Villainous Company: What Do Pro-Life Activists Think of Mitt …
February 08, 2012
What Do Pro-Life Activists Think of Mitt Romney’s Abortion Record?
Santorum Accuses Romney of Forcing Mass. Catholic Hospitals to Offer Emergency Contraception
…As David French detailed in a Corner post a few days ago, Romney vetoed the bill that forced Catholic hospitals to offer emergency contraception, but that veto was overriden by the state’s legislature.
[French] There are parallels between this argument over pro-life tactics and the argument over Mitt Romney’s response to the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. In both cases some activists demanded a grand gesture, but Mitt responded by fighting the fights he could win: enforcing a little-known, almost century-old law prohibiting out-of-state marriages if the marriage wouldn’t be legal in the couple’s home state, supporting a state marriage amendment, and even filing a lawsuit to force the legislature to act on the amendment.
In the conscience arena, he not only vetoed the EC law and took to the pages of the Globe to explain his reasoning, he supported Catholic Charities’ resistance to placing children with same-sex couples, and even filed “An Act Protecting Religious Freedom” to protect the rights of conscience of Catholic Charities and other religious organizations in Massachusetts. In fact, many of these actions are what convinced me to become an “evangelical for Mitt.”
Or you could believe pro-life activists who actually worked with Mitt Romney in support of the pro-life agenda during his 4 year term as governor of Massachusetts:
“Since being elected governor, Mitt Romney has had a consistent commitment to the culture of life. As governor, he worked closely with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Misguided attempts to blame Mitt Romney for the fact that state-funded health care in Massachusetts funds abortion ignore the facts. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 1981 that the Massachusetts Constitution requires the funding of abortion. This decision forces Massachusetts to fund abortion to the same extent it funds other medical procedures. A 1986 attempt to overturn the court ruling with a Constitutional Amendment failed. Obviously, in providing health coverage, the governor and the legislature were bound by this decision.”
“Governor Romney showed great political courage and expended much of his political capital supporting pro-life measures when he was here in Massachusetts… It was a very difficult political environment. 85% of the state legislature was Democrat…when many of the state house doors were closed to us, we always were welcomed by Gov. Romney and his staff.
…Visitors to www.americansformitt.com who have read my
biography have noticed that I’ve spent the last few years directing two programs for a nonprofit pro-life organization. This position has allowed me to meet with national pro-life leaders and interact with pro-life Americans on a daily basis. As a proven pro-lifer and an early supporter of Governor Romney’s expected candidacy, I hope I can offer a unique perspective on the issues surrounding his position on abortion.
… Romney’s pledge not to change abortion law was absolutely brilliant. The political realities of Massachusetts make pro-life policy victories virtually impossible in the heavily Democratic legislature. By refusing to change abortion laws, Romney launched a strategic effort to keep the commonwealth from further liberalizing abortion policy, including the age of parental consent proposal.”
- Nathan Burd,
Founder/Director, Americans for Mitt
“For the four years of his administration, Governor Romney provided strong leadership on key conservative social issues — whether it was politically expedient to do so or not.” He tells National Review Online, “I believe Mitt Romney has done an excellent job in defending traditional family values in Massachusetts despite an extremely hostile legislature and judiciary, not to mention an attorney general and secretary of state who both opposed everything the governor stood for.”
Mineau adds, “From the onset of the infamous Goodridge court decision in 2003, Governor Romney has opposed same-sex marriage and, I believe, correctly sought to overturn it through a constitutional amendment. In 2004, he invoked the state law that prohibited out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts thus preventing the exportation of these so-called marriages to other states. In 2005, he ardently supported a citizen petition for an amendment to end same-sex marriage that wound up gathering a record number of 170,000 signatures. Throughout 2006 he lobbied the state legislature that was refusing to vote on the amendment. His intense involvement culminated with the filing of a suit in the State Supreme Judicial Court in December to mandate the legislature to hold the vote as required by the state constitution.”
Mineau directly credits Romney with getting the state legislature to vote on a constitutional amendment on gay marriage earlier this month. He explains, “The court unanimously ruled on December 27 that the legislature was constitutionally obligated to vote. This ruling, coupled with the governor threatening to not sign the end-of-year legislative pay raise, resulted in the legislature passing the amendment on January 2nd, the last day of the session. This could never have happened without Governor Romney’s leadership.”
” “Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action in defending life,” Dr. Willke said. “Every decision he made as governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life president we need in the White House, Governor Romney is the only candidate who can lead our pro-life and pro-family conservative movement to victory in 2008.”…
Dr. Willke, helped found the National Right To Life Committee and served for 10 years as its president. Dr. Willke serves as president of the Life Issues Institute, Inc., and president of the International Right to Life Federation.
