Bush urges overturn

Abortion is “a great American tragedy” declared George Bush on January 23, his third day as the 41st president.  The Supreme Court decision (of 1973) was wrong and should be reversed.  Bush told the crowd of over 60,000 pro-lifers who descended on Washington to observe the 16th anniversary of the ruling.

Bush did not appear in person, but through a telephone loudspeaker hook-up he assured the cheering throng that “the president hears you now and stands with you in a cause that must be won.”

Organizer of this year’s “March for Life,” Nellis Gray, was not entirely satisfied with his encouraging words.  She warned Bush whose public position on abortion has wavered over the years – that U.S. pro-life “will not just be talked to…It wants action, not just wonderful words.”

John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe of Washington-based Human Life International (HLI), agreed, saying the new president’s words revealed little about his intentions.  HLI’s Publications Director told The Interim that Bush could add substance to his promising words by appointing pro-life judges and by starting to dismantle the massive international abortion network.

After Bush spoke, the marchers, symbolically led by the representatives from the state of Missouri, left the vicinity of the White House for the two-mile trek to the Supreme Court.

Earlier in the month, on January 9, the Supreme Court agreed to decide on the constitutionality of a Missouri law which declares that “the life of each human being begins at conception” and which strictly limits abortions.

On November 10, two days after the election of America’s second consecutive pro-life president, the Reagan administration told the justices that the Missouri case “presents an appropriate opportunity” to overturn Roe v. Wade.

U.S. Surgeon General’s letter challenged

Experts on post-abortion syndrome (PAS) have criticized a letter regarding abortion’s effect on women submitted by the U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, on the same day the Supreme Court consented to hear the Missouri case.

I regret…that in spite of a diligent review on the part of many in the Public Health Service and in the private sector, the scientific studies do not provide conclusive data about the health effects of abortion on women,” Koop wrote in a letter to former President Reagan.

Dr. Barrie de Veber, a pediatrician at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, and a co-author of Abortion’s Aftermath, was also disappointed.  De Veber agreed that a good, long-term scientific study of the consequences of abortion still needs to be done.  But he told The Interim that Koop ignored the anecdotal reports on tens of thousands of women who had suffered severe emotional trauma years after their abortion.

In an effort to be ‘clinical’ and ‘objective,’ the Surgeon General has played right into the hands of those who claim that abortion is safer than childbirth and that it does not contribute to emotional trauma in a significant way, de Veber said.

Arizona

By a vote of 10-4 the House Judiciary Committee of the Arizona State Assembly voted January 24 to ban abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger.  The motion, sponsored by Representative Jim Skelly, now goes before the full House.