Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney waves to supporters during a campaign rally at the Mobility Supercenter Friday in Richmond, Va. (Photo : Reuters)
In the days leading up to the second critical Presidential Debate between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney next week at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Romney is facing tough questions on where he stands on abortion.
The Des Moines Register reported that at a Tuesday rally, Romney-the former governor of Massachusetts-said he had no plans to push for legislation limiting abortion, which went counter to his previous pledges to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court justices that would overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling.
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""There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney told The Des Moines Register's editorial board before his campaign rally at a Van Meter farm.
Those comments brought Romney under fire from those accusing him of wavering on his previous anti-abortion stance, prompting the GOP candidate to reiterate his stance on the issue later in the week.
"I think I've said time and again, I'm a pro-life candidate," the Huffington Post reported that he told reporters at a campaign stop in Ohio, based on a pool report. "I'll be a pro-life president. The actions I'll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget."
Afterwards, the Obama campaign criticized Romney's changing comments as being indicative of a pattern of dishonesty by Romney.
"He is trying to close the deal, I would imagine, just like he did in the boardroom when he was with Bain Capital," Stephanie Cutter, President Obama's campaign manager, told reporters on Wednesday. "Romney has been dishonest about his plan on issue after issue. His dishonesty on abortion is only one example."
And speaking of women's issues, it appears that President Obama's dismal reviews in the first presidential debate last week has narrowed the gap between himself and Romney in the crucial women's vote.
A poll from the Pew Research Center Monday found Obama leading by only a three-point edge among women, a stark contrast to his 18-point margin he held over Romney from last month's same poll.
It has been speculated that this was due to the lack of importance given to gender based issues at the debate, though it remains to be seen whether or not the Obama campaign can rebound to regain their once-widened edge with women.
Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press gave a look at where both the candidates stand on the major issues.
On the issues of abortion and birth control, Romney has stated that he believes that state law should guide abortion rights, and that Roe v. Wade should be reversed by the Supreme Court in the future, and has vowed to end funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides access to birth control to men and women.
Regarding another prominent issue, health care, Romney has made no secret of his desire to repeal President Obama's health care overhaul, dubbed "ObamaCare" by critics, which put millions of uninsured Americans on the path towards obtaining health insurance.
Romney has stated that the states, not the federal government, should drive policy on the uninsured, while proposing a plan that he says would expand individual tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and let the savings be used for insurance premiums as well as personal medical costs.
On Medicare, Woodward writes, Romney's plan would "introduce "generous" but undetermined subsidies to help future retirees buy private insurance or join a government plan modeled on traditional Medicare. Gradually increase the eligibility age to 67. Repealing Obama's health care law would roll back improved benefits for seniors unless Congress acts to protect them. It also would reverse Obama's Medicare cuts to hospitals and other providers. This would have the unintended consequence of hastening the insolvency of Medicare's trust fund. Would turn Medicaid program over to the states as a block grant."
On the topic of social security, another major issue, Romney has stated that he would aim to protect the status quo for people 55 and over, but raise the retirement age for the next generation of retires by one or two years and reduce the inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipient.