One thing every child hates to hear from a parent is, "Do as I say, not as I do."
It's hypocritical, and completely obliterates the credibility of the parent. Mitt Romney may be in the same position.
Romney has been trying to secure his pro-life credentials so that he can get in good with social conservatives. The problem is, his record reads says that at best, he is ambivalent on abortion, and actually has been fairly pro-choice for much of his political career. Romney has stated plainly that regarding abortion, he has changed his position, but a good look at his record raises suspicions that something more is going on. As columnist William Saletan puts it, "The real story of Romney’s conversion — a series of tentative, equivocal, and confused shifts, accompanied by a constant rewriting of his past — paints a more accurate picture of who he is." Apparently, Romney likes to engage in revisionist history; his history, in particular. Romney is a moving target.
This side of his personality seems to be rearing its head. Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, but unlike Romney, Ryan is a true believer with respect to pro-life politics. Stephanie Mincemer for Mother Jones magazine reveals that Ryan co-sponsored the Sanctity of Life Act, which, if passed, will define life as beginning at fertilization. This, in turn, could criminalize in vitro fertilization. Why? Because according to Mincemer, "Doctors typically create multiple embryos and then only implant the healthiest ones in the woman. Some of them stick and become babies, and some don't. The embryos that don't make it to the womb are either frozen for later use or destroyed." If Ryan’s act passes, “destroying” those embryos will be tantamount to murder in the eyes of the law.
Here is the tricky part: Romney has children who have utilized in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Stephanie Mincemer wants to cast light on the fact that if this act passes, Romney's children could be criminals. I for one don't think that is very realistic. After all, pro-lifers typically propose punishing doctors, not patients.
The core problem is that there is a real conflict of interest at work. If Romney wants to be pro-life, he's going to have to bite the bullet and endorse a view of personhood that accepts full legal rights of protection beginning at conception. But, how can he when his own grandchildren were produced by a process that destroys embryos? What will be truly interesting is to see how Romney will spin this contradiction.
To be fair, Romney himself did not directly benefit from IVF technology; his kids did. And I am a pro-lifer. But, I think the character of all politicians mattes. How Romney handles this situation and the attacks that are sure to follow, will tell me a lot about his personality. Moreover, it will just look bad if Romney slams the door on IVF even after his own kids have used it.