The Corner

The Mormon Governor and the Catholic Hospitals

Fred Thompson’s campaign has sent out a post-Meet the Press release attacking Romney for not being pro-life (as Team Thompson tends to do routinely when Romney says something during a debate or other national appearance about being pro-life) because abortion coverage slipped into Massachusetts’s health-care plan and because, the Fred release says: “Romney forced private Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after-pill, a position applauded by Democrats and pro-abortions groups.”

As I recall that fight, he was following a law already on the books. And, as I recall, Catholic officials weren’t protesting too much — they were already distributing emergency contraception (to my dismay). So Fred Thompson wants the Mormon to have been more Catholic than the Catholics?

I recall thinking at the time, had my church been ready to fight the state on the issue, Romney probably would have supported/taken up their cause on religious-freedom grounds.

And, in fact, by the following spring, Romney did take on the issue of religious institutions needing exemptions. When Catholic Charities announced it would stop doing adoptions because of state mandates to place children with same-sex couples. He wrote to legislators at the time, “It is a matter beyond dispute, and a prerequisite to the preservation of liberty, that government not dictate to religious institutions the moral principles by which they are to carry out their charitable and divine mission.”

I like Fred Thompson and I like a lot of what he has to say. But I think his drive-by hits on Romney on abortion are doing important conversations a disservice.

Such is primary season, isn’t it, though?

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