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ABORTION ISSUES:

References from Abortion Page:

Summary of Platform:

¹: "Ronald Reagan once supported abortion too".

²: "On June 14, 1967, Ronald Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act, after only six months as California governor. From a total of 518 legal abortions in California in 1967, the number of abortions would soar to an annual average of 100,000 in the remaining years of Reagan’s two terms".

³: "One of the criticisms about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney focuses on his record concerning the abortion issue. . . It may come as a surprise to these purists, but Ronald Reagan once supported abortion too. . . Romney's record shows he should be totally acceptable to all conservatives . . .

"Not one of the major candidates is free of some real or imagined flaw that offends some conservatives. This is madness, and if it does not stop, the GOP is going to lose the presidential election in 2008. . . nobody was more candid in admitting that he was anything but perfect than my Dad." (Ronald Reagan's son, a national talk show host)




References from Abortion Page:

History of Views:

[1] "About Me: I was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 12, 1947. After graduating from Cranbrook School, I went to Stanford University..."

[2] "Although he always said he was personally opposed to abortion, Romney sought to reassure Massachusetts voters of his pro-choice bona fides by citing his mother's example. Lenore had run for the Senate on an abortion-rights platform [in 1970], a stance forged by the death of her son-in-law's teenage sister from an illegal abortion."

note: Her "abortion-rights platform" was a position of permitting abortion rights but not promoting them, as supporters and opponents of that issue who remember her race 37 years prior didn't remember her taking a strong stance. Eg. The "vice president of Michigan Right to Life since the time of Lenore Romney's run for office, said he couldn't recall her being an advocate for abortion rights."

"[Gov. Romney] said recently [in 2005] that he is in a ''different place'' than he was in 1994, when during a run for US Senate in Massachusetts he said abortion should be ''safe and legal'' and cited his mother's views. He also said during the 1994 campaign that his view was shaped by the abortion-related death of a relative in the 1960s: ''My mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter,'' Romney declared."

"During that same [1994] campaign, Romney also stated his personal opposition to abortion, but said he would not seek to change state abortion laws. As proof, he cited his mother's own 1970 candidacy for the U.S. Senate as an abortion rights supporter."

[3] "Given your recent article regarding my possible future in politics, I'd like to add four ''nots'' to the story.

1) I'm not considering a run for political office in Utah. As I've said many times over the last year, my Olympics job is far too compelling and demanding to allow me to give consideration to what I'll do when it is complete.

In all likelihood, I'll return to Massachusetts.

2) I will not change from Republican to Democrat. I'm a Republican, I come from a long line of Republicans, and I will not consider abandoning my Republican roots.

3) I do not wish to be labeled pro choice. I have never felt comfortable with the labels associated with the abortion issue. Because the Olympics is not about politics, I plan to keep my views on political issues to myself.

4) Because I am not in the Olympics for politics, I'm not going to get bogged down in political issues or political speculation. I came to the Olympics because I believed I could make a contribution to the Olympic movement, to the country and to Utah. I came because I believe the Olympics is one of the last great demonstrations of peace on the world stage. Like tens of thousands of other Utahns, I am a volunteer.

MITT ROMNEY"

Note: the SL Tribune charges $3 for this article. This is the full text of what he stated. As is too common in the news, while articles have reported that he made statements in this letter that he didn't say, relevant statements in the letter were not reported. News reports have not just misinterpreted statements and actions, they sometimes leave out relevant facts and report incorrect information.

''When Romney ran for governor in 2002, he maintained his position on Roe, but also indicated that he didn't want to be known as "pro-choice." He promised voters that he would honor a "moratorium," meaning he would not try to move state abortion law in one direction or the other, and he's kept his word. Romney speaks of the moratorium as an act of deference to "an overwhelmingly pro-choice state" and not as reflecting any commitment he might still have to a pro-abortion rights position.''

[4][8] "During that same [1994] campaign, Romney also stated his personal opposition to abortion, but said he would not seek to change state abortion laws. As proof, he cited his mother's own 1970 candidacy for the U.S. Senate as an abortion rights supporter."

"Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs: ''Mr. Romney, you personally oppose abortion... If abortion is morally wrong, aren't you responsible for discouraging it?''

"Romney: ''One of the great things about our nation, Sally, is that we're each entitled to have strong personal beliefs, and we encourage other people to do the same. But as a nation we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want, and not to impose our beliefs on other people. I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country; I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate.

