by Steven Ertelt
April 14, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life group is tagging Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for a speech he gave last year at a Planned Parenthood forum. Obama indicated the first action he would take as president would be signing a comprehensive pro-abortion bill that would entrench Roe v. Wade.
"Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," Obama said at a July 17 event for the nation’s leading abortion business.
The FOCA bill would make legalized abortion the law of the land, but it would go further and overturn state pro-life laws nationwide.
As Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com — FOCA would be the most aggressively pro-abortion law ever adopted.
He said the measure would do more because it also would go further than Roe, invalidating all of the major types of pro-life laws that have been upheld by the Supreme Court in the decades since Roe.
"The claim that the bill would codify Roe’ is just a marketing gimmick by the proponents," explained Johnson. "The sponsors hope that journalists and legislators will lazily accept that vague shorthand phrase but it is very misleading."
"The references to Roe in the bill are in non-binding, discursive clauses," he said. "The heart of the bill is a ban that would nullify all of the major types of pro-life laws that the Supreme Court has said are permissible under Roe v. Wade, including the ban on partial-birth abortions and bans on government funding of abortion."
Because of the reach of the bill and Obama’s commitment to make it his first priority as president, one pro-life group says it shows how extreme Obama is on abortion.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition tells LifeNews.com the statement also goes against the comments Obama made in a Sunday night forum on faith where he said he wanted to work to reduce abortions and have common ground with pro-life advocates.
"It is shocking that Senator Obama would make his first priority as President of the United States signing the Freedom of Choice Act," Mahoney said. "This piece of legislation would expand and codify abortion and nullify any state or federal restrictions on abortion."
"With critical issues facing America like poverty, health care, the economy, national security and education; it is stunning that Senator Obama’s first priority as President would be to expand ‘abortion rights,’" Mahoney told LifeNews.com.
"This public statement shows how radical Senator Obama is on the subject of abortion and how out of step he is with the American public," he added.
Mahoney said his long-standing pro-abortion position "puts him in conflict with evangelicals and Catholics who support building a culture of life."
He said his group would confront Obama about abortion on the campaign trail.