Bush on abortion

August 31, 1992

George Bush was asked how he'd answer, "If your granddaughter, let's say, came to you and said, in a few years, I'm pregnant and I want to have an abortion." He said, "I'd encourage her to not do that, but of course I'd stand by my child."

But in a few years, if his party has its way and the Constitution is amended to forbid all abortions, as a grandparent he may want to stand by her, but as president he would be duty bound to prosecute her for a crime if she had that abortion. In fact, standing by her may even be a violation of the laws that would implement such an amendment. He, she and her physician could all go to jail. The so-called human life amendment that appears once again in the Republican platform this year is that extreme.

Mr. Bush's answer (like Vice President Dan Quayle's earlier similar remark) shows how decent a man he is but how fearful a political leader he is. A man unafraid of the extremists on this issue would lead his party to a more sensible, humane anti-abortion position.

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