" ''I believe that Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice. And my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign.'' "

-Senate campaign debate with Sen. Ted Kennedy. (1994)

"Questioned about his position on abortion, Romney--who has painted himself as a moderate on social issues--said although he was personally opposed to abortion, he would not impose his personal beliefs on the public.

" ''I believe abortion should be made safe and legal in the U.S.,'' Romney said. ''My personal beliefs should not be brought into this campaign.'' "

"During his 1994 run for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, Romney put a moderate spin on his position, explaining that while he personally opposed abortion, he became a supporter of keeping the procedure legal when a relative died after an illegal abortion."

[5] Completed sentence from NY Times quote: "Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs: ''Mr. Romney, you personally oppose abortion and as a church leader have advised women not to have an abortion."

-Senate campaign debate with Sen. Ted Kennedy. (1994)

"...the Boston Globe reported in 1994 that ''as a Mormon lay leader [you] counseled Mormon women not to have abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the mother's life was at risk.''

"GOV. ROMNEY: ...yes, as a private citizen I have counseled women not to have abortions."

"Mr. Romney served as the ... lay pastor, at his church in Belmont, Mass... offering spiritual guidance on whatever problems they brought to him - financial, marital, physical, anything."

[6] "This time around, the early line of attack is Romney's position on abortion... Adds a Romney campaign official: ''Abortion, abortion, abortion. They keep talking about it''..."

[7] "There's a complicated dance Republicans must do to be competitive in Massachusetts... they must never vex the editorialists at the Boston Globe by violating the most sacred liberal taboos, especially the prohibition against nonliberal stands on abortion..."

[9] "Dear Republicans: Please do one-tenth as much research before casting a vote in a presidential election as you do before buying a new car.

"One clue that Romney is our strongest candidate is the fact that Democrats keep viciously attacking him while expressing their deep respect for Mike Huckabee and John McCain... Never take advice from your political enemies.

"Turn on any cable news show right now, and you will see Democratic pundits attacking Romney, calling him a ''flip-flopper,'' and heaping praise on McCain...

"Liberals claim to be enraged at Romney for being a ''flip-flopper.'' I've looked and looked, and the only issue I can find that Romney has ''flipped'' on is abortion. When running for office in Massachusetts -- or, for short, ''the Soviet Union'' -- Romney said that Massachusetts was a pro-choice state and that he would not seek to change laws on abortion."

"Some people object that Romney has ''flip-flopped'' on some of these positions. I think that accusation is exaggerated. He hasn't flip-flopped back and forth, he has simply become more consistently conservative. I think that's a good thing in a political and media climate that is more and more liberal. (In fact, Ronald Reagan also changed from signing a liberal abortion law as governor of California to being a consistently pro-life president.)" - Dr. Grudem, Professor of Bible and Theology at the Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, AZ

"The leaders defended Mr. Romney's evolution from pro-choice advocacy to the view that life begins at conception. ''I don't think he's flip-flopping,'' Mr. Perkins [Family Research Council President] said. Mr. Bauer [American Values President] agreed that Mr. Romney's change of heart was sincere".

"Well Mitt is a very attractive person in many ways, and I think that if Mitt Romney were the nominee there wouldn't be a third party candidacy because Mitt is prolife.

"And I've listened to him explain about how he became pro-life, and you know, it's interesting, a lot of people in the media accuse Mitt Romney of being a flip-flopper because he used to be pro-choice and now he's pro life.

"For most people in the pro-life movement, they don't see it that way because many of them used to be prochoice and they've become prolife. Some of them when they became parents, some of them when they had a religious awakening, some of them just based on the sheer evidence of the humanity of the unborn child in the womb. And so they see this not as a flip flop but as seeing the light.

"So Mitt Romney would be a perfectly acceptable candidate to most pro-life voters."

Dr. Richard Land is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, a post he has held since 1988.(Newsweek/Washington Post)

Massachusetts' pro life leaders felt such an injustice in the flip flop and other inaccurate portrayals of Mitt Romney that one year before the 2008 presidential primary they wrote an open letter stating,

"Some press accounts and bloggers have described Governor Romney in terms we neither have observed nor can we accept. To the contrary, we, who have been fighting here for the values you also hold, are indebted to him..."

adobe

(For more info on the letter, click here)

"Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who is weighing a White House bid, dismissed criticism that he has flip-flopped on the issues of gay marriage and abortion and reaffirmed his opposition to both.

