Bush is President What Next?
Will human life be safer four years from now?
President George W. Bush identifies himself as "pro-life," giving us reason
to think that he will do things to bring about the "culture of life" he
talked about during his campaign. However, he made no campaign promises with
respect to the myriad of public policy issues related to the right to life.
He did make one promise, one he may find impossible to keep, related to
the regulation of the practice of abortion, which he declared during his
acceptance speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia
He promised to sign a partial-birth abortion (PBA) ban into law.
Because of the June 28, 2000 Supreme Court decision in Stenberg vs.
Carhart which struck down the Nebraska PBA ban because it lacked the
requisite exception "for the preservation of the . . . health of the mother"
it appears that Congress will be unable to draft a new ban that the pro-life
movement can support. In fact, the pro-life movement has always opposed
legislation containing a "health" exception because of another Supreme Court
decision, Doe vs. Bolton, handed down on the same day as Roe vs. Wade, which
defined the health of the mother to include "all factors -- physical,
emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age," a definition so
broad as to essentially nullify any legislative restriction on abortion. It
appears that for Congress to pass, and Bush to sign, a PBA ban without the
requisite "health" exception would insure that it would not survive scrutiny
by the Court.
While Bush made no pro-life promises, pro-life
voters were reassured by many national leaders of the movement that once he
attained the White House, pro-life things would start to happen. As of this
writing, of fifteen Cabinet officers, President Bush has chosen three solid
pro-lifers: John Ashcroft as Attorney General, Spencer Abraham as Energy
Secretary, and Mel Martinez as Secretary of Transportation. Five others are
solidly pro-abortion and so are his nominees for General Counsel and
National Security Advisor. Once confirmed, the Bush Cabinet will not reflect
a shared political philosophy or world view, but will be a mixed bag of
experienced, professional, strong-willed, and articulate people who will be
advising the President. Achieving the pro-life policy objectives that will
ensure that human life will be more secure four years from now, objectives
that pro-life people who put him into office have a right to expect from the
Bush administration, presents a challenge that should not be minimized.
The First 100 Days -- Our Expectations and Our Responsibilities
Zogby reported a new poll on January 9, 2001 that shows growing support for
the pro-life cause. When asked to choose between two statements: "abortion
destroys a human life and is manslaughter" or "abortion does not destroy a
life and is not manslaughter," 51% of respondents to the "American Values"
poll believed the first statement. Mounting evidence shows that the
pro-abortion-choice rhetoric is being rejected by the American people and
pro-life policies and programs are gaining support and acceptance. Our job
is to remind President Bush of the work that needs to be done so that his
stated goal of moving America toward "a culture of life" will be
We expect President Bush to immediately take the following steps:
- Reinstate the "Mexico City" policy prohibiting taxpayer funding of agencies
that perform or promote abortions in foreign countries. (The prohibition,
first instituted by President Ronald Reagan, was nullified by a Clinton
executive order on the day after he was inaugurated in 1993.)
- Eliminate funding for the United Nations Fund for Population Assistance
(UNFPA) which contributes to agencies that provide "family planning" to
countries like China which employ forced abortion and sterilization as
methods of population control.
- Appoint pro-life directors of: the Food and Drug Administration, the
National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control.
- Appoint a pro-life U.S. Surgeon General
- Rescind FDA approval of the abortion drug
- Issue an executive order prohibiting all human embryo experiments, whether
funded publicly or privately, on the basis that human embryos are human
beings and as such deserve protection as human subjects under the Nuremberg
Code of Medical Ethics.
- Issue an executive order banning medical research on organs and tissues
obtained from the victims of induced abortion.
Three people should be contacted in support of these initiatives and others
that will emerge during the course of the Bush administration. They are:
- President George W. Bush
- Andrew Card, White House Chief of Staff
- Karl Rove, Senior Advisor to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Personnel is policy!
Observing the Cabinet appointments President Bush has made can help us
understand, over time, why things happen. Here, for your information, is a
brief overview of the people nominated to serve in the Bush administration.
Department of Agriculture, Ann M. Veneman
Former California Agriculture Director under Governor Pete Wilson, Ms.
Veneman was a supporter of and contributor to his failed campaign for
president. Pete Wilson is a pro-abortion activist who worked hard to remove
the pro-life plank from the Republican National Platform in 1996.
Department of Commerce, Don Evans
Mr. Evans, president-elect Bush's closest friend, is credited with
leading President Bush to a greater understanding of his Christian faith.
