Archdiocese of Chicago's Sister Baird Defends Obama As "Pro-Choice"
By Deal Hudson
“The President is not pro-abortion, the President is pro-choice. I think they are two very different things.” This is a mantra we often hear from Catholics who support pro-abortion politicians, but this time they were uttered in support of President Obama.
The words came from Sr. Anita Baird, the founding director of the Office of Racial Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago. She was being interviewed by Kathleen Gilbert of LifeSiteNews.com on the upcoming event honoring Chicago priest, Fr. Michael Pfleger, who publicly announced Obama was “the best thing to come across the political scene since Bobby Kennedy.” He was serving, at the time, as a volunteer adviser to the Obama campaign and a member of the Catholics for Obama Committee.
Cardinal George, Pfleger’s ordinary in Chicago, suspended him from his parish for two weeks after his outburst praising Obama. Sr. Baird told LifeSiteNews.com Fr. Pfleger’s public support for Obama was “not an issue here,” since he had served a two-week suspension from his parish, St. Sabina’s.
One wonders whether Fr. Pfleger’s fondness for Obama “is not an issue” in the Archdiocese of Chicago simply because he accepted his punishment for endorsing a candidate publicly in violation of the Church’s non-profit status.
Kathleen Gilbert asked Sr. Baird to explain the difference between being pro-abortion and being pro-choice:
“To be pro-abortion is that you believe in abortion and you support it. And, I don’t think you’ll find that the President has ever said that.”
So you have to say you support abortion to be judged pro-abortion? What about Obama’s advocacy of infanticide as a state senator in Illinois, his termination of the Mexico City Policy on the first day of his presidency, his signing of a health care bill providing billions of federal dollars for abortion funding, and on and on?
Sr. Baird didn’t bring up anything Obama has done, only what he has said, for example, in his Notre Dame speech where he claimed, “his challenge was that we find ways to ensure that women – that would be their last choice, and that they would choose life.”
But then Sr. Baird says the most startling thing of all to Gilbert:
“I just think we need to be clear with our language.”
I’m sure, I am not the only one who will hear this and immediately think of Matthew 23:24, where Jesus says to the Pharisees, “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” In other words, Sr. Baird wants to make sure we are “clear with our language” describing Obama’s stated view of abortion, but she ignores, completely, his actions as a politician. (This is not completely accurate since Sr. Baird is apparently not familiar with Obama’s speech in the Illinois state legislature justifying his support for partial-birth abortion.)
Speaking of Obama’s own utterances on the topic of abortion. Why do people like Sr. Baird think his words can be trusted? What about the public lie Obama told the Congress and the American people that there would be no federal funding for abortion in the health care bill?
Even if you judge Obama by his words, if you pay close attention to his promises, you will come to the conclusion his words cannot be trusted. Thus, attempting to be “clear with our language” about the President’s position on abortion is a waste of time.
What do we make of Sr. Baird’s defense of Obama as “pro-choice” rather than “pro-abortion?”
First of all, we should remind ourselves that this distinction has been common among the media and Catholic “progressives” for years, so it is nothing new.
Second, it calls out for some sort of authoritative comment by Cardinal George showing that it is a distinction without a practical difference — both points of view, if they can be really distinguished, result in law and public policy of abortion on demand.
Finally, Sr. Baird’s defense of Fr. Pfleger’s support of Obama is a snapshot of how the Obama advocacy goes on inside the Catholic Church, through chanceries and parishes into the grassroots. Catholics who support Obama and work to convince other Catholics to vote for him, as Fr. Pfleger has done, ignore the myriad of evidence that Obama is pro-abortion. They parrot a handful of Obama speeches filled with promises his never intends to keep.