Catholics United Still Misleading Voters on McCain, Obama Abortion Contrast

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholics United Still Misleading Voters on McCain, Obama Abortion Contrast

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Catholics United is at it again and, this time, the front group for the Barack Obama campaign is preparing to mail 50,000 Catholic voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio campaign literature that blurs the stark contrast between Obama and John McCain on abortion issues.

The piece asks voters to consider "the real meaning of ‘pro-life’ at the ballot box this November and obfuscates the fact that Obama supports legal abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.

“It’s time for Catholics and other people of faith to take a serious look at whether some avowed ‘pro-life’ candidates really have a record to run on,” Chris Korzen, director of Catholics United told in a press release.

The organization indirectly criticizes John McCain for not taking a pro-life position on abortion, yet offers no specifics on how that is the case. In fact, Korzen, in his criticism of McCain and other pro-life candidates, relies on other political issues to make his case and never identifies any McCain policy increasing or supporting abortions.

At the same time, neither Catholics United nor the direct mail piece Catholic voters will receive offers any information on Obama’s support for taxpayer-funded abortions, his votes in the Illinois legislature against an anti-infanticide bill, or Obama’s backing a measure overturning the pro-life laws of all 50 states.

Despite Catholic United’s claims to be a pro-life group, the mailer essentially opposes the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy and 50 million abortions total since 1973.

Korzen also misstates the record of President Bush on abortion.

“In 2004, many were led to believe that President Bush’s stated position on abortion made him the only acceptable candidate for the pro-life Catholic vote,” said Korzen. “The experience of the past eight years proves what an absolute disaster this sort of thinking can be.”

Like Obama and other politicians, Korzen’s recounting of the Bush administration’s record on abortion doesn’t square with the facts.

"The fact is that — although we have a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years — abortions have not gone down," Obama said in August.

Yet, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research firm named after a former president of Planned Parenthood, the abortion business that has endorsed Obama, abortion totals during the Bush administration reached their lowest point in history.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania also refutes Korzen, by showing that abortions have declined nearly 10 percent since Bush took office.

"This claim is false. It’s based on an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states," the nonpartisan center explains.

"The claim is repeated by supporters of abortion rights as evidence that Bush’s anti-abortion policies have backfired, or at least been ineffective," it added. "But the claim is untrue. In fact, according to the respected Alan Guttmacher Institute, a 20-year decline in abortion rates continued after Bush took office."

Catholics United plans to send the mailing to Catholic households in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Canton and Cincinnati, Ohio. Later this month, the group will mail the same voters a values voting guide comparing the records of Senators Obama and McCain on issues of abortion.

Catholics United has also been taken to task by pro-life advocates over a misleading flier, a misleading ad against John McCain, and ads attacking pro-life advocates on the same bill where Barack Obama opposed a measure to help pregnant women.

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