by Steven Ertelt
October 8, 2007
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama attempted to moderate his views on abortion and abstinence education. However, he made it clear he has no interest in limiting or reducing abortions and his pro-abstinence stance is tempered by his backing of sexual education.
Speaking in the northeast town of New Hampton late Friday, Obama responded to a question in a forum from a Denver resident in the first primary state for a family reunion.
The questioner asked Obama to reconcile how society gets upset at someone like Michael Vick, the football player who caused a furor by betting on dog fights, and seems unconcerned by the tremendous loss of human life from abortions.
"What would you do about that and what’s happening in our society when people can’t seem to see this contradiction?” the questioner asked.
According to a New York Times report, Obama told the audience that the issue abortion isn’t ever going to go away and said people wrestle with the debate between acknowledging the humanity of the unborn child and wanting to help women.
However, ultimately, Obama said abortion must remain legal despite the loss of human life.
"A lot of people have arrived in the view that I’ve arrived at, which is that there is a moral implication to these issues, but that the women involved are in the best position to make that determination," he said.
He also rejected the comparison between abortion and Michael Vick’s actions.
"I reject a comparison between a woman struggling with these issues and Michael Vick fighting dogs for sport. I don’t think that’s sort of how people perceive it," Obama said.
The Times said Obama made it clear that there is an impasse on the issue of abortion.
“Now, this is one of those areas – again, I think it’s important to be honest – where I don’t think you’re ever going to get a complete agreement on this issue. If you believe that life begins at conception, then I can’t change your mind," he said.
He also indicated he favored some limits on late-term abortions, despite his stance against the partial-birth abortion ban.
"I think there is a large agreement, for example, that late-term abortions are really problematic and there should be a regulation," he said, though qualifying that his support for late-term limits includes health exceptions that render such limits meaningless.
Obama told the audience that people on both sides of the abortion debate should find agreement on preventing unwanted pregnancies, but he acknowledged he doesn’t support abstinence education, a method to do that.
“I’m all for education for our young people, encouraging abstinence until marriage, but I also believe that young people do things regardless of what their parents tell them to do and I don’t want my daughters ending up in really difficult situations because I didn’t communicate to them, how to protect themselves if they make a mistake," he said.