By the Editors of National Catholic Register
It’s important for Americans to know exactly where Barack Obama stands on abortion, because abortion is more than just a “Catholic issue.” It’s one of the fundamental issues Americans should be most concerned about.
The United States was founded on the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and Americans have spent the two centuries since trying to live up to those founding principles. First came disagreements over the pursuit of happiness – religious and economic liberty. Then, over slavery. Today’s big battle is over the most important right: the right to life.
Obama’s votes and official positions deny the right to life to three categories of human beings: the unborn, the “accidentally” born and, at least in one case, the adult “unfit.” Let’s look at each.
Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., understood how the right to life is fundamental. “I and my deceased children are victims of abortion,” she has said. “The Roe v. Wade decision has adversely affected the lives of my entire family. I pray often for deliverance from the pain caused by my decision to abort my baby.”
Obama’s position on the question rejects her view.
When the Supreme Court, citing experiences like King’s, decided that a federal ban on partial-birth abortion would not violate the Constitution, Obama said he “strongly disagreed” with the court. Partial-birth abortion is the barbaric procedure in which a doctor kills a child with scissors while the child is being born. Obama vows to keep the practice legal.
Obama once described why he thinks abortion should be legal through all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy.
“Whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a child, a 9-month old child that was delivered to term,” he said. “That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.”
How could Obama be so opposed to the right to life? He may have let slip one reason at a March Town Hall meeting in Pennsylvania.
“Look, I’ve got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old,” Obama said. “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
He thinks “unwanted” children, by their very existence, are an unacceptable imposition.
This brings us to the next category of human being Obama says has no intrinsic right to life: Babies born “accidentally” while a doctor attempts to kill them by abortion.
This is a necessary consequence of Obama’s embrace of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Most of us know parents who have cared for preemies – premature babies, born too soon. With the abortion industry’s wide-scale attempts to kill American premies and nearly due children, some will be born alive accidentally.
Whistleblower Jill Stanek, a Chicago nurse, described the practice of killing babies in what is now known as “live-birth abortion.” Illinois tried to stop the practice. But in 2002, as state legislator there, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies who were “accidentally” born alive during attempts to abort them.
“I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a soiled utility room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived,” Stanek told the U.S. Congress, describing one such case. “He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall.”
After Stanek’s testimony even N.Y. Democrat Jerrold Nadler, who says he is “as pro-choice as anybody on earth” supported and spoke in favor of the bill.
But for the abortion industry and Obama, opposing the right to life has meant uncompromising dedication to a counter-principle. For Obama, protecting the unstated principle “unwanted children do not have the right to life” is the only way abortion can remain legal. That has led him to exclude another category of human being from the right to life: the unfit.
In a recent debate, Obama said the vote he most regrets was his vote to save Terri Schiavo’s life. Her husband, Michael, wanted Terri dead, even though she was alert and responsive to nurses and family members. He had a new child with a new woman, and he wanted Terri dead.
When a judge granted his request, Congress and President Bush attempted to intervene to save her life, and not just to save her life, but to stop the dangerous precedent. They failed. Now Obama says they shouldn’t have tried.
Thus, he started by rejecting the right to life of unwanted children and now rejects the right to life of an unwanted woman.
Obama not only opposes the right to life, his opposition is his highest priority. “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” he told Planned Parenthood last July. That would make America more friendly to the abortion industry than any other country in the world.
The idea that there is a creed at the heart of America was best expressed by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address. “Four score and seven years ago,” he said, “our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He called the Civil War a test as to whether “any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
America is still undergoing that test.
But, like a reverse Lincoln, a new man from Illinois seeks the presidency, one who is engaged in a battle against the proposition that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with the right to life.