Republicans and abortion

Wife-beating is out (let's hope), but wife-blaming is in — in some circles, that is. Consider GOP presidential-nomination front-runner Mitt Romney's move last week, blaming his wife for writing a check to pro-choice women's health provider Planned Parenthood. C'mon, Mitt.

The check was written from the joint checking account controlled by you and by Mrs. Romney. And all one need do is head over to and watch the 2002 video of the telegenic Romneys (Mitt and Ann) proclaiming to a Boston TV interviewer their joint support for a woman's right to determine her own biological future. Ah, Internet video is a wondrous thing, leaving little doubt of the 180-degree whipsaw turn the former Massachusetts governor has taken on abortion rights.

That was 2002. This is 2007. In the inconveniently intervening five years, Mitt Romney has stopped running for governor of one of the (if not THE) bluest states in the nation and has started to run for the GOP presidential nomination — that selection controlled by the nation's reddest of conservative voters. No wonder he was pro-abortion rights then and is anti-abortion rights now.

Would that Romney were the only wife-blamer on the GOP primary circuit. Before clearing his own record this past weekend, and admitting he supports abortion rights, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani let it be known that his half-dozen or so contributions to Planned Parenthood were made jointly with ex-wife Donna Hanover. C'mon, Rudy. Americans know you cannot win the New York mayoral race as an anti-choice candidate any more easily than persuading the College of Cardinals to elect you pope as a pro-choice candidate. Not in this day and age. Not in Blue Nue Yawk.

Besides, Americans no longer fall for the "I'm anti-abortion but pro-choice Republican women should support me because my wife is pro-choice" routine. That little ditty was performed and perfected by both George Bushes. Wives Barbara and Laura let slip in clearly conniving interviews that they were vaguely pro-choice, as if either woman took the slightest interest in or held any sway on matters of policy. And look where that got pro-choice Republican women: with an anti-choice White House and Supreme Court and a limiting of abortion rights.

The question is, now that he has come out and come clean as a pro-choice Republican, his professed abhorrence and hate of abortion notwithstanding, does Giuliani have a shot at winning the presidential nomination? My view is no, unless there's been a dispiriting of mythic proportions among grass-roots conservative religious Republican primary voters. And that is not outside the bounds of possibility.

Can George W. Bush's spectacular failure in Iraq, his " big government" (read that spendthrift) conservatism, his embrace of the atavistic wing of American politics, have so turned off mainstream voters that even uber-conservative primary voters are willing to let a moderate slip through?

Stranger things have happened. But not in Bush's or Reagan's reversioned religiously dominated Republican Party. And not in the last two or three decades.

Phyllis Schlafly, prominent conservative anti-abortion attack dog, is widely quoted as saying that as soon as Republican primary voters begin to see through the fog of the crowded GOP field, they'll turn on Giuliani. As conservative as he may be on fiscal, judicial and other issues, Schlafly says the average GOP primary voter has yet to divine Giuliani's position on abortion rights. And once those voters understand he's pro-choice, Schlafly says, they will run as fast as Kansans fleeing an oncoming twister. I'd like to think she's wrong. But I think she's dead-on.

(Bonnie Erbe is a TV host and columnist. E-mail bonnieerbe(at)


  1. Sandy Price

    They have been so devoid of good strong agenda items that they have only their stand against abortions to get anyone’s attention. All their rhetoric and tears will not force a single woman in this nation to have an unwanted baby.

    Our government has no authority to tell any woman she must take a pregnancy to term. These holy rollers have no idea that every child born takes 17 years of 24/7 care and feeding and if this gets in the way of the other children or a profession by the woman, she will abort! The divorce rate is over 50% which means that the husband/mate will move on and get more women pregnant and never look back.

    The GOP has nothing in its corner to brag about in the last 7 years of their leadership in America. The Administration filled most of the jobs from graduates of Pat Robertson’s univerisity and look at the level of corruption! The GOP elected a born-again Christian and look at the lies. manipulations and loss of lives under this man.

    The GOP has done more to weaken the Constitution, our borders and general attitudes of American citizens than anyone in my lifetime and I’m old as dirt. I tend to blame the schools for offering no leadership or character models and certainly no reading scores to brag about. The parents have shown no role models as they are generally hooked on American Idol and fridge full of beer. We have voters with no knowledge of freedom and they all crave leadership from anyone. In comes the Christian Coalition to furnish religious leaders and overlooked any qualities of responsibility or individual freedoms. They oozed into the GOP and destroyed it.

    I would have to question anyone who stands behind the GOP in the coming election. They cannot reasonably support the kind of criminal actions the Bush Administration has shown. Not one of the candidates running for office has an agenda for correction and will continue to demand moral legislation.

    Schlafly is the enemy of freedom. She has worked against individual freedoms for many years and she does it as a Christian.

  2. Sonorous Pest

    Sonorous pest

    Bush left Texas 9 billion dollars in the Red ink,and Rommney left Mass. in a sea of Red ink. This country looks like Moses is at it again, set my people free so they can overcome the national debt. Sorry, no more Republicans in government.