Fact-Check Followup: Regulations Prove Romney Wrong, Show Consequences of Emergency Contraception Decision

In follow-up of our last post, Fact-Check: Did Romney Lie About Cardinal and Contraception During Wednesday Debate?, new information further proves Mitt Romney lied in saying he did not require private hospitals to provide emergency contraception and shows the consequences of his decision. He also apparently failed to uphold the Massachusetts Constitution.

In view of this new information, questions should now be asked about 1) What Romney actually does or does not believe about conscience exemptions for people of faith and 2) Why Romney did not uphold and follow the Massachusetts Constitution as he had a sworn duty to do?

A look at the regulations in place show they explicitly order private hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to violate their consciences. The regulations also exemplify exactly how government mandates force people to violate their beliefs and how the law and its implementation violate the Massachusetts Constitution.

Here is part of the state directive to hospitals :

“To ensure that particular hospital staff’s values or beliefs do not interfere with compliance with the law, the hospital must institute systems to ensure that all female rape victims of childbearing age are promptly provided medically and factually accurate information about emergency contraception, are promptly offered emergency contraception, and emergency contraception is initiated upon her request.”

This is directly at odds with the Massachusetts Constitution, which says:

Article II: “no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.”

Article XVIII, Section 1 (amendment): “No law shall be passed prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”

And it is directly at odds with a conscience exemption law passed in 1975 and still in effect that says:

“…any employee of a hospital or other health facility in which an abortion…is scheduled and who shall state in writing an objection to such abortion…procedure on moral or religious grounds, shall not be required to participate in the medical procedures which result in such abortion…”

Just to be clear before we go into more detail, BCI is NOT a supporter of President Obama or his political agenda. We criticized him most recently last month in our post, Obama’s “unconscionable” birth control mandate on Catholic hospitals and colleges.  We are simply asking that political candidates tell the truth, because voters deserve to know the truth about candidates they are considering. And not to be lost is the more important issue of following the constitution and fighting up-front against the imposition of unjust laws by government that then require conscience exemptions for people of faith.

As covered last time, during the Wednesday debate (transcript here), Gov. Romney said he did not require Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.. He also said:

ROMNEY: There was no requirement in Massachusetts for the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims. That was entirely voluntary on their part. There was no such requirement.”

Those statements by Gov. Romney are false. The deeper one digs into this whole thing, the more troubling it becomes.

As reported in several articles, Gov. Romney did require that Catholic hospitals provide emergency contraception:

Dec, 9, 2005, Lifesite News:  Romney Does Flip-Flop and Forces Catholic Hospitals to Distribute Morning-After-Pill”: “In a shocking turn-around, Massachusetts’s governor Mitt Romney announced yesterday that Roman Catholic and other private hospitals…will be forced to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims under new state legislation, regardless of the hospitals’ moral position…

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.”

December 9, 2005, Boston Globe:  Romney says no hospitals are exempt from pill law: “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.

December 16, 2005, The Pilot: “Romney: emergency contraception law applies to Catholic hospitals”: Gov. Mitt Romney last week instructed the state Department of Public Health that Catholic and other private hospitals are not exempt from a new law that would require them to dispense emergency contraception to all rape victims. In doing so, Romney overruled the department’s finding that privately run hospitals do not have to provide contraception or abortions.

Romney had previously taken the position that the requirements of the new law were superceded by a 1975 law that provided privately owned hospitals with conscience exemption for abortion and contraception services.

“They’ve taken the position now that the preexisting statute somehow does not shield Catholic and other private hospitals from this new mandate. I think there is a solid legal argument against that position,” said Daniel Avila, associate director of public policy for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference.

Now that it is clear what Romney decided, we move to the Executive branch-driven regulations, which exemplify the problems with both unjust laws and with failure to provide conscience exemptions to them. 

A memo from the Department of Public Health to all hospitals in the state dated December 20, 2005 says, in part:

130.1042: Emergency Contraception Information and Services for Rape Victims

Each hospital that is licensed to provide emergency services shall promptly provide the following to each female rape victim of childbearing age who presents at the emergency department: (A) Medically and factually accurate written information provided by the Department about emergency contraception; (B) An offer of emergency contraception at the hospital if medically indicated; and (C) Dispensing of emergency contraception at her request unless medically contraindicated.

But it gets worse. In April 2007, the DPH issued this memo to hospitals regarding emergency contraception where they specifically said the values and beliefs of hospital workers do not matter:

“To ensure that particular hospital staff’s values or beliefs do not interfere with compliance with the law, the hospital must institute systems to ensure that all female rape victims of childbearing age are promptly provided medically and factually accurate information about emergency contraception, are promptly offered emergency contraception, and emergency contraception is initiated upon her request.”

Here is the Emergency Contraception hospital fact-sheet (revised April 2011), which specifically directs:

“Do not interfere with hospital compliance with the law, regardless of their personal values or beliefs,
by instituting systems to ensure that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all survivors are promptly provided
full rights under M.G.L. c. 111, § 70E.” (click on graphic to zoom)

Here is the Emergency Contraception patient fact-sheet (revised April 2011) which tells patients:

“Remember, hospitals with Emergency Departments are required by law to offer EC [emergency contraception] to women seeking care after a sexual assault, whether or not a woman completes a rape examination kit or reports the assault to the police. If the ED doctor does not think that it is safe for you to take EC, you can ask why. A medically and factually accurate reason must be documented in your medical record.”

