Maybe it’s because he’s in danger of losing the nomination to a candidate with a platform developed during the Salem witch trials and no real campaign apparatus, but former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has decided that the surest path to the Republican nomination comes from eradicating Planned Parenthood.
At least, that’s the only reason I can think of that Romney would want to re-ignite a debate that has, so far, turned out to be a disaster for Republicans.
In a speech on the economy, Romney said that as part of his plan to tackle the deficit he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood. Romney has already expressed opposition to Title X, the federal funding mechanism that provides money to Planned Parenthood for family planning services. But this is the first time Romney has expressed a de facto opposition to the organization.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America responded. “I was really stunned to read that Mitt Romney has now said he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, because really what that means is he wants to get rid of preventative health care for 3 million folks every year,” Richards told reporters on Wednesday. “It shows an extraordinary lack of understanding of family planning and the budget to say one of the ways he’s going save money in this country is by ending birth control and family planning,” she added. “The most conservative economist will tell you that family planning saves money. It saves taxpayers money. It’s ludicrous to think that Mitt Romney, who is running for president of the United States, thinks we’re going to balance the budget by ending birth control access in this country.”
Naturally it didn’t take long for Romney to back track these statements and clarify that he wasn’t against the organization just that he would “have to make some tough decisions about spending.”
At least with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul it’s clear their opposition to Planned Parenthood and family planning services in general comes from their deep-seated hatred of women. Romney, on the other hand, is just shamelessly pandering for power. And that might make him more dangerous than even those other two.
Photo from S.MiRK via flickr.