Is Mitt Romney Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?

This morning I set out on the World Wide Web to discover whether Mitt Romney is Pro-Choice or Pro-Life, and I learned that it isn’t easy to answer this question.  I ran across this interesting blog post and discovered that others are having a similar problem.  Is Mitt Romney talking out of both sides of his mouth?  Is he being a typical politician who says whatever his audience wants regardless of his own convictions?  What are his own convictions?  How might we best learn them?  Being the Iron Rod Mormon that I am, I would love to vote for Mitt Romney if I thought he was an honest man.  But can I just safely assume that he is just because he is a member of the Church?  If any of you have suggestions as to how I could find out what Romney really thinks, please let me know.

Is Mitt Romney Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?  Where can I find out?  How can I be sure?

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9 Responses to Is Mitt Romney Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?

  1. myclob says:

    Everyone is pro choice and everyone is pro life. The labels pro choice and pro life don’t really mean anything, they way that we use them.

    Reasons to agree:
    1. If there was an anti-choice movement in America, that was just as simple as that: that they tried removing choices, then the word pro-choice would make sense, but it is more complicated than that.
    2. If there were people that called themselves “pro-death” than it would make sense to call yourself pro life.
    3. Life and choice are both positive.
    4. Everyone believes in freedom.
    5. The words pro choice and pro life are trying to make the choice more simple than it really is.

    To insist on the use of the word pro-choice is inferring that the other side is against all choices, and that you have the right to make whatever choice you want with your body, and you don’t.

    Men don’t have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, why should women be different?

    Men can’t choose to take illegal drugs (and that doesn’t hurt anyone else but them).

    Men don’t have the right to choose male-prostitution as a legal career choice.

  2. Ujlapana says:

    John, here is a simple example of honest, fuzzy thinking. The Church does not prohibited the use of birth control (at least not currently), nor does it proscribe the appropriate method. This includes, of course, IUD’s. IUD’s are, as you may already know, only effective through blocking the implantation of a fertilized egg. So, if abortion is as “black and white” as you seem to want it to be, the acceptance of IUD’s means that the embryo is not considered a spirit-bearing vessel by the Church. It also means that you would have to support “morning-after” pills, which basically do the exact same thing.

    The rape/incest exception is no different, in that it is only logically consistent with an “abortion is murder” stance if either 1) abortion is *not* murder for a little while–long enough to know you got pregnant from rape/incest or 2) two wrongs make a right. Obviously, the rape-born fetus is innocent, so “murdering” it, as some would say, makes no sense.

    You personally may wish to draw a line of murder back to the point of fertilization, but the Church doesn’t do this. Which means a line has be drawn somewhere else between time zero and nine months.

    I think you’re close to the mark on admitting that it is the mother’s, and not some guy in SLC’s, place to receive revelation around the appropriateness of medical decisions pertaining to her body. As He did with Nephi, who was *not* the senior prophet-leader at the time and who decided it was proper to kill a sleeping drunkard, God can appear to “change the rules” on the fly in a way that might be quite offensive to an Iron Rodder.

    The best solution to this, I think, is to dismiss trite labels like “pro-this” and “anti-that” and just admit that there is a complicated decision to be made about when a pre-born human actually gains rights that trump the rights of its mother. Certainly by 8 months, certainly not as an embryo (when it may, in fact, develop into a non-human parasitic life form (although this is very rare)).

  3. Jeff Fuller wrote:
    He is pro-life. He ran on a campaign promise to not alter the currently pro-choice laws–a pragmatic decision for any Republican in MA. He kept his promise.

    JWR responds:
    If he is Pro-Life, you realize that he is committing to overturn Roe v. Wade if elected as President, don’t you? He is also committing to use his bully pulpit at President of the United States to get the House and Senate to pass restrictions on a “woman’s right to choose.” Further, he is committing to appoint only Supreme Court Justices that will work to overturn Roe v. Wade. Most importantly, if he is truly Pro-Life, as you claim, he is committing to offend every Pro-Choice activist in the country with his principled stand on this issue. Just saying that he is “pro-life” without making it clear what that entails is being deliberately vague for the purpose of additional future equivocation on this issue. With this understanding, can you still say that he is Pro-Life? If so, I will probably vote for him.

    Jeff Fuller wrote:
    So where do you, Mr. Iron Rod, come down on abortion? Is it OK in cases of rape and incest (as the church supports). If it is absolutely so binary why would our leaders give us non-binary recommendations?

    JWR responds:
    My stand is exactly the same as the position of the Church in the Church Handbook of Instructions. Afterall, I am an Iron Rod, a company man. But I disagree with you that “our leaders give us non-binary recommendations.” They have clearly stated that being involved in an abortion in any way is a very serious sin “like unto murder” except in certain well-defined situations which DO NOT automatically authorize an abortion. In those well-defined situations, a person may be involved in an abortion only after consultation with priesthood leaders and having the decision confirmed by the Holy Ghost with person revelation. That sounds pretty binary to me. Either God himself approves the decision on a case by case basis in certain well-defined situations or the abortion is prohibited.

    Jeff Fuller wrote:
    Life is not binary and those who try to make it so end up as zealots and fanatics (who Dallin H. Oaks defined as “people who have lost their direction, but have doubled their velocity to get there.”–paraphrased).

    JWR responds:
    You are quoting Dallin H. Oaks out of context in a situation where the quote does not apply. If I am a zealot or a fanatic, then so are each of the First Presidency and the Twelve because my opinion is their opinion. Any difference that can be demonstrated will cause me to adjust my opinion until it is exactly the same as theirs. And you have not demonstrated that there is any such difference.

