When asked this year if he was “100 percent pro-life, meaning embryonic stem cell research” he simply said “I’m pro-life. I’m in favor of protecting the sanctity of life. I will cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.” His campaign site does not clarify his position beyond saying “Quite simply, America cannot condone or participate in the creation of human life when the sole purpose of its creation is its sure destruction.”
While campaigning for governor in 2002, Romney had endorsed embryonic stem cell research and even said he would lobby Bush to embrace it. But he changed his position in 2005 when he vetoed a state stem cell bill that would have allowed research on human embryos created for scientific experimentation and not just ones left over from fertility procedures... Running for president in 2007, Romney reinforced his opposition to embryonic stem cell research, even as his then-GOP rivals Senator John McCain and former mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City endorsed the expansion of federal support for such research.
Former governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, whose stances on embryonic stem cell research and abortion have evolved over the years as he has increasingly cast himself as a social conservative, said he would not allow federal funds to support the research. Asked whether Romney would make an exception for research being conducted on existing stem cell lines, a campaign spokesman responded, “We would make an examination of the science and speak with experts in the field.’’
"Romney came out strongly against the cloning technique ... He vowed to press for legislation to criminalize the work. Romney’s opposition stunned scientists, lawmakers, and observers because of his past statements endorsing, at least in general terms, embryonic stem cell research.” [from "Romney's Journey To The Right" by Scott Helman, originally published in the Boston Globe, 12/17/06]
“Speaking at a bioethics forum, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Mitt Romney yesterday endorsed embryonic stem cell research ... [Romney] endorsed embryonic stem cell research, saying the controversial science might one day help treat his wife’s multiple sclerosis in addition to numerous other degenerative diseases. ... Romney spoke extensively about his position on stem cell research, which also involves embryo destruction.” [from "Romney Endorses Stem Cell Research, Is Silent On Cloning" by Raja Mishra, originally published in the Boston Globe, 6/14/2002]
Bush allowed federal funds to be spent only on 21 stem-cell lines that existed before his August 2001 decision. President Obama lifted that restriction in 2009. Romney opposes federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research but would not ban the use of stem-cell research on excess embryos in fertility clinics.
Romney’s stem cell epiphany led him on a path to the pro-life position and to the realization that as governor “I simply could not be part of an effort that would cause the destruction of human life.” Today Romney calls himself “firmly pro-life.”
Romney's campaign said on Friday that his assets ranged between $190 million and $250 million and in the last two years the Republican candidate has shed stocks in companies that conflict with his stated political views. .In 2010, Romney offloaded shares in Fresenius Medical Care, a German company that has done work in stem cell research, which Romney has said he opposes.
In 2004, as his state debated public funding of embryonic stem cell research, Romney met with physicians, scientists and bio-ethicists to better understand the science and ethics involved. “In considering the issue of embryo cloning and embryo farming,” he would later write, “I saw where the harsh logic of abortion can lead--to the view of innocent new life as nothing more than research material or a commodity to be exploited.”
As a candidate for governor in 2002, [Romney] voiced general support for stem-cell science. But, once in office, he vetoed a 2005 bill that allowed cloning to create human embryonic stem cells for research. Romney was overruled by the state’s legislature, but the following year his administration set down regulations that could have criminalized the work of scientists using human embryonic stem cells.