Obama Faith Member Joel Hunter Weakens Pro-Life View, Backs New NIH Policy

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Faith Member Joel Hunter Weakens Pro-Life View, Backs Embryonic Policy

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 20
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Joel Hunter, the pastor of an Orlando-area megachurch, was touted as one of the pro-life members of President Barack Obama’s faith council. Hunter has been criticized before by pro-life advocates and now he has endorsed the new pro-embryonic stem cell research guidelines.

The National Institutes of Health has proposed new guidelines that implement Obama’s decision to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

Those guidelines propose the conditions for scientists to obtain human embryos — days old unborn children — supposedly left over from fertility clinics to destroy in research that has never helped any patients.

For Hunter, but not for pro-life advocates, that’s a good thing.

"They have hit the right balance by limiting funding to particular slated-to-be-destroyed IVF cells, yet expanding significantly the number of diseases that can be addressed by increasing the number and range of stem cell lines from which we can learn," Hunter says.

And in what the pro-life movement must consider a shot in the stomach, Hunter concludes: "These guidelines respect life from beginning to end."

After accusing pro-life advocates of lying about Obama’s extensive pro-abortion record and misrepresenting the pro-life record of former President Bush, Pastor Hunter is making it so little evidence of his pro-life views remain.

The embryonic stem cell research comments follow an interview Hunter gave last month where he blames the pro-life criticism of Obama’s growing pro-abortion record not on Obama’s own actions but on pro-life groups supposedly not understanding his intentions.

Hunter said the outrage over Obama’s forcing taxpayers to fund new embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life could have been prevented if the Obama administration and supporters like him could have better explained the president’s decision — as if pro-life advocates are a tractable bunch who are easily persuaded by false rhetoric.

He told Politico that Obama may have caught less flack if only his administration had let him and other apologists know of the decision before it leaked to the media on Friday.

“That would relieve a great deal of the alarm and suspicion that is out there with pro-life groups,” Hunter said.

Hunter told Politico a sizable percentage of pro-life advocates "still [have] a desire to see [Obama] in the best light."

“I think the ones who are screaming bloody murder right now are the ones who may not have been reachable to begin with," he added.

Then he took his comments to another level by accusing pro-life groups of lying about or misrepresenting the president’s record.

"But there are a whole lot of us on their e-mail lists — and we have people who want to think the best of the president — but they are getting all this mischaracterization and false information," Hunter claimed.

Those comments follow a quote from Hunter misstating President Bush’s pro-life record.

"With eight years of Bush the abortion rates have not declined," he erroneously claimed.

However, the claim doesn’t square with the latest national abortion numbers put forward by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research firm associated with Planned Parenthood, the abortion business that has endorsed Obama.

In January 2008, AGI reported that the number of abortions nationwide have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years and have declined 25 percent since 1990 — with half of that time period coming under pro-life presidents.

Meanwhile, research from a nonpartisan political watchdog group finds the claim false when compared with national and state abortion statistics.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania says that claims that abortions have not decreased under President Bush are "not true."

"Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001," the researchers have written.

"This claim is false. It’s based on an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased," Annenberg indicates.

"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."

ACTION: Contact Pastor Joel Hunter with your concerns at Northland Church, 530 Dog Track Road, Longwood, FL 32750, call 407-949-7147, or email [email protected]

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.