Today’s National Review Online features an outstanding column by pro-life lawyer James Bopp, Jr. For those who don’t know him, Bopp is one of America’s leading pro-life advocates, a man whose commitment to the pro-life cause is unquestioned. He describes why the Mitt Romney abortion “conversion” is credible, and in so doing it’s almost as if he’s channeling EFM:
Yet how is the sincerity of a conversion to be measured? There are two salient considerations in this regard: first, some defining moment that prompted a change of heart; second, the fact that deeds speak louder than words. Romney’s conversion exhibits both. First, Romney has had a life-changing event. It was when he was governor and researchers were proposing embryonic cloning at Harvard. As he recounts it, one of the researchers said that there “wasn’t a moral issue, because . . . they destroy the embryos at 14 days.” Romney said that “it struck me that we have so cheapened the value of human life in this country through our Roe v. Wade decision that someone could think that there is no moral issue to have racks and racks of living human embryos and then destroying them at 14 days.”
This was not a trivial matter for Romney and his family. As he told the New York Times at the time, “My wife has MS and we would love for there to be a cure for her disease and for the diseases of others. But there is an ethical boundary that should not be crossed.”
And Romney, as governor, acted on these convictions. He vetoed an embryonic cloning bill; he vetoed a bill that would allow the “morning after pill” to be acquired without a prescription on the grounds that it is an abortifacient; he vetoed legislation which would have redefined Massachusetts longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation; and he fought to promote abstinence education in the classroom. One should not underestimate the tremendous political price that Governor Romney paid in Massachusetts for these acts. Both conviction and courage are necessary for effective pro-life leadership, and Romney, in office, displayed both.
These themes simply cannot be repeated enough. Conversion to the pro-life cause–especially conversions accompanied by concrete actions–are cause for celebration. Moreover, Bopp points out a salient fact that so many of Romney’s critics either miss or dismiss–the stem cell debate that triggered his move to life has special importance for his family. As Ann faces MS, the fetal stem cell debate is hardly abstract or purely political.
Finally, I liked what Bopp had to say about the Governor’s faith:
Many social conservatives do not share Romney’s Mormon faith, but his faith should be viewed by social conservatives as a good sign, not as a matter of concern. The Mormon religion, while having tenets that Christians do not share, is profoundly conservative in its support for life, family, and marriage. Thus, Romney’s religion reinforces, rather than conflicts with, his conversion. All people of faith believe that the best public officials are those with God, not man, at the center of their lives.
We have been saying this since last summer, when EFM launched. In all the ways that matter for a political leader, the Governor’s faith should give evangelicals a tremendous amount of comfort. Governor Romney shares our moral and political values, and he shares those values largely because of his faith.
Read Bopp’s article, then send it to your friends. Mitt Romney is the best choice for the pro-life community.