Is there (pro)life after the Obama victory?

In a Christianity Today article yesterday, Sarah Pulliam wrote about how an Obama administration might impact abortion and pro-life objectives.

In 2007, Obama promised Planned Parenthood that he would sign an act removing all restrictions on abortion at the state and federal level. He has also said he would appoint justices that would uphold Roe v. Wade.

Obama appealed to evangelicals by emphasizing his desire to reduce unintended pregnancies by providing more resources for women to carry pregnancies to term. Today the number of abortions—1.2 million in 2005—is nearly the same as in 1976, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

“Barack Obama will be held accountable on a serious commitment to abortion reduction,” said Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners. “He called for that, his campaign platform said that, and he should be held accountable to that. He needs prayer and accountability, support and pushing, both at the same time.”

I was surprised but pleased to read this quote from Jim Wallis. As I am able, I will try to hold the evangelical left to his call to hold Obama accountable.

The pre-election argument against Wallis and other evangelicals who supported Obama was that there is little chance Obama can make good on that promise. Obama supports taxpayer funded abortions and the Freedom of Choice Act. Both proposals almost certainly will increase the numbers of abortions. Making financial support more accessible to low income women may act as incentive to keep some unwanted pregnancies. However, providing increased funding for abortion might offset any of these reductions. The Freedom of Choice Act would invalidate all current restrictions on abortion and would most likely add to the abortion numbers.

The pro-life movement was dealt a body-blow by the election of Obama along with the defeat of pro-life propositions around the country. One wonders what common ground, if any, can be found with an administration and a Congress who seeks abortion without limitation.

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  • jayhuck

    “Today the number of abortions—1.2 million in 2005—is nearly the same as in 1976, according to the Guttmacher Institute.”

    If this is true, is the number adjusted for population changes? The fact that abortions have not gone up over the last 30 years when the idea today seems to be so much more palatable should give us a little hope.

  • Pingback: Is there (pro)life after the Obama victory? | Pelican Project Pro-Life

  • Brian

    Jayhuck, I think you’re correct. The statistics I have looked at indicate that the abortion rate has been in a steady decline since at least the early 90′s where abortion rate is defined as the number of abortions per 1000 women. I’m pretty sure the absolute number has also been decreasing over the past 2 decades or so. For what it’s worth, the abortion rate decreased slightly faster under Clinton than it did under Bush, so there’s at least a little cause to hope that a liberal in office may, in fact, help reduce the abortion rate even further.

  • Lynn David

    Brian: For what it’s worth, the abortion rate decreased slightly faster under Clinton than it did under Bush

    Interesting how everything the neoCons want actually comes about under Democrats and not Republicans. Deficit spending was brought under control while Clinton was in office. It took off under Reagan and GHW Bush and again almost catastrophically under GW Bush.

    For Warren: I find it interesting on a quick read of FOCA that one of its provisions says that the government will not interfere with abortions completed before the time of fetal viability. So I guess you’re free to limit abortion in the third trimester (as long as you have a provision for the life of the mother).

    ProLife will always exist and be expressed. Under Obama choice will always allow a woman to choose a proLife stance or not to do so. Are you saying that women don’t have enough wherewithall to make up there own minds without the government getting involved to stop them from getting an abortion?


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