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Obama on Abortion

posted by Susan Johnson

Abortion was brought up at the Messiah College Compassion Forum that Clinton and Obama attended (I’ll blog more about it in another post) and he was asked how there can be common ground on abortion and of course he had no real answer because there isn’t common ground between a candidate who supports infanticide and those who want abortions outlawed.

As firmly as Casey (Pa.) and Roemer (Ind.) have adhered to their opposition, Obama has never supported a single measure that would curtail access to abortion — even under controversial circumstances. But Casey and Roemer have chosen to ignore Obama’s legislative record, and are promoting the Democratic presidential candidate to their antiabortion allies as someone who could achieve a new consensus on the issue. “He has the unique skills to try to lower the temperature and foster a sense of common ground, and try to figure out ways that people can agree,” Casey said, although the freshman senator added, “On this issue, it’s particularly hard.”
[...]
Asked last night at a nationally televised forum on religious and moral values if there can be “common ground” on abortion, Obama said that “people of good will can exist on both sides.” With Casey watching from the audience at Messiah College outside Harrisburg, Pa., he added that while there will always be irreconcilable differences between opponents and supporters of abortion rights, “we can take some of the edge off the debate.”
[...]
Despite his opposition to abortion, Roemer said he has come to believe that the all-or-nothing approach that both parties have advocated over the years has created gridlock across the policy spectrum, from health care to international policy. He called the old style “tin cans on the back of a car.” With Obama, Roemer said, “the first words out of his mouth aren’t ‘People should be free to do whatever they want.’ He leaves open the possibility that there are other ways to address some of these issues.”
[...]
The guide, posted on the group’s Web site, notes that Obama voted against parental notification laws. When the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 last year to uphold a 2003 ban on a procedure that some call “partial-birth” abortion, he objected to the ruling as representing “an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman’s medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient.”

Roemer sounds like he’s never talked to a pro-choice politician before. What is different about Obama’s answer? “People should be free to do whatever they want” is what all pro-choice advocates say to support their right to kill the unborn. What other ways does he expect this to be addressed? And how does he get “He leaves open the possibility that there are other ways to address some of these issues” from what Obama said? What other ways?
Obama’s pro-life supporters are going to get a pro-abortion president who won’t change his position one iota when he gets in office and every pro-choice voter is counting on that fact. What the pro-life Obamanite is doing is conceding on this issue and giving up the fight (at the federal level) for life. Everyone needs to just be honest about it.
There is no common ground and Obama knows it, he will continue to support the right of women to have abortions, even through the last trimester and he will no doubt even fund abortions for those who can’t afford them. That is the reality of the situation. And that is what pro-life Obamanites will be supporting if they vote for him.



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cranberries

posted April 14, 2008 at 8:07 am


Is there no way to discuss this issue respectfully? Must there always be charged words like “infanticide” and the expectation that this will be the only issue that defines a candidate? Many years ago I read a study of the people who work on both sides of this issue, the people for whom it is important enough that they do more than talk and support financially, and I have never forgotten the conclusion, that for people on all sides of the issue, it comes down to compassion. For some, protecting the baby is what matters most. For others, it is caring for the woman who becomes pregnant. Willie Brown’s new book describes the way he was able to get then-governor Ronald Reagan to support pro-choice legislation by reminding him of the women who have been ravaged and killed by not having access to safe medical care.
At least start from a place of respect and show some grace in your discussion of this issue, recognizing that abortion, even as a choice, is always a tragic one and that kindness and compassion in the way you describe your position will do more to demonstrate its rightness than any argument you can make.



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Donny

posted April 14, 2008 at 8:39 am


I have never waivered from representing “The Left” (liberals, progressives, socialists etc.,) as those that desire “Do as thou wilt . . .” as anti-Christian, indecent and immoral. There is pro-life and there is promotion of murder for convenience. Obama proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, that even with his own grandchild, that killing the unborn human being in the womb was better than having to deal with accountability and consequences of behaviors, beliefs and actions. The man represents the most corrupt ideology the world has ever knwon. The Leftist is the equivalent to Molech worshippers and the proof comes from their own mouths. Society at large shows the outcomes of the immorality of Leftist ideology. Obama is a Leftist.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:11 am


“Must there always be charged words like “infanticide” and the expectation that this will be the only issue that defines a candidate?”
So, what would you call it when he stops a bill that would have forced abortionists to keep a baby alive after it survived an abortion attempt? I would call it infanticide. But I would be open to hearing your take since you have more respect for his position. What would you call it.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:18 am


What would you call it.
None of your business.
That’s what I’d call it.



