Romney Splits With GOP Pack on Abortion Pledge
He won't sign anti-abortion promise with other candidates
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2011 2:04 PM CDT
Mitt Romney answers a question during the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate last Monday.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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(Newser) – The next GOP debate might be a little testier: A rift has opened between Mitt Romney and the rest of the field over abortion, reports CNN. Romney refused to sign an anti-abortion pledge from the Susan B. Anthony List, unlike Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum. Among other things, signers promise to nominate only judges and Cabinet members who oppose abortion, to defund Planned Parenthood, and to end taxpayer funding of abortion, notes Politico.

Santorum was quick to pounce: "It is incredibly disappointing that Gov. Romney chose not to defend those who cannot defend themselves.” But Romney defended his decision in a National Review essay. He reaffirms that he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother's life. The "well-meaning pledge," however, "is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America."