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Nov. 01, 2008

Pre-Election Final; “This Is Delusional”: Robert P. George on Obama and Abortion

McCain and ObamaThe last few weeks have been interesting, to say the least. We've had about ten times our usual traffic, and I'm eager to return to the normally nonpolitical atmosphere of this blog.

The only reason I weighed in on this election is because of the biblical and moral implications of child-killing. And yes, I still do believe that with all the other issues that matter, and there are many of them, not one of them (either in viciousness, defenselessness of the victims, or total fatalities) outweighs the holocaust of children, over a million of them each year. And while numerous people keep asking me why I'm not speaking up for children already born, my answer remains the same—no presidential candidate favors the legalized killing of children who are already born.

Remarkably, many commenters have said "I'm prolife but," and then gone on to say they are voting for the most pro-legal-abortion candidate in our nation's history.

The best part of this blog isn't the comments upfront from me, it's a summary of a fascinating paper on this by Robert P. George; and perhaps it's enough to cause a few people to evaluate not only who they're voting for Tuesday, but what.

Regarding the couple of hundred comments posted on the election and abortion related blogs, someone pointed out to me that many (not all, by any means) people making comments clearly hadn't read the blogs. They'd simply seen I was for McCain, and that was the end of it. They went straight to comment. This was obvious because they weren't arguing against a point I'd made, but were raising issues they assumed I hadn't addressed (but I had), and arguing against things which they assumed I'd said (but I hadn't).

It's remarkable the number of comments that continue to roll in saying that George Bush did nothing prolife, when in fact he did the best thing he could have by appointing two prolife Supreme Court Justices. Another repeatedly stated one is that abortions increased under George Bush. See the truth about that at www.factcheck.org/society/the_biography_of_a_bad_statistic.html and
http://www.nrlc.org/rko/stassenpart2.html. Interesting that this false claim began with an evangelical professor. (And also interesting that many people haven't gotten the word that George Bush isn't running for president.)

Someone wrote, "it's a fact that McCain is just as prochoice as Obama," and others said essentially the same. Sorry folks, believe what you want, but that's just plain wrong, and you should know better.

And to the person who said I should stop watching the Fox News channel, where I obviously got all my information for these blogs: we don't have cable TV, so I can't watch Fox News. When I do watch news, it's all CBS, NBC, ABC or PBS. And I solemnly assure you, I have never once received a single piece of anti-abortion propaganda from any of them.

Well, like most of you, I'll be glad for the election to be over. We'll pray for our new president, our country and our world. And I hope you'll also pray for the people who will be back in the trenches trying to save unborn children from being ripped to pieces and women from having to endure the horrors of abortion. That's a hard job under any president. I thank God they're doing their work alongside the compassionate people who work in Africa and Asia and all over our own country trying to help needy children who managed to come into this world alive. It is our privilege to support all of these great causes.

As you pray and ask for wisdom about the election, please check out the powerful video by popular Mexican actor and producer Eduardo Verastegui, and listen to what he has to say at the end about Barack Obama (you can watch the video at http://www.durarealidad.com/, where you'll be given the option to jump forward to his comments—don’t miss them).

Dr. Robert P. George has released an article that sheds a lot of light on the debate about whether the election of Barack Obama will reduce abortions or will in fact significantly increase them.

Robert GeorgeClick here to read Dr. George's complete article, which is very good but lengthy.

Fortunately for us, my friend Justin Taylor, who has an excellent blog that I often recommended to others, wrote an outstanding condensed version of Robert George's article. Justin kindly gave me permission to place it in its entirety below. So I'll let Justin tell you about Dr. George, and share the main points of his article about Barack Obama and abortion:

Readers of this blog know the esteem I hold for Robert P. George—in my view (and that of many others), he is one of the great moral philosophers and public intellectuals of our time. With a law degree and a theology degree from Harvard, and a doctorate from Oxford, he currently serves as McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, and as the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He also serves on The President's Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Dr. George is a man who chooses his words very carefully. And that is why his latest essay, Obama's Abortion Extremism, is so significant. It begins in this way:

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.

George then raises the fact that many today are suggesting that one can be pro-life and pro-Obama:

Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals—even self-identified pro-life Catholics
and Evangelicals—who aggressively promote Obama’s candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.

What is going on here?

I have examined the arguments advanced by Obama’s self-identified pro-life supporters, and they are spectacularly weak. It is nearly unfathomable to me that those advancing them can honestly believe what they are saying. But before proving my claims about Obama’s abortion extremism, let me explain why I have described Obama as “pro-abortion” rather than “pro-choice.”

ObamaGeorge proceeds to work through Obama's legislative career—which has merited a 100% rating each year from the NARAL Pro-Choice America's Congressional Record on Choice—to show Obama's unmitigated commitment to abortion, even when the legislation has nothing to do with making abortion illegal. For example:
1. Obama "has promised to seek repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which has for many years protected pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest."

2. Obama has promised that “the first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” ( FOCA). This would make abortion a federally guaranteed right through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Virtually every state and federal limitation on abortion that is currently on the books would be abolished (e.g., parental consent and notification laws for minors).
 
3. Obama opposes the ban on the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion and strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling to uphold the ban.
 
4. Obama wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need.

5. Obama refused to support the pro-life Democrats' “95-10” legislation (designed to reduce the number of abortions by 95% in 10 years by strengthening the social safety net for poor women). This would not have made abortion illegal; it would seek to reduce abortion.

6. Obama "opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive, either as a result of an abortionist’s unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability." The bill contained a specific provision that ensured that the bill would not affect abortion laws (Obama and his campaign lied about this fact until it was proven in the records).

7. Obama has co-sponsored a bill authorizing the large-scale industrial production of human embryos for use in biomedical research in which they would be killed. It would require the killing of human beings in the embryonic stage that were produced by cloning, and would make it a federal crime for a woman to save an embryo by agreeing to have the tiny developing human being implanted in her womb so that he or she could be brought to term.

8. Obama was one of the few senators to oppose a bill that would have put a modest amount of federal money into research that would develop methods to produce the exact equivalent of embryonic stem cells without using (or producing) embryos. "From any rational vantage point, this is unconscionable. . . . Why create and kill human embryos when there are alternatives that do not require the taking of nascent human lives? It is as if Obama is opposed to stem-cell research unless it involves killing human embryos."

With regard to those who think that electing Obama will save lots of unborn lives, George writes:

They tell us not to worry that Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment, the Mexico City Policy (against funding abortion abroad), parental consent and notification laws, conscience protections, and the funding of alternatives to embryo-destructive research. They ask us to look past his support for Roe v. Wade, the Freedom of Choice Act, partial-birth abortion, and human cloning and embryo-killing. An Obama presidency, they insist, means less killing of the unborn.

This is delusional.

George ends his article in this way:

newbornWhat kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama’s America is one in which being human just isn’t enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama’s America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the laws.

In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: “that question is above my pay grade.” It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator’s pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy—and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.

In the end, the efforts of Obama’s apologists to depict their man as the true pro-life candidate that Catholics and Evangelicals may and even should vote for, doesn’t even amount to a nice try.

Voting for the most extreme pro-abortion political candidate in American history is not the way to save unborn babies.

baby sucking thumbFrom Randy:

So, what do you think of Dr. George's points? Does this shed any light on the debate among Christians about whether an Obama presidency will reduce abortions, saving the lives of other thumb-sucking children like this one?

And if you're not clear on the Freedom of Choice Act, I'd recommend checking out another of Justin Taylor's blog posts, noting especially the chart showing the significant increase of abortions in Maryland as the direct result of lifting legal restrictions on abortion.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

Randy's signature

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