Ronald Reagan and Abortion

On December 31, 2006, in General, by Neil Stevens

The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being.

Ronald Reagan, Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation

To those who compare Ronald Reagan’s conversion on abortion, with the conversions of Republicans since his administration, allow me to draw up a timeline:

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right.

  • 1966: Elected Governor of California
  • 1967: Signs abortion bill
  • 1973: Supreme Court hands down Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, establishing abortion on demand in America.
  • 1983: Publishes Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation, condemns abortion on demand as created by Roe

Can we fault him for not being prescient enough to see exactly the consequences of Roe and of bills like that he signed? If so, that’s the only thing we can fault him for on abortion.

Signing an abortion bill pre-Roe simply cannot be compared with supporting ‘choice’ today, as far as I can see.


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