Mitt Romney's Relative Died From Back Alley Botch Job, But He Still Wants to Make Abortion Illegal

The sister of Romney's brother-in-law died from a botched abortion in 1963, before abortion was legal in the US. She was only 21, and in 1994 Romney mentioned her in a debate showing support for legal abortion, before he decided that he wanted to make abortion illegal again, so more back-alley abortions can claim more lives. Salon reports:

After the debate, the Romney campaign wouldn't identify the woman Romney had referred to, saying only that she was the sister of Romney's brother-in-law, and that she had been engaged when she became pregnant. The candidate himself said, "I hadn't thought much about" abortion until the relative's death, but that it "obviously makes one see that regardless of one's beliefs about choice, that you would hope it would be safe and legal."

And yet:

When he changed his abortion stance, Mitt Romney didn't make reference to Ann Keenan's case or discuss how her own tragic story meshed with his new stance, which effectively called for a return to the way things were when Keenan died. His presidential campaign declined to comment for this story. (And Keenan's older brother did not respond to a request for comment.)

As a political issue, abortion continues to cause headaches for Romney. In June, he declined to sign a pledge by the antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List, arguing that it would require signatories to defund thousands of hospitals that offer abortion services. But Romney maintained that he would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, that he opposed Roe, and that "abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother."

Ironically, after Romney's relative died, her parents requested donations be sent to Planned Parenthood in her memory. Salon's full report is really worth reading, and right here.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at August 8, 2011, 4:48am

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