Newt, Ya Listening? Conservative Leaders Praise Romney on Life, Marriage, Religious Freedom

While Southern Baptist leader Richard Land and other social conservatives are huddling in Texas next weekend to figure out how to stop Mitt Romney, nine conservative leaders from Massachusetts think so highly of Governor Mitt Romney that they’ve penned a letter on his behalf. They write about his record in the uber-liberal Bay State and praise him for protecting life, defending traditional marriage, and standing for religious freedom.

Uh… Newt, are you paying attention?

An Open Letter Regarding Governor Mitt Romney
December 30, 2011

Dear conservative friends:
We hail from a broad spectrum of organizations dedicated to fighting for the pro-family agenda in Massachusetts. As you know, Mitt Romney served as the governor of our state from January 2, 2003 to January 3, 2007. During that time, we worked closely with him and his excellent staff on that agenda.

Some press accounts and bloggers have described Governor Romney in terms we neither have observed nor can we accept. To the contrary, we, who have been fighting here for the values you also hold, are indebted to him and his responsive staff in demonstrating solid social conservative credentials by undertaking the following actions here in Massachusetts. The following is not an endorsement of Governor Romney but our account of the facts to set the record straight.

Staunchly defended traditional marriage. Governor Romney immediately and strongly condemned the November 18, 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision that legalized “same-sex marriage” in our state. More importantly, he followed up on that denunciation with action – action that saved our nation from a constitutional crisis over the definition of marriage. He and his staff identified and enforced a little-known 1913 law that allowed them to order local clerks not to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state couples. Absent this action, homosexual couples would surely have flooded into Massachusetts from other states to get “married” and then demanded that their home states recognize the “marriages,” putting the nation only one court decision away from nationalizing “same-sex marriage.”

We do not agree with the claims that Gov. Romney had bogus Party A and Party B marriage licenses printed and ordered Justices of the Peace and Town Clerks to perform same-sex “marriages” when asked or be fired. As May 17, 2004 (the SJC’s declaratory judgment date) approached, the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel issued provisional advisory instructions to the justices of the peace and prepared revised license applications. These executive actions did not result in the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples before May 17. The new policies were carried out only after and as a direct result of the judiciary’s final action in Goodridge on May 17. They did not generate same-sex marriages; that responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

We do not agree with the claims that Gov. Romney issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The governor does not issue marriage licenses in Massachusetts. Only the town clerks can do that. But the governor can issue one-day justice of the peace authorizations to an individual who wants to perform a marriage ceremony but is not a licensed minister, town clerk or justice of the peace. The governor’s office issues thousands of those in a four year term with the only criteria being that the individual doing the ceremony is in good standing and the parties getting married have a valid marriage license.

Worked hard to overturn “same-sex marriage” in the Commonwealth with substantial results. In 2004 he lobbied hard, before a very hostile legislature, for a constitutional amendment protecting marriage – an amendment later changed by the legislature to include civil unions, which the Governor and many marriage amendment supporters opposed. Working with the Governor, we were successful in defeating this amendment.

Provided strong, active support for a record-setting citizen petition drive in 2005 to advance a clean constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The petition drive collected the largest number of signatures in Massachusetts history.

Rallied thousands of citizens around the state to focus public and media attention on the failure of legislators, through repeated delays, to perform their constitutional obligation and vote on the marriage amendment. In November of 2006, Gov. Romney held the largest State House rally in Massachusetts history with over 7000 supporters of traditional marriage.

Filed suit before the Supreme Judicial Court asking the court to clarify the legislators’ duty to vote and failing that, to place the amendment on the 2008 ballot. That lawsuit, perhaps more than any other single action, was by all accounts instrumental in bringing the ultimate pressure on the legislators to vote. The SJC unanimously ruled that the Legislature must vote and the historic vote was taken on January 2, 2007 winning legislative support. This cleared a major hurdle in the three year effort to restore traditional marriage in the Commonwealth.

Fought for abstinence education. In 2006, under Governor Romney’s leadership, Massachusetts’ public schools began to offer a classroom program on abstinence from the faith-based Boston group Healthy Futures to middle school students. Promoting the program, Governor Romney stated, “I’ve never had anyone complain to me that their kids are not learning enough about sex in school. However, a number of people have asked me why it is that we do not speak more about abstinence as a safe and preventative health practice.”

