“He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion – a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called ‘too close to infanticide,” wrote former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, now a Post columnist. “Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed that he would not want his daughters to be ‘punished with a baby‘ because of a crisis pregnancy — hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life.”
Yet, Obama often refers to his Christian faith and appeals to young evangelicals for support.
That combination was too much for Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.
“Senator Obama talks about bringing hope, faith and change to American politics. We now see this is all just political ‘doublespeak.’ One of his top priorities as president would be protecting abortion rights and even expanding them. If elected, Senator Obama would become ‘The Abortion President,’ with the most extremist policies on abortion of any president in history,” Mahoney said. “Senator Obama’s views on abortion are so radical that he even wants American citizens to pay for them. This would include Catholics, evangelicals and all people of faith. He would also expand abortion rights through his passionate support of The Freedom of Choice Act.”
The coalition is publicizing Obama’s abortion support through advertising that uses an image of Obama’s face imposed on Uncle Sam, with the words: “I want YOU to pay for abortions.”
Kaitlin Clare, a spokeswoman with the coalition, told WND the graphic will be used on handouts the organization is preparing to distribute at the Democratic National Convention in August in Denver.
“It’s not meant to attack, but just to get the word out he is very liberal on abortion, probably one of the most pro-abortion senators in the U.S. Senate. We’re trying to inform people of that,” she told WND.
“He’s reaching out to young evangelicals and wants change. He claims to be for social justice. You can’t do all those things and be for killing innocent children,” she said.
Clare said Obama’s nationalized health care plan would include abortion among the treatments available for patients who are sick, and that would force Christians with moral objections to the destruction of the unborn to pay for that very act.
Mahoney said, “The Christian Defense Coalition will be working diligently over the next five months before the November elections to educate people of faith, especially Catholics, that Barack Obama wants them to pay for abortions. This is not a candidate who is concerned about social justice, hope and equality. Rather, this is candidate who will continue the violence and pain of abortion and refuse to end this tragic war against America’s women and children.”
The Obama campaign responded to the publicity effort with an attack on the message itself.
“Barack Obama understands that the best way to reduce the need for abortions is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. He is committed to commonsense solutions to achieve that objective and to changing the tone of the discourse which for too long has devolved into false and negative attacks such as this that do nothing to accomplish that goal,” said campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan in a prepared statement.
Mahoney’s announcement called for Obama to “embrace a Christian faith which supports and affirms justice and human rights and works to end the tragic violence and suffering of abortion.”
“The question must be asked, how can one support faith and values while embracing policies that brutalize children and wound women? Senator Obama cannot talk with integrity about his faith and social justice anymore than a segregationist or racist can talk about their faith, justice or equality with integrity,” Mahoney said.
“Throughout the Gospels, Christ taught us to stand for the most defenselessness, needy and broken in our society. Senator Obama betrays those sacred principles through his radical pro-abortion position,” he said.
On an MSNBC forums page on the issue, however, Mahoney and other like-minded Christians were under siege:
“Isn’t the Pro-Life movement a war against the rights of women?” asked Jay from Indiana.
“You mean that the Far Right has attacked the presumptive democrat nominee over his pro-choice views! SHOCKING! So what else is new!” wrote Steve from New York.
“Actuallly, (sic) Obama’s position on abortion makes a lot of sense. The conservative evalgelicals (sic) may wish to attack his position because with thought, there can be ‘shades of gray,'” added Ron of Indiana.
“I am sick and tired of rabid men attempting to legislate my body and my rights. … You ‘faith based’ idiots. I am quite certain Jesus would want every child that is born to have a loving, nurturing home with food, clothing, spiritual and medical needs met. Since our Republican ‘friends’ don’t feel that is worthy legislation, they can just butt out of the ‘population control’ debate,” wrote Clara of Kansas City, Mo.
“Where are those darn lions when you need a christian eaten anyway?” wondered Pat.
Gerson, however, warned the rhetoric over abortion isn’t likely to abate any time soon.
“It is the issue that does not die. Recent polls have shown that young people are more likely than their elders to support abortion restrictions. Few Americans oppose abortion under every circumstance, but a majority oppose most of the abortions that actually take place – generally supporting the procedure only in the case of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother,” he wrote.
“Perhaps this is a revolt against a culture of disposability. Perhaps it reflects the continuing revolution of ultrasound technology – what might be called the ‘Juno’ effect. In the delightful movie by that name, the protagonist, a pregnant teen seeking an abortion, is confronted by a classmate who informs her that the unborn child already has fingernails – which causes second thoughts. A worthless part of its mother’s body – a clump of protoplasmic rubbish – doesn’t have fingernails.”
He called it the “unavoidable moral issue.”
“Having endorsed partial-birth abortion, Obama has little room to maneuver on the broader issue. But he does have some. He could take the wise counsel of evangelical Democrats such as Amy Sullivan and come out strongly for policies that would reduce the number of abortions – support for pregnant women, abstinence education, the responsible promotion of birth control,” he said.