President Bush Defends Advancing Pro-Life Message During His Presidency
by Steven Ertelt
January 6, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In an Oval Office interview with pro-life syndicated columnist Cal Thomas for the Town Hall web site, President Bush defended his pro-life advocacy during his two terms as president.
Although Bush normally touts the several pro-life bills and regulations he’s put forward when he defends his pro-life record, the president talked more about advancing the pro-life philosophy in this new interview.
"I have, as you know, been a strong defender of the culture of life. And I believe that’s an important part of our party’s future," Bush told Thomas.
Asked if the Republican Party should continue its pro-life position, which is expressed in its platform as support for a Human Life Amendment, Bush said yes.
"I will be the first to concede that laws change only after hearts change, but our party has been on the leading edge of saying to people there’s a better way than what took place in the past in the country on a very sensitive issue like abortion," he said.
"We were the ones who fought for the ban on partial-birth abortion, and then went to the courthouse to defend it," Bush added. "We’re the ones who promote adoption."
The president said he hoped he had promoted the pro-life perspective "in an understanding way."
"I said that I understand good people can disagree on this issue. But as we disagree, let’s keep things in mind: that all life is precious; that a society is strong when it worries about the most vulnerable among us, whether it be those who are elderly, those who are sick, and those who are yet unborn," Bush said.
According to the pro-abortion research group Alan Guttmacher Institute, a former Planned Parenthood affiliate, abortions are at historic lows under Bush.
The president said he hoped he had made progress during his administration in promoting pro-life alternatives to abortion.
"I do believe we have made progress on the issue of culture of life," he said.
"I do believe people are beginning to understand why a person like me takes the position I take. And I do believe we can take those positions without being so judgmental that our voice is not heard," Bush concluded.
"In other words, I have always tried to say I understand your position, but here’s mine, and here’s why I think this makes sense for a compassionate America."
During his presidency, Bush signed pro-life bills such as the partial-birth abortion ban, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
He withheld funding for the UNFPA because it participates in the forced-abortion population control policies of China and revoked taxpayer funding for groups that perform or promote abortions overseas.
Bush also prevented taxpayers from having to pay for new embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life and twice vetoed Congressional bills to overturn the policy.
He promoted a human cloning ban both in Congress and at the United Nations, and he recently put in place a new rule protecting medical centers and staff who don’t want to do abortions.
The president also signed into law the measure allowing Terri Schiavo’s family to take its case to federal courts to prevent her euthanasia death and tried to stop the usage of federally-controlled drugs in assisted suicides in Oregon.
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