Flip-flopper vs. Convert seems to be the question staunch pro-life conservatives have when it comes to Mitt Romney. There’s no debate that Mitt Romney used to hold pro-abortion positions, and there’s no debate that Mitt Romney now recants those positions and articulates a pro-life agenda. Is he serious? Can he be trusted? And isn’t taking a risk with Romney still better than accepting the reality of Obama’s abortion-spreading ideology? These are questions that pro-lifers around America are now facing.
This is an interesting conversation because the pro-life position has certainly been on the upswing in recent months and years. Technological advances and our increased scientific knowledge have made the pro-abortion position fatally weak. So is the defeat of Obama yet another step in that positive direction? Or is the selection of a replacement who isn’t staunchly pro-life a set back for the movement? Not surprisingly, different pro-life leaders have a different perspective.
Some say, rally for Romney:
Since Santorum ended his primary fight, Romney has picked up endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the Susan B. Anthony List (which campaigned for Santorum during the primaries), and various state governors and pro-life and pro-family organizations and individuals, including a leading pro-life organization in Romney’s own state.
“It is now time for pro-life Americans to unite behind Mitt Romney,” said Carol Tobias, president of NRLC. “On pro-life issues, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama provide a stark contrast.”
In a statement endorsing Romney, NRLC said, “Mitt Romney has taken a strong pro-life position and is committed to implementing policies to protect the unborn, the medically dependent and disabled, and the elderly.”
“Now is the time to unite behind Governor Romney in order to defeat the most ideologically pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “It is the responsibility of all pro-life voters to now unite behind Governor Romney,” agreed Jane Abraham, Chairman of the SBA List Board of Directors.
The SBA List committed to spending $10-12 million in support of Romney on the general election.
A press release from Ohio Right to Life Society Political Action Committee President Mike Gonidakis noted, “Governor Romney is committed to protecting pro-life values. He supports the Hyde Amendment and ending federal funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. He is committed to upholding the sanctity of life and opposes the killing of human beings in the name of ‘science.’ Most importantly, he believes that Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned.”
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But others say not so fast:
Richard Viguerie, longtime political activist and owner of ConservativeHQ.com, said that “conservatives should not be rushing to embrace Romney; Romney should be rushing to embrace conservatives.”
Pro-life critics of Romney, including Viguerie, have taken issue with the fact that he skipped three pro-life debates and refused to sign a pro-life pledge signed by every other candidate except Jon Huntsman. “In fact, during the campaign, Mitt Romney sent every signal possible he wanted to get the nomination without owing conservatives or the Tea Party anything,” Viguerie said.
Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips has said bluntly, “The Tea Party is not going to coalesce around Romney. Most of us will vote for Romney, but we will not be out there with signs for him or in his campaign.”
“Romney has a huge problem with the conservative base of the GOP,” Phillips told The Daily Caller. “He had better do something about that ASAP or he won’t have to worry about that moving to the middle nonsense.”
Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer told LifeSiteNews.com on Thursday, “These people provide the passion and hard work that are key to GOP election success. It is almost impossible to win without them. Just ask John McCain.”
Viguerie argued that pro-life, pro-family conservatives should imitate Rick Santorum, who “suspended his campaign without endorsing Mitt Romney. Like Rick, many other conservative activists and leaders are sitting on the sidelines waiting for some concrete actions from Romney to prove that he actually wants conservative support.”
Viguerie wrote, “My advice to my fellow conservatives is, ‘don’t be cheap dates.’”
There are others who take a staunch anti-Romney, anti-Obama approach. Their perspective is that neither is sufficiently pro-life and so neither should earn the votes of conservatives. I could be wrong, but I don’t see this perspective carrying the day for one primary reason: the vociferous and aggressive nature of Obama’s child killing agenda. Romney may end up gaining the support of a hesitant pro-life community primarily because of how pro-death his opponent is.