Obama and Abortion

ObamaGrav.jpgBarack Obama, as far as I’m concerned, is not off to a good start when it comes to “change” and ending the “politics as usual” he claimed in his campaign. First, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade he has announced what amounts a contradiction: reduce abortions by supporting and funding abortions. This makes no sense to me. What really makes it difficult morally is that such support is offered on the day he was also announcing — rightly — to close down GTMO and speak against the evils of torture. Abortion is also torture. Women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies, but once there’s a pregnancy, that woman is now carrying someone else’s body — that body is no longer simply her own. Support of abortion and opposition to torture is a moral contradiction, and I call on the Obama Administration to re-think their position of their stance on abortion.

Second, our President has postponed announcing that he will support the Mexico City Policy decision. Reagan withdrew support for international clinics that supported abortion, Clinton reinstated support, G.W. Bush withdrew the support, and it appears Obama will reinstate support again. We expected to hear his reinstatement yesterday, but it didn’t happen. Everything I hear is that it will happen. This, my friends, is politics as usual. Here’s what change could mean: there are plenty of clinics to support that don’t do abortions; support those. To choose to reinstate support is to make a choice to support clinics that specifically provide abortions. There is here neither change nor is there a politics that is not usual.

DC (LifeNews.com) —
President Barack Obama used the occasion
of the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision to issue
a contradictory statement. The new president called for reducing abortions
but honored the radical decision that ushered in an era of 50 million
abortions and virtually no limits.

praised the Supreme Court for issuing what has been one of the most
condemned rulings in its history.

decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom,
but stands for a broader principle: That government should not intrude
on our most private family matters,” Obama said in a statement.

he reaffirmed his official position supporting abortion.

remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose,”
he said.

president also issued a call for an expansion of access to birth control
and contraception, even though studies and actual abortion data have
shown they do nothing to reduce the numbers of abortions.

this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views,
we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies,
reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the
choices they make,” he said. “To accomplish these goals,
we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable
contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.”

DC (LifeNews.com) —
In a move to downplay his pro-abortion agenda,
President Barack Obama has decided to wait a little longer to reverse
a Bush policy preventing taxpayer funding of abortions overseas. The
Mexico City Policy prevents sending public funds to groups that perform
or promote abortions in other countries.

new president could either issue an order tomorrow or in the near
future to reverse the policy or allow Congress to do it.

was expected to overturn the pro-life policy on his first or second
full days in office and to possibly do so today, on the anniversary
of the Roe v. Wade decision.

a CBN News report indicates Obama will not overturn the policy on
a day that pro-life advocates mourn the Supreme Court allowing virtually
unlimited abortions.

Obama is still expected to fund foreign abortions at some point, CBN
News indicates Obama is attempting to camouflage his pro-abortion
agenda by issuing a statement calling for efforts to reduce abortions.

is unclear whether Obama intends to reverse the Mexico City Policy
at some point in the future but this reliable source tells me that
this move signals that Obama will stress the need for reducing abortions
in this country rather than focus on the divisive tit for tat policy
reversals of the past,” writes David Brody a senior correspondent
for the network.

move may infuriate pro-abortion groups, which campaigned relentlessly
for Obama and expected him to immediately reverse the policy upon
taking over the White House.

the same time, Obama could approach overturning the Mexico City Policy
in the same manner as
he is apparently approachin
g reversing Bush’s limits on funding
embryonic stem cell research.

appears to want Congress to do the heavy lifting to pass legislation
reversing the protections and he can both get credit for signing the
bill and deflect criticism by not becoming the sole decision-maker
changing the rules.

a move would also make it much tougher for pro-life advocates to undo
the decision — and Obama could also rely on Congress to reverse the
Mexico City Policy.

September, 2007, Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced an amendment to a spending
bill that would have reversed the policy and the
Senate approved it
by a 53-41 percentage point margin.

move didn’t take effect only because President Bush threatened to
veto any spending bill that removed the Mexico City Policy — something
Obama would unlikely do.

