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Miers gave $150 to pro-life group in ’89; leader urges caution

DALLAS (BP)–In 1989, the same-year she was elected to a seat on the Dallas City Council, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers gave $150 to the pro-life organization Texans for Life, a group that favors ending legalized abortion.

The donation was enough to earn Miers a spot in the “bronze level” of contributors for that year, as well to place her name on the program at the group’s annual banquet. At the time the organization was known as Texans United for Life.

But the current president of Texans for Life, Kyleen Wright, cautions pro-lifers into drawing any conclusions.

“I honestly did not know this until the press started calling me, and that prompted me to dig,” Wright, a board member back in 1989, told Baptist Press. “I was able to dig up an old program. I was at the banquet. I don’t remember whether or not she was even there. The bronze level is the lowest level that someone can give and still have a program listing. There were over two dozen other candidates and office holders who also made bronze gifts that year.

“Some [politicians] give just to have their name listed, quite honestly. If I knew that somebody was not pro-life, I wouldn’t allow it. It would be rejected. But it does not necessarily indicate at all a high level of commitment. I don’t know this tells us anything.”

Nevertheless, the donation is certain to be scrutinized in the coming weeks, as both conservative and liberal activists comb through Miers’ past in an attempt to determine her positions on key issues — most notably abortion.

President Bush nominated Miers Oct. 3 to succeed the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. Because O’Connor favors abortion rights, her seat is a coveted one in the abortion debate. Miers currently serves as White House counsel and has never worked as a judge.

Wright says she and other Texas conservatives — like the rest of the country — are searching for information about Miers. Records show that the 1989 contribution was Miers’ only one to the organization, she said.

“All we know about her is what everyone else knows about her,” Wright said. “… I had a greater comfort level with the chief justice [John Roberts] than I do with Ms. Miers. But I’m still optimistic.

Texans for Life is based in Irving. Its mission, Wright said, is to “educate and lobby to restore the protection of all human life — from natural conception until natural death.”

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust