isn't the first time the Obama campaign has made that claim.

Romney has repeatedly said, in very clear English, that he opposes abortion except in instances of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Women Speak, approved by the president, takes a rambling response by Romney during a 2007 debate and twists it.

When asked if he would sign legislation to ban all abortion, Romney replied he’d be “delighted to sign it,” if there was national backing for it. “But that’s not where America is today.”

“Neither rape nor incest were mentioned in the question, or in Romney’s answer,” Factcheck points out.

The non-partisan group, based at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, says that’s not the only falsehood advanced in Women Speak.

The Obama campaign’s claim that Romney “opposes requiring insurance coverage for contraceptives” is also false.

“The Romney campaign told us that as a matter of policy, Romney does not believe the federal government should be mandating what is or is not in all insurance plans — contraception or otherwise,” Factcheck states.

The Factcheck piece, written by Robert Farley, notes that it is indeed true that Romney wishes to overturn Roe v. Wade and quotes an editorial Romney wrote in 2011 that states he wants the Supreme Court to “return to the states the responsibility to determining laws related to abortion.”

Will the falsehoods keep the ad from showing on TV stations?

No.

Though station managers can turn down truth-impaired ads created and paid for by SuperPacs or require the SuperPacs prove the truth of the claims in their TV spots, ads that created and paid for by the campaigns are protected by the 1st Amendment and must run if the campaigns pay for the airtime.

 - Sam Wood

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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