Jeb Bush, the pro-life former governor of Florida, announced today that he is forming an exploratory committee to examine a potential Republican presidential bid in 2016. Bush is known for signing pro-life legislation and a bill to try to save the life of Terri Schiavo.
Bush, the brother of pro-life President George W. Bush, made the announcement on Facebook, saying he and his wife and family had long conversations over Thanksgiving about whether to run for president.
“We also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” he said.
“In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans,” he added. “In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.”
Following a second term for pro-abortion President Barack Obama, both political parties will have open nominations for their nominee. More than a dozen potential GOP contenders have been name.
Supporters say Jeb Bush is more conservative than his brother and note that his wife, Columba, was born and raised in Mexico. He speaks Spanish and outreach to Hispanic voters is seen as one of the main ways Republicans can win the next presidential election after falling to Obama a second time.
During his time as the governor of Florida, Bush pleased pro-life advocates by signing bills to help Terri Schiavo and to limit abortions.
“This not only ensures the safety of our children, but also strengthens the family unit by maintaining open dialogue between parent and child,” Bush said about the bill.
In May 2005, he signed a measure requiring abortion practitioners to tell the parents of a teenager girl when their daughter is considering an abortion. The measure was authorized by Florida voters who overwhelmingly approved a parental notification ballot initiative. Bush signed a similar law in 1999, but the Florida Supreme Court used the privacy clause in the state constitution to declare it unconstitutional. The amendment Florida voters backed 65-35 changed the privacy clause to allow for parental notification.
Just days after he signed legislation requiring abortion businesses to notify parents when their teenage girls are considering an abortion, Bush signed a measure regulating abortion facilities. Saying he did so “gladly, with pride and conviction” Bush said he signed the bill “to create a culture of life in our state.”
Bush indicated the legislation was necessary because abortion facilities are exempt from regulations that cover physician offices, hospitals and other surgical centers.
“This is a simple bill that says women are deserving of the same quality care when they go to a doctor’s office or a hospital or, sadly, to an abortion clinic,” Bush said.