The Bush Administration's Reproductive Rights Record
The Supreme Court Decision in Bush v. Gore appointed George W. Bush to the presidency of the United States on January 20, 2001. Since then the Bush administration has quietly, but relentlessly, done all it could to reverse nearly 30 years of progress in women's rightsespecially reproductive freedoms.
Bush's Measures to Undermine Abortion Rights
- In October 2002, the Bush administration issued final regulations specifically making fetusesbut not pregnant womeneligible for health care coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The rule short-changes the health care needs of poor expectant womennot all prenatal care is covered by making fetuses eligible. The new designation is just one of the many Bush efforts to elevate the legal status of fetuses over that of women.
- Bush proclaimed January 20, 2002 "National Sanctity of Human Life Day" in a proclamation that not-so-subtly likened abortion to terrorism. The proclamation stated: "On September 11, we saw clearly that evil exists in this world, and that it does not value life. Now we are engaged in a fight against evil and tyranny to preserve and protect life."
- As a presidential candidate, Bush criticized the Food and Drug Administration's approval of mifepristone (also known as RU-486, or the "abortion pill"), and in 2001, as president, he supported FDA re-evaluation. Now he wants to appoint right-wing religious activist Dr. David Hager, who is working to overturn the FDA's approval of mifepristone, to the FDA's influential Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee.
- Bush supports the Reagan-era policy that prohibits military women serving abroad (and military wives and daughters) from obtaining safe medical abortions at military hospitals overseas, even if they pay with personal funds. As a result, they must travel long distances or have an abortion locally, which is extremely dangerous in some countries, especially the Middle East. They must also obtain permission from their commander, another difficult hurdle, in order to take leave for the procedure. In June, the Senate voted to lift the ban on servicewomen obtaining abortions with their own funds at U.S. military hospitals overseas, but whether the anti-reproductive rights House majority will agree is questionable.
- After the U.S.'s decision to cut the $34 million in funding for the United Nations' Population Fund, a Bush administration official announced that the U.S. would withdraw its support from a population control program that stresses access to reproductive health care and education. The administration opposes language in the Cairo Action Plan, such as "reproductive services" and "reproductive health care," that it argues stands for the right to abortion and is urging the United Nations to promote sexual abstinence. This policy halts U.S. participation in a global effort to aid poor women in preventing unintended pregnancies and to control the spread of sexually-transmitted disease and HIV-AIDS.
Sources: Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, NARAL, NOW archives, The White House, Women's Enews, Women's Policy, Inc.
Find more information about what Bush has done, and what his cronies are advocating, on the issues you care most about at TheTruthAboutGeorge.com.