President Bush held his first face-to-face White House meeting with prolife leaders late in December. Six evangelical prolifers went to the Oval Office to watch Bush sign the document proclaiming January 19, 1992, as “Sanctity of Human Life Day.” Although Bushhas held several sessions with religious leaders, including many who are active in prolife work, past meetings focusing specifically on the abortion issue were hosted by Vice-president Dan Quayle or former Chief of Staff John Sununu.

Christian Action Council (CAC) executive director Tom Glessner called the meeting “very significant” for the prolife cause. “To invite prolife leaders into the Oval Office is a statement by the President of the United States that this is a priority issue for him,” Glessner said, adding that “everybody in the prolife movement has been frustrated” by the lack of direct access to the President.

A similar meeting scheduled last year was canceled by the White House after squabbling broke out among prolife groups over who should be invited. To avoid that problem this year, the White House kept the meeting small, letting the CAC extend invitations. Those attending were Glessner, Harriet Lewis and Doug Scott of the CAC, Robert Dugan of the National Association of Evangelicals, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Robin McDonald of the Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center. During the little-publicized meeting, Bush reaffirmed his opposition to abortion and commended the work of the prolife movement, singling out crisis-pregnancy centers.

Skinner Reaches Out

New White House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner invited six leaders of several Washington-based evangelical groups into his office last month for a “get-acquainted” meeting. Many evangelicals ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.