" ''Like the vast majority of Americans, I've opposed same-sex marriage, but I've also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference,'' Romney said...

"During that same [1994 senate] campaign, Romney also stated his personal opposition to abortion, but said he would not seek to change state abortion laws."

"I wish to remind Fox News that “flip-flopping” requires you to change your mind, some would argue, as I would, change it more than once on an issue, hence FLIP and FLOP. I do not see Romney flip-flopping, maybe he flipped, but he certainly hasn't flopped. We must all understand when people change their minds on issues, or amplify their responses, they are making a correction in their lives. Its better to admit that you were wrong in my opinion, that is respectable. Romney's competitors have flipped and even flopped on numerous occasions. We can't hold many of these against them. If a candidate wishes to change their mind on the issue to agree 100% with me, then I am all for that. Maybe they read these articles."

"In a wide-ranging interview with the Globe a week after announcing he will not seek reelection, Romney insisted he has remained consistent throughout his tenure in the corner office, adhering to positions he staked out in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

"The governor also pledged that any presidential ambitions he harbors will not dictate his agenda on Beacon Hill.

" ''The Boston media will be intent on trying to show that I have changed positions and moved right,'' the governor said. ''It does that distorting effort on a regular basis. It will also ignore those positions that are inconsistent with that view.''...

"In the interview yesterday, he said he has always maintained that he would not change the abortion laws in Massachusetts and has kept that promise.

"He also said that in 2002 he made clear he opposed the legalization of same-sex marriages and civil unions, positions he has touted in speeches to GOP groups around the country.

" ''The truth is that those are the positions I espoused during my [2002] campaign, and I have worked entirely consistent with those positions,'' he said."

"Mitt Romney's not a flip-flopper on abortion after all, a top Democratic campaign group said Saturday.

"Priorities USA, the pro-President Obama political organization led by a former White House press aide, argued in a memo that the Republican presidential candidate has been pro-life all along -- throughout his time as governor of Massachusetts and as a two-time presidential candidate.

"The memo, for the time being anyway, shelves the argument popular among Democrats and GOP critics alike that Romney is a nebulous figure who shifts his political positions depending on which office he's seeking...

"At the same time, he [Priorities USA founder] discarded the popular line of attack that Romney is wishy-washy. Establishing that Romney's current stance on abortion is his long-held stance on abortion poses a risk for Democrats -- since that could endear him to social conservatives in key early election states like Iowa and South Carolina."

[10] "Mr. Romney says he supports a woman's right to abortion but opposes forcing states to help pay for the procedures, except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother's health."

"In fact, Romney has always had a complicated relationship with pro-lifers. [In] His run against Kennedy in 1994, ... Romney retained the Massachusetts Citizens for Life endorsement because he supported parental-consent laws, opposed taxpayer-funded abortion or mandatory abortion coverage under a national health insurance plan and was against the Freedom of Choice Act that would have codified Roe (later in the campaign, he said might be willing to support another version of the legislation)."

Because even in 1994 he opposed abortion funding, opposed abortion always being legal and favored restrictions on abortion, Ted Kennedy proclaimed in a 1994 debate "I have supported Roe v. Wade. I am pro-choice; my opponent is multiple choice."

[11] "According to his written response to an abortion-rights group questionnaire, Romney supports a ban on partial-birth abortions".

[12][15] "One of the leading issues in Romney's race was abortion: O'Brien proposed changing state law to let 16-year-old girls end their pregnancies without parental consent. Romney took a different tack. ''I promised that if elected, I'd call a truce — a moratorium, if you will,'' he says. ''I vowed to veto any legislation that sought to change the existing rules.'' That may have made him operationally pro-choice — ''I fully respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose,'' he said during the campaign — but none of the major pro-abortion groups would have anything to do with him. Instead, they flocked to O'Brien. Romney wound up beating her by five points."

[13] ''When Romney ran for governor in 2002, ... He promised voters that he would honor a "moratorium," meaning he would not try to move state abortion law in one direction or the other, and he's kept his word. Romney speaks of the moratorium as an act of deference to "an overwhelmingly pro-choice state" and not as reflecting any commitment he might still have to a pro-abortion rights position.''

"I pledged that I would not change our abortion laws either to restrict abortion or to facilitate it...

