February 2, 2012

Surprise!

Pro-life Romney required Catholic hospitals to administer morning after pill for rape victims.

Because, well, states rights, I guess. CNS:

The [MA] House had included language to “expressly apply” the 1975 conscience law protections to the new emergency contraception law, the bulletin explained. The Senate had included language saying the new law should apply “notwithstanding” any existing law.

“In the end, neither amendment was included in the bill,” said the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. “Even though the House amendment was taken out, the Senate amendment was rejected too. By avoiding the worse-case scenario of adding the Senate’s ‘notwithstanding’ language, Catholic hospitals achieved a substantial victory. House Majority Leader John Rogers, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to defend the hospitals’ right of conscience, made it clear during floor debate on July 21 that the House blocked the Senate amendment so that the 1975 conscience statute would continue to have full effect.”

“[S]ince the new bill does not expressly nullify the older statute,” the bulletin concluded, “the conscience protection on the books still remains in force.”

The conference provided me with a copy of this bulletin, and Rogers assured me its account was “accurate and true.”

The Catholic Church still opposed the bill because it would facilitate abortions. But at least the religious liberty of Catholic hospitals had been preserved — or so it seemed.

On July 25, 2005, Romney vetoed the bill — even though it was clear his veto would be overridden.

He published an op-ed in the Boston Globe the next day explaining his decision. “The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception,” he wrote. “The drug it authorizes would also terminate life after conception.” Romney said the veto kept his pledge not to change the state’s abortion laws.

Romney made no mention of the religious liberty issue in his op-ed. But then, the bill, as the Massachusetts Catholic Conference and the House majority leader understood it, did not allow coercion of Catholic hospitals.

On Dec. 7, 2005, a week before the law was to take effect, the Boston Globe ran a piece headlined: “Private Hospitals Exempt on Pill Law.” The article said the state Department of Public Health had determined that the emergency contraception law “does not nullify a statute passed years ago that says privately run hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception.”

Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. told the Globe: “We felt very clearly that the two laws don’t cancel each other out and basically work in harmony with each other.”

Romney spokesman Fehrnstrom told the Globe that Romney agreed with the Department of Public Health on the issue. The governor, he said, “respects the views of health care facilities that are guided by moral principles on this issue.”

“The staff of DPH did their own objective and unbiased legal analysis,” Romney’s spokesman told the Globe. “The brought it to us, and we concur in it.”

The Globe itself ruefully bowed to this legal analysis. It ran an editorial headlined: “A Plan B Mistake.” “The legislators failed, however,” the Globe said, “to include wording in the bill explicitly repealing a clause in an older statute that gives hospitals the right, for reasons of conscience, not to offer birth control services.”

Liberals joined in attacking Romney’s defense of Catholic hospitals. But that defense did not last long.

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.

Well, a true conservative leader.

But Romney is not that, no matter how much Ann Coulter or Donald Trump or Bob Dole and John McCain try to tell me so.

If the GOP establishment and their attendants succeed in pushing Romney for the nomination, the Republican nominee against Barack Obama will share with the President the following:

1) both backed the stimulus
2) both backed TARP
3) both back cap and trade
4) both believe it is the role of capitalism to create jobs for the working man, not as a product but as a motivation
5) both support the federal minimum wage
6) both supported gun control
7) both support an individual mandate
8) both support state-run health care
9) both believe that religious conscience laws are trumped by all-encompassing state mandates

Etc.

As the list continues to grow — and as we’re told hectored more forcefully about our obligation to support the “inevitable” “electable” Romney by Republicans who are either willing to settle, or else who desperately want to protect the DC status quo — my plan is to turn the tables on these “pragmatic” and “sophisticated” GOP voters and ask them why on earth I, as a classical liberal / legal conservative, would pull the lever for a progressive who quite evidently believes in government solutions to problems that are themselves already largely caused by governmental intrusion into the lives of individuals?

