Not surprisingly, the country’s oldest pro-abortion political organization, NARAL, threw their weight behind the current occupant of the White House last week. The group’s statement went on to allege that the President’s opponent, Governor Mitt Romney, supports what they called a “personhood ban.” With this enthusiastic endorsement, and the claim about Governor Romney’s position, one prominent pro-life organization, Personhood USA, says that those advocating for the protection of every human life are obliged to examine the Republican frontrunner’s record.
Planned Parenthood also recently published a fact sheet claiming that the Governor has openly supported personhood in both of his presidential runs. The page references a television appearance on Gov. Mike Huckabee’s show in which Romney answered “absolutely” when asked if he would have been willing to support a Massachusetts constitutional amendment defining life as beginning at conception. The nation’s leading abortion providers continue, charging that “Personhood groups view Romney as a supporter” and that “Romney meets Personhood USA’s criteria for support.”
Conversely, Personhood USA released a Presidential Pledge in December in which candidates were asked to commit to supporting and advancing the personhood rights of the preborn. Five presidential hopefuls signed the pledge including Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Ron Paul, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Governor Rick Perry. Notably absent from the list is Governor Romney.
The pro-abortion group’s summaries of Romney’s record are spotty. They note his veto of a 2004 bill that would have expanded access to the abortifacient “morning after pill,” but they fail to mention his complete reversal just three months later. Not only did Romney sign a measure into law expanding access to the “morning after pill” and increasing funding for abortion clinics, he penned an executive order requiring Catholic hospitals to administer the abortifacient drug.
Several groups have pointed to Romney’s veto of a bill that would have furthered the practice of embryo-destructive research. What often goes unreported is that he offered proponents of the legislation a way forward. Speaking a press conference in February of 2005, he told reporters:
“All of the rhetoric has been, ‘We are throwing away embryos–surplus embryos–that could be used for stem-cell research and that makes no sense. …And now, now that I’ve said, ‘Ok, I support that,’ now [the other side says], ‘No, that’s insufficient. How could you possibly limit it to that?’ Well, that’s what they’ve been asking for.”
In 2006, the Governor signed the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act into law with $50 surgical abortion co-pays. His signature also gave Planned Parenthood a seat on the advisory board granting them the authority to help craft the standards. All of the available plans now offer free elective abortion according to the state’s health care website.
“Since his pro-life conversion, Governor Romney has repeatedly missed opportunities to stand for life. As a movement our only obligation is to the truth, and the truth is personhood groups could only support Governor Romney if his position was clear,” said Keith Mason President of Personhood USA. “If what Planned Parenthood and NARAL are saying is true, it should be an easy decision to sign a pledge to stand with President Reagan in defending ‘the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.’ The time has come to make his views known, and it is our hope that he will align himself and his campaign with those committed to justice for all.”