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Special Event

Nellie Gray Addresses Rally for Life

Aired January 22, 2001 - 12:03 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FRANK SESNO, CNN ANCHOR: This is the 28th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. There is, right now, here in Washington, thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathering at the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is Nellie Gray speaking for the Rally for Life. Let's just listen in for a moment.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

NELLIE GRAY, MARCH FOR LIFE EDUCATION & DEFENSE FUND: ... is for every American, not just pro-life America, but every American.

Stopping abortion is the responsibility of every elected and appointed official in federal, state and local governments throughout our country. It's the responsibility of feminist abortionists to stop the action. They are caught up in an evil of abortion, it's their responsibility to come out of that, and indeed it is the responsibility of clergy and teachers and lawyers and doctors and all Americans in all professions and all ages to stop abortion.

SESNO: Nellie Gray, speaking here in Washington, as this rally going forth to call on the new president and the country to end the practice of abortion in America.

John King, back to you over at the White House. This one front and center for the new president as well today.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And a very delicate political challenge. No surprise, we have an anti-abortion president in the White House. He is a conservative Republican. But how he handles himself on this issue could well set the tone. He wants bipartisanship, remember, liberal abortion rights activists don't want this administration rushing into an abortion debate.

But, we are told, President Bush, this week, will reverse the Clinton administration policies that allow U.S. funding to go to international family planning organizations that either pay directly for abortions or for abortion counselings.

Now, Congressman Chris smith of New Jersey, an anti-abortion conservative, will read a statement from the new president at this rally. Let me quote briefly from it. "We share a great goal to work toward a day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law. We know this will not come easily or all at once."

In that statement, an implicit reflection, this is not a president who will rush to reverse the Roe v. Wade decision. But he will take some steps toward the anti-abortion camp. In addition to reversing that language, allowing U.S. money to go to overseas groups, look, as well, for discussions about fetal-tissue research. This president supports fetal-tissue research, but not on aborted fetuses. That will become a hot point as well, as Tommy Thompson, the secretary of Health and Human Services, takes office over his department.

SESNO: All right, John King, thanks very much.

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