Obama Seeks Abortion Conscience Rights at Notre Dame, But He’s Repealing Law

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Seeks Abortion Conscience Rights at Notre Dame, But He’s Repealing Law

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 17
, 2009

South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama used his commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday to call for conscience rights for physicians on abortion. However, his administration has already proposed overturning a measure President Bush put in place to uphold three conscience laws.

After relating to the audience a story about how a pro-life, Christian doctor emailed him about rhetoric Obama used on his campaign web site, Obama expressed a desire wanted common ground on abortion.

"I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me," Obama said.

One of the ways Obama told the Notre Dame graduates that common ground could be put in place is by putting forward conscience laws on abortion.

"Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women," Obama said.

But, in listening to Obama’s speech, bioethics attorney Wesley J. Smith was struck by Obama’s esurient desire to be seen as moderate on abortion yet taking hypocritical actions.

"I was reminded of how adept Obama is in saying one thing while doing just the opposite; such as claiming in his speech to support a conscience clause for health professionals on the issue of abortion," he said.

"Obama–or at least his administration (is there a difference?) plans to revoke the Bush conscience clause, not revise it. That is hardly honoring heterodox thinkers’ consciences," Smith added.

Although Obama has yet to overturn the conscience protections Bush put into place for the doctors and physicians Obama said today he seeks to protect, Smith isn’t holding his breath that Obama will change course.

"Perhaps the administration will change from the radical course it has steered to date on these important matters. More likely, Obama will continue to say moderate things–to great cheering in the media–while his administration acts immoderately," he says.

Smith says Obama has had the opportunity "to steer a moderate course … and he rejected the moderate course."

"Which brings to mind another trite old saying; talk is cheap," Smith concluded.

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