Affirmed the culture of life. Governor Romney vetoed bills to provide access to the so-called “morning-after pill,” which is an abortifacient, as well as a bill providing for expansive, embryo-destroying stem cell research. He vetoed the latter bill in 2005 because he could not “in good conscience allow this bill to become law.”

We do not agree with the claims that Gov. Romney is responsible for tax payer funded abortion under the Massachusetts health care system. That blame lies solely on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who ruled in 1981 that the Massachusetts Constitution required payment for abortions for Medicaid-eligible women. In 1997, the Court reaffirmed its position that a state-subsidized plan must offer “medically necessary abortions.”

Stood for religious freedom. Governor Romney was stalwart in defense of the right of Catholic Charities of Boston to refuse to allow homosexual couples to adopt children in its care. Catholic Charities was loudly accused of “discrimination,” but Governor Romney correctly pointed out that it is unjust to force a religious agency to violate the tenets of its faith in order to placate a special-interest group.

Filed “An Act Protecting Religious Freedom” in the Massachusetts legislature to save Catholic Charities of Boston and other religious groups from being forced to violate their moral principles or stop doing important charitable work.

All of this may explain why John J. Miller, the national political reporter of National Review, wrote that “a good case can be made that Romney has fought harder for social conservatives than any other governor in America, and it is difficult to imagine his doing so in a more daunting political environment.”

We are aware of the 1994 comments of Senate candidate Romney, which have been the subject of much recent discussion. While they are, taken by themselves, obviously worrisome to social conservatives including ourselves, they do not dovetail with the actions of Governor Romney from 2003 until now – and those actions have positively and demonstrably impacted the social climate of Massachusetts.

Since well before 2003, we have been laboring in the trenches of Massachusetts, fighting for the family values you and we share. It is difficult work indeed – not for the faint of heart. In this challenging environment, Governor Romney has proven that he shares our values, as well as our determination to protect them.

Mitt and Ann Romney are pictured with their grandchildren (16 of them!). Dec 2011
Click on image to enlarge.

For four years, Governor Romney was right there beside us, providing leadership on key issues – whether it was politically expedient to do so or not. He has stood on principle, and we have benefited greatly from having him with us.

It is clear that Governor Romney has learned much since 1994 – to the benefit of our movement and our Commonwealth. In fact, the entire nation has benefited from his socially conservative, pro-family actions in office. As we explained earlier, his leadership on the marriage issue helped prevent our nation from being plunged into even worse legal turmoil following the court decision that forced “gay marriage” upon our Commonwealth.

For that our country ought to be thankful. We certainly are.

Sincerely,

Rita Covelle
President, Morality in Media Massachusetts

Gerald D. D’Avolio
Former Executive Director, Massachusetts Catholic Conference

Raymond L. Flynn
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See

Professor Mary Ann Glendon
Harvard Law School
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See

Kristian Mineau
President, Massachusetts Family Institute

Dr. Roberto Miranda
COPAHNI Fellowship of Hispanic Pastors of New England

James F. Morgan
Chairman, Institute for Family Development

Joseph Reilly
Former Chairman of the Board, Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Thomas A. Shields
Chairman, Coalition for Marriage and Family

(emphasis added)

Note: The signatories are all acting as individual citizens, and not as representatives of their respective organizations. Organizational affiliations appear for identification purposes only.

Hoping to slow/stop Romney in South Carolina, Gingrich is trumpeting false claims about Governor Romney’s record in MA. It’s up to each of us to spread this far and wide.

► Jayde Wyatt

FL ‘Social Conservatives For Romney Steering Committee’ Announced

David J. Weldon M.D., former Congressman and Army veteran, will chair Mitt Romney's Social Conservatives Statewide Steering Committee in Florida. Nov 14, 2011

Team Romney is busy in the Sunshine State!

Members of Governor Romney’s Social Conservatives Statewide Steering Committee have been announced. These conservative leaders will assist with statewide voter turnout:

Boston, MA – Mitt Romney’s Florida campaign today announced the names of the Social Conservatives Statewide Steering Committee. Each member has been an active voice in state politics and an advocate for conservative causes and issue campaigns. The Romney campaign will utilize this coalition to perform voter outreach and coalition building for Get Out the Vote efforts.

