Barack Obama Forms Catholic Advisory Council to Make Pro-Life Inroads

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama Forms Catholic Advisory Council to Make Pro-Life Inroads

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 11
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is expected to announce the formation of a Catholic Advisory Council today that he will likely use to try to make inroads among pro-life Catholic voters.

However, whether Obama’s position in favor of unlimited abortions funded with taxpayer dollars goes over with Catholic voters is another question.

Senator Bob Casey and former Congressman Tim Roemer will participate in the Friday afternoon conference call to announce the formation of the advisory group.

The participation and leadership of the two pro-life politicians is an obvious clue that Obama wants to siphon some of the pro-life Catholic vote away from eventual Republican nominee John McCain.

"Obama has two high profile pro-lifers in prominent roles on this Council," CBN News correspondent David Brody observes.

"[They] have taken flack from the Democratic Party in the past because they are not pro-choice. The Obama campaign is clearly trying to send a message," he explains. "They want Catholics and evangelicals to know that while Obama may be pro-choice, the pro-life point of view is not going to be so easily discounted."

The timing of the announcement of the Catholic advisory group comes just before a weekend debate at Messiah College in Pennsylvania featuring Obama and Hillary Clinton that will focus on faith issues.

For his part, John McCain has already received the endorsement of pro-life Catholic stalwarts and has his own Catholic outreach group.

In mid-March, McCain released a list of more than 100 prominent Catholic pro-life advocates who have endorsed his campaign.

The list includes Dr. Jack Willke, the former president and founder of the National Right to Life Committee and Dominos Pizza and Ave Maria University founder Tom Monaghan.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, a top pro-life political group, has endorsed McCain as has her husband Martin Dannenfelser, a former Family Research Council vice president.

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, and Cathy Ruse, the former pro-life spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are McCain supporters as well.

Sen. Sam Brownback heads up the Catholics for McCain effort and he said the long list of pro-life advocates supporting the Arizona senator is a result of his support for "faith, freedom, and families."

"Committed to the protection of innocent human life, he is a leader Catholics will be proud to support," Brownback said.

"John McCain knows from experience what it means when a society tramples on the truth of the value of the human person. He is committed to defending the dignity and value of every person, regardless of their status," Brownback added.

Meanwhile, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, tells that Obama can’t expect to get the votes of pro-life advocates just because a handful of Catholics endorse him.

“Pro-lifers have learned from painful past experience not to assume or expect that a candidate will be faithful to his – or his endorsers’ – religious affiliations," she told "Our litmus test is: Show us the beef. What is the candidate’s record?”