After telling a reporter on Tuesday that he would not pursue any legislation to restrict abortion, Republican candidate Mitt Romney waved away suspicions Wednesday that his anti-abortion stance is wavering.
"I think I've said time and again, I'm a pro-life candidate," he told reporters at a campaign stop in Ohio according to a pool report. "I'll be a pro-life president. The actions I'll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget."
The former Massachusetts governor also reiterated his plan to reinstate the "Global Gag Rule," which prevents non-governmental organizations overseas that receive U.S. aid money from counseling patients on or referring them to abortion services. The Hyde amendment already prevents those organizations from using U.S. money to pay for abortions.
Romney, who has called Roe v. Wade "one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history," was forced to defend his anti-abortion position on Wednesday after he told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." His campaign walked back his statement within two hours, saying that he would "of course" support legislation aimed at restricting access to abortion.
The Obama campaign accused Romney on Wednesday of being dishonest about his anti-abortion position in order to "close the deal" with female voters.
"He didn't soften these positions, he's trying to hide them," Stephanie Cutter, President Barack Obama's campaign manager, told reporters. "If people believe that he's changed his mind, they should go ahead and ask him."
UPDATE: 5:31 p.m. -- Obama responded to Romney's attempt to moderate his abortion position in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer on Wednesday.
“This is another example of Governor Romney hiding positions he’s been campaigning on for a year and a half,” Obama said.
Asked whether Romney was lying when he said he wouldn't restrict abortion, Obama said, “No, I actually think … when it comes to women’s rights to control their own health care decisions, you know, what he has been saying is exactly what he believes. He thinks that it is appropriate for politicians to inject themselves in those decisions.”