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yelladawgNC

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:23 am


Thank you, Cranberries. As far as I can tell there’s been very little progress on this front, largely because people seem unable to do what you suggest, i.e., maintain respect for people who disagree with them, even among fellow Christians.



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Lj

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:24 am


Bush and McCain are pro-lifers ,but both are war mongers who does not care about American lives or the lives of people of other countries. An oxy moron? Caring about babies in the womb only is anti-God. Thedy should care about life from the womb to the grave. Molech would be proud of the right wingers and their rhetoric Give me a candidate who can think straight. Obama’08



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:32 am


“None of your business.”
Yeah, the murder of babies (we are not talking about in the womb, we’re talking about babies who are sitting on a table, alive) is all of our business. Sorry but if a woman had a baby bathroom and decided she didn’t want it and left it to die she’d be tried for it. At least can’t we have logically consistent laws?



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:37 am


“Bush and McCain are pro-lifers ,but both are war mongers who does not care about American lives or the lives of people of other countries. An oxy moron?…Give me a candidate who can think straight.”
What about Afghanistan? Obama plans to keep fight there doesn’t he? Doesn’t that make him a war monger? And a candidate who can think straight? *snicker* Talk about your oxymoron! Bwahahahahahahahahahahaah!



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:56 am


Lets be honest here, Michele – I know it’s a stretch for you people when “murdering babies” is the topic (talk about stacking the rhetorical deck) but lets see if we can have a rational discourse about this.
What does a “failed abortion” look like? Are we talking about a situation where the doctor has injected caustic saline into the uterus? Are we talking about where the doctor has used a scalpel to dismember the fetus and what is “born” is a head and a magled torso? Are we talking about a “partial birth” where the scissors are inserted into the fetus’s skull meaning the “baby” that is born is going to be lobotomized at best, a vegetable at worst?
You say “murder,” I say “mercy killing.”
To-may-to; To-mah-to.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:01 am


This is what it looks like: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4500022.stm
Go say “mercy killing” to her.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:01 am


How about when the mother is not intending to abort, carries the child to term, and it’s born with its internal organs outside of its body?
The heart is beating, there’s brain function, but there’s no way the child is going to survive except in great pain.
What about those chldren born without brains? They’re technically “alive.” Would you condem that child to a life with no brain? Would you condem the parents to spend every last cent the’ve earned to “save” a “baby” that will never live?
Considering that fewer “babies” fall into the category you’re willing to condemn Obama over every year than actual living, breathing, thinking people who will die in Iraq this month, I find it ludicrous in the extreme that *this* is the batle you’ve chosen to fight.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:03 am


This is what it looks like
Really? Did she come out of the womb with that salon-styled ‘do and makeup?



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:07 am


meh, you’re right about one thing, this is an emotional argument and I can’t have it with someone who says something that cold.



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RJohnson

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:08 am


Michele: “Yeah, the murder of babies (we are not talking about in the womb, we’re talking about babies who are sitting on a table, alive) is all of our business.”
Correction, Michele. The murder of white babies is the business of the pro-life movement. When it comes to babies that are black, latino, or another race, or happen to have poor parents, the pro-life movement (especially in Texas) helps kill them.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:13 am


meh, you’re right about one thing, this is an emotional argument and I can’t have it with someone who says something that cold.
I bring up cases where children are born with their internal organs outside of their bodies – with a ~100% mortality rate, and you show me a picture of a grown woman. Obviously there was something about that child when she was born that made the doctor go – “you know what? This kid is going to live.”
Can you say the same about every fetus that “survives” a botched abortion?
All the more reason to leave the decision up to the doctor and the mother.



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Charles Cosimano

posted April 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm


The truth is that if the Democrats had any brains they would not seriously oppose the overturning of Roe v Wade for the simple reason that within two election cycles there would not be enough Republicans left in office to fund a dog catcher and it would codified in Federal law and probably in most state constitutions.



