The New York Times aided Mitt Romney's effort to allay fears about his extreme positions on reproductive rights.
Romney has embraced a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion, suggested he would appoint anti-reproductive rights judges, and supported bills to restrict abortion. Nevertheless, the Times reported that Romney recently "said he had no plans to pursue new laws limiting abortion." The Times quoted a statement that Romney gave to The Des Moines Register saying "no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda."
The only pushback in the Times print edition was a report that "Responding to Mr. Romney's comment on abortion, the Obama campaign called it a 'lie,' inconsistent with earlier promises to name Supreme Court justices opposed to Roe v. Wade." (accessed via Nexis)
In fact, Romney has repeatedly embraced anti-abortion legislation.
On his website, Romney declares that he is "pro-life" and opposes abortion in almost all instances. He promises to "advocate for and support a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion." He also says that as president he will "support efforts to prohibit federal funding for any organization like Planned Parenthood, which primarily performs abortions or offers abortion-related services."
Romney also says he will reinstate the so-called "global gag rule" on international family planning organizations. He promises to "reinstate the Mexico City Policy to ensure that non-governmental organizations that receive funding from America refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a method of family planning, in other countries."
Romney has also pledged support for the long-time Republican platform plank on abortion, which calls for a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortions without exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape and incest.
And Romney attacks the Supreme Court justices who enshrined abortion rights in the Constitution as "a small group of activist federal judges legislating from the bench." He promises to "only appoint judges who adhere to the Constitution and the laws as they are written, not as they want them to be written."
The Times has since updated the online version of its story to note that after his statement to The Des Moines Register, Romney's campaign released a statement saying: " 'Gov. Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life,' spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, declining to elaborate."
In its update, the Times' online story also stated that "Mr. Romney's statement on abortion seemed to conflict with some Republicans in Congress who have sought to further restrict federal financing for abortions, including bills supported by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan."