Mitt Romney speaks to supporters on Jan. 19, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Credit: Joe Raedie

A medical waste company called Stericycle has long been hated by anti-abortion activists. The reason? The company's clients include abortion clinics--which means that it disposes of aborted fetuses. So it may have been embarrassing for the Mitt Romney campaign when the Huffington Post reported in January that the financial firm Romney founded had previously invested in Stericycle. 

Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, invested $75 million in Stericycle in 1999, the Huffington Post reported. Stericycle later became a leader in the medical waste industry. But after the news broke, Bain Capital defended Romney, who publicly has pro-life views. Bain said that Romney left the firm in 1999, before the Stericycle deal took place. Bain representatives said that Romney had nothing to do with the Stericycle deal. 

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But a new investigation by Mother Jones magazine is calling that claim into question. Documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Romney was "an active participant" in the deal, Mother Jones reported today. The documents obtained by Mother Jones show that Romney had signed some of the paperwork involved and had voting power over the Stericycle stock. 

It's not the first time Bain Capital has been caught up in controversy. Last month the Washington Post reported that Bain Capital has invested in firms that specialize in outsourcing American jobs to low-wage countries such as China, even though Romney has promised to get tough on outsourcing if he is elected president. 

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