by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is slated to announce next week that he is officially a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. The news comes as some pro-life advocates still doubt his recent conversion to the pro-life perspective.
According to campaign aides, Romney will announce his candidacy next Tuesday in Michigan, where the GOP candidate’s father was a governor and businessman.
Romney is then scheduled to begin an announcement tour that will take him to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first primary states, and then culminate in a rally in Boston.
The former governor created an exploratory committee last month and promptly raised $6.5 million in a large fund-raising call-a-thon days later.
Pro-life advocates have had mixed feelings about whether Romney can truly be called pro-life.
He campaigned as a candidate backing legalized abortion in previous runs for office, including his last bid for governor. Yet, in 2005, 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.
Romney now believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned so states can again prohibit abortions.
In an interview in December with Kathryn Lopez of National Review, Romney responded to concerns from pro-life advocates that he’s "faking" a pro-life position because he’s running for president.
"I believe people will see that as governor, when I had to examine and grapple with this difficult issue, I came down on the side of life," Romney said.
He was referring to his veto of a bill that would have promoted embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts. While some pro-life lawmakers have upset pro-life advocates by supporting the research, which requires the destruction of days-old unborn children, Romney opposed the practice.
Romney said he is "committed to promoting the culture of life" and admitted that "like Ronald Reagan, and Henry Hyde, and others who became pro-life, I had this issue wrong in the past."
The governor told National Review that his view of future abortion law is that Roe should be overturned and states should be free to prohibit abortions.
"I do believe that the one-size-fits-all, abortion-on-demand-for-all-nine-months decision in Roe v. Wade does not serve the country well and is another example of judges making the law instead of interpreting the Constitution," he said.
"What I would like to see is the Court return the issue to the people to decide," he added.
At the end of January, Romney shored up his pro-life credentials by picking up the support of Indiana attorney Jim Bopp, who has been the legal counsel for various national pro-life groups. nat2903.html
Romney’s stance is crucial because the two leading candidates don’t agree entirely with the pro-life community.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani supports both abortion and embryonic stem cell research and Arizona Sen. John McCain backs forcing taxpayers to fund the controversial science.
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback has arguably developed the most support within the pro-life community but he still trails in most polls of Republican voters.
Other potential Republican candidates include pro-life Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, pro-life Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, and pro-life Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Tom Tancredo of Colorado as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Health and Human Services Secretary and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who opposes abortion but supports embryonic stem cell research. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is also considering a bid.