Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter remembers Betty Ford
Caroline MacGregor April 8, 2014 | WGVU Rosalynn Carter spoke to a full house at the JW Marriott during a luncheon titled
America’s First Ladies: A Journey of
Friendship. Mrs. Carter was introduced
by former President Gerald Ford’s son, Steve Ford.
“Thank you Steve for that introduction. Betty was my friend we got to be very close after we left the White House....(laughter)....it wasn't supposed to said that way.“
luncheon, Mrs. Carter touched on her days in the White House and causes close
to her heart, like equal rights for women.
"A few year's ago I nominated Betty for the National Women's Hall of Fame and one of the things I said about her she was one of the first Republican's to take on a feminist agenda.”
subject at the time but with a working mother and having herself attended
college, the former first lady found a feminist soul mate in her friend Betty.
“Feminists were those women who were burning their bras; nobody wanted to be identified as a feminist and here comes Betty who decides to be a feminist. You can imagine how wonderful that was for me when I was lonely in my state.”
Another issue close
to Mrs Carter’s heart and which turned out to be her primary focus during her
time as First Lady, was overhauling the state's mental health system by
bridging legislative solutions for the mentally ill.
After Betty Ford
left the White House the two continued to champion their causes, traveling
together to Washington to speak to lawmakers about what would later turn out to be two
closely related subjects: chemical dependency and mental health.
“And Betty would be thrilled to know that today the fields of mental health and addiction are moving closer together which we agreed they should be all along.”
Following the luncheon, Mrs. Carter took part in a panel
discussion at the Ford Presidential Museum about Betty Ford's breast cancer
diagnosis as it impacts women's health today.
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