Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The New York Times: On Nixon Tapes, Ambivalence Over Abortion, Not Watergate, by Charlie Savage:
On Jan. 23, 1973, when the Supreme Court struck down state criminal abortion laws in Roe v. Wade, President Richard M. Nixon made no public statement. But privately, newly released tapes reveal, he expressed ambivalence.
Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster “permissiveness,” and said that “it breaks the family.” But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases, such as interracial pregnancies.
“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding: “Or a rape.”
Those disclosures were among the revelations in more than 150 hours of tape and tens of thousands of pages of documents from the Nixon administration made public on Tuesday by the National Archives. The audion flies were all posted online, as were a sampling of the documents, the rest of which are available in reading rooms.
Julie Graves Krishnaswami