Barbara Pierce Bush, Dubya’s daughter, was on the cusp of adulthood when her father took office. As he was extremely anti-choice for his entire political career, including during the presidency, it’s notable that Barbara has matured into someone who speaks out in support of Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose.
On the other hand, things are bad, so we’re naturally looking for some sign of sanity amongst Republicans and Republican-adjacent people who have been in or close to power. If George W. Bush can be reflective about preserving America’s democracy, maybe there’s hope that Trump will soften in, like, sixteen years when he’s entering his fourth term as president for life. And the young people—the young people will save us all!
The Texas Tribune reports that Barbara Bush spoke up for Planned Parenthood at their Greater Texas’ annual Fort Worth luncheon on Wednesday. Bush told the audience that she agreed to speak in October when, she implies, she thought Hillary Clinton would win. She says that’s “not meant to be a political statement; I just thought the cards were going to fall in a different way. I’m so happy I said yes because this work could not matter more.”
Bush is the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, whose mission statement says they “mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.” Much of that work appears to happen in African countries, and it may be made more difficult under Trump’s presidency. Global health is an issue already widely affected in places outside of the U.S. by Trump’s immediate reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule that prevents NGOs that receive federal funding from speaking about abortion (the Gag Rule was also re-imposed under George W. Bush’s administration).
The transcript of Bush’s speech shared by the Texas Tribune calls for “new leaders”:
“Our belief that health is a human right is not reflected in today’s reality,” she said. “Millions of people’s potentials and futures are undermined simply because they do not have access to the health care that they deserve. We have these incredible tools to solve problems, yet health systems are weak, and we need new leaders to fix them.”
Bush also said she was frustrated that people are still having to make a “case for why women’s health matters in 2017.”
“To me, Planned Parenthood is a one-stop-shop for everything that has to do with women’s health and all social problems that don’t have to do with women’s health,” she said. “I hope you all realize the incredible investment that you’re making for both women and also their kids, their kids’ education and their income level. And that is unique and incredible. It’s a silver bullet, if you ask me.”