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How pro-life is gop, Bush? (Insider Report).

"Will Congress really ban partial-birth abortion," asked American Life League (ALL) president Judie Brown in a November 8th press statement, "or just give prolifers lip service by once again passing a meaningless regulation containing an erroneous loophole that renders the whole package moot?"

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who takes over as majority leader in the new Congress, is promising to shepherd a partial-birth abortion ban to President Bush's desk, Mrs. Brown noted. "But if he merely plans to reintroduce previous legislation," the pro-life leader said, "he will be guiding a bill that, in fact, only regulates perhaps the most grisly surgical act of murder in the history of a once civilized nation."

ALL and other pro-life groups are warning that the bill specifically permits such partial-birth abortions claimed "necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself."

That exception, said the ALL leader, is totally "bogus." In addition to expert medical opinions challenging the partial-birth exceptions clause, Brown provided a list of nearly 500 physicians who had signed the following declaration: "I agree that there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child's life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother." Mrs. Brown cautioned Sen. Lott "and all members of Congress--that if they're serious about eliminating this ghastly form of infanticide, they must eliminate the loophole. Otherwise, this well-intentioned effort will not even save a single baby's life."

But beyond the fatal defects of the partial-birth bill, there is the question of the Bush White House. Elected with the full support of the pro-life vote and bolstered in the 2002 midterm elections by the same constituency, there are signs that President Bush may be less supportive of the pro-life agenda than the activists had hoped. A Washington Post story of November 12th, entitled "Lott's Promise to Bring Up Abortion Worries Bush Aides," provides an indication of the problem. The article notes that White House aides were worried over a pledge made by Sen. Lott on American Family Radio the day after the Republicans won control of Congress. Concerning the partial-birth abortion bill, Sen. Lott said: "I will call it up, we will pass it, and the president will sign it. I'm making that commitment--you can write it down." According to the Post, "Such public pronouncements on the Hill worry Bush aides," because the president "does not wish to be seen as a captive of his party's ideologues." The article notes that "On Thursday, [November 7th] the White House held a conference call with social conservatives and pleaded with them to be patient" on the abortion issue.
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Publication:The New American
Date:Dec 16, 2002
Previous Article:Bush "Saves" the UN. (Insider Report).
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