Or you could simply read this:
January 29, 2012
Dear Fellow Conservatives:
At the end of last month, nine Massachusetts leaders representing a broad coalition of conservative activists penned an open letter in support of Mitt Romney and outlined his commitment to the values that we hold dear. We felt that the letter that they wrote was very effective in helping many voters understand that Mitt Romney was a pro-life and a pro-family governor and that his record serves as public validation of his commitment to those same policies as President of the United States.
In light of the fact that in the past few days Newt Gingrich has used inflammatory language to mischaracterize Governor Romney’s record on the issues of life and family, we decided to re-release that same letter from those Massachusetts leaders under our own signature.
It’s almost certainly possible to find pro-life activists who think Mitt Romney didn’t do enough while governor of a state with a majority pro-choice, 85% Democrat legislature. Maybe some of these folks were even on the scene at the time?
What it is NOT possible to argue is that Romney’s alledged perfidy and inconstancy on abortion rights is a slam dunk.
Real life, unlike campaign rhetoric, involves tradeoffs. I used to think re-writing history was the hallmark of the DNC. Our Progressive Brethren in Christ appear to have stiff competition these days.
Posted by Cassandra at February 8, 2012 05:22 PM
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…The best that indicates is that he is not actively hostile to pro-lifers. A more uncharitable interpretation would be that he was too weak and afraid to stand up for what he believed in, if in fact he believed in it.
Posted by: alwaysfiredup at February 8, 2012 08:26 PM
(And you should change your header; it keeps telling me there are no new posts and that is a damned lie. )
Posted by: alwaysfiredup at February 8, 2012 08:27 PM
But is it a statistic?
Posted by: Grim at February 8, 2012 08:49 PM
Amazing how simple it can be to communicate with people and have them understand a certain topic, you made my day.
Posted by: Abortion Clinics in Moorpark at February 9, 2012 05:34 AM
I will ask you to read the entire post.
What does “fight for what he really believes in” mean, specifically?
I’m not sure how you (or anyone) can ignore vetoing legislation he didn’t agree with, lobbying the legislature, taking the legislature to court, as “not fighting”.
In the case of abortion, his campaign pledge was clear: “I will not seek to reverse existing laws but will not support expansion of abortion rights”. And that’s exactly what he did.
He vetoed the EC bill and his veto was overridden. He then took the position that it was not enforceable against Catholic hospitals until his legal counsel (and the state Attorney General) told him that it superseded the previous law.
At this point he could have done two things:
1. Refuse to enforce the law (in which case the legislature had ALREADY stated they would simply pass a new law explicitly repealing the old one). And they had the votes. It wasn’t even close.
2. Take the case to the MA Supreme Court (the same court that discovered a right to gay marriage in the MA Constitution)… without the support and against the advice of his AttyGen. Courts generally try in these cases to defer to the legislature. Since the legislature had considered and rejected a religious exemption to the bill, their intent would have been plain.
Such suits cost lots of taxpayer money. You may argue that doesn’t matter, but I imagine it matters to said taxpayers. Taking a case to court that you’re not going to win is a waste of taxpayer money.
There are two outcomes here:
1. Send it back to the legislature (see the first option).
2. Rule that the new law superseded the old law.
Perhaps you can explain to me under what rationale an elected public servant (not King or dictator) elevates his personal belief over the expressed will of the legislature and the wishes of a clear majority of his constituents?
Is this how you want Obama to act? Because the test of whether a principle is right or not is not that the end justifies the means, but that you agree with it, even when it doesn’t produce the outcome you wanted.
One more thing: aren’t conservatives against trying to accomplish through the courts what they can’t through the legislature? Seems to me that used to be called judicial activism, and we opposed it.
Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2012 07:29 AM
I don’t know why Mitt’s supporters aren’t bringing this stuff out.
Conservatives are suspicious of him, and knowing this would do a lot for bridging the gap.
As for me I decided to vote for Romney some time ago – mainly a process of elimination – not for any great identifying with him – but hearing stuff like this makes me feel better.
Posted by: Bill Brandt at February 9, 2012 08:46 AM
Well Bill, I have brought these things up in a number of conversations.
But you can’t force people to read things they don’t want to read, nor to confront facts that undermine positions they’ve already decided upon.
I will continue to bring these things up because I think they’re important. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it will make much difference since the only people who pay attention are the ones already leaning in that direction.
It’s depressing. And it has a lot to do with why I decided 14 months ago that I was wasting my time writing online.
I don’t know what to do about that. What changed my mind and my heart this time was a feeling that I wasn’t seeing anyone defending the positions I hold dear. But in real life, one has to balance effort with reward.
So I decided to try again. I am not willing to do all I can, but I am willing to do something. No doubt that makes me a moral coward by the today’s standards :p
It is what it is.
Posted by: Princess Leia in a Cheese Danish Bikini at February 9, 2012 10:36 AM
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