Wineke: Republican Candidates Taking ‘Extreme’ Positions On Abortion

By Bill Wineke Special To Channel 3000

The perennial American debate about abortion seems to have taken on a bizarre twist this year: The Republican candidates for president have staked out positions far more extreme than those of most abortion opponents.

This week, for example, Mitt Romney said he ?absolutely? supports the Mississippi personhood amendment, which would define ?life? as beginning at the moment of conception.

The proposal, which is also endorsed by both Democratic and Republican candidates for governor in Mississippi, is so controversial that it is opposed by the National Right to Life organizations. The Catholic Church in Mississippi says it is too extreme. It would make illegal all abortions, including the termination of pregnancies caused by rape, incest or which prove grave threat to the life of the mother.

No one is quite sure how this idea would fare should it actually become law. There’s some indication that it would make illegal many forms of birth control and, also, give legal protection to the millions of fertilized embryos now being stored by in vitro fertilization centers.

Let’s be clear here. Romney is considered by most political experts to be the guy most likely to be the Republican presidential candidate next year. Let’s also be clear that the national unemployment rate remains at about 9 percent. Under most circumstances we might expect to think he has a good shot of becoming President of the United States.

And he doesn’t think the position of the National Right to Life movement is sufficiently anti-abortion?

The only calming thought about this craziness is that Romney surely doesn’t believe a word he, himself, says.

I’m not so sure about his colleagues.

Herman Cain announced over the weekend that he, too, opposes all abortions, including those to end pregnancies caused by rape or incest. It was just a few days ago that Cain was saying he thinks abortion should be illegal but that the decision to have one should rest with the woman involved and with her family.

Positions on the abortion front move fast and furious these days. Cain, I would point out, leads Romney in some national polls.

Moving right along, Rick Santorum is not leading in the national polls but he has staked his claim. Santorum would not only make illegal all forms of abortion, but he would also forbid health insurance plans to cover birth control as well.

?It’s not OK. Because its a license to do things in a sexual realm that are contrary to how they are supposed to be,? he says.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has introduced federal legislation declaring that life begins at the moment of fertilization and should be guaranteed protection under the 14th Amendment.

Were I to be involved in the anti-abortion movement, I would be appalled. These folks have worked for years to build opposition to legal abortion. Sure, we’re against abortion on demand, but we don’t really demand that a pregnant woman die or that a teenage girl be forced to carry her father’s baby to birth.

Well, bye-bye respectability.

The more extreme position on this issue is now the official position of the leading candidates for president of the Republican Party.