I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where Does Obama Stand On Abortion?

On August 16, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain attended a forum on Faith at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Warren asked a variety of questions to both candidates separately with each candidate offering his answers on live TV. The build up to the event was promoted to be a blowout performance for Obama, highlighting McCain’s inadequacies at connecting with the public. Unfortunately for Obama, reality was one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase from the media predictions.

The Obama campaign quickly responded to their candidate’s poor performance by positing the notion that McCain had cheated. They claimed that he had clearly known what the questions were before they were asked. A spokesman for the Saddleback Church revealed that both candidates were given the initial two questions to help them feel at ease. Obama was also given a question about an “Emergency Plan for Adoption” as he arrived at the church. McCain was never given the question due to the time of his arrival at the church. McCain simply did not cheat, but that is not the news. The news is that Obama performs poorly whenever he is not reading from a teleprompter. He is undoubtedly intriguing and charismatic while delivering his speeches, but when he gets away from his prepared remarks he stumbles.

One answer from the forum that has received an exorbitant amount of scrutiny over the ensuing days has been Obama’s response to Warren’s question of, “At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?” Obama’s campaign and supporters have tried to spin his answer as thoughtful and nuanced, but his answer revealed a typical politician desperately trying to avoid taking a stand on the abortion issue. The presumptive Democratic nominee responded to Warren with the following answer, “Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.” Pardon me Mr. Obama, but the President of the United States is the highest pay grade in our country. I believe he was terrified of his actual record and position on abortion coming to light.

While in the Illinois State Senate, Obama voted twice against a bill that would provide protection for babies that are born alive after an abortion. The bill was in response to the news that some babies survive induced labor abortions but then are allowed to die alone in soiled linen closets. Obama has said that if the bill presented in Illinois were the same bill that passed unanimously at the federal level, he would have supported it. Again reality is much different than what Obama has claimed. The second time the bill came before the state Senate, Obama helped write an amendment to the bill that put in the wording that he claims was missing. He also voted for the bill to get it out of committee and then voted against it when it went before the full state Senate. He is also on record from the floor of the state Senate claiming that the bill would put a burden on the doctors to attempt to resuscitate an unviable baby. We are not talking about a 6-week-old unborn baby; we are talking about 23-week-old unborn baby. Does Senator Obama believe that a baby born at around 23 weeks is unviable and should not receive medical attention? Even the nation’s leading abortion providing corporation, Planned Parenthood, did not oppose this legislation.

Senator Obama is trying to run away from his very liberal record. When he was rated as the most liberal Senator, his supporters claimed that the ratings were unfairly calculated, but with his record on issues such as abortion, he is showing that he is truly more liberal than Harry Reid, Teddy Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and Hillary Clinton. The Democrats may have wanted the abortion issue to not be a part of the campaign this year, but with Obama’s refusal to publicly state his position, the issue has been forcefully thrust into the spotlight.

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