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Romney on Abortion

There are a number of “Voter’s Guides” circulating around the pro-family/pro-life movement which contain inaccurate information regarding Mitt Romney’s record on abortion. These Voter’s Guides are based upon information submitted by the candidates, a notoriously inaccurate way to assess them. A far more accurate way of determining whether a politician will vote correctly on pro-life issues is their actual record. The two largest groups engaged in distributing inaccurate Voter’s Guide are the Family Research Council and the National Right to Life PAC.

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This type of Voter’s Guide can be easily “gamed” by candidates seeking pro-life support; indeed, a candidate who owned abortion clinics could fill out a Voter’s Guide questionnaire “correctly” and thereby be portrayed as pro-life. The failure to create Voter’s Guides based on a candidate’s actual abortion record has led to the election of candidates who have not always voted pro-life. Regarding Romney, the difference between what he says on the campaign trail and his actual record is huge.

It is possible a politician could change his views on the abortion issue so we have decided to judge Romney based only on his actions on abortion since his very public pro-life conversion in November, 2004. Here is what we found:

2004–2007. Romney invested in stem cell research. Romney invested in Novo Nordisk and Millipore, two companies involved in stem cell research. He also had investments in Warner Chilcott, the firm that produces Loestrin,an abortifacient. (1) Romney maintained investments in these companies for three years after his conversion but never bothered to instruct his trust manager to avoid investing in anti-life companies until after it became public knowledge. (2)

2004–2007. Romney promoted Planned Parenthood’s clinics on his Dept. of Health website during his entire term of office. Under “family planning services,” Romney’s Dept of Health appointees listed and promoted nearly every abortion clinic in the state, including those operated by Planned Parenthood. An archived picture of the Dept of Health website can be found in the footnotes.(3)

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2005. Romney refused to advance the pro- life agenda while Governor, even after his “conversion.” Yes, the Massachusetts legislature was and is controlled by the left, but regardless, Romney made little to no effort to fight for pro-life issues or even fight against pro-abortion causes. Indeed, shortly after his conversion Romney even boasted about his “success” with ignoring pro-life issues in a video clip now on You Tube: “I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintaining the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice and so far I’ve been able to successfully do that….”(4)

2005. Romney forces Catholic hospitals to distribute the abortion pill. In 2005 the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill requiring all hospitals to provide women with the abortion pill. Even though Romney had campaigned on expanding access to the abortion pill he vetoed this bill, an action which has become a fixture in pro-Romney propaganda “proving” he fought for pro-lifers while Governor. What the Romney forces don’t mention, however, is that Romney reversed himself on this issue a few days later! The legislature, as expected, overrode the veto, but incredibly, Romney, after being previously opposed to the bill, then announced, ”I think, in my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals [referring to private hospitals] to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.” By not fighting for the rights of private Catholic hospitals Romney created a horrible precedent of allowing government to strip away the religious freedom rights of a private institution. (5)

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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