by Steven Ertelt
January 30, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life attorney says he’s endorsing Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president. Jim Bopp, who has served as legal counsel for numerous pro-life organizations, also answered critics of the former Massachusetts governor who say his pro-life conversion is new recent to be trusted.
"As Governor, Mitt Romney has stood side-by-side with those seeking to protect the weakest and most innocent of our society" Bopp said in a statement. "In one of our country’s most liberal states, he has acted to protect the sanctity of life."
Bopp is the general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, but the pro-life group has not yet made an endorsement of its own and Bopp is backing Romney as an individual.
Based in Terre Haute, Indiana, Bopp has also served as the legal counsel for numerous pro-life groups on legislative and election issues and has also advised the Republican Party and the Christian Coalition.
In the statement LifeNews.com received, Romney said he appreciated the endorsement and added that Bopp will also be a special advisor on pro-life issues to his exploratory campaign.
"For almost three decades, Jim has been at the center of the fight to protect the sanctity of human life," Romney said.
"Jim will be a powerful spokesman for my vision of a greater tomorrow. I look forward to his counsel derived from many years of service and to working with him as we move forward," Romney added.
Bopp also told LifeNews.com that he thinks Romney’s conversion to the pro-life perspective is "sincere."
Romney campaigned as a candidate backing legalized abortion in previous runs for office, including his last bid for governor.
He later said he changed his mind after confronting the issue of embryonic stem cell research and realizing how Roe v. Wade diminished the public’s view of the dignity and worth of human life.
Saying that former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush were converts to as well, Bopp told LifeNews.com that the pro-life community "needs to be open to those who have a sincere conversion to the pro-life cause."
"When he was Governor and scientists were attempting to persuade him to support government funding of embryonic stem cell research, they said that there was no moral issue, because they destroy the embryos after 14 days," Bopp explained. "This hit him hard, how Roe v. Wade had cheapened life, and he publicly announced that he wanted to be considered pro-life."
He said a specific life-changing experience like Romney’s is "persuasive."
Bopp also indicated that Romney’s subsequent actions have affirmed his newfound pro-life stance.
"He vetoed the bill on embryonic stem cell research and some other efforts to liberalize the Massachusetts abortion law," Bopp said.
Ultimately, Bopp told LifeNews.com that a frank discussion of pro-life issues persuaded him.
"I have meet with him personally, discussed these issues with him and am satisfied that his pro-life position is sincere," he concluded.