    Further, you have not demonstrated that “life is not binary.” Certainly there are situations where there are shades of gray, but in many matters of right and wrong such as the decision to abort an unborn child where certain specific conditions are not met and the Holy Ghost has not authorized the abortion, there is no gray. In such a case, right and wrong are as distinct as black and white.

    And ultimately, whether an unborn child is alive or dead is most certainly binary. There is no in between state. And if an unborn child is dead, it is either because it died without human intervention designed to cause its death or because somebody decided to kill it. A stillbirth is not an abortion. An abortion is not a stillbirth. The difference is binary. Of course I am using the term stillbirth to mean the birth of a dead baby that died of natural causes. And I am using the term abortion to mean an induced abortion.

    Virtually all of the fuzzy thinking on this topic is deliberately promoted in order to confuse the issue by those who want to justify a sin that is an abomination to God. Such fuzzy thinking is highly dishonest.

  4. […] This guy is wondering about Romney – here and here.  Here’s a hint – the man is pretty doggone new to this whole elected office thing, that means he has not had a lot of chances to take a stand on a lot of issues.  Give it time.  It’s early in the election game anyway, you don’t have to make up your mind for the primary for two years. […]

  5. Jeff Fuller says:

    He is pro-life. He ran on a campaign promise to not alter the currently pro-choice laws–a pragmatic decision for any Republican in MA. He kept his promise.

    So where do you, Mr. Iron Rod, come down on abortion? Is it OK in cases of rape and incest (as the church supports). If it is absolutely so binary why would our leaders give us non-binary recommendations?

    Life is not binary and those who try to make it so end up as zealots and fanatics (who Dallin H. Oaks defined as “people who have lost their direction, but have doubled their velocity to get there.”–paraphrased).

  6. So what is the answer, Jeff Fuller? Is he Pro-Choice or Pro-Life? And why do you have so much trouble answering the question?

    Everybody is against abortion including everyone who is Pro-Choice. But if Romney is Pro-Life he is also committed to using the law to stop most of the abortions that are still going on. That is information that is absolutely essential for anyone on either side of the issue. And so far, my question still remains unanswered.

    This is an issue that forces everyone to take sides. There is no middle ground. An unborn child is either alive or dead. It is binary. All this equivocation and clever use of language is dishonest.

  7. Jeff Fuller says:

    Over at this link (http://republicanbydesign.com/wordpress/2006/05/2008-mitt-romney-for-president) is the most twisted blog entry (quoting out of context and the like) I’ve seen in awhile about Romney on the major conservative hot-buttons . . . gay marriage and abortion. He ends his blog entry with this: “My take on Romney: This Massachusetts Mormon is a completely unacceptable option for conservatives.”

    My response (after somebody quoted text from the Wikipedia entry on Romney to help get some more balanced and factual information there) is as follows:

    My question is this: Should Conservative Republicans altogether give up hope for turning around liberal states like Massachussetts?

    Mitt Romney is a courageous politician. He is willing to take on liberals on their own turf.

    Were he the Governor of Arkansas or Texas, or a Senator from Tennessee or Utah, he would have a perfect track record on all of these issues for ROMNEY IS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN AGAINST ABORTION AND GAY MARRIAGE. No, Romney didn’t have the luxury that most GOP frontrunners have of governing a conservative state though he is, and has always been a moral and fiscal conservative.

    Being a politician in the bluest of blue states, Romney has accomplished much that conservatives should be proud of (balancing the budget, no new taxes, trying to decrease the income tax rate, vetoing the morning after pill, vetoing a decrease in the age requiring parental consent for an abortion, etc . . .). But to get all of this accomplished, he has had to “shelf” certain issues, like abortion.

    He had to communicate to the electorate that he would “shelf” these issues. This necessitated public declarations that he would protect the current laws (which, unfortunately, do protect a woman’s “right” to choose) and not add to nor take away from current laws.

    If you bring up these statement and use them out of context you can get them to paint whatever picture you want. The picture that you seem to want to paint is that Romney is a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights politician. He is not, nor has ever been such.

    A few quotes below strengthen my argument.

    In a recent National Review article it stated: “Romney has done his best to defend the culture of life on what is probably the most inhospitable terrain in the country.”

    Maggie Gallager, The President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy said: “Mitt Romney is a brave man. While the GOP glitterocracy attended the first gay wedding of one of their own, Gov. Romney was in Washington, D.C., making the single most eloquent and articulate defense of our traditional understanding of marriage I have heard from an American politician.”

    Kris Mineau from the Massachusetts Family Institute stated: “On marriage and cloning, he has provided aggressive leadership as a positive, pro-family governor”

    Charles Colson, a promient evangelical leader has also said: “I could in very good conscience support Romney as a fellow social conservative on most of the issues we care about.”

    Jeff Fuller
    http://iowansforromney.blogspot.com/

  8. Ronald Reagan was strongly Pro-Life and it didn’t seem to hurt him any. One of the things I liked best about Reagan was that he seemed to always be the real McCoy, always saying what he really thought. I don’t trust politicians that are trying to be all things to all people. It just doesn’t seem honest. I admire people as much for their enemies as their friends. Reagan was hated by all the right people.

    At least that is my current feeling about it. I may have to amend my views as additional information comes to my attention.

  9. Jonah the giant whale says:

    The political reality of the situation sucks. He can’t come out and say definitively what he believes, because he will alienate any backers who don’t believe what he does. If he indicates that he is willing to debate and talk about that issue, and that he is open (even if he really isn’t) he has a better chance of getting elected. Very few presidents have come out and said abortion is bad, it should be banned. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is George W.

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