While some herald a new era for "reproductive rights"; a Catholic for Obama muses: "was it ever about abortion?"

It’s a new day in America, and people are celebrating the rise of a staunchly “pro-choice” president unwavering in his support of Roe v. Wade and dedicated to expanding universal access to abortion.

NARAL president Nancy Keenan called Sen. Barack Obama’s victory in the presidential race a historic win for “women’s freedom and privacy”:

The clear contrast between Obama’s pro-choice values and John McCain’s extreme anti-choice record made an enormous difference in this race. Sen. Obama’s visionary pledge to change the tone of the debate over reproductive rights struck a chord with Americans looking for a leader to move the country away from the divisive attacks and rhetoric that have dominated our nation’s political process for the last eight years.

From the left-leaning The Nation, Barbara Crossette looks to a new era of U.S. collaboration with the United Nations on “reproductive rights”:

In the Senate, Obama and Joe Biden have been supportive of programs for women–Biden co-authored the Violence Against Women legislation–and the ban on UNFPA [The UN Population Fund] is expected to be lifted early, along with what is known as the “global gag rule” introduced at a population conference in Mexico City in the Reagan administration that prevents US aid to any organization worldwide that condones abortion.

With the new administration, the broader American opposition to social programs in the UN system may end or be greatly diminished. The US has been in league with the Vatican and conservative Islamic countries on women’s reproductive rights.

How should Catholics welcome these new circumstances? — “Obama-Catholic” Morning’s Minion counsels us to spurn the GOP, reach out to Obama, “[focus] less on executive power and more on … subsidiary mediating institutions”:

Was it ever about abortion? Many pro-lifers seem genuinely puzzled by Obama’s appeal, given his strong pro-abortion rhetoric. Unfortunately, for most people, abortion is a minor issue. This year, economic fears dominated. Four years ago, a country confused and scared about terrorism flocked to George Bush; his views on abortion were distinctly secondary. And yet, some people just keep digging. Pro-lifers ogle over Palin, defend McCain’s economics, support pre-emptive war, oppose universal health care, keep quiet about torture and global warming, and stand against any restriction on gun ownership. None of this is coherent. None of this is consistent.

The pro-life movement should use the Obama victory to make a clean break with the entire Republican agenda, at least until the party has reformed. Pro-lifers need to reach out to Obama, knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues. But Christians can only persuade by example. The only viable example is that of the consistent ethic of life, grounded in Catholic social teaching. Strong and loud, yes, but first consistent.

Is it just me, or is something dreadfully wrong here?

17 Responses to While some herald a new era for "reproductive rights"; a Catholic for Obama muses: "was it ever about abortion?"

  • “Pro-lifers need to reach out to Obama, knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    Yes, like the issue that makes them pro-lifers. If only we had possessed such wisdom at other times:

    “Abolitionists need to reach out to Jefferson Davis knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    “Capitalists need to reach out to Joe Stalin knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    “Jews need to reach out to Hitler knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    Pro-lifers reaching out to Obama is as pathetic as it is stupid. Obama’s Minion doesn’t give a hang about abortion and never has.

  • The Vatican did reach out to the CSA, and the CSA finally did agree to end slavery. Just saying.

  • “… the CSA finally did agree to end slavery.”

    Actually, the CSA wasn’t around to “agree to end slavery”. The USA ended slavery when it passed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • “The Vatican did reach out to the CSA, and the CSA finally did agree to end slavery.”

    2,000,000 Union soldiers ended slavery.

  • I’m no Civil War scholar, but is it accurate to say that the CSA “agreed to end” slavery? Certainly, very late in the war, it agreed to lselective liberation in return for military service, but only when their backs were against the proverbial wall anyway. If they’d been ready to give up slavery to start with (indeed, not even that — just face its gradual diminishment) there wouldn’t have been a war in the first place.

    I understand and to a limited extent sympathize with those who see the South as having been right as regards states rights. But it’s an odd defense for those who somehow put hope in the newly elected administration — given that said administration strongly endorses the power of the Federal Government to force tolerance of moral abominations upon unwilling states.

  • The Confederate Congress on March 13, 1865 passed a law authorizing the use of slaves as troops. http://www.history.umd.edu/Freedmen/csenlist.htm

    This was a twenty second before midnight measure when every rational Confederate knew they were facing military defeat. The Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on Palm Sunday April 9, 1865.

    The Confederate Constitution forbade the Confederate Congress from impairing the right to own slaves: “(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

    The Confederate Act specifically required the consent of the owner before a slave could be enlisted and spelled out that there would be no change in the status of the slave as a result of his enlistment:

    “SEC 5. That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.”

    Enlistment of black troops was a last desperate act of the Confederacy to win the fight for independence and thereby to preserve slavery. The Confederacy agreed to end slavery in the same way that the Texans in 1836 agreed to relinquish the Alamo to Santa Anna.

  • The irony here is that when people object to the analogy of abortion to slavery in the antebellum South, they typically aren’t doing so because they think it is unfair to the antebellum South.

  • “Obama’s Minion doesn’t give a hang about abortion and never has.”

