Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Romney on the Abortion Status Quo

In today's Boston Globe, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney explains why he vetoed a bill that would have expanded access to emergency contraception.  Essentially, he argues that the bill would have altered abortion law, which he pledged during the campaign not to change. Here is his justification for that stance:

I understand that my views on laws governing abortion set me in the minority in our Commonwealth. I am prolife. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.

Because Massachusetts is decidedly prochoice, I have respected the state's democratically held view. I have not attempted to impose my own views on the prochoice majority.

I appreciate this deference to democracy, but if he truly wishes that the laws could reflect his prolife views and is legitimately positioned as governor to shape those laws, can deliberate inaction be justified by surveys showing that a majority of voters support the status quo?  I suppose that without such a pledge, he would not have been elected in Massachusetts and not positioned to do whatever good he is doing.  Still, his reasoning strikes me as a bit curious.



Vischer, Rob | Permalink

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