Monday, August 27, 2012


A Scott Pelley interview of Mitt Romney airs on CBS tonight, and the network has posted this excerpt:

... "My position has been clear throughout this campaign," Romney said. "I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother."
Now, we know that when Romney was running for office in Massachusetts, he was pro-choice. That was position #1. Since then, he's had three others. In this campaign cycle, at one point when he was asked by Mike Huckabee on Fox News whether he would have supported "a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception" -- which, by definition would make all abortions murder -- Romney said, Absolutely." That's #2.

His official position on abortion (#3) has been one of opposition except in cases of rape and incest, and to protect the life of the mother -- but not her health. So what Romney said to Scott Pelley of CBS appears to be his third abortion position of the campaign, and his fourth since he entered public life.

A shift on the health exception is not trivial -- certainly not to anti-abortion zealots such as ... er, his running mate. In 2000, on the House floor, Ryan said a health exception to a bill banning "partial-birth" abortion would be "a loophole wide enough to drive a mack truck through. The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless."

Anti-abortion absolutists hate the health exemption. As one anti-abortion site puts it:
Pro-abortion doctors have for years considered a "troubled mind" an "impairment of a major bodily function." That is why pro-abortionists pretend to accept "moderate" measures, as long as they include a "health" exception; they know that the exception can be used to allow any abortion at all.
So which of Mitt Romney's three recent positions on abortion should we really believe he holds? Which should religious right voters believe he holds?


In the interview airing tonight, Romney also says this:
"Recognize this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court," he said. "The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It's been settled for some time in the courts."
Except that wrote in 2011 that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and contrary to the Constitution. He vowed to appoint only judges who'd uphold the Constitution (as he reads it). So won't the Supreme Court after a few years of a Romney presidency conclude that Roe is unconstitutional and overturn it?

On the other hand, if I were anti-abortion, right now I'd be saying: So, Mitt, you really believe Roe is settled law? And you want my vote? Seriously?


Victor said...

Mitt's held more positions on EVERY political position than an 80 year old sex-worker with over 75 years in the business.

Not wonder Jenna Jameson supports him!

Joseph Nobles said...

Mitt is obviously tired and slipped into "running for MA governor" abortion boilerplate. Kinda early for him to be phoning it in, right?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Nobody thinks of overturning Roe without overturning Griswold.

And any court that would overturn Griswold would overturn the series of liberal 20th Century First Amendment decisions that made it impossible to keep sex out of the culture via state, federal, or even local law.

And then you can say goodbye to the sexual revolution, all the way back to the days when most states permitted no divorce, or divorce only for infidelity.

"War on women"?

You ain't seen nuthin', yet.

Steve M. said...

They're not going to overturn Griswold. Rich Republicans like to have sex. They're not going to make their trophy wives have to go underground for birth control -- that's not like abortion, which is a once-in-a-great-while need for them, one that can be dealt with by putting Trophy Wife on a plane to a civilized country. Birth control is an ongoing need. Loretta Lynn sang a song of praise to the pill. They won't ban it.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Rich Repubicans don't sit on the court and more than one conservative has already explained it ain't about Roe, it's about the fictitious right to privacy invented by Griswold.

Steve M. said...

Rich Repubicans don't sit on the court

Yeah, but the Republicans who do sit on the Court get their marching orders from rich Republicans, occasionally in person at Koch brothers retreats.

Steve M. said...

Sorry -- I admit I could be totally wrong about this. But it's my sense that Republicans incessantly go after abortion (sluts who slip up must pay!), and now go after anything that makes birth control affordable (if you have money trouble, you deserve the consequences), but I haven't seen them overtly try to make birth control utterly unavailable (at least to those who can afford it), any more than they ever actually go after porn, despite all their talk. Their sex-phobia seems to have its limits.