Friday, November 14, 2008


A Pro-Life Side to our New President?

My good friend, E. J. Dionne, has some words of comfort in today’s Washington Post:

“[Obama] argued that "those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, 'We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.' " Obama added: "Nobody's pro-abortion."

"Once he assumes office, Obama might be tempted to forget that moment, issue the pro-choice executive orders that the abortion rights movement expects and move back to the sagging economy. But doing this would be both politically foolish and a breach of faith with the pro-life progressives who came to Obama's defense during the campaign. They argued that Obama truly was committed to reducing the number of abortions. He shouldn't turn them into liars.” E. J. Dionne Jr. - Obama's Promise to Pro-Lifers

Nice thought but I’m not holding my breath. Oh sure, I believe Senator Obama would like to see less abortions, if, for no other reason than it would make his life easier. But I am in that apparent minority that thinks him a weak politician – that he just doesn’t have it in him to be politically courageous…esp. against the so-called progressive coalitions that got him elected.

Let us remember that this “brilliant 47 year-old Senator”, a man given to so much introspection that he has already written two autobiographies, couldn’t directly answer the question as to when he thought a life began to merit protection by the state. That exhibits a vapid shallowness and/or political timidity – your call – and pro-lifers shouldn’t realistically ignore that on the basis of Mr. Dionne’s soothing wordplay.

Mr. Dionne also notes:

“Yet a very large number of Americans are simultaneously uneasy with a government ban on abortion and with abortion itself. Substantial majorities would not make abortion illegal but would still like fewer of them.

“One candidate spoke directly to this unease.”

Well that one candidate also spoke directly to a different unease:

“SENATOR OBAMA:..As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child — however way you want to describe it — is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved. Is that correct?”

I’m sorry but this is not a man who has exhibited any inclinations that he is at all cognizant of the moral dimensions behind the pro-life stance. Instead, the more probable Barack Obama was reported on a few days earlier in that same Washington Post:

“Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research…

“Bush's August 2001 decision pleased religious conservatives who have moral objections to the use of cells from days-old human embryos, which are destroyed in the process…

“The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.” Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions

As a coalition party, the Democrats are stuck with the pro-choice position and all of its ramifications. The rest of the coalition is probably just looking for a Solomon-like compromise but the ardent pro-choicers will obviously only be comfortable with the baby actually split in half.

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