Credit to Carole Novielli, Author at Live Action – December 3, 2018
Our nation’s 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush, passed away this past weekend at the age of 94 after battling a form of Parkinson’s disease. He served as leader of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and was the father of America’s 43rd president, George W. Bush. Bush was beloved by his family and by political foes and advocates alike who shared kind words of praise, describing the 41st President as an honorable and humble leader.
As we remember Bush’s legacy, we also remember his history on abortion and birth control, which is mixed.
For his entire life, Bush was a vocal supporter of family planning, even earning the nickname “Rubbers” from House colleagues. He once stated, “We need to make population and family planning household words.” Bush wrote that his father’s involvement as a Planned Parenthood board member motivated his views:
My own first awareness of birth control as a public policy issue came with a jolt in 1950 when my father was running for the United States Senate. Drew Pearson, on the Sunday before Election Day, “revealed” that my father [Prescott Bush] was involved with Planned Parenthood…
In 1969, as Congressman, Bush created the National Center for Population and Family Planning in the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW). That same year, Bush chaired the Republican Task Force on Population and Earth Resources, created in part to ascertain the resistance to family planning among “certain groups.” He determined incorrectly that “[s]o far, it looks like opposition from religious groups and the Black militants isn’t too serious.”
Live Action News previously documented how then-Congressman Bush was recruited by Planned Parenthood and its “special affiliate,” the Guttmacher Institute, to start a taxpayer-funded family planning program, and Title X was approved by the House in 1970. Today, Title X allocates millions of federal tax dollars to Planned Parenthood.
Bush held mixed views on abortion until the 1980’s when he was chosen as a vice presidential running mate by Ronald Reagan. In 1984, then a VP candidate, Bush was asked about federal financing of abortions:
You know, there has been — I have to make a confession — an evolution in my position. There’s been 15 million abortions since 1973, and I don’t take that lightly. There’s been a million and a half this year. The president and I do favor a human rights amendment. I favor one that would have an exception for incest and rape, and he doesn’t, but we both — only for the life of the mother….I’d like to see the American, who faced with 15 million abortions isn’t rethinking his or her position…