Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Did Obama Promise the Pope He’d Try to Reduce The Number of Abortions?

posted by swaldman

pope and obama.jpgFor months now, pro-choice activists have resisted those pro-life Democrats who said they wanted to “reduce the number” of abortions. No, no, they said, the goal should be “reducing the need” for abortion, a goal that’s less stigmatizing to women who have abortions.
Did President Obama tell Pope Benedict point blank that he wants to reduce the number?
So says the Pope’s spokesman, Federico Lombard, who explained, “The pontiff told me that President Obama affirmed his personal commitment to try to reduce the number of abortions in the United States.”
Of course it’s also possible that the painstaking nuanced differences between “reducing the need” and “reducing the number” got lost in the translation.



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David Bowman

posted July 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm


Sadly, making abortions fewer in number will depend on two things: raising awareness of the reality of the personhood of the unborn child. The other is a culture that values human life and supports a woman to have her child and place it into care if she is not able to care for it herself. As long as American society accepts the concept of abortion as a convenient medical procedure available on any whim of a pregnant woman, large numbers of abortions can be expected in the U.S. Please check out the link for Personhood.net



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Your Name

posted July 12, 2009 at 10:28 am


It seems that this is a simplistic answer to the question. I think there is a great need for a more nuanced debate on abortion – one that takes into consideration the differing opinions on the time at which a fetus becomes a person – not all faiths or even all scientists agree on that. We do need to have a more comprehensive approach to reducing both the need and the number of abortions but will not happen until both sides of the debate learn to listen and value the thoughts of those on the other side. The responses that have appeared on these boards every time the subject comes up show how far we as a country have to go before we can even begin to discuss the issue. Yes, as a society, we need to make abortion a less attactive option but we also need to provide better education on both contraception and why absitence is importatant. We need to educate people on all the myriad adoption options so women can make an informed choice. But, most of all, we need to talk and listen to those who do not agree with us, find common ground and develop a way forward that allows every woman to retain her rights and the integrity of her body while honoring and supporting whatever decision she chooses to make – including a decision to have her child (one that is often not considered by the “pro-choice” side of the debate)



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Steve Bowman

posted July 13, 2009 at 11:12 am


Well, it is true that there are different views on when a human being becomes a person to be protected of their right to life. However, there is no debate on when a human being/life is created: at conception or fertilization- NOT at implantation, but prior to that, when the 46 chromosomes make a unique human being. Whether to protect that life is the question. If it is a human being at fertilization, any action take to destroy the life is final.
If we establish personhood at fertilization, each human life is then protected under our constitution. Life becomes valuable again in the eyes of our society, not cheap and easily destroyed. Then we can call ourselves a nation with a high view of life, created in the image of God.



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Gerard Nadal

posted July 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm


If abortion is not the premeditated murder of an unborn child, then why talk of the need for reductions in a practice that merely removes, “The product of conceptus”, as the child is euphemistically called? Either it is a human being with the same inalienable right to life as its parents, or it is not.
If it is not, then there is no moral issue on the table to discuss with the Pope, or any other religious leader. If on the other hand there is a human being in the womb, then the role of the President of The United States is to see to it that ALL human beings within the jurisdiction of the U.S. receive equal protection under the law.
Only the very naive, willfully naive, or pro-choice agenda-driven individual could be assuaged that Obama’s promise to Pope Benedict was anything other than a farce.



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