Former First Lady Laura Bush: In favor of legal abortion and gay marriage

Via The Advocate:

From what she says, these views of hers are not new, but it was definitely new for me. Pretty incredible to hear her articulate such a big departure from her husband and former President.
Transcript after the jump.

Transcript via
KING: Lose your balance. Gay marriage, you tell us in the book that during the 2004 campaign you talked to George about not making it a significant issue. Do you think we should have it? BUSH: Well, I think we ought to definitely look at it and debate it. I think there are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman. But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have I think the same sort of rights that everyone has.
KING: So would that be an area where you disagreed?
BUSH: I guess that would be an area that we disagree. I mean, I understand totally what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman. And it’s a real, you know, reversal really for that to accept gay marriage.
KING: But you do?
BUSH: But I think we could, yeah. I think it’s also a generational thing.
KING: You think it’s coming?
BUSH: Yeah, that will come, I think.
KING: How about choice?
BUSH: That was the — I write in the book about the very first question I got on the morning of George’s inauguration, from Katie Couric, who asked me two questions about abortion. That was the social issue in 2000 that everyone got asked about. And then I think gay marriage was the social issue in 2004. And I was say probably in the more recent election as well.
She asked me if — she asked two questions about abortion, and then she asked me if I was for the overturn of Roe versus Wade. And sort of everything went through my mind. This was the very morning my husband was about to be inaugurated. And I thought, do I really want to start my husband’s presidency, you know, suggesting that a Supreme Court rule being overturned. And I said no.
And I think it’s important that it remain legal, because I think it’s important for people, for medical reasons and other reasons.
KING: So you — that would be two areas of disagreement.
BUSH: Uh-huh.
KING: But you weren’t so expressive during the White House day.
BUSH: About those issues, you mean?
KING: Yeah.
BUSH: No, not really. I talked about those issues. I was asked about those issues a lot. Not so much about abortion, but in the 2004 election, a lot about gay marriage. That was the social issue that really animated that election, I think. KING: When you discuss it with your husband, is it argumentative?
BUSH: No. Not at all. I mean —
KING: He understands?
BUSH: Yeah, and I understand his viewpoint. I really do. I understand his viewpoint. And he understands mine.

Join the Conversation

  • Tabitha

    Geez Louise! I’m seriously wondering about these replies to my post.
    I meant absolutely no offensive to transgendered people.
    And I was making a generalization. Most of the time, it is only women who can become pregnant. I know there are exceptions.
    But really. I think most of you knew exactly what I meant.
    I’ll try to be far more literal in future posts.

  • Icy Bear

    Yeah, and there are also plenty of cis women who can’t get pregnant, don’t get periods, and haven’t ever been in labor… Does that make them any less qualified to have an opinion on the issue?
    I think there are just tons of problems with this idea that men shouldn’t have opinions on abortion because they haven’t/won’t experience it. To make that idea work, you have to have a clear-cut definition of what exact experiences, anatomy and medical history constitute ‘man’ and ‘woman’… but any definition will always be incomplete and inadequate.

  • Ms. MAM

    I’m with the “better late than never” crowd. I always wondered if Laura Bush was more liberal than her husband, just based on the way she talked about AIDS relief work and in the other, limited interviews she gave. I believe his daughters have also voiced support for gay rights and have said some pro-choice things in interviews. It makes me sad, actually; you have to wonder if Bush sincerely believed all the crap he said, or if it was a cynical base-pleasing move.
    But as much as I would have loved it if Laura Bush had voiced these opinions while her husband was in office, it’s not hard to understand why she didn’t. She clearly married somebody whose values differed from her own. For whatever reason, she took on a limited public role when Bush was in office. Every marriage is different, and every marriage has its own dynamic, and I don’t think any of us are really in a position to judge her or say she did the wrong thing since we don’t know the ins and outs of her relationship with her husband. She’s come out in favor of equality, which is what is most important; I’m fine with giving her the benefit of the doubt.
    Having her say these things may convince some social conservatives who hold her up as a “model” First Lady to think twice. In that sense, it doesn’t matter when she said them, as long as she did.