Mark Linton here.
I head up our National Catholic outreach efforts for Senator Obama on the campaign. We've enjoyed great success in mobilizing thousands of Catholics and people of all faiths because of your phenomenal help and because of Senator Obama's unifying message of hope and change.
On this week of the 4th of July I would like to enlist your help in declaring our independence from smears against Barack Obama.
One charge leveled by partisan operatives who seek to divide voters is the disgraceful smear that Senator Obama, a loving father of two beautiful daughters, supports "infanticide." That is an absolutely false and shameful claim based on distortions of Senator Obama's voting record.
We're asking that wherever you see these smears on the internet, please push back respectfully but vigorously.
See the responses below, refuting point by point the smears of blogger Deal Hudson. I am also including the relevant portions of a thoughtful interview Senator Obama recently gave to Relevant Magazine. He discusses his views on abortion and unambiguously refutes the "infanticide" charge.
Strang: Based on emails we received, another issue of deep importance to our readers is a candidate's stance on abortion. We largely know your platform, but there seems to be some real confusion about your position on third-trimester and partial-birth abortions. Can you clarify your stance for us?
Obama: I absolutely can, so please don't believe the emails. I have repeatedly said that I think it's entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don't think that mental distressâ€ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions. The other email rumor thatâ€™s been floating around is that somehow Iâ€™m unwilling to see doctors offer life-saving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion. Thatâ€™s just false. There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the â€œBorn Aliveâ€ bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill. The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didnâ€™t think it was going to pass constitutional muster. Ever since that time, emails have been sent out suggesting that, somehow, I would be in favor of letting an infant die in a hospital because of this particular vote. Thatâ€™s not a fair characterization, and thatâ€™s not an honest characterization. It defies common sense to think that a hospital wouldn't provide life-saving treatment to an infant that was alive and had a chance of survival. Strang: Youâ€™ve said youâ€™re personally against abortion and would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions under your administration. So, as president, how would do you propose accomplishing that?Obama: I think we know that abortions rise when unwanted pregnancies rise. So, if we are continuing what has been a promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education giving good information to teenagers. That is important"emphasizing the sacredness of sexual behavior to our children. I think thatâ€™s something that we can encourage. I think encouraging adoptions in a significant way. I think the proper role of government. So there are ways that we can make a difference, and those are going to be things I focus on when I am president.â€
Please circulate far and wide and remind people of good faith that religion can be a unifying, not dividing force in our politics.
National Catholic Outreach Coordinator
Obama for America