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  • Rebeccat

    Three observations that are rarely part of the conversation that I’ll throw out to start things out:
    1. As resident assistant in college and a friend, I have known a fair number of women who have had abortions. More of them were pressured into it by boyfriends and parents than freely chose to have an abortion for themselves. This is not choice; this is coersive violence against women, their bodies and their children.
    2. When I first had my son I spent about a year living in an apartment building run by a Christian charity for single moms. In the time I was there, I got to know a good number of young, single moms. It is no exaggeration to say that most of them had had abortions before having the child they were then raising. Many of them had abortions within the year prior to getting pregnant with the child they carried to term. I don’t think anyone has looked at the issue, but I would not be surprised at all to find out that this is pretty common. If this is the case, the idea that abortion prevents unwanted children from coming into the world doesn’t hold as much water. Even if one buys the argument that a person is better of dead than being born to a potentially crappy mother, abortion probably simply delays unplanned children from coming into the world rather than prevents them (and often by a very short period of time). It would almost certainly have been better for the women I knew to have just given birth to her first baby than to have an abortion and have a baby under poor circumstances a short time later anyway.
    3. I like most other women who get pregnant out of wedlock knew full well how sex works, could have gotten birth control with relatively little effort probably at no expense and just didn’t. I have known people who wound up pregnant because they didn’t want to stop and get a condom out of the next room. There is nothing any government policy or program can do about the fact that when it comes to sex, people are dumb, hormone addled and short-sighted (see hormone addled). The drive to reproduce is very strong and trying to counter that in any way other than expecting and teaching people to control this drive is never going to be very sucessful. Letting the drive run wild while expecting people to be responsible is pretty well an oxymoron for many people.
    Take it fwiw.

  • Your Name

    Preach it brother! I agree with you wholeheartedly on this issue and appreciate what you said: “Women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies, but once there’s a pregnancy, that woman is now carrying someone else’s body — that body is no longer simply her own.” A lot of people keep telling me not to be a single-issue voter, and I try and try…educating myself about all candidates and not claiming to be from one particular political party. However, this issue and the marriage/family issue kept me from voting for this man, especially the abortion issue. Yes, we can debate till we’re blue in the face about what it means to be “pro-life” and how abortion is right up there with war–both kill human beings created in God’s image. I’m not trying to say one is more important than the other by any means, nor am I trying to say that these are the only two “pro-life” issues…we’ve got health care, poverty, elderly care, etc. What I am saying is I clearly cannot understand how supporting reducing abortions by funding abortions works…isn’t that a huge example of an “oxymoron”? Thirteen years ago this past Dec. 14 I chose to end an innocent life, which I fully regret. It’s simply murder, not to mention the fact that it leaves painful lasting effects on women afterwards. I like what you said, too, about supporting clinics that do not provide abortions as a way to help reduce abortions. I’d take that further by encouraging Christians to support churches that support helping pregnant women with physical assistance as well as demonstrating love and acceptance…not to condone premarital sex or anything like that, but because to my knowledge we have anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 6 Christian women attending regularly attending church that have had at least one abortion. I dare suspect that many of those women likey chose abortion out of fear of judgment and rejection of their fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Personally speaking, I know that fear of judgment and rejection from my family as well as my church family were what contributed to my terrible decision.
    Anyway,I apologize for the length, but this is a highly charged issue that hits home with me in a very personal way. I appreciate your sharing and encouragement to support local pregnancy centers that do not provide abortions, and I would also expand that to churches as well.

  • Kim H

    Sorry…I know you like names. I thought I had it on my comment (#2).
    And Rebeccat, I appreciate the points you have made as well.

  • Personally I disagree with your statement, “Women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies…” Do that have the right to choose to break the law with their bodies? Do they have the right to harm someone else with their bodies? The fallacy of this statement is in the fact that people want the right to choose, but ultimately there are limits on choice. The government puts limits on our choices all the time.
    My issue with the statement is that it opens up for the exception you put in, “but once there’s a pregnancy, that woman is now carrying someone else’s body — that body is no longer simply her own” to become void in the eyes of the pro-abortion crowd. The reason for it to become void is that the pro-abortion crowd will say still is her body or whatever else they need to say in order to convince themselves the killing of an innocent life is okay because a woman has a right to choose what to do with her body. In this case the choice is taken away just like in many other areas of life.

