Kate Michelman Praises Senator Hatch as "Most Respected" Opponent

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 15, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kate Michelman Praises Senator Hatch as "Most Respected" Opponent

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 15, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In one of her final interviews as the president of the national pro-abortion lobbying organization NARAL, Kate Michelman this week named pro-life Senator Orrin Hatch as one of her opponents that she respects the most.

After a speech at the National Press Club, Michelman didn’t hesitate when naming Hatch in response to a reporter’s question.

"Senator Hatch is a thorn in my little side when it comes to judicial nominations," Michelman explained. But "he and I have had long years of conversation and respect each other’s positions. . . .

She went on to describe all pro-life advocates.

"I don’t want to characterize all of those who oppose a woman’s right to choose as despicable people. They aren’t. They’re wrong — absolutely wrong."

Michelman added, "As I always tell Sen. Hatch, I don’t know why, but I always have this hope that someday a light bulb is going to go off in his little soul."

A spokesman for Hatch returned the praise.

According to the Deseret News, Margarita Tapia, a Hatch spokesman, said, "Sen. Hatch respects everyone who sincerely believes in their position — even if he disagrees with them. He does have a lot of respect for Kate Michelman. She is one who has been courteous and kind — even when she disagrees with him."

Though Hatch is a longtime pro-life leader in Congress on abortion issues, part of the reason for Michelman’s remarks could be his support for embryonic stem cell research.

Hatch has upset the pro-life community by co-sponsoring a "clone and kill" bill that would allow researchers to clone human embryos only to kill them shortly thereafter in order to obtain their stem cells. The Hatch bill, co-sponsored by pro-abortion California senator Diane Feinstein, faces strong opposition from pro-life organizations.

Michelman, one of the most recognizable pro-abortion leaders, will be stepping down as president of NARAL next spring after heading the national abortion advocacy group for 18 years.

She is staying on through the spring in order to lead a national pro-abortion march next April.

Michelman plans to leave the organization in order to care for her ill husband. She also says she wants to spend more time focusing on defeating President George. W. Bush in the 2004 elections.

Pro-life groups often remember a Michelman gaffe in a February 1994 interview with a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, when she said, "We think abortion is a bad thing."

When later asked about the quote in a Congressional hearing, Michelman denied having said it. However, the interview was tape-recorded and the reporter stood by her story.