National Catholic Reporter

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Romney, Bain & Abortion

It is difficult to know how the story about Bain Capital's investments in Stericycle will turn out. Stericycle is a company that deals with medical waste which, in an Orwellian twist, is understood to include the remains of children who have been aborted. Bain invested $75 million in the company in 1999 but when the issue was raised earlier this year, the company stated that Mr. Romney had left to rescue the Olympics by the time the investment was made. New documents unearthed by Mother Jones indicate that Mr. Romney's involvement with Bain continued for some time. This is important not only because of the issue of Stericycle, but because calculations of outsourced jobs at companies Bain purchased are affected too.

Yet, at the website LifeNews, which monitors all issues related to the pro-life cause, they are playing the denial game on behalf of Gov. Romney. They do not rebut the charge so much as ignore it.

Two things are interesting here. First, LifeNews does not raise the most obvious defense of Mr. Romney's alleged involvement in a company that profits directly from its participation in the abortion industry, namely, that in 1999 Mr. Romney was still proudly pro-choice. To me, this is exculpatory: If you believe that Mr. Romney's conversion to the pro-life cause was sincere, you have no business challenging his actions before his conversion. Of course, Mr. Romney signed a health care overhaul AFTER his "conversion," that explicitly provided for taxpayer funded abortion, something President Obama did not do, but the right has swallowed this fact too.

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The other interesting thing is what this tells us about the nature of venture capitalists. Let's not kid ourselves. If Krugerrands were still a viable investment, and still controlled by an apartheid government, we should not be surprised if Bain threw some money that way. Nor should we be surprised that the particular form of vulture capitalism practised by Bain guaranteed that they got their money, even if they had to shutter factories, lay-off thousands, export jobs not products, etc. The world of high finance is an amoral and immoral world. But, no one among the apologists for capitalism within the Christian and Catholic right want to talk about that.

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August 28-September 10, 2015

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