Right to Life
Today's News & Views
December 17, 2008
Fool Me Once…
Part One of Two
Editor's note. Please read Part Two, which picks up on our discussion of conscience clauses. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"But, a large group of Catholics gave Obama the vote they declined to give John Kerry because Obama crossed a threshold on the abortion issue by dedicating himself to reducing the national abortion rate. We were decisive in 2008 but that doesn't mean we can't decide differently next time."
From "Ideas for Obama: White House Summit on Abortion Reduction," by Michael Sean Winters, which appears today on the webpage of the magazine "America."
Okay, I ask you, do we laugh or do we cry?
All through the last election cycle and since, a cadre of self-described pro-life Catholics alternatively lectured and hectored the rest of the pro-life community about the wonderful benevolence of now President-elect Barack Obama. If we didn't buy into their portrait of a man (who is joined at the hip to the Abortion Establishment) as the great reconciler--if we worked night and day to defeat him-- it was because we lacked vision or because we couldn't look into his soul (as they could) and see that he had "crossed a threshold."
Nothing Obama said or did, promised or pledged to advance the pro-abortion agenda, made an ounce of difference. A rhetorical crumb here, the vaguest inclinations there, and voila, the man is dedicated to "reducing the national abortion rate."
I assume that Michael Sean Winters intends to be taken seriously, so let's take that assurance seriously. Let me develop a couple of points, based on what he wrote on the "America" website.
The fallback position already is developing and, again, we are lectured that our worries are either bogus or inflated.
Sure, Obama will make a few "marginal changes," such as gutting the pro-life Mexico City policy, by executive order. (After all, "there is no finessing the point" that Obama is "pro-choice.")
You would think that what is prohibited is a friendly chat between "doctor and patient." What the Mexico City policy actually says is that in order to be eligible for U.S. "population assistance," a private organization must sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except to save the mother's life or in cases of rape or incest), lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise "actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."
There are never enough abortions for Planned Parenthood, and they are eager to overturn the protective laws of Latin America, Africa, and Muslim countries in which the people are strongly opposed to abortion.
There are other uses of Obama's executive authority Michaels doesn't mention. Obama could overturn the brilliant policy pro-life President Bush initiated by executive order which said you can't use federal dollars to kill human embryos to harvest their stem cells. That policy jumpstarted research into a plethora of ethically unobjectionable sources whose promise and performance has soared past research using stem cells from human embryos.
Does anyone over the age of six really believe that the thirst of pro-abortionists for more "access" to abortion will be satiated by executive orders? They will only be emboldened. Already the Abortion Establishment is being woven into key policy positions and long-time abortion supporters, such as former Sen. Tom Daschle, will be taking the helm of critically important agencies such as HHS.
There are a million appointments and policies that Obama can and will undertake that will multiply the number of abortions. Details are yet to be worked out, but one thing we know for sure. Obama has pledged that abortion (a.k.a. "reproductive health care") will be part of his national health insurance plan. If that doesn't frighten you, nothing will.
At the same time Winters was pooh-poohing what Obama can do unilaterally, he told us that the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) can't be passed. It is our intention that it doesn't, but that will require massive efforts.
Obama has pledged to sign FOCA and the leadership of the House and Senate is in favor of it as well. Timing is the only question. NOW says FOCA will "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies." It is correct.
Never forget that Obama has no use for proven abortion-reducing measures, such as the Hyde Amendment, an annual appropriations rider preventing Medicaid funding of abortion, which has saved between one and two million babies. Or parental involvement in the abortion decision of minor girls. Or funding for perpetually cash-strapped crisis pregnancy centers.
Winters wants a dog-and-pony show conference where everybody proclaims their fealty to "reducing" the number of abortions. And I have no doubt that the leadership of groups like PPFA and NARAL might follow the just-us-moderates line established for the day.
But these are the same groups that just sent a 55-page wish list to the Obama transition team. As I wrote the other day of this pro-death grab bag,
"All they want (to give just a sampling) is everything from the previously mentioned executive order, to funding the United Nations Population Fund (which has been an aider and an abettor of China's forced abortion and involuntarily sterilization policies), to health care "reform" that weaves abortion into every nook and cranny of the system, to the obliteration of those pesky conscience clauses, to an assurance that all evidence demonstrating abortion's aftershocks on women is suppressed (this is called "Reestablish[ing] a standard of excellence for federal appointees"), to the nomination of exclusively pro-abortion judges and justices, payment for abortions of all Medicaid-eligible women, and an all-purpose "Improve Access to Abortion Care," which includes passing the egregiously mis-labeled "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA), which is better described as the "Federal No-Limits-On-Abortion" bill and/or the "Freedom for Partial-Birth Abortionists Act."
You will continue to read a steady stream of these assurances, some of them sincere, some phony, some willfully ignorant. Don't be fooled even for one second. This is the most pro-abortion President elected since Roe v. Wade was handed down almost 36 years ago.
As NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson once memorably said, Obama's "abortion-reduction talk is just pixie dust to distract the gullible."
Please be sure to order extra copies of National Right to Life News' special January 22 issue, "Stop Obama's Abortion Agenda." You can order at www.nrlc.org or call 202-626-8828.