John, I have to disagree with your analysis of the 2005 fight in Massachusetts over requiring all hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide so-called “emergency contraception” pills, which are really abortion-inducing drugs.
The Boston Globe doesn’t normally like to interview pro-life Catholics. But they’ll make an exception if they attack Republican candidates like Mitt Romney. And that’s exactly what happened here. The Boston Globe is playing off the skepticism that pro-lifers over Governor Romney’s conversion on abortion.
Now, I think pro-lifers are justified in being skeptical and have a right to ask questions about his record. After all, by Romney’s own admission he once was a supporter of legal abortion in 2002. When he ran for governor, he said he would keep the law just as it is. But that wasn’t enough for a Legislature that is 75% Democratic. They passed a bill to force all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide drugs which are used to destroy human life.
The Globe story highlights Catholic activist C.J. Doyle’s complaint that Governor Romney decided he could no longer fight a new law requiring Catholic hospitals to provide these abortifacients. Romney’s legal counsel said the law provided absolutely no religious exemption at all, so fighting the Constitutionality of the law on these grounds would go nowhere. Now, perhaps the legal counsel’s analysis is wrong.
But you almost have to get to the second page of the Globe story before you realize this crucial fact: Governor Mitt Romney vetoed this legislation. That’s right. The Massachusetts legislature passed the bill. Romney vetoed it. Then the Legislature overrode his veto and the bill became law.
From the Globe in September 2005:
The Senate voted, 37 to 0, to reject Romney’s veto, and the House followed suit with a 139-to-16 tally. Supporters needed a two-thirds majority in each chamber to overrule the governor.
So Mitt Romney is not the bad guy in this story. Who is? How about 90% of the politicians in the State House? How every single State Senator. It is indeed a sad fact that well over two-thirds of the Massachusetts Legislature wanted this onerous legislation. But give credit where credit is due: Romney vetoed this bill.