http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/201...-shift-in-the-works?ec=shots&ps=storycategory Romney And Abortion: Another Shift In The Works? Is Mitt Romney shifting his abortion position again? It's fairly well-known that Romney proclaimed himself in favor of abortion rights when he ran for office in Massachusetts, then reversed himself before launching his presidential bid. But recently, the GOP nominee seems to be softening his opposition somewhat. Or is he? Romney proclaimed himself a strong supporter of abortion rights both in 1994, when he ran unsuccessfully for Senate against incumbent Democrat Edward Kennedy, and in 2002, when he defeated Democrat Shannon O'Brien to become governor. "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose," he said in a 2002 debate with O'Brien. "And I do take exception to Shannon characterizing my view as being any different than hers in this regard; The Boston Globe recently reported there's not a paper's width worth of difference between our two positions in this regard." But that changed halfway though Romney's term as governor. He says his conversion came after he talked to a Harvard scientist about embryonic stem cells. Now, he says his position is to oppose almost all abortions. "My own view is that I oppose abortion except for cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is threatened," he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Aug. 24. But that's slightly different from what he told CBS that same week. "My position has been clear throughout the campaign," he said. "I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and health and life of the mother." So in that interview, Romney added one more exception â for the woman's health. The Romney campaign won't say the candidate misspoke, but a spokeswoman does say he doesn't support an exception to protect the health of the pregnant woman. That's because other abortion opponents, including GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, insist it creates too large a loophole, since health often encompasses mental health, too. "The health exception is a loophole wide enough to drive a Mack truck through it," said Ryan on the House floor during a debate in 2000 on a bill to ban the procedure some call "partial birth" abortion. "The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless."