White House Still Refuses to Say Whether Bush Opposes Contraception

For the second time, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has refused to answer questions about whether the President is opposed to contraception. “Apparently, the White House finds answering a simple question about contraception as difficult as answering questions about Karl Rove,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “It’s been almost two months, and we still have no response. Why can’t Scott McClellan answer such a simple question – a question to which American women deserve an answer?”

At a May 26 press briefing, McClellan refused to “dignify” a reporter’s question about Bush’s stance on contraception with an answer. On July 18, McClellan was asked again by a reporter about Bush’s stance on contraception. McClellan said, “I think we’ve talked about these issues before and these issues when it comes to the federal government and programs aimed at promoting abstinence and how those ought to be funded on at least equal footing with other programs, so I think we’ve addressed the President’s views in that context.”

Congresswoman Maloney, along with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and 17 other members of Congress, have sent two letters to President Bush asking him to clarify his position on contraception. “At a time when some pharmacists continue to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control, when votes on the House floor strike mention of contraception from legislation on family planning, and when you have nominated a man with no clear record on access to contraception to replace the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, we are troubled not to know your position on contraception,” the letter stated. “Mr. President, this is a simple question: Do you support the right to use contraception?”

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Congresswoman Maloney press release 8/1/05, 7/18/05; Letter to President 10/1/05

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