Washington UPDATE: Conservative, GOP Resistance Grows for Satcher Nomination, Lee Designation

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Washington UPDATE: Conservative, GOP Resistance Grows for Satcher Nomination, Lee Designation

Conservatives are planning a major effort to deny former Meharry Medical College President David Satcher, M.D., confirmation as the next U.S. surgeon general. And, Republicans are insisting that Bill Lann Lee's temporary appointment as assistant attorney general for civil rights is only good for 120 days.

Satcher is under criticism from anti-abortion groups for his refusal to place restrictions on late-term abortions. President Bill Clinton also has opposed attempts to restrict this practice, which conservatives call "partial-birth abortions."

The Christian Coalition and Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) held a news conference on Capitol Hill in mid-January to emphasize their opposition to the former Black college leader.

Ashcroft, a first-term conservative, outlined plans to oppose Satcher's nomination.

"The nation's chief medical officer should be above reproach. Unfortunately, this is not the case with this nominee," he said.

Satcher also came under criticism because the nominee would give youngsters access to federally funded planning services without parental consent.

Satcher had appeared in a strong position to win Senate approval for a post that has remained vacant since Clinton's first term. Clinton's first surgeon general, Joycelyn Elders, M. …