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Jewish World Review Dec. 28, 2000 / 2 Teves 5761

Don Feder

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Planned Parenthood demands a recount -- HAVING DONE its best to defeat President-elect George W. Bush during the campaign, the abortion lobby now informs him that he may begin pandering to it at any time. Talk about tough sells.

Planned Parenthood ran an ad in the Dec. 19 New York Times, in the form of an open letter to Bush, demanding that he abandon those who helped elect him and become the president of Americans who "support a woman's right to reproductive freedom" (its little euphemism for turning the womb into a killing field).

"We will be watching carefully -- monitoring executive orders, legislation, Supreme Court nominations and key appointments -- and working to safeguard a woman's reproductive freedom and health," the ad cautions.

You promised to be the president of all Americans, the choicers pout. Well, aren't we Americans?

There seems to be some confusion on this point. Bush can represent all Americans. Unless he develops a split personality, however, he can't represent the views of all Americans -- especially where we're deeply divided.

Bush wasn't elected by all of the American people. Exit polls show that the more pro-life the voter was, the more likely he was to support Dubya. In a Voters News Service Survey, only 24 percent of those who thought abortion should be legal in all cases voted for Bush, compared to 68 percent of voters who thought it should be illegal in most cases.

While right-to-life groups provided key support during the Republican primaries in crucial states like South Carolina, Planned Parenthood ran a $7-million advertising campaign to bury Bush. In one spot, a woman called him "the most anti-abortion governor in America."

Gloria Feldt, head of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, was apoplectic. A Bush presidency "will be devastating to reproductive rights and health," Feldt sputtered. Guess who won't be invited to the inauguration?

When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 with 43 percent of the popular vote (the lowest percentage of any president chosen in this century), his very first act on his first day in office was to repeal the five Regan-era executive orders limiting federal funding of abortion.

His administration was staffed by mutants like Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who sneered that pro-lifers should get over their "love affair with the fetus." His Supreme Court appointments, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, are reliable votes for abortion on demand.

Clinton pushed the Freedom of Choice Act (an attempt to nullify state restrictions on abortion), signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which creates an anti-speech zone around abortion clinics, and vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban.

Short of opening a clinic in the West Wing, it's hard imagine what else Clinton could have done to advance the Planned Parenthood agenda.

Which was to be expected. Abortion advocates backed him to the hilt. Clinton won in '92, and Planned Parenthood reaped the spoils. This year it lost, but still expects Bush to give it everything it wants.

Whether or not a majority of Americans are pro-choice (this depends on how the term is defined), a distinct minority support Planned Parenthood's radicalism.

A July Gallup poll asked when abortion should be legal. Only 28 percent took Planned Parenthood's position (legal in all circumstances). A total ban on abortion was favored by 19 percent. The vast middle (51 percent) would have it "legal only under certain circumstances."

In other surveys, 47 percent oppose the availability of the RU-486 abortion pill (39 percent favor it) and 53 percent support a ban on partial-birth abortions (37 percent are opposed).

During the campaign, Bush was unequivocal. He supported retention of the GOP's pro-life plank, said he'd sign a partial-birth abortion ban, expressed pride in signing a parental consent law in Texas, promised to appoint justices in the Antonin Scalia/Clarence Thomas mold and said he would lead America "toward a culture that values life" including "the life of the unborn."

Bush's choice of outgoing Sen. John Ashcroft, a dedicated defender of the unborn, as attorney general shows he hasn't forgotten his promises or his debts. Memo to Planned Parenthood: Sorry, you can't get a recount.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate