Pro-Abortion Group Seeks Info on Bush Liaison to Pro-Life Advocates

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group Seeks Info on Bush Liaison to Pro-Life Advocates

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 8, 2004

Washington, DC ( — A leading abortion advocacy group has filed a freedom of information request for additional information about a White House staff member who serves as a liaison between the Bush administration and groups such as pro-life organizations.

After the New York Times ran a profile of Bush advisor Timothy Goeglein, NARAL said it had submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act for more information on Goeglein and his relationship with pro-life groups.

"We’ve always known that responding to the far right’s concerns was priority one in George Bush’s White House, so it only makes sense that it would require at least one full time staffer, NARAL’s interim president Elizabeth Cavendish said.

"But if the President is going to use a public employee to foment activism against women’s rights, we should at least have the right to know what he is up to," Cavendish added. "It’s time for the White House to stop stonewalling, respect the law, and let us see just how deeply involved anti-choice groups are in making national policy."

In his position, Goeglein fields requests from a number of Christian, conservative and other groups to meet with the president or key White House officials to discuss domestic policy issues.

Pro-life groups have met with Goeglein about legislation such as the ban on partial-birth abortions, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, or to discuss issues such as embryonic stem cell research or human cloning.

Any president’s time is limited and meetings with White House staff are often the only way for organizations representing large groups of Americans to tell the president what’s on their mind.

Goeglein, before coming to the White House, was communications director for the 2000 presidential campaign of Gary Bauer, former president of the Family Research Council. He urged pro-life groups to work together to develop "a specific plan, a specific pro-life plan, to end abortion on demand."

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with being the liaison to conservative and Christian groups," Bauer told Family News in Focus. "In fact the weird and bizarre thing would be if you had a conservative Christian president who did not have a liaison with those organizations and those individuals."

NARAL says earlier requests for information about other White House staffers have gone unanswered, something it claims is a violation of federal law.

However, the pro-abortion group says it doesn’t suspect anything illegal is happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Under those requests, NARAL sought to review the schedules of senior officials "to determine how closely involved anti-choice groups have been in major administration decisions."

Bauer calls the requests a "prelude to harassment."