Anti-Abortion Groups on Mitt Romney: Sigh, He’ll Have to Do

Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


On Thursday morning, National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the country’s biggest pro-life group, held a press conference in Washington, DC to announce its endorsement of inevitable Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In her statement, NRLC president Carol Tobias blasted the Obama administration’s “federal subsidies for abortion” (not really true) and highlighted the “stark contrast” between Mitt Romney (“our next pro-life president”) and Barack Obama (the “most pro-abortion president” ever). Raimundo Rojas, the group’s Hispanic outreach director, took aim at Obama’s “culture of death” and his “junta”—yes, that’s right: junta—of anti-baby bureaucrats.

The NRLC endorsement came the same day that the Susan B. Anthony List, another anti-abortion rights organization, announced its “proud” support for Romney’s candidacy (after months of openly questioning his pro-life street cred).

When asked about Romney’s long record of inconsistency on abortion rights (read William Saletan’s exhaustive history on the former Massachusetts governor’s political calculations on the issue here), Tobias affirmed that the NRLC was absolutely convinced of Romney’s current convictions, adding that the pro-life movement is “filled with converts,” with Ronald Reagan as a shining example. Whatever distrust the NRLC may still harbor towards Romney stayed well-hidden as the panel played up the organization’s enthusiasm for his campaign and promised to devote the next seven months to “convincing” pro-life voters and grassroots activists that Romney has indeed changed his tune.

As with all endorsements and things political, timing is everything. On Wednesday, Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, all but ensuring that Romney snags the nomination. During the primary slog, the NRLC has been careful not to write off any viable conservative candidate; the group’s leaders admit that they learned their lesson after making the mistake of endorsing Fred Thompson for president in late 2007.

Essentially, anti-abortion activists’ endorsement of Romney is the political equivalent of how Richard Gere felt about the US Navy in An Officer and a Gentleman: they got nowhere else to go.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate