Howard Dean: The Most Pro-Abortion Presidential Candidate?
- Howard Dean: The Most Pro-Abortion Presidential Candidate?
Editor's Note: This is a redux of our August 13 profile.
by Steven Ertelt
August 13, 2003
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of LifeNews.com
profiles on the Democratic presidential candidates.
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Democratic candidates for
president are playing a game of one-upmanship in their attempt to
gain support form abortion advocacy groups. But former Vermont
Governor Howard Dean has a claim to fame none of the others can
match: he's worked at Planned Parenthood.
The physician-turned-politician did a stint at Planned Parenthood
while working to become an internist, Mary Hahn Beerworth,
director of Vermont Right to Life, tells LifeNews.com. However,
the rotation wasn't required by his medical student program.
"While he has said that he fully understands the procedures
involved in an abortion, he also says he has never performed one
- which leads to the question, why not," Beerworth asked.
What is known, however, is that he also served on the board of
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for five years before
As governor, Dean towed the party line on parental notification
and opposed letting parents know about their minor daughters
having an abortion so they could help them make a better choice.
However, in an embarrassing moment for Dean earlier this year, he
was caught exaggerating one story in an attempt to talk down the
need for notification. During his speech to the annual NARAL
dinner this January, Dean related a story about his days as a
As many of you know I'm a doctor. I'm an internist, and I take
care of all agesone time a young lady came into my office who was
12 years old and she thought she might be pregnant. And we did
the tests and did the exam and she was pregnant. She didn't know
what to do. And after I had talked to her for a while I came to
the conclusion that the likely father of her child was her own
father. You explain that to the American people who think that
parental notification is a good idea.
Dean's problem? The story is false.
In an appearance on MSNBC's "Meet the Press" on June 22nd, host
Tim Russert confronted Dean with the falsehood.
Russert: There's this article in USA Today: Dean told a powerful
story but left out a key fact. What Dean didn't say was that he
knew the father was not responsible, someone else was convicted.
That's a pretty big omission.
Dean: I don't think it's -- omission. A pretty big omission, you
Russert: Yeah. Thats a pretty -- to say that...
Dean: I dont think it is at all.
Russert: To suggest her father may have been...
Dean: I thought it was. At the time, I thought it was.
Russert: But when you told that story, you knew otherwise.
Dean: Thats right.
Russert: Why didnt you say that?
Dean: Because it didnt make any difference.
Joanne Ciulla, a leadership and ethics professor at the
University of Richmond, says Dean gave "the appearance of lying
because he didn't reveal all the information."
Pro-life groups say Dean's focus in the situation should have
been less on getting an abortion for the girl without her parents
knowledge and more on reporting the potential incest to police so
it could be investigated.
In fact, Dean not only apparently failed to report the incident
to authorities, he admitted in a February 2001 interview, he
didn't know the law required such a report.
Dean received his medical license in 1979 and, in 1982, a Vermont
state law went into effect requiring mandatory reporting of child
In the interview on the "Mark Johnson Show" on WDEV in
Burlington, Vermont, Dean was asked why he didn't report the
incident to authorities.
"I don't know. I mean I don't know if I do or notthose laws were
passed long after I left medical practice as far as I know..I am
not even sure if doctors are covered for those kinds of
instances," Dean said. "Well, maybe I did, maybe I broke the law,
I don't have any idea."
Yet, in a, Dean told Tim Russert in the same June 2003 interview,
"Of course we reported the whole situation."
Meanwhile, Dean was such a strong advocate for abortion as
Vermont's governor that he proposed making abortions cheap and
"As Governor, Dean's universal health care proposal included
$5.00 abortions for everybody," Beerworth said.
During his tenure, the state of Vermont allowed partial-birth
abortions to be performed and even allowed non-doctors to do
Vermont law was so permissive on abortion that it propelled the
state to the top of the list for abortion rates. According to CDC
statistics, Vermont had one of the highest abortion rates in the
nation. In 1992, during the second year of Dean's term, it had
359 abortions for every 1000 live births.
The evidence seemingly makes it clear that Howard Dean is perhaps
the most pro-abortion candidate running for president in 2004.
"Howard Dean is pro-abortion, has always been a pro-abortion
activist and he takes the extreme position that there is not an
unborn child, at any stage of pregnancy, that merits legal
protection," Beerworth concluded.
USA Today on Howard Dean's Story --
Transcript of Interview With Tim Russert -
Mark Johnson Show Interview - http://www.LifeNews.com/nat77b.html
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