1. Health
Dawn Stacey M.Ed, LMHC

Avoid an "Unintended Presidency” - Know your Republican Choices: Mitt Romney

By September 18, 2007

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Let me introduce you to Mitt Romney, Republican.

Okay...it may take a bit of unraveling to figure out what this guy is all about. On the surface, it appears as if Mr. Romney is doing everything he can to be crowned with the title of most conservative man on earth. This may not be such a bad thing (for him), yet when one takes the time to delve into his public positions and actions over the years, it seems rather peculiar that this man basically spent the better part of his career governing as a liberal. This should lead any potential voter to wonder, if perhaps, his new found conservatism has more to do with his presidential candidacy than about what he truly believes in.

According to RH RealityCheck, former Governor Mitt Romney has a reputation for flip-flopping on reproductive health issues. "In fact, attempting to grasp Romney's position on abortion rights is like trying to catch a fish covered in oil bare-handed - you'll never get a firm grip on it. In 1994, while enjoying the support of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Romney nobly declared that '...as a nation we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want...and not to impose our beliefs on other people. I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country.' In 2002, when running for Governor of Massachusetts, Romney declared again that he was pro-choice and would protect a woman's right to choose. Meanwhile, he was once again endorsed by Massachusetts Citizens For Life for his support of parental consent laws, opposition to tax-payer funded abortion and the Freedom of Choice Act" (Amie Newman, RH Reality Check).

Romney doesn't have a federal voting record on reproductive choice; however, as governor he initially conveyed pro-choice beliefs yet had a generally anti-choice record. And consider this, in 2002 Mr. Romney endorsed legalization of RU-486 (the abortion pill), yet just 3 years later, he vetoed legislation that would have ensured emergency contraception for rape victims (WHAT? Am I missing something here...how come 1+1 is not equaling 2)? But wait - in an attempt to receive the endorsement of the National Right to Life group, Romney goes on to proudly tell its members that he already has practice "redefining contraception", by vetoing an emergency contraception bill that gave young girls access to Plan B without prescription or parental consent. Given that emergency contraception has the same mode of action as the birth control pill and every other hormonal method of birth control, if we read between the lines, Romney's message is clear - he wants to reclassify the most commonly used birth control methods as abortions since, to him, contraception is the ultimate corruptor.

Basically, this once liberal politician has changed his whole position on choice. Who knows, maybe he's been drinking too much holy water and is now living out of his priestly alter-ego of needing to answer to a higher authority? Mitt Romney is now (drum roll please) anti-choice. He even includes the following quotes on his website:

"I am pro-life and I support pro-life legislation...I did change my view on abortion. And that happened, as you know, about two years ago.... And that is where I am. And I have no apology for the fact that I am pro-life." When asked if the repeal of Roe v. Wade would be a good day for America, Romney responded "Absolutely."

He also firmly expresses his support for the Supreme Court decision that upheld the federal abortion ban.

Sure enough, while governor of Massachusetts, Romney funded abstinence education OVER family planning and abortion services. (Mind you - back in 2002, he also checked "yes" in a Planned Parenthood questionnaire that asked: "Do you support the teaching of responsible, age-appropriate, factually accurate health and sexuality education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools?"). His website proudly declares "The Romney Vision: A Record of Promoting Abstinence, Not Sex Education." I'm not even going to get into the whole abstinence-only programs don't work speech (see my blog on Sam Brownback). However, according to the "godly" Mitt Romney, "Abstinence education gives young people the support they need in making the decision to postpone sexual activity until they are mature enough to handle the emotional, moral and financial responsibilities of parenthood." Can somebody even try to pull him out of this dream world? I refer to one of my favorite sayings: Mr. Romney - vows of abstinence break a lot more easily and frequently than condoms do.

Human Events (a conservative publication) listed Romney at number eight on its list of "Top Ten Republicans in Name Only." The magazine goes on to say that "the idea that he has suddenly become a conservative after a decade of liberal actions and statements would be merely amusing were it not for the fact that he's running for the presidency and that many conservatives are falling for this act". Act or no act, if this man is left in charge of our country, he could quite possibly cause more harm and damage than Bush has already done (and who knew that was even possible)?

If you ask me, Mr. Romney has no idea what he stands for; he is probably just having fun preaching his gospel and rhetoric all over this country. Spouting out statements such as,

"What is the culture of this country, what are our underpinnings? We respect hard work ... We are self reliant, we respect human life, we are a religious people... We are a purpose-driven people founded on the family unit. I think every child deserves to have a mother and a father."

Hmmm, have you seen him out adopting all of...wait...ANY of the thousands of children in our country without a mom or dad? Oh, he just expects the American people to do this - what's that phrase...do as I say, not what I do?

So, my future voters, I will leave you with one more of Mr. Romney's "inspirational" quotes - "What is it about America's culture and values that makes us such a successful nation and society? Part of that is we love liberty, we love our country, we're patriotic," Romney said. "I believe it's also because we are a people who love God and look for a purpose greater than ourselves in life."

    2 questions for ya Mitt:

  • If the American people love liberty, why is it your very intention to strip that away from millions of women?
  • And, unless I am mistaken, isn't there something that governs our country called the Constitution?

Yes, Mitt, I believe you may need a refresher course abut our First Amendment rights - last I checked, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment makes it fairly clear that Congress and government are not allowed to display the preference of one religion over another, OR religion over non-religion. If you want to profess your love of God, go lead a church. Our country can do without your theology - you can fulfill your need to find a greater purpose in your life by doing missionary work in another country. Leave America alone!

Mitt Romney Photo Courtesy of Darren McCollester/Getty Images

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