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Opinion editorials by Katey LaFrance

as seen in the Liberal Opinion Week and other publications.
Member of the National Writer's Union.

"The Assault Begins: BUSHwhacked!"

   Wasting no time in furthering his father's war on women's rights, "Bush - the Usurper" went after the poorest of the poor, women in developing countries, by banning any U.S. aid to international groups which use their own funds to perform abortions or advocate a woman's right to choose.

   According to Kate Michelman, President of National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), "The global 'gag' rule restricts family planning organizations that use their own privately raised, non-U.S. funds to lobby their own government on reproductive health matters, a restriction that would be unconstitutional if imposed here in the U.S. The argument that U.S. funds are being used to pay for abortion is patently false. It has been illegal to use U.S. funds for abortion since 1975." (Emphasis mine.)

   Many of those organisations offer a wide range of health services including screening for HIV/AIDS, gynecological problems, and family planning. With Bush's action, those which also provide abortion services will have to risk losing crucial funding for all of their programs or give up their right to provide abortions in their host country, regardless of what that country's laws are concerning a woman's right to choose.

   Taking away money to fund birth control, which after all is how one eliminates the need for most abortions, makes no sense at all. Bush and the conservative right cannot have it both ways. If they don't want abortions to be prevalent, they must ensure that every woman and man has access to any and all birth control options.

   In limiting women's rights in foreign countries, Bush is laying the groundwork for the ultimate goal of the far right in our country: elimination of legal abortions of any kind and outlawing of some birth control methods.

   By taking away our rights, a bit at a time,, Bush hopes we will come to embrace what he calls a "culture of life." According to Bush's Senior Advisor, Karl Rove, Bush wants to build a culture of life, making abortion a rare event, encouraging "respect for life, whether it's the life of the unborn or the life of the infirmed (sic) or the life of the elderly."

   Of course the implication is that Americans who do support a woman's right to choose, Americans who just happen to be in the majority, have no respect for life. In the paranoid rhetoric of the far right, there is also the absurd implication that women choose abortion as some sort of frivolous recreation. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've never heard any woman gleefully recounting the "fun time" she had disrespecting "life" through having her insides scraped out.

   In claiming that Bush will not go after Roe vs. Wade, Rove acknowledges the "the country is not ready.... to ban abortion" because "we don't have a culture that heralds life in all its forms." A full transcript of Rove's January 21 interview on "NBC News' Meet the Press," can be found at Regardless of what they claim, Bush has wasted no time in striking close to home. As part of his oppressive agenda he has asked for a review of the government's approval of RU486 the "morning after pill."

VIf there is any doubt about the mindset of Bush and his gloating cronies, consider comments from a recent Farewell to Clinton Roast put on by Republicans. Conservative columnist, Cal Thomas pompously toasted the "end of moral corruption" and welcomed the "return of a controlling moral authority." (emphasis mine) Continuing in that vein, R. Emmett "Bob" Tyrrell, of the American Spectatordenigrated the Reverend Jesse Jackson "for what he has done to propagate the race." Full remarks can be heard on National Public Radio's Morning Edition program for January 19th at

   Hopefully, these kinds of examples of a "controlling moral authority" coupled with Bush's rapid action assault on women's rights, will serve as motivating factors for the majority of American voters who did not vote him into office. Anyone who feels the election was a sham, bought and paid for through the Supreme Court, should pay attention; the fight has only begun and we have many miles to go before we can even think about a nap, let alone sleep.

© January 26, 2001 OoBraughLoo Press All right reserved