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Romney Told Catholic Hospitals to Administer Abortion Pills
Town Hall ^ | Feb 02, 2012 | Terry Jeffrey

Posted on 02/02/2012 7:05:30 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM

Romney Told Catholic Hospitals to Administer Abortion Pills

Terry Jeffrey
TownHall
Feb 02, 2012

A defining moment in Mitt Romney's post-pro-life-conversion political career came in his third year as governor of Massachusetts, when he decided Catholic hospitals would be required under his interpretation of a new state law to give rape victims a drug that can induce abortions.

Romney announced this decision -- saying it was the "right thing for hospitals" to do -- just two days after he had taken the opposite position.

The story begins in 1975, when Massachusetts enacted a law that said, "No privately controlled hospital .. shall be required to permit any patient to have an abortion ... or to furnish contraceptive devices or information to such patient ... when said services or referrals are contrary to the religious or moral principles of said hospital ... ."

Twenty-seven years later, when Romney was running for governor, he filled out a questionnaire for NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. It said: "Emergency contraception does not cause abortion. Rather, it prevents pregnancy from occurring. Will you support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception?"

Romney said: "Yes."

The next year, the Massachusetts legislature considered an "emergency contraception" mandate. It would have allowed pharmacists to sell Plan B -- an abortifacient -- without a prescription and without parental consent. It also would have required all hospitals to inform rape victims of the availability of such "emergency contraceptives" and provide them to the rape victim if she wanted them even when they would cause an abortion.

Maria Parker of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the public policy organization of the state's Catholic bishops, explained in testimony to the state legislature why Catholic hospitals could not do this.

The normal Catholic ban on artificial contraception did not apply in a rape case, Parker said. But while contraception was acceptable in such a situation, killing an unborn child was not.

In keeping with this moral understanding, one Massachusetts Catholic hospital chain would later explain to the Boston Globe that its practice was to test a rape victim to make certain she was not pregnant and only then give her emergency contraceptives. If the test proved the woman was pregnant, the hospital would not give the woman the drugs because they could not prevent conception but they could kill her child.

Parker concluded her testimony by quoting what Cardinal Frances George of Chicago had told the Illinois legislature when it proposed a similar law: "Our hospitals cannot and will not comply with this law."

In that session, the Massachusetts Senate passed the "emergency contraception" bill, but it was blocked in the House.

As Planned Parenthood and NARAL demanded action on the bill, and the Massachusetts Catholic Conference continued to speak out against it, Gov. Mitt Romney remained mum.

"Shawn Feddeman, spokeswoman for Gov. Mitt Romney, declined to comment on the governor's position on the bill," the Boston Globe reported on July 1, 2004. "'We'll review it when it reaches the governor's desk.'"

The bill was reintroduced in the next session -- and Romney remained mum.

Romney had "no opinion on the bill," his spokesman, Eric Fehrnstorm, told The Associated Press in April 2005. "We'll take a look at the bill should it reach the governor's desk."

But the bill had veto-proof support in both chambers of the Democrat-controlled legislature in 2005. In July, the House and Senate reached a compromise on it that would protect Catholic hospitals from being forced to act against their faith.

At that time, the Massachusetts Catholic Conference published a bulletin explaining what happened. The House had included language to "expressly apply" the 1975 conscience law protections to the new emergency contraception law. The Senate had included language saying the new law should apply "notwithstanding" any existing law.

"In the end, neither amendment was included in the bill," said the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. "House Majority Leader John Rogers, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to defend the hospitals' right of conscience, made it clear during floor debate on July 21 that the House blocked the Senate amendment so that the 1975 conscience statute would continue to have full effect."

The conference provided me with a copy of this bulletin, and Rogers assured me its account was "accurate and true."

The Catholic Church still opposed the bill because it would facilitate abortions. But at least the religious liberty of Catholic hospitals had been preserved -- or so it seemed.

On July 25, 2005, Romney vetoed the bill -- even though it was clear his veto would be overridden.

He published an op-ed in the Boston Globe the next day explaining his decision. "The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception," he wrote. "The drug it authorizes would also terminate life after conception." Romney said the veto kept his pledge not to change the state's abortion laws.

Romney made no mention of the religious liberty issue in his op-ed. But then, the bill, as the Massachusetts Catholic Conference and the House majority leader understood it, did not allow coercion of Catholic hospitals.

