Sunday, November 02, 2008

Obama and Abortion

We all know that Obama is an abortion extremist - he has argued that infanticide should be legal for babies that survive abortions and pledged to pass federal legislation allowing partial birth abortion in all circumstances and requiring the tax payers to pay for abortions. He will probably get to appoint two Supreme Court Justices and they will be just as radical as he is. This will guarantee that Roe v. Wade will not be overturned in our lifetimes, leading to the deaths of millions of unborn babies (3,000 a day currently).

My questions for Obama voters: what are the Obama policies that will outweigh this great evil? What good can he possibly accomplish that will make up for millions of dead babies? While some of you would be excited by an Obama victory - would it at least be bittersweet, knowing that the pro-life fight (from a legal standpoint) will be lost?


Scott Vanderleest said...

Deafening Silence.

While nobody wants to be a single issue voter, and liberal leaning evangelical groups try to promote issues of social and economic justice as equally challenging and moral, the issue of abortion is the elephant in the room for those who want to vote Democratic.

It seems to me that there is justifiable disagreement and appropriate ambiguity as to how we should strive for these other moral issues, but there can be no disagreement amongst Christians over the issue of abortion. And certainly not abortion rights as fought for by the current Democratic party. The current Democrats are beholden to NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Even if there are members of the Democratic Party who are Pro-Life, nobody can deny that the party's agenda is in no way so.

Sen. Obama is even to the left his party with his record in the Illinois Senate standing out like a huge hemorrhoid.

I try to have room for disagreement on issues but abortion seems to be an area completely void of moral ambiguity. To vote for the Democrats is to swallow this issue as a martyr to other perceived moral issues. I, for one, am not comfortable with that.

Rudi said...

hey, that pictures looks like my kid right now!

Tom said...

Some thoughts on an obviously complex issue:

-please realize that even if Roe V. Wade were overturned tomorrow, abortion would then become an issue for individual states to decide. And certainly some states would ban abortion, while others would continue to allow it. So, as long as travel between states remains legal in this country, so will abortion.

-most women say that financial problems are a primary reason they had an abortion, so we should also consider issues like access to affordable healthcare, childcare, and living wages if we are truly serious about reducing the number of abortions in this country.

-an abortion is the result of an unwanted pregnancy. If we're interested in reducing abortions then we've got to be interested in reducing unwanted pregnancies. Comprehensive sexuality education and access to birth control help reduce unwanted pregnancies.

-12 of the last 14 Supreme Court appointments have been made by Republican presidents. Has this helped to reduce the number of abortions in our country in any meaningful way?

-it seems that for many abortion is an issue which rears it's head at election time, and then recedes into the background. If truly this is an evil that is so abhorrent that somebody can hardly even fathom voting for a Democrat, then it seems to me that that same person should be working tirelessly by whatever means necessary to reduce abortion throughout their life.

-I like what Shane Claiborne had to say as well "I am still passionately pro-life, I just have a much more holistic sense of what it means to be pro-life...and that if I am going to discourage abortion, I had better be ready to adopt some babies and care for some mothers".

-I liked these comments by Tony Campolo on his efforts as a pro-life Democrat:

-here's a piece in the National Catholic Reporter by a Catholic defending his support of Obama. He believes that war and torture are "life" issues in addition to abortion. He then argues:

abortion rates drop when the social safety net is strengthened. If Obama's economic program will do more to reduce poverty than McCain's, then is it wrong to conclude that an Obama presidency will also reduce abortions? Not at all.

At this point in time I consider myself a pro-life Democrat. And may I mention I voted for Bush in 2000 so I'm not exactly a lifelong liberal either. Abortion is an extraordinarily complex issue which deserves a lot of thought and consideration. I think it is unnecessarily divisive and overly simplistic to say that the only acceptable Christian position because of abortion is to vote Republican.


Scot said...