    Exactly. The problem isn’t that these Catholics who voted for Obama really believed what they said about abortion, i.e., it cannot be won but can be reduced through dialogue with Obama. The problem is that these self-professed Catholics do not have a problem with abortion. Apparently they have a problem with Sunday Mass and regular confession, too. What on earth keeps them Catholic beyond the name?

    It’s about clear and authoritative teaching. And they’re not hearing it from their catechists/bishops. Bidens, Pelosis and other Catholic public figures are causing scandal, and their own bishops are tolerating it. It becomes very easy for the average Catholic to then conclude that the matter is far from grave and certain.

    What was it that the Lord said about scandals and the lukewarm?

  • Let’s accomodate Obama on abortion: cue to hysterical laughter. As though values and principles can be sold like the khakis on sale this weekend at Your Favorite Department Store. Ms. Keenan- funny how so many feminist & pro-abort leaders have Irish or Italian last names, musta broken away from The Church- isn’t very accomodating. John McCain was accomodating during his presidential campaign. John McCain returned to the Senate on Wednesday. Time for the purification process. In the Church, in the GOP, in the pro-life movement. Not pretty or easy. Might be the best thing to happen to us in any or all of these categories.

  • Jeff,

    He says that He will take our lampstand away… aka we will be the dustbowl of history… St. John discusses this in Revelation.

  • I would have thought that the writing on the wall is clear, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Abortion is not just a life issue, but an economic one, as well. To some small extent, I can understand people feeling the need for abortion in case of rape, incest, and the extreme case of either the baby dies, or both die. But a vast majority of abortions are performed for essentially economic reasons. Abortion interferes with career, can’t afford a baby, still in high school, and so on. So let me spell out what I say, and anyone who wants can jump on me.

    1) Abortion is the choice of the material over human life. The material is not just financial, but sexual.

    2) A blanket law making abortion legal in call cases gives justification to the primary cause of all abortions, i.e. rampant promiscuity.

    3) Rampant promiscuity gives rise to many ills, such as STDs, but also one of the biggest problems facing us now: single parent households.

    4) Not only are such households typically below the poverty line, but the children from those households are at much higher risk of drug use, abuse, criminal behavior, and dropping out of school, thus increasing the economic woes of the lower class.

    Furthermore, it seems highly doubtful that better economic conditions will help reduce the number of abortions. As I said before, abortion is about choosing the material over a human life. I suppose that suggesting that if a person had the opportunity to a slightly larger slice of the pie while still keeping the baby, it might prevent that person from having an abortion. But it seems to me, rather, that for such a person, the opportunity for an even larger slice of the pie if she doesn’t keep the baby won’t prevent her from having an abortion, anyway.

  • Jeff Tan, Gerard E., Bret Ramsey, and Ryan Harkins,

    Excellent analysis and commentary. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts.

  • What does the pro-life movement have to be part of either party?

    What about praying and fasting for President-elect Obama to have a change of heart (maybe like St. Paul – it is the Year of St. Paul) and courage to stand up to his own party leaders on matters of the sanctity of life (abortion, ESCR, euthanasia and death penalty), of marriage, and of expanding the war in Afghanistan? If he is as reasonable and open to the views of pro-lifers as his Catholic proponents claim him to be, then I’m sure he will appreciate those prayers.

    What about us supporting at a local level pro-life politicans (democrates and republicans) who are willing to take the abuse from the pro-abortion side? The reason we have few to no strong pro-life politicans on the national scene is because of the lack of local support. Maybe we should be encourage people to support pro-life PACs to get this candidates some vissibility and support.

    And then there is supporting women who face crisis pregnancies. Have your parish adopted a ciris pregnancy – financially and with volunteer hours. Pro-life groups like Feminists for life who work on educating college-woman about abortion and managing unplanned pregnancy in college. Planned Parenthood called Feminist for life one of the more dangerous movements against them because it strikes at the core. They have get materials and speakers. Have them speak at all the christian universities. There is STILL so much we can do if we pray and work without ceasing.

  • Katerine,

    Well said. I believe most, if not all, of us pro-lifers are of the same mind. I hope that many, like myself, are working at the grassroots level. I certainly support any party, either Republican or Democrat, if they are serious about the sanctity of life.

    What you said needs to be told over and over. We need to behave as Christians not only during Mass on Sunday’s, but each and every day. It is a way of life.

    We certainly will do our part. And praying for Presiden-Elect Obama’s conversion is at the top of the list. Like you said, it is the year of St. Paul after all.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Do you all know about the the 40 days for life campaign which just ended? It was a cross-country effort, in many cities, 24-hour vigils in front of clinics, priests coming with the host exposed, Masses being offered, and in that forty days, at least 441 babies were saved, and several workers at the clinics quit.

    We must changed hearts through prayer and we must support women who are caught in seemingly hopeless situations where they must choice between their child and their education, their boyfriend, their family, and/or their job.

  • Katerine,

    You are my sister in Christ!

    I participated in 40 days for life with faithful prayers.

    We need to continue changing hearts and minds.

    If we change the culture, we can change the law of the land.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

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