Mitt Romney is pro-life and is a true conservative on issues of family and faith,” said State Co-Chair Pat Neal, former State Senator and former Chair of the Board of the Christian Coalition of Florida. “The members of this committee are tired of the liberal policies of the Obama Administration and are confident that Governor Romney will stand up for the values that have made our country strong and will appoint judges that respect the Constitution and the rule of law.”

I am honored by the support of these important Florida leaders,” said Mitt Romney. “Like them, I believe that America is great because of the faith of our founders and the strength of our families, and we must do everything that we can to preserve both.”

(emphasis added )

Here’s the committee (titles other than their official Romney designations are used for identification purposes only):

Chair

Dave Weldon, M.D., Melbourne: Physician; Former United States Congressman; Army veteran, founder of the Space Coast Family Forum; founder of the Israel Allies Caucus

State Co-Chairs

Representative Daniel Davis, Jacksonville: Values Voter leader in Northeast Florida and Deacon in the Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville

Senator Anitere Flores, Miami: State Co-Chair of Romney for President; Winner of the Citizens for Science and Ethics Legislator of the Year; Award-winning legislator for issues important to the Florida Catholic Conference and the Christian Coalition of Florida

Pat Neal, Bradenton: Chairman of Neal Communities; former State Senator; former Chair of the Board of the Christian Coalition of Florida and the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition

Nancy Peek McGowan, Jacksonville: Appointed by Attorney General Bill McCollum to serve on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women; conservative activist and twice commissioned Respect Life Coordinator for the Diocese of St. Augustine; currently serves on the Executive Board of the Justice Coalition; 2nd Vice President of the Duval County Federated Republican Women Club; President of the Conservative Republican Forum; served as a State Co-Chair of the Social Conservatives for Pam Bondi for Attorney General and also of the Social Conservatives for Gallagher for Governor

State Steering Committee

Rodney Akers, Brandon: Retired litigation adjuster; immediate past president of the Florida Conference of United Methodist Men

Reg Buxton, Naples: Publisher of the Naples Journal and the North Naples Journal; past Chair for Red Cross and United Way for Collier County

Marili Cancio, Miami: Attorney; former candidate for US Congress; currently works on many conservative causes including the Christian Family Coalition

Suzanne Davis, Tampa: Serves on the Student Affairs Board of Jesuit High School and works as a community activist on values voters issues

Pastor Derek Janney, Orlando: Senior Pastor at Orlando Baptist Church

John Giotis, Tarpon Springs: Educator and school headmaster; appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Jacob Javits Fellowship Board; organizer for the Christian Coalition of Pinellas County; Social Conservatives for Bush-Cheney Team Leader of Pinellas County; Pinellas County Director for the “Yes4Marriage” Campaign in 2008; State Co-chair of Social Conservatives for Pam Bondi for Attorney General

Adam Goldman, Orlando: Former Vice President for Florida Right to Life; State Co-Chair of Social Conservatives for Pam Bondi for Attorney General; currently serves on the Board of Advisers of the James Madison Institute

Joseph Helow, Jacksonville: Community leader; businessman; leader with Catholic charities and issues advocacy

Mac McGehee, Jacksonville: Vice President of Mac Papers; pro-life leader, activist and major donor for conservative causes and issue campaigns

Margi Helschien, Boca Raton: Vice Chair of the Palm Beach County Republican Party; President of the Boca Raton Republican Club; issues advocate for conservative campaigns

Warren Lutz, Cutler Bay: Leader in the Miami-Dade Christian Coalition and the Faith and Freedom Coalition; led the anti-gambling movement in Miami-Dade; served as an organizer for the “Yes4Marriage” Campaign in 2008

Stan McClain, Summerfield: Marion County Commissioner; served on the Social Conservatives for Rubio Committee and also on the Social Conservatives for Bush-Cheney Committee; served as a Marion County Co-Chair for the Pam Bondi for Attorney General Campaign

