Friday, January 12, 2007

Mass. Citizens for Life's Flip-Flop on Romney

Mass. Citizens for Life (MCFL) used to be disappointed in Gov. Romney's failure to support their pro-family efforts. The Globe reported in March 2005,

"Marie Sturgis, legislative director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said she hasn't detected any change in Romney's stance. The group considers Romney to be an abortion-rights supporter, as do national antiabortion groups such as the Family Research Council."

Then last week were surprised by this flip-flop by MCFL in its assessment of Romney. Regarding a letter signed by a few "conservative" leaders in Massachusetts supporting Romney, the new president of MCFL is quoted:

One activist who agreed to sign the letter was Joseph Reilly, president of the group Massachusetts Citizens for Life, a group that opposes abortion. "It just told the truth," Reilly said of the letter, describing Romney as "a man of honesty."

"I would describe the letter as a testimony of the help that Governor Romney has given to profamily values during his tenure," added Tom Shields, chairman of the Coalition for Marriage and Family [the group behind the VoteOnMarriage amendment].

Shields is a close personal friend of Romney's.

Then we read this on yesterday's Pro-Life Romney Watch blog (1-11-07):

I spoke with Marie Sturgis [former president] at Mass Citizens for Life earlier this afternoon. She confirmed for me that Romney wrote a check to [MCFL] just before Christmas in the amount of $15,000.

I told her that I saw her quote at National Review Online ... and that that quote was contrary to what she has been saying about Romney all along – and that her statements on the record about his proabort record were consistent with the truth. Because her name does now not appear on the Romney endorsement, I asked her whether the Romney camp had asked her to refrain from signing it. She would neither confirm nor deny - and said she would "rather not open that can of worms".

She also told me that she has been fielding phone calls from irate Catholics who are very upset that Joe Reilly (wife is Evelyn Reilly who works with Kris Mineau [head of Mass. Family Institute and spokeman for VoteOnMarriage] ) has signed onto the letter. She said "This might not be an issue if Sam Brownback were not running – but everyone is upset because Sam has the stronger prolife/profamily record."

Of course. If prolifers do not back the man with the stronger prolife record – what message does that send to future politicians?

This all has nothing to do with whether or not Romney's conversion is genuine or it is not genuine. It's immaterial. Three months ago, Romney appointed an anti family judge on his court to rule against us. This is not a man we can trust at this juncture. For fifteen thousand dollars, Joe Reilly was willing to contradict their previous statements on the record.

That's pretty discouraging to people who are relying on the integrity that this is about advancing the best prolife environment for our country.