“If EC [emergency contraception] was not offered at your ED [emergency department] visit today, or you were told that you needed to complete a police report or rape examination kit first, you can file a formal complaint by:
• Calling the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Health Care Quality at 1-800-462-5540.

After Romney interpreted the law and decided all hospitals in Massachusetts had to provide the morning-after pill to rape victims (with no exemption for Catholic and private hospitals), the above directives followed.

What did the Romney campaign have to say about this after the debate?  Here is what the Boston Globe reported in “Factcheck finds Mitt Romney wrong in describing state law on emergency contraception“:

Asked about Romney’s debate statement, Romney spokesman Ryan Williams did not address Romney’s claim that the requirement was voluntary, but stressed Romney’s opposition to the law. “Governor Romney – as Planned Parenthood complained at that time – fought at every stage against a state law that would have required Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraceptives despite objections based on religious conscience,” Williams said. “Facing an 85 percent Democrat legislature, he vetoed the bill and explored using his executive power to provide an exemption from the law based on conscience.”

Saturday afternoon, we learned about a different Romney campaign spin  from this interview conducted on Thursday. The interesting part starts at 1:45.  Romney advisor, Eric Ferhnstrom, said two questionable things in the interview:

  • Ferhnstrom said in the debate that he thought Romney was referring to Catholic hospitals and universities not being required to provide [insurance] coverage for contraception in Massachusetts.  Sorry Eric, but the video of the debate plainly shows that the discussion was about the morning-after pill, not insurance coverage. (And even if it was about insurance coverage for contraception, Ferhnstrom was still wrong as indicated here).
  • Ferhnstrom then said, “There was a bill to require broader distribution of emergency contraception. Gov. Romney vetoed that bill. It did pass over his objections. As governor, he doesn’t have the luxury of picking and choosing which laws he’s going to enforce, he must enforce them all. So, yes, there was a requirement that Catholic hospitals in that bill vetoed by the governor had to provide emergency contraception.”  Sorry, Eric–this statement is not exactly true either.

At least now the Romney camp acknowledges that what he said during the debate was untrue. So the question from our last post is officially answered–he did lie during the debate.

With that established, problems still remain with Romney’s decision and with voters knowing what he really believes and how he would govern as President.

“The state Department of Public Health has determined that Catholic and other privately-run hospitals in Massachusetts can opt out of giving the morning-after pill to rape victims because of religious or moral objections, despite a new law that requires all hospitals who treat such victims to provide them with emergency contraception.”

Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. told the Globe: “We felt very clearly that the two laws don’t cancel each other out and basically work in harmony with each other.”

“The staff of DPH did their own objective and unbiased legal analysis,” Romney’s spokesman told the Globe. “The brought it to us, and we concur in it.”

No law shall be passed prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”

Beyond Romney being wrong with his debate response and with his decision to impose emergency contraception on Catholic hospitals, Romney and Fehrnstrom still need to explain two things to voters:

  1. In view of his words and actions at the time, what does Romney really believe?  On December 7, 2005, Ferhnstom said the governor, “respects the views of health care facilities that are guided by moral principles on this issue.”  So, why, when given a choice, did the governor decide to force emergency contraception on Catholic hospitals against their beliefs a day later?  On December 8, 2005, he reversed course after getting political pressure as reported in “ROMNEY SAYS NO HOSPITALS ARE EXEMPT FROM PILL LAW; HE REVERSES STAND ON PLAN B” and said at a press conference, “In my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.”  What IS Gov. Romney’s real belief on this issue?
  2. Why did Romney apparently violate the freedom of religion provision of the Massachusetts Constitution with his decision? Why did he not turn to the Massachusetts Constitution as his primary point of reference? Romney could have simply said, “The Massachusetts Constitution guarantees Catholic and other religious hospitals the freedom as part of their practice of religion to not have a law imposed on them that violates their consciences, so to uphold my sworn oath of office, I need to uphold the Constitution. Why did Romney not do that?

As we documented a month ago, Romney failed to reference and uphold the Massachusetts Constitution with regard to marriage, and it appears he did the same thing on conscience rights and freedom of religion with emergency contraception. Are Romney and his legal advisers unfamiliar with basic principles of constitutional law?

BCI hopes that the media and other candidates continue to call him out on these questions.

45 Responses to Fact-Check Followup: Regulations Prove Romney Wrong, Show Consequences of Emergency Contraception Decision

  1. Bobofnewtn says:

    Good post. A few observations (from a Republican):

    1. Of course, Massachsetts Governor Romney lied. He has a career of saying one thing to one group and the exact opposite to another and he has no problem doing so. And, in that regard, he is not unlike the Junior Senator from the Commowealth.

    2. In my opinion, however, unless there is a brokered convention, he will be the nominee and the readers on here will have a clear choice: Obama or Romney. If our readers sit and don’t vote then Obama will win in my opinion and, then, where will we be. If our readers go out and vote for Romney, Romney may win but he will have to move to the Left during the Campaign because his positions and Santorum’s position will not float with the majority of Americans who vote (again,BCI, in my opinion).

    Have a good week.

  2. David S. says:

    I just can’t seem to get myself worked up over this issue. This week Nancy Pelosi said something that I couldn’t agree with more. Speaking of contraception, Pelosi stated: “So, in practice, the church has not enforced this, and now they want the federal government and private insurance to enforce it. It just isn’t consistent to me…”

    You know something, for once Nancy Pelosi is absolutely right. The Catholic Church has not enforced this. I cannot recall once in the past 40 years when I have heard a sermon by a priest against contraception. When I went through Pre-Cana with my wife, there was no mention of Natural Family Planning whatsoever. And on more than one occasion, Catholic priests have told me that humanae vitae is not an infallible teaching of the Church. What’s more, Catholic politicians who routinely vote for abortion are permitted to receive Holy Communion in violation of Canon 915 and are given Catholic funerals. In fact, here is a recent study that shows that half of the “Catholic” Hospitals perform sterilizations:


    So how can we as Catholics expect Mitt Romney (a Morman) to enforce the teachings of the Pope and Magisterium when our Cardinals and Bishops have been asleep at the wheel on this issue since 1965?

