Catholic Pro-Life Leader Feuds With Barack Obama’s "Catholic" Backers

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

Catholic Pro-Life Leader Feuds With Barack Obama’s "Catholic" Backers

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 9
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life Catholic is feuding with supporters of Barack Obama who claim to be Catholic but join the candidate in violating the Church’s teachings by strongly supporting abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Catholic League President Bill Donahue says true Catholics would oppose Obama.

Donahue began the exchange last week by issuing a press release calling on Obama to dissolve his National Advisory Council because the members of the panel are pro-abortion.

Donahue provided evidence showing the majority of the members of the council had received 100 percent voting marks from extreme pro-abortion group NARAL.

Yesterday, the members of the Obama council responded with a joint letter that received.

“Senator Obama recognizes that abortion presents a profound moral challenge, tied in part to a loss of the sense of the sacredness of sex and lack of parental involvement," they claimed, even though Obama opposes parental involvement laws.

“Senator Obama has also reached out to Americans on both sides of this issue and embraces practical proposals designed to reduce the number of abortions in this country," they added.

However, Obama has opposed legislation to reduce abortions at every turn — opposing efforts to stop taxpayer-funded abortions, a partial-birth abortion ban, and a measure to give babies who survive failed abortions medical care.

Donahue responded to the council members in a statement of his own released late on Thursday emailed to

“It is more than embarrassing — it is shocking — to read how these Catholics view abortion," he said. "The Catholic Church regards abortion, as well as embryonic stem cell research, as ‘intrinsically evil.’ But not these folks. For them, abortion is merely ‘a profound moral issue.’"

“Sadly, it has been apparent for years that many who fancy themselves ‘progressive’ Catholics do not treat abortion the way they do racial discrimination," he explained.

"No one in his right mind says that the best way to combat racial discrimination is by changing people’s hearts and minds, not the law. Which is why we do both. But when it comes to abortion-including partial-birth abortion-the progressives settle for dialogue," he continued.

Donahue concluded by pointing to Obama’s efforts in the Illinois legislature to stop the bill providing medical care for infants who survive botched abortions.

"Is infanticide another ‘profound moral challenge’?’" he asked. "When he was in the Illinois state senate he led the fight to deny health care to babies born alive who survived an abortion. That, my friends, is not a moral challenge — it’s a Hitlerian decision."