I noticed this in the coverage of Romney’s visit to South Carolina and then again in his Nightline appearance. He is more clearly coming out and saying that he had been pro-choice. This is clearly an attempt defuse the issue. First Nightline:
We all learn from experience. And I’m just like other people in this nation. Not everything I believed 12 or 13 years ago is the same today, with regards to the issue of abortion. And so about two years ago, I said I am pro-life. And prior to that time, I had a different position.
This is a much cleaner and simpler position than he had previously. Apparently, he was asked about this in South Carolina too. He said:
"Over the last multiple years, as you know, I have been effectively pro-choice," he said. "I never called myself that as a label but I was effectively pro-choice and that followed a personal experience in my extended family that led to that conclusion."
That family member was killed in an illegal abortion in the 1960s, Romney said.
He then talks about the Harvard Stem Cell Institute discussion:
"It struck me very powerfully at that point that the Roe v. Wade approach has so cheapened the value of human life that somebody could think it’s not a moral issue to destroy embryos," Romney said.
He added every decision he made as governor "in a very liberal state has been on the side of favoring life," he said. "I am firmly pro-life."
It seems to me that he hadn’t really called himself pro-choice in the past. He’d tried to avoid that label. Now the questions will be whether people believe what he is saying and whether they trust him. The other question will be whether his stance that his decisions have "been on the side of favoring life". My sense is that when pro-lifers drill down on these, they will still be unsatisfied.