Stopping Abortions, Protecting Human Life Not Above a President’s Pay Grade

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Stopping Abortions, Protecting Human Life Not Above a President’s Pay Grade

by Deal Hudson
August 19
, 2008 Note: Deal W. Hudson is the director of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture and, and is the former publisher and editor of CRISIS Magazine, a Catholic monthly. He is the author of six books and his articles and comments have been published in many newspapers and magazines

It’s a truism that anyone running for President shouldn’t answer a question by saying "that’s above my pay grade."

After all, if you want to occupy the White House there is no higher pay grade – you are the boss, and the buck stops with you.

But Barack Obama used precisely that expression when asked by Rick Warren when life begins.

Obama said, "Whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity . . . is above my pay grade."

How can a man who has voted three times on the Born Again Infant Protection Act be unable to answer that question with "specificity." Does he mean that he voted against BAIPA without having an answer to that question?

You would think someone casting a vote on BAIPA would know where he stands on when a human life begins. Otherwise, what is he basing his vote upon? What factor is more important?

Obama made the telling mistake of pitting the truth of science against the truth of theology. That remark is almost more disturbing than his unwillingness to reveal his opinion on a matter of great importance to most Americans.

He evidently thinks there are two truths in contradiction to each other. And his implication is clear: Theology teaches life begins at conception, but science sees it differently.

Wait a minute; isn’t this supposed to be the faith-friendly Democratic candidate for president? Why would Obama throw theology under the science bus?

It’s not a matter of being a scientist or a theologian; the determining factor is whether or not you believe in a "right to choose."

Those, like Obama, who hold that ideology, have come to the conclusion that life does not begin at conception, regardless of what theology and science teach.

Doug Kmiec is right to point out that upholding a woman’s right to choose is what has determined Obama’s outlook on abortion. This is why the phrase "abortion should be safe, legal, and rare" was taken out of the platform of the Democratic Party.

As Kmiec, an Obama supporter puts it, "To impose either safe, or legal, or rare is, to him, to have the government displace the woman’s freedom."

Kmiec also endorses Obama’s view that truth is a matter of perspective, i.e., depending on one’s point of view. "As [Obama} sees it, Roe is not an endorsement of abortion, so much as an affirmation that abortion is a moral question for which only the potential mother can give answer."

Passing over the issue of whether the father should have any say in the matter, it’s strange indeed that a choice about life and death should be awarded, free from interference, to a single person.

Where is the unborn child’s advocate? In the world of Barack Obama, as described by Prof. Kmiec, the child has no advocate; the mother’s freedom is inviolate.

For Kmiec, all this makes "Barack Obama a different type of candidate." Maybe I am missing something, but I think there’s nothing at all different about Obama – for him, a woman’s right to choose trumps every other constraint.

Sounds like the standard pro-abortion argument to me.

When Rick Warren asked John McCain the same question he didn’t hesitate. He answered that life begins "at the moment of conception." McCain’s twenty-five year pro-life voting record has made him pretty clear on that point.


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