Republican Pioneers of Abortion Rights

He looks like a very respectable member of the Chamber of Commerce: A Republican Governor who then occupied a minor office in the Nixon Administration. But John Love’s most noteworthy contribution to American history is a dark act for which he has received little opprobrium.

Yesterday marked the dark anniversary of his contribution. Colorado became the first state in the Union to liberalize its abortion laws. Republican Governor John Love signed a bill allowing abortions when the health of the mother or baby was threatened, or when pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.

California followed suit just a couple months later, when Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law a measure removing most restrictions on abortion – and opening his state to out-of-state women.

That was 1967 – almost 3 years before New York became a mecca for abortion-on-demand, and 6 years before the Supreme Court’s Roe ruling.

And isn’t it strange that all three of these “abortion rights’ pioneers” were Republican?

Only Ronald Reagan, to the best of our knowledge, repented of his action.

One could probably build a case that Democrats are relative late-comers to the Abortion Rights movement. (After all, it was George Bush, Sr. and Richard Nixon who pioneered the nation’s experiment in population control through Planned Parenthood funding). Perhaps blue-collar Democrats found it necessary to get in front of the political wave fronted by Republicans as the “Women’s Movement” gained credibility and energy.


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©2005 Idaho Chooses Life