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Covering Romney? Some Tips for Journalists Tracking Mitt's Changing Position on "Personhood"

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Written by Jason Salzman for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the  original post.

Reporters are having a real hard time sorting out Mitt Romney's position on personhood. Here's a quick and easy way for journos to think about the issue, and Romney's evolving stance on it.

Personhood has two tracks: federal and state. At the federal level, proponents are trying to pass a law giving fertilized eggs (or zygotes) the legal rights of a "person," under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. constitution. At the state level, the personhood campaign wants to pass amendments to state constitutions defining life as beginning at conception.

Romney on federal personhood. Romney has made it clear that he's currently against federal personhood. This is a flip from his position in 2007, when he stated on national TV that he favored a GOP platform position supporting a "human life amendment" to the U.S. Constitution, which would ban abortion at the federal level. When Romney said this, he believed, like he does now, that life begins at conception, so Romney's federal ban on abortion, based on his definition of "life," would have met the requirements of Personhood USA for a national personhood law. But last year at a GOP prez forum, Romney abandoned this position because now thinks adding personhood to the U.S. Constitution could set up a "constituional crisis."Continue reading....

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