Is this what it takes to win the Republican nomination these days?

Confronting one of the most controversial issues to cross his desk, Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts vetoed a bill on Monday that would expand access to the morning-after pill. The governor said he believed that the pill sometimes functioned as “an abortion pill,” not just contraception.

Mr. Romney’s decision will probably have little effect on the measure itself, which passed by veto-proof margins in both houses of the legislature. But it could affect how he is viewed by voters outside Massachusetts should he run for president in 2008, a course he is considering.

Indeed, national conservative groups, which play a critical role in races for the Republican presidential nomination, had been awaiting Mr. Romney’s decision as a way to gauge whether the governor of this liberal state was conservative enough.

If you have any doubt that his position is purely opportunistic, check this:

In 1994, during his failed effort to unseat Senator Edward M. Kennedy, he told The Boston Herald in response to a question: “I think it would be a positive thing to have women have the choice of taking the morning-after pill. I would favor having it available.” And during his successful run for governor in 2002, he replied yes when asked on a Planned Parenthood questionnaire, “Do you support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception?”

What a fucking pathetic state our debate over public policy is in.

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