His views on the right to life are yet unknown. Although the Commerce
Department may seem far removed from the life issues, it is important to
note that in 1994, the Commerce Department awarded a $74,137 grant to the
Planned Parenthood Federation of America for developing a computerized
information system for collecting and exchanging data on reproductive health
care through its National Telecommunica-tions and Information
Administration. (Letter to Senator Phil Gramm and Rep. Chris Smith from
Janet Heinrich, Associate Director, Health Financing and Public Health
Issues Department of the General Accounting Office, Dated July 18, 2000)
Department of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
Mr. Rumsfeld has served in several Republican administrations including
Secretary of Defense in 1974 under President Gerald Ford. He agrees with
Bush on the need to strengthen our armed forces and is a key supporter of
the need for a ballistic missile defense system. His views on right to life
issues are unknown to us at this time.
Department of Education, Rod Paige
As Houston Superintendent of schools, Mr. Paige is generally well
thought of by conservatives as a man who has brought the basics back to
education in Houston, where he has reportedly re-instituted phonics and
brought back multiplication tables and spelling books to the classroom. His
views on abortion, sex education, and the dispensing of condoms and birth
control pills to children in school-based clinics are not known.
Department of Energy, Spencer Abraham
The former Republican U.S. Senator from Michigan lost his bid for
reelection to radical pro-abortion activist Democrat Debbie Stabenow in
November. Mr. Abraham is a solid, 100% pro-life stalwart whose wife, Jane
Abraham, is president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life political
action committee that supports pro-life Republican candidates for Congress.
The Department of Energy is not involved with right to life issues, but the
presence of Spence Abraham in the Cabinet will bring a strong voice for
pro-life, pro-family values during Cabinet meetings where many important
issues are discussed.
Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman
As Governor of New Jersey, Whitman vetoed the New Jersey Legislature's
ban on partial-birth abortions. For years she led the fight to get the
pro-life plank out of the Republican Platform. She works hard to raise
money to elect pro-abortion candidates, supports condom distribution to
children in the public schools, and endorses special legal privileges for
homosexuals. Whitman's views are the antithesis of much of what the
Republican Party Platform stands for, and just about everything millions of
pro-life, pro-family voters believe in!
Department of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson
As HHS Secretary, Wisconsin Governor Thompson will preside over the Food
and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for
Disease Control, and the administration of hundreds of millions of dollars
in "family planning" grants. Wisconsin pro-life leaders have voiced concerns
that, although Thompson has signed several bills into law that would
regulate or restrict the practice of abortion, funding for family planning
services skyrocketed on his watch. Of even greater concern is his
enthusiastic support of stem cell research in which embryonic babies are
killed, calling the experiments "ethical" in a letter to American Life
League president, Judie Brown. Spokesmen for President Bush say he is
opposed to research involving human embryos.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mel Martinez
In the December 20th edition of "Washington Update," Ken Connor,
president of Family Research Council, describes Martinez, his long-time
friend and colleague, as a "man of character and brilliance." A Cuban
refugee who came to America when he was only 15, Mel Martinez "worked his
way up the ladder," and earned a law degree from Florida State University
where he and Mr. Connor were roommates and where he met his wife Kitty, who
is active in Moms for Life in Orlando.
Department of Interior, Gale Norton
A Colorado attorney who held posts at the Interior Dept. during two
previous Republican administrations, Norton has drawn the ire of
environmentalists for her balanced approach to developing our nation's
natural resources. She is pro-abortion.
Department of Justice, John Ashcroft
Senator Ashcroft of Missouri lost his bid for reelection in November. He
previously served as both Attorney General and Governor of Missouri, and has
a long record of support for the restoration of the right to life to the
unborn. His career has been a distinguished one and he is widely recognized
as a godly man whose integrity is beyond question. Predictably, his tenure
will stand in stark contrast to the Clinton Justice Department headed by
Department of Labor, Elaine Chao
Ms. Chao, wife of U.S. Senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell, has served
previously as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and director of the Peace
Corps. She also chaired the United Way, a national charitable organization.
Her views on the life issues are not known to us.
Department of State, Colin Powell
General Powell "supports a woman's right to choose" to kill her unborn
baby. Pro-life Americans have strong concerns about the potential for
continuation of Clintonesque population-control programs in foreign
countries with Powell at the helm of the State Department.
Department of Transportation, Norman Mineta
A curious choice for Bush's Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Mineta, a
Democrat, served as Commerce Secretary under Bill Clinton. He is a former
Congressman from California who is pro-abortion and was rewarded by the
National Abortion Rights Action League with a contribution to his 1994
campaign for re-election.
Department of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill
Mr. O'Neill is the CEO of Alcoa which remains a corporate sponsor of
Planned Parenthood. Life Decisions International, the organization that
monitors corporate support of Planned Parenthood, has reportedly pleaded
with Mr. O'Neill to stop contributing to the nation's largest abortion
provider, only to be rebuffed.
Department of Veterans Affairs, Anthony Principi
This is a job with which he is very familiar, having served as deputy
and acting secretary of the department under the former President Bush. Mr.
Principi has had a long career as a champion of policies that would best
benefit our veterans. His views on the right to life are not known to us.