  • Tom

    I finally decided to read your blog late at night so I could keep up with the pace.
    The seemingly obsessive energy here jumps right off the pixels and humbles those of us who would prefer to have 48 hours to consider a response to this kind of topic :^)
    I thought this take was disappointing.
    Not because you’re against abortion. We’re basically on the same page, though I have a significantly stronger appreciation–at least on the basis of this post–for why many thoughtful and ethical people think differently. I’m sure there’s a long trail here of thoughtful responses to the abortion debate, so I don’t want to overstate things. I’m new to this blog.
    But I’m not sure the way you put things did anything to hinder the same old same old ‘my way or the highway’ politics that discourage so many of us.
    When abortion is compared to torture (an unfortunate and maybe even clumsy comparison), it’s not clear to me how the discussion can even get underway.

  • Your Name

    In my pilgrimage from fundamentalism to …. something else, it has been quite thrilling for me to see people of so many different backgrounds speak up for the poor, the hungry, the powerless and particularly victims of war, slavery, etc. In fact discussing how this part of my discipleship impacts my politics, I’ve even tried to give consideration to Mr. Obama’s approach to our nation’s ills (he doesn’t happen to be affiliated with the political party where I’ve spent most of my life). As I understand the “liberal” approach to problem-solving and priority-setting, the inconsistency that allows otherwise compassionate people to give more consideration to “women’s rights” than to those with no voice, the truly powerless, looks like cowardice and saddens me deeply.

  • This is a flaw, and I pray it won’t be a fatal flaw. And for God’s intervention, to “turn the heart of the king,” or at least to change the hearts of the people. We can’t just ignore it, so thanks Scot, for writing this! We need to be those speaking prophetically both in support and in opposition, when need be.

  • Scot,
    Thoughtful post and we, too, sense that this will be just one of many “contradictions” from Obama even though we wish him well in his presidential leadership.
    John & Julie

  • garver

    As I understand it, the “Mexico City Policy” doesn’t have to do with “funding abortions” per se, but with funding health care providers who also happen to provide or refer patients to abortion services. The actual funds in question still could not be used directly to fund abortion because that is prohibited by the appropriations Bill that makes the funds available. Thus the funds disbursed by reversing the Mexico City Policy can only be used directly for other health services such as mammograms, pap smears, sex education, contraception, pre- and post-natal care, etc. The argument on the part of advocates for reversing the policy is that the net result will be fewer abortions by providing women with more choices prior to their getting pregnant and better support services while pregnant.
    While the one article above suggests that studies show there is no relationship between the availability of such services and abortion reduction, other studies (e.g., several done by the Guttmacher Institute) seem to indicate otherwise. This suggests that either data is being handled selectively or the data is, in itself, inconclusive on this matter.
    I’m not agreeing with Obama here. Just presenting what I take to be his reasoning.

  • Scot McKnight

    Fair enough, but the argument — as I understand it — that says a woman has a right to do with her body what she wants pertains to what she does “to” her body and not what she does “with” her body to others. The argument that such persons use is that the “conception” does not lead to a “person” until later so that it remains only her own body. This logic is unacceptable to many of us and I was making precisely that point: it isn’t her body (only).

  • Your Name

    I do not support Obama on this. Abortion is what makes it hard for me to call my self feminist. I cannot support abortion as a tenent of women’s rights.
    I read an article a few years back that told how abortion became hooked to feminism. The concern in the business community was that if women were allowed in the workplace, they would need to be able to control their reporduction.
    I see abotion as actually accomodating sexism rather than a part of women’s liberation and freedom.
    I think reducing sexism, rape, incest… would also reduce abortion but I don’t think abotion is a viable solution to career issues and other forms of discrimination.

  • Clay Knick

    Agreed. Excellent post.

  • Thanks for the post. I appreciate your honesty.
    You have gained more of my respect. Thanks again.

  • I am glad to see someone else link torture and the rights of enemy combatants to abortion. The other day as I was listening to NPR about GTMO, torture, etc. I began wishing that unborn babies would receive the same concern.
    Rebeccat, thank you for your honestly and courage. I also appreciate the points you made. They ring true and I will be grateful to have them in mind for future discussions about the subject.

