Douglas Kmiec Continues False Claim That Barack Obama Opposes Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Douglas Kmiec Continues False Claim That Barack Obama Opposes Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 16
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Catholic Professor Douglas Kmiec made national news over the past two weeks when he was denied communion for endorsing pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama. Kmiec is in the news again on Monday with a new article making the false claim that Barack Obama is pro-life on abortion.

Kmiec writes on Obama’s position on abortion in an editorial that appears in Monday’s Chicago Tribune and he discusses the recent meeting Obama had with several religious leaders.

In his editorial, Kmiec says much of the discussion revolved around the issue of abortion and he tried to make the argument that Obama has a compassionate position that is essentially pro-life.

Obama said he earnestly wants to "discourage" abortions from happening "despite the distortions of some who think if they affix the ‘pro-abortion–won’t overturn-Roe-label’ to the senator, pro-lifers like myself won’t give him the time of day," Kmiec writes.

Yet, Obama has repeatedly said not only that he will not appoint judges who will consider the possibility of overturning Roe, he will only appoint judges who will uphold Roe and keep unlimited abortions legal throughout the entirety of pregnancy for another 35 years.

"I would not appoint somebody who doesn’t believe in the right to privacy," he said in a November 2007 debate — hardly a pro-life position.

Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review is one pro-life advocate who doubts Kmiec is right on Obama.

"The next time Obama does an outreach event with conservative or moderate evangelicals or Catholics, I hope someone will ask him how his support for taxpayer-funded abortion squares with his earnest desire to reduce the incidence of the procedure," Ponnuru wrote in response.

Still, Kmiec, after the meeting with Obama and the pastors, claims "Obama shares a common aspiration to reduce the incidence of abortion."

But that’s not what he’s promised to do as president.

Karen Cross, the political director for National Right to Life, points to a speech Obama made before Planned Parenthood in 2007 promising to sign the so-called Freedom of Choice Act that would make the Roe decision federal law.

Not only would the bill make legal abortions in all nine months of pregnancy the law of the land, it would overturn every pro-life state enacted by state legislatures. That means states across the nation could no long place even moderate, common sense limits on abortions like parental notification, banning partial-birth abortions or preventing taxpayer-funding of abortions.

Eliminating those laws would obviously increase the number of abortions — hardly consistent with Kmiec’s claims.

Kmiec goes on to say that Obama will reduce the number of abortions by encouraging "responsible sexual behavior." In other words, Obama will promote things like the morning after pill.

Yet, the most aggressive promotion of the Plan B drug has increased, not reduced, the number of abortions.

The number of abortions in Scotland has risen for the third straight year despite a heavy push for women to use the morning after pill. The Plan B drug is available over the counter for easy purchase and abortion backers have engaged in massive advertising campaigns to promote it.

Yet, in Scotland rose four percent according to a report from the British national health Service and now number 13,703. That increase came after NHS reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.

Kmiec claims Obama will reduce abortions further by "putting off limits in a manner consistent with the law as the justices see it, late-term abortion." Yet, Obama has repeatedly said he opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions and his wife Michelle fund-raised for his 2004 Senate campaign on the basis of his opposition to the partial-birth abortion ban.

Kmiec concludes his "Obama is pro-life" editorial with the amazing admission that "Obama will not exclude abortion from medical coverage."

Promoting the inclusion of abortion in governmental or private health insurance plans will surely cause the number of abortions to increase as the cost of abortions becomes less of a factor for mothers considering having one.

While Kmiec believes Obama is pro-life and opposes abortion, pro-life advocates see things differently.

"For all his talk on change and social justice, Senator Obama clings to and embraces archaic and radical pro-abortion policies that most Americans find appalling," says Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.

"While the majority of Americans are growing more and more uncomfortable with abortion rights, Senator Obama wants to radically expand them and even ask people of faith to pay for abortions," he added.

Ultimately, because of his pro-abortion views, Mahoney says Obama would become the "abortion president."