Misleading Voters on Abortion: Selling Barack Obama as a Pro-Life Candidate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Misleading Voters on Abortion: Selling Barack Obama as a Pro-Life Candidate

by Deal Hudson
October 3, 2008

LifeNews.com Note: Deal W. Hudson is the director of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture and InsideCatholic.com, 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.

Just when this presidential election could not get any stranger, David Brody reports the launching of a "Pro-Life Pro-Obama" Web site. When is the "John McCain, Pacifist" Web site going to show up?

The effort to sell Obama as a pro-life candidate is being spearheaded by a group called the Matthew 25 Network, a PAC created by former Democratic political operative Mara Vanderslice. Vanderslice was director of religious outreach for the Kerry campaign in 2004 but was "silenced" when Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, publicized her connection with various far-left political groups.

Window readers might also remember the Matthew 25 organization from my story on the "non-partisan" convention in Philadelphia rallying Catholics to political involvement. The Matthew 25 booth featured a prominent picture of Obama along with words from Matthew 25:38, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat," made to look like they belonged to Obama, not Jesus.

The "Pro-Life Pro-Obama" Web site confirms what I wrote yesterday: Doug Kmiec has become the Catholic outreach of the Obama campaign. The first thing you notice when the site opens is a prominent "Welcome from Doug Kmiec."

Kmiec’s message is the one we have been hearing from Obama’s Catholics since the beginning of the campaign — that overturning Roe v. Wade is not an effective way to reduce abortions:

But after 35 years, a new approach is needed. Too many unborn lives are being lost as we wait for judges to get it right. Barack Obama’s strengthening of support for prenatal care, health care, maternity leave, and adoption will make the difference. Studies confirm it.

Doug Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life, has already written a devastating critique of Obama’s abortion reduction promises. But even Kmiec’s claims about Obama’s concern for prenatal care don’t comport with the facts. Steve Ertelt at LifeNews reported two days ago that Obama voted against an amendment extending a health care program to cover prenatal care.

This vote came in the midst of a congressional debate over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The defeat of SCHIP was taken up by pro-Obama Catholic groups like Catholics United to accuse various Republicans, including John McCain, of not being pro-life.

Obama supported SCHIP but opposed adding an amendment that would have, arguably, made it into an explicitly pro-life legislation.

Now that Kmiec has become the poster-boy for Obama’s Catholic efforts, his claims on behalf of his candidate grow ever larger. Apart from anchoring the "Pro-Life Pro-Obama" Web site, Kmiec is quoted from an interview with John Allen:

Conceding that Obama does not have "a perfect Catholic position on abortion," Kmiec, nonetheless, insisted that voting for the Democrat is "not inconsistent with the teaching of the church."

No, Obama’s position on abortion is not perfect; it’s exactly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. The candidate Kmiec is touting as pro-life is the most extreme pro-abortion presidential nominee in the history of American politics.

The "Pro-Life Pro-Obama" Web site represents not only increasingly hyperbolic claims for the Democratic candidate, but also a joining together of Catholic and Protestant efforts in support of the Obama campaign. The collaboration of Protestant Vanderslice with Catholic Kmiec reveals the intimate and active cooperation of Obama surrogates with outside groups such as the Matthew 25 PAC. Their determination to sell Obama to pro-life voters is admirable, while being completely ludicrous.

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