By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2006 ( - Scott McClellan, the principal spokesman for U.S. President George W. Bush said in a press conference yesterday that the President supports abortion in three cases - rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

A reporter asked a question regarding the South Dakota legislation which bans abortion except to save the life of the mother which is likely to be signed by the Governor (see coverage: )

“The state legislature of South Dakota has just passed a new law which allows abortion in case of threat to the mother’s life, but denies it to all ages in cases of rape and incest, said the reporter.ÂHe then asked,“Does the President believe that rape and incest victims should be denied the right to an abortion?” McLellan responded saying, “the President has made very clear that he is pro-life with three exceptions.” While McLellan did not state those exceptions they are widely assumed to be rape, incest and the life of the mother.

McLellan premised those remarks noting, “The President believes we ought to be working to build a culture of life in America. And we have taken practical, common-sense steps to help reduce the number of abortions in America. It is a strong record that is based on building a culture of life.”

The remarks were taken to indicate that the President would oppose the South Dakota (SD) legislation, however that was never said.Â

Physicians have noted that the notion of abortion to save the life of the mother is unnecessary with modern medicine. Moreover, pro-life philosophers have long warned of the dangers of allowing for rape and incest exceptions to abortion since it devalues the lives of unborn children. They are no less children because of the unfortunate circumstances of their conception. Even though most pro-life activists oppose capital punishment, a thought provoking saying on the issue runs: “Why kill the innocent child and not the guilty rapist?”