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When Mitt Romney Became Pro-Life

Calculated campaign move or change in core beliefs? Mitt Romney's 2005 op-ed offers his explanation of when the conversion took place.

Posted on March 20, 2012, at 9:27 a.m. ET

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At a 2005 press conference on stem cell research.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney often talks about how his view evolved on the issue of life. Romney says he changed his mind on abortion in November of 2004, when he met with a scientist from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute who told him he wouldn't have to worry about stem research as a moral issue because they "kill" the embryos after 14 days. Romney said this prompted an epiphany that stem cell research cheapened the value of human life.

In the public eye, Romney's pro-life views arrived on July 26, 2005. Romney wrote an op-ed "Why I vetoed the contraception bill" where he explained both that he was pro-life and that abortions should be left up to the states. Romney also declared he would keep the status quo in regards to abortion in the state of Massachusetts.

Signing such a measure into law would violate the promise I made to the citizens of Massachusetts when I ran for governor. I pledged that I would not change our abortion laws either to restrict abortion or to facilitate it.

Further down the op-ed Romney says abortion should be a state decision, not solved at the federal level by the judiciary.

I understand that my views on laws governing abortion set me in the minority in our Commonwealth. I am prolife. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.

Because Massachusetts is decidedly prochoice, I have respected the state's democratically held view. I have not attempted to impose my own views on the prochoice majority.