‘Romnesia’: Mitt Has ‘No Memory’ Of Coercing Women On Pregnancy, Adoption Choices

Everyone should know by now that Mitt Romney is not a candidate that represents women’s equality. But do you know how very badly the potential 45th President treated the women he was supposed to care for as a Mormon bishop?

Tale #1: Romney Tries to Force Ill Woman to Continue Pregnancy, Against Doctors’ Advice.

After a life-threatening blood clot was found in Carrel Hilton Sheldon’s pelvic region, the woman then became the victim of a medical error. She was given an overdose of the blood thinner heparin, a mistake which threatened her life and likely damaged her unborn fetus, according to doctors. Sheldon was advised by her doctors and by a chief LDS Leader, Dr. Gordon Williams, to terminate the pregnancy to protect her own life.

Unabashed, Mitt Romney stormed, uninvited, into Sheldon’s hospital room; he was the Mormon bishop assigned to “guide” her at the time. As she lay in the bed, her life in danger, Romney adamantly insisted that she continue the pregnancy, even though doing so may have cost Sheldon her life. According to Geoffrey Dunn’s article Mitt Romney’s Pregnancy Problem, Sheldon had the following to say about her uninvited guest:

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“[Romney] regaled me with stories of his sister and her retarded child and what a blessing the child had been to the family. He told me that ‘as your bishop, my concern is with the child.’… At a time when I would have appreciated nurturing and support from spiritual leaders and friends, I got judgment, criticism, prejudicial advice, and rejection.”

Further compounding the woman’s distress and grief, Romney accused her of lying about gaining the blessing of Dr. Williams, the LDS stake president, to proceed with the medically indicated termination.

That’s still not all. When Romney couldn’t get Sheldon to bend to his will and cancel the D&C, he paid an uninvited visit to her parents’ house to rail at them about their daughter’s decision to put her own health before an early pregnancy that had likely been compromised. Sheldon’s father, incensed by Romney’s stunning lack of sensitivity to his daughter’s health, ordered him out of the home.

Because of the outlandish treatment Mitt Romney inflicted, Sheldon quit the LDS church and never returned.


When later asked about this confrontation with Sheldon, Romney claimed amnesia, or “Romnesia:”

I don’t have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can’t say it could not have been me.”

That remark is as exasperating as it is telling. Romney’s either lying (big surprise), or he engaged in this sort of patriarchal, absolutist, sneering behavior with so many women he ministered that Sheldon’s case just doesn’t stand out to him.

Tale #2: ‘No Mormon Husband? Then Give Me Your Baby!’

Peggie Hayes, another one of Bishop Romney’s LDS parishioners, also has a startling story to tell. Hayes was a divorced, single mother of a 3-year-old daughter, who did odd jobs for the Romney family.

Romney paid Hayes a visit when it became known that she had conceived a second child, a boy, out of wedlock.  He pressured her to surrender her unborn son to the LDS church so that he could be raised by a “proper” Mormon family.

Hayes recounted Romney’s threats to two Boston Globe reporters:

“[Romney] told me it was really important to give the baby up. He told me he was a representative of the church and by refusing I was failing to comply with the church’s wishes and I could be excommunicated.”

Hayes felt insulted and attacked, as well as resentful of the misogynistic undertones of Romney only wanting her male child. She told Romney she had no intention of handing over her baby. When later asked by reporters, Romney acknowledged the encounter but claimed he never threatened Hayes with excommunication from the church.

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If this article had a third act, it would be to fill you in on the other ways Romney seeks to impinge upon women’s liberties and life choices.

Here are some of the potential impacts of Romney’s first term:

  • Endanger the lives of women young and old, and increase unwanted pregnancies, by eliminating Title X of the federal family planning program, which provides contraception counseling, as well as ovarian and breast cancer screenings, high blood pressure control, and care for other major health threats to women.
  • Rescind treatment and support for rape and incest victims. (In 2005, then-governor Romney vetoed a Massachusetts bill requiring hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims. Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan does not even support abortion in cases of rape and incest, although flip-flop Romney now says he does (but apparently not in cases like Sheldon’s, where the mother’s life is at risk.)

If you are a woman, and respect your body and your health as you should, please don’t vote for Mitt Romney. On second thought, to make sure we squelch this anti-women tide, commit to casting your vote for the other guy, who has protected women’s rights and health.

And please share this with all the women you know.

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Want More? Read “The 7 Worst Atrocities Mitt Romney Has Unleashed On The LGBT Community

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