Planned Parenthood Blasts Bush Adviser for Abortion March Comments

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Blasts Bush Adviser for Abortion March Comments

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Planned Parenthood is upset with comments made by Karen Hughes, an adviser for President Bush. In response to Sunday’s march for abortion, Hughes said that Americans have a greater respect for life in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Planned Parenthood takes issue with her remarks.

On CNN on Sunday, Hughes said the following in response to the pro-abortion march, whose attendance was significantly less than the one million people organizers predicted would attend:

"I think after September 11, the American people are valuing life more and I think those are the kind of policies the American people can support, particularly at a time when we’re facing an enemy, and really, the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life."

"It’s the founding conviction of our country, that we’re endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Hughes added. "Unfortunately our enemies in the terror network, as we’re seeing repeatedly in the headlines these days, don’t value any life, not even the innocent and not even their own."

But Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt criticized Hughes for invoking the terrorist attacks in the context of the abortion debate.

"(This) was an insensitive and divisive overreach," Feldt wrote in a letter to Hughes today. "It is outrageous to suggest that those of us who challenge this administration’s attacks on reproductive rights and access do not value life and human dignity. Indeed, it is because we value life and human dignity that we support a woman’s right to choice."

"The horror of 9/11 has been used inappropriately too many times, and this is clearly such an incident," Feldt wrote.

Hughes, in comments provided to the Washington Post, called Feltdt’s characterization of her remarks a "gross distortion."

"That is a gross distortion and I would never make such a comparison," Hughes told the Post. "Surely even the most strident of partisans, and reasonable people on both sides of the abortion issue, can agree that we have been reminded of the precious nature of human life and that we ought to work to reduce the number of abortions in America."

In her appearance on CNN’s "Late Edition," Hughes also praised the president on his "very strong record for women," saying he has employed more women in senior-level staff positions than any other presidential administration.

Calls to the Bush campaign from were not returned.

Meanwhile, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, also wrote to Hughes saying, "This kind of cynical, ugly and mean-spirited partisan rhetoric not only demeans those who attended the march, but also the vast majority of Americans who support reproductive health and abortion rights."

Eight pro-abortion Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Bush about the matter.

Hughes is advising President Bush during the 2004. Previously she served as a spokeswoman for the president.