No 'Roe' in Mass. privacy proclamation

March 25, 2005 at 11:25 AM
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BOSTON, March 25 (UPI) -- Aides to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney say deletion of "Roe vs. Wade" from a Privacy Day proclamation doesn't mark a change in the governor's abortion stance.

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Boston Globe that the governor's office workers had flagged the Roe reference during a process to streamline the hundreds of proclamations issued by Massachusetts governors each year.

He said the change was clerical, not political and Romney stands by his 2002 campaign position of respecting the status quo regarding Roe vs. Wade.

Others, however, wonder if it's not a move by Romney to position himself with social conservatives ahead of a possible run for president in 2008.

Every year since 1996 Massachusetts governors have signed a "Right to Privacy Day" proclamation to mark the anniversary of 1972's Baird vs. Eisenstadt U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized the use of birth control by married couples. The decision has been cited in a several later court decisions, including Roe vs. Wade.

That "Roe" was missing from the latest proclamation was discovered by Bill Baird -- the "Baird" of Baird vs. Eisenstadt -- who told the Globe he believed the change was politically motivated.

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