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Romney's wife donated to Planned Parenthood in 1994

Story Highlights

• Ann Romney wrote a $150 check to Planned Parenthood in 1994
• Earlier this week, Giuliani donations to same group surfaced
• As Mass. governor, Mitt Romney backed pro-choice position
• Romney has since 'changed my mind,' adopted anti-abortion position
From Mark Preston
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wrote a $150 check to Planned Parenthood in 1994, a Romney spokesman told CNN Wednesday.

It was the second time this week that a GOP presidential campaign found itself involved in flap over long-ago donations to Planned Parenthood, a group which offers abortions at its affiliated health clinics and advocates for abortion rights.

But "because it was so long ago, Mrs. Romney has no information about the circumstances of the donation," said spokesman Kevin Madden, who noted that the former Massachusetts governor and his wife made a much larger and more recent donation - $15,000 -- to an anti-abortion group, Massachusetts Citizens for Life, last November.

Monday, reported that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his ex-wife, Donna Hanover, donated a total of $900 to Planned Parenthood affiliates during the 1990s. The political Web site said it had been tipped off to the donations, made public in Giuliani's tax returns, by aides from a rival campaign who declined to be identified.

Both Giuliani and Romney have been facing questions on the campaign trail about their stances on abortion rights.

During his political campaigns in Massachusetts, Romney promised not to interfere with a woman's ability to end her pregnancy, but he has since changed to what he calls a "pro-life" position.

"I've always been personally pro-life, but, for me, it was a great question about whether or not government should intrude in that decision. And when I ran for office (in Massachusetts), I said I'd protect the law as it was, which is effectively a pro-choice position," Romney said during a GOP debate last week.

"About two years ago, when we were studying cloning in our state, I said, 'Look, we have gone too far.' It's a brave new world mentality that Roe vs. Wade has given us, and I changed my mind. I took the same course that Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush and Henry Hyde took, and I said I was wrong and changed my mind. ... I won't apologize to anybody for becoming pro-life."

Giuliani's long-standing support of abortion rights has proven to be an obstacle for some religious conservatives in the GOP base, who play a key role in the process of picking presidential candidates.

The former mayor has said that while he personally "hates" abortion, he supports a woman's ability to obtain one. However, he has expressed support for a federal ban on late-term abortions, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, and he has also vowed not to lift a ban on using federal money to pay for abortions for poor women, something he advocated as mayor.

During last week's debate, Giuliani said it would be "OK" with him if the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. But he said "it would also be OK" if "strict constructionist" judges viewed Roe as precedent and upheld it.

"I think the court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it," Giuliani said.

In a nod to social conservatives, Giuliani has said he would appoint "strict constructionists" to the federal bench who would interpret law rather than legislating from the bench -- something critics of Roe believe the Supreme Court did back in 1973.

Tuesday, in an appearance on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham's radio show, Giuliani said the donations to Planned Parenthood were not inconsistent with his personal opposition to abortion because the group "makes information available" on other options available to pregnant women, including adoption.

"If there is going to be a choice, there are organizations that are going to give people information about that choice," he said. "I just as strongly support the idea that a woman should have information about adoption."

In addition to abortions, Planned Parenthood offers health and gynecological care, birth control, pregnancy testing, adoption information and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases at 860 affiliated health centers operating under its name, according to the group's Web site.

In 2005, about 265,000 abortion procedures were performed at Planned Parenthood facilities, about 3 percent of the patient services it provided that year, according to statistics posted on its site.

Ann Romney donated $150 to Planned Parenthood 13 years ago, but the Romneys gave $15,000 to anti-abortion group in 2006.



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