Sunday, December 16, 2007

Governor Romney Really Believes This?

I've received emails telling me that pro-choice Romney really is following Mormon Church policy--that the Mormon Church opposes abortion, but doesn't believe that it should be illegal. I don't know if this is true or not. I do see this news coverage of how Romney dealt with the question recently, and it just makes me scratch my head:
Regarding his flip-flop on abortion rights from the time he was running for office in Massachusetts, Romney said he thinks “almost everyone in this nation” opposes abortion.

“I was always personally opposed to abortion, as I think almost everyone in this nation is,” he said, adding that the question for him was “the role of government.”

Romney said he hopes the U.S. ultimately bans abortion but says the country is not to that point and he is not advocating that.
If he means that "almost everyone in this nation" would prefer that abortion not be necessary, that may be correct. I suspect that the only people who are enthusiastic about abortion are abortion doctors who do it for the money. (I suspect that there are abortion doctors who do it from strongly held beliefs as well--and not primarily for the money.)

Pretty clearly, there is a large minority of Americans who believe that there's nothing wrong with abortion--certainly not enough to prohibit it, or even regulate it in a way that discourages it. This poll done a few months back asked how Americans felt about abortion in a number of different situations: the result of rape or incest; fatal birth defect; puts the mother's life at risk. Americans remain strongly supportive of abortion in most cases. This makes the pro-choice position that overturning Roe v. Wade would make abortion broadly illegal pretty silly (although there might be a few states that would regulate abortions much more strictly than today). The highest level of support for making abortion illegal was "If the pregnancy is unwanted" and in that scenario, 39% wanted it still to be legal.

I wonder if Romney just didn't explain this well, if he hasn't been talking to people outside his church about abortion, or if he is making a statement that is so absurdly preposterous in the hopes of straddling the fence.

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