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Many of my pro-life friends are passing around this video as evidence that Romney has betrayed them on the social issues. While it indeed does portray Romney as a squishy moderate on abortion, the position it argues for is  exactly that of  George W. Bush  and  John McCain : No abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. This is a view that hasn’t satisfied pro-lifers—and shouldn’t—but it’s the best we’ve been able to get. (Nor of course has anyone proposed banning contraception.)

Where Romney represents a definite improvement over these candidates for pro-lifers is that at times he portrays this not as a pro-life stance, but rather as a thoroughly moderate one. In the above ad, Romney redraws the lines of the abortion debate. What Richard John Neuhaus called the “ extremity of the mainstream ” is undermined, and the previous extreme is presented as the new middle.  This is just the sort of move that should encourage pro-lifers and enrage those who support abortion.

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