by Steven Ertelt
September 17, 2006
Mitt Romney Offers Further Explanation of His Pro-Life Stance on Abortion
Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Possible 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, currently the governor of Massachusetts, is offering more explanation of his position change that saw him shift from a pro-abortion to a pro-life position on whether abortion should be legal. When he ran for governor in 2002, he proclaimed: “I believe women should have the right to make their own choice.” But now Romney insists: “I’m firmly pro-life.” “My position has changed,” he acknowledged to The Examiner newspaper. Romney explained that he realized that the unborn child deserves legal protect when he discussed embryonic stem cell research with two Harvard scientists. He said, “At one point, one of the two said, ‘this is not a moral issue because we kill the embryos at 14 days.’” Romney recalls. “And I looked over at Beth Myers, my chief of staff, and we both had exactly the same reaction, which is it just hit us hard. “And as they walked out, I said, ‘Beth, we have cheapened the sanctity of life by virtue of the Roe v. Wade mentality.’" Since the position change, Romney has vetoed a bill to promote embryonic stem cell research, opposed promoting the morning after pill, and called for a state investigation of child custody officials that pressed for the euthanasia death of a girl in state custody. Romney’s position change, if authentic, could be important because some of the potential 2008 GOP candidates back abortion, such as Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki.
Hearing Set for Pro-Life Group’s Exception to McCain Feingold Limits
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A hearing has been set for a pro-life group that says the campaign finance reforms found int he McCain-Feingold legislation stifle the ability of pro-life groups to engage in election activities. The District Court for the District of Columbia will hold a summary judgment hearing on Monday in a case involving Wisconsin Right to Life. “This hearing is critical to the goal of Wisconsin Right to Life to have an exception made to the McCain/Feingold campaign law allowing organizations like ours to air genuine grassroots lobbying television and radio ads within the blackout periods created by the law,” stated Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of the pro-life group. “The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech," the right to associate, and the right to influence actions of the government," said Lyons. "Grassroots lobbying is a time-honored practice which allows the public to be an integral part of the process of making laws. It has served our nation well and should not be trampled by arbitrary blackout periods which only work to silence citizen groups, stifle the free flow of information about issues before the Congress, and protect incumbent politicians.” Wisconsin Right to Life began its action in August of 2004 when it asked permission in federal court to continue airing television and radio ads which mentioned the names of Senators Feingold and Kohl. Since Senator Feingold was on the ballot at the time, the blackout period was in effect.
Kansas Archbishop Criticizes Pro-Abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has written a widely circulated pastoral letter to state Catholics criticizing Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for her stance and actions in favor of abortion. The letter encourages Catholics to pray for the governor, who is facing pro-life state Sen. Jim Barnett this November. Naumann encouraged people to pray “that she might reconsider her long held position supporting legalized abortion.” "It is never permissible for a Catholic to support the legalization of the killing of innocent lives by abortion, much less lead the fight for legal abortion,” he wrote. The archbishop’s column appeared in “The Leaven,” a diocesan newspaper that reaches 53,000 state residents. Naumann said he wrote the column in response to church members who complained to him that Sebelius, a Catholic, had vetoed a measure detailing why late-term abortions were done in the state. She also vetoed a bill that would have made sure abortion businesses follow basic health and safety codes.
Nebraska Pro-Life Group: Human Cloning Ban Needed After Regent’s Remarks
Lincoln, NE (LifeNews.com) — University of Nebraska Regent Drew Miller told the state Board of Regents that Nebraska voters should consider a state initiative similar to one in Missouri that promotes human cloning and embryonic stem cell research. Julie Schmit-Albin, the director of Nebraska Right to Life, said her group has been warning about this for months. “Regent Miller asked the Board of Regents [last Friday] to discuss placing an initiative petition on our ballot to ensure constitutional protection of unfettered embryonic stem cell research and human cloning,” said Schmit-Albin. “We have been citing Missouri as an example ever since they started their petition drive to do the same thing last October.“ Missouri resident will vote on the human cloning proposal this November. “We have been in communication with our counterparts in Missouri and Kansas and know what they are up against," Schmit-Albin added. "We have been telling elected officials, religious and pro-life leaders and our grassroots that if the Missouri initiative passes; Nebraska will be next. Drew Miller has just confirmed what we have been warning the Nebraska pro-life movement about for almost a year.” Schmit-Albin said Nebraska Right to Life continued to push for passage of a bill in the Nebraska Legislature the past two years which would have banned cloning.
California Taxpayer Group Says Stem Cell Research Panel Member Unfit
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — A member of a key committee of the state’s embryonic stem cell research funding panel doesn’t meet the qualifications for the position and his appointment appears to be a political payoff to the powerful California Teachers Association, consumer advocates said last week. The appointment of John Hein, former lobbyist for the California Teacher’s Association, smacks of cronyism, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez appointed Hein and Proposition 71 said members of the committee "shall have medical backgrounds and knowledge of relevant financial matters." Hein’s biography posted on the committee’s website shows no medical background. "When you get appointed to an important position without the qualifications, it’s a political payoff. It’s clear Hein got this position because of the California Teachers Association’s political clout," said John M. Simpson, FTCR’s Stem Cell Project Director. "The law specifies the qualifications for the post. It’s appalling it was so blatantly flouted by the Speaker." The California Teachers Association is one of the state’s most powerful unions and one of Nunez’s biggest boosters. The union gave $526,200 to Nunez since 2003.