Mainstream Media Challenged on False Notion Obama Supports Pro-Life Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 29, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mainstream Media Challenged on False Notion Obama Supports Pro-Life Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 29
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A myth is cropping up in some mainstream media news reports that President Barack Obama supports a Congressional bill known as the Pregnant Women Support Act. The legislation, spearheaded by Democrats for Life of America, is a bill that combines abortion limits and help for pregnant women.

However, Obama, though he is getting disingenuous credit for calling for common ground on abortions, has never officially endorsed the legislation.

Jack Smith, a writer at the Catholic Key Blog, has noticed the problem and points to a recent article by John Allen at NCR that misreported that Obama supports the bill.

Commenting on a controversial article in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that has caused controversy for its playing down Obama’s pro-abortion record, Allen wrote that the author "also argued that Obama’s support for the Pregnant Women Support Act" represents a ‘rebalancing’ of his abortion policies ‘in support of maternity.’"

Smith notes, "L’Osservatore did not say the president supported the Pregnant Women Support Act and I pointed that out to Allen. He went back to the Italian paper and confirmed I was correct. No correction was ever made to the article however."

Meanwhile, editorial columnist Nat Hentoff writes today about the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Lincoln Davis of Tennessee in the House and Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania in the Senate.

"The offices of both Casey and Davis tell me there has been no word from the White House about supporting the legislation," he writes.

Hentoff challenges Obama to support the bill citing his common ground comments at Notre Dame and saying, "There is in fact just such a bill that has been introduced."

he applauds the legislation for providing "support, including education grants and child care, to parents who are teenagers or college students" and requiring "institutions that offer abortions to provide accurate information to pregnant women about their options, including adoption, and the potential short-term and long-term complications associated with abortion."

That’s a challenge that Smith says more groups need to make — including the Catholic Obama apologists at Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

"Issuing a public call for the president to support the Pregnant Women Support Act would seem like a good place to start," he says.

Smith seems to think they could get Obama on board with the bill.

"They would deny that, but it is certain they now have much influence with the president and in the Democratic party. Their original founding board member Melanne Verveer is now Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues," he says.

But Smith is worried they are more interested in politics than the pro-life cause.

"Were they Catholics first and not merely an extension of the president’s campaign (or jonesing for jobs), they would be" fighting to stop abortions, he says.

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