On Dec. 7, 2005, a week before the law was to take effect, the Boston Globe ran a piece headlined: "Private Hospitals Exempt on Pill Law." The article said the state Department of Public Health had determined that the emergency contraception law "does not nullify a statute passed years ago that says privately run hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception."

Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. told the Globe: "We felt very clearly that the two laws don't cancel each other out and basically work in harmony with each other."

Romney spokesman Fehrnstrom told the Globe that Romney agreed with the Department of Public Health on the issue. The governor, he said, "respects the views of health care facilities that are guided by moral principles on this issue."

"The staff of DPH did their own objective and unbiased legal analysis," Romney's spokesman told the Globe. "The brought it to us, and we concur in it."

The Globe itself ruefully bowed to this legal analysis. It ran an editorial headlined: "A Plan B Mistake." "The legislators failed, however," the Globe said, "to include wording in the bill explicitly repealing a clause in an older statute that gives hospitals the right, for reasons of conscience, not to offer birth control services."

Liberals joined in attacking Romney's defense of Catholic hospitals. But that defense did not last long.

The same day the Globe ran its editorial, Romney held a press conference. Now he said his legal counsel had advised him the new emergency contraception law did trump the 1975 conscience law.

"On that basis, I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view," Romney said. "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."

A true leader would have said: I will defend the First Amendment right of Catholics to freely exercise their religion -- against those who would force them to participate in abortions -- all the way to the Supreme Court.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: abortion; moralabsolutes; prolife; romney; romneytruthfile

1 posted on 02/02/2012 7:05:36 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: TeĆ³filo; Cronos; wagglebee; dsc; Deo volente; MarkBsnr; Mad Dawg; ArrogantBustard; ...
There's-no-difference-between-Romney-and-Obama ping
2 posted on 02/02/2012 7:07:44 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Pick a bad position Obama has taken and look back a few years and you’ll find Mitt held it first.


3 posted on 02/02/2012 7:08:14 AM PST by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; Thane_Banquo
"If Romney gets the nomination, mark my words: As soon as the convention is over, you're going to see the Romney who passed the Assault Weapons Ban. You're going to see the Romney who supported gay marriage. You're going to see the Romney who protected and knighted Planned Parenthood. You're going to see the Romney who invented Obamacare and wants to keep it going. And conservatives will no longer have any say inside the Republican Party."~Thane_Banquo
4 posted on 02/02/2012 7:10:29 AM PST by Earthdweller (Harvard won the election again...so what's the problem.......? Embrace a ruler today.)
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To: pepsi_junkie
Pick a bad position Obama has taken and look back a few years and you’ll find Mitt held it first.

Yes, but our little Republican primary voters are so uninformed that they truly don't know.

5 posted on 02/02/2012 7:11:42 AM PST by Theodore R. (I'll still vote for Santorum in the unlikely event he is still on the April 3 ballot.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Romney has never changed his position. He always stands for whatever he thinks will advance his own political aspirations, and he has been unwavering in that stance.


6 posted on 02/02/2012 7:12:07 AM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: Earthdweller

You are right, but, remember, that our little Republican primary voters are just too uninformed to know.


7 posted on 02/02/2012 7:13:02 AM PST by Theodore R. (I'll still vote for Santorum in the unlikely event he is still on the April 3 ballot.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

He didn’t lift a finger to fight sodomite “marriage” either.


8 posted on 02/02/2012 7:13:57 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

9 posted on 02/02/2012 7:31:50 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

10 posted on 02/02/2012 7:43:33 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Wow. Obama in white-face. I have been saying it all along.


11 posted on 02/02/2012 7:45:21 AM PST by Grunthor (Mitt Romney and anyone supporting him can go fornicate themselves with a cactus)
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To: Astronaut

Go ahead....tell us how this is completely different that what Obama has done. enlighten us.


12 posted on 02/02/2012 7:47:02 AM PST by Grunthor (Mitt Romney and anyone supporting him can go fornicate themselves with a cactus)
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To: Grunthor
Exactly.

Love your tagline.

13 posted on 02/02/2012 7:47:33 AM PST by Flycatcher (God speaks to us, through the supernal lightness of birds, in a special type of poetry.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

If that’s an official ping list I want on it.


14 posted on 02/02/2012 7:49:23 AM PST by Grunthor (Mitt Romney and anyone supporting him can go fornicate themselves with a cactus)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

The prospect of Romney being nominated is scaring the heck out of me.