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RJohnson

posted April 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm


“The truth is that if the Democrats had any brains they would not seriously oppose the overturning of Roe v Wade for the simple reason that within two election cycles there would not be enough Republicans left in office to fund a dog catcher and it would codified in Federal law and probably in most state constitutions.”
Charles, you may want to change your position on this. I actually agree with you, at least in part. If the GOP were successful in overturning Roe it would be their death knell.
This is why the GOP has not been serious about doing anything substantial on the abortion issue. It is more valuable to them to have abortions taking place so they can energize their base than to take any steps to actually stop abortions in some substantial way.
Of course, given how many abortion opponents seem to become pro-choice when it comes to THEIR abortions, this is not surprising.
mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html



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cranberries

posted April 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm


Insults are not arguments. And Donny, you do your political and religious beliefs a great disservice by communicating them this way and perpetuating the worst stereotypes of those who do not have the experience of loving and compassionate Christianity and Republicanism. Can’t we at least agree that however we may feel differently about how to accomplish our goals, those goals are the same? Everyone wants safe, healthy, loving families and a chance to make a contribution to the world. You can disagree without empty generalizations and questioning people’s motives. Remember the rule about casting stones, and remember the one about turning away wrath.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 6:42 pm


“Insults are not arguments.”
I couldn’t agree with you more but that doesn’t stop the commenters from engaging in them.
And isn’t Obama’s goal and my goal different? I want to make abortion illegal and he wants to keep it legal.



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pagansister

posted April 14, 2008 at 8:44 pm


Had anyone heard about condoms, and realistic sex education instead of telling the kids to just “abstain” . Since the Feds. won’t fund anything that mentions birth control methods, they should most certainly keep Row V. Wade in place.
I’m pro-abortion (or choice) and feel that the government has no business interfering in my or any women’s personal life. So I think that an abortion should be used as a primary birth control method? No. As to the partial birth abortion…that should be done only in extreme cases…and I expect is not the norm. There should never be a retraction of Roe V. Wade. If there was, the “good old days” would return….and the hacks with tools in a suitcase would get rich, and wire coat hangers would make the tools for a self-termination. Both previous methods have problems…death for the woman or at least a major infection.
So either Obama or Clinton would work as President as they would not stack the court against choice.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 9:41 pm


“There should never be a retraction of Roe V. Wade. If there was, the “good old days” would return….and the hacks with tools in a suitcase would get rich, and wire coat hangers would make the tools for a self-termination.”
Don’t you get it that it would probably not be illegal because most states would not make it illegal? If Roe v. Wade were overturned it would just go back to the states and can you really see NY, CA, NJ, etc. outlawing it? What overturning Roe v. Wade does is allow this fight to begin at the state level and it gives more control of abortions to the state. It could finally be regulated and we could start talking about rare then couldn’t we?



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pagansister

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm


Michele, I see your point about states having control. But one problem I see with the states having control,is if a woman is in a state which doesn’t allow abortions,(and in some parts of this country that is still really possible) then she would have to find a state that would allow it. That might be harder for those who have less income for expensives for travel.
Would like to see rare, and as I mentioned, “real” sex education would help, starting earlier than high school, and not just telling kids to “abstain.” Teaching self control, yes, but also the methods to prevent STD’s and AIDS as well as birth control methods.



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anonymous reincarnate

posted April 15, 2008 at 3:05 am


“Don’t you get it that it would probably not be illegal because most states would not make it illegal? If Roe v. Wade were overturned it would just go back to the states and can you really see NY, CA, NJ, etc. outlawing it?”
apparently you don’t get it. if an overturned roe v. wade would “probably” not make abortion illegal, then you and your “save-the-sperm-and-egg” minions wouldn’t be pursuing it.
look, it’s this simple. you have a choice. choose not to. ok?
if you’re against real infanticide then stop bush, stop mccain, stop neocons, stop republicans, stop warmongers: http://www.coia.org.uk/ (be warned, these are the disturbing realities of war, ones that we’re very rarely shown despite our high-tech tools and “liberal” media).



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cranberries

posted April 15, 2008 at 7:51 am


Michele, I believe the goal of people on both sides is to create the safest possible environment for the health of women and babies. Those who believe abortion should be legal and those who believe it should not be legal are just arguing about the best way to achieve that goal.
If abortion should become illegal, it will not end the debate about how to achieve that goal. And, as we have seen from experience, it won’t end abortion, either. This debate will continue until medical advances make it moot. If the goal is to eliminate or at least minimize abortion, it seems to me a better tactic is to work on prevention and alternatives.
And on the “insults are not argument” point, I am glad you agree and hope you will encourage those who comment to be both substantive and respectful in their remarks.



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