Wednesday, June 25, 2008

From National Right to Life: Obama as Pro-Abortion as is Politically Possible

Today's News & Views June 17, 2008

Trying to Wiggle Out of the Obvious Contradictions

If you think you may have read this column before, stay with me anyway. There are certain stubborn realities in this presidential election year that are like stains that have resisted the first half-dozen applications of the strongest stain remover.

Too many people whose opinions I ordinarily respect are so caught up in the "promise" of pro-abortion Sen. Barack Obama that they refuse to face facts. Or, more specifically, they soft soap the grim reality that Obama is the most anti-life presidential candidate to run since Roe v. Wade was laid on the shoulders of unborn babies.

Obama is like an instrument that vibrates in sympathetic harmony with the Abortion Establishment. While you know the litany, unfortunately only a tiny percentage of the American public is aware of his abysmal record.

They don't know Obama's support for taxpayer funding of abortion, which increases the number of dead babies. They don't know that he approves of abortionists not notifying parents even when they are performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state.

Nor do they know that Obama supports cloning human embryos, is a co-sponsor of the "Freedom of Choice Act" (Roe on steroids), or that he bitterly denounced the Supreme Court for upholding a law that banned the hideous partial-birth abortion "procedure." This is no small deal. Even some pro-abortion senators drew the line at partial-birth abortion. For example, according to the Congressional Record (Sept. 26, 1996, at S11373), the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "I think this is just too close to infanticide. A child has been born and it has exited the uterus, and what on Earth is this procedure?"

Prof. Paul Kengor recently wrote a thoughtful piece about this whole phenomenon. Although he was talking specifically about Roman Catholic apologists for Obama, his analysis applies across the board.

Kengor does a masterful (and emotionally gripping) job of painting a picture of what happened to those few babies who survived an abortion. The neglect of these victims was so revolting that, in spite of the best efforts of the usual congressional suspects, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act passed in 2002. All BAIPA does is require that these babies receive the same medical attention given a baby spontaneously born prematurely.

"Obama was not a member of the US Senate at the time that the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act passed unanimously through both chambers of Congress," Kengor writes. "But he was a member of the Illinois state legislature, where similar legislation was introduced at the state level." Obama voted against the legislation.

All this and more is outlined by Kengor by way of setting the stage. For all of his egregious pro-abortion positions, Obama is vigorously supported by people who ought to know better--or perhaps do, and pretend otherwise.

Part of the explanation is a variation of the argument that while abortion is (or may be) important, it does not match, let alone override, a panoply of other issues taken as a whole. If this is their position, so be it.

But the website of these same Catholics begins, Kengor explains, with a long quote "from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which states, 'The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of the moral vision for society. … In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia.' "

So there must be some heavy-duty rationalizing at work to explain why "they are stumping hard for Obama, who, if elected, has promised to do whatever he can to appoint justices and support legislation guaranteeing decades of protection for Roe v. Wade." (I'm not dealing with those who simply want a Democrat elected President.)

Kengor offers a very illuminating example of one man who at least addresses the abortion issue. This guy concedes that he "may disagree" with Obama "on aspects of these important fundamentals," but nonetheless is "convinced, based upon his [Obama's] public pronouncements and his personal writing, that on each of these questions he is not closed to understanding opposing points of views and, as best as is humanly possible, he will respect and accommodate them."

In other words, I like his smile, so what if he is a force behind FOCA, which would undo with the stroke of a pen decades of pro-life achievements? Obama doesn't raise his voice, so what if he would allow abortion survivors to die unattended? He gives me goose pimples, so what if pro-abortion justices such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg--the kind that would allow partial-birth abortions--are Obama's ideal?

Kengor is right that there are psychological mechanisms (and rationalizations) aplenty at work, allowing even some who would proudly call themselves "pro-life" to wiggle out of the obvious contradictions.

We need to keep the Truth Squad working 24/7, not for these people, alas, but for those who may be influenced by them. One important component is Today's News & Views.
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