News Release

Abortion: Questions for John Ashcroft


WASHINGTON — With Senate confirmation hearings on the nomination of John Ashcroft for attorney general scheduled to begin Tuesday, the Institute for Public Accuracy today raised pointed questions for Ashcroft on the subject of abortion rights:

  • In 1998, you were one of three original Senate sponsors of the “Human Life Amendment” to the Constitution, and you submitted a written statement to the publication Human Events in which you said: “If I had the opportunity to pass but a single law, I would fully recognize the constitutional right of every unborn child, and ban every abortion except for those medically necessary to save the life of the mother.”

    Is it accurate to say that you support a ban on abortion in cases of rape and incest, and when necessary to prevent permanent, serious injury to the mother?

  • The constitutional amendment and legislation you sponsored in the Senate defined life as beginning at “fertilization.” In September 1998, you opposed federal employee health insurance plans covering the cost of contraceptives that “act de facto as abortifacients.”

    Would you support laws banning birth control pills and intrauterine devices that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg?

    The following policy analysts are available for interviews on reproductive rights issues in the context of the Ashcroft nomination:

    Lichtman is president of the National Partnership for Women and Families based in Washington, D.C.

    Solinger is the editor of the recent book Abortion Wars: A Half Century of Struggle, 1950-2000.

    For further information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 332-5055; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167