LIFE ISSUES NO. 1526

 FLIP FLOPS - Part I

 Do you know anybody who's really changed their mind on the abortion issue?  Who's flipped from pro-life to pro-abortion?  How about going from pro-abortion to pro-life?

 Well, I'll bet that most of you know pro-abort people who've come to be pro-life.  Two very well known examples are the two women who brought the cases to the Supreme Court that we know so well...Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton.  Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) and Mary Doe (Sandra Cano) have changed their minds and both now publicly oppose abortion.  I'm sure you know others who have come into the pro-life fold.

 But what of the other direction?  What of pro-lifers who become pro-abortion?  I don't mean the occasional Eve with clay feet who, in that emotional turmoil of an unexpected pregnancy, caves in and has an abortion.  She is to be pitied, loved and helped.  No, I mean someone in the cool of the day who has changed their mind from being publicly pro-life to now being publicly pro-abortion.  Do you know any of them?  Well, I do, and we call them politicians.  Today, and in the next two days, let me detail for you some infamous, pro-life flip-flops, as they were recently detailed in an issue of Human Events.

 Let's first start with President Bill Clinton.  In September of '86 in a letter to Arkansas Right to Life, here's what he said.  "I am opposed to abortion and government funding of abortions."  Well, let's call that a flip.  Here's one of many examples of his "flop":  "I have always believed that the decision to have an abortion should be between a woman, her doctor, her conscience and her God."  This is part of his veto message on the partial birth abortion.

 All right, let's go to Senator Edward Kennedy.  Now this may surprise many of you, but let me re-read a letter from him to a constituent in August of 1971.  Here's what he said then:  "It is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value of human life.  Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized...the right to be born, the right to live, the right to grow old.  Once life has begun, no matter what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire."  Kennedy continues:  "When history looks back to this era, it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception."

 That was Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1971.  Now here's his "flop" -let me quote from a senate debate in November of '95:  "Many of us oppose this partial birth abortion ban legislation, and I believe it should not pass in any form.  This measure is the latest attack by some of our colleagues in their continuing, all-out assault against a woman's constitutional right to choose whether to continue her pregnancy."

 And so, famous flip-flops -- Bill Clinton, Senator Kennedy.  I'll have a couple more of them for you tomorrow.

[05/12/97]