Romney’s Nuance – A Rebuttal to Boston Catholic Insider

I have to make a short little blog post today as today I saw something very humorous.

At the Arizona debate two days ago, Mitt Romney was asked the question (paraphrased): Did you force Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after pill to rape victims in Massachusetts.

Romney said:

“No, absolutely not. Of course not.

There was no requirement in Massachusetts for the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims. That was entirely voluntary on their part. There was no such requirement.”

Allow me to remind you what Romney also said that night, again paraphrased: “You get to ask the questions you want, I get to give the answers I want.”

Allow me now to point out a nuance.

Romney never spoke about requiring Catholic hospitals to provide the morning after pill to rape victims. What he spoke about was not requiring the Catholic CHURCH to provide the morning after pill, that was voluntary. Never in the question did Romney actually answer the question. This would be a DODGE, and an extremely nuanced one at that.

But Romney’s too good to just stop there. That doesn’t quite coat the side step enough. No, then he went on to say that Romneycare provides a religious exception (which it does), and that made it sound as if he were saying not only did he not force the Catholic hospitals to give out the morning after pill, he also made is sound as if the hospitals had a choice in the matter.

The trouble with that conclusion is how he made it sound and what he said, aren’t the same thing.  The only thing that could be a “lie” is if “No, absolutely not. Of course not,” was in reference to John King’s question or if it was a preface to the line following it. I think it’s pretty clear that if Romney is going to sidestep the question enough so he can give truthful answer, he wouldn’t start with a blatant lie. So I’ll go with the conclusion it was an attachment to the beginning of the statement, not an answer. I think Romney just answered the question how he “wanted to”.

All that said, let’s point out that the bill in question, Romney was opposed to. He vetoed it. When the Democrats overrode his veto, the law took precedence over the law that existed before, eliminating a religious waiver. As the law stood, Romney had to enforce Massachusetts law, and uphold the Democratic bill. So did he force the Catholic hospitals to provide the pill, personally? No, Democratic law did.

One last thing:

Romney said that in his “heart of hearts” he believed that rape victims should have access to the morning after pill. That is consistent with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church to which he belongs.

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2 thoughts on “Romney’s Nuance – A Rebuttal to Boston Catholic Insider

  1. Boston priest says:

    This explanation is so contorted and nuanced as to be almost implausible. Romney’s own Department of Public Health and his spokesman Fehrnstrom said he believed the 1975 law that exempted Catholic hospitals prevailed. Then they flip-flopped and changed their minds. I have read the Boston Catholic Insider post, and the evidince they have provided is substantial. You offer conjecture.

    • Your own misinformation on this case is lacking.

      Romney opposed the bill in question, he also vetoed it when it came to his desk. At no point did he ever say “Oh it’s okay to pass this because there’s a religious exemption.”

      The fact of the matter is, you’re yelling at Romney about a bill that he vetoed and had no part of. If you don’t understand law, often a new bill completely replaces a new one. It’ll erase a entire section, not leaving anything behind (i.e. religious exceptions). The new bill, as drafted by the Democrats, and vetoed by Romney, allowed for no religious exemption as Romney was later informed. Thus, as Governor, he was required to uphold the democrats law. It wasn’t a Romney choice, it was the letter of the law.

      So did Romney personally overrule a law? Nope. Did he uphold the law? Yes.

      So as controversial as you want to make this, there are much more realistic scenarios than Romney had it out for Catholic hospitals.

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