Bush's Opposition To Abortion Grew After Mother Showed Him Dead Fetus In A Jar

11/08/2010 08:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Former president George W. Bush explained recently that a formative event in his staunch pro-life stance came when his mother, Barbara Bush, showed him the remains of a human fetus in a jar when he was a teenager, the result of an earlier miscarriage by the elder Bush.

"There's no question that affected me, a philosophy that we should respect life", he told NBC's Matt Lauer.

Bush then reads from his upcoming book "Decision Points:"

"I never expected to see the remains of the [fetus], which she had saved in a jar to bring to the hospital." the 43rd President of the United States read. "There was a human life, a little brother or sister."

As The Daily Telegraph points out, however, the view that was implanted in the future president's mind with the display, is not one that she herself holds:

Barbara Bush, who became First Lady when her husband George Bush Snr was elected president in 1988, favours abortion rights. She once said: "I hate abortions, but just could not make that choice for someone else."

According to Bush, he didn't recount the story primarily to explain the genesis of his anti-abortion views, but rather "to show how my mom and I developed a relationship."

Other revelations the book and his anticipatory media tour have brought to light in the lead-up to its official release on Tuesday include reflections on his handling of Hurricane Katrina, the War in Iraq, his authorization of waterboarding, the White House dynamic with Dick Cheney, and his past struggles with alcoholism.

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