Bush's Prolife Strategy Questioned

White House chief of staff says abortion isn't on list of public policy priorities
Groups intent on ending abortion have mixed views on the Bush administration's record. While some praise the new president's approach as realistic and methodical, others lament what they see as a failure to take a strong moral stand.

Some critics say they have been demoralized by signs that the administration is not serious. First Lady Laura Bush said on NBC's Today in January that she did not think Roe v. Wade should be overturned. In April, USA Today quoted White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card as saying that President Bush doesn't feel "that he'll be able to eliminate abortions," and that while abortion was "a high moral priority for the president," it was not among his public policy priorities.

"What could be a greater priority than stopping the legal slaughter of more than 4,000 of our preborn American children each day?" asks Patrick Delaney, director of public policy for the American Life League in Stafford, Virginia.

The USA Today article also prompted a response from Family Research Council President Ken Connor, who questioned Card's view of presidential leadership. "Leadership is not jumping in front of a parade or waiting for a comfortable political climate before pressing for change," Connor said in a statement. "President Bush's election was a mandate for a new era of leadership, driven not by polls but by example and conviction."

Several prolife advocates say they wanted Bush to act swiftly and rescind the Clinton administration's authorization of taxpayer-funded human embryo research. The National Institutes of Health has published guidelines authorizing government-funded researchers to use stem cells extracted from already destroyed human embryos—something prolifers say violates federal law.

"There's been a real ...

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Bush's Prolife Strategy Questioned
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June 11, 2001

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