Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Obama’s Abortion Steps — Mexico City “Gag Rule” and Roe v. Wade statement — Bound to Disappoint Pro-Life Supporters

posted by swaldman

Obama’s pro-life supporters have got to be somewhat disappointed today.
Today, as promised, he is expected to repeal the “Mexico City policy” a.k.a. the “gag rule” — the policy that prevented overseas family planning groups from mentioning abortion as an option if they receive U.S. money. He earned some praise from pro-life supporters by delaying the order by a day so it wouldn’t coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which many pro-life people view as a day of grief.
But I think the real signficance — and the reason pro-life Obama supporters ought to be disappointed — is the combination of the gag rule repeal (which was expected) and the language he used in his Roe v. Wade statement yesterday.
He did mention the goal of reducing unintended pregnancies. But keep in mind that pro-life Obama supporters believed that their big victory during the fights over the Democratic Party platform was not the language about reducing unintended pregnancies — but rather the language about helping women carry babies to term, if that was their choice.
That thought was absent from yesterday’s statement.
The full statement is below but this is the key paragraph:

“While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.”

Compare that to the Democratic platform, which had the above sentiment but also this:

“The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.”

And here’s his statement during the final Presidential debate, in which he again paired preventing unintended pregnancies with helping women who want to carry babies to term:

“We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.”

Or to his statement during the campaign to George Stephanopolous:

“I think the better answer — and this was reflected in the Democratic platform — is to figure out, how do we make sure that young mothers, or women who have a pregnancy that’s unexpected or difficult, have the kind of support they need to make a whole range of choices, including adoption and keeping the child.”

Joe Biden on Meet the Press went even further:

“What we’re going to be spending our time doing is making sure that we reduce considerably the amount of abortions that take place by providing the care, the assistance and the encouragement for people to be able to carry to term and to raise their children.”

UPDATE: At least one pro-Obama group is arguing that repealing the gag rule would actually reduce the number of abortions. How? The policy reduced familty planning efforts leading to millions more unintended pregnancies, in addition to deaths of mothers and children.
Full statement by Obama on the anniversar of Roe v. Wade:

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.
While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.
On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere.

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Charles Cosimano

posted January 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Obama can read polls and he knows his political history. When the economy is ok and there is no real danger of Roe being overturned, pro-life candidates can win. If the economy goes south or there is a real danger of Roe being overturned, pro-life candidates don’t merely lose, they get buried.
I think he is reading what seems to be a clear electoral message. The public may be ambivelant to pollsters about abortion but at the polls they are not ambivalent about pro-lifers. The public despises them and only tolerates them in office if it does perceive their views on abortion as a significant danger. Given that reading, Obama has no reason to care what the pro-life folks think. They just don’t count right now.

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posted January 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Nothing in this statement should surprise or disappoint pro-life Obama supporters. He has stated time and again that he intends to fully support abortion at any time and for any reason. In his mind, the will of the mother always trumps the life of the child.
While we must continue to actively support and work toward programs that assist women through availability of pre- and post-natal health care, income support, access to child care and other worthwhile programs, we must remember that this battle is going to be won through the hearts and minds of men and women. While things may look bleak for victories in the political and judicial arena for the next couple of years, this is an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on the extreme views of the pro-abortion crowd. With each new anti-life resolution, executive order and agency directive, we have a chance to educate the public on the dangers of these policies and the views of those in elected and appointed positions. Keep the faith!

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posted January 24, 2009 at 10:21 am

I am not a politician so I don’t spend all day with my nit comb, but those statements seem the same to me. You eliminate the need for abortion by making women able to control their bodies. Nothing in either your or Obama’s statement addresses the real issue- sexual violence. Rape is an epidemic in America and a weapon of choice in most of the world. Until we punish men for sexual crimes, we have no moral standing to condemn women for dealing with the after effects- both physical and psychological.

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Your Name

posted January 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Charles Cosimano
January 23, 2009 1:26 PM
Charles is correct. The simple fact is there is not a majority for the pro life position. During the last election there were propositions on the ballot in three states to restrict and/or effectively outlaw abortion procedures. Two of the states were very red and one of these had had exactly the same proposition put on its ballot several times in recent years. All went down to failure. If this was a vote left purely to women who after all are the people really affected here not Dobson or some catholic priest then it would overwhelming.