Reverend John-Erik Moseler, Orlando: Assistant Pastor at Orlando Baptist Church

Don and Vicki Mullins, Orlando: Don was a political aide to Speaker Dean Cannon and served on the Social Conservatives for George W. Bush Steering Committee; Vicki was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to head up abstinence education in Florida and is currently the program director for My-Choices.Net

Art Otero, Kissimmee: Vice Mayor of Kissimmee, FL; served as a missionary and is a leader on various conservative issues campaigns

Leslie Steele, Midway: Consultant; past Communications Director for Governor Jeb Bush and Communications Consultant for the “Yes4Marriage” Campaign in 2008

Patricia Strowbridge, Orlando: Adoption and family law attorney; assisted Governor Jeb Bush and state leaders on reforming Florida’s adoption laws; served on the Gallagher for Governor Family Policy Team

Impressive!

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney's Pro-Life Pledge


I’m a staunch pro-life believer. I believe that Mitt is a good and decent man who will make the best decisions for our society. I take him at his word when he says “I am pro-life”.

Today, he wrote this pledge to reaffirm his stance on the issue and — like the other candidates on stage at the last debate agreed — it’s time to put this issue to rest:

I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

I support the reversal of Roe v. Wade, because it is bad law and bad medicine. Roe was a misguided ruling that was a result of a small group of activist federal judges legislating from the bench.

I support the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions. And as president, I will support efforts to prohibit federal funding for any organization like Planned Parenthood, which primarily performs abortions or offers abortion-related services.

I will reinstate the Mexico City Policy to ensure that non-governmental organizations that receive funding from America refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a method of family planning, in other countries. This includes ending American funding for any United Nations or other foreign assistance program that promotes or performs abortions on women around the world.

I will advocate for and support a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.

And perhaps most importantly, I will only appoint judges who adhere to the Constitution and the laws as they are written, not as they want them to be written.

As much as I share the goals of the Susan B. Anthony List, its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America. That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.

The pledge also unduly burdens a president’s ability to appoint the most qualified individuals to a broad array of key positions in the federal government. I would expect every one of my appointees to carry out my policies on abortion and every other issue, irrespective of their personal views.

If I have the opportunity to serve as our nation’s next president, I commit to doing everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America.

-Mitt Romney

See also our on-site recourse past includes past videos and quotes from Mitt Romney on Abortion.

Congressman Pence Introduces Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood of Taxpayer Dollars

This isn’t the first time we at Mitt Romney Central have highlighted the efforts of Congressman Mike Pence. The Republican Party is fortunate to have more staunch conservatives who are also very effective communicators than they used to.

While some may think it’s a mistake for us to highlight the efforts of a potential opponent to Gov. Romney for the 2012 Republican nomination for the presidency, we simply feel that the cause Congressman Pence is leading is too important to ignore. Plus, before we all get caught up in the upcoming primary season, it’s important to realize that we’re all on the same team.

Before pro-choice and pro-life activists start getting all riled up, make sure you are aware of what this bill is about. As many of us can remember from the health care debate, regardless of where people stand on the abortion issue at large, a vast majority of the country does not think it is appropriate for tax payer dollars to be spent on abortions. This bill won’t shut down Planned Parenthood or stop people from getting abortions. This bill simply will end the enormous mistake of causing all Americans who pay taxes to also be paying for abortions with some of those tax dollars. Even if you still think that we shouldn’t strip Planned Parenthood of their tax dollars, think about the budget deficit. Tax dollars have been going to far too many places they shouldn’t for far too long and hopefully this is just the beginning to getting the size of our government back in line.

This bill really is a no-brainer and if your representative hasn’t joined the other 123 co-sponsors yet, ask them to sign on.

If you still don’t know why this is such a big deal, check out this blog.

Below is Mike Pence’s statement followed by the video of his introduction of the bill on the house floor:

It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life by abortion. It is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote abortion at home or abroad.

Last year, Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in revenue from government grants and contracts. During that same time, they performed an unprecedented 324,008 abortions.

The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X.

The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act will prevent any family planning funds under Title X from going to Planned Parenthood or other organizations that perform abortions. It will ensure that abortion providers are not being subsidized with federal tax dollars.

I am grateful for the support of more than 122 original co-sponsors….