  • Michael

    Good stuff, Scot. This highlights why I’m stuck w/o a President that lives my values. For instance, Bush did awesome stuff with AIDS in Africa, but sanctioned torture and got us into wars which as a Christian with a peace position — I have a problem with that. Now Obama is for more peace around the world and orders an end to torture — but endorses violently ending life via abortion.
    The personal reflection for me is this: Where in my life am I a contradiction?

  • You said: “Abortion is also torture. Women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies, but once there’s a pregn”ancy, that woman is now carrying someone else’s body — that body is no longer simply her own. Support of abortion and opposition to torture is a moral contradiction, and I call on the Obama Administration to re-think their position of their stance on abortion.”
    FIRST, I would be a lot more comfortable with a women saying these words.
    SECOND, I would encourage everyone to read Don Heatley’s Studying for the Wrong Test at EV http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/studying-for-the-wrong-test
    THIRD, Why judge a presidency after 48 hours on the basis of ONE issue? All of you knew from day one of the campaign what Obama’s position on abortion was.
    FOURTH, I get an odd sense of deja vu when every comment here is in agreement with the post. Most Christians are still a one trick (issue) pony when it comes to politics.

  • Your Name

    Christians, especially here, are obviously not one trick ponies on politics. We disagree on many issues. That people hold to the same respect for unborn life that the church fathers taught from the first century onward shouldn’t surprise you.
    “I would be a lot more comfortable with a women saying these words.”
    Right and wrong do not change based on the sex of the speaker.
    But you’re right on this: everyone knew his positions from the beginning, and I’d like to hear pro-lifers who voted for Obama explain how this is going to reduce the number of abortions.

  • Brian

    Apart from the abortion issue, what I don’t like here is the role that Executive Orders now have. The rule of law has been sidestepped and the balance of powers has been badly upset. (And yes, both parties do it when they hold the White House.)

  • I understand that you have a different view on the abortion issue than our President does. That’s all well and good. But it seems to me the only reason you are accusing Obama of “politics as usual” is because you simply disagree with his position. i suppose we could technically call this “politics as usual” because what usually happens is a political figure, after being elected, follows through and acts on their convictions. is this a bad thing? maybe i’m wrong but i thought this is how democracy works. were you expecting Obama to completely reverse his position on abortion? you’re usually more thoughtful than this, scot.

  • Hi Scot,
    I too am disappointed with the speed of Obama’s desire to turn laws back in a pro-abortion direction. However, can any of us truly be surprised? All throughout his campaign, he promised that he would do the very things he is doing. The country elected him knowing full well what he had promised to do regarding abortion restrictions.
    Obama does not want to reduce abortions among pregnant women. He wants to reduce the pregnancies that lead to abortions. If you look at his public statements during the campaign, you can see his strategy. Prevent life from getting started is his key for reducing abortion – not reducing the number of abortions among women already pregnant.
    This will probably the only time you hear me say something like this, but… this is one time I hope that a president does NOT keep his campaign promises.

  • stephen

    “I’d like to hear pro-lifers who voted for Obama explain how this is going to reduce the number of abortions.”
    See comment 9, above, for one argument.

  • Your Name

    I agree with “Your Name” #17 above. If anything, Jesus Creed and the people that comment here are not one trick ponies.
    Thanks for your take on this and the post. I couldn’t agree more.

  • garver

    Trevin Wax writes, “Obama does not want to reduce abortions among pregnant women. He wants to reduce the pregnancies that lead to abortions.”
    I don’t think that’s true. Given his judicial outlook concerning Roe v. Wade, he certainly doesn’t want to outlaw abortion. Nonetheless, I do think he genuinely wants to provide the kind of medical support services — pre- and post-natal care — that would make abortion a less attractive option.
    His legislative record on this is pretty clear given his support for various provisions of the 95-10 Initiative by Democrats for Life (S.2407), for improving access to women’s health care in general (S.21), for promoting research to help prevent stillbirth (S.3142), for promoting drug rehab for pregnant/parenting women (S.844), and for extending child benefits of SS Act (S.1224), as well as promoting general governmental support for parenting classes, child care services, and adoption programs.

