Michael Reagan's Pro Life Speech

Michael Reagan is turning his adoption into a pro-life platform. He says because Ron and Nancy and his adoptive mother and his birth mother were pro-life and pro-adoption, he is here today. He's making it sound like he was surrounded by love his entire life. He sure told a different story in his 1988 family tell-all, "On the Outside Looking In." Here's one account of the happy family from the book (Washington Post, 3/31/88)

...a two-career family, a divorce, third-party child care, a hated stepparent and a second family, sibling rivalry, teen-age rebellion, estrangement. Add emotional traumas from adoption and childhood molestation suffered by a man later branded the family troublemaker who capitalized on the family name, and accused of being a kleptomaniac, and you have Ronald Reagan's own family as seen through the eyes of his elder son.

Michael Reagan on his adoptive mother, Jane Wyman: (Newsweek 3/21/88):

"When are you going to stop living off your father's name? I can't believe you have anything to say at this time of your life that's worth reading." Michael Reagan, quoting his adoptive mother, Jane Wyman, after she learned he was writing a book about his life with her, Ronald Reagan and stepmother Nancy.

Washington Post: 2/17/89, on Barbara Bush visiting Neil Bush's newborn child:

It's a sharp contrast to the family life of former President and Nancy Reagan, who didn't see son Michael Reagan's daughter (coincidentally also named Ashley) until the child was 20 months old ...

On Michael Reagan's book:(Wash. Post, 5/22/88):

Michael Reagan, as he makes painfully clear, has played hurt for most of his 43 years, and there are still signs in his remarkably personal book of that boarding school kid stumbling to his feet, giving a slight shake to a dazed head and putting on a brave smile with a tentative little wave to the stands. Then, as now, the cheer he would most want to hear would come from his father, Ronald Reagan, with back-up hurrahs from his mother, actress Jane Wyman, and stepmother, Nancy Reagan.

"My childhood," he writes, "was spent seeking affection, trying to get my parents to put their arms around me and say, 'I love you.' " A few weeks before his father's second inauguration, the almost 40-year-old Michael seized a rare moment alone with his dad and confronted him: " 'You know, you've never told me that you love me.' " The president "looked surprised," he writes. "Then he said, 'Michael, I love you.' "

Perhaps a happy ending for Michael Reagan, but the family was hardly the symbol of idyllic family values the Republicans are now promoting.

Two more: President Ronald Reagan once told his son, (UPI 3/13/88)

'You and Maureen are not in our will because I thought you were in your mother's.''' Concludes Michael: ''My adoptive parents were actors, skilled in the art of communication. But when I look back on my life the episodes I remember most vividly have to do with failure to communicate.''

Michael Reagan reported being sexually abused as a child, and his parents were oblivious: (New York Times 5/2/87):

Mr Michael Reagan, now a 41-year-old businessman, revealed that he was molested as a seven-year-old by a daycamp leader he had come to look on as a father figure. The abuse lasted nearly a year and involved taking a nude photograph of him, which Michael later feared would surface during one of his father's election campaigns. 'I would feel as anyone would feel,' the President said, in response to a report in Penthouse Magazine. 'I'm sorry that when he was a little boy he didn't let us know at that time. Michael Reagan, the adopted son of the then Hollywood star and his first actress wife, Jayne Wyman, told his father and stepmother what happened only during a family get-together at the President's Santa Barbara ranch this Easter.

With his adoptive parents divorced when he was three and his new ones 'busy, busy, busy,' young Michael 'only saw them on alternate weekends and, until he was 10, believed the black family cook was his mother,' according to forthcoming revelations in Michael's autobiography, tentatively entitled On the Outside Looking in.

Republicans and family values? Right.

[articles accessible on lexis.com]

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