Over Her Dead Body

Written by Cristina Page

Mitt Romney’s “close” relative died of an illegal abortion (which is why he used to say he wouldn’t force his beliefs on you).

In 1963, Mitt Romney lost a “dear” and “close” relative to an illegal abortion. Ann Keenan was the sister of his brother-in-law, Loren “Larry” Keenan, husband to Mitt’s sister, Lynn. By all accounts, her death at age 21 “deeply impacted members of the family.” Romney’s sister, Jane, explained, “‘She was a beautiful, talented young gal we all loved. And [her death] pretty much ruined the parents — [she was] their only daughter. You would do anything not to repeat that.” The Keenan family asked for donations to be sent to Planned Parenthood in her name.

Ann Keenan apparently “was very close” to Mitt personally and he, too, appeared moved by the loss explaining, it “obviously makes one see that regardless of one’s beliefs about choice, that you would hope it would be safe and legal.” During a debate with Senator Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney pledged, “It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.”

But Romney’s dear young relative seems to have disappeared from his memory (as has his promise to not waiver.) He no longer “exhumes” her body to serve as proof of his pro-choice credentials as he did routinely when running for governor of Massachusetts. These days, he’s promising to overturn Roe v. Wade. Indeed, he seems eager to reinstate those laws that drove his close relative to fatally take matters into her own hands.

Some imply that his pro-choice pledge may have always been a ruse. Ann Coulter explained, “He tricked liberals into voting for him. I like a guy who hoodwinks liberals so easily.” Is it possible for a politician to stoop that low — using the tragic death of someone so close for political expediency? (And is it possible that, as Coulter would have it, we, not Romney, are the assholes for expecting more of him?)

The average American isn’t able to analyze Romney’s double speak on abortion. Last week Romney told the Des Moines Register editorial board, in seeking their endorsement, that “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.” He appeared to want to calm Iowa voters, suggesting that he wouldn’t be a radical pro-lifer. This, though, seems one more instance of electoral quick stepping. Right before the election, he says what he needs to say, dissembling on his plans to reverse Roe, an objective he’s repeatedly boasted about. The president doesn’t have much role in scaling back abortion on the legislative level, but Romney will act by appointing anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court.

As a New York Times editorial explained yesterday, “There is every indication that about half the states would make abortion illegal within a year of Roe being struck down, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenges abortion restrictions around the country, puts the number at 30 states.” For some context, approximately 400,000 women, mostly mothers, in these states had an abortion in 2006.

So a good question for Romney during this election would be about his beloved Ann Keenan, snuffed out so early, and the lessons her death taught him. And more pointedly, why is he planning to deliver American women to her fate.

This post was republished with permission from Cristina Page.


Related Stories:

Vote Anti-Choice or Your Soul is in Jeopardy, Bishop Tells Catholics

Rape is “Something God Intended” Says GOP Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock

‘My Disabled Grandchild is a Punishment for My Abortion’


Photo: mnassal/flickr


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Cristopher F. Unfortunately, six hasn't.

Jean Potts
Jean Potts5 years ago

Get your abortions.. Pay for it yourself.. Relive 'your choice' every year for the rest of your life.

Daphne H.
Daphne H5 years ago

I agree with Patricia G. AND I think he will say whatever he thinks any specified group wants to hear. I would personally like to hear, "Congratulations President Obama on 4 more years"

Patricia G.
Patricia Gal5 years ago

I personally think its inappropriate to refer to personal losses in terms of any illegal procedures or medical mishaps as a tool to gain popularity for votes or endorsements. These are not ethical examples as they are of sensitive nature and should not be made public without the person's consent. PERIOD.

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

Anyone who thinks that women will not seek abortions even if it is illegal, is living in a fantasy world. These women will end up going to back-alley butchers. Keep religion out of the politics. If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. But don't make everyone suffer because of your beliefs.

Dorothy N.
Dorothy N5 years ago



Needy Billionaires (corporate edition) - We the People vs. corporate predators


Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:45 AM PST
500 reasons to vote against Mitt Romney and for Barack Obama

by Georgia Logothetis for Daily Kos

Dorothy N.
Dorothy N5 years ago

(This didn't go through the first time, hope it's not a double post, but sometimes they never do appear...)

Romney cheats to win, whether in elections or family foot-races, and has no compunctions about even tripping his daughter-in-law, recently delivered of his grandchild, to do it.

We've seen his pathological behaviours, attitudes and actions, ranging from the cruel and callous treatment of his dog to his predatory treatment of the the workers and shareholders in companies Bain purchased and loaded with debt, cutting wages, benefits and jobs as well, to increase his own profits.

This is his mind-set, forms his world-view; this how he thinks and operates; this is what he does.

We know that he plans to do the same to America, and to the world, if he cheats his way into the Presidency.

The odds are that life on Earth as we know it - something a corporate power, Monsanto, together with other petrochemical/GM/nano-tech companies, already plans to eradicate and replace with their patented, variably/inherently toxic/unstable organisms, for temporarily increased profit from a dying world and people - will not survive the unrestrained industrial pollution and eradication of the Earth's natural life support system.

4 years of Republican policy could be the death of us all, even without WW3 started with a view to global corporate conquest, or even just loose cannon Romney starting something just because.

This cannot be allowed to occur.


Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y5 years ago

One more conservative Justice on the Supreme Court and Roe.v.Wade could be struck down.

And there are several Justices who might retire.

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D5 years ago

If you want to see some of Romney's true character portrayed on video, check out the "Romney Radio Interview" on U Tube.
What an Ass!

Christopher Fowler

It looks like everyone that has answered the poll, so far, has read and understands the 1st Amendment.

Shame that the religious reich has yet to figure it out.