    Bobofnewton is correct that Romney lied. And I certainly plan to vote for Santorum in the Primary. But if it Obama versus Romney I guess that will be our choice and either we sit it out or vote for the lesser of two evils.

    • David S. Thank you for your comment. There are several different issues at stake here, and BCI would urge you to separate each one, lest you fall for the deception which Nanci Pelosi propagated in her recent talk.

      We would agree that the Catholic Church has not enforced church teaching on contraception. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with the federal government mandating that we do or pay for something, such as contraception, that goes against our conscience.

      At issue here with the Obama administration mandate is the federal government mandating a program and telling Catholics we must pay for certain services in violation of our consciences. Period. At issue in Massachusetts is the state government telling Catholic hospitals they must provide certain services in violation of their conscience. That is the issue.

      The suggestion by Pelosi that the Catholic Church wants the federal government and private insurance to enforce Church teachings on contraception makes no sense whatsoever in this context. That is apparently a diversionary tactic on her part to avoid having to acknowledge the issue of the government intrusion on our religious freedom and mandating we violate our beliefs and values.

      The U.S. election in 2012 may well come down to the scenario you described. BCI is not going to weigh in on that one right now.

    • Phyllis Poole says:

      You are living in a very uninformed life. I have had priests talk about contraception. There was a meeting recalled by one that told of the presiding priest telling the people that anyone who uses contraception to not come to communion. A third of the people did not come to communion.
      Just because people do not obet the laws of the church does not mean “the church” does the wrong thing. It is expected that the followers do not sin and if so they must come to confession and change. Don’t come down on the church, let’s talk about the sinners!
      Romney lies constantly to get elected. He said in a debate (and I’m sure he didn’t mean to tell that he lied)and the debater didn’t catch it when Gingerich took him to task for being so ultra liberal in Mass, Romney said -and I quote” I had to do it to please my constituents” So he is saying he lied to them to get elected and do their bidding -because now he is such a true conservative. He will have those constituents if he becomes president (God forbid). So which constituents will he please?? We can know now because he even ruled against the Mass constitution. He could have used that as an excuse to be that true conservative but he chose not to please the law but himself and his beliefs.
      This is an Obama trait, snubbing his nose at the law! Would we have any different in the W H than we have right now if he were to be elected??!! Do we want another Obama or worse??

    • Stephen says:

      I’m with ya. In fact my wife and I were uninvited to be facilitators at Pre-Cana when my wife started to talk about the contraceptive mentality and the reality of Church teaching.

      The bishops kerfuffle on contraception at this point in US history is a bit laughable. Obama promised quite publicly to overturn the Mexico City Policy that prevented US funding for abortion internationally as soon as he was elected. He did exactly that. The bishops at that point let out a huge…yawn.

      It appears the American Bishops have finally conceded and compromised the faith into to irrelevancy. Time will tell.

  3. JerryB says:

    Thank you for posting the truth about Romney. While it’s not news to us residents of the Peoples’ Republic of MA (e.g., see MassResistance.org), your post is getting national attention since Rush mentioned it on air.

    While I’d never voluntarily vote for Romney, I may have to come November. The only reason I’d do so is that Mitt has repeatedly promised to end ObamaCare. ObamaCare will take us to a new level of state-sponsored murder via rationing, with gov’t panels deciding who gets care. If Mitt waffles in the least on that promise, I won’t vote.

    • Phyllis Poole says:

      Since Romney lied before and showed his “true colors” do you really think that he would repeal Obama care and not give us another, even worse? No one has asked him to sign anything to the contrary or place one before us and sign it so we will know what is in his mind. AND then will he stick to a promise anyhow. He has shown us exactly what he is and it is our duty to tell everyone this fact. Email this to everyone you know and we must defeat this man.
      I feel compelled to call him a marxist. He is no different than Obama who I feel it one. We cannot trust this man and must let it be known to everyone..It is our duty to our country and our fellow citizens
      saint michael please defend us in battle

      • JerryB says:

        Hi Phyllis,

        You make a good argument. I’m not convinced that Romney is a Marxist under cover, but rather, an opportunist who wants to add POTUS to his resume. There is a good chance that he will repeal ObamaCare, especially if we can get a House and Senate that will vote to repeal it.

  4. Michael says:

    JerryB said:
    While I’d never voluntarily vote for Romney, I may have to come November.

    If you want to act morally in your vote, please read the following before you “involuntarily” voluntarily vote for Romney.

    • JerryB says:

      Thanks, Michael. Yes, Alan makes a good argument, in fact, the very argument that I’d make in not voting for Romney. What allows a vote for Romney in November is not the lesser of two evils, but the mitigation of a categorically greater evil, namely ObamaCare. ObamaCare will inevitably become a new, state-sponsored killing field, in addition to the current slaughter of unborn children. Voting to forestall this is moral.

      Going further, it might be moral in any case to vote for Romney because Obama is clearly a Marxist dedicated to the destruction of Christian society. Marxism will inevitably end in widespread bloodshed as society collapses.

