NEW YORK, December 19, 2011 ( – The president of Planned Parenthood has said that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney used to seek her organization’s endorsements and attend events, according to the New York Times.

In a Friday column by Gail Collins, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) president Cecile Richards was quoted as saying that Romney once was a friend to Planned Parenthood before switching from a pro-choice to a pro-life platform.

“He used to come to Planned Parenthood events,” said Richards. “He asked for our endorsement.”

Romney, who supported abortion as recently as his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor, said during his 2008 presidential run that he had a pro-life conversion in 2004 during the legislative debate over embryonic stem cell research. Collins noted that Romney was “practically teary” during a 1994 Senate debate with Ted Kennedy, when he described a relative’s botched-abortion death as the grounding for his pro-choice stance.

The former Massachusetts governor refused to sign a Susan B. Anthony List pro-life pledge this summer, saying that the promises in the document were overly broad and prone to unintended consequences, particularly regarding government funding of hospitals.

Romney has recently begun inching back into the lead of the GOP presidential pack ahead of former House speaker Newt Gingrich, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday. However, a Public Policy Poll the same day found Texas U.S. Congressman Ron Paul pulling ahead of both in Iowa, a key caucus state.