Update: Check out the list of potential 2012 candidates who support Pence at The Defunding Planned Parenthood Litmus Test

Mitt Romney Releases Statement of Support for Pro-Life Marchers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2009

ROMNEY SALUTES PRO-LIFE MARCHERS

Former Governor Mitt Romney today released the following statement:

“Today in Washington, many thousands of American women and men have proudly gathered on the National Mall for the March for Life. In a city of many competing political interests, these marchers have come to speak for only one cause: the goodness of every life, and the rights of the unborn.

Thirty-six years ago, those rights were denied by our highest court, in a decision that also denied the rights of all Americans to resolve the abortion issue through democratic debate and legislation. To their great credit, the organizers of the March for Life never let this anniversary pass without speaking to the conscience of America , and calling our nation to uphold its highest ideals in the protection of human life.

America owes these marchers a debt of gratitude for their perseverance in a noble cause. I am honored to count myself as their friend and ally. And because of their dedication and their goodness of heart, I am certain that one day this cause will prevail. “

Governor Mitt Romney Remarks At The National Right To Life Convention Forum

Mitt Romney abortion pro-life Mitt Romney for PresidentBelow are Governor Romney’s excellent remarks at the National Right To Life Convention. (In other new, who is the one candidate to not make an appearance at this event?)

This speech is a powerful defense of the life movement.

“Thank you Carol. We appreciate your many years of dedicated service to the cause of life.

“I was honored to accept your invitation to address the National Right to Life convention.

“I am humbled to be standing among the many who have toiled for the pro-life movement for so long, when I arrived at this place of principle only a few years ago.

“I appreciate the decades of dedication and the effective advocacy of people like Jim Bopp, the Special Adviser to my campaign on life issues.

“I know that it is not time but conviction that unites us.

“I proudly follow a long line of converts – George Herbert Walker Bush, Henry Hyde, and Ronald Reagan to name a few.

“I am evidence that your work, that your relentless campaign to promote the sanctity of human life, bears fruit.

“Consider the double standard at work here, by the way. When a pro-life figure changes to pro-abortion, they get praised for their courage. But when someone becomes pro-life, the pundits go into high dudgeon.

“And so, I am humbled but also grateful to be welcomed so warmly by so many with whom I share a common dedication.

“Anyone here from the pro-life community in Massachusetts knows they were always welcome in my office when I was Governor. Together we worked arm in arm.

“I can promise you this – you will be welcomed, and we will work together, if I’m fortunate enough to be elected President.

“People often ask me how a conservative Republican such as myself could have been elected in Massachusetts. I tell them that there were three things that helped account for my improbable victory.

“First, the state was in a fiscal crisis. A meltdown, of sorts. State government couldn’t get budgets done on time. Another big tax hike looked like it was on the way. I promised to balance the budget without raising taxes. And together with the legislature, that’s what we did. We eliminated a $3 billion shortfall. And by the time I left, my surpluses had replenished the rainy-day fund to over $2 billion.

“Second, we were in an economic crisis. Massachusetts was losing jobs every month and our citizens were afraid of losing more. I went to work to bring employers back to our state. By the end of the recession, we added 60,000 new jobs. We got our economic development act together – which explains much of the economic growth that the Commonwealth continues to experience even today.

“And third, we were in the beginnings of a cultural crisis. Social values also played a role in my campaign success. My opponent said she would sign a bill that would sanction same sex marriage. I said that I would oppose gay marriage and civil unions. My opponent favored bilingual education. I did not. I said that to be successful in America, children need to speak the language of America. And my opponent wanted to lower the age of consent for an abortion from 18 to 16 – and I did not.

“And so, social conservatives, many of them Democrats and Independents, joined fiscal conservatives to elect a Republican.

“That being said, I had no inkling that I would find myself in the center of the battlefield on virtually every major social question of our time.

“The first battle came when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, by a one vote majority, found a right to same sex marriage in our constitution. John Adams wrote that constitution. I’m sure he’d be surprised.

“The Court said that traditional marriage – the natural union of one man and one woman – ‘is rooted in persistent prejudices’ and ‘works a deep and scarring hardship … for no rational reason.’

