The EFM Feature

Many conservatives–particularly of the evangelical persuasion–often express confusion over the fact that Governor Romney could have been “personally pro-life” but not seeking to enshrine that view in the law. It of course was not the right position, but this e-mail from LDS reader Andrew, who used to think the same way, may be instructive as to how it could have happened:

I understand Romney on this issue. I am also a Mormon who is adamantly against abortion and have been all my life. However, the legality of the issue has always confused me. This, I feel is mostly due to the lack of personal experience regarding the issue and our firm belief that all men and women have been endowed with the inherent rights of freedom to act according to their own consciences. We call this free agency and speak to it often. Four years ago, however I started medical school and I was brought to deal with these issues head on, as I imagine Romney did as Governor dealing with stem cell issues. Recently as I interviewed a patient in the emergency department, I asked what had become of her previous pregnancies. ‘Elective abortion’ was the reply. This struck me clearly with a profound change of heart. It seemed so routine and casual. It seemed as though there were children that were discarded to prevent a shift in lifestyle or schedule. I can understand a sudden change of heart on this issue. I had the exact feeling that Romney had — that our culture has dramatically cheapened life. I also felt that it had to change. So to me an experience like Romney’s is not too far fetched. In fact I would imagine that the vast majority of pro-lifers could point to an experience of seeing an unborn on ultrasound moving, or another experience as motivating them in their pro-life stance. So I believe that the pro-life movement
could accept Romney with welcoming arms, as he represents all of us.

It also seems to me to be significant that the LDS church (unless I am missing something) does not take the stance per se that life begins at conception–so it’s not like Mormons (unlike many evangelicals) often hear from the pulpit that killing a fetus is murder.
And again, none of this is to excuse the incorrect view Governor Romney formerly took. But it may explain how his journey happened.
Anyone else have thoughts on this?

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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