If you know anything about Mitt Romney’s history on the issue of abortion, this isn’t exactly surprising. As late as 2002, Romney was pledging to protect Roe v. Wade and proclaiming a “woman’s right to choose.” It wasn’t until his 2007 run for President that he suddenly transformed into a pro-life warrior. That was all part of his hilarious “severely conservative” shtick he was doing at the time. Those were certainly simpler times.
This morning, Romney was on CNN (because some Republicans never learn) and he was asked about Alabama’s new abortion law.
Mitt is not a fan.
“I don’t support the Alabama law,” says Sen. @MittRomney on the state’s strict abortion law. “I think something much more toward the center makes a lot more sense.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ENoSPiQb4I
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) May 19, 2019
I am pro-life, but…I believe there ought to be exceptions for rape, and incest, and where the life of the mother is at risk. But look, you’re seeing laws on both sides of this argument that are in the extreme,” Sen. Romney told the host. “And whether it’s New York and Virginia, or whether it’s Alabama and Missouri, people have gone to the wings if you will. I don’t think that’s productive and something much more toward the center makes a lot more sense.”
I can almost stomach the argument we are hearing from some pro-lifers that they oppose all abortion but think an incremental approach is the most effective strategy. I think that argument is specious and ignores that voters are not going to keep putting up with the Republican grift forever. I’m of the opinion that it’s time to take the shot. Clearance Thomas could drop dead in 2021 from a heart attack with a Democrat as President. If we end up bumping into new precedent, who cares? That wall was always going to be run into anyway. Might as well get it over with so the voters know where they stand and can make an informed decision going forward.
What Romney’s doing here isn’t even an argument for incrementalism though. He’s actually equating an abortion ban, i.e. the stopping of killing babies, to a law that allows for infanticide. What kind of moral judgement is that?
Also, Missouri’s law is a heartbeat bill, the same as several other states, and it has exceptions for rape and incest. So what is Romney even talking about by mentioning it in the same context as the Alabama law? Is he against heartbeat bills too? I wouldn’t think so, but I can’t decipher exactly what his position is at this point.
In other words, it’s another day in the life of Mitt Romney.
This is why this guy isn’t President. He’s not willing to stand for anything. You’d think a very religious, “severe” conservative like Romney, who’s constantly preaching morality, could be counted on to stand for life when the battle heats up, but nope. He goes on CNN to oppose a pro-life law while asking for something in the center, whatever that means.
Here’s my issue with all of this and the current abortion debate in general. A lot of Republicans are softer on abortion than they like to admit and they’ve had to own that the last few days. I get the political and legal calculations at play so that was to be expected and I know some have good intentions. What I don’t get is someone like Mitt Romney saying it’s “extreme” to want to end the killing of children in the womb while equating it to laws that allow infanticide. You either believe that a fetus is a human being who’s life holds value or you don’t.
Just like slavery, there isn’t really any moral “center” or middle ground in such an argument. If you think it’s acceptable to kill a child in certain circumstances then you’ve essentially forfeited your right to claim it’s wrong in other circumstances. Regardless, even if Romney wants to hold such a view (plenty on the right do), the least he could do is not go on CNN and undercut his own side. Just shut up about it instead of adopting Democrat rhetoric about Alabama’s abortion law being “extreme.”
Romney had a chance to stand tall here. Instead he did what he always does. He folded back to the center where he feels most comfortable and in doing so he’ll make no one happy.