In a move intended to appeal to centrist swing voters, the former Massachusetts governor donated $10,000 yesterday to the national organization and $5,000 to its local Boston branch.
Although most of Planned Parrenthood's activities are unrelated to abortion, its involvement in that controversial procedure make it the bête noire of conservative Christians. Romeny himself has attacked the organization several times during the campaign, and had previously promised to cut its funding if elected.
Some evangelical groups fear that Romney's embrace of Planned Parenthood now will signal a broader volte face on abortion. He has a long history of flip-flopping on the sensitive issue, having run for governor on a pro-choice platform and run for president as "severely pro-life".
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Sources close to the Romney camp say the newest switch comes at the behest of wife Ann Romney, who believes a softer stance on abortion will help close the gap with women voters in the last days of the election.
On a conference call with reporters a spokesperson for Romney tried to clarify his candidate's decision:
"The governor has always been supportive of women's health and women's causes. While he disagrees with Planned Parenthood on the issue of abortion, the organization does a lot of good with its cancer screening services. He's proud to be a member."
Pressed by a reporter if Romney still considers himself pro-life, the spokesperson responded:
"The governor currently does not favor the right of women to terminate their pregnancies, except in cases of rape and incest. However, his position on the issue is continuing to evolve ."