Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, defeated former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum by eight votes in the Iowa caucus, which had low voter turnout. Representative Ron Paul finished third.
Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal stated, “This shows the extreme and unrepresentative nature of the Iowa Republican caucus. Santorum is opposed not only to abortion but wants to repeal Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and allow states to ban birth control access. He indicated this as recently as Monday on ABC news. Santorum wants to ensure that there is no right to privacy at all and no right to access birth control.”
During his campaign for governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney indicated his support for numerous pro-choice laws; however, once elected, he proved hostile to women’s reproductive rights and vetoed a bill that would grant rape survivors improved access to contraceptive services. Romney also recently endorsed a Mississippi “personhood” ballot measure, which states that life begins at conception and proposes to give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg. The initiative was defeated by voters in November.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said in her statement, “Former Gov. Romney may have won first place in Iowa, but his anti-choice views are out of touch with our nation’s values and priorities. Romney has pledged to support policies that would undermine women’s freedom and privacy at every turn…We will make sure that Romney’s extreme views – and his flip flops on this issue – are a liability.”
After finishing sixth, Bachmann announced that she is ending her campaign for the Republican nomination. Until the end, she claimed that the reason she ran was to repeal “Obamacare” and that it provides taxpayer funding for abortion, which is simply not true. Bachmann said that 2012 is the last chance to repeal “Obamacare.”
NARAL Statement 1/4/12; Washington Post 1/4/12