A compendium of life- and family-related news from south of the border Republicans soften on abortion

Some observers are suggesting the U.S. Republican Party is becoming increasingly divided over abortion as the process to select its candidate for the year 2000 presidential election accelerates. The Washington Post, for example, recently noted that front-runner George W. Bush – arguably a pro-life supporter – is a political realist who recognizes that in politics, you can’t always get what you want, so you get what you can. But rank-and-file pro-lifers are disagreeing with some leaders, including the Christian Coalition, the National Right to Life Committee, and Pat Robertson, who have expressed support for or openness to “political realists.”

Meanwhile, many presidential candidates – Republican and Democrat – are reported to be courting the Christian conservative vote. George W. Bush was quoted as saying he decided to “recommit my life to Jesus Christ” after he realized that “something was missing” in his life. Elizabeth Dole said it was time for her to submit her “resignation as master of my own little universe, and God accepted my resignation.” Even Bill Clinton’s sidekick Al Gore waded in with his pledge that faith-based organizations will be “integral” to the policies set forth by his administration.

In another development, Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, a member of the board of trustees at Princeton University, said he will call for the rescinding of the professorial appointment of Peter Singer, who seems to advocate infanticide. Forbes has also urged students protesting the appointment of Singer to “continue those activities.”

Military abortions restricted

The House of Representatives armed services committee has voted to tighten restrictions on abortions at military hospitals, and retain a three-year-old prohibition on women serving overseas obtaining abortions in military hospitals, as part of its work on a $288.8 billion defence spending bill.

The decisions drew a predictable outcry from pro-abortion advocates, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Gloria Feldt, who called the moves “unconscionable.”

However, American Life League president Judie Brown applauded the Senate “for taking one small step toward providing equal protection for all Americans.” She also urged legislators to go further and advocate constitutional measures that would protect all people from fertilization and conception to natural death, “regardless of where they are physically located in the world, regardless of rank or serial number.”

Wal-Mart nixes ‘morning-after’

The largest retailer in the U.S. has announced it won’t sell the abortifacient “morning-after” pill, after making what it called “a business decision” last fall. But it added that its pharmacists will refer requests for the “product” to pharmacies that do carry it.

Wal-Mart spokesperson Jay Allen said many factors were considered, including potential sales, before the decision was reached. “Our decision not to carry this product is not based on the company’s – or any individuals in the company’s – ethical judgment, (nor is it) based on any kind of pressure.”