Mitt Romney's son, Tagg, had twins this year through a surrogate. He and his wife Jen signed off on a Gestational Carrier Agreement that said they or the surrogate could abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations.
According to TMZ, the agreement was signed on July 28, 2011. In paragraph 13, the agreement said:
"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."
Essentially, the couple was giving the surrogate the option to abort in cases where "potential physical harm" was possbile. This could mean any risk in the pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure that is not necessarily life-threatening.
Further down in the paragraph, the agreement states:
"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. 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."
This means if the parents felt the fetuses were not healthy, they could abort them.
Sources indicate Mitt Romney was involved in the surrogacy, paying for some of the expenses. It is not clear whether or not Romney knew about the agreement terms.
Romney has said he is in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and in cases where the health of the mother is at risk. Otherwise, Romney is against abortion.
Tagg and his wife chose the same surrogate they had in 2009, but in the 2009 agreement, they had chosen to remove paragraph 13.
Bill Handel, an attorney in surrogacy law, put together the agreement. Handel explained that when the second agreement was put together, everyone simply "forgot" about paragraph 13.
"No one noticed," Handel said. "What can I say?"