by Steven Ertelt
August 19, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — First Lady Laura Bush has possibly changed her position on abortion. When her husband George W. Bush was running for president in 2000, Laura Bush indicated she was pro-choice on the issue of abortion and did not favor overturning Roe v. Wade.
Last week, the First Lady came to the defense of her husband’s policy on embryonic stem cell research.
In August 2001, President Bush put forward an executive order preventing taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research.
In response to critics who contend the decision stalls important scientific research, Laura Bush promoted the use of adult stem cells and sided with numerous doctors who say such cures, if they happen, are likely many years away.
Her actions prompted a Washington Times reporter to ask Laura Bush whether she has changed her mind on the issue of abortion.
Asked on Thursday whether she is now pro-life, the First Lady responded, "Yes, I think abortion should be rare."
Laura Bush also told Times reporter Bill Sammon that she agreed with President Bush that human life begins at conception.
No one was available in Laura Bush’s press office to provide further details on the quote.
Elizabeth Graham, associate director of Texas Right to Life, told LifeNews.com she wasn’t sure if the brief comment indicates Laura Bush has changed her mind on abortion and overturning Roe v. Wade.
"Hopefully [she] is realizing that abortion harms and exploits women, which may be motivating her to speak out a little more forcefully than usual on a controversial issue," Graham said.
Previously, the Fist Lady has said that she didn’t think the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion should be reversed.
"No, I don’t think it should be overturned," Mrs. Bush told NBC’s "Today Show" in January 2001.
In a followup interview, she told CNN that she believes more could be done to reduce the number of abortions, but that Roe should not be overturned.
She did not respond to a question in that interview about whether women have a "right" to an abortion, but said, "[we should do] what we can to limit the number of abortions, to try to reduce the number of abortions in a lot of ways, and that is, by talking about responsibility with girls and boys, by teaching abstinence, having abstinence classes everywhere in schools and in churches and in Sunday school."
"I agree with my husband that we should try to reduce the number of abortions in our country by doing all those things," Bush said.
In July, 2001 Laura Bush told CNN’s Judy Woodruff in an interview that, though she disagreed with her husband on overturning Roe v. Wade, they agreed on issues such as promoting adoption and abstinence.