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.
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?