National Catholic Register: "Religious" Democrat Barack Obama Sticks to the Abortion Line
From the December 2-8, 2007 issue of National Catholic Register:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., continues to court religious audiences in Iowa in his quest to surpass Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., as the Democratic nominee in the presidential primaries.(emphasis added)
Obama reaches out to religious voters with compelling speeches about the need to move forward and abandon politics of division.
Recently in Iowa, where candidates are busy trying to win over voters ahead of the Jan. 3 caucuses, Obama, 46, suggested that it was important to find common ground on the abortion issue, as he answered a question posed by a voter.
“I don’t think you’re ever going to get a complete agreement on this issue,” he said. “If you believe that life begins at conception, then I can’t change your mind. I think there is a large agreement, for example, that late-term abortions are really problematic and there should be a regulation. And it should only happen in terms of the mother’s life or severe health consequences, so I think there is broad agreement on these issues.”
Political activists say, however, that Obama’s record does not demonstrate any policy switch to compromise on the important issues.
“All you have to do is look at his record, as thin as it is, and get a hint,” said Connie Mackey from Family Research Council Action. “You would be very naive to think that he wouldn’t be a lock for pro-abortion advocates.”
In spite of his rhetorical subtleties, Obama’s record in the U.S. Senate and the Illinois Senate is markedly pro-abortion in nature.
In April, after the Supreme Court upheld the Congressional ban on partial-birth abortions passed in 2003, Obama came out strongly against the decision, stating that the ruling “dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women.”
“I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose,” Obama added, “and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women.”
In July, while speaking to a Planned Parenthood convention in Washington, D.C., Obama reiterated his opposition to the ban and the Supreme Court that upheld it.
“We know that five men don’t know better than women and their doctors what’s best for women’s health,’’ he said. Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc. contributed heavily to Obama’s Senate campaign in Illinois and donated about $1,800 to his presidential campaign the day of his speech.
Pro-abortion legislators responded by introducing the Freedom of Choice Act, a few weeks after the contentious ruling. If passed, the bill would invalidate federal, state or local laws that deny or interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Obama joined Hillary Clinton as a co-sponsor of the measure.
“In terms of public visibility I can not detect a difference between Clinton and Obama’s position,” said Bill Beckman of Illinois Right to Life, about Obama’s abortion views. He added that the two candidates “were pretty much identical.”
Beckman also noted that as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions, a position that NARAL conceded to pro-life activists on the federal level.
“Obama has been solidly pro-abortion since the beginning,” Beckman added.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Litmus Test: Democrat Candidates Demand Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justices
Democrats Play at Being All Religious and Stuff
Obama, Clinton Slam Supreme Court on Abortion Ruling
Democratic Candidates for President Give Unanimous Pro-Abortion Views
During First Debate, Democrats Back Abortion, Criticize Efforts to Save Terri Schiavo
Reaction to Court’s Abortion Ruling Falls Along Predictable Party Lines
Regular Guy Paul on Barack Obama: "Nice is Different Than Good"