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2005: Romney Flip-Flopped, Forced Catholic Hospitals to Distribute Morning-After Pill

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, I got a note today from somebody trying to be a little funny. They said, "Rush, I know that Romney didn't mean it this way, but the recent Health and Human Services mandate on contraception --" the Catholic Church thing "-- once again shows that, yes, Obamacare is worth getting angry about.  And there's an editorial in the Wall Street Journal today that Romney might be well served to get a little bit more angry about the Health and Human Services thing, although he has condemned it, he's practically called it 'zany.'"  That's the note I got.  And it's instructive, because I have here a piece of information you may not know yet.  I, of course, stumbled across this because it's my job, man, to stay informed and to keep you that way.  It's from LifeSiteNews.com.  It's December 9th of 2005. 

Are you ready?  Remember, now, this is seven years ago.  December 9th, 2005.  Sitting down, Snerdley?  "In a shocking turnaround, Massachusetts’s Governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday," which would have been December 8th, 2005, "that Roman Catholic and other private hospitals in the state will be forced to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims under new state legislation, regardless of the hospitals’ moral position on the issue. The Republican governor had earlier defended the right of hospitals to avoid dispensing the 'morning-after pill' on the grounds of moral dissent. The Boston Globe reported that Romney’s flip on the issue came after his legal counsel, Mark D. Nielsen, concluded Wednesday," again, we're talking 2005 here, "that the new law supersedes a preexisting statute related to the abortifacient pill." The morning-after pill. 

What we have here is another telling sign of just how similar, if you will, Romneycare is to Obamacare.  What is the legislation they are talking about here?  I'm gonna read this to you again.  It's December 9th, 2005.  The site is LifeSiteNews.com.  "In a shocking turnaround, Massachusetts’s Governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday that Roman Catholic and other private hospitals in the state will be forced to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims under new state legislation."  Now, it's sexual assault victims, not everybody, but there's a similarity here. 

And what this does... One of the reasons why I have often stated, to chagrin of the establishment and the Drive-By Media... One of the reasons that I have been of the opinion (let's put it that way) that Obama wants to run against Romney... It's not just Occupy Wall Street, which I think was created to run against Romney and to define Romney. But I think they know that there's a connection between Romneycare and Obamacare. Romney's two advisers helped the White House put theirs together, and here is another link to something happening today vis-a-vis Obamacare that has linkage to Romneycare. What this does is it takes another issue off the table --

I mean, hypothetically speaking here, if Romney gets the nomination. An issue that we gotta go tread lightly on when criticizing Obama on this mandate that Catholic schools and everybody else give away the morning-after pill, contraceptives and all that against their moral conscience. The word is "denude." It denudes us of another issue against Obama. See, this is the kind of thing the establishment in the Republican Party just doesn't seem to penetrate. Even though people may not have known this specific bit of information, there still is this unsettledness in the conservative base about Romney because of things like this.

What the conservative base knows is that we have the most radical, far-left president this country's ever seen. And the contrast to that is who we are naturally. And to denude that contrast, to have a campaign where there doesn't appear to be that big a difference in something as fundamental as Obamacare, from him to our nominee? This is something the conservative base just is roiling against. And the establishment doesn't quite get it. So you get to
Santorum, and what's he talking about? What's Rick Santorum talking about? We'll listen to a little bit of his St. Charles, Missouri, acceptance speech last night. He is out talking about freedom!

Let me give you an excerpt: "I'm not the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I am the conservative alternative to Obama." Amen! That is exactly what the Republican conservative base is looking for: A conservative alternative to Obama! The fact that they have to find a conservative alternative to Romney is what frustrates them. It's like having to find a conservative alternative to McCain. Santorum then said, "I care about the very rich and the very poor. I care about 100% of America. Ladies and gentlemen, freedom is at stake in this election. America's honor is at stake. Freedom is at stake." This is exactly...

If you people in the establishment want to know why this is happening with Santorum, it's right here in this one line. "Ladies and gentlemen, freedom is at stake in this election." Now, if you're in the Republican establishment and you think that's silly, and if you don't think freedom is at stake here... You know, you think, "Come on! These radicals. These fringe kooks. These Republican conservatives. Every election they think their freedom is up for grabs." It is! They believe it. People in this country, we believe it. We think the whole point of Obamacare is to deny us individual liberty and freedom. We believe that one of the whole points of the Obama administration and the reason he wants to be president is to take away individual liberty and freedom and transfer it to the state having dominion over us.

That's what the Republican base believes. And there's a big disconnect with the establishment either making fun of that, pooh-poohing it, not taking it seriously. Or, even worse, not even understanding it. But that's why we're where we are. Now, in this thing in 2005 with Romney, let's say that the statement here that this story, "In a shocking turnaround, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday that Roman Catholic and other private hospitals in the state will be forced to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims under new state legislation regardless of the hospital's moral position on the issue."

