Once a champion of legalized abortion, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has since 2005 claimed to be pro-life.

Several analysts watching Romney’s career, however, question whether the presidential hopeful’s sudden pro-life conversion was genuine.

One analyst from a Virginia-based think tank points back to a story about Romney’s alleged change of heart that was widely circulated during the former governor’s last run for the White House:

“During the 2008 election the media focused a lot of attention to the series of flip-flops by Romney on the abortion issues going back a decade,” the analyst said. “By the time Romney started to plan his 2008 presidential candidacy, he was claiming to be a strong pro-life advocate as a result of an ‘epiphany’ he had while meeting with stem cell researcher Dr. Douglas Melton.

“Romney claims that Melton stunned him by casually referring to killing embryos,” the analyst said. “But Dr. Melton was astounded to hear about this and quickly informed the media that regarding the conversation in question, ‘We didn’t discuss killing or anything related to it.'”

The American Family Association’s Brian Fischer says that Romney’s decision was more pragmatic than scientific.

“He knew he could not win the GOP nomination running on a pro-death platform, so he magically discovered new-found pro-life convictions,” Fischer said. “There is little question in my mind that Gov. Romney’s conversion on the pro-life issue was one of convenience rather than conviction. The embryonic stem cell discovery was just a handy fig leaf to give his change of position some plausibility.”

Fischer points to Romney’s health-care reforms in Massachusetts as evidence.

“He pushed RomneyCare through after his road-to-Damascus experience on the sanctity of life, not before, and RomneyCare offers the cheapest abortions in
America. It’s possible to get a taxpayer-subsidized abortion in Massachusetts for $50,” Fischer said. “That is not the work of a genuine pro-life convert.”

The political analyst also points to other examples of Romney’s post-“conversion” actions.

“The Boston Globe reviewed Romney’s judicial nominations and found that Romney ‘passed over GOP lawyers for three-quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he has faced, instead tapping registered Democrats or independents, including two gay lawyers who have supported expanded same-sex rights,'” the analyst said, quoting the Boston Globe report.

“Given the fact the Democrat party in Massachusetts is extremely pro-abortion, we can assume that most of the Democrats Romney nominated to the bench were pro-abortion,” Fischer concluded.

“Many of the appointments occurred after Romney’s conversion, including that of Stephen Abany, a far-left Democrat homosexual activist nominated in 2005. Just two months after his ‘epiphany,’ he nominated liberal pro-abortion Democrat Matthew Nestor to a lifetime seat on the Somerville District court,” the analyst said.

When Romney met with NARAL leaders in 2002, he promised them his judicial picks would be more likely to protect abortion rights than those of a Democrat Governor!” the analyst said. “He kept his promise even after his ‘conversion.”

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