Jeb Bush supported Planned Parenthood before he opposed it; Bush campaign response added

In the world of politics, flip-flopping is an art. Unfortunately for Jeb Bush, he’s clearly not much of an artist. From LifeSiteNews bureau chief Ben Johnson:

Until the eve of his presidential campaign, Jeb Bush was director of a philanthropy that gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and financed its advocacy of “unrestricted access to abortion” around the world. The charity also approved money to global abortion providers while he sat on its board.

In 2010, Jeb was named one of the founding directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, established as a tax-exempt foundation to advance the vision of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He resigned from the board at the end of 2014 to prepare his presidential campaign.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand “reproductive health,” including lobbying foreign nations to loosen restrictions on abortion.

Bloomberg announced a major partnership with Planned Parenthood – Global to train equip abortion activists in pro-life countries.

Ah, Planned Parenthood. I’m sure that’s a name that Bush wants on his side at this moment in history:

“In 2014, we started supporting local nonprofit organizations in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda, and Nicaragua to advocate for better policies in their countries that will expand access to comprehensive reproductive health services,” the foundation stated. “These organizations will receive technical assistance from Planned Parenthood Federation of America – Global Division to help augment their capacity for effective advocacy.”

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards greeted the news by saying that “governments need to play a stronger role to ensure that all women have access to the health care they need” – including abortion – “no matter who they are, no matter where they live.”

How much responsibility does Bush bear for the foundation’s international push for abortion and contraception? More than meets the eye:

Bloomberg Philanthropies noted in a press release, “The directors will serve in an advisory and oversight capacity.” Bush earned $37,100 in compensation for his nearly five years of service.

“Bush’s people are probably right that as a board member he did not vote on every project,” Stephen Phelan, the director of mission communications at Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews. “But Bloomberg has been so open about his foundation’s goals for so long that it really stretches credibility to say that Bush or his people wouldn’t have known that the foundation pushes abortion and other population control efforts.”

Bloomberg clarified his goals while accepting his Planned Parenthood award last year. “You can’t fight every battle,” he said. “The things that are high on my priority list are sensible gun laws…I obviously care about a woman’s right to choose…Nobody’s a bigger supporter of gay rights.” He added that “we need a good immigration bill” that provides amnesty for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, “so we can continue our economy.”

Bloomberg has described abortion as a “fundamental human right, elevating it to a make-or-break position. “On this issue, you’re either with us or against us.” He once cited abortion among his reasons for endorsing Barack Obama in 2012.

A Bush spokesperson tried to brush the issue under the rug in April, saying that “Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs” and saying that there are areas where Bloomberg and Bush disagree. But as Phelan noted, that doesn’t mean a whole lot, given the size of the abortion effort, Bloomberg’s known boosterism for abortion, and that partnerships were with known radical abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes.

Of course, all of this ended last year, when Bush began to prep for his presidential run. Seven months later, Bush reacted to the exposure of Planned Parenthood’s business model of harvesting organs from the children it dismembers:

CNN reports that during the visit to Carolina Pregnancy Center, Bush decried Planned Parenthood’s potentially illegal harvesting of unborn children’s body parts. “It just troubles me that you would sell body parts. It just makes no sense to me,” he said.

“That is not a compassionate situation. Congress has every right to investigate these abuses.”

Additionally, said Bush, “I think it’s time for us to re-evaluate all these programs. Government spends way too much to start with. There should be a thorough review of spending in Washington, D.C., particularly organizations that have a very deep political agenda. And that would be part of my mission as president, as well.”

Ben discussed the the then-forthcoming story on Dana Loesch’s show at 1:35 today, where he hammered Bush for trying to have his cake and eat it, too:

It makes no difference [if Bush didn’t sign each grant]. What that tells me is that either he’s willing to be a part of this, or, at a minimum, [his and Bloomberg’s] simpatico relationship on immigration and education outweighs his being involved in the sorts of things we saw on today’s video.

As governor, Bush received a great deal of praise for being a pro-life leader — including by designating millions of dollars to help pro-life pregnancy care clinics take care of women and children, and famously fighting to save Terri Schiavo from starvation, for just two examples.

But that was a long time ago. After today’s story, how much will goodwill can his past earn in a primary against long-time pro-life favorites such as Huckabee and Santorum, or politicians who are currently leading the fight for life such as Paul, Cruz, Jindal, and Walker?

As Loesch noted, the story brings up “a lot of things for which [Bush] needs to answer.”

Update (Ed): The Bush campaign provided Hot Air with this response:

Governor Bush’s strong record of fostering a culture of life is clear, and he has called on Congress to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood in light of the recent alarming revelations about its practices. During his eight years in office, Governor Bush took measures to protect innocent life by passing a partial-birth abortion ban, fighting for a constitutional amendment requiring parental notifications and doing everything possible to promote adoption.
As a board member of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs. Governor Bush and Mayor Bloomberg disagree on several policy areas, including Planned Parenthood.  They do share a passion for reforming education, which was Governor Bush’s focus on the board.