  5. rebecca says:

    How do post-2006 instructions by the Mass Department of Health debunk Romney’s claims? They actually work to corroborate Romney. He was governor until 2006, and it’s reasonable to conclude that the DPH, post-2006, found the necessity to make statements to “clarify” the law. This is not surprising at all, as Romney says that wording in the 2005 DPH provided a workaround for Catholic hospitals to exercise their conscience.

    And it does appear that Catholic hospitals did do exactly that while Romney was governor, after the law. An RCC legal arm representative Daniel Avila said that they still had the basis to not provide the morning-after pill. Caritas Christi Health Care System spokesman said, after the law’s passage, that the hospitals would continue to provide the morning-after pill ONLY if the patient was found to not be pregnant.

    So what you at the BCI have to contend with is the fact that Catholic hospitals did not shut down emergency care, which would be expected if the RCC responded similarly as they did in the adoption issue. Obviously they believed that they had a legal work-around. Evidence suggest that did, and if so, Romney was affirming this in the debate the other night, and his testimony as former governor may be important if this issue goes to the Supreme Court.

    If that is the case, at is reasonably appears to be, Romney did not lie. A “requirement” that does not effect the full weight of the law (due to the federal Church amendments, Directive 36, and the DPG wording at the time) is not a true requirement.

    BTW, the link for the Fehrnstrom interview appears to have been temporary and is currently linking to Oscar award stories.

    • Rebecca,
      Thank you for your comment. Romney said in the debate that Catholic hospitals were not required to provide emergency contraception against their consciences–he said it was voluntary. That is incorrect. Romney’s interpretation of the law as requiring Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception against their consciences, and the regulations issued based on Romney’s interpretation of the law clearly show otherwise, and Eric Fehrnstrom validated that in his interview.

      You said “Romney says that wording in the 2005 DPH provided a workaround for Catholic hospitals to exercise their conscience.” Romney never said that. He overruled his own DPH (that said the previous 1975 law which gave a conscience exemption existed in harmony with the new law) and instead said Catholic hospitals had to provide emergency contraception against their consciences.

      Based on these fairly obvious errors in your comment as well as time constraints, BCI is not going to respond to your other points at this time.

      ps. We updated the Fehrnstrom interview link. Try it again.

      • rebecca says:

        Instead of saying “Romney never said that” you could ask for evidence, and I would provide it to you.

        As an site for investigative endeavors, it is incumbent upon you to check the major parties involved in your research. Have you read Romney’s accounting of the story? It’s there on his website:


        Check under the section titled: CATHOLIC HOSPITALS, which provides a timeline and ample information supporting his claims.

        Again, you still hit a wall in your argument: that of Catholic representatives stating they will continue THEIR practices according to their conscience, and that they have the basis to do so,after the law’s passage.

      • Now that BCI had time to look more closely, we realize that the website you reference is written by a random Romney supporter, not Romney or the Romney campaign. That particular website spin on the story in the 2012 election is a completely novel one, and very different from what he said and did in 2005–and it is not at all what Romney said in the debate or what Eric Fehrnstrom said in the post-debate interview. We are going with what happened at the time and what the candidate and his reps say publicly, not revisionist history on a random website by some random Romney supporter.

  6. […] Romney Did Allow Emergency Contraception in RomneyCare – Boston Catholic Insider […]

  7. Peter D. says:

    Catholic hospitals may provide Plan-B to rape victims as long as the woman has not undergone a surge in LH levels, which would signal either imminent or present ovulation. If ovulation is likely or occurring, Plan-B may intercept an embryo prior to implantation, so the drug may not be given at that point.

    If LH levels are normal, ovulation has not occurred and will not occur within the gap of time required for Plan B to prevent ovulation. Since a woman has a moral right to defend her body in an attack, she can most certainly prevent herself from ovulating, provided her LH levels are normal. Aside from rape, the drug is never to be used, and even then, only if LH surge has not occurred.

    This is the policy of the NCBC and is completely within Church teaching.

    • rebecca says:

      Peter, that is my understanding as well.

      And the fact that it still remained a policy in place of some Catholic hospitals after the law’s passage supports the assertion that there was a workaround of the law. Indeed, to follow the law explicitly the Catholic hospitals would of had to provide the pill EVEN IN cases of pregnancy..

    • JerryB says:

      Good Heavens! While this is getting off topic, I’m appalled that a Catholic hospital would do such a thing, risking the possibility of killing a newly conceived child on the basis of some “LH level” test! You can’t give human pesticide under any circumstances, which is what “Plan B” contains.

      This compromise is an illicit way for Catholic hospitals to please the government. And it’s Romney’s fault, for he had the authority to prevent any “Plan B” regulations, but he chose to go ahead with it.

      • rebecca says:

        Oh dear! Don’t you realize that Caritas Christus Healthcare System, while engaging in that practice, were continuing past policy?

        To wit: “Christine A. Baratta a spokeswoman for the Caritas Christi Health Care System… said Caritas will continue to provide emergency contraception to sexual assault victims as long as they’re not pregnant and that the hospitals use a serum blood test to determine pregnancy. It’s unclear how that policy will conform with the law. ”



      • JerryB says:

        “Caritas Christus Healthcare System, while engaging in that practice, were continuing past policy?”

        No surprise. Evil practices abound. Even Cardinal O’Malley tried to set up an abortion cooperative known as CeltiCare. (Providing abortion is a requirement to tap into RomneyCare, you know.) Hence, there’s no pushback against the governor of MA, because Caritas Christi hasn’t been Catholic in a long time. But that’s no excuse for Romney and the State enforcing it.