  • Dan

    Francis George writes at http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2009.01.22.001.pdart
    “…Obama is being served and abetted by a small number of Catholic and Evangelical intellectuals and activists who have been peddling the claim that Obama, despite his pro-abortion extremism, is effectively pro-life because of his allegedly enlightened economic and social policies will reduce the number of abortions. This is delusional. The truth is that Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to serve in the United States Senate or seek the Office of President of the United States. The revocation of the Hyde Amendment, the Mexico City Policy, funding limitations on embryo-destructive research, informed consent laws, parental notification statutes—all of which Obama has promised to his pro-abortion base—will dramatically increase the number of abortions, and will do so for reasons that have been articulated by the abortion lobby itself. It is the pro-abortion side that tells us that the Hyde Amendment alone has resulted in 300,000 fewer abortions each year than would otherwise be performed—and that is why they so desperately want it to be repealed. Yet the putatively pro-life Obama apologists claim that the man who pledges to repeal it is going to reduce the number of abortions. Let me say it again: this is delusional.”
    Please read the transcripts of Obama’s actual record on LIVE birth abortion at http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/02/links_to_barack.html
    And for the record, I am not a single issue voter. I disagree with him on most issues, but this one is beyond belief to me.

  • The only thing “change” meant was “totally different from Bush.” Period. He’s a party line toeing Democrat, plain and simple. And, as you pointed out, just like all the other pro-choice/anti-injustice folk, an utter hypocrite. Down with liars and hypocrites and up with people committed to liberty and justice for ALL.

  • Matt Stephens

    One other quick thought… If abortion is not immoral and unjust, why work to reduce pregnancies that lead to them? Because it’s cheaper to prevent pregnancy than to have an abortion? I’m guessing that’s not the typical pro-choice answer we would receive.

  • Doug Allen

    I think it’s way to early to pass judgment on how Obama’s policies will affect the abortion rate. He seems to me more consistent than any politician I’ve ever known, from primary campaigning to general election campaigning, to what he has said since winning the election and briefly as president. He has always signaled that he supports a women’s right to choose, but is not personally comfortable with abortion and will work toward social policies with a culture of life emphasis that will reduce the number of abortions. I think we need to judge him on that in the future.
    I think many who are so vocal in deploring abortion are themselves partially responsible for a lot, possibly most of abortions- Catholics and Protestants and others who do not support comprehensive sex education and the use of birth control. Don’t they deserve your criticism and hostility more than those who would let women choose for themselves? I would be more in favor of limiting abortions if we as a society and as churches and as parents did more to emphasize knowledge and responsibility. It seems to me the Catholic Church, bless her, is completely disfunctional when it comes to sexuality. Many Protestant churches are no better. Shouldn’t we blame them for a lot of unwanted pregnancies and resulting abortions?

  • Theresa

    Doug (27),
    No Doug, people have sex, not churches. People are responsible for unwanted pregnancies and resulting abortions. Let’s stop blaming churches for a person’s choice.

  • Karl

    Thanks for the post and for having the courage to speak out about your convictions rather than dodge the issue. Hopefully other “wholistically pro-life” Christians will be as quick to speak out about this life issue, as they were to speak out against the Bush policies and actions they didn’t like.

  • Karl

    Doug #27, what percentage of unplanned pregnancies in the US do you think come about as a result of the couple not knowing what a condom is, that its use is a good idea when having sex if you don’t want to conceive, and where to get one?
    I don’t know the answer to the question but I’d submit that it’s a fairly small percentage.

  • ron

    Just a few lines from the post and comments …
    “The president also issued a call for an expansion of access to birth control and contraception, even though studies and actual abortion data have shown they do nothing to reduce the numbers of abortions.”
    Nothing??? Really??
    “Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to serve in the United States Senate or seek the Office of President of the United States.”
    … the most extreme … ever … ???
    “[Obama]’s a party line toeing Democrat, plain and simple. And, as you pointed out, just like all the other pro-choice/anti-injustice folk, an utter hypocrite.”
    Yes, I agree.
    “Politics as usual.”

  • Being “pro-life” and “pro-war” is also an philosophical contradiction unless you place value on certain stages and locations of human life. Being “pro-life” and “pro-capital punishment” too is an ethical contradiction.

