Saturday, September 22, 2012

If Money Is Speech, Is Romney Pro-Choice?

TMZ has the details of a surrogacy agreement that Romney subsidized for his son Tagg and Tagg's wife Jen:
TMZ has learned Mitt Romney's son Tagg -- who had twins this year through a surrogate -- signed an agreement that gave the surrogate, as well as Tagg and his wife, the right to abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations ... and Mitt Romney covered some of the expenses connected with the arrangement  ... and it may boil down to an incredibly stupid mistake.
The contract between Tagg, Jen, and the surrogate contained a paragraph 13 which TMZ reports had the following provisions:
"If in the opinion of the treating physician or her independent obstetrician there is potential physical harm to the surrogate, the decision to abort or not abort is to be made by the surrogate."

Translation:  Tagg and Jen gave the surrogate the right to abort the fetuses even if her life wasn't in danger.  All the surrogate has to show is "potential physical harm," which could be something like preeclampsia -- a type of high blood pressure that could damage the mother's liver, kidney or brain, but is not necessarily life-threatening.

Paragraph 13 goes on:

"In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents.  In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents' decision."

And there's another relevant provision in Paragraph 13:

"Any decision to abort because of potential harm to the child, or to reduce the number of fetuses, is to be made by the intended parents."

Translation:  Tagg and his wife, Jen, had the right to abort the fetuses if they felt they would not be healthy.
TMZ goes on to point out that the family claims that Paragraph 13 was left in the agreement inadvertently. Perhaps so, but someone who's supposed to be a manager and who claims he'll put the country on sound fiscal footing should be reading contracts for services he's paying for a little better, especially if it contains clauses that could mean that he'll be paying for things he claims he morally oppresses.

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