Reproductive rights for me, but not for thee: Mitt Romney edition

Oh my. I was not aware of this: in 2011, Mitt Romney’s son Tagg and Tagg’s wife Jen, who earlier this year had twins through a surrogate, signed a contract with the surrogate giving themselves and her the right to abort a pregnancy, even in non-life-threatening situations. And on top of that, Mitt himself subsidized the arrangement, since he helped pay for the surrogate’s services. Oopsy!

TMZ is reporting that the contract provided for the right to abortion if the pregnancy was judged to pose “potential physical harm” to the surrogate, or if the fetus was deemed to be less than genetically perfect. To be fair, it’s unclear whether Mitt or his lawyers actually read the contract. It’s also true that Tagg’s lawyer claims that the abortion provision was not something Tagg and his wife wanted and that it was kept in the contract by mistake, but that explanation sounds suspiciously like ex post facto ass-covering to me.

The contract’s provisions are eminently reasonable, because no one should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will, no matter what the reason. Yet Mitt Romney has claimed that he supports abortion rights only in the event of rape, incest, or a threat to the health or life of the mother. I don’t doubt that, like the vast majority of elites, Romney would support abortion rights for his own family members for any reason, because rich white Christians by definition are not those slutty, trashy people running around having the “wrong” kind of abortions, just for the hell of it.

Still, these revelations pose a dilemma for Romney’s anti-choice supporters: by explicitly and personally subsidizing the right to abortion, as Mitt Romney did by paying the surrogate, is he better, worse, or no different than a nefarious outfit like Planned Parenthood? Inquiring minds want to know!

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee