Pro-Family Groups Give Bush Speech High Marks

By Penny Starr | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - Leaders in the pro-life and pro-family movement gave President George W. Bush's final State of the Union speech an "A" when it comes to causes championed by these groups.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Cybercast News Service that Bush's last year in office could include some "very promising initiatives."

Perkins said he was pleased to hear Bush express his continued support for faith-based charitable choice, as well as the promise of adult stem cell research.

"Embryonic research is not only not viable, but unnecessary," Perkins said.

Janice Crouse, director and senior fellow at Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, told Cyberspace News Service that over the next year Bush will continue his support for pro-life and pro-family issues.

"There are two areas where Bush has been a strong social conservative," said Crouse, who also is a former speech writer for former President George H.W. Bush. "One is judicial appointments. For that alone we owe him a debt of gratitude. (Samuel) Alito and (John) Roberts will really change the direction of the court."

She said Bush has also been consistent in his opposition to embryonic stem cell research.

"He said, 'I will not cross the moral line to use embryonic stem cell research,' and he was proven right," Crouse said, referring to recent scientific successes with adult stem cell research. "That was a big victory for the pro-life community."

Both Perkins and Crouse agreed that Bush's speech was shaped with history in mind.

"It was very clear the president was gearing his comments to his legacy as a compassionate conservative," Crouse said.

"Bush zeroed-in on the items that will be a part of his legacy," Perkins told Cybercast News Service, adding those items include almost seven years as commander-in-chief of a nation at war, efforts to make his 2002 tax cuts permanent, and his unwavering pro-life stance.

"He is steadfastly pro-life and in defending the unborn," Perkins said.

Perkins said in a statement issued by the Family Research Council about the speech that Bush's final year in office won't be a wash.

"President Bush, as would be expected, reflected on the last seven years," said Perkins. "However, he also let it be known that he was not accepting the lame duck status that the Democratic Leadership would unjustly paint him with."

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