The Stunning Pro-Life Hypocrisy Of Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

“So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest.” ~ George Carlin, “Back in Town” (1996)

Jeb Bush considers himself to be “the most pro-life governor in modern times,” but his stated beliefs show him to be a hypocrite regarding the sanctity of life.

The Associated Press reported in 2003 that: “Gov. Jeb Bush has never been afraid to inject his conservative religious beliefs into his politics,” adding that: “His first year in office, he approved an anti-abortion ‘Choose Life’ license plate1 vetoed by his predecessor. He has persistently fought the courts to enact tougher abortion laws. He appointed a guardian for the fetus of a retarded rape victim.”

As conservative website Independent Journal reports,

  • In 2003, Bush unsuccessfully attempted to get the courts to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a 22-year-old developmentally disabled woman who became pregnant after being raped in a state-supervised group home.
  • In 2005, he intervened in the case of a 13-year-old girl who was 13-and-a-half weeks pregnant when she tried to get an abortion. A judge overruled Bush’s case that she was too young to make her own decision.

And then there’s the case of “Terri Schiavo, “the brain-dead woman from the Tampa Bay area who ended up at the center of one of the most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America’s culture wars. The fight over her death lasted almost a decade. But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, Jeb Bush.”2

However, as it turns out, Jeb Bush embodies George Carlin’s 1996 observation that, “at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest.”

As is the case with many pro-lifers, as it turns out – Jeb Bush is also pro-death penalty. He discussed the matter in a November 1, 2015 interview on “Meet the Press” with NBC’s Chuck Todd.

After discussing Bush’s pro-life stance, Todd asked him: “Speaking of life, have you changed your mind on the death penalty?”

Bush responded: “I’m conflicted. I am. It was the law of the land when I was governor, and I faithfully dealt with it. To be honest with you, it is not a deterrent anymore because it’s seldom used. It clogs up the courts, it costs a ton of money. And–“

Todd interjected, asking: “Are you one of those that look at the fiscal part of it and say, ‘You know what? Maybe it makes more fiscal sense to not do it’?”

Bush responded:

Here’s the one thing, and it’s hard for me, as a human being, to sign the death warrant, to be honest with you. I’m informed by my faith in many things, and this is one of them. So I have to admit that I’m conflicted about this. But here’s the deal, when you meet people, this happens in rare cases where the death penalty’s given out and you meet family members that have lost a loved one and it’s still in their heart. It’s etched in their soul. And this is the way that they get closure, I get more comfortable with it, to be honest with you.

Wanting clarification, Todd asked: “So you’re still in favor of it, but?” to which, Bush replied: “Yeah, but I’m just saying, look, this is life, Chuck. It’s not all either/or. Sometimes you can see both sides. And I believe life is truly a gift from God, and innocent life particularly should be protected at all cost, for sure. But people that commit these crimes, there should be– justice can’t be denied. And it shouldn’t be delayed.

“Hey, hey, if they really want to get serious, what about all the sperm that are wasted when the state executes a condemned man, one of these pro-life guys who’s watching cums in his pants, huh? Here’s a guy standing over there with his jockey shorts full of little Vinnies and Debbies, and nobody’s saying a word to the guy. Not every ejaculation deserves a name.” ~ George Carlin, “Back in Town” (1996)

Symbol FOOTNOTE 1: On The Issues reports that:

The “Choose Life,” license plates were available for $20 and the proceeds went to organizations that provided counseling and support to pregnant women “who are committed to placing their children up for adoption” but not to “any agency that is involved in or associated with abortion activities including counseling.” Not surprisingly, the pro-choice advocates opposed the legislation. Bush’s predecessor, Lawton Chiles, had vetoed the same measure on the grounds that it unnecessarily interjected religion into a public issue. Jeb sided with the pro-life side of this debate and signed the bill into law when it came to his desk. Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 74 , Dec 11, 2009

FOOTNOTE 2: Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wrote of Jeb Bush and Terri Schiavo in his book, “The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.”

On Oct. 15, 2003, with the court’s approval, Terri’s feeding tube was finally removed. Terri’s parents were joined by a well-organized band of anti-abortion activists. As protesters marched in Tallahassee and talk radio hosts conjured up comparisons to Nazi death camps, Republican State Representative colleagues passed “Terri’s Law,” giving Jeb Bush authority to intervene in the case.

The legislature? The governor? Overruling the husband, the doctors, and the courts? I’d never seen blind zeal like this. Or was it blind politics?

Jeb immediately ordered the feeding tube reinserted. He then sent the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to remove Terri from her hospice bed, against her husband’s wishes, sending her to the Morton Plant Rehabilitation Hospital in Clearwater. It was one of the the cruelest things I have ever witnessed in my life.

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Samuel Warde

Samuel is a writer, social activist, and all-around troublemaker.
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