After Decades of Support for Woman's Right to Choose, Romney Changes Tune, Says He Supports "Personhood Amendment"
COLUMBUS, OHIO. – Today, Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-Copley), Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, Franklin County Clerk of Courts, and Cuyahoga County Democratic Women's Caucus Chair Cindy Demsey denounced political shape-shifter Mitt Romney for flip-flopping on women’s choice and voicing support for the “Personhood Amendment,” an extreme measure that would restrict a woman’s right to choose even in cases of rape or incest and when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. It would also all but ban most forms of birth control.
Please see below for key quotes from Congresswoman Sutton, Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O’Shaughnessy and Cuyahoga County Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Cindy Demsey during a conference call with national and state reporters this morning.
Congresswoman Betty Sutton said, “To American women, their reproductive health and choice is an intensely personal and private issue between themselves, their families and their doctors. To Mitt Romney, it’s just another issue to navigate around to score political points and win an election. Depending on the audience he’s talking to and the office he’s running for, Mitt Romney’s been for choice and then against it. He’s supported maintaining the existing laws and later said he’d work to change them.
“…now, Romney’s committed to a ‘Personhood Amendment’ that defines life as beginning at the moment of conception.
“…for Romney, it’s the next logical political step as he seeks Tea Party support in his quest for the Republican Presidential nomination. Though Romney once said, ‘let me make this very clear: I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose’ and said that in his ‘heart of hearts’ rape victims ‘should have the option of having emergency contraception,’ he now supports taking away those rights and protections he recently ‘believed’ in."
Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O’Shaughnessy said, “The personhood amendment will fundamentally change the lives of women. Right now, it’s on the ballot in one state – Mississippi, but supporters of this amendment are going state-by-state to collect signatures to get it on the ballot in their states. And, it’s happening here in Ohio.
“To hear that Mitt Romney now supports this amendment is beyond belief. When it was convenient to him and politically advantageous, he was OK being pro-choice. But now that he is courting the extreme right of the Republican Party, it no longer works for him. Women in this country should not be held hostage to Mitt Romney’s political aspirations.”
Cuyahoga County Democratic Women's Caucus Chair Cindy Demsey said, “On an issue that speaks to deeply held core beliefs for most Americans, Mitt Romney has once again shown that he is only interested in adopting whatever core belief gets him the most support at that very moment.
“…all women must take serious precautions with a candidate who sees no problem with threatening that right and furthermore, our lives," she added.
Click here for audio from today’s call.
The "Personhood Amendment" would outlaw many forms of birth control, including IUDs and morning-after pills, and ban all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest or when doctors deem it medically necessary to protect the life of the mother.
A group calling itself Personhood Ohio is currently collecting signatures in an attempt to put the "Personhood Amendment" on the 2012 ballot.