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When we met with President Bush the day commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“A generous society values all human life. A merciful society seeks to expand legal protection to every life, including early life. And a compassionate society will defend a simple, moral proposition; life should never be used as a tool, or a means to an end.”— President George W. Bush, addressing the March for Life.

He entered the room without prior announcement or conspicuousness, in a manner that could be considered the epitome of discretion and composure for a figure of such prominence. Even as we arose from our seats, he uttered the same conversational remark that we would hear for the next hour, “Thank you for coming.” We are grateful for the invitation.

A cordial welcome is extended to the National Right to Life Committee at the White House of President George W. Bush.

The experience of the January 21 event was consistent with the impression conveyed by those who have had the opportunity to interact with President Bush over an extended period of time. For example, he is pro-life, as comfortable with that designation as he is with “Texan.” Moreover, this stance extends to issues such as cloning and euthanasia. In private, Mr. Bush is blessed with a sense of humor which he uses to put his guests at ease, a task that is not easily accomplished when one is seated a few feet from the President of the United States. He is unfailingly polite and, furthermore, the kind of man who will ask you if it would be “okay” if, at a later point in time, he walks you over to show you the Oval Office. [Well, if you are insistent, I will oblige.]

The following day, Mr. Bush would be in West Virginia, but he was not too busy to find time to address by telephone the vast assembly that had gathered in Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life. The crowd was so captivated by the rhetorical skill of his discourse that even the sound of a dropped pin could be heard.

However, what particularly captured my attention was the following: The issue of abortion is one that has the potential to profoundly divide our country. Furthermore, it is imperative that those with whom we disagree be treated with respect and civility. It is imperative that we overcome bitterness and rancor wherever they may be found and seek common ground wherever it is possible to do so. Nevertheless, the speaker reaffirmed his commitment to advocating on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society.

He holds the utmost respect for those who hold opposing views, yet he is unwavering in his resolve to distinguish between civility and a lack of willingness to advocate for the protection of unborn children.

A perusal of the newspapers on the day following the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22 may have revealed a list of pro-life actions taken by the President with the intention of modifying the discourse surrounding life issues and influencing the moral and political calculus. Some of these changes are more subtle than others. All of these actions are intended to advance the discussion, to persuade the American public to reconsider one of the most significant missteps in our nation’s history. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.

In this regard, the President’s judgment is exemplary. He has an intuitive grasp of the issues that will resonate with the American public at this point in history and how, in the months and years to come, he can use his office’s moral authority to refashion how we come to see the littlest Americans.

Mr. Bush is aware that public opinion does not fluctuate rapidly. It is more akin to attempting to turn an ocean liner around than to simply changing one’s perspective on the humanity shared by the unborn. However, this will not occur until a leader with President Bush’s convictions assumes the role of leader and begins to implement the necessary changes.

Of the many memories I took away from those 60 minutes, none was more enduring than the perfect juxtaposition between Mr. Bush’s meeting with us and the one that took place immediately afterwards. Subsequently, Mr. Bush met with Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., on the anniversary of Dr. King’s birthday. For the first time, a portrait of the deceased civil rights leader will now be displayed in the White House.

In his account of the meeting, President Bush provided a fitting tribute to the legacy of Dr. King, concluding with a presidential kiss for Mrs. King.

The contrast between the present and the past is striking. For those of us who were old enough to remember the 1960s, it is a profound experience. Furthermore, this event serves to illustrate once more that this nation is capable of addressing its most serious weaknesses.

The contemporary United States provides a stark example of a nation that has failed to live up to its own ideals in the context of abortion. However, this situation is also likely to change in the future.

The change will occur because the killing of innocent children is an abomination that is completely at odds with the core values of the United States of America. This change will be brought about by those, like President Bush, who will not rest until it does end.

You are the spiritual heirs to those whom Dr. King named in his 1964 speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. He could have been speaking of you when he said,

“Most of these people will never make the headlines and their names will not appear in Who’s Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live – – men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization – – because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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