On the National Level:
Federal Action and Inaction
Social conservatives whose votes, PACs, and campaign money had helped elect President Reagan expected results once their candidate had been sworn in as president. Antiabortion planks in the Republican platform, profamily rhetoric in Reagan's acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention, and promises made to conservative leaders during the campaign led them to expect more than symbolic gestures from the new administration. But the fact is that there is little that the president can do directly to restrict access to abortion or to promote many of the other conservative "social issues." Once in office, a president interested in influencing abortion policy can provide national leadership, exert influence on Congress, and make telling administrative and judicial appointments. Presidents Ford and Carter had been reluctant to become entangled with such a volatile political issue, one that seemed to lie largely outside the ambit of national policy-making capabilities. Congress has perhaps more power to affect abortion policies, although its power is related to major national programs of health insurance and funding for medical care, hospital facilities, medical research, foreign aid, and social service programs offering family‐ planning services. A Congress so inclined can cut off federal funding for abortion services and remove abortion as an option in various types of federal programs. But to reverse a Supreme Court decision establishing reproductive rights, an amendment to the
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Publication information: Book title: Abortion, Politics, and the Courts: Roe v. Wade and Its Aftermath. Edition: Revised. Contributors: Eva R. Rubin - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1987. Page number: Not available.
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