Revision of Pro-Abortion Lincoln Memorial Video Draws Criticism

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 30, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Revision of Pro-Abortion Lincoln Memorial Video Draws Criticism Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 30, 2004

Washington, DC ( — The Bush administration is drawing criticism from a pro-abortion group that says it is taking too long to show the public revisions of a Lincoln Memorial video that offended pro-life advocates with its scenes of a pro-abortion rally.

The Clinton-era Lincoln Memorial video, shown since 1995, included footage of pro-abortion events. The National Park Service, after receiving pressure from a pro-life Congressman, confirmed that it would change it.

However, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a federal employees organization that backs abortion, blames the Bush administration for spending $200,000 to produce two new versions of the video.

According to PEER, the Park Service first developed a "more balanced" version of the film. This version kept the disputed scenes, but balanced them by showing scenes of pro-life Christians gathering for a Promise Keepers rally.

The new video was scheduled to be completed months ago, but it has not yet received approval from Assistant Interior Secretary Craig Manson.

Meanwhile, a second version of the video was ordered in June, which would be completely revised and not contain the disputed pro-abortion scenes.

Park Service records obtained by PEER show through early August 2004, that $126,630 had been spent on the new video project and $64,694 remained in the “Available Balance to Spend” by the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30.

PEER complains that the Bush administration is wasting money producing the videos.

“The Bush Administration is trying to erase feminists … from American history,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, whose organization is calling on the Bush Administration to release the first version of the video for a public showing. “Taxpayers deserve to see what their money was used to produce.”

Ruch has accused Park Service officials of "catering exclusively to conservative Christian fundamentalist groups."

Last year, pro-life Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) pressured the Park Service to change the video.

In a letter to the National Park Service last February, Tiahrt objected to the portions of the video that depicts 16 seconds of footage from a NARAL pro-abortion rally.

Some of the visuals included signs and banners reading "National Organization for Women," "I Had An Illegal Abortion In 1967 – Never Again," "Keep Abortion Legal," and "I Am Pro-Choice America."

Pro-life groups say a call from the White House may have prompted changes to the video as well.

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