      • rebecca says:

        On the contrary, Caritus Christi’s policy did not explicitly follow the 2005 law (that Romney vetoed and veto overridden by the legislature.) The policy did not allow providing the morning-after pill to rape victims when they were pregnant. Romney helped protect them from having to provide them to pregnant rape victims. Also, not all Catholic hospitals provided the morning after pill at all. Romney helped them from having to do so, as Daniel Avila said that the diocese he represented had the basis to not do so.

  8. […] Catholic Insider has an update. Romney just flat-out told a huge, whopping falsehood. Quoting just a small part of the web site's […]

  9. Mack says:

    All this leaves me with a question: what are the Catholic hospitals doing now? Are they actually providing both abortion pills and contraception? Or are they really not Catholic anymore? A friend of mine who went to St. Elizabeth’s recently said she was presented with a statement to sign that said she had a right to contraception. This was just for routine care. Does anyone know what is actually happening?

    • rebecca says:

      Good question. However, it would be wrong to lay what they (might) have to do now at Romney’s feet. It’s been six years since he left office, and Mass DPH has changed instructions since then.

  10. […] Catholic Insider has an update. Romney just flat-out told a huge, whopping falsehood. Quoting just a small part of the web […]

  11. JerryB says:

    I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to see Mitt for what he is. Many of us have had a clear picture of him since his ’94 run for Senate. (And for MCFL when they endorsed him.)

    Here’s a great compilation for those who want the bigger story:
    Mitt is the consummate politician: pro-life and devotedly “pro-choice,” pro-family and more pro-homo than Ted Kennedy!

    Keep up the good work, BCI.

  12. Neddster says:

    It’s not hard at all to see Romney for who he is. My wife, who is black, can see right thru this dishonest character and she is apolitical. If she can she thru him, why don’t those so-called endorsing him do? The answer is they think he’s the best chance to win, yet he’s responsible for his state’s version of Obamacare. Talk about dumb Republicrats, I mean Republicans.

    The fact of the matter is this. People like Rebecca want to believe with all their heart what cannot be factually proven, trying to back her claims by quoting a pro-Romney website. It’s not hard at all to come to the conclusion that the Mittster is willing to trample on conscience rights. Just as he did so with contraception, he did so with gov’t clerks being told to marry same sex couples against their will, after same sex marriage was enforced de facto by him to be the law of the state. Mass Resistance has a link to one of the clerks who resigned her position because she refused to violate her conscience. Here it is http://jpus.org/newsletter/summer2004doc.htm – top item.

    For anyone not yet convinced that the Mittster is the Republican version of Bernie Maddoff, just Google Romney Deception and you’ll go to the very well documented Mass Resistance site. The evidence is stacked against him. No Christian in good conscience can vote for Romney, even if he is the nominee. Anyone but Mitt or Barry.

  13. rebecca says:

    The National Review explains:
    “The Massachusetts Department of Public Health did in fact draft regulations implementing the EC law, and those regulations contain a few key words and phrases. First, they require hospitals to “offer” EC “if medically indicated” and to dispense EC “unless medically contraindicated.” Directive 36 of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services permits Catholic hospitals to dispense EC if, “after testing, there is no evidence ovulation has occurred.” But the hospital may not dispense medication that has the “purpose or effect” of “the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” At the same time, the federal Church Amendment protects the conscience rights of individual providers who refuse to participate in sterilizations or abortions.

    The Massachusetts regulations, the Church Amendment, and Directive 36 combine to create a number of potential loopholes and workarounds. For example, EC is acceptable when there is no ovulation. But what if tests indicate ovulation? Then does the Church Amendment lock in to protect the individual provider against participation in abortion? Does the “medical indication” change the legal analysis? In fact, pro-abortion groups have critiqued both the regulations and their implementation.

    If all of this sounds ridiculously wonkish, it is. But that’s how disputes are navigated under the shadow of Roe v. Wade. Battles are fought in the fine print, and the grand gestures are often saved only for those times when they might make an impact. If Mitt Romney had followed Mr. Jeffrey’s advice, the situation in Massachusetts (and elsewhere) could be much worse. Lawsuits filed under sub-optimal facts in more pro-abortion jurisdictions rarely result in quality precedent and often do more harm than good. Fights picked with extremist pro-abortion legislatures rarely turn out well for the cause of life.”

    ((link: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/290073/mitt-romney-defended-rights-conscience-massachusetts-david-french))

    The effective result is this: While Romney was Governor, Catholic hospitals were not required to provide the morning-after pill. The proof is in the pudding. Refer to the Catholic statements by Daniel Avila, refer to the statements by Caritas Christi that were made after the law’s passage.

    Here’s an analogy: I could say that, in my city, I am not required to obey the highway speed IF I am driving a woman who is quickly experiencing labor to the hospital. In my city, the police don’t require it under these circumstances and may even offer an escort to the hospital. This exception might be written explicitly into the law, or it might be implicit in city laws. It could very well be implicitly intended that an officer does not require it, because of the police officer’s oath to protect and serve.

    Catholic Hospitals were not required to provide the morning-after pill IF they had religious or moral objections. That is the stand that Romney took by combining wording through the Department of Health with Directive 36 and the Church Amendments. He restated his stance at the debate, which represented his defense of religious liberties. It is ironic that,by misconstruing Romney’s stance at the debate, BCI is possibly undermining the case for religious liberties in Massachusetts.