Tom makes some excellent points. Indeed, much of it covers middle ground that almost all of us can agree on--something sorely missing in political discussions today.

That said, I still contend that the Democratic party today, despite rhetoric to the contrary, represents the most militant views of pro-abortion groups in their voting records. There may indeed be a large number of anti-abortion Democrats, both elected and lay persons, but their voice is not the voting voice of the Democratic party. The votes speak not of reducing abortions, but of providing absolutely no restrictions or even truly informed consent for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy.

I think this uncovers one of the flaws of the current system, that with only 2 national parties most of us do not hold completely congruent views with either. For instance, I agree that the Republican party frequently appears (perhaps truly is) callous to needs of the poor. Also, while disagreeing with Bush on the Iraq War in 2004, a vote for the Republican party was a de facto support of their positions on the war (even if there were Republicans who opposed the war) because that is how the party voted.

As to reducing unwanted pregnancy, poverty, improving care, and the other issues mentioned, these are the sorts of issues about which there is moral ambiguity as to the best solution. My view is that a conservative approach ultimately achieves more of these goals for more people while Tom favors liberal approaches. Christians can and should debate and disagree on these issues.

As for a person being so morally opposed to abortion that they should be working tirelessly to stop it throughout the year--I agree. Isn't this a conservative position--that change is brought about by individuals with personal interactions making changes in one person's life at a time? But again, this seems like common ground. It must also be said that I respect Tom a great deal for doing exactly this in his own life in at least two blazing instances. This is a virtue towards which I have a great distance to travel.

As to Roe vs Wade, I think that Christians would mostly agree that the result of this ruling, namely increased numbers of abortions, is unfortunate. That said, I have no delusion that overturning the decision would outlaw or even decrease the number of abortions. My objection to it is with the way in which it was decided and that it is an example of judges bringing powers to the national government that the constitution does not. Complex moral issues are best dealt with at the lowest level of government possible if at all.

Jon Vander Plas said...

Tom, you have pointed out the nuances of the abortion issue, but there is no gray area in Obama's position. His position is evil. Partial birth abortion is evil. Infanticide is evil. You may like his other policies better, but can you really argue they outweigh his position on abortion?

True, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, it would go to the states. Many states would make abortion illegal and most, if not all, would forbid abortions during the third trimester. Many women would choose adoption instead of traveling great distances to another state. Once overturned, we could then focus on electing pro-life candidates to state government (although I'd guess you're voting for pro-abortion candidates in these races as well).

On Supreme Court Justices: several Republican appointees have gone off the reservation and changed their judicial philosophies since their appointment (Kennedy, Souter, Stevens). This is the reason things haven't changed. Bush gave us one more probable vote to overturn Roe (replacing O'Connor with Alito). The Court now has 5 judicial activists and 4 originalists. One McCain appointee could swing the balance and overturn Roe. Two Obama appointees (likely) would put it out of reach for some time.

While there's no reason to suspect Obama's policies will lead more people out of poverty (probably the opposite), even if I accept your premise, I refuse to settle for "reducing the number of abortions."
Abortion is evil and I won't tolerate politicians who say their "first priority" as president would be to advance abortion rights.

As Campolo says, reducing abortion is better than not reducing abortion. Agreed, but it is pretty hard to argue that increased government spending will reduce abortion more than pro-life policies. We already have sex ed in schools and Medicaid pays for contraception. If you're on Medicaid and can't afford condoms, you can get a prescription for them from your doctor. Isn't this "holistic" approach just wishful thinking? Surely if we just care more, people won't be evil and kill babies that are inconvenient.

If Obama was in favor of killing hobos or certain ethnic groups instead of babies, would you still be defending him? Probably not.

I can defend every conservative position from a Christian perspective. Liberals can't do the same.

Jon Vander Plas said...

Upon further reflection, I much prefer Scott's latest comment to my own.

While I take issue with your approach to politics, I have great respect for how you've chosen to deal with this issue in your own life.