“If they [my daughters] make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby” –Barack Obama
“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish” — Mother Teresa
With the 2008 presidential election finally upon us, I would like to make a heartfelt, sincere plea to traditional pro-life Catholic Democrats, especially in key swing states like mine: Pennsylvania. In all honesty, and I apologize if this sounds arrogant, I’ve come to see that many of them truly don’t grasp what they’re about to do in voting for Barack Obama for the next president of the United States. I’m not talking about the Democrat who is a socialist-feminist college professor, who is definitely supporting the right guy. I’m referring to the Harry Truman-Jack Kennedy Democrats, like my pro-life Catholic grandmother, born and bred in the mines, mills, and farms of Western Pennsylvania — folks that Obama describes as bitter-clingers. And, yes, I’m thinking about Obama and the abortion issue in particular.
Please listen carefully, and hear me out:
Barack Obama’s position on abortion is unprecedented. It is so singularly extraordinary, so shockingly unusual, so strikingly scary, that it merits the closest inspection of every American, and especially pro-life Catholics in the Democratic Party. Tragically, but predictably, Obama’s abortion extremism is not getting any exposure from the mainstream press that serves as educator for a giant swath of the voting public who will decide our next president.
Obama’s actions and statements on abortion are outrageous even by the outrageous standards we’ve sadly come to expect from the leaders of the Democratic Party — for many of us, the party of our roots. The party, already host to an abysmal track record on unborn human life, has really outdone itself this time. I’ve carefully referred to Barack Obama as a fanatic on the abortion issue not as a form of unfair, angry name-calling, but as a technically accurate description based on facts and proper usage of the term “fanatic.” If ever there was a case where one issue alone disqualified a candidate for the presidency — and particularly among pro-life Catholics — this is it.
It is hard to pick Obama’s most egregious affront against unborn human life, even given his notably short career as a legislator. Most likely, it is his blocking of the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, a piece of legislation that sailed through the U.S. Senate unopposed — advocated even by abortion extremists like Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton. Few people realize that once Obama left the Illinois Senate for the U.S. Senate, the bill at last unanimously soared through the state legislature — once he, the principle obstacle, had exited. On this piece of legislation, Barack Obama stands alone in a corner unto himself, a club of one who refused to authorize that medical personnel offer treatment to babies who accidentally survive an abortion procedure. Whatever his backtracking and reasoning — which is deeply flawed at all levels, and terribly misleading — it is no exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee preserved a literal form of infanticide.
If the born-alive votes weren’t bad enough, Obama promises that the “first thing” he will do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which, according to not only critics but champions, would nationalize abortion, superseding and overturning abortion restrictions in all 50 states. In the words of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the act would “codify Roe v. Wade into law and guarantee a woman’s right to choose in all 50 states.”
Think about this: This act, in one stroke, would wipe out all the fully bipartisan initiatives — passed by Democratic and Republican legislators all over America — that place perfectly reasonable restrictions on runaway abortion. This is madness, but Barack Obama vows to make it the first thing he would do as president.
When did Obama say such a thing? He made that promise in a July 17, 2007 speech to Planned Parenthood. And it was there, too, that Barack Obama made yet another remarkable, revealing assertion that seems to have eluded even pro-lifers: In that speech, Senator Obama described Planned Parenthood as a “safety-net provider.”
Think about that: Abortion services constitute a “safety net?” According to Barack Obama, yes, they do.
Traditionally, a safety net is a term typically applied to basic government services relating to financial security. Previous Democratic presidents like FDR and LBJ understood a safety net as relating to things like welfare or unemployment benefits or Social Security. Now, alas, in this new Barack Obama definition, a safety net includes Planned Parenthood and its abortion delivery services.
Well, Obama is promising “change.” That’s a definite change.
It is also a testimony to the dark pessimism behind Obama’s sunny rhetoric about “change.” The change Obama has in mind is federal funding — i.e., your tax dollars — to pay for runaway, unrestricted abortion.
Ironically, the total number of annual abortions has been on the decline in recent years. I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t spike up if a President Obama gets what he wants on abortion policy — even before appointing a single pro-choice judge. (Obama says he will appoint only pro-choice judges.) And with an overwhelmingly liberal Democratic Congress, he will get what he wants. The Freedom of Choice Act was introduced by liberal Democrats in Congress — namely, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in April 2007. Surely, Boxer and Nadler never imagined the bill ever stood a chance — until America’s Democrats nominated Barack Obama as their voice.
Obama, by the way, is a co-sponsor of the bill.
Remember that these are the people who claim they want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.” They never do a thing to make it rare; quite the contrary, they do everything in their power to advance it.
What I’ve listed here is a small sample of the awful things Obama has said and intends for an abortion presidency.
Finally, this potential nightmare couldn’t come at a worse time. This country has finally, mercifully, arrived at a true turning point where the balance of the Supreme Court will go either against Roe v. Wade (if John McCain wins) or in favor of 35 more years of Roe v. Wade (if Obama wins). Since Roe became law in 1973, this nation has killed close to 50 million unborn babies. That kind of death total makes battles like World War II — 300,000 dead Americans — look like a picnic.
That’s what’s at stake. If you vote for Barack Obama, you will bear a moral and spiritual responsibility for that decision. I should emphasize that you need not vote for John McCain, who is not my ideal candidate — I’m not stumping for McCain. But a vote for Barack Obama carries some consequences.
I beg pro-life Catholics on the Democratic side to not play the role of dupe yet again. With their consent, whether they know it or not, they are ensuring that their party becomes the Party of Death. It’s their party, and they’ve allowed this to happen right under their noses. With Barack Obama at the helm, the downward slide continues to accelerate. They’re doing nothing — nothing at all — to stop it; quite the contrary, they’re advancing it.
Don’t get angry at me. It’s your party. Do something about it. Please!
The descent into what Pope John Paul II called the Culture of Death has got to stop. No other issue or group of issues matter as much in this election as abortion. Barack Obama’s extremism on abortion is solely responsible for that reality.
Some 2,000 years ago, a good people were offered a choice between Life itself and a murderer. They chose Barabbas. Please don’t misunderstand: I’m most definitely not comparing John McCain to Jesus Christ or calling Barack Obama a killer. I’m talking about rejecting rather than choosing a Culture of Death. Catholics will make their pick on Tuesday.
[Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. He is also co-author (with Patricia Clark Doerner) of The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).]