NewsThu Jan 4, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Despite Past Statements, Former Gov. and Presidential Hopeful Romney Says He is Pro-Life
By Meg Jalsevac
BOSTON, January 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, has, over the past several months, declared that his views on the dignity and value of human life have “evolved” since he first ran for public office in 1994 and he is now pro-life – except in the cases of rape and incest.
Romney ended his gubernatorial term in Massachusetts at the end of 2006 when he stepped down from the position at the end of his tenure. He has since commenced the necessary proceedings to form an exploratory committee for a possible bid for the Republican presidential nomination for 2008.
Just last week, Romney told National Review Online that he would like Roe v. Wade to be overturned on a national level and the abortion issue left to the individual states to decide. He also said that he would no longer back a federal non-discrimination law for gays and lesbians.
Romney has not always held such conservative views. In a 1994 bid for the Massachusetts Senate seat against Senator Kennedy, Romney touted the line that he was personally against abortion but that would not affect how he voted as a Senator. He said, “I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, we should sustain and support it. I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice. And my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign.”
In that same race, Romney catered to gays and lesbians saying that the homosexual community needed “more support from the Republicans” and that he himself would be more vigilant in fighting for gay rights than Democratic candidate, Kennedy. Romney vowed to work for more acceptance in the military for homosexuals and for a federal non-discrimination law protecting homosexuals.
However, Romney seemed to have an epiphany, or somewhat of an about face somewhere in public office. In a June, 2006 broadcast of the ‘Charlie Rose’ show, Romney told host Woodruff that it was while researching for the 2005 Massachusetts embryonic stem-cell research bill that he was first struck by the serious implications of Roe v. Wade.
Romney said, “Has the Roe v. Wade process and approach so cheapened life that we think about killing embryos without batting an eye. And I recognized [then] that I could no longer stand in the posture of saying that I am personally opposed but I am not going to change the law. I needed to make it very clear, in my view, that we are wrong to accept abortion other than in cases of rape or incest.”
Romney unsuccessfully attempted to veto the Massachusetts ‘Act Enhancing Regenerative Medicine in the Commonwealth’ saying that the wording of the act allowed for human cloning and redefined the timing of the beginning of life.
In 2005, Romney wrote an open letter explaining why he vetoed an emergency contraception bill saying that the contraception could not only prevent pregnancy but also cause the death of a young embryo.
However, in his letter Romney credited his veto not to his new found pro-life convictions, but rather to a promise he made to the people of Massachusetts to neither work to prohibit nor forward abortion rights during his term as governor.
Later in the same year, Romney announced that all hospitals, with no exceptions for a conscience clause, had to distribute the abortifacient emergency contraceptive morning-after-pill.
Romney’s history and apparent shaky convictions have made some conservatives wary of his stability as a GOP presidential nominee. Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, said, “Our position is that, if a candidate can change his position sort of overnight, what would he do once he got in office? Would he do the same thing?”
Romney has been known to waffle on other key issues. LifeSiteNews.com reported that in 2003, Romney opposed same-sex unions but ordered public officials that they had to officiate at homosexual unions regardless of personal belief. In 2006, Romney was also inconsistent in regards to his handling of Catholic adoption agencies refusing to place children with homosexual couples.
See Related LifeSiteNews.com Coverage
Massachusetts Gov. Romney Changes Position, Supports Bishops Opposed to Gay Adoptions
Romney Does Flip-Flop and Forces Catholic Hospitals to Distribute Morning-After-Pill