    It appears to me, that, while scouring over the articles provided in this and in the earlier post, that BCI is relying on articles about Romney which include much more jounalistic simplfification of statements instead of direct quotes by Mitt Romney. In light of this want of cohesiveness, I will make judgments based on the realities of what went on with the law AND the hospitals.

    • Michael says:

      How is this for journalistic simplification … what does Romney in his own words, believe in his heart: “In my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide … access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.” Can’t get much simpler than that. Romney is not pro-life.

    • Rebecca,
      You keep ignoring or side-stepping fundamental facts here and the exact quotes from Romney. You said, “BCI is relying on articles about Romney which include much more journalistic simplification of statements instead of direct quotes by Mitt Romney,” when it is the exact opposite–YOU keep relying on interpretations by other people (e.g. a website by a Romney supporter), the National Review, whose senior editor endorsed Romney:

      If you are going to comment here further on this issue, please do so ONLY WITH QUOTES from Romney that explain his comments and actions in 2005.

      Here is what Romney said in his July 26, 2005 Op-Ed piece, “why I vetoed contraception bill”:
      “I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother.”

      He was consistent with what he said at a press conference on December 8, 2005: “In my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.”


      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 that says private hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception.

      ”And on that basis, I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view,” Romney said at the State House.

      The governor characterized his own beliefs about emergency contraception this way: ”My personal view, in my heart of hearts, is that people who are subject to rape should have the option of having emergency contraception or emergency contraception information.”
      In other words, Romney repeatedly said he personally feels it is OK for Catholic hospitals to have to violate their consciences and give emergency contraception to ANY rape victim, even if she has conceived a child.

      Those are the facts. You seem unable to accept those as facts. Romney said at the time that he felt “the law was the law” and the state had to follow it (despite the fact that the MA Constitution banned any such law that would force Catholics to violate their consciences), and that same view was reinforced by Eric Fehrnstrom in his interview last week.

      If you have no quotes from Romney with references that refute these views, which we strongly doubt because we have researched this thoroughly already, then please refrain from further comments.

      • rebecca says:

        “If you have no quotes from Romney with references that refute these views, which we strongly doubt because we have researched this thoroughly already, then please refrain from further comments.–BCI”

        Here’s a quote:

        “There was no requirement in Massachusetts for the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims. That was entirely voluntary on their part. There was no such requirement.” -Mitt Romney, 2012

        Was there or wasn’t there?

        “Hospital leadership, however, insists that their staff is well trained and follows the law ‘in all cases,'” the NARAL report said of the Catholic hospitals.

        That may be because, as Avila told the Globe in 2005, the law passed by the legislature did not explicitly repeal the religious exemption that Romney’s counsel said was superceded by the 2005 law.

        ”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,” Avila said at the time. ”


        Before Romney made his reversal, Democrats were threatening to explicitly repeal the 1975 law, because of Romney’s claims and other claims that they worked in harmony allowing for an exemption. By reversing, an explicit repeal was avoided, leaving Catholic Hospitals a legal basis to stand on.

        Would you have had Romney bill to ultimately have even broader, more explicit scope by fighting a losing battle with a 85% democratic legislature?

        In my view, Romney took the political bullet in 2005 so that the Catholic Church did not have to do so. This makes sense, considering the time when his reversal was met with surprise, since a run for president as a conservative was expected. There must have been an important reason for a reversal on the official interpretation of the bill: it certainly was not for his own political gain, and it effectively benefited the side of religious freedoms.

        By not reversing, Romney would have risked removal of the 1975 law; but, by reversing, there was no requirement, ultimately and Catholic hospitals followed their standards.

  14. James says:

    I can believe what I’m reading.
    You people want another four years of Obama?! Then keep doing Obama’s job of digging up the inconsistencies and flipflops of Mitt Romney. . which I’m sure there were many. Who cares? Of course, Mitt’s not great. We know all this.
    So what?
    He’s still far better than Obama, and he’s all we got as far as Republican electability.
    Just hold your nose, and pull the lever for the Mormon on Nov. 6th,
    or we’re all doomed to another four years of the totalitarian Obama.

    • Michael says:

      Totalitarian Obama is better than Totalitarian Romney … how so?

      • James says:

        If Obama is doing to Catholics, what he did three weeks ago with HHS, during an election year, what do you think he’ll be doing to us when he is reelected and no longer needs the Catholic vote? I shudder to think. This is the most anti-Catholic, pro-infanticide president in our history. He has to be stopped. Vote Romney, please!
        And if Romney turns out to, as this post claims, just an Obama in disguise, at least a change in the election cycle will halt the progress to secular-progressive totalitarianism.

    • James,
      I wrestle with the same issue. But this piece puts it in context. (BCI, sorry for the length):

      Mitt Romney: A Plate of Spam?

      Yesterday’s Michigan primary, in which the one-time dark horse Rick Santorum came within a hairsbreadth of beating Mitt Romney in his home state (his father was its governor) will have the elites in Republican party circles racing frantically for their checkbooks, in the hope of putting out the prairie fire that is Santorum’s burgeoning candidacy by spraying it with attack ads….

      Santorum’s main opponent, Mitt Romney, is something quite different. His casual, callous flip-flops on profound moral issues send a quite different message to voters: Here is a cool, detached technocrat who knows how to make the engine run—and doesn’t care where you’re planning to drive it. The Grand Canyon, Gomorrah, it’s none of his concern—here are your keys, enjoy the ride. Mitt Romney can look at a subject like abortion or religious freedom (he forced Catholic hospitals to dispense abortifacients in Massachusetts, let’s remember) with the same professional indifference as the details of the curling competition at the Olympics. Whatever job it is you want done, he promises he can accomplish it. And he can. Romney proved, as promised, a solidly pro-choice Massachusetts governor. He promised those voters government-sponsored healthcare, and he provided it. He promised them leadership on “global warming” and they got it. Then when Republican national voters wanted something different, he changed his pants from flannel to corduroy and offered it. Pro-life, small government, conservative? I can sing that—hand me the sheet music. It’s all perfectly in tune.

