Hello, 2012 election! Here’s your friendly reminder that reproductive rights issues are not as black and white (i.e. BAD BAD BAD) as anti-abortion extremists might think. In fact, sometimes the families of politicians themselves need … you know … choices.
Noted politics website TMZ has exclusively learned that the gestational surrogate used by Tagg Romney, son of Mitt Romney, signed an “abortion clause” in her gestational carrier agreement. The anonymous woman carried twin boys, born in May 2012, for Tagg and Jen Romney. But back in July 2011, both the couple and their surrogate signed a gestational carrier agreement which agreed the surrogate could choose to abort the fetus if harm would be done to her body and the Romneys could choose to abort if the fetus would be “physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal.”
According to TMZ, the agreement reads:
“If in the opinion of the treating physician or her independent obstetrician there is potential physical harm to the surrogate, the decision to abort or not abort is to be made by the surrogate. … In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents. In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents’ decision.”
TMZ also claims Mitt Romney helped his son and daughter-in-law pay for some of the expenses of the gestational surrogacy, although exactly how he did so is not clear.
I bring Tagg Romney’s surrogacy “abortion clause” to your attention to underscore that complicated reproductive rights decisions have even affected the Romney family. Mitt Romney’s supposed views on abortion would have affected his own son’s reproductive choices.
Mitt Romney has flip-flopped back and forth on abortion to suit his needs, most recently claiming to be against abortion in all cases except for rape and incest. He has also said he wants to “get rid of” funding for Planned Parenthood, despite signing a pro-choice pledge organized by PP and attending a fundraiser for them as Massachusetts governor. And let’s not forget when he called the morning-after pill “abortive pills.”
Not only would I like Romney to get his story straight, but I would also like him to honestly look at how infringing on other people’s reproductive rights has an impact … even in his own family.