An oft neglected portion of the Romneys, both Willard and his wife Ann, is their long, and highly visible, support for Planned Parenthood. During 2004, the Romneys were often in attendance for Planned Parenthood fundraisers. When asked about this, the presidential hopeful said that “…it would not have been out of the ordinary for the governor to have attended…” Perfectly normal to find the Romney family in attendance at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser.
But then, there is the matter of the family checkbook. Specifically, a check written out by Ann Romney directly to Planned Parenthood. When asked about this, Mitt Romney again emphasised “Ann has no information of the circumstances.” A perfectly routine event, the donation to Planned Parenthood would seem, especially in light of her call to respect a woman’s choice.
During his time as governor, despite some pro-life positions, in matters dealing with Planned Parenthood directly, Mitt Romney was very clear in his support. During the development of Romneycare, he fought for and gained a requirement that Planned Parenthood have a seat on the new MassHealth Payment Policy Board. He expanded state funding of abortion services for low-income households. He fought for comprehensive sex education in Massachusetts alongside Planned Parenthood representatives.
Of course, this plays in with his stated position that abortions should be safe and legal. The root of this support he has said is due to his experience as a teenager where a botched abortion killed his brother-in-law’s sister, Ann Keenan, in 1963. Her parents asked that any donations and support in her memory should be given to Planned Parenthood. It is a statement of character, all of these decades later, to find Mitt Romney is still honoring their wishes.