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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
posted by jason | 1:22 PM | permalink
James Bopp Jr., a well known Pro-life litigator penned a wonderful article for NRO that covers some of the great arguments in support of Romney. Bopp begins with some interesting quotes from 1994, and an endorsement we don’t hear very much about:

Romney’s conversion was less abrupt than is often portrayed. In his 1994 Senate run, Romney was endorsed by Massachusetts Citizens for Life and kept their endorsement, even though he declared himself to be pro-choice, because he supported parental-consent laws, opposed taxpayer-funded abortion and mandatory abortion coverage under a national health insurance plan, and was against the Freedom of Choice Act, which would have codified Roe v. Wade by federal statute. In 1994, NARAL’s Kate Michelman pronounced him a phony pro-choicer. “Mitt Romney, stop pretending,” she demanded. “We need honesty in our public life, not your campaign of deception to conceal your anti-choice views,” she said. Some conservative Boston newspaper columnists view it similarly. As Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe put it:

“Romney’s very public migration rightward over the last few years is . . . intended not to hide his real views but to liberate them. In 1994, Romney struck me as an extraordinarily bright, talented, and decent man — and a political neophyte who fell for the canard that the only way a conservative could win in Massachusetts was by passing for liberal.”

Bopp goes on:

The evaluation of Romney’s conversion needs to be considered in light of the pro-life movement’s consistent effort over the years to educate, and thereby convert, people to the cause. The pro-life movement has aggressively promoted conversion and has achieved great success in doing so.

Good point. Pro-lifers work hard to convert and now they have Romney on their side. They should be celebrating, not providing the DNC some talking points. Bopp goes on:

Yet how is the sincerity of a conversion to be measured? There are two salient considerations in this regard: first, some defining moment that prompted a change of heart; second, the fact that deeds speak louder than words. Romney’s conversion exhibits both. First, Romney has had a life-changing event. It was when he was governor and researchers were proposing embryonic cloning at Harvard. As he recounts it, one of the researchers said that there “wasn’t a moral issue, because . . . they destroy the embryos at 14 days.” Romney said that “it struck me that we have so cheapened the value of human life in this country through our Roe v. Wade decision that someone could think that there is no moral issue to have racks and racks of living human embryos and then destroying them at 14 days.”

This was not a trivial matter for Romney and his family. As he told the New York Times at the time, “My wife has MS and we would love for there to be a cure for her disease and for the diseases of others. But there is an ethical boundary that should not be crossed.”

This point is often forgotten. Romney’s decision to veto embryonic cloning came at an enormous personal cost, if he indeed is faking it. Romney’s wife has MS. It would be quite a thing to oppose embryonic stem cell research with a wife in a condition many promise could be helped by this form of research, when you really support it.

Here is a video of Ann explaining this:

Bopp goes on:

And Romney, as governor, acted on these convictions. He vetoed an embryonic cloning bill; he vetoed a bill that would allow the “morning after pill” to be acquired without a prescription on the grounds that it is an abortifacient; he vetoed legislation which would have redefined Massachusetts longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation; and he fought to promote abstinence education in the classroom. One should not underestimate the tremendous political price that Governor Romney paid in Massachusetts for these acts. Both conviction and courage are necessary for effective pro-life leadership, and Romney, in office, displayed both.

Often the attack is used by Anti-Romneyites that he wouldn’t have been reelected in Massachusetts. This may or may not have been the case. Yet if it is true, we should realize the reason for his unelectability in Massachusetts is directly related to his hard work on conservative social issues.

Bopp goes on to discuss what the options are in a Non-Romney ticket:

It cannot be forgotten, however, that this is also a political question, a matter of practical choices. And what are these choices? Senator John McCain and Mayor Rudy Giuliani are the other leading candidates for the Republican nomination. Barring the unlikely emergence of some conservative alternative in the next few months, the choice will be between Giuliani, McCain, and Romney. While both Giuliani and McCain would be vastly superior to any of the prospective Democrats, there are serious questions about the policy positions of both, and not just on social conservative issues.

Giuliani is simply not a social conservative. He is pro-choice, pro-partial birth abortion, and pro-special rights for homosexuals. He is also pro-gun control. Senator McCain opposes the federal marriage amendment, supports embryonic stem-cell research, and was a ringleader of the Gang-of-14 compromise that made it easier for Democrats to block President Bush’s judicial nominees. Also, he is the principal sponsor of the McCain-Feingold bill, which imposes severe limits on the participation of citizens groups and political parties in our representative democracy.

We tend to think that by knocking down Romney we will now elect the true-social conservative. We social conservatives can split the vote amongst the lesser candidates of Brownback and Huckabee, who each have their have their own issues, but it will be at our peril. We can easily find ourselvs stuck with someone who won't support a Marriage ammendment or is a afraid to veto an embryonic cloning bill.

Finally Bopp concludes this better than I can ever hope to:

Whatever one thinks about Romney’s conversion, and I believe it is sincere, the fact remains that Romney opposes public funds for embryo-destructive research that McCain and Giuliani support. Romney has fought for a federal marriage amendment and McCain and Giuliani oppose one. There is the simple question of whether social conservatives want someone who is currently on their side or someone who currently opposes them.
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My only fear with Romney is not that he is pro-life now, which he certainly gives the impression of being, but that, given his past pro-choice stances and then seemingly convenient conversion, he will not fight wholeheartedly for the pro-life cause. I would like to support a candidate in the primary in whom I truly have confidence in of advancing the Life cause, not just "supporting" it. And from the information that I've seen, I don't have that confidence in Mr. Romney. The fact that, according to the liberals, he's not a "true" pro-choicer just isn't that compelling, especially when his own words, prior to this election, have attested to the contrary. And that's why my support goes behind Brownback this primary.


Thanks for the comment. My main beef with Brwonback lies in his amnesty positions, his inability to cut pork, his lack of support of Pres. Bush and the surge and his inability to show up for work.

You are right, Brownback has a stellar history as a pro-life advocate after his conversion, but a President has many hats to wear.

Converts have the most fire. My belief is that Mitt will be a huge defender of life. If you have converted to anything you would understand. Good examples are Regan and Bush.

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