White House aide Midge Constanza said yesterday President Carter's top-level appointees have drafted a memo urging him to reverse his stand against federal funding of abortions.
She told reporters the memo will be submitted to Carter shortly but she did not expect Carter to change his mind.
Costanza denied news reports that she has been told to lay off the subject. "The president had not contacted me by memo, in person or by phone and said lay off," she said. "Some have indicated the heat is on. There is no heat."
She was questioned about the memorandum which has been circulated among the Carter administration's high-level female appointees when she appeared in the White House press center to announce the Small Business Administration's new program to get more women into business.
A couple of weeks ago some 40 women in the administration met in the Executive Office Building to protest Carter's public opposition to Medicaid support of abortions. Carter said that although the lack of funding might affect women in poor families, "life is unfair."
Meanwhile, in New York, U.S. District Court Judge John F. Dooling Jr. conducted a hearing on whether Medicaid funds could be used to pay for elective abortions, but no ruling was announced.
In June, the Supreme Court nullified an earlier ruling by Dooling that had held unconstitutional a congressional ban on federal funding of elective abortions where a woman's life is not in danger.
But Dooling, holding yesterday's hearing in apparent contradiction of the Supreme Court decision, said that to cut off abortion funds without a full hearing would needlessly "endanger the lives of the young poor who are most likely to take unwise actions and seek illegal abortions."
The hearings were expected to continue today.