Washington, DC (Reuters from ProLifeInfo.org) - Pro-abortion groups put pro-life Attorney General John
Ashcroft on notice on Friday that they would scrutinize his every move as
the United States' top law enforcer and increase their lobbying efforts on
behalf of their cause.
Ashcroft's acrimonious nomination hearings and his Senate confirmation by
a bipartisan 58-42 vote on Thursday, mobilized pro-abortion activists in a
way not seen at least since President George W. Bush's father was in the
White House more than eight years ago. While they failed to stop
Ashcroft's confirmation, pro-abortion activists were galvanized by the
broad support they received in their campaign against the former
Republican senator from Missouri who opposes abortion.
"We will hold his feet to the fire. He promised to enforce the law, but a
promise is very empty unless it is kept. We will watch his every move and
we have put him on notice that we will do so," Planned Parenthood
President Gloria Feldt said.
Like several other organizations, Planned Parenthood has adjusted its
budget to cover expensive lobbying to target both the new head of the
Justice Department and Bush's pro-life stand.
"We must place more resources into educating and mobilizing the majority
of Americans who do support the fundamental rights of women to make our
own childbearing choices," Feldt said.
Pro-abortion campaigners felt confident with former President Bill Clinton
that pro-life bills would be vetoed when they reached his desk, but that
is not the case now.
Bush, in contrast, chose his first day in office to issue an executive
order barring federal funds to international groups that promote or
perform abortions with U.S. taxpayer money.
The pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW) said it would
continue to mobilize the grass-roots support that made Ashcroft's
confirmation the most contested for attorney general in decades. Of the 58
senators backing him, 50 were Republicans and eight were Democrats.
"He was the most contested attorney general ever and that didn't happen by
accident," said NOW Vice President Loretta Kane. "We are going to make
sure that Ashcroft lives up to his word. If he doesn't, we will call him
on it as well as President Bush. We will be members of the truth squad."