Terrence Jeffrey for CNSNews.com writes,
A defining moment in Mitt Romney’s post-pro-life-conversion political career came in his third year as governor of Massachusetts, when he decided Catholic hospitals would be required under his interpretation of a new state law to give rape victims a drug that can induce abortions.
Romney announced this decision — saying it was the “right thing for hospitals” to do — just two days after he had taken the opposite position.
The story begins in 1975, when Massachusetts enacted a law that said, “No privately controlled hospital .. shall be required to permit any patient to have an abortion … or to furnish contraceptive devices or information to such patient … when said services or referrals are contrary to the religious or moral principles of said hospital … .”
Twenty-seven years later, when Romney was running for governor, he filled out a questionnaire for NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. It said: “Emergency contraception does not cause abortion. Rather, it prevents pregnancy from occurring. Will you support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception?”
Romney said: “Yes.”
The next year, the Massachusetts legislature considered an “emergency contraception” mandate. It would have allowed pharmacists to sell Plan B — an abortifacient — without a prescription and without parental consent. It also would have required all hospitals to inform rape victims of the availability of such “emergency contraceptives” and provide them to the rape victim if she wanted them even when they would cause an abortion.
After a long explanation of the course of the proposed legislation, Romney’s constant promises to maintain and uphold the 1975 protection throughout that process, and Romney’s assurance that the law as passed would not harm that provision, Jeffrey reveals an abrupt about-face in the end. The Boston Globe editorial and other liberals attacked Romney’s position, and he caved to them:
The same day the Globe ran its editorial, Romney held a press conference. Now he said his legal counsel had advised him the new emergency contraception law did trump the 1975 conscience law.
“On that basis, I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view,” Romney said. “In my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.”
A true leader would have said: I will defend the First Amendment right of Catholics to freely exercise their religion — against those who would force them to participate in abortions — all the way to the Supreme Court.