Douglas Kmiec Exposed: Catholic Obama Backer Takes Pro-Abortion Position

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 17, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Douglas Kmiec Exposed: Catholic Obama Backer Takes Pro-Abortion Position

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 17
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Pepperdine University law professor Douglas Kmiec has been heralded as a leading pro-life Catholic scholar who happens to support Barack Obama. Kmiec has been making a supposedly pro-life case for Obama but he appeared to expose himself as an abortion advocate in a new editorial.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Kmiec appears to take a "personally opposed but" position that actually allows for legal abortions despite a claim to support abortion.

As one leading pro-life observer notes, this is the first time Kmiec has betrayed his own apparently pro-abortion position when defending Obama’s abortion stance.

Kmiec employs the same kind of "abortion is between a woman, her doctor and God" argument Obama himself utilized in the Wednesday night presidential debate to defend his own view supporting abortion for any reason throughout pregnancy.

"Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively," Kmiec writes.

"When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected," he adds.

Kmiec concludes his admission that present abortion law must continue to allow legal abortions by calling abortion a "sensitive moral decision" that "depend[s] on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual’s voluntary embrace of one of many faiths."

Kmiec’s stunning admission wasn’t lost on National Review writer Ramesh Ponnuru.

Ponnuru says the Kmiec piece is "pretty clearly an endorsement of the view that given the existence of moral conflict over abortion, the compromise position we should adopt is to be pro-choice."

"Obviously I disagree with that view. But agree or disagree, it’s not the spiel Kmiec has been giving for most of the year," he explains.

‘The previous argument has been that someone who favors legal protection for the unborn should be willing to support Obama even though he is pro-choice. Now we’re being told that we should support Obama by jettisoning our views about the appropriate legal status of abortion," Ponnuru writes.

"Again, there are people who believe that ‘personal opposition’ to abortion is a sensible and coherent position. But it is just a repackaging of the Mario Cuomo position with the addition of a ‘pro-life’ label," he concludes.

Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, tells he agrees.

He explains: "This reminds me of the question I posed to Senator Chuck Shumer after he made a speech on the Senate floor in which he said, ‘Some people believe life begins at conception, others believe it begins at birth, and others believe it begins sometime in between. Everyone has the right to believe what they want. So we legislators should not be trying to decide the issue for them.’"

Pavone adds: "My question was, ‘What about the people who believe life begins sometime after birth? Do they too have the right to believe what they want? And how many of them have to believe the newborn isn’t human before we remove protection from the newborn?’"

The bottom line for Pavone is: "Human beings who are not protected cannot wait for a ‘consensus’ before they are protected. Justice demands that they be protected now, no matter how many people, including politicians, think they shouldn’t."

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