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January 22, 2001|
Laura Bush and Roe v. Wade
Just two days before her husband, George W. Bush was sworn in as President of the United States, Laura Bush said in an interview on the “Today Show” that she does not think the Roe v. Wade decision should be overturned. Specifically, in response to questioning by Katie Couric on whether the 1973 Supreme Court decision should be overturned, Mrs. Bush answered, “No, I don’t think that it should be overturned.”
As we watched the various inaugural events on television, we couldn’t help but be impressed with our new First Lady. In every way, she appears to be a refreshing contrast to Hillary Clinton. She is definitely a lady, pretty and serene looking with a lovely smile — a woman who is obviously devoted to her husband and daughters. In every way — through her appearance, her attitude, her manner of speaking and her plans as First Lady to promote literacy America, she presents herself as so different from the hard-edged woman-with-an-agenda who left the White House on Saturday. That is why so many people were surprised and shocked when Laura Bush publicly said that she and Hillary Clinton have the same view of Roe v. Wade, a tragic decision that, over the past 28 years has resulted in the killing of 40 million babies waiting to be born.
As people look for an explanation of why Mrs. Bush thinks Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, perhaps we should consider another statement she made during the same interview. She said, “I would say, in general, George and I are on the same page on the issue.” President Bush thinks abortion is justified in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. That position requires that abortion remain legal. If Mrs. Bush is on the same page, as she has said, perhaps she believes that overturning Roe would make abortion illegal in America.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Roe v. Wade decision simply took away from the individual states the right to legislate against abortion. In 1973, abortion was illegal in most states, although several had already repealed laws against abortion. Roe struck down all laws prohibiting abortion in the states where such laws existed. If Roe were overturned tomorrow, abortion would still be legal across the nation. However, the 50 sovereign states would then be free to legislate to outlaw abortion altogether, which might happen in some, but not all states. They would be free to pass laws regulating and restricting the practice of abortion without fear of the federal courts intervening and striking them down. Overturning Roe is a matter of state jurisdiction. But it is not, and should not be, the ultimate goal of the pro-life movement.
Our goal has always been to secure legal protection for every innocent human being from conception/fertilization until natural death by establishing their personhood under the law, either through a human life amendment to the Constitution or through the passage of a human life bill granting Fourteenth Amendment protection to the unborn from fertilization.
Will the goal of legal protection of unborn babies from fertilization be advanced during the course of the Bush administration? It appears unlikely. But, perhaps if Mrs. Bush understood that abortion would remain legal, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, she might change her mind and come to favor at least some legal remedy to the greatest moral, social, and political evil our country has ever experienced.
First Lady Laura Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington D.C. 20500
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Executive Director: Colleen Parro (972) 387-4160 Fax: (972) 387-3830