Friday, August 22, 2008

Prof. Kmiec Shifts the Goalposts

From The Weekly Standard:
... But Kmiec's argument ignores one very inconvenient fact: Obama's policies on abortion, taken as a whole, would very likely lead to a higher abortion rate. That's because Obama supports subsidizing abortion by repealing the Hyde amendment, which prohibits Medicaid and other government funding for abortions. According to a study by University of Alabama political scientist Michael New, "state laws restricting the use of Medicaid funds in paying for abortions" reduce the abortion rate by more than 29,000 abortions for every 1 million women of childbearing age.

Squaring Obama's pledge to subsidize abortion with his goal of reducing the number of abortions is quite a difficult task. In a phone interview in late May, I asked Kmiec if he was aware that Obama supports public funding for abortion. "I can't say that I am quite frankly," he replied.

I asked Kmiec, in light of Obama's commitment to taxpayer funding of abortion, if he would consider renouncing his endorsement if the senator didn't change his position. "I haven't seen the social science literature that you're obviously much more privy to and obviously sending me," he said. But assuming that public funding would significantly increase the abortion rate, Kmiec added, "I would be at a loss to say anything other than I can't support the senator at that point."

Kmiec pointed to a
piece he had written for Slate, in which he declared his endorsement of Obama "will be renounced more loudly than it was given," if Obama failed to "work to reduce the incidence of the practice [of abortion]".

I emailed Kmiec reports on a number of studies showing that Medicaid funding of abortion causes a higher abortion rate. But when he got back to me in mid-June, he said Obama's position on abortion funding was not a dealbreaker. Kmiec explained that one "must take full account of the church's social teaching" on other issues like poverty, war, and the environment. When I asked him about his statement that he would likely renounce his endorsement if Obama didn't reconsider abortion funding, he replied: "If I said it quite that categorically, that's not quite where I'm at."

On June 11, before our second conversation, Kmiec, along with about 30 religious leaders, attended a private meeting for several hours with Obama in Chicago. Kmiec told me he didn't get a chance to ask Obama about abortion funding. But he still hoped that Obama would work to reduce the abortion rate by enacting policies such as a "maternal care voucher" that "would actually fund life." But according to the University of Alabama's Dr. New, although such programs supporting pregnant women are "certainly admirable," "there is little in the way of good social science data to evaluate how many of [these programs] will actually affect the incidence of abortion."

(emphasis added)

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Kmiec's "Bridge Too Far"? Obama's Attacks on Justice Thomas

Without Further Ado: Doug Kmiec on McCain v. Obama at Saddleback [UPDATED]

Paging Prof. Kmiec ...

Doug Kmiec Claims Democrats Making "Steps Toward Honoring Life" in Platform

Prof. Garnett Takes on Prof. Kmiec ... Again

Casey Jr. to Get Prime-Time Slot in Denver to Appease Catholics [UPDATED]

Fr. Neuhaus Responds to Doug Kmiec

Deal Hudson's Open Letter to Doug Kmiec

National Catholic Register on Catholics, Kmiec, and Obama

Prof. Hadley Arkes: "Political Distraction Among the Catholics"

Doug Kmiec - What He Said Then vs. What He Says Now Re: Constitutional Jurisprudence

What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?


Unrequited Love

Doug Kmiec: "After Meeting with Barack" [UPDATED]

Cranky Conservative: "But At Least He Says It with a Smile"

Doug Kmiec Again Places Platitudes Above Policy [UPDATED]

Prof. Bainbridge on "Obama, Abortion, & Catholics"

Prof. Rick Garnett on Kmiec's Latest Nonsense

Deacon Keith Fournier: "Why I Disagree with Doug Kmiec, Once Again"

Give It a Rest Already, Prof. Kmiec!

Deacon Keith Fournier: "No More ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, Time for a New Catholic Action"

Doug Kmiec's Newfound Celebrity Status Among Those on the Left

Doug Kmiec Soon To Be Sorely Disappointed

E.J. Dionne on Kmiec Being Denied Communion [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on Prof. Kmiec and Blurring the Lines Between "Pro-Choice" and Pro-Abortion

Did Doug Kmiec Just Now Catch On That Obama and NARAL Are Politically Conjoined? [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on "How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question"

Kmiec's Dishonesty [UPDATED]

Catholic Teaching and Political Risk Taking: When Credit Isn't Given Where Credit is Due [UPDATED]

Kmiec's Wishful Thinking on Obama and Abortion

The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

"No'bama for Me, Thanks"

Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

Deal Hudson: "Barack Obama's Catholic Problem"

"Why American Catholics are Supporting Barack Obama"

Catholics at the Ballot Box

How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain

Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

Deal Hudson on "Douglas Kmiec and the Lure of Obama"

Douglas W. Kmiec on "The Moral Duty to Inquire"

Professor Bainbridge: "Will Catholic Reaganites Go for Obama?"

Deal Hudson: "Preacher Man: Barack Obama and the the Gospel of Liberalism"

"Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn't Buying Obama"

Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

Romney Advisor Says Obama "a Natural for the Catholic Vote"

Obama "Post-Partisan"? Ask John Roberts

Obama and the "Pragmatic Center"

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At 8/23/2008 10:54 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Jay, I'm so glad that I have you and Feddie to read Doug Kmiec for me, so that I don't have to.


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