There's a controversy brewing over a new book alleging that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney once pressured a woman to give her baby up for adoption.
The book, called "The Real Romney," documents an incident that purportedly unfolded back in 1983 when Romney was a Mormon Bishop.
The woman, Peggie Hayes, was a single mother who was raising a young daughter at the time of her pregnancy. Romney, then a leader in her church, apparently helped set Hayes up with "odd jobs" with church members, as she has been quoted as saying that "he did a lot" to help her in the past.
When Hayes became pregnant, authors Michael Kranish and Scott Helman document a conversation during which Romney apparently sat down with Hayes and mentioned the church's adoption agency. Hayes says she wanted to have the second child and that she came to realize that Romney wanted her to give her son-to-be up for adoption.
In an article in Vanity Fair that includes excerpts from the book (with the very subjective title "The Dark Side of Mitt Romney"), Kranish and Helman have published portions of their book. Here's a section that explains the alleged interaction between Romney and Hayes:
Hayes was deeply insulted. She told him she would never surrender her child. Sure, her life wasn't exactly the picture of Rockwellian harmony, but she felt she was on a path to stability. In that moment, she also felt intimidated. Here was Romney, who held great power as her church leader and was the head of a wealthy, prominent Belmont family, sitting in her gritty apartment making grave demands. "And then he says, 'Well, this is what the church wants you to do, and if you don't, then you could be excommunicated for failing to follow the leadership of the church,'" Hayes recalled.
In the end, Hayes had her child and she inevitably left the Mormon church. Following the birth of the child, she called Romney and asked for his support. When he didn't show up at the hospital to support her and her baby (who was having surgery following his birth), she decided to leave the faith.
Business Insider's Michael Brendan Dougherty describes the Romney article as follows:
As Mitt Romney advances closer and closer to the Republican nomination, the media is attempting to "vet" him for anything negative in his past.
And, so far, the attempt is pathetic. [...]
You would think that Vanity Fair would pick the most salacious and incriminating details of his life. If this is it, then his personal and business life seems squeaky clean. Especially by the standards of politicians. He's a choir-boy.
The article takes on other subjects as well, including abortion and Romney's time at Bain Capital. You can read it here.
(H/T: Huffington Post)