New tapes: Abortion necessary for interracial pregnancies - Nixon

June 24th, 2009 - 3:00 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Richard Nixon When the US Supreme Court struck down state criminal abortion laws in Roe v. Wade, former US president Richard Nixon told an aid there was a need for abortion is some cases – such as interracial pregnancies.

While he made no public comment on the courts verdict, Nixon was concerned greater access to abortions would foster “permissiveness,” and said “it breaks the family.”

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding: “Or a rape.”

The revelations are contained in more than 150 hours of tape and tens of thousands of pages of documents from the Nixon administration made public on Tuesday by the National Archives.

The tapes were recorded by the secret microphones in the Oval Office from January and February of 1973 and shed new light on an intense moment in American history.

The period included Nixon’s second inauguration, the ceasefire agreement for Vietnam, and the criminal trial of seven men over the burglary of the Democrats’ headquarters at the Watergate complex amid mounting revelations about their close ties to the White House.

While most tapes relating to the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s impeachment have already been released, some were held back because the audio was so poor that archives officials could not be certain whether they contained discussion of any classified topics.

Among the newly disclosed tapes is a January 5, 1973, conversation between Nixon and aide Charles W. Colson, in which they discussed the possibility of granting clemency to E. Howard Hunt Jr., one of the Watergate conspirators.

The tapes also provide new material about the circumstances surrounding the Paris treaty to end the United States’ military involvement in Vietnam and to bring home prisoners of war.

The tapes also disclose that in February 1973, after Israel shot down a Libyan civilian passenger jet, killing 113 people, Nixon talked about his views of anti-Semitism in America in a telephone conversation with the evangelist Billy Graham.

The documents also include three newly declassified pages from a National Security Council brief on nuclear proliferation, which discuss secret Israeli efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

The audio files have all been posted online, as are a sample of the documents, while the rest are available in reading rooms throughout the United States.

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