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Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, said pro-lifers “will be watching closely to see if the governor defends human life from the moment of creation or if he expresses a belief that some human embryos are considered only valuable enough to be used in research to benefit others.”

“Just like any other human being, they have value, they have worth and they should not be experimented on,” Mr. Sedlak said, adding that “we certainly would be disappointed that anyone who declares himself pro-life would not use this opportunity where he is to stand up for embryonic human beings.”

Mr. Romney is considered a front-runner in the early Republican field of potential presidential contenders after a strong showing in the 2008 presidential primary.

Grassroots activists, though, still struggle to square his stances in 2008 with his more liberal positions when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994 and governor in 2002.