“No rational reason? How about children? Isn’t it clear that marriage provides the best environment for the development and nurturing of children? And isn’t a child’s development enhanced by having both a mother and a father?

“I believe that the Court got it wrong because it focused on the desires and perceived rights of adults.

“The Court should have focused on the needs of children. The ideal setting for the raising of a child is a home built on a marriage between a loving mother and father.

“Then came the ‘slippery slope’ – not the argument but the reality.

“The implications of the marriage decision quickly went well beyond adult marriage. Efforts were made to change birth certificates by removing ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and replacing them with ‘parent A’ and ‘parent B.’ I said no to that. And parents of a child in second grade were told that their son is required to listen to the reading of a book called the ‘King and the King,’ about a prince who marries another prince. The school’s rationale was since same sex marriage was legal, the education system should advance the idea.

“And then another slide along the slippery slope. The Catholic Church was forced to end its adoption service, which was crucial in helping the state find homes for some of our most difficult to place children. Why? Because the Church favors placements in homes with a mother and a father. Now, even religious freedom was being trumped by the new-found ‘right’ of gay marriage. I immediately drafted and introduced legislation to grant religious liberty protection, but the legislature wouldn’t even take it up.

“When I was Governor, we took every conceivable step within the law to stop, block or slow down this unprecedented court decision.

“Our goal was to take the decision away from the Court and give it back to the people. But yesterday, the Massachusetts state legislature, at the urging of the new Democratic Governor, refused to allow the voice of the people to be heard.

“The fight is not over.

“We need to take this battle to Washington again. We need to explain the far-reaching implications of the push to dramatically change our marriage laws. Now is the time to pass a federal marriage amendment to protect marriage in all 50 states.

“In the midst of that battle, another arose. It involved cloning and embryo farming for purposes of research. I studied the subject in great depth. I have high hopes for stem cell research. But for me, a bright moral line is crossed when we create new life for the sole purpose of experimentation and destruction.

“That’s why I fought to keep cloning and embryo farming illegal.

“It was during this battle that I began to focus a good deal more of my thinking on abortion.

“When I first ran for office, while I was always personally opposed to abortion, I considered whether this should be a private decision or whether it should be a societal and government decision. I concluded that I would support the law as it was in place – effectively, the pro-choice position.

“And I was wrong.

“What became clear during the cloning debate is how the harsh logic of an absolute right to abortion had cheapened the value of human life to the point that rational people saw a human embryo as nothing more than mere research material to be used, and then destroyed.

“The slippery slope was taking us to racks and racks of living human embryos, Brave New World-like, awaiting termination.

“What some see as just
a clump of cells is actually a human life. Human life has identity. Human life has the capacity to love and be loved. Human life has a profound dignity, undiminished by age or infirmity.

“My experience as Governor taught me firsthand that the threat to our culture is real and those in a position to do so must take action to defend it.

“Times of decision are moments of great clarity. Before I was Governor, the life issue was just that, an issue. But when responsibility for life or ending life was placed in my hands, I made the right decision. I chose life.

“Just like some others in the pro-life movement, a moment of decision became a defining moment.

“And so, every time I faced a decision as Governor that related to life, I came down on the side of life.

“I fought to ban cloning.

“I fought to ban embryo farming.

“I fought to define life as beginning at conception rather than at the time of implantation.

“I fought for abstinence education in our schools.

“And I vetoed a so-called emergency contraception bill that gave young girls abortive drugs without prescription or parental consent.

“That is my record as Governor of Massachusetts.

“Recently, I was attacked by one of my opponents because when I ran for Governor I promised to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion in Massachusetts. Of course, I kept that promise. But in Massachusetts, that meant vetoing pro-choice legislation – as I consistently did as Governor. That’s why last month I was honored with an award from Massachusetts Citizens for Life in recognition of the actions I took as Governor to protect life.

“The next president, especially if faced with a hostile Congress, will be confronted with many legislative tests, such as challenging the Hyde amendment and advancing cloning. You can be sure that I will be bringing my gubernatorial experience – and my veto pen – with me to Washington.

“The larger problem is there are some people who believe that their pro-choice views must be imposed on everyone. More and more, the vehicle for this imposition is the courts.

