Mitt Romney’s Pro-Choice Ad
As someone who tries to follow closely the intersections of religion and politics, I am intrigued by Romney’s recent television ad (embedded below) in which he essentially takes a limited pro-choice philosophical position. The spot features a disappointed former Obama supporter who does a little of the ol’ Google thing and learns that Mitt Romney “doesn’t oppose contraception at all” and “thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.” The availability of contraceptives and abortion are important to her, she tells us, but she’s more concerned with the crushing debt, and so she’ll be supporting Mitt Romney.
There’s enough difference between Romney and Obama on abortion policy that pro-life voters, particularly those for whom outlawing abortion is their single, decisive issue, will be lining up for the Republican candidate in a few weeks. This ad may irk these voters, but it probably won’t lose Romney many votes from among them. Nonetheless, it is kind of a raised middle finger flaunted in their general direction.
Prominent religious leaders, including some Roman Catholic bishops, had given Romney moral support by declaring loudly and publicly that a Catholic could not in good conscious vote for a candidate who supports abortion, considered the “gravest of intrinsic evils.” Romney is now on record approving of the messages that 1) innocent human life is not in fact inviolable because abortion should in some cases be an option and 2) the national debt is of graver importance than abortion. With this ad, Romney has upended the pillars some big name religious pro-life leaders had erected for him. This won’t matter electorally, but it nicely captures the contempt the Romney campaign has for his ardent pro-life supporters.