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Will Mitt Romney lose women voters over Planned Parenthood remark?

Mitt Romney said he would 'get rid' of Planned Parenthood. Later Romney campaign officials said Romney meant he would cut federal funding to it. Democrats are pouncing on the Planned Parenthood statement.

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Laura Shutt waits with her daughters Eliza Smith, 10-months, and Emmalin, age six, prior to an appearance by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Liberty, Missouri in March 2012.

REUTERS/Dave Kaup

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A coordinated attack by Democrats on Mitt Romney's plan to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood to help balance the federal budget is part of a larger campaign to ensure that Romney and other Republicans lose credibility with female voters.

The Romney campaign contends that the remark has been taken out of context. Yet even the debate over what Romney meant or didn't mean underscores the political peril he faces as the GOP nomination fight rages on.

Facing continued conservative skepticism, Romney has been pushed further to the right to appeal to his party's right flank. In doing so, he risks alienating key constituencies — women and independents, among them — while drawing unwanted attention to his inconsistent positions on social issues.

The Planned Parenthood controversy stems from a recent interview with a Missouri television station in which Romney addressed his plans to cut the federal deficit.

RELATED: Nine verbal gaffes by Mitt Romney

"Is the program so critical that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?" Romney asked. "And on that basis, of course you get rid of ObamaCare, that's the easy one. But there are others: Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I would eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, both excellent programs, but we can't afford to borrow money to pay for these things."

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