"I will honor the commitment I made during my campaign: While I do not favor abortion, I will not change the state's abortion laws...

"Because Massachusetts is decidedly prochoice, I have respected the state's democratically held view. I have not attempted to impose my own views on the prochoice majority."

In the 2002 election, "His Democratic gubernatorial rival Shannon O'Brien characterized his abortion position as ''flip-flop-flip.'' He fired back with characteristic nuance: ''On a personal basis, I don't favor abortion. However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect the right of a woman to choose under the law of the country and the laws of the commonwealth.'' "

"Romney pledged to not change the state's abortion laws, which some abortion rights advocates interpreted as a sign he supported their position. He has since declared himself an abortion opponent, and the abortion rights advocates now say they want the next governor to speak out on the issue boldly."

"Romney said he had vetoed the emergency contraception bill to fulfill his 2002 campaign promise not to change state abortion laws."

"In the interview yesterday, he said he has always maintained that he would not change the abortion laws in Massachusetts and has kept that promise."

[14] "As governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change. The choice to have an abortion is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the government's."

[16] "Romney's pledge not to change abortion law was absolutely brilliant. The political realities of Massachusetts make pro-life policy victories virtually impossible in the heavily Democratic legislature. By refusing to change abortion laws, Romney launched a strategic effort to keep the commonwealth from further liberalizing abortion policy, including the age of parental consent proposal."

[17] ''California Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim, another top GOP figure who's met Romney several times, adds, "He seems to have the ability to disagree with people without being disagreeable." ''

[18] "He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."

(" 'The quote in the National Review article was not what I meant to communicate,' [Michael Murphy] wrote on the letterhead of his Washington-based firm yesterday. 'I was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use. I regret the quote and any confusion it might have caused.' " - Boston Herald - Jun 3, 2005 (link has expired). Apparently National Review didn't buy that since it reprinted his quote in the December article.)

[19] "GOV. ROMNEY: My position has changed and I have acknowledged that."

"LOPEZ: Does that mean you were “faking it” — as one former adviser has suggested — as a pro-choicer in your previous political campaigns?

"GOV. ROMNEY: I believe people will see that as governor, when I had to examine and grapple with this difficult issue, I came down on the side of life. I know in the four years I have served as governor I have learned and grown from the exposure to the thousands of good-hearted people who are working to change the culture in our country. I’m committed to promoting the culture of life. Like Ronald Reagan, and Henry Hyde, and others who became pro-life, I had this issue wrong in the past."

[20] ''When Romney ran for governor in 2002, he maintained his position on Roe, but also indicated that he didn't want to be known as "pro-choice." He promised voters that he would honor a "moratorium," meaning he would not try to move state abortion law in one direction or the other, and he's kept his word. Romney speaks of the moratorium as an act of deference to "an overwhelmingly pro-choice state" and not as reflecting any commitment he might still have to a pro-abortion rights position.''

[20b] "Romney has described himself as ''personally prolife,'' but some conservatives view him as less than stalwart in his opposition to abortion, given his 2002 pledge not to curb access to it."

See also 2nd and 3rd entries under [22]

[21] "My position has changed and I have acknowledged that... I had this issue wrong in the past."

"You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I’ve said that time and time again. I changed my position. When I was governor and when I faced an issue of a life or death, when the first time a bill came to my desk that related to the life of an unborn child, I came down on the side of life...

"Probably from a political standpoint and a personal standpoint, the greatest mistake was when I first ran for office, being deeply opposed to abortion but saying, “I support the current law,” which was pro-choice and effectively a pro-choice position. That was just wrong. And when I became a governor and faced a life-and-death decision as a governor, I came down on the side of life. That was a mistake before that."

[22] "Recruited by the Massachusetts GOP to run for governor in 2002, Romney presented himself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate. He opposed new taxes, but also pledged not to change the state's abortion laws".

"Questioned about his position on abortion, Romney--who has painted himself as a moderate on social issues--said although he was personally opposed to abortion, he would not impose his personal beliefs on the public.

" ''I believe abortion should be made safe and legal in the U.S.,'' Romney said. ''My personal beliefs should not be brought into this campaign.'' "

"During his 1994 run for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, Romney put a moderate spin on his position, explaining that while he personally opposed abortion, he became a supporter of keeping the procedure legal when a relative died after an illegal abortion."