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Gerard Nadal

posted January 25, 2009 at 2:51 am

In what system of jurisprudence, anywhere in the world, is a child put to death for the crimes of the father? Only in abortion do we see this abomination.
The answer to rape is not murder.
Too many women realize years later, the truth in what they have done in aborting their child. In rape, having been brutalized and overwhelmed, aborting the baby may seem to be the most concrete first step at reasserting control over her body. In a sense, it is. But it is not a healthy first step. The act of killing the innocent child does not vicariously erase the usurpation of her control during the rape.
To read more from the growing legion of women and men who say that abortion ultimately made things far worse, both physically and psychologically, go to:
As for your assertion, “Until we punish men for sexual crimes, we have no moral standing to condemn women for dealing with the after effects- both physical and psychological,” I simply see no connection.
To be certain, no truly spiritually mature pro-life person condemns the women who have abortions. We condemn the doctors and nurses who make a living by slaughtering innocents. The mothers are often ill-informed, and outright lied to by abortion clinic staff about the human identity of the fetus. They are often gripped by shock and fear, perceiving no other choice or option.
These women deserve no less than our loving support and nonjudgmentalism.
That does not preclude us from condemning the evil of slaughtering a baby in what ought to be the safety and security of its mother’s womb. Again, the father’s crime notwithstanding. We can seek justice for the mother, the rapist and the baby all at once.
God Bless!

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Your Name

posted January 25, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Allan Guttmacher Institute on why women have abortions:
Woman is concerned about how having a baby could change her life-16%
Woman can’t afford baby now-21%
Woman has problems with relationship or wants to avoid single parenthood-12%
Woman is unready for responsibility-21%
Woman doesn’t want others to know she has had sex or is pregnant-1%
Woman is not mature enough, or is too young to have a child-11%
Woman has all the children she wanted, or has all grown-up children-8%
Husband or partner wants woman to have an abortion-1%
Fetus has possible health problem-3%
Woman has health problem-3%
Woman’s parents want her to have abortion-

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norman jacobson

posted May 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm

—– Original Message —–
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 7:31 PM
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,
My name is Norman Jacobson; God gave me to “write” and produce a 30 minute c.d. that is having a profound effect to saving pre-born babies all over the world….. So far, every single pregnant girl/woman that we have been blessed to visit with, who had already scheduled an abortion, or was about to schedule one, chose LIFE FOR THEIR BABIES AFTER LISTENING TO THIS MESSAGE!!!!!!!! (100%!!!!!) Please pray about this c.d. and ask God if it might be of help to you….. If you play this c.d. for un-decided pregnant girls/woman; you will see firsthand what we have witnessed every time; THEY WILL CHOOSE LIFE FOR THEIR BABIES!!!!! Weather you play it for just one, or for a group, you will know this message has come from God!!!! (by the results it brought!) I welcome you to talk about this if you are led…. I will be happy to send you a copy, if you like, so you can run your own test of it….(no charge) When God gave me this message, He told me that it was mainly intended for pregnant-un-saved girls and woman, but we have seen many blessed who are outside this designated group…….. Please just pray about this…. Please put this message to test by playing it for these girls/woman……Thank you for coming down from and out of “the peripheral religious bleachers” and coming onto the field/the war-zone in service to our Lord Jesus Christ, in defense of His “Little Ones!!!” Please don’t lightly regard this……….
In Christ Jesus,
Love, Grace, Mercy and Joy to You,
Norman Jacobson
THIS 30 MINUTE PRO-SALVATION/PRO-LIFE AUDIO C.D. IS SAVING BABIES ALL OVER THE WORLD AND LEADING MANY UNTO ACCEPTING JESUS AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR…… SO FAR; (FROM OUR OWN WITNESS OF IT) EVERY SINGLE GIRL/WOMAN WHO WE HAVE PERSONALLY BEEN BLESSED TO VISIT WITH, WHO HAD ALREADY SCHEDULED AN ABORTION, OR WAS ABOUT TO, CHOSE LIFE FOR THEIR BABIES after listening to this message!!!! (100%!!!!) ( please ask god if what I’m saying is true. ) ( Most of these same people also received Christ into their hearts at the same time!!!! ) please go to our website:
Love, in Christ Jesus, Norman Jacobson

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