Romney's Son Signed Abortion Clause in Surrogacy Contract--And Mitt Helped Pay

May have been by accident, but shows classic right-wing hypocrisy on abortion.

A sign at a NYC rally for choice.
Photo Credit: Sarah Seltzer

TMZ released a blog post this weekend explaining that in the surrogacy agreement signed by Mitt Romney's son, Tagg, there were clauses that allowed both the parents and the surrogate to opt for an abortion in non life-threatening (but serious) situations:

TMZ has learned Mitt Romney's son Tagg -- who had twins this year through a surrogate -- signed an agreement that gave the surrogate, as well as Tagg and his wife, the right to abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations ... and Mitt Romney covered some of the expenses connected with the arrangement  ... and it may boil down to an incredibly stupid mistake.

The "mistake" is that in a previous surrogacy agreement, the Romneys nixed those abortion clauses, TMZ's source in the Romney legal camo says. So they may not have meant to allow the clause in, I suppose.

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.


Still, the fact they did allow the clause in--and indeed, that it's a standard part of surrogacy agreements, is telling--because it's totally reasonable to have those kinds of clauses in a surrogacy agreement. Surrogates shouldn't be compelled to complete pregnancies that threaten their health. That's common sense, right? Not in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's dream world.


Jezbel's Erin Gloria Ryan writes that while the Romney's personal choices are their own business, their legislative agenda makes it hard to ignore:

The Romney/Ryan ticket officially believes that the only reason abortion should be okay is in case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. And the GOP platform officially believes that there's no reason to abort except to save a woman's life. In either scenario, the set of circumstances that made surrogacy a non-terrifying thing for women would diminish, and Romney's own grandsons may never have been born.

Kathleen Geier's take on the story is also spot on, noting that it falls right within the classic "abortion for me, but not for thee" conservative worldview on reproductive rights:

 I don’t doubt that, like the vast majority of elites, Romney would support abortion rights for his own family members for any reason, because rich white Christians by definition are not those slutty, trashy people running around having the “wrong” kind of abortions, just for the hell of it.

Let's not forget that the "personhood"-lite Sanctity of Human Life Act that Ryan has vocally supported would prevent certain kinds of surrogacy and IVF to begin with, including, potentially, that of his running mate's children.

Sarah Seltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahmseltzer and find her work at