George W Bush's campaign to win the Republican nomination for next year's presidential elections has suffered a set-back after he received criticism from pro-life republicans for not having a tough enough stance on abortion. Although he is more popular than his nine rivals for the nomination, opposition from pro-lifers, who make up about a third of Republican party activists, could severely affect his showing during the primaries next year.
Bush's position on abortion echoes that of Tony Blair who says that while he is personally opposed to it, he does not think it an appropriate subject for legislation. However, other moderate voices in the Republican party have warned that its extreme stance on abortion could damage its chances in next year's election.
Senator John McCain of Arizona has said that the party should return to its pre-1980 position, which is compatible with that of Bush. Whether this would be palatable to the grass-roots supporters has yet to be seen.