Politics

Abortion ban ‘never going to happen’ on Romney’s watch, sister says

Mitt Romney’s oldest sister, Jane, said Wednesday a federal ban on abortion is “never going to happen” on her brother’s watch if he is elected president.

“He’s not going to be touching any of that,” Jane Romney told the National Journal after a “Women for Mitt” event in Tampa, where the Republican National Convention is being held this week. “It’s not his focus.”

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On Tuesday, the Republican Party adopted a platform that calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortions in all cases. Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee, has said he opposes abortions in most cases but favors exceptions for victims of rape and incest and for women whose lives are endangered by their pregnancies.

At other times, Romney has sounded less open to abortion, such as when he said on Fox News in October that it would be “wonderful” if the country could “agree we’re not going to have legal abortion in the nation.”

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President Obama’s reelection campaign has cited statements like that in accusing Romney of wanting to deny abortion services to rape victims.

“That’s what women are afraid of,” Jane Romney told the National Journal, “but that’s conjured. Personally, I don’t think abortion should be used as a football in the political arena.”

Unlike Romney’s brother, Scott, and other family members, Jane Romney has maintained a low profile throughout the campaign and has not served as his surrogate. She told the National Journal she is working as an actress in Los Angeles, adding she is in Tampa to support her brother.

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Jane Romney said her brother understands the backlash that could follow if he were to lead enactment of a federal abortion ban.

“Women would take to the streets,” she said. “Women fought for our choice. We’re not going to go back.

“Mitt’s much more in the middle” on abortion, Jane Romney added.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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