By Tom Quiner
With Catholic and other faith-based organizations under attack by President Obama and his Mandate (see “Why Obama just shot himself in the foot”), pro-lifers are looking for a candidate who will go to the mat for their cause.
Will Mitt Romney?
Pro lifers trust Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on the subject. They have track records that back up their rhetoric.
Mitt Romney says all the right things … today. He has changed his position on this issue in the past, and we desperately want to believe him.
His track record makes it hard.
You see, Mr. Romney threw Catholic hospitals under the bus when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Non Catholic readers of Quiner’s Diner need to understand the Church’s position on Life. We believe life begins at conception.
Some of our non Catholic readers think it begins at the first sign of a heartbeat. Some think it begins at viability, and some believe it begins at birth.
Catholics don’t. We believe that regardless of the means of conception, even in cases of rape, we are dealing with a human being at conception, that personhood is bestowed at that beautiful instant when soul and flesh join.
The Massachusetts legislature was more sensitive to this Catholic perspective back in the 70s. They enacted a law in 1975 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 … .”
When Mr. Romney was Governor, the now solidly liberal legislature hardened their position and tried to pass a bill that required all hospitals, including private Catholic ones, to inform rape victims of the availability of an abortion pill.
The Senate passed it. The House blocked it.
As the legislature wrangled over the bill, Mr. Romney refused to take any leadership. He refused to comment, only saying that he would review it when it arrived at his desk.
The bill finally passed, and Mr. Romney, to his credit, vetoed it. The veto-proof legislature over rode his veto. Nonetheless, Mr. Romney said it was a bad bill because:
“The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception, the drug it authorizes would also terminate life after conception.”
The Department of Public Health determined that the new law “does not nullify a statute passed years ago that says privately run hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception.”
That meant Catholic hospitals were still safe, safe. that is, until Liberals started screaming about the conscience protection afforded on the basis of Catholic faith.
He said the conscience protection bill passed in 1975 no longer applied.
He authorized the implementation of the law with these words:
“… I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view. 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.”
The time it took for him to veto the bill … and then do an about face was a mere two days.
When Governor Romney could uphold religious liberty, he caved.
Will a President Romney cave?