[23] “In 2001, he declared ... "Abortion is the wrong choice, but under the law it is a choice people have." ” (Mitt Romney)

[24] » Please see "Pro-Life Record as Governor" section for these references.

[25] "Governor Romney has taken the pro-life position on every abortion-related issue he's faced since being elected:

"He vetoed an emergency contraception bill and offered a compelling case for life in the process.

"He fought efforts to advance embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts, despite overwhelming opposition.

"He pledged to veto any effort to expand access to RU-486, the abortion pill.

"He has faced constant ridicule from pro-abortion organizations for refusing to give in to their demands.

"He actively promotes abstinence education programs in Massachusetts' schools."

"Romney said he had vetoed the emergency contraception bill to fulfill his 2002 campaign promise not to change state abortion laws."

[26] "The next governor will also face pressure to address a Romney administration program that funnels about $800,000 annually into abstinence-only sex education lessons in public schools."

[27] "You can't be a prolife governor in a prochoice state without understanding that there are heartfelt and thoughtful arguments on both sides of the question...

"In some respects, these convictions have evolved and deepened during my time as governor.

"In considering the issue of embryo cloning and embryo farming, I saw where the harsh logic of abortion can lead -- to the view of innocent new life as nothing more than research material or a commodity to be exploited."

"The article is the governor's most detailed discussion of his hardening position on abortion...

"Evelyn Reilly, director of public policy for the Massachusetts Family Institute, ... [said] ''I think his understanding of the beginning of human life has grown and deepened, probably as a result of the stem-cell issue''. "

"In the course of the stem-cell-research debate I met with a pair of experts from Harvard. At one point the experts pointed out that embryonic-stem-cell research should not be a moral issue because the embryos were destroyed at 14 days. After the meeting I looked over at Beth Myers, my chief of staff, and we both had exactly the same reaction — it just hit us hard just how much the sanctity of life had been cheapened by virtue of the Roe v. Wade mentality. And from that point forward, I said to the people of Massachusetts, “I will continue to honor what I pledged to you, but I prefer to call myself pro-life.” The state of Massachusetts is a pro-choice state and when I campaigned for governor I said that I would not change the law on abortion. But I do believe that the one-size-fits-all, abortion-on-demand-for-all-nine-months decision in Roe v. Wade does not serve the country well and is another example of judges making the law instead of interpreting the Constitution...

"I believe people will see that as governor, when I had to examine and grapple with this difficult issue, I came down on the side of life. I know in the four years I have served as governor I have learned and grown from the exposure to the thousands of good-hearted people who are working to change the culture in our country. I’m committed to promoting the culture of life. Like Ronald Reagan, and Henry Hyde, and others who became pro-life, I had this issue wrong in the past."

[28] "We believe that Romney is a natural ally of social conservatives. He speaks often about the toll of fatherlessness in this country. He may not have thought deeply about the political dimensions of social issues until, as governor, he was confronted with the cutting edge of social liberalism. No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage. He was on the right side of both issues, . . ."

(See also previous references, and specifically references [9] which refute claims of a flip flop and [13] which documents what he did promise then do.)

                                                                                                                  


Pro-life Leader's Statement:

Dr. John Willke

Dr. John Willke— President of Life Issues Institute
• Founder, 22 year President-
International Right to Life Federation,
• Co-founder, 10 year President (not current)-
National Right to Life Committee

"The doctor known as the founder of the pro-life movement has endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination...

" “Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action in defending life,” Dr. Willke said. “Every decision he made as governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life president we need in the White House, Governor Romney is the only candidate who can lead our pro-life and pro-family conservative movement to victory in 2008.”...

"Dr. Willke, helped found the National Right To Life Committee and served for 10 years as its president. Dr. Willke serves as president of the Life Issues Institute, Inc., and president of the International Right to Life Federation.

"Dr. Willke a physician, had a daily radio program that was carried on over 300 radio stations for 20 years. His one-minute radio comments, entitled "Life Jewels," were carried on over 750 stations in English and 300 more in Spanish. He has written eleven books, and is a lecturer and a frequent television and radio show guest. His works have been published in 32 languages, and he and his wife Barbara have lectured in 76 countries."

(See also the following link for his credentials)

National Right to Life Political Action Committee (PAC) statement:

"National Right to Life also appreciates the pro-life position taken in this presidential campaign by former governor Mitt Romney."

(archived page — data on original link expired)