by Steven Ertelt
February 24, 2005
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Speculation that Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is making a bid for national attention and a possible 2008 president bid in the Republican primaries gained traction with a recent speech the governor gave in South Carolina, an early primary state, where he called himself pro-life on abortion.
The chairman of South Carolina’s Spartanburg County Republican Committee, where Romney spoke at a banquet, says Romney had a conversation with him and said he was "pro-life."
"I had a meeting with him one-on-one and he told me he is definitely pro-life,’’ Rick Beltram said. "He said he is personally against abortion but isn’t going out to change the rules — that’s a pro-life position."
Yesterday, Romney responded to questions from reporters about the speech and said: "My position is the same, I do not favor abortion personally – I’m personally pro-life, if you will. But I do favor maintaining the laws in the commonwealth as they are, and that’s the commitment I made.”
The comment drew concern from leading abortion advocates.
Melissa Kogut, executive director of NARAL’s Massachusetts affiliate told the Boston Herald, "Obviously we’re disappointed to hear him describe his position that way."
"To win as governor in Massachusetts, the candidate really has to be pro-choice because most voters in this state are pro-choice,” Kogut added. "So we’ll be watching to see if he runs.”
However, to pro-life advocates, Romney’s did not abandon his long-standing position in favor of abortion.
"No offense to the people of Massachusetts but, within the pro-life movement, when a Massachusetts politician says he is personally pro-life, warning bells go off,” Tom McClusky, director of government affairs at the conservative Family Research Council, told the Boston Herald. "That’s the exact same thing John Kerry says.”
Meanwhile, Carol Tobias of the National Right to Life Committee, told the Herald, "John Kerry said that he was personally opposed to abortion but wouldn’t do anything to stop it. Mitt Romney’s position doesn’t seem any different.”