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Media Outlets Examine Evolution Of George H.W. Bush’s Stances On Family Planning, Abortion

PRI: Before he was president, H.W. Bush championed family planning
“…Well, here’s one issue the 41st President championed that can definitely be characterized as reaching across the aisle: family planning. Also known as birth control. … George H.W. Bush, who died Saturday at age 94, apparently got the nickname ‘Rubbers’ from his House colleagues for his vocal support for contraceptive access. … While Bush promoted birth control access here in the U.S., he also championed family planning on a global scale, notably when he was named U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by Richard Nixon in 1971. … Bush joined with conservatives opposing abortion when he became Ronald Reagan’s running mate in 1980. … In 1989, when he took office as president, he withheld funding for the U.N. Population Fund, the very program he championed two decades earlier. Again, it was over the issue of abortion…” (Herrera, 12/5).

Washington Post: How George H.W. Bush enabled the rise of the religious right
“…[I]t was Bush, the moderate establishment Republican whose family helped found Planned Parenthood, who secured the religious right’s permanent place in American politics. While historians largely credit Reagan’s presidency with helping religious conservatives move from the shadows of American public life into its spotlight, it was the Bush presidency, particularly its disappointments and defeat, that entrenched the religious right as the center of the Republican Party and guaranteed its ongoing influence…” (Young, 12/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.