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President Bill Clinton used uncharacteristically strong language to define his terms in the ongoing debate over traditional values in a speech last month before the National Baptist Convention U.S.A., decrying violence among young people, illegitimacy, and abortion.
Clinton said about 40 percent of all American children are born into homes where the parents are not married, and 27 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion.
"Now, I don't care what your position is, whether you're pro-choice or anti-, that's too many," said Clinton.
Having children out of wedlock is "simply not right," he also said. "You shouldn't have a baby before you're ready, and you shouldn't have a baby when you're not married."
The National Baptist Convention (NBC) is the nation's largest African-American denomination, with approximately 8 million members. Clinton, who is a Southern Baptist, has not addressed the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), though he met recently with SBC leaders to discuss domestic issues.
Speaking the previous day to members of the Commonwealth Club of California, potential 1996 Republican presidential contender Dan Quayle touched on many of the same themes, which he has been sounding since his vice presidential days.
"Illegitimacy seems to be a pathology that feeds upon itself," Quayle said. "If children grow up never knowing their father, they assume fathers are irrelevant and that males are not accountable."
Quayle proposed strengthening the family through tax-relief measures. Clinton emphasized programs to fight crime, increase jobs, reduce homelessness, and bring businesses to inner cities.