Sunday, September 7, 2008

Barack Obama on Abortion


I have always been clear that, while otherwise an outstanding candidate, I find Barack Obama misguided on much of the question surrounding abortion policy. My support for him is not because of his views on abortion policy but despite it. Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that he takes the matter seriously. We have had eight years of an Administration that has promised much and done little for the unborn. We have a Republican candidate who is not comfortable talking about life issues and a Vice Presidential candidate who talks about it but has never achieved anything for the unborn in her entire political career. We have a Republican Congress who left pro-life provisions as riders on appropriations bills that need to be renewed each year rather than make any attempt to put them in permanent law. And we have a Democratic Congress that, when it became the majority, continued to renew the pro-life provisions.

I think the case can be made that given the lack of action and achievements from the conservatives on pro-life issues, a four year trial at some common ground initiatives as Obama proposes has merit. Here is the Senator's most recent statement on the topic:


I do know is that abortion is a moral issue, that it's one that families struggle with all the time. And that in wrestling with those issues, I don't think that the government criminalizing the choices that families make is the best answer for reducing abortions.

“I think the better answer — and this was reflected in the Democratic platform — is to figure out, how do we make sure the young mothers, or women who have a pregnancy that's unexpected or difficult, have the kind of support they need to make a whole range of choices, including adoption and keeping the child.

14 comments:

Christy said...

I agree. Voting Republican based on the abortion issue alone won't do anything; after all, the Republicans have been in power for 8 years and very little has been accomplished.

Abortion can only be solved on the societal level, not a governmental level, and I think that Obama is the best choice when it comes to changing society. Not to mention that McCain is clearly not as concerned with pro-life issues (he is pro-war and pro-death penalty, after all), and is only pandering to the far-right in his choice with Palin, who will "take care" of the pro-life issues for him.

Anonymous said...

You people can rationalize anything, can't you. Obama had several opportunities to make a difference in this horrific issue and he failed miserably every time. He had bills before him on at least three occasions to require doctors to perform emergency medical intervention on babies who were born alive after botched abortions. This, according to several former abortion doctors, occurs more frequently than anyone would care to admit. Obama voted against these legal measures as he felt it undermined Roe v. Wade. So either stop trying to find good things to say about this clown and vote against him, or stop calling yourselves Catholics. Becasue you're betraying the Church and God by supporting scum like Obama.

Gene said...

This is amazing. I live in Philadelphia. Obama is running ads on KYW saying if McCain is elected abortion is in danger, only Obama can protect Roe v. Wade. HE says first thing he wants to do in office he wants to sign Freedom of Choice Act.

Either a vote for Obama is a vote for abortion through nine months of pregnancy or the Obama campaign is lying. You pick.

Anonymous said...

When unwanted pregnancies are prevented from taking place, this too is respect for life. Obama is big on this work across the aisle approach, and I'll vote for Obama-Biden partly for this reason.

Few readers are likely to be persuaded by statements such as, "You're betraying the Church and God by supporting scum like Obama." The hostility of such a statement discredits its author. One side or the other will win in November and the rest of us will have to live with it. So let's start finding common ground.

Gene said...

Hey anonymous, you got a link for this? "You're betraying the Church and God by supporting scum like Obama."

Naral and NRTL agree that you're voting for no restrictions on the killing of the unborn when you vote for Obama. Do you turn the radio off when Obama's pro-abortion radio ads come on?

Katherine said...

The hostility of such a statement discredits its author.

True. The unwillingness of the McCain camp to reah beyond hard right Catholics has been to Obama's benefit.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"You people can rationalize anything, can't you."

What we cannot rationalize is more unnecessary foreign wars, increased national debt at the expense of the common good, the ignoring of the dramatically increasing prevalence of poor people, the lack of choice for young women to provide a stable and hopeful home for the children they're about to produce, the polar caps melting, the lack of health care accessible to the average American, our nation's loss of moral standing in the global community, and that some among our brother and sister in Christ could even begin to suggest that government operating a budget surplus not using some of that surplus to provide much needed funding to help homeless youth or homeless young mothers is an "opportunity for us to practice charity."

