A pro-Obama anti-abortion Catholic explains himself

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Doug Kmiec, the Catholic legal scholar (and Reagan White House veteran) who was famously denied Communion because he supports Barack Obama’s presidential bid, attempts to explain himself to fellow Catholics who say Obama’s support of abortion rights is a deal-breaker. From the Chicago Tribune: “The central hope of the Obama campaign is to find common […]

  • Prof. Kmiec has been peddling the notion that Obama is committed to an “abortion reduction agenda.” This is political pixie dust, meant to distract the eye from Obama’s record and his prior commitments on abortion policy issues. The real Obama has long been firmly committed to an agenda of public policy measures that, if implemented, will predictably greatly increase the abortion rate.

    Here’s an example: One policy that both sides agree actually HAS substantially reduced the number of abortions performed in the United States was the cutoff of Medicaid funding for abortion on demand. There are various empirical studies that demonstrate that many children have been born, who would otherwise have been aborted, because Medicaid funding of abortion has been denied by the federal Hyde Amendment, and by the comparable policies in effect in the majority of states. By the most conservative estimate, the federal Hyde Amendment alone has saved over one million lives since it was first enacted in 1976. Both sides agree that this has occurred — indeed, the pro-abortion groups like NARAL cite these studies in urging Congress and state legislatures to repeal these pro-life policies, while pro-life groups see this as a success story.
    So, here is a proven “abortion reduction” policy — is Obama for it? No, he is not — Obama advocates repeal of the Hyde Amendment (and as a state senator, he voted against restricting state funding of elective abortions). Moreover, in 2007 Obama gave a speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in which he promised abortion would be covered in his national health care plan, which means that everybody would be required to pay for elective abortion through taxes, mandatory premiums, or both.

    There is more: Obama is a cosponsor of the “Freedom of Choice Act,” which would make invalidate virtually all state and federal limits on abortion, including parental notification laws. In addition, the “Freedom of Choice Act” provides that “A government may not . . . discriminate against” abortion “in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information,” which hardly sounds like a law that will foster “abortion reduction.” Nor will is allow any meaningful limits on even third-trimester abortions. One of the stated purposes of the bill is to make partial-birth abortion legal again (i.e., to nullify the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2007). In 2007, Obama told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”

    Obama has defended a vision of “abortion rights” that is more expansive than that adopted by the Supreme Court or of most defenders of Roe v. Wade. This is illustrated, for example, by Obama’s actions in the Illinois state Senate in 2001-2003, when he successfully led the opposition to a simple three-sentence bill to merely provide protection for babies who are born alive during abortions, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. (The bill that Obama opposed was virtually identical to a federal bill that passed Congress without a single dissenting vote in 2002.) Obama said, in 2001, that it would violate his concept of Roe v. Wade to recognize what he called a “previable fetus” as a person — even when that human is entirely born, and alive.

    In other words, Obama’s commitment to defend the practice of abortion without qualification was so absolute that it led him to view the issue of babies born alive during abortions through the prism of his concept of Roe v. Wade, and worse, to conclude that a breathing, squirming, fully born pre-viable human baby is still covered by Roe v. Wade. But when he ran for higher office (U.S. Senate) in 2004, he realized how difficult that position would be to defend in the world outside the halls of the Illinois Senate. That is when he began to misrepresent the contents of the bill that he had opposed, as National Right to Life shows in a thoroughly documented in a White Paper that we released on August 28, 2008, which can be read or downloaded here: http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/WhitePaperAugust282008.html

    In a televised Aug. 16 interview, Obama said that we were “lying” about his record on tis subject — a charge that led to an investigation by the independent Annenberg FactCheck.org organization. FactCheck.org concluded in its subsequent report: “Obama’s claim is wrong . . . The documents from NRLC support the group’s claims that Obama is misrepresenting the contents of SB 1082 [the 2003 Illinois BAIPA].”

    Douglas Johnson
    Legislative Director
    National Right to Life Committee
    Washington, D.C.
    Legfederal // at // aol – dot – com

  • Whoever is pro killing of unborn babies is an evil person. Guess what? Jesus Christ would never approve or vote to take the life of an unborn baby. So Doug Kmiec and Barack Hussein Obams, you are not at all like Jesus Christ. I’ll even go so far as to say that since you are contrary of Jesus’ wishes, you are anti-Christ. Make no mistake. You’ll have to answer to the Author of Life.