By Meghashyam Mali - 08/26/12 02:06 PM EDT
Mitt Romney rebuffed Democratic suggestions that the GOP ticket was weak on women’s health issues by touting his Massachusetts healthcare reforms, in an interview with Fox News.
In an interview taped last week and aired on Fox News Sunday, Romney was asked by host Chris Wallace how he answered “the Obama charge that they offer more support, more choice to women when it comes to abortion, rape, or birth control or women’s health.”
“I’m very proud of what we did and the fact that we helped women, men and children in our state,” he said.
Romney’s campaign in recent weeks has invoked his Massachusetts healthcare law more often. The former governor has always defended his healthcare overhaul, but has avoided making it a centerpiece of his campaign.
Many conservatives are strongly critical of the law, which inspired parts of President Obama’s own Affordable Care Act.
When a Romney spokesperson earlier this month praised the law, she was met with harsh criticism from conservative commentators.
In his Fox interview, Romney also addressed specific women’s health issues, working to rebut the Obama campaign argument that Romney is out-of-touch and would block access to contraceptives or preventive care.
“In regards to contraceptives, of course Republicans and myself in particular recognize that people should have a right to use contraceptives, there’s no validity whatsoever to the Obama effort to try and bring that up,” he said.
“And in regards to the issue of abortion, that is something where men and women have alternative views on that or different views. We look at an issue like that with great seriousness and sobriety and recognize that different people have reached different conclusions,” Romney continued. “But it’s not just men who think one way, women also in many cases are pro-life. There are two lives at stake: the unborn child and the mom, and I care for both of them.”
Romney again criticized Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) remark that victims of “legitimate rape” were less likely to become pregnant, calling it “uninformed, outrageous, offensive.”
Romney said he had asked Akin to exit Missouri’s Senate race, where Republican believe he could harm the party’s efforts to retake the chamber and drag down Romney.
On Friday, though, Akin reiterated that he intended to remain in the race to unseat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).
“I think I’ve distanced myself from the thing he said as far as I possibly can,” said Romney.
Democrats have sought to tie Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to Akin’s remarks in a play for female voters.