Romney has learned to mouth bits and pieces from the Declaration and the Constitution. But that’s all for show. As is, I’m coming to believe, the conservative platform of the Republican Party.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:12am
16 comments | Trackback

Comments (16)

  1. The focus should be on your Congresscritters, then.

    Actually, that would be no less true if somehow Newt had the upper hand.

    Remember this is the same Newt who attacked Mitt from the LEFT on one too many issues, immigration and Bain Capital come to mind, to say nothing of the man made global warming hoax.

  2. Jeff, we were willing to overlook your unhelpfulness yesterday because it was your birthday and all, but really — we just can’t tolerate this sort of behavior any further. Now, why don’t you sit down and be quiet, and think good and hard about how hurtful your words are to others who just want to do what’s best for you.

    There’s a good boy.

  3. Obama sez Jesus is down with taking your stuff.

  4. Pretty sure you could do a similar list on Gingrich. He’s just as big government as Romney. Every time he claims he’s not part of the Establishment, I laugh.

    Mitt stuck his foot in his mouth again with his answer about the minimum wage. I wonder if Mitt keeps making stupid comments, if we could see a Santorum surge. I’d like to see that, if for no other reason than it might dawn on Romney that he needs to secure his base and stop saying idiotic things. Maybe its just me but I think Gingrich is done, nationally- I’d be interested to see where Newt’s voters would go – I assume the majority would go to Santorum. Santorum, imho, would be a better “Not Romney” candidate to rally behind then Gingrich.

  5. Pretty sure you could do a similar list on Gingrich. He’s just as big government as Romney. Every time he claims he’s not part of the Establishment, I laugh.

    I have done one.

    What Gingrich has going for him over Romney is that he’s embracing the conservative moment and acting like a conservative. And he’s done so in the past as well, as his time with Reagan and his Contract w/ America attests.

    I’ve said I’ll vote for Gingrich if he’s the nominee, but I’m backing Santorum now. Have been pretty much since Bachmann bowed out.

  6. Mitt stuck his foot in his mouth again with his answer about the minimum wage.

    No he didn’t. That was Mitt trying to get his foot out of his mouth after the “I’m not concerned about the very poor” kefuffle erupted.

    See, I do care about the poor. I care more than those other Republicans

    Mitt’s instinct is to conciliate the Left, not oppose it. That doesn’t bode well.

  7. Actually, I think I heard Mitt has been a proponent for raising the minimum wage before. The man needs to read some Sowell.

  8. Yes, Mitt and Teddy Kennedy both agreed that raising the minimum wage was a cure to what ails us.

  9. How about we just abolish the private sector for the fairness.

  10. Give them time, geoff.

  11. No he didn’t. That was Mitt trying to get his foot out of his mouth after the “I’m not concerned about the very poor” kefuffle erupted.

    And do you see how the media is running that over and over and over? Me neither.

  12. Lee, that just makes it worse in my opinion.

  13. How about we just abolish the private sector for the fairness.

    Can’t do that, geoffb. Without a private sector, the opportunities for graft are significantly reduced and the pols have to rely on bureaucratic inefficiencies to fund their 0.01%er lifestyles.

  14. In the last few hours, Romney contradicted that in a podcast interview with Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith of Instapundit fame.

    “I know that a lot of the gun rights folks aren’t sure about your position on gun rights,” asked Smith. “Would you pledge to veto any new gun control bills that come across your desk as President?”

    “Yeah,” Romney said. “Yeah, I don’t support any gun control legislation, the effort for a new assault weapons ban, with a ban on semi-automatic weapons, is something I would oppose. There’s no new legislation that I’m aware of or have heard of that I would support. In regards to guns, I think we have enough legislation and should enforce the laws as they exist. I was pleased that when I ran for Governor that I received the endorsement of the NRA and I hope to receive their support now.”

    In addition to that apparent flip flop, it should be noted that the NRA did NOT endorse Romney when he ran for governor, as his campaign acknowledged when he said it last December.

    This is a rank untruth Mr. Romney continues to peddle.

    Said Mr. Reynolds: “I’m beginning to question his sincerity.”

    *

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