      I’m tempted to ask, “What next?” and wonder how Mitt Romney would act when a seat opened up on the Supreme Court, and the audience he was playing to—the media, the pro-choice Establishment Republicans, the “legal scholarship community”—called for a different tune. Would he remember his promises to us, the rubes and Bible thumpers he wooed in the primaries?

      But the question is irrelevant, because Mitt Romney cannot win. To be elected president, running against a skilled campaigner with a solid base and an economy on the upswing, a candidate needs the power to motivate people—to make them care, really care, whether or not he wins. And that isn’t true of Romney. Not too many people hate the idea of Mitt Romney as president, but nobody is excited by it, either. Everyone who votes for Romney sees him as an acceptable compromise candidate, someone whom other people will kind of like, maybe… they hope. He’s the dull, inoffensive movie you might get a group of people to go to, provided it isn’t raining. He’s the gift you return on December 26, the book you never throw out but never read, the person you date once then offhandedly forget—just as you forget any technician who did his job but made no impression. Mitt Romney is Howard Johnson’s. He is milquetoast. He is Spam.

      Some Republicans think they’re playing it safe by nominating this plate of indeterminate potted meat, whom circumstances have molded at various moments in his career in various shapes (the pro-choice rival to Edward Kennedy, the pragmatic liberal Republican, and now the me-too conservative). They warn that a Santorum race could flame out like Barry Goldwater’s in 1964. Yeah, sure, it’s true that this could happen. But at least a Santorum campaign would have a chance, would have some voters who cared enough to turn out (rain or shine or plague of frogs) to cast their vote. And remember what Goldwater’s candidacy created: The modern conservative movement. Nominate Mitt Romney, and we know exactly what will happen. It happened to Gerald Ford in 1976, George Bush in 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, and John McCain in 2008: Select a presidential candidate who has no other reason for running except “I’m not that Democrat over there,” whose creed is mere ambition, whose core is mush, and reap your reward: a country that looks at you, shrugs, and picks the other guy. And all such campaigns leave behind is a long trail of consultants, who’ve cashed their checks.

  15. Stephen says:

    Did I miss something?
    – A memo from the Department of Public Health to all hospitals in the state dated December 20, 2005 says, in part:
    …hospital …shall promptly provide… female rape victim of childbearing age… accurate written information provided by the Department about emergency contraception…offer of emergency contraception…and Dispensing of emergency contraception…

    And the Cardinal and Bishops did exactly what, in response to this?

    • JerryB says:

      Hey Stephen – yeah, you missed it. Cardinal O’Malley gathered all the bishops of New England, a couple hundred priests and marched up Beacon Hill and said, “Over my dead body!” It reminded me of the Great Resistance, when 500 bishops and cardinals marched up the Supreme Court steps in 1973 and said “No baby killing.” Afterwards they rallied parishes to hound their reps and senators…

      You missed it?

      • rebecca says:

        Nope they didn’t do that, because atleast while Romney was Governor, they didn’t have to go against conscience, and they admitted it. This fact is one which BCI is egregiously ignoring, putting by the wayside, staring and blinking at without any comprehension, all the while focusing instead on villainizing the very governor who worked to preserve that freedom, Mitt Romney.


        I have tried repeatedly to point out the fact of what Catholic spokesmen and Catholic Hospitals have said, and BCI just keeps blinking. No response to the actual fact.


      • Rebecca, We are getting weary of responding to you.

        A few days ago, you said, “it is incumbent upon you to check the major parties involved in your research. Have you read Romneys accounting of the story? Its there on his website…” — turn out that the website you pointed us to was not the Romney website at all, but some random Romney supporter whose About Us said, “Well really this is about me– this is the story of one man’s journey from having a negative impression of Mitt Romney to a positive impression of him.” That damages your credibility.

        The Catholic hospitals and spokespeople said they were upset with the Romney decision to interpret the law as mandating they give out emergency contraception against their consciences, but they thought there was still a loophole that would exempt them because of the 1975 law that remained on the books. The reality that you are choosing to ignore is that Romney INTERPRETED the new law–in violation of the Massachusetts Constitution–as meaning there was no exemption, and he said he PERSONALLY BELIEVED there should be no exemption. You are the one who keeps ignoring that fact. When will you acknowledge what he said and his decision to overrule the DPH?

      • rebecca says:

        When you pointed out the author of AboutRomney, the reply button appeared to be disabled. so, I was wrong about it being Romney’s website. I apologize.

        However, the salient arguments still apply.

        Romney found he could not interpret the explicit meaning of the law as working with the 1975 law, as that was against legislative intent.

        Romney helped work in wording in the Mass Department of Health to provide the workaround.

        Romney expressed what he personally believed, and? He also expressed what he believed to legally be the case about the explicit meaning of the law.

