Bush Tips His Hand Regarding Abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 2, 2001 (Zenit.org).- During a meeting with Catholic leaders, President George W. Bush linked his faith-based social-services initiative to his goal of reducing abortions.

The statements, overheard by reporters, show Bush to be a sharper analyst of his political situation than his public appearances have suggested, according to Pro-Life Infonet, which cited news accounts from The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times.

For instance, Bush has promoted his plan to let religious organizations bid on federal social-service contracts as a way to help the poor. In his remarks Wednesday, he also linked the initiative to the struggle to protect the right to life.

“See, this faith-based initiative really ties into a larger cultural issue that we are working on,” Bush said. “Take the life issue,” he said. “This issue requires a president and an administration leading our nation to understand the importance of life. When you´re talking about welcoming people of faith to help people who are disadvantaged, … the next logical step is also those babies.”

Bush said that the “pro-life movement” has been “losing a war of words to the opposing side.” On the issue of abortion, “there is a kind of a built-in prejudice against a particular position on both sides of both issues,” the president said. “And the language of the issues is never for life, it´s always anti-somebody´s right.”

Bush told the Catholic leaders that they are important allies for him because “you´re not going to be eroded by political correctness.”

The private meeting, which came before a press pool was brought in to hear brief remarks from the president, included 35 Catholic leaders. Among those on hand were Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado; Cardinal-designate Edward Egan of New York; and key advisers in Bush´s push for federal aid for faith-based social programs