Fred Thompson Lobbied For Abortion Rights newsvine furl google yahoo netscape

While working as a lobbyist in 1991, soon-to-be social conservative presidential candidate Fred Thompson lobbied the George H.W. Bush administration about easing the government's gag rule in regards to federally funded clinics.

Over the weekend, the L.A. Times broke the story in the face of vehement denials from the Thompson camp and past White House chief of staff John Sununu.

This seemingly outrageous claim is backed by personal recollections of the head of the abortion rights group for which Thompson lobbied and a colleague who worked with Thompson at the time as well as minutes from meetings.

A spokesman for Thompson denies that the lobbying ever occurred, but goes on to suggest that it's "not unusual for one lawyer on one side of an issue to be asked to give advice to colleagues for clients who engage in conduct or activities with which they personally disagree."

"I talked to him while he was doing it, and I talked to [Judith DeSarno, head of the family planning association] about the fact that she was very pleased with the work that he was doing for her organization," said [Michael] Barnes [,Thompson's former colleague]. "I have strong, total recollection of that. This is not something I dreamed up or she dreamed up. This is fact."

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