Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog debunks another frequently cited myth by Romney that his puported “pro-life conversion” was similar to Reagan’s in a post entitled: “Myth Romney: On Reagan, Hyde and Abortion, His History Rewrites Are Virtually Smears.” (posted on Hot Air.com) Romney has taken so many different sides of so many issues that I don’t think even he can keep track of them all. Lies have a limited shelf life.
Thus, Reagan’s folklore “conversion” to being prolife was, in reality and in essence, nothing more than an admission that he had been thoroughly deceived, as this quote in the February 8, 1976 New York Times shows (link is to a picture of the article that opens in a new window or tab, provided for fair use and discussion purposes):
Mr. Reagan, returning to the Florida campaign trail after three days in New Hampshire and North Carolina, said that the California abortion law had been subverted by medical professionals, particularly those in the mental health field, who, in practice, assisted any woman who sought to abort a pregnancy.
….. “I placed too much faith in those who were entrusted with insuring that the patient met the terms of the bill.”
For Mitt Romney to characterize the Ronald Reagan just described as “effectively pro-choice” or “adamantly pro-choice,” and Reagan’s “experience” as being “the same” as his, borders on slander.
And with regard to Romney’s claim that Henry Hyde (author of the Hyde Amendment that barred federal funding for abortion):
The legendary prolife congressman, who died in November, is responsible for ensuring that no federal funds have paid for abortions since his Hyde Amendment passed in 1975. The New York Times’s obituary of November 30 quotes a veteran prolifer telling us what this meant in human terms:
Dr. Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said, “By conservative estimate, well over one million Americans are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment — more likely two million.”
Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, the Washington Post’s November 29 obit seems to contradict his claim that Hyde was once “effectively pro-choice”:
Elected to the Illinois House in 1967, he encountered what would become his signature issue when a colleague asked him to cosponsor an abortion rights law in 1968. Despite his Irish-Catholic upbringing, he told The Post he had never given much thought to the issue. Once he began reading on the matter, he realized he had to oppose it.
As noted above with Reagan, very few people had “given much thought” to abortion before the mid-late 1960s because it was (and of course still is, despite Roe) so obviously repugnant.
There are no hints that Henry Hyde was at any time pro-choice — effective, adamant, or otherwise — in the Chicago Tribune’s article on the day of his death, Jonathan Turley’s tribute, the New York Times’s obit noted earlier, or Hyde’s Wiki entry