romneychoice.jpgIn Part 2 of National Review’s interview with Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor defends his abortion turnabout, from adamantly pro-choice to adamantly pro-life. Interviewer Byron York argues that Romney’s habit of glossing over the particulars of his transformation continues to fuel doubts about his sincerity in the pro-life camp. Here’s the most telling exchange:

But the reason skepticism remains is that Romney had seemed so decisively pro-choice as recently as the 2002 gubernatorial campaign. I read him the statement he made in a questionnaire sent to him that year by the National Abortion Rights Action League. “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose,” he told NARAL. “This choice is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government’s.”
“That sounds like a philosophical position,” I said, “something that you came to because of your belief in the relationship of people to their government.”
“‘Philosophical’ is perhaps the right term,” Romney answered, “in that it’s very interesting philosophically to talk about something in an abstract manner, and then when you become governor, philosophy reaches reality. And I was asked to sign a bill that would take human life, and I simply would not do that and could not do that.” Later, Romney also vetoed a bill concerning “morning-after” contraception.
As we talked, I began a question, “If I could separate stem cells from abortion — “
Romney quickly interrupted. “You can’t, can you?”
“Well, there are laws that deal with stem cells,” I said, “and then there is Roe itself.”
“Well, they both relate to the sanctity of human life.”
“But your position was, as far as a woman’s right to have an abortion is concerned, that you would protect that and that you believed that Roe should be protected.”
“I’m not sure what your question is,” Romney said, growing visibly irritated. “I changed my view. Is that so difficult to understand?”

For Byron York, God-o-Meter, and others political obsessives, the answer to Romney’s question is yes. We’ll find out in a couple months if pro-life voters feel differently.


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