Jeb Bush on Abortion
Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect
OpEd: Jeb avoids extremism on women's issues
The 2012 election cycle has been characterized by an almost obsessive focus on women's reproductive rights, as "contraception" joined "abortion" in Republicans' list of dirty words. But, amid the chaos, there is still more than one party heavyweight that
believes the party's position on women's medical decisions needs to catch up to the modern age.
The former governor of Florida has emerged as the GOP's voice of reason this election cycle. During an appearance on NBC'S "Meet the Press" on Sunday,
Bush acknowledged that some conservatives' rather extreme rhetoric on some issues relating to women and minorities is understandably repelling those two groups from the Republican Party.
"I'm concerned about it over the long haul for sure.
Our demographics are changing and we have to change not necessarily our core beliefs, but the tone of our message and the intensity of it, for sure," Bush said.
Source: Ashley Portero in International Business Times
, Aug 28, 2012
Funded adoption counseling, but not abortion counseling
As governor, his entry into this arena came in his first year in office when he was called upon to support legislation permitting the state of Florida to offer a specialty license plate promoting the right-to-life side of the abortion controversy.
The plate, containing the message "Choose Life," was available for $20 and the proceeds went to organizations that provided counseling and support to pregnant women "who are committed to placing their children up for adoption" but not
to "any agency that is involved in or associated with abortion activities including counseling." Not surprisingly, the pro-choice advocates opposed the legislation. Bush's predecessor,
Lawton Chiles, had vetoed the same measure on the grounds that it unnecessarily interjected religion into a public issue. Jeb sided with the pro-life side of this debate and signed the bill into law when it came to his desk.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 74
, Dec 11, 2009
Prevent use of public funds for stem cell research
Governor Bush took the side of the right-to-life constituency in a battle to prevent the use of public funds in support of stem cell research. While this stance put him at odds with his economic development supporters, he argued that this
technology "takes a life to give a life," and opposed a ballot initiative that would have amended the state's constitution to provide $200 million over 10 years for this purpose. He also opposed actions to permit the Scripps Medical Institute to conduct
research on this topic, even though he had committed $310 million of state-controlled federal funds to attract Scripps to Florida. At the same time he was attempting to lure the Burnham Institute of La Jolla,
California, to build a lab in Florida, he also attached a condition that the Florida labs of this company, which was a leader in embryonic stem cell research, could work only on the noncontroversial stem cells from adults or umbilical cords.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 75
, Dec 11, 2009
Created divisive "Choose Life" license plates
Jeb injected religion into state government at seemingly every opportunity. He insisted that religious schools be allowed to take state money in the form of tuition vouchers, even though the Florida constitution prohibited the practice. He signed into
law a divisive "Choose Life" Florida license plate that helps antiabortion groups raise money. He used state money to set up so-called "faith-based" prisons. He pushed through money to let his office fund antiabortion billboards along state highways.
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.294-295
, Feb 15, 2007
Parental consent; clinic regulation; pro-life counseling
During his 1st term, he took all the positions Christian Conservatives would want--signing into law a "Choose Life" license plate, a parental consent of abortion bill, school voucher bills.
After winning reelection in 2002, though, it was
no-holds-barred. His Department of Children and Families sought to bar a minor girl who'd had sex while in the state's protective custody from having an abortion.
He pushed through a law strictly regulating abortion clinics, but no other comparable outpatient clinics. He got money in the budget for his office to finance antiabortion groups who counsel women to carry pregnancies to term.
The usual suspects complained about all of these efforts--the ACLU, pro-choice groups, the newspaper editorial boards. Jeb didn't care. If the Christian Right liked an idea, Jeb liked it.
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.310
, Feb 15, 2007
Restrict abortions to incest, rape, & health
Supports the following principles concerning abortion:
Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test
, Jul 2, 1998
- Abortions should be legal only when pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
- Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and parental
- Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as “partial-birth” abortion.
- Should Florida government funding be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services? Answer: “No.”
No need to teach about abortion if we have moral absolutes
Virtues are standards of behavior that are fixed & firm in any civilized society. Who would argue that fortitude, prudence, justice, temperance, discipline, work, responsibility, honesty, honor & compassion are not good things? Listen to William Bennett:
Forming good character in young people does not mean having to instruct them on thorny issues like abortion, creationism, homosexuality, or euthanasia, to name just a few. People of character can be conservative and good people can be liberal
Virtues are agreed-upon standards of right and wrong. Values, on the other hand, refer to a system of beliefs possessed by certain groups. Even Nazis and the worst street gangs have values. Since values focus on a position, they tend to
accentuate our differences. Modern values often trump traditional values such as accountability, moderation, and deferred gratification. We have all seen the value of personal choice warring against the value of commitment to the family and children.
Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p. 36-37
, Nov 1, 1995
Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014