Pro-Life Democrat Tony Hall Admits Barack Obama "Not Pro-Life on Abortion"

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Democrat Tony Hall Admits Barack Obama "Not Pro-Life on Abortion"

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 21
, 2008

Defiance, OH ( — The 2008 presidential debate has seen pro-life Democrats like Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey mislead voters by saying Barack Obama is pro-life on abortion issues. Yet, former Congressman Tony Hall of Ohio, a pro-life Democrat himself, admitted in a forum on Monday that’s not the case.

Hall participated in a "vote your values" forum at Defiance College in Ohio.

Hall joked about the seeming contradiction between his pro-life views and his membership in the Democratic Party, which takes a pro-abortion view, opposes abortion limits and supports forcing taxpayers to fund abortions.

"People have asked me how I can be a Democrat and be pro-life. They believe these two are mutually exclusive. I just smile and jokingly tell them that Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey, not an elephant," he said.

But, according to the Crescent News, was more serious in his assessment of Obama.

"Barack Obama is not pro-life on abortion," Hall confirmed.

However, Hall, who endorsed Obama four weeks ago and told the college group he is not a "one issue voter," claimed Obama is "pro-life on many other issues like poverty and helping ‘the least of these.’"

"His health policy is also pro-life," Hall added, according to the newspaper.

While Obama backers like Hall are hoping to provide cover for his pro-abortion positions by saying he will advocate better health care, the Obama campaign is silent on whether his national health care plan will include abortions.

Obama, who supports unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason, is promoting a health care plan that would mandate employer-sponsored health care and use targeted taxes to socialize medicine for low-income families.

Although the plan is clear in some respects, it is hazy vis-a-vis the abortion question.

John McCormack, a writer for the magazine Weekly Standard, hoped to resolve the question recently.

"During a campaign conference call about health care yesterday, I asked Obama-Biden surrogate Gov. Kathleen Sebelius if Obama’s health care plan would mandate coverage for all legal abortions," he writes.

"I really don’t know the specifics of that," Sebelius replied.

Without a specific answer, voters are forced to guess what Obama’s plan would do.

McCormack points to the speech Obama gave to Planned Parenthood activists in July 2007, where he pledged to cover abortions in any national health care plan.

"In my mind reproductive care is essential care. It is basic care, and so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose," Obama said. "We’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It’ll be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services."

Mike Dorning of the Chicago Tribune followed up on the Obama speech at the time and reported that an Obama representative said "reproductive services" included abortions.

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