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Romney's Abortion Flip-Flop

March 10, 2006

The reaction to the draconian new restrictions on women's reproductive rights in South Dakota tells us a lot about the coming contest for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Virginia Senator George Allen wholeheartedly endorsed South Dakota's direct challenge to Roe. In his run to the right, John McCain tried to have it both ways. Most predictable, Mitt Romney confirmed the 2005 assessment of his advisor Michael Murphy that "he's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."
Last week, spokesperson Julie Teer laid out Romney's position of the South Dakota abortion ban, "If Gov. Romney were the governor of South Dakota he would sign it. The governor believes that states should have the right to be pro-life if that is the will of the people."
Of course, that's not what Romney has been telling the voters of Massachusetts since 1994. In his failed '94 Senate race against Ted Kennedy, the Mormon and presumptively pro-life Romney declared that abortion should be "safe and legal in this country."
Romney's abortion fraud became essential to his successful 2002 gubernatorial run. Romney, a Mormon who had only recently moved back to Massachusetts from a stint running the Winter Olympics in Utah, defused the issue in the pro-choice Commonwealth by proclaiming "I believe women should have the right to make their own choice." His tack then was to avoid changing the status quo:

"I promised that if elected, I'd call a truce - a moratorium, if you will...I vowed to veto any legislation that sought to change the existing rules...I fully respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose."

On abortion and reproductive rights, Romney now claims that he has "evolved" and that "my political philosophy is pro-life."
Of course it is. The 2008 Republican presidential primaries are less than two years away.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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