McCain Campaign Takes Barack Obama to Task on Shifting Abortion Position

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

McCain Campaign Takes Barack Obama to Task on Shifting Abortion Position

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 8
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — In one of its first attacks on Barack Obama over the issue of abortion, the McCain campaign on Tuesday criticized the candidate for apparently flip-flopping on late-term abortions. The McCain team pointed out Obama’s recent comments on mental health exceptions and how they violate his positions.

Last week, reported how Obama said that mental health considerations shouldn’t be used to justify late-term abortions.

"I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother," Obama said in an interview with a Christian magazine.

However, Obama has repeatedly said he supports the 1973 Roe and Doe decisions by the Supreme Court that allowed abortions for any reason and included a wide mental health exception.

He has also endorsed the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would enshrine those rulings in law and overturn every pro-life law enacted by state legislatures across the country. It would also bring back unlimited partial-birth abortions, even for the reasons Obama purportedly opposes.

The McCain campaign pointed to a report from ABC News noting this contradiction in Obama’s position.

"In a recent interview, Obama appears to back away from his long-stated positions on abortion (and a proposed federal abortion rights law he had co-sponsored)," ABC news reported on the comments.

In response to the criticism from a voter who said he had been flip-flopping on this and other issues, Obama dismissed the notion he is changing his stance to win over moderate and conservative voters.

"The people who say this haven’t apparently been listening to me," he said.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds told the opposite is true and it’s because voters are paying attention that they realize he is arbitrarily shifting positions.

"Since becoming his party’s presumptive nominee, Barack Obama has changed numerous positions and will continue to change his stances as he puts politics ahead of principle," Bounds said.

"Obama has proven his rhetoric to be nothing but empty words and broken pledges that are at odds with his left wing partisan record," he added.

"Barack Obama is wrong: everyone’s been listening and still nobody knows what Barack Obama truly believes," Bounds concluded.

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