by Steven Ertelt
May 5, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life groups and leaders were pleased late last week by President Bush’s letter to Congress saying he would veto any legislation that overturns current limits on using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. They said they were pleased the president stuck to his pro-life principles despite vetoing just one bill in his presidency.
Over the past decades, numerous important pro-life provisions have been attached to appropriations bills to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not support activities that are morally offensive to many Americans.
These riders include bans on funding for abortion and embryo destruction, provisions against coercive population programs and conscience protections among others.
"President Bush’s decisiveness is cementing his positive impact on a return to a culture of life for this nation," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said responding to the letter.
"He is setting a high standard for any successor by being a true blue champion of faith, family, and freedom," Perkins added.
Rep. Chris Smith, the co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, spoke on behalf of hundreds of pro-life lawmakers in Congress and said he backed the president’s letter.
"President George Bush has been both faithful and courageous in defending both unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion," Smith told LifeNews.com in a statement. "President Bush has clearly articulated his commitment to protecting the culture of life."
He indicated that enough pro-life members of Congress had signed on to a letter to the president urging him to keep his pro-life pledge to sustain any Bush veto.
That letter Smith referred to was signed by 155 members of Congress and 146 votes are necessary to sustain a veto. Some 34 members of the Senate signed on as well, a veto-proof majority there, too.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, said his group also appreciated "that the President is drawing a bright line."
Johnson said the letter means Bush will veto "any appropriations bill, or any other bill, that would weaken the existing laws against federal funding of abortion or weaken other pro-life policies."
Meanwhile, Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, told LifeNews.com that pro-life advocates should respond to the president’s letter by telling their elected officials to vote pro-life because pro-abortion activists will be responding as well.
"Abortion groups are energized by pro-life statements just like this one, and they will no doubt use the President’s letter as a rallying point to redouble their efforts," Dannenfelser said.
"It is now more important than ever to remain steadfast in our dedication to the cause," she added.
ACTION: Go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact to find contact information to use to thank President Bush for his pro-life veto threat. You can contact members of Congress at 202-224-3121 to urge them to vote pro-life.