Campaign Notes Abortion

Loosening the Gag -- a Bit

Now that Republican challenger Pat Buchanan has promised to refrain from Bush bashing, the White House can afford to reach out to more moderate voters. Among them: pro-choice Republican women. That was the political explanation behind the Administration's decision last week to allow patients in federally financed family-planning clinics to receive abortion advice under limited circumstances.

The new guidelines, which were announced by the Department of Health and Human Services, would protect the doctor-patient relationship in all respects and would permit doctors to refer women to facilities that provide abortions. Even under the new rules, however, nurses and other medical counselors...