  • I wish Obama in some way would be creative on this issue. And that Roe would not be considered something that shouldn’t at least be modified by a different means.
    This doesn’t look like the kind of acts which will build bridges between the great divide of red and blue, and particularly with reference to the abortion issue.

  • HT to my friend Joe who passed along the link to
    The first release of a national media campaign launched by CatholicVote.com titled “Life: Imagine the Potential” Celebrating the birth and potential of President Obama.
    A stirring piece.

  • If I may, let me say that I don’t think “the gag rule” which Obama is taking down is a completely good thing. I am pro-life, but as this article shows (http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/contraceptive-craziness/), our unwillingness to provide funding for organizations that include family planning in their work has really cut off all funding for some organizations that desperately need funding to operate in areas that desperately need help. I wish that the gag rule could revised – perhaps we could provide funding on the condition that it does not go towards abortion services? Right now it seems like our two options are too strong. If we ban funding to all family planning organizations, in some areas unwanted pregnancies rise and abortions rise. On the other hand, if we simply provide funding without caveats, we could actually be funding abortions, which is horrific. Surely there is a better way…

  • Scot McKnight

    President Obama has indeed reversed the Reagan/Bush/Bush policy:

  • david

    politics as usual, scot? like using ridiculous rhetoric like ‘pro-abortion’??? I fail to see how this is something you can slam as being politics as usual. it merely seems that you disagree with the administration’s decisions on this issue. ‘politics as usual’ and not agreeing with someone do not equate.
    please, call a spade a spade.

  • Scot McKnight

    david, can you tell me why you are using “pro-abortion” in quotation marks, as if I have said that?
    Politics as usual: this is what I mean: pre-Reagan said yes, Reagan said no, Bush said no, Clinton said yes, Bush said no, and now Obama said yes. That’s just a game of entering the office and undoing the previous administration’s action. That’s all I meant by politics as usual. I see nothing innovative, nothing resolving, nothing moving us forward.
    Here’s my understanding: the Repubs have said they will not support any clinic that provides or guides women to abortions; the Dems have said they will support such — that is supporting abortion. There is a very fine line here between “supporting the legality of abortions” and supporting abortions. There are also here some philosophical issues of intent and complicity in “supporting” such clinics. I get the argument that they are not “pro” in the sense of “they think it’s a moral good.” (But I did not say “pro-abortion” and don’t think it is fair to insinuate that.)
    I would much rather see a politics not as usual by President Obama choosing to send that same amount of funds to organizations that are materially reducing pregnancies without providing or enabling abortions.

  • Patrick

    I did not see any reference referring to President Obama as being “pro-abortion” in this post, so I’m not sure why the last two posts were slamming Scot for this.
    Even though the media hailed him as one who would be different, and who would usher in change, he has never rocked the boat of his own party’s line in any significant way. While his views on abortion are disappointing, they are not a surprise.

  • david

    i apologize for the misquote. i mistakenly read the last portions of the article as being a continuation of your thoughts. my feed reader didn’t respect the indenting as it should have. with the order of canada being given to abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler, that sort of rhetoric (pro-abortion) has been used by many to divide and destroy here in canada. i react pretty harshly to that kind of politics-as-usual.
    again, sorry for the poor reaction on my part.

  • Chris E

    I skimmed a few blogs out there looking to see if any of the *very* outspoken, Emergelical Obama supporters (e.g. McLaren, Miller) had commented yet on these events. I can’t find where they have, but if anyone comes across such comments, I’d like to see how they are responding to these events.
    It took 3 days to overturn Mexico City, so I’d expect FOCA to be law by Valentine’s. Time to dig our heels in and pray for powerful mercy.

  • Andrew Murray

    Tom #5,
    “When abortion is compared to torture (an unfortunate and maybe even clumsy comparison), it’s not clear to me how the discussion can even get underway.”
    If you consider what a child goes through in a procedure such as partial-birth abortion, it seems to me that this comparison is actually quite appropriate.
    The question is, Do we value life or not? President Obama needs to at least be consistent.

  • Jason Brubaker

    Thank you so much for speaking out on this the way you did Scot! I have a profound level of respect for you in this. I’m sure our friend Andy Crouch would agree that this is, indeed, a cultural issue that Christians must “condemn” – to use one of his “C” words. All the best to you my friend.

