Anti-abortion advocates, responding to a radio request by James C. Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, a national ministry, have flooded White House phone lines with calls advocating a ban on partial-birth abortions. The deluge has tied up some lines.
Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos is said to have called it a “good news, bad news” situation. “The good news,” he said, “is I get no phone calls. The bad news is I get no phone calls.”
Calls have been coming into his office at a rate of about 25 a minute for the past few days. Anyone calling Stephanopoulos now gets a recording from aide Laura Capps, who says, “Thank you for calling the office of George Stephanopoulos, senior adviser to the president.”
Callers wishing “to pass on a message” to President Clinton on abortion are urged to call another number. Anyone trying to pass on the message through Stephanopoulos, Capps said, should “please understand that he has just two of us answering his telephone,” and he’d rather people faxed or mailed a letter.
“We appreciate that and hope you understand,” Capps’ recording says. “If your call is unrelated to that issue, and you wish to speak with him, please leave a message.”