Conservatives Decry Miers' 1993 Statements on Abortion

By Jeff Johnson | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - More conservatives have joined the list of those calling on President Bush to withdraw the nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court after the discovery of speeches in which she used terminology favored by "pro-choice" activists. One critic charged that, "Every time she quotes or cites women she admires, they're to the left of Betty Freidan."

Former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer reprinted Miers' statements in his regular "End of Day" email alert.

"In July of 1993, Miers gave a speech entitled, 'Women and Courage.' She offered glowing praise for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's ascension to the Supreme Court and Janet Reno's appointment as the first female attorney general," Bauer reported. "Not many conservatives were excited by either fact."

Only months earlier, Miers spoke to the Executive Women of Dallas. Bauer noted that this was "more than a decade after her religious conversion and four years after she filled out a pro-life questionnaire."

"Here is what she said about abortion," Bauer continued. "'The ongoing debate continues surrounding the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual women's right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion.'"

Bauer complained about Miers' terminology.

"Notice how she described the issue," Bauer wrote. "'criminalize' versus 'guarantee the freedom of women.' The pro-life side never talks about 'criminalizing abortion.' We don't want to send women to jail."

That interpretation would be expected from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bauer said, but not from a conservative woman.

In the same speech, Miers continued to say, "The underlying theme in most of these cases is the insistence of more self-determination. And the more I think about these issues, the more self-determination makes sense."

Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America (CWA) said of Miers' speeches, "Every time she quotes or cites women she admires, they're to the left of Betty Freidan."

"Miss Miers' record, as reflected in her speeches, is of promoting a leftist agenda that relies upon the courts to impose their views," LaRue continued in a CWA press release. "We'd prefer to have someone fond of quoting Margaret Thatcher or Antonin Scalia rather than Barbra Streisand and Gloria Steinem.

"Some of Miss Miers' own comments border on male-bashing," LaRue concluded.

CWA, which hails itself as "the nation's largest public policy women's organization," is now publicly calling on President Bush to withdraw Miers' name from consideration. LaRue said Miers' public record leaves the group no other choice.

"The record we know," LaRue explained, "is a record that convinces us that Miers is not even close to being in the mold of Scalia or Thomas, as the President promised the American people."

Bauer told his readers that one final quote from Miers' speech reminded him more of comments by supporters of unrestricted abortion and homosexual "marriage."

"Legislating religion or morality we gave up on a long time ago," Miers said. "Remembering that fact appears to offer the most effective solutions to these problems."

"Who normally says this kind of stuff?" Bauer asked. "The folks trying to legalize same-sex 'marriage,' take 'under God' out of Pledge (of Allegiance), and ban the Ten Commandments from public view."

Bauer noted that "almost all law is based on the Ten Commandments or some concept of right and wrong."

"When millions of 'values voters' went into their voting booths and reelected George W. Bush and sent more conservatives to the United States Senate," Bauer concluded, "I don't think they had in mind putting someone on the Supreme Court who thought legislating morality was a mistake!"

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