Pro-Life Democrat Nat Hentoff Can’t Support Barack Obama Over Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
April 29, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Leading pro-life Democrat Nat Hentoff wrote a national editorial on Tuesday saying he had considered supporting Barack Obama for president. That was until he investigated Obama’s record on abortion and found that the Illinois lawmaker essentially supported infanticide.
"I was once strongly inclined to vote for Barack Obama for president (assuming he won his party’s nomination)," Hentoff said in the column.
"But then I learned Obama’s voting record on abortion," he added.
Hentoff explained how he is a non-religious pro-life advocate who bases his views on the protections the Constitution affords human life. Having voted for pro-abortion candidates in the past based on other political issues, his decision to not back Obama is significant.
"I admire much of Obama’s record," Hentoff continues, "but on abortion, Obama is an extremist."
Hentoff rattles off several problematic positions and actions — Obama opposed the Supreme Court’s upholding the ban on partial-birth abortions and opposes notifying parents when their teen daughters are considering an abortion.
As a state legislator in Illinois, Obama worked overtime to defeat the Born Alive Infant Protection Act — a bill to make sure babies who survived botched abortions are given proper medical care and not left to die.
"I have reported on several of those cases when, before the abortion was completed, an alive infant was suddenly in the room. It was disposed of as a horrified nurse who was not necessarily pro-life followed the doctors’ orders to put the baby in a pail or otherwise get rid of the child," he explained.
The bill Obama opposed would have prevented that from happening.
The last straw for Hentoff in deciding against voting for Obama came when Obama called a teenager having a baby in an unplanned pregnancy a "punishment."
"I’ve got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals," Obama said. "But if they make a mistake [a pregnancy] I don’t want them punished with a baby."
Hentoff responded: "Among my children and grandchildren are two daughters and three granddaughters."
"When I hear anyone, including a presidential candidate, equate having a baby as punishment, I realize with particular force the impact that the millions of legal abortions in this country have had on respect for human life," he said.
Hentoff concluded saying he’s surprised Obama is not up in arms over figures showing 37 percent of abortions performed in the United States in 2004 are on black women, who constitute a much lower percentage of the population of women overall.
"Is candidate Obama pleased those women were not ‘punished’ with babies?" he asked.