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Mitt Romney's Son

Signed 'Abortion' Clause

In Surrogate Birth Contract

9/21/2012 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0920_tagg_romney_article
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 twin boys -- David Mitt and William Ryder -- were born on May 4, 2012.  We've learned Tagg and his wife Jen, along with the surrogate and her husband, signed a Gestational Carrier Agreement dated July 28, 2011.  Paragraph 13 of the agreement reads as follows:
   
"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.

Sources connected with Mitt Romney tell TMZ, Mitt was involved in the surrogate arrangement because he paid some of the expenses connected with the agreement.  We do not know if Mitt Romney read the contract or knew the terms.

Mitt has said, "I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother."  Otherwise, Romney is against abortion.

Now for the stupid mistake.  We've learned Tagg chose the same surrogate in 2009, who gave birth to a boy.   Attorney Bill Handel -- a nationally-known expert in surrogacy law who put the deal together between Tagg and the surrogate -- tells TMZ when the 2009 contract was drafted there was no Paragraph 13 providing for abortion because Tagg and his wife didn't want it.

Handel says in 2011, when the second contract was being drafted, everyone involved "just forgot" to remove Paragraph 13.  Handel says, "No one noticed.  What can I say?"

622 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

Rick LaChapelle    

TMZ you reall are STUPID!!

728 days ago
62.

Orwellia    

Wow..he sure seems like an evil ax murderer...this is a new low for bottom feeding political smears to affect the election process. Get out of politics and stick with the silly celebs...

728 days ago
63.

Gigi    

I am not sure why this is a story?

728 days ago
64.

Meanie    

And this is news, why?

728 days ago
65.

justagirl    

I would have more respect for TMZ if they would just come out and say how much they are up the Obama's - you know what- and join the army of media that protect Obama. If you are going to go after Romney's family on such a personal subject, then it is expected that you begin the witch hunt on the Obama daughters. ALSO, anyone in the public eye who have chosen a surrogate birth (the Rancic's, perhaps? - they hold conservative values, so I guess now they will be in the line of fire next)...hunt down their agreements and begin to demonize them for decisions (oversights, rather) that supposedly "conflict" with their personal beliefs. And don't forget to investigate the role their parents played in the decision making! I do believe Harvey, that your mission of reporting "celebrity news and gossip" is sometimes tainted and manipulated at your discrection, based on YOUR own political beliefs and persuasion. It's makes you look quite sad, actually.

Just a newsworthy tip for you:
Terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula opened fire on an IDF patrol on the Israel-Egypt border. Ohhh....you don't play in the "political arena". Yeah...that's right! Well, apparently, neither does the leader of our country - that you support -care to address current foreign policy issues and dangers at hand.

728 days ago
66.

Melissa1987    

PREECLAMPSIA IS LIFE THREATENING!! This whole article is pure fail.

728 days ago
67.

HoHwPoV    

Hey TMZ why don't you look at this as Mitt isn't going to do anything about changing abortion laws ... so all the blah blah blah from liberals about abortion rights have no reason to not vote for Mitt anymore and we can finally work on fixing our country rather than watch it slide into oblivion for another 4 years ...

728 days ago
68.

lissabirdie    

Yeah...SO!?

728 days ago
69.

Mike    

so you sold out to Obama too. SAD!. The paragraph looks to this lawyer and I am a lawyer like standard "boilerplate" that neither side likely read. What came of this- healthy and beautiful twins. To quote ESPN-come on man!

728 days ago
70.

Julianna    

Sorry but pre-eclampsia is, in fact, life-threatening. I developed a Pre-E complication called HELLP and was literally minutes from death before the baby was finally delivered. Fact check!

728 days ago
71.

Courtney    

The only cure for preeclampsia is delivery or abortion, and yes it kills. It's not surprising that the gestational carrier keeps the right to abort if her life is in danger, dosent every pregnant woman have that right. So your facts are not only wrong, but a right ever woman has. So what is your story???

728 days ago
72.

lori    

Looking for anything that you can possibly use to tarnish Romney? The clauses you are referencing are pretty standard in this type of agreement. It gives them the right to exercise those clauses...it does not mean they will. As to the right of the carrier - she has the right to protect her body from potential long-term harm. Again, standard. SHAME ON YOU for this one.

728 days ago
73.

Ken Rogers    

I do not see any difference in what they signed and what you report (your paragraph 9) as Mitt Romney's stated position. This is just something you are trying to make into something it isn't.

728 days ago
74.

yea sucka    

Who the F*** cares. This is a private matter that has nothing to do with the man running for president. My lord TMZ....anything to make a $$

728 days ago
75.

Terry    

The following is the Mormon church's "Policies on Moral Issues." The policy does directly discuss when someone "pays for" an abortion. It has been reported that Romney (grandfather) did do.

21.4.1
Abortion

The Lord commanded, “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). The Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience. Members must not submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion. The only possible exceptions are when:

1. Pregnancy resulted from forcible rape or incest.
2. A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy.
3. A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.
Even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons responsible have consulted with their bishops and received divine confirmation through prayer.

Church members who submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion may be subject to Church discipline.

As far as has been revealed, a person may repent and be forgiven for the sin of abortion.

728 days ago
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