Republican candidate Mitt Romney was on NBC's Meet the Press and made the following blanket claim: "...every piece of legislation which came to my desk in the coming years as a Governor, I came down on the side of preserving the sanctity of life."
--Mitt Romney, Meet the Press 12/16/07
We like Mitt, but a quick check of his record throws doubt on the claim.
Some facts about Romney's record as Massachusetts governor and abortion.
* Romney's health care legislation provides taxpayer-funded abortions for a co-pay of just $50.
o Romney vetoed EIGHT provisions in his health care bill that he deemed objectionable, but he did not veto Planned Parenthoods' guaranteed position on the Advisory Board or ensure that abortions were covered only in medically necessary situations (as required by MA court ruling). All abortions are covered in the Commonwealth Care program with no medically necessary limitation.
* Romney included in his health care legislation a guarantee that Planned Parenthood would have a representative on his MassHealth Payment Policy Advisory Board. No such provision was included for a pro-life representative.
* Romney forced private Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after-pill, a position applauded by Democrats and pro-abortions groups.
Romney's health care legislation provides taxpayer-funded abortions for a co-pay of just $50. Romney vetoed EIGHT provisions in his health care bill that he deemed objectionable, including the expansion of dental benefits to Medicaid recipients. He did not veto Planned Parenthoods' guaranteed position on the Advisory Board or ensure that abortions were covered only in medically necessary situations (as required by MA court ruling). All abortions are covered in the Commonwealth Care program with no medically necessary limitation. Under the program, abortions are available for a copay of $50. (Menu of Health Care Services; "Romney's Health Care Vetoes," Associated Press, 4/12/06)More:
Romney included in his health care legislation a guarantee that Planned Parenthood would have a representative on his MassHealth Payment Policy Advisory Board. No such provision was included for a pro-life representative. "You cannot be personally opposed to abortion and then contribute money to an organization whose purpose is to provide abortions," said Jerry Zandstra. "Given the Romney family's support of Planned Parenthood, it now makes sense why he mandated that a member of the RomneyCare Policy board be appointed by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts." (RepealRomneyCare.com, "Pro-Life Leaders Denounce Romney's Planned Parenthood Connections," Press Release, 5/10/07)
Romney forced private Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after-pill, a position applauded by Democrats and pro-abortions groups. "Governor Mitt Romney reversed course on the state's new emergency contraception law yesterday, saying that all hospitals in the state will be obligated to provide the morning-after pill to rape victims. The decision overturns a ruling made public this week by the state Department of Public Health that privately run hospitals could opt out of the requirement if they objected on moral or religious grounds. Romney had initially supported that interpretation, but he said yesterday that he had changed direction after his legal counsel, Mark D. Nielsen, concluded Wednesday that the new law supersedes a preexisting statute that says private hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception. 'And on that basis, I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view,' Romney said..." (Scott Helman, "Romney Says No Hospitals Are Exempt From Pill Law," Boston Globe, 12/9/05)
Catholic leaders urged hospitals to reject Romney's mandate or risk "compromising their religious integrity and Catholic identity." "C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, a conservative Catholic organization, said Catholic hospitals should refuse to abide by the law. 'T he appropriate response for Catholic hospitals is noncompliance. Otherwise, they would be compromising their religious integrity and Catholic identity,' he said." (Steve LeBlanc, "Confusion Over New Emergency Contraception Law Deepens," Associated Press, 12/9/05)
Like we said, we like Romney and cheered him on, especially after his great speech on faith last week. We applauded his standing up for his beliefs.
We understand that a person can change their views. We applaud that, too, especially when they come around to supporting the pro-life position.
However, it helps neither Romney's current campaign, nor his attempts to build rapport with pro-life groups to muddy the waters about what was done in the past, while he was governor of Massachusetts, arguably the most liberal state in the union.
He demonstrated he was a political survivor during his tenure. He continues to show that same trait.
Speaking up honestly about his past actions concerning abortion while heading Massachusetts would be a further sign that he's comfortable with, not only his past actions, but his future ones too.
In a tight contest, things like honestly stating what you believe and what you did in the past can be big pluses with the voters.
Abortion is a subjec fraught with pitfalls. But pro-life voter confidence isn't served by Mitt Romney obscuring what actions he took in the past.
It's too easy to check the facts.
Source: Mitt Romney Fact Check on Preserving the Sanctity of Life
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