October 6, 2022

Obama on Abortion

From Rick Warren’s forum on religion with Barack Obama and John McCain (caps Warren’s):

Warren: 40 MILLION ABORTIONS SINCE ROE V. WADE.  YOU KNOW,
AS A PASTOR I HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS ALL OF THE TIME. 
ALL OF THE  PAIN AND ALL OF THE CONFLICTS.  I KNOW THIS
IS A VERY COMPLEX ISSUE.  40 MILLION ABORTIONS.  AT WHAT
POINT DOES A BABY GET HUMAN RIGHTS IN YOUR VIEW?

Obama: 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.  BUT LET ME JUST SPEAKMORE GENERALLY
ABOUT THE ISSUE OF ABORTION BECAUSE THIS
IS SOMETHING OBVIOUSLY THE COUNTRY WRESTLES WITH.  ONE
THING THAT I’M ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED OF IS THERE IS A
MORAL AND ETHICAL CONTENT TO THIS ISSUE.  SO I THINK
THAT ANYBODY WHO TRIES TO DENY THE MORAL DIFFICULTIES
AND GRAVITY OF THE ABORTION ISSUE I THINK IS NOT PAYING
ATTENTION.  SO THAT WOULD BE POINT NUMBER ONE.
BUT POINT NUMBER TWO, I AM PRO-CHOICE.  I
BELIEVE IN ROE V. WADE AND COME TO THAT CONCLUSION NOT
BECAUSE I’M PRO ABORTION, BUT BECAUSE ULTIMATELY I
DON’T THINK WOMEN MAKE THESE DECISIONS CASUALLY.  THEY
WRESTLE WITH THESE THINGS IN PROFOUND WAYS.  IN
CONSULTATION WITH THEIR PASTORS OR SPOUSES OR THEIR
DOCTORS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.  AND SO FOR ME, THE
GOAL RIGHT NOW SHOULD BE — AND THIS IS WHERE I THINK
WE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND AND BY THE WAY I HAVE NOW
INSERTED THIS INTO THE DEMOCRAT PARTY PLATFORM IS HOW
DO WE REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS…

Pretty reasonable statement for a presidential candidate to make.  Some women do make the decision to have an abortion casually, just as some do it without consulting the father.  Neither is ethical or desirable, yet it happens.

Despite my own certainty that abortion is a crime against both God and America – I think that the right for couples to have an abortion should be maintained.  Not because abortion is good – it’s not – or because women’s rights to choose are exclusive – they’re not – but because a reasonable window of opportunity must be provided to allow a couple to determine if they want to become parents.  This is a fundamental right of self-determination and, quite possibly, self-damnation.

Some choices are unpleasant.  My position is that nearly all women who have abortions would better serve themselves and America by carrying their child to term and allowing him/her to be adopted.  But that opinion should not be the law of the land for one simple reason:  Law is the minimum standard for tolerable behavior, not the ideal.  As such it’s not meant to pacify ultra-paranoids like TChris:

Does a fetus have the right not to lose its liberty without due process? Does the fetus have a right, independent of the mother’s, to petition for habeas corpus if the fetus, having committed no crime, finds itself in a prison cell? Is that what John McCain meant when he answered that babies acquire human rights “at the moment of conception”? Is he among those who would lock a woman up at any stage of a pregnancy if she acts in a way that endangers the “rights” of a fetus?

The answer is obvious, as is the fact that such questions only become relevant when laws are used to mandate ideal behaviors.  Simply put, Americans need to recognize that it’s OK for other people to make decisions that they don’t agree with, even it it harms the decision-maker.  That’s part of being a free people.

There is an ultimate judge of right and wrong and our accountability is to Him far more than to any man-made law.

marc

Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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4 thoughts on “Obama on Abortion

  1. I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one Marcus…

    Or at least, disagree with what I perceive the general tone of this post. It seems to me that you’re saying we, as a free nation, should allow abortions to continue. Or, at least do not repeal Roe V Wade. Is this true?

    A mother deciding to abort her child is not a decision of harm to the decision-maker, it’s performing great harm to a person who has no say whatsoever.

    We, as a nation, were founded upon a central idea of human beings have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What kind of moral standing do we then have by allowing a practice that denies these very concepts?

    A couple should have the right to decide whether or not they want to be parents, true, but not at the cost of the human life. There are always other options.

    It’s pretty much black and white to me: the only times a child can be aborted is when the life of the mother is at risk, or the life of the child would be such that living would cause great physical suffering. The first is performed in defense of life, and the second with compassion.

    In it’s current form, abortion is a great evil that must be eradicated, and I can no longer in good conscience accept it.

  2. Re disagreeing, that’s you and virtually everyone else whose opinion matters to me.

    But while I cast my personal ballots for pro-life candidates I believe there are principles of government that preclude invalidating all of Roe v. Wade.

    There should, for instance, be as few laws and restrictions as possible, just enough to maintain an orderly society. Further, those laws should not extend into moral gray areas any further than necessary.

    Do you object to Plan B and deliberate “overdoses” of birth control pills as contraception? Do you reject all forms of birth control?

    Only that last is entirely consistent, yet who truly accepts the Catholic interpretation?

    IMO, the U.S. should adopt a standard, say 12 weeks, and disallow all unnecessary abortions after that time.

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having as few laws and restrictions as possible, just as long as the rights we have as Americans are secure. And yes, I know there’s no explicit constitutional right for life, but the Declaration of Independence states it, and dang-it, that’s good enough for me!

    I don’t have any problem with any form of *preventive* birth control. I don’t share the restrictive Catholic thoughts on this line (or for that matter, much of anything else). But, once the life has been created, it should be protected unless that of the life giver is being threatened.

    So yes, the U.S should adopt a standard: once life is created, disallow all unnecessary abortions.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree again 😉

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