Jeb Bush on Abortion

Former Republican FL Governor


No conservative litmus test for judicial appointments

Q: In 1996 you told Larry King that you didn't think Bob Dole should have a litmus tests for cabinet appointments or judicial appointments. That one issue shouldn't do it, at the time referring to abortion. You said, "You know what? There's 100 things that make somebody a conservative, not just one issue." Do you still believe that? No litmus tests?

BUSH: I don't believe in litmus tests, but I'm going to make sure that my appointments to the Supreme Court would have a consistent proven record of judicial restraint.

Q: So you're not going to ask a potential Supreme Court justice if they would overturn Roe v. Wade?


Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Nov 1, 2015

Abortion ok when LIFE of mother at risk, not just her HEALTH

Q: What exceptions are you comfortable with on abortion?

BUSH: My views haven't changed. I believe in the exceptions of rape and incest and the life of the mother, of course.

Q: Is there a line on health? What is that line on life and health of the mother?

BUSH: Well, the life of the mother, not health of the mother.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Nov 1, 2015

Defund Planned Parenthood, but not with federal shutdown

Q: You say the next president should defund Planned Parenthood. When you say the next president, does that mean that you're against a conceivable government shutdown in order to force this president?

BUSH: I'm against a government shutdown. That's not how democracy works. But I defunded Planned Parenthood when I was governor.˙And I think it's abhorrent that 330,000 or 340,000 abortions take place through these clinics. I'm a pro-life governor and I'd be a pro-life president. But it will have no effect on funding for Planned Parenthood. That's the problem in Washington right now.˙It's so dysfunctional that that's considered a victory. Continue to fund Planned Parenthood, shut down the government and then cost the taxpayers more. It is better to elect a conservative president that will pledge to do it and work with Congress.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 27, 2015

I defunded Planned Parenthood in Florida; do same federally

Q: You recently said while discussing Planned Parenthood that you're "not sure we need a half billion for women's health issues."

BUSH: I'm the most pro-life governor on this stage. Life is a gift from God. And from beginning end we need to respect it and err on the side of life. And so I defunded Planned Parenthood. And I would bring that philosophy to Washington. So here is a solution to this. Title X of the HHS funding, there is something that was the "Reagan Rule." It was passed in 1988. And the courts approved this, that a Planned Parenthood, you couldn't separate the money between the actual abortion procedures, and there are 330,000 abortions that take place in this clinic, and their promotion of it. He interpreted it the right way, the courts ruled in his favor, and Planned Parenthood did not get funding during that time until President Clinton came in. When I'm elected president, we will restore that interpretation of Title X. And this deal will be finished.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Husband of Terri Schiavo blames Bush for harassment

Michael Schiavo was the husband of Terri Schiavo, the brain-dead woman from the Tampa Bay area who ended up at the center of one of the most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America's culture wars. The fight over her death lasted almost a decade. But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, Jeb Bush.

Michael Schiavo called Jeb Bush a vindictive, untrustworthy coward. For years, the self-described "average Joe" felt harassed, targeted and tormented by the most important person in the state. "It was a living hell," he said, "and I blame him."

Seen in thousands of pages of court records, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer.

The case showed he "will pursue whatever he thinks is right, virtually forever," said one pundit: "It's a theme of Jeb's governorship: He really pushed executive power to the limits."

Source: Politico.com 2015 article on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 18, 2015

Terri Schiavo case: ordered feeding tube reinserted

For many Republican politicians, it was easy to sign on with the extremists in the Terri Schiavo case. It was impossible to me.

On Oct. 15, 2003, with the court's approval, Terri's feeding tube was finally removed.

Terri's parents were joined by a well-organized band of anti-abortion activists. As protesters marched in Tallahassee and talk radio hosts conjured up comparisons to Nazi death camps, Republican State Representative colleagues passed "Terri's Law," giving Jeb Bush authority to intervene in the case.

The legislature? The governor? Overruling the husband, the doctors, and the courts? I'd never seen blind zeal like this. Or was it blind politics?

Jeb immediately ordered the feeding tube reinserted.

It was the cruelest things I have e

Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p. 60-61 , Feb 4, 2014

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

Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

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

Other candidates on Abortion: Jeb Bush on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 27, 2021