Mitt Romney’s public stance on abortion may have changed at least twice in the past 25 years, but his callous approach to women’s rights has stayed the same.
More than 20 years ago, according to a news report published over the weekend, Romney rushed to a Boston hospital and tried to use his position as a lay Mormon leader to intimidate a pregnant woman experiencing complications into rejecting abortion.
Romney apparently said something to the effect of, “Well, why do you get off easy when other women have their babies?”
She chose the procedure anyway. “He was blind to me as a human being,” she says now.
Less than five years later, running against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney claimed that he was a stronger supporter of abortion rights than the Massachusetts senator. And now he hews to the orthodox anti-abortion line of the Republican Party platform. His willingness to change with the political winds twice over is not a sign of “pragmatism” or “moderation” — it shows that he serves only his ambition, even by pandering to extremism. And that he’ll do whatever the Republican establishment demands.
Here’s a clip from a debate with Kennedy where Romney paints himself as a champion of the right to choose, someone sensitive to the plight of women seeking underground abortions:
Of course, just this month, asked by conservative Christian leader and talk show host Mike Huckabee whether he would be a pro-life president, Romney had a very different story.
“My view is that the Supreme Court should reverse Roe v Wade and send back to the states the responsibility for deciding whether it is legal or not,” he said. “Would it be wonderful if everyone in the country agreed with you and me that life begins in conception and that there’s a sanctity of life that’s part of a civilized society and that we’re all going to agree there should not be legal abortion in the nation? That’d be great. But I don’t think that’s where we are right now. But I do think where the majority of the American people would go is say let the states make the decisions.”
In fact, it would appear the majority of the American people have made clear for nearly 40 years now that they do not want the question returned to the states — and that taking a federalist stance on this issue is really just a way of sugarcoating an approach that ignores the safety and health of women.
Follow National Correspondent Matt Taylor on Twitter @matthewt_ny
Copyright 2011 The National Memo