Now that he's picked a running mate who basically believes that fetuses should run things, Mitt Romney seems to have his "pro-life" cred sewn up. After all, he's against abortion, his friends are against abortion, and his new bromantic partner is super extra against it. And that should bring all the religious anti-abortion folk to the yard. But not so fast, Mittens — at least one Catholic newspaper isn't buying it.
Nicholas P. Cafardi at the National Catholic Reporter argues that while President Obama is in favor of supporting a woman's right to choose, he doesn't support social conditions that can lead women to feel compelled to choose abortion. He writes,
There is no doubt Obama is pro-choice. He has said so many times. There is also no doubt Romney is running on what he calls a pro-life platform. But any honest analysis of the facts shows the situation is much more complicated than that.
For example, Obama's Affordable Care Act does not pay for abortions. In Massachusetts, Romney's health care law does. Obama favors, and included in the Affordable Care Act, $250 million of support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion. This support will make abortions much less likely, since most abortions are economic. Romney, on the other hand, has endorsed Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan's budget, which will cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the federal plans that support poor women. The undoubted effect: The number of abortions in the United States will increase. On these facts, Obama is much more pro-life than Romney.
Uh oh. Sense talk ahead.
Cafardi's right, of course — thinking you can reduce the number of abortions by making abortion illegal and then making life extra crappy for women so they'd be more likely to want to have abortions is sort of like a pitcher walking all of the batters in baseball so none of them hit home runs and then acting all confused when the score keeps increasing. Sure, some abortions will always be matters of "convenience" or "lifestyle," two reasons for terminating a pregnancy often sneered at by the anti-abortion rights set, but many of those "convenience" abortions occur because it's not very "convenient" when you're a single woman trying to live on a minimum wage income and you're not getting any help from anyone.
Further, argues Cafardi, while Obama advocates for legal abortions for women who choose them, he's never profited from abortion. And Mitt Romney has. Kind of a lot. In fact, while Mitt Romney was actively involved with Bain, the firm purchased Stericycle, a company that disposes of aborted fetal remains. In its early years, Bain was financed by money from people who were tied to Central American death squads. Romney made Monopoly Man Doffing His Top Hat amounts of money from these transactions. Hardly "pro-life," that.
So, if you're pro-choice or pro-life, it seems that one candidate is the clear choice. What does that make the other guy?