“Some say that it is ‘OK’ for the courts to impose their personal public policy preferences on society. I am not among them.

“Make no mistake: the claimed rights of abortion-on-demand and same-sex marriage are not in the Constitution.

“But the problem of an activist bench goes beyond the issue of abortion and gay marriage that.

“Slowly but surely, the courts have taken it upon themselves to be the final arbiters of our lives. They have forgotten that the essence of democracy is the right to govern ourselves.

“Chief Justice John Roberts put it best at his confirmation hearing, when he described the role of a judge. ‘Judges and Justices are servants of the law,’ he said, ‘not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules, they apply them … and I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.’

“Now that’s the type of Justice that I would appoint to the Court.

“On the tenth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Ronald Reagan observed that the Court’s decision had not yet settled the abortion debate. It had become ‘a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.’

“More than thirty years later, that is still the case. Numerous court decisions have not settled this question, but have further divided the nation. And Roe v. Wade continues to work its destructive logic throughout our society.

“This cannot continue.

“At the heart of American democracy is the principle that the most fundamental decisions should ultimately be decided by the people themselves.

“I certainly believe in treating all people with respect and dignity. You can’t be a pro-life Governor in the bluest of blue states without understanding that there are heartfelt and thoughtful arguments on both sides of the question.

“It is our great task to persuade our fellow citizens of the truth of our convictions.

“Strengthening our country and our families, protecting marriage and human life and preserving for our children the true blessings of liberty; these are noble purposes. I am confident we are worthy of them.

“After all, we are a decent people who have a commitment to the worth and dignity of every person. This is ingrained in our hearts and etched in our national purpose.

“Thank you.”

Why Romney Matters on Abortion

Today’s Supreme Court decision today, Gonzales v. Carhart, emphasizes two things of political importance. First, and this was echoed in John McCain’s statement about the decision, is the importance of having the right judges on the Court. There is little doubt that the federal law in question would have been decided differently had Justice O’Connor still been on the Court. The additions of Justices Roberts and Alito were pivotal in, as Mitt stated today, “upholding a ban on a practice that offends basic human decency.” For GOP contenders, the easy conclusion is the need to appoint “strict constructionist” judges.

Is that the only conclusion? No. This case stemmed from Congress’ and the President’s pro-active decision to test previous abortion decisions through passing legislation, specifically the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Conservative legislators partnered with a conservative Executive to challenge the prevailing legal atmosphere through reasonable restrictions on abortion. Thus, the change brought about today was not purely a judicial phenomenon. The President had an important role in signing legislation that furthered his view on abortion. Had the President not been willing to sign such a bill, the current case would not have been brought, and thus the successful change in abortion law would not have occurred. Therefore, appointing “strict constructionist” judges is hardly sufficient for a Presidential candidate. A President who simply deferred to the judiciary would abdicate a pivotal role in bringing about appropriate changes in the law.

This is one reason why Romney’s statement below is so important.

Update: Here’s a good follow-up in the American Spectator.

David Brody: McCain Supporters, Why don’t your sit down before I tell you…

David Brody: McCain Supporters, Why don’t your sit down before I tell your…

Yesterday, we noted that David Brody, CBN News Capitol Hill Correspondant, was asking Pro-lifers to email him feedback on this question:

“As a pro-life voter, who would you vote for? John McCain or Mitt Romney? Who do you view as the candidate that will best represent the pro-life movement.?

The response? “It wasn’t even close. More than 90% of people who emailed me said Romney was the guy, hands down.” Brody gave some sample emails:

“Romney’s personal life and religion, a religion I do not share, demonstrate to me a profound love and respect for family and children. I believe he is sincerely and deeply committed to protecting the rights of the unborn.”

But how about McCain. (here’s the “why don’t you sit down first” part):

“McCain has risked little politically with his “life” record (being from a Red State but still never being on the forefront or frontlines of the pro-life fight.) Sure he’s got a “neat and tidy” voting record to refer to, but, even though he’s “the king” of sponsoring new legilsation, I’m not aware of him taking a leadership role for “pro-life” causes. Plus, he’s constantly shown that he’s willing to “show-up” the conservative base if it suits him at the time.”