15 posted on 02/02/2012 8:01:56 AM PST by CatherineofAragon (I can haz Romney's defeat?)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

This is especially troublesome when Obama is forcing Catholics to violate their consciences, or not provide insurance to their employees.

We don’t want another president with that mind set.


16 posted on 02/02/2012 8:07:08 AM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
How'd I miss this post. You've earned a t-shirt for this thread.


Click to Donate to Newt Gingrich

17 posted on 02/02/2012 8:44:57 AM PST by hoosiermama (Stand with God: Newt, and Sarah will be right next to you.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; APatientMan; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


18 posted on 02/02/2012 8:47:04 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

This is what I’ve been trying for years to tell people about Romney. I did a legal internship with Liberty Counsel in Lynchburg, VA, in 2006, and we were getting pleas for help from MA hospital workers who were trying to fight freedom of conscience issues. But we were unable to help them, for reasons not clear to me, then or now. Probably logistics. But I do think about it from time to time. What if we had taken that on? What if we could have given Mittens an early and deep political wound that might have slowed his advance? Unprofitable speculation, no doubt, but it does trouble me...


19 posted on 02/02/2012 8:53:41 AM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Me, too.


20 posted on 02/02/2012 8:54:39 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Me, too.


21 posted on 02/02/2012 8:55:18 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Pollster1
He always stands for whatever he thinks will advance his own political aspirations, and he has been unwavering in that stance.

That's what makes him so "electable"! Blecch!

22 posted on 02/02/2012 9:09:19 AM PST by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

BARF


23 posted on 02/02/2012 9:21:05 AM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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"I’ve always been personally pro-life, but for me, it was a great question about whether or not government should intrude in that decision. And when I ran for office, I said I’d protect the law as it was, which is effectively a pro-choice position."

~ Mitt Romney

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007


Donate to Free Republic!
click the pic

24 posted on 02/02/2012 9:24:46 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Amen, Dr. He’s a weasel.


25 posted on 02/02/2012 10:10:09 AM PST by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

By doesn’t the altar boy Rick take off his halo and start being honest!

Why isn’t he attacking Mitt on this - this is old news so he knows it! Too busy with his diversion adds of who is the most conservative - he lost that claim, also.

Thanks for posting this as a reminder. It’s amazing ALL THE BAGGAGE Romney has. No one dare peek into his trunk!


26 posted on 02/02/2012 10:23:01 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

bingo


27 posted on 02/02/2012 10:49:48 AM PST by StPaulRevert
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To: Pollster1

Romney has never changed his position. He always stands for whatever he thinks will advance his own political aspirations, and he has been unwavering in that stance.”””

Awhile back on FR, there was a thread that quoted Ann Romney in a similar manner.

She said Mitt would argue strongly on any side of an issue, & do similar hard arguing on the opposite side of the issue anytime later.

She said he could convince himself that both arguements were perfectly sound.


28 posted on 02/02/2012 12:24:34 PM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Will you vote for Romney in the general election if he gets the Republican nomination?


29 posted on 02/02/2012 9:03:16 PM PST by DNA.2012
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To: Flycatcher

Thank you.


30 posted on 02/02/2012 9:05:56 PM PST by Grunthor (Mitt Romney and anyone supporting him can go fornicate themselves with a cactus)
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To: DNA.2012

“Will you vote for Romney in the general election if he gets the Republican nomination?”

A snowball stands a better chance in the lake of fire.


31 posted on 02/02/2012 9:15:28 PM PST by Grunthor (Mitt Romney and anyone supporting him can go fornicate themselves with a cactus)
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To: DNA.2012

Romney is pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-gun control. Unlike ObamaCare, RomneyCare pays for abortion. Like Obama, Romney forces Catholic institutions to dispense abortifacients against their consciences. Like Obama, Romney does not permit exceptions for conscience.

What difference is there between the two, besides the fact that most conservatives KNOW Obama is evil, while they’ve been hoodwinked into thinking Romney is acceptable to conservatives?

I don’t consider Romney to even be “the lesser of two evils.” He is just as evil, if a different sort of evil.

That said, who I vote for come November is between me and God.


32 posted on 02/02/2012 9:22:15 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Is that a “yes”?


33 posted on 02/02/2012 11:00:29 PM PST by DNA.2012
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To: DNA.2012

No. It’s a non answer.


34 posted on 02/02/2012 11:09:55 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

A very very long non-answer.


35 posted on 02/03/2012 12:06:51 AM PST by DNA.2012
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