WASHINGTON, DC (NY Post from ProLifeInfo.org) - President-elect George W. Bush has signaled he's likely
to cut off federal funds for groups that promote or perform abortions
overseas. "Organizations that promote abortions are organizations I don't
want to support" with taxpayer funds, Bush told The New York Times in an
interview published today.
Bush can do that with an executive order, reversing a policy President
Clinton put into effect two days after taking office. Clinton and Congress
cut a deal in October providing $425 million in federal funds for such
pro-abortion groups but delaying the spending until Feb. 15 so the new
president could set the policy. At the time, Congressional leaders hoped
Bush would win and would cut off the funds.
Meanwhile, many abortion advocacy groups, like Planned Parenthood and the
National Organization for Women, are actively involved in the fight to
block Bush's choice for attorney general, pro-life Senator John Ashcroft.
A Republican staff member indicated some pro-abortion leaders would be
appearing Tuesday to speak against Ashcroft at the Senate Judiciary
Committee's hearing. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority
Foundation and Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and
Reproductive Rights Action League will testify. Kay James, senior fellow
at the Heritage Foundation and past executive of the Family Research
Council, is one of the more prominent pro-life witnesses who will offer
testimony on behalf of Ashcroft.
Pro-life Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), the Senate Majority Leader, has said he
is confident all 50 Republicans will back Ashcroft -- a move that would
ensure Ashcroft's nomination. Some pro-life Congressional leaders have
been concerned that pro-abortion Republicans would cave in and vote
against Ashcroft. However, one such pro-abortion Republican, Sen. Jeffords
of Vermont, has indicated he will support Ashcroft's nomination.
Pro-abortion leaders viewed the situation differently.
NARAL's Kate Michaelman said, "I'm not Trent Lott, and I'm not counting as
he is, but I don't think this in any shape or form is over."
Americans are split over whether Ashcroft should be confirmed or rejected,
a new poll shows. The Newsweek magazine survey found 41 percent of
American adults say Ashcroft is too extreme and should be rejected while
37 percent support him, echoing the close division in the U.S. Senate.
That's a statistical tie given the poll's error margin of 3 points, which
means the ratio against Ashcroft could range from as much as 44 percent to
34 percent or it could be 40 percent to 38 percent in his favor.
"That's no surprise given all the misinformation out there," said Bush
spokeswoman Mindy Tucker. "The more people understand the facts, the more
they'll realize that John Ashcroft will be the most qualified attorney
general we've ever had."
But while Ashcroft is controversial, Bush's Cabinet picks as a group get
good reviews from 57 percent, the Newsweek poll found.
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