The “Pro-Choice” President?
During the 2008 campaign, Sister Anita Baird, the director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Racial Justice, described then Senator Obama as “pro-choice, but not pro-abortion.” Granted, she was put in the impossible position of having to defend Obama apologist Fr. Michael Pfleger’s repeated public endorsements of Obama, but that is no excuse.
The approximately 13 million African Americans aborted since Roe v. Wade could not be reached for comment when the Archdiocese’s “Racial Justice Lifetime Achievement” award was bestowed upon Fr. Pfleger last year.
Father Ffleger has now been suspended by Cardinal George, and Obama has earned the reputation as the most pro-abortion president in history.
Though the claim that Obama is just “pro-choice” was never defensible, even Sister Baird will never use it again after Obama’s staff promised that he would veto H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”
The historic bill, already passed in the House, seeks to close accounting and other loopholes in existing laws, allowing the tax dollars of American citizens, including all Catholics, from going to abortion providers.
As president, Obama has never missed a single opportunity in hiring, funding, or in any other way to promote unlimited, free access to abortion at any stage of pregnancy. This should come as no surprise since, as an Illinois State senator, he opposed legislation that would make it a crime to deny care to babies who survived abortion.
Every judicial and cabinet appointment relevant to the abortion issue has been unmistakably pro-abortion. Every foreign policy spending bill includes money, now liberated by Obama’s immediate reversal of the Mexico City Policy, for international performers of and promoters of abortion. Every time he has had any opportunity to expand access to and funding for abortion, Obama has done exactly that.
Serious people have stopped pretending Obama is pro-choice and wants to limit the number of abortions. As the 2012 election begins, Catholics who still consider the pro-abortion president to be a champion of “social justice” should be challenged to explain their defense of the president. Those of us who want to believe the best of these Catholics’ intentions deserve clear answers as to how anyone can still defend his record on life and justice issues, which as the Church understands it, are inextricably linked.
It’s clear from the 2010 election results that many faithful Catholics who voted for Obama have changed their minds. The number of Catholic Democrats who lost their House seats for supporting taxpayer funding for abortion in the health care bill tells the tale.
Obama even disbanded the President’s Council on Bioethics, which, despite the perceptions of many, was actually composed under President Bush of members of both camps and actually debated issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and other controversial topics. After promising to rebuild the council, Obama simply redefined its mission as being more about “policy” than debate, then in late 2009 appointed two token members whom we’ve not heard from since.
This, perhaps more than any other move by President Obama, tells us what he actually thinks of intellectual debate and his openness to dialogue. When he took charge, the debate ended. Everyone was evidently expected to support his policies, which, we were all told, were about “the common good.” Serving the common good makes absolutely no sense, of course, if you don’t begin by protecting innocent life.
Why aren’t liberals offended by Obama’s constant declaration of the end of debate on every contentious issue? Isn’t it the Left, especially the Catholic Left, who is always talking about “dialogue?”
Obama may not want to explain his position, but those Catholics who publicly tout Obama’s fitness to be president should be required to explain their support for his pro-abortion policies. The “abortion reduction” defense based upon the “war on poverty” will not wash in 2012. Put aside the fact that poverty has not been reduced, the fact is that Obama has directly espoused abortion as a “human right.”
There is nothing uncharitable about making this demand. The president can surround himself with all the Catholic surrogates he can recruit, but that doesn’t change the facts about when life begins, and it doesn’t end debate on how we should treat the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters.
By Stephen Phelan, Director of Communications, Human Life International