Abortion Politics Religious Right

Obama and Abortion

The Matthew 25 Network has a very helpful page for Christians who want to know the truth about Senator Barack Obama as against the flood of lies we have all experienced. As promised, here’s a lengthy excerpt from that page.

These particular lies – with rebuttals – all concern Obama’s positions on abortion-related issues. There are many other lies circulating, and Matthew 25 Network’s page is a good resource for many of those as well. If you go to their page you can follow the footnote links for documentation.

One has to ask WHY are such lies so vigorously circulated? Why?

The FALSEHOOD
“Sen. Obama supports infanticide.”

The FACTS

Sen. Obama addresses this claim in a recent interview with Relevant magazine:

“The email rumor that’s been floating around is that somehow I’m unwilling to see doctors offer life-saving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion. That’s just false. There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the “Born Alive” bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill.

The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn’t think it was going to pass constitutional muster.

Ever since that time, emails have been sent out suggesting that, somehow, I would be in favor of letting an infant die in a hospital because of this particular vote. That’s not a fair characterization, and that’s not an honest characterization. It defies common sense to think that a hospital wouldn’t provide life-saving treatment to an infant that was alive and had a chance of survival.” [1]

Senator Obama has stated repeatedly that he supported the federal version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which passed Congress and addressed this same issue. Senator Obama opposed a state version of this legislation in Illinois because there was an existing state law that had been on the books for 20 years that already required such medical care, it was drafted in a way that would have rendered it unconstitutional, and it was even opposed by the Illinois State Medical Society. [2]

The FALSEHOOD
“Senator Obama supports ‘partial birth abortion.’”

The FACTS
Sen. Obama does not support Partial Birth Abortion. He has stated this repeatedly over his long legislative career. Senator Obama told Relevant Magazine,

“I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.” [3]

Some will cite Senator Obama’s ‘present’ votes on Illinois Senate Bills SB203, SB 1093, SB 1094, SB 1095 as evidence of support for partial-birth abortion. [4] However, Sen. Obama did not believe the legislation would pass constitutional muster. He has supported legislation which bans partial birth abortion as long is there is an exception for the health of the mother.” [5]
The FALSEHOOD
“Sen. Obama is an abortion ‘extremist’ who will do nothing to counter the number of abortions in this country.”

The FACTS
Sen. Obama has sought to reduce the number of abortions. Sen. Obama has supported many practical efforts to reduce abortions, expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and supporting parents with young children by expanding the Nurse-Family Partnership.

In a recent interview Sen. Obama stated:

I think we know that abortions rise when unwanted pregnancies rise. So, if we are continuing what has been a promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education giving good information to teenagers. That is important—emphasizing the sacredness of sexual behavior to our children. I think that’s something that we can encourage. I think encouraging adoptions in a significant way. I think the proper role of government. So there are ways that we can make a difference, and those are going to be things I focus on when I am president. [6]

Sen. Obama reiterated these statements during a faith forum at Messiah College saying:

We can certainly agree on the fact that we should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion…And what I have consistently talked about is to take a comprehensive approach where we focus on abstinence, where we are teaching the sacredness of sexuality to our children…and I think we should make sure that adoption is an option for people out there. [7]

You can see this recent post for some of my thinking about Obama and the abortion issue.

Leave a Comment

6 Comments

  • I believe there is a lot of hypocrisy in the Republican “anti-abortion” platform, and I believe that many Republican politicians exploit this issue to garner the support of well-meaning Christians. If you vote for McCain on this issue, I believe you are being deceived. Actions speak louder than words.

    The actions of the current Republican administration are anything but Christian. If this administration were truly in support of every life, then why hasn’t more been done to support those lives once they leave the womb?

    This administration votes against all kinds of programs that would improve the quality of life of the poor, and Jesus taught us to care for one another, especially the poor.

    This administration votes constantly to give more to the very rich at the expense of the poor, and this is not Christian and does not help the children of this country.

    For being one of the wealthiest nations in the word, we have one of the highest levels of poverty among developed nations. We also have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed word, and this results from poverty which leads to poor healthcare and nutrition for the mother and child. We also rank poorly in education and high in crime.

    The best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Making an abortion “illegal” under any circumstance is “lip-service”, especially when such a platform does not include other forms of support for a woman and child who are trying to make it without a good education, quality healthcare, quality affordable childcare, a decent living wage, and dwindling availability of good jobs. If this administration really believes in the sanctity of life, then why do their actions speak otherwise?

    Obama is not “for abortion” of any kind, but he understands that the issue is very complex, and he is not willing to vote for legislation that does not consider the health of the mother. His words and votes are taken out of context to support the Republican agenda, and the person above who points out these distortions is correct.

    I really liked how Obama says that we can all agree that we want to reduce the number of abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. This is bipartisan and doesn’t attempt to be divisive. It demonstrates a willingness to come together to create real solutions.

    On all other issues, I believe the Democratic ideals purported by Obama are without any doubt the more Christian in their intent, and it is for this reason that I am a Christian Democrat in support of Obama.

    Caroline

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