        Look at the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, who awarded Romney with the Canterbury Medal in 2008 for standing on the side of religious freedoms during his governorship. They are currently challenging Obama’s contraception mandate. They are and have been in the legal trenches, watching the effects and dynamics of law and governance…

        Take a moment to read this statement:

        Boston, MA
        United States

        Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Founder of Women Affirming Life and Chair of the Board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty as well as the Canterbury Medal recipient in 2003, made the following statement on Mitt Romney’s defense of religious liberty:

        “The charge that Mitt Romney has not stood tall to defend freedom of religion is preposterous. The truth is that Mitt Romney has been fighting assaults on religious freedom for a long time, and at moments and in places where it was not popular, to say the least. When Catholic Charities in Massachusetts was being forced out of the adoption business because they were trying to provide adoption services for needy children while staying true to their beliefs, it was Governor Mitt Romney who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Catholic Church and filed a bill to protect religious liberty. It was precisely for his courageous efforts in defense of religious freedom that the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty awarded him its prestigious Canterbury Medal in 2008. At this moment when religious liberty is under attack from many quarters, people of all faiths won’t find a more ardent or effective advocate than Mitt Romney. He has shown backbone on every critical issue at every juncture when it counted.”


        Remember in your fact-check follow-up you used DPH statements from 2007 to somehow implicate Romney, when he was no longer governor? There are reasons your evaluation of what actually happened should, in all candor, be doubted.

  16. Alice Slattery says:

    Is there any hope in our Boston Archdiocese and in The Pilot that there will be a show of support for Rick Santorum to become President? He is publicly committed to stopping the funding of Planned Parenthood which runs the abortion business with an iron fist.(refer to “Family Planning Site List by Region: Greater Boston,ABCD/Boston Family Planning. 178 Tremont St..Boston, MA,02111,Phone: 617-357-6251) As Gov. of Mass., Mitt Romney never showed any determination to stop the iron-fisted power of Planned Parenthood in Mass.. In his plans for mandatory health insurance, he tried to use strategies that wouldn’t invoke the ire of Planned Parenthood which has already so many established “community”health” centers in Mass. that are receiving millions of dollars through Title X funding and running many of the public high school health clinics in Mass.So it is baffling as to why there is so much public support in the Boston Archdiocese media supporting Mitt Romney instead of Rick Santorum.
    Certainly Mary Ann Glendon, the founder of Women Affirming Life, knows that most of the Women Affirming Life members affirm the position of Rick Santorum to stop the spread of the Planned Parenthood’s vice-hold on our communities, especially in their efforts to tell the school systems what to teach about “recreational” sex and what to do if a baby is conceived.
    Regarding the Catholic hospitals that are now under the rule of CEO Ralph de la Torre, who supposedly “rescued the largest hospital chain from financial ruin, we can see a possibility of what is going to happen when a form of the Barach Obama HHS mandate on requiring abortifacients, sterilization, and abortions is forcefully implemented. One has only to read the Boston Herald article by Jessica Van Sack:”Caritas CEO hosting fund raiser with Barack Obama”(Oct. 15.2010) to see what will (or has) happened to keep Catholic hospitals from throwing over their beliefs to “accommodate” the “powers that be”.
    Our only hope to stop the power of the way of Planned Parenthood
    is to elect someone who will not be an accommodator to evil and means what they say about health for women , family life and the Constitutional right to our fundamental belief in the right to life.

    • Michael says:

      Mary Anne Glendon is a climber. She thinks that climbing on Mitt’s ladder will get her closer to “God” so she can help Him more effectively when the right issue arises. MaryAnn, however, missed the right issue several years ago in Massachusetts (when she was foolish enough to be duped … along with former SJC Judge Nolan … by an old trick lawyers use all the time .. Romney hired her among others as his legal counsel/advisors/consultants … buying up any and all Massachusetts conservative lawyers who might pose a threat to exposing his criminal activity as Governor … thus leaving every potential threat to him covered by a conflict of interest).

      AND to admit her error now (while it would be a courageous act of Christian charity) would be to require her to get off the ladder of the father of same-sex marriage in America. But MaryAnn is too close to the top to look down at this stage. Just think of how God will use her brilliant mind … when the right issue arises.

      Until then it is tea and crumpets with the man who looks like he might go to the white house. It is such a lovely and historic place … it almost completely blurs out the wake of the destruction of our society that MaryAnn is partly responsible for.

  17. JerryB says:

    Good points, Alice. The Archdiocese doesn’t have a good track record, and no one should expect things to change soon. Remember when Cardinal O’Malley was going along with providing abortions et al through the Centene partnership? Here are excerpts from a classic article back in March 2009:


    “Caritas and Centene Corp. released a one-sentence statement that said the venture ‘will contract with providers, both in and out of the Caritas network, to ensure access to all services required by the authority, including confidential family planning services.'”

    “In December, NARAL, an abortion rights group, said a survey it conducted of 70 hospital emergency rooms statewide revealed that all but two provided emergency contraception to rape victims, as required by a 2005 state law. The two that said they did not were Caritas hospitals, Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton and Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, according to NARAL.”

    “Caritas responded to NARAL’s concern with a December statement that said it trains staff to abide by the Massachusetts law …”

    So, it wasn’t just de la Torre, but the Cardinal who was willing to contract baby killing. Additionally, we see that only 2 of the 6 Caritas hospitals didn’t provide “Plan B,” but even worse, Caritas trained its staff to abide by the “2005 state law.”

    Cardinal O’Malley is now head of the USCCB’s pro-life committee. Romney is now pro-life. George Orwell is somewhere, laughing.

  18. Capt Crunch says:

    I think this video sums up the situation well, Cardinal Sean should take note…


    • Michael says:

      Love the cereal … love the video link … Cardinal O’Malley it is time for you to clean your house … or get out of the way … Thank you Captain!

%d bloggers like this: