No doubt at this moment every major Democrat and Republican presidential candidate has sent staffers scurrying through decades of charitable donation history. Of course, this won’t take as long for the Democrats.
A day after it was revealed that Rudy Guiliani gave personal money to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion provider, came this bombshell — Mitt Romney’s wife Ann gave money to Planned Parenthood in 1994, when Mitt was running as a pro-choice Senate candidate.
This has the potential to hurt Romney even more than Guiliani, because it reminds pro-lifers of why it is so difficult to accept Romney’s pro-life conversion as genuine.
I like the Romneys. They seem to have a solid marriage and a great family, and Mitt’s record of business and political success is remarkable. And I like most of the positions he is taking now.
But think of it this way. When Ann Romney gave money to Planned Parenthood, she was a 45-year-old mother of five, a graduate of BYU and a member of a pro-life church. When Mitt Romney became pro-life, in late 2004 according to his campaign, he was a 57-year-old member of the pro-life Mormon church who ran for office as a pro-choice candidate on two previous occasions.
The Romneys lived through the national debate over abortion that occurred following Roe v. Wade in 1973. They lived through the publication of President Reagan’s book, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation” in 1984. They lived through “Silent Scream” and Operation Rescue and ultrasound technology and the debate over partial-birth abortion.
Mitt Romney was valedictorian at BYU; he’s a bright and capable man. Surely he understood the arguments being made by his church, by President Reagan and by others on behalf of the dignity of human life.
Pro-lifers end up asking this question — is it really a coincidence that Romney’s pro-life conversion occurred almost simultaneously with his decision to not seek re-election in pro-abortion Massachusetts, but instead to seek the presidential nomination for an overwhelmingly pro-life political party?
ADDENDUM: This 2002 video making the rounds on YouTube shows Ann Romney reassuring pro-choice women in Massachusetts that Mitt will be “just fine” on social issues. If that’s not clear enough, Mitt declares his sincere commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose.