Obama’s promise to pro-abortionists

Terry Mattingly criticizes the Washington Post story posted below. He denies that any pro-lifers are opposing helping women so that they keep their babies. Approving E. J. Dionne’s column that we blogged about recently, Mattingly points to another issue:

Now something huge is missing [from the Washington Post story] and it can be summed up with one date — July 17, 2007. That’s the day when candidate Obama told leaders at Planned Parenthood: “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.” The president-elect is a co-sponsor of this bill, which would, in the words of the National Organization for Women, “sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”

In other words, the real tensions inside the right to life movement are not about whether to back legislative efforts — such as the Democrats For Life “95-10” package — to support women and their children (although there are some debates about issues linked to birth control). The tensions are about FOCA and efforts to erase restrictions on abortion that are supported by many or most Americans, including conservative, moderate and even some liberal Democrats. . . .FOCA is a dagger at the heart of the pro-life left and hopes for compromise and common-ground initiatives.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    The Freedom of Choice Act is terrorism. It brings terror to my heart and will intensify our All-American slaughter of the innocents. Everyone contact your Congressional and Senate representatives about this atrocious Obama promise.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I don’t think Mattingly’s article makes a lot of sense, though I agree with many of its points. First, he states that “the real tensions inside the right to life movement are not about whether to back legislative efforts … to support women and their children,” but rather “are about FOCA and efforts to erase restrictions on abortion.” But while the former is an actual issue of contention in the pro-life movement, the latter isn’t. Am I missing something? Apples? Oranges?

    Secondly, he seems to be fitting everything into an either/or framework. The question in the Post article (as I skimmed it) seems to be not a choice between either legislation or support for mothers — of course Catholics (and other pro-lifers support both at some level) — but rather, as the Post‘s headline and lede state, a question of “focus“.

    As I see it, there’s little doubt that the question is one of focus. Time and money are going to be expended, but in which direction: passing legislation or preventing abortions on the ground level, with the mother? As a side note, I wonder how things would be different if every dollar spent trying to pass pro-life legislation or getting people to vote for pro-life candidates had instead been spent on trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions at the individual level. Because all the money spent on politics doesn’t seem to have done much. Seems like the mothers could have used it.

    I also think an article that makes mere parenthetical notice that “there are some debates about issues linked to birth control” probably shouldn’t be throwing stones at other journalists for glossing over things. Given the size and influence of the Catholic church in the pro-life movement, that’s all he wants to say? Even those outside the Catholic church disagree — sometimes bitterly — over this issue, as can be seen even on this blog sometimes. “Some debates”?

    Finally, I don’t understand why Mattingly incredulously asks, “Does the cardinal of Chicago truly believe that there is no connection between reducing poverty and reducing abortion? Really?” right after the Cardinal is quoted in the Post as saying “It’s still to be proven what the connection is between poverty and abortion.” Seems pretty clear what the Cardinal is saying. Now Mattingly may think that quote is in error, but he does seem to hold the Post in higher regard than your average conservative — “the Washington Post is a fine newspaper” — so I don’t see him actually questioning the quote itself. Just, for whatever reason, the reading of it.

  • Don S

    My thoughts about the wisdom of the approach of seeking more government aid for pregnant women, and about the idea that lobbying for political change and helping pregnant women has ever been an either/or proposition for the pro-life movement are posted on the other thread. However, regarding FOCA, if Obama wants to immediately ensure that upwards of 30% of the voting population immediately moves into a mode of opposing him with every fiber of their being, all he has to do is sign that evil piece of legislation into law. The honeymoon will end the moment he does that.

  • Bill

    Don, don’t the 30% of voters that you say will vigoursly oppose Obama if he signs FOCA already oppose him? Or are you saying that he will lose 30% of the support he now has?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Bill, those 30% will probably still give respect the office he represents, whether or not he signs FOCA. Don’t expect any respect from the choicers though for those who would like to care for these children. I do think he may lose at least a little of his current support if he signs this piece of excrement. I obviously am hoping that he does not sign FOCA but instead changes his mind about the most fundamental human right of these most vulnerable people in our society – babies in the womb. Without life, no other rights matter, do they?

    The democrats have this dreadful opportunity to institutionalize even more firmly our self-centered culture of death. We pray that they will avert themselves from this choice in time, because the ramifications can eventually affect their enjoyed freedoms too (a little history is all one needs to know to understand how even more terrible all this can become).

  • Don S

    Bill @ 4: I think right now most people are willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt — to see if he really chooses to govern as a “change agent” and in a bipartisan manner. Those 30%, give or take, who consider the pro-life issue to be one of, if not the, most important issues in determining for whom to vote, no doubt will not vote for him in 4 years. However, if he signs FOCA, they will become vehement, strong, opponents, not merely non-supporters. It makes a huge difference when a significant percentage of the population actively opposes everything you at every opportunity, and works tirelessly to see you defeated. Ask President Bush about that.


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