It might not be due to Romneycare. It could be there was a law already on the books in Massachusetts that superseded Romneycare on the pill, and Romney can say, "I have nothing to do with it. It was preexisting before I got here." That could well be, but there is a "flip-flop" referenced in this story. "The Republican governor had earlier defended the right of hospitals to avoid dispensing the morning-after pill on the grounds of moral dissent," and from there that's where you got the "shocking turnaround," Governor Mitt Romney announced "that Roman Catholic and other private hospitals in the state will be forced..."

So some are gonna say, no matter how this comes out, "He didn't fight for it. He flip-flopped on it." I don't care how it ultimately manifests itself, the way this is going to be perceived by Republican primary voters as a confirmation of some of the doubts and concerns that they have. I'm just trying to explain to you why people are voting for Santorum, why this has been percolating (effervescing, if you will) out there, apparently under the radar, as far as the Republican establishment, some of its media minions are concerned.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me read you a little bit more of this story from December 9th of 2005 from LifeSiteNews: "Daniel Avila, associate director for policy and research for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, said yesterday in an interview with the Boston Globe that Catholic hospitals still have legal grounds to avoid providing the pill, despite the new legislation. The new bill did not expressly repeal the original law protecting the rights of Catholic facilities. 'As long as that statute was left standing, I think those who want to rely on that statute for protection for what they’re doing have legal grounds.'" That's in the Boston Globe. "The Conference has been fighting this new legislation for several years. In 2003, in a statement to the Joint Committee on Health Care, they outlined their concern over the proposed Emergency Contraception Access Act (ECAA), stating:

"'It will force Catholic medical personnel to distribute contraceptives even in cases involving the risk of early abortion. It also furthers a national strategy ultimately directed towards coercing Catholic facilities to provide insurance coverage for, and to perform, abortions.'" The final paragraph: "The governor's turnaround is especially unexpected since Romney has been presenting himself as a conservative on social issues in anticipation of a possible run for the presidency in 2008. This decision will certainly undermine the credibility of his conservatism with Republican Party members that may have been inclined to support him up to now," which takes us back out to the opening 'graph:

"In a shocking turnaround, Massachusetts’s governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday that Roman Catholic and other private hospitals in the state will be forced to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims under new state legislation..." Two things about this. One is, as far as back as 2003, you can see the Democrat Party and the American left's design here on the Catholic Church and on the entire pro-life movement. Just use the force of the state to force them -- to require them under penalty of law -- to violate their conscience, to violate their own morality, to give away or provide abortion services. This has been going on at least since then, the attempt to co-opt and corrupt the pro-life movement.

The Boston Globe story on this December 9th, 2005: "Governor Mitt Romney reversed course on the state's new emergency contraception law yesterday, saying that all hospitals in the state will be obligated to provide the morning-after pill to rape victims. The decision overturns a ruling made public this week by the state Department of Public Health that privately run hospitals could opt out of the requirement if they objected on moral or religious grounds. Romney had initially supported that interpretation, but he said yesterday that he had changed direction after his legal counsel, Mark D. Nielsen, concluded Wednesday that the new law supersedes a preexisting statute..."

So he was saying, "I gotta follow the law here as governor. They passed a law, I've gotta follow the law." I'm just pointing out that this is kind of a story raises more red flags. It's seven years old, this story. And it comes back to life. Understandably. I don't think Santorum has an opposition research firm or office, or even department. So I don't think this possibly comes from him. My only point here, folks, is that we have the most avowed leftist in office ever, and need somebody who can contrast the exact opposite on our side if we're gonna beat this back. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: For what it's worth here, this from the Washington Post's fact checker, a guy named Glenn Kessler today.  "In one of his most controversial acts as governor, Romney actually vetoed a law to make Plan B," the morning-after abortion drug, "readily available over the counter and to rape victims treated at area hospitals. But his veto was quickly overturned by the Massachusetts legislature, and the bill became law."  It could be that the LifeSiteNews story is the story about the bill that superseded the bill Romney was talking about.  There were two laws. 

From the Washington Post: "Massachusetts law had previously held that hospitals had the right, for reasons of conscience, to not offer birth control services. But in writing the new law, legislators did not include wording in the bill explicitly repealing that clause, according to news reports at the time."  So, again, what we have here is a confusing bunch of mumbo jumbo from which one can take that not a whole lot was done to oppose the Massachusetts legislature or that this was just considered to be politically expedient or what have you.  It's just amazing to me that we have the area of commonality here between an issue that's become highly charged and controversial. 

The new law in Massachusetts, the one that Romney vetoed but passed, superseded this earlier law.  So I'm sure that the Romney campaign, "Oh, no, we tried. We wanted to veto this with everything we could. The news media's making this a flip-flop.  It wasn't a flip-flop.  It's being totally misrepresented.  The media, of course, is opposed to me as a conservative Republican governor in Massachusetts," and all of this.  It's illustrative here of the point that I think is salient.  The administration is not really that unhappy if Romney's the nominee because there's a couple of things, Wall Street and health care, that they think they can just wipe off the table as something that Obama could be criticized for with any credibility whatsoever. 

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