Here’s my theory that I’m just going to throw out there for discussion: Mitt Romney was never able to completely convince pro-choicers that he was one of them, no matter what he said publicly. We are quite familiar with the Senate debate video clips, and the accusations leveled of flip-flopping on the issue of abortion. Less familiar to conservatives still struggling with supporting Mitt is the fact that he had the endorsement of Massachusetts Citizens for Life in 1994…because “he supported parental-consent laws, opposed taxpayer-funded abortion or mandatory abortion coverage under a national insurance plan and was against the Freedom of Choice Act that would have codified Roe”. He certainly didn’t convince Kate Michelman of NARAL that he was 100% pro-choice.
In the above linked article, Michelman accuses Romney of a “campaign of deception to hide his anti-choice views”. Interesting. Even after all the signs pointed to Romney being, at the very least, pro-choice friendly, there were still doubts about his position on abortion by activists like Michelman. The whole American Spectator article deserves a look, because it does shed a little light on Romney’s past record on abortion, and it brings out several things the casual observer may not realize about that past.
I’m not suggesting that Romney was always pro-life, just that he has taken positions in the past which are consistent with pro-life positions, even before he became governor. He admitted that he has changed his position on abortion, but I’m not sure he was ever 100% pro-choice to begin with. It takes extreme political skill to convince activists from both sides of this issue that you support their view, and it’s not surprising that Romney couldn’t completely pull it off.