The issue keeps nagging him. Liz Mair has details on the thousands of flyers handed out during the “March for Life” protest, attacking Romney’s abortion views in general, and additionally his decision in 2005 to scrap plans to exempt religious and other private hospitals from being forced to offer emergency contraceptives to rape victims. Romney’s rapid response team fired back with a myth/fact press release regarding his abortion views.
On the emergency contraception issue, let me just add that while I’ve been critical of Romney on a number of things, in this instance I think the criticism of him is unfair. Romney vetoed the controversial emergency contraceptive bill, but it was overridden by the overwhelmingly liberal Massachusetts legislature. He looked into alternative ways of carving out an exception for religious/private hospitals, but ultimately he had to abide by the new law. Liz (who is pro-choice) takes specific issue with his quote at the time that “I think, in my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.” She argues that a hospital that morally objects to the use of contraceptives shouldn’t be forced to offer them, and I would tend to agree with her. But all Romney said in the quote is that hospitals should offer contraceptives to rape victims, not that they should be forced to–remember he vetoed a bill that did just that. To offer an analogy, I could say that I personally believe that the Boy Scouts should allow gays to become scout masters, but still adamantly oppose efforts to force them to.
Fair or not, the criticism of Romney is coming in fast and furiously. And it’s criticism that he set himself up for by basing his candidacy on being the choice for social conservatives.
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