  • Aaron

    What would you say to someone that says that if you are against abortion you have to be against birth control because some eggs get fertilized and then destroyed by birth control. So do you have to outlaw birth control too to be consistant? Where do you ask the government to draw the line?

  • Aaron

    What if someone says that if you are against abortion to be consistant you have to be against birth control. That sometimes eggs get fertilized and then destroyed by birth control. Where do you draw the line for life? where do we ask government to step in?

  • Doug Allen

    Scot wrote-
    “I would much rather see a politics not as usual by President Obama choosing to send that same amount of funds to organizations that are materially reducing pregnancies without providing or enabling abortions.” Scot, would you prefer that organizations and clinics that provide health and nutritional services and all sorts of family planning NOT receive the government funding as under Bush 1 and 2? That is the question. If that’s your position, I strongly disagree.
    Also, I think it’s unfair to make your judgment about politics as usual after less than a week in office. If it were not for the bad recession, I would feel confident that the abortion rate would drop under Obama’s policies, and I think it will after the recession is over. Let’s try and find common ground in reducing the abortion rate. It is not a simple issue.
    #28 Theresa and #29 Karl. Come on. You know the facts. The Catholic church and some Protestant churches teach their members not to use birth control. Can you imagine how many unwanted pregnancies and how much suffering and starvation this has caused in the poor countries of South America, Africa, and Asia and other parts of the world. It’s probably caused a lot more abortions, too.
    Also, you must have read the latest major study-
    “Study: Teen abstinence vows ineffective” showing that not only are such vows completely ineffective in terms of sexual behavior, but that those who make the vows are less apt to use condoms and therefore have more unwanted pregnancies and more STDs.
    see The Washington Post

  • Thanks Scott. Great post. See my “Letter to My President” January 22, chosenrebel.spaces.live.com

  • Mary

    I found this a fascinating phrase, Scot:
    “. . . what she does ‘to’ her body and not what she does ‘with’ her body to others.” One thing that Christians consistently get wrong on this “issue” (and I really do not like that word) is that there’s another party among the “bodies and others” who rarely gets mentioned. And when that party has done “to” a woman’s (or girl’s) body by force what she did not/could not consent to, it’s even more unjust.
    I’m not saying that even otherwise healthy rape/incest victims shouldn’t carry their babies to term, but I think honest Christians ought to concede that such circumstances, however tragically common or reportedly rare they may be, render the “abortion issue” at least somewhat gray. It’s one reason Roe v. Wade still has as much public support as it does, and why so much of the secular community is very unimpressed with “pro-life” proponents. And even if we Christians got our easy way out through a ban on abortions tomorrow, would it be just to tell a 12-year-old girl that she must carry the child conceived through rape or incest to term, thanks to that law we’ve been praying so hard to push through? Treating her like nothing more than a living incubator is hardly consistent with “pro-life” values. In fact, too much “pro-life” effort among Christians is geared toward confronting women once they’re already pregnant, some of them as a result of violent crime.
    To Teresa (28), I would remind you that one of the difficulties of professing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is that Cain’s “Am I my brother’s keeper?” excuse is no more valid for us that it was for Cain. If we are going to follow the one who came to save not the righteous, but the lost, we’re going to have to start accepting some responsibility for bringing the true gospel to some of the people we generally try to ignore until it’s time to picket a clinic. That’s far too little, way too late, though I do acknowledge that once in a while a picketer manages to talk the woman out of the abortion, at least that day. The problem is that she got to that point in the first place. Where was the church when the boy or man she had sex with was learning that coercing or forcing sex on a woman is OK? Where was the church when the girl herself was developing the belief that to keep a man, she had to have sex with him? I wonder, were those some of the “bad influence” the church was trying to keep out? Or was it assumed that they prayed a certain prayer, or made a certain purity pledge, or were in fact one of the “good kids” and therefore immune from sexual sin or violence? We do have a responsibility for others. Passing by on the other side is not an option.

  • renee

    i want all bands of abortions to be gone because it is killing another human what if your mom said i want a abortion and then she said never mind the baby’s in the mother have nails fingers toes and they are just like you and me they eat smile they breath air just like you and me question would you like your mom kill you before you are born ???????

  • renee