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

Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

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