by Steven Ertelt
October 15, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says Americans are ready to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that paved the way to abortion on demand and well over 48 million abortions. However, he said he doesn’t think Americans are ready for a Constitutional amendment giving full legal protection to unborn children.
Asked Friday at a Nevada town hall meeting if he would support a constitutional ban on abortions, Romney said, "I would love to see an America where there was no abortion, but that’s not where the American people are."
"What I do want to see, and where I think the American people are today, is to see a conservative jurist on the Supreme Court and to see Roe v. Wade overturned," Romney added.
He also criticized the pro-abortion views ofd Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, and said he doesn’t represent most Republicans.
"I believe conservatives across the nation and particularly in states where I have been able to take my message, like Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Michigan and Florida and Nevada, that conservatives that have heard me time and again recognize that I do speak for the Republican wing of the Republican Party," Romney said.
As LifeNews.com reported in August, top Romney officials said the candidate favors a two-step process towards eliminating abortions with overturning Roe as the first step and a constitutional amendment as the second.
Appearing that month on "Good Morning America," Romney told ABC News that he supports the GOP platform on abortion, which calls for a human life amendment that would afford full legal protection to unborn children.
"You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform and I’m pro-life," he told ABC.
But Romney came under criticism for apparently flip-flopping and saying he backs a human life amendment at the same time he says the best approach is to overturn Roe v. Wade and let states make the law on abortion.
Romney advisor Jim Bopp, a leading pro-life lawyer who serves as the top attorney for National Right to Life and other pro-life groups, tells LifeNews.com Romney’s two positions go hand in hand.
Bopp, who wrote the amendment that appears in the Republican Party platform, said Romney "views the Human Life Amendment as an aspirational goal, which we hope and pray we eventually can achieve."
"In the meantime, the first important step toward that goal is reversal of Roe v. Wade, and thereby returning the matter to the states, through appointment of strict constructionist judges," Bopp added.
Bopp said Romney’s approach is not an "either/or" but rather a "two-step process" of toppling Roe followed by a full move to amend the Constitution.
"The reversal of Roe be an important step in that direction," Bopp explained.
He told LifeNews.com the two-pronged strategy is necessary because there aren’t enough votes for an amendment in Congress while overturning Roe could be one vote away on the Supreme Court.
It would allow for the protection of as many unborn children as possible in the short term while a human life amendment is pursued.
That squares with the pro-life movement’s long-stated goals of protecting as many unborn children as possible as soon as possible — first through getting judges on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe and also through a federal amendment for long-term legal protection.