In comments to be broadcast Saturday on the CBS News Saturday Early Show, Mr. Bush told Co-Anchor Jane Clayson that he does not think it would be possible to get a constitutional amendment banning abortion.
"What my agenda will be is to try to reduce abortions, is to work on partial birth, banning partial birth abortion, or to work on helping states with parental notification laws," Mr. Bush said.
"That's a practical approach," he added. "There's going to be abortion in America and the fundamental question is are they going to be safe, will they be numerous or not."
Mrs. Bush, interviewed on NBC's Today, was asked if she thought the landmark 1973 ruling should be reversed.
"No, I don't think it should be overturned," she answered.
The soon-to-be first couple appeared together Friday at a pre-inaugural event celebrating America's authors. Mrs. Bush, a librarian and teacher, plans to make literacy her personal crusade as first lady.
"Her love for books is real. Her love for children is real. And my love for her is real," Mr. Bush said at the event.
Appearing on the Early Show Friday morning, Mrs. Bush said, "I want to work on education issues. There are a lot of things I think all of us need to work on in our country."
"Certainly, parents are their child's first teacher, and I think parents need to be very aware of that, as they raise children," Mrs. Bush continued. "But I'd also like to try and recruit young people to consider teaching as a career. I think teaching is so important; it's one of the most profound professions we have."
Though it's unlikely she'll be hatching huge policy initiatives, Mrs. Bush knows that first ladies often play key roles in advancing issues they care about.
She said she was excited about the inaugural events taking place Saturday.
"I'm thrilled to think about George up on the inaugural platform," she said. "I'm excited about that part."
Asked how she might compare to other first ladies, Mrs. Bush said:
"There's so many first ladies that I admire. In our state, we have two beloved first ladies: Lady Bird Johnson, who lives in Austin and then of course my mother-in-law. I'd like to be like (Barbara Bush) in a lot of ways," she said, noting especially her love for her family.
Asked how their new life could affect their personal relationship, Mrs. Bush said of her husband, George W.: "George and I are very close. I think we're really dependent upon each other. We depend upon each other I think for emotional support, actually."
Mrs. Bush also asked that her twin daughters be iven the same privacy that the press extended to Chelsea Clinton.
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