As Saint Augustine said, "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld." We, as Catholics will always have the opportunity to practice charity. We will also, unfortunately, have the opportunity to defend life and the dignity of the human person. None of that detracts from the responsibility the State has within the broader social order to provide that economic and social just is achieved to the degree the State is able to achieve that in the particular social order.

Rustler45 said...

"Republicans have been in power for 8 years and very little has been accomplished."

Two pro-life judges on the Supreme Court is a great accomplishment. And BTW they are responsible for backing the Second Amendment!

Abortion can only be solved on the societal level, not a governmental level, and I think that Obama is the best choice when it comes to changing society.

Oh really? We didn't have abortion on demand until the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. Both have to be accomplished. On the societal level we won't be rid of abortion until people realize that birth control is a root cause of it.

Rustler45 said...

"...our nation's loss of moral standing in the global community."

Now tell me Demo, which countries have a higher moral standing?

BTW you shot yourself right out of the sky with "the polar caps melting." Let me guess. You're a Michael Moore fan aren't you?

Christy said...

"On the societal level we won't be rid of abortion until people realize that birth control is a root cause of it."

Nope -- we won't be rid of abortion until people feel that they live in a place where they can make the best decisions for their families. Knowing that their children will have good healthcare and that the economy will support them, as well as a million other factors that have nothing to do with birth control. Realizing birth control is a root cause might work if large chunks of the population know about its effects and stop using it, but realistically, we know that will never happen. The "big realization" then, will do nothing (and it's not like we can ever go back - as a society - to not using it again, especially when you think of the money the pharmecutical companies are making off of it).

EC said...

Leaving aside the question of whether believing Catholics could ever justify a vote for Barack Obama, I question the fitness of any candidate who, when questioned on one of the foremost moral issues of his time, an issue that he will be directly and indirectly concerned with if elected, and that he had already been concerned with during his term in the legislature, answered.... "That's above my paygrade."

It seems that Sen. Obama has an opinion on when human rights ought to be granted to an unborn human being. His unbesmirched pro-abortion voting record seems to indicate one.

Sen Obama's record also seems to indicate a desperation to protect Roe v. Wade from any perceived legal threats (even at the cost of denying infants born alive palliative care.)

If this frantic legislative effort at protecting pro-abortion laws does not stem from Sen. Obama's personal convictions, then it must stem from a desire not to lose the political backing of those who support abortion.

Either Sen. Obama will not admit his principles concerning the grave moral issue of abortion, or he pretends to principles on this grave moral matter in order to garner political support.

Either attitude makes him unfit for and even dangerous in high office.

If a candidate demonstrates that he will not hold or act on moral principle, he is not fit for political office.

Kurt said...

I question the fitness of any candidate who, when questioned on one of the foremost moral issues of his time, an issue that he will be directly and indirectly concerned with if elected, and that he had already been concerned with during his term in the legislature, answered.... "That's above my paygrade."

Using different words, doesn't John McCain hold the same opinion? McCain does not believe that the unborn are persons under the law. He does not believe the 14th Amendment should apply to the unborn. He does not believe the unborn should be protected by federal law. He does not believe that the states should define abortion as murder.

Rustler45 said...

"When unwanted pregnancies are prevented from taking place, this too is respect for life."

No, this is artificial birth control and it is a disrespect for the human body. It is immoral and in the form of a pill it is definitely not respecting human life as all contraceptive pills are abortifacient.

Anonymous said...

>"When unwanted pregnancies are prevented from taking place, this too is respect for life."

>>No, this is artificial birth control and it is a disrespect for the human body. It is immoral and in the form of a pill it is definitely not respecting human life as all contraceptive pills are abortifacient.

But to you see anyone trying to outlaw "contraception" because it's immoral? (no) Is that something the state has the ability to do? (yes) Is it likely to ever happen? (no)

You can really only legislate morality like this in a theocracy or state closely tied to religion (see Islamic States... Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc)... it's quite impossible in a democracy because: the laws reflect the morality of the people. So, we Catholics and and others need to reach out to change morals first, teach human dignity, the Theology of the Body, etc.

The state can certainly affect the health and wealth of the people though, and the democrats have been working on that because the abortion rate drops significantly when these needs are met.

Sadly, abortions still happens... but at least it's fewer than otherwise.