Brody cites a few more emails then summarizes:

A couple of interesting themes emerge here. Clearly, there is a distrust with McCain on the life issue. I’m sure his handlers are beside themselves wondering why a solid 20 year pro-life record may not resonate as much as it should….

Part of the distrust with McCain clearly centers on how McCain hasn’t made the lfie issue paramount in his career. He’s more a campaign finance, anti-pork spending type guy. Yes, he’s a reliable Senate vote on life issues (except on embryonic stem cell research) but he typically stays away from the issue. For that matter, Romney tried to do that as well in liberal Massachusetts. That makes sense. But now he’s running for President. Will he move that issue up on his agenda?

Here’s the big difference between McCain, Romney and Rudy. The one guy who will actually stand up to lead and defend the pro-life movement is the former pro-choice-leaning governor from a blue state.

Go figure!

Exclusive Interview with James Bopp on Mitt Romney

James Bopp, Jr, who recently endorsed Governor Romney for President, recently took time to answer a few questions on why he decided to endorse Romney.
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MMM: Why did you endorse Mitt Romney?

Bopp: I believe that Governor Romney is the best qualified person for President. He is a fiscal and social conservative, he has impressive administrative experience in the private, non-profit and public sectors, and he is a proven and successful politician.

MMM: Given Governor Romney’s well documented statements on abortion in the past what would you say to pro-life leaders who remain concerned about Romney’s commitment to the movement given his recent conversion to it.

Bopp: The pro-life movement is open to converts. Two of our most stalwart pro-life presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, were converts. I believe that Governor Romney’s conversion on the pro-life issue is sincere for three reasons. First, it was based on a real life pivot point, when Harvard researchers told him that there was no “moral issue” with embryonic stem cell research because they “destroy the embryos at 14 days.” This had a profound effect on him.

Second, as Governor, he consistently pursued pro-life policies. He vetoed the bill providing state funding for embryonic stem cell research, he vetoed a bill that provided for the “morning after pill” without a prescription because it is an abortifacient, he vetoed legislation which would have redefined Massachusetts longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation, and he fought to promote abstinence education in the classroom. These actions as Governor, and others, have lead leaders of the most important social conservative groups in Massachusetts, including Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Massachusetts Family Institute and the Knights of Columbus, to observe that, while previous comments by Ronmey “are, taken by themselves, obviously worrisome to social conservatives including ourselves, they do not dovetail with the actions of Governor Romney from 2003 until now – and those actions positively and demonstrably impacted the social climate of Massachusetts.” They conclude that Romney “demonstrat[ed] [his] solid social conservative credentials by undertaking” these actions, and has, therefore, “proven that he shares our values, as well as our determination to protect them.”

Third, I have met with Governor Romney and asked him the questions that I think need answered. I am satisfied with his answers.

MMM:While Rudy Giuliani has obvious flaws for the Pro-life movement John McCain’s are not as apparent.Why should pro-life voters care about the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act(BCFRA), or McCain-Feingold.

Bopp: While both Giuliani and McCain would be superior to any potential Democrat nominee, I have serious policy differences with each of them.

Giuliani is not a social conservative. He is pro-choice, pro-partial birth abortion, pro-special rights for homosexuals, soft on gay marriage and pro-gun control.

Senator McCain opposes the federal marriage amendment, supports embryonic stem cell research and was a ringleader of the Gang-of-14 compromise that made it easier for Democrats to block President Bush’s judicial nominees. He voted against Bush’s tax cuts, supports an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants, and supports the Kyoto-like restrictions on the American economy.

Finally, Senator McCain is the principal sponsor of the McCain-Feingold bill which imposes severe limits on the participation of citizens groups and political parties in our representative democracy. The pro-life movement should care about McCain-Feingold because it has seriously undermined our ability to accomplish our policy goals by making it much harder to influence public policy.

MMM: How do you think a Romney Presidency will advance the pro-life movement?

Bopp: I think he will support pro-life legislation, continue the Bush administration’s pro-life policies and nominate judges in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas.

MMM: Do you think pro-life issues will affect the Republican Primary?

Bopp:Yes, the vast majority of Republican primary voters are pro-life and want a pro-life President.

Many thanks to James Bopp Jr. for taking the time to talk with us.