In his speech to the Right to Life Convention, Mitt Romney had one whopper of a paragraph:
"Recently, I was attacked by one of my opponents because when I ran for Governor I promised to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion in Massachusetts. Of course, I kept that promise. But in Massachusetts, that meant vetoing pro-choice legislation – as I consistently did as Governor. That’s why last month I was honored with an award from Massachusetts Citizens for Life in recognition of the actions I took as Governor to protect life.
Let’s take this sentence by sentence, because there are so many misleading statements in here it boggles the mind:
Recently, I was attacked by one of my opponents because when I ran for Governor I promised to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion in Massachusetts. Of course, I kept that promise.
Several problems with this. First of all, there are the examples of Romney not keeping that promise:
- Senator Sam Brownback says that Romney’s healthcare plan increased public funding for abortion. I discussed this issue here.
- Romney overruled his Department of Public Health and required Catholic hospitals to pass out emergency contraception. I discussed this here.
This invokes another promise that Romney made:
Romney said he had vetoed the emergency contraception bill to fulfill his 2002 campaign promise not to change state abortion laws.
But supporters of the measure, pointing out that Romney has also pledged to support expanded access to emergency contraception, accused the GOP governor of trying to burnish his conservative credentials for a possible presidential run.
I guess that Romney could argue that it was consistent to force Catholic hospitals to pass out emergency contraception while vetoing bills that would increase emergency contraception. But I don’t think that pro-life voters will see it that way.
But in Massachusetts, that meant vetoing pro-choice legislation – as I consistently did as Governor.
Romney made it very clear in 2002 that his position was pro-choice. Returning to Romney’s 2002 debate, he said:
- "I will preserve and protect a women’s right to choose."
- "I do take exception to Shannon characterizing my view as being any different from hers in this regard. The Boston Globe recently reported that there is not a paper’s width of difference between our two positions in this regard. And you’ve hit the one place. And that’s with regard to 18 year old or 16 year old age of consent."
Now, his opponent to whom he is referring was endorsed by NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Romney was endorsed by the Republican Majority for Choice. Romney denied in the same debate that he had accepted the endorsement of the Massachusetts Citizens for Life in 1994. Romney made it very clear that his promise was not to veto pro-choice legislation. And just to make clear, Romney said that the only difference between him and the NARAL-endorsed, Planned Parenthood-endorsed Shannon O’Brien was age of consent. It is simply not politically honest of him to say that his promise was to veto pro-choice legislation.
Regarding the consistent vetoes, see the comments on the previous sentence.
That’s why last month I was honored with an award from Massachusetts Citizens for Life in recognition of the actions I took as Governor to protect life.
So the award has nothing to do with Romney giving the group $15,000? Or the installation of Romney’s wife, who had previously defended his pro-choice stance and donated to Planned Parenthood, as co-chairman of the capital campaign, over the objections of pro-life activists? I guess that Romney doesn’t see a difference between bribery and honesty.