President George W. Bush is beginning a promotional tour for a new book, and one of his new talking points appears to be the story of how he became anti-choice as a teenager. According to the former president, it involved a fetus in a jar.
Via the New York Post:
George W. Bush's pro-life stance solidified when he was a teenager in Texas -- after his mother suffered a devastating miscarriage and showed him the fetus in a jar, the former president said in an extraordinary interview that airs tonight.
"She said to her teenage kid, 'Here's the fetus,'" the shockingly candid Bush told NBC's Matt Lauer, gesturing as if he were holding the jar during the TV chat, a DVD of which The Post exclusively obtained.
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"There's no question that affected me, a philosophy that we should respect life," said the former president, who had to drive his distraught mother to the hospital at the time.
"I never expected to see the remains of the fetus, which she had saved in a jar to bring to the hospital," Bush writes in his new book, "Decision Points," in an excerpt Lauer read during the interview.
"There was a human life, a little brother or sister," Bush told the "Today" host during the sit-down to promote his tome, which hits stores tomorrow.
Bush said his mother gave him special permission to recount the private story in print.
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The story is very reminiscent of one from Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who brought his wife's 20 week fetus home to take family portraits with before allowing him to be buried.
Upon their son's death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen's parents' home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass.
"That's my little guy," Santorum says, pointing to the photo of Gabriel, in which his tiny physique is framed by his father's hand. The senator often speaks of his late son in the present tense. It is a rare instance in which he talks softly.
He and Karen brought Gabriel's body home so their children could "absorb and understand that they had a brother," Santorum says. "We wanted them to see that he was real," not an abstraction, he says. Not a "fetus," either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described -- "a 20-week-old fetus" -- on a hospital form. They changed the form to read "20-week-old baby."
It appears to be a constant theme for the anti-choice movement to believe that because they have seen the body of and dealt with the results of a miscarriage of wanted pregnancy at mid- to late-term wanted, that they then have a full understanding that goes beyond that of women seeking to terminate their own nonviable or undesired pregnancies.
President Bush's new tale is just the latest take on this theme, and another story to add to the lexicon of the anti-choice movement.