Friday, June 6, 2008

The Audacity of Death

This is one reason why I will not be voting for Barack Obama.

The Audacity of Death

By Daniel Allott

According to Barack Obama, Gianna Jessen shouldn't exist.

Miss Jessen is an exquisite example of what anti-abortion advocates call a "survivor." Well into her third trimester of pregnancy, Gianna's biological mother was injected with a saline solution intended to induce a chemical abortion at a Los Angeles County abortion center. Eighteen hours later, and precious minutes before the abortionist's arrival, Gianna emerged. Premature and with severe injuries that resulted in cerebral palsy. But alive.

Had the abortionist been present at her birth, Gianna would have been killed, perhaps by suffocation. As it was, a startled nurse called an ambulance, and Gianna was rushed to a nearby hospital, where, weighing just two pounds, she was placed in an incubator, then, months later, in foster care.

Gianna survived then, and thrives now (see for yourself here), because, as she told me recently with a laugh, "I guess I don't die easy." Which is what the abortionist may have thought as he signed his victim's birth certificate. Gianna's medical records state that she was "born during saline abortion."

As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama twice opposed legislation to define as "persons" babies who survive late-term abortions. Babies like Gianna. Obama said in a speech on the Illinois Senate floor that he could not accept that babies wholly emerged from their mother's wombs are "persons," and thus deserving of equal protection under the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

A federal version on the same legislation passed the Senate unanimously and with the support of all but 15 members of the House of Representatives. Gianna was present when President Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002.

When I asked Gianna to reflect on Obama's candidacy, she paused, then said, "I really hope the American people will have their eyes wide open and choose to be discerning....He is extreme, extreme, extreme."

"Extreme" may not be the impression the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have bought Obama's autobiography have been left with. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama's presidential manifesto, he calls abortion "undeniably difficult," "a very difficult issue," "never a good thing" and "a wrenching moral issue."

He laments his party's "litmus test" for "orthodoxy" on abortion and other issues, and even admits, "I do not presume to know the answer to that question." That question being the moral status of the fetus, who he nonetheless concedes has "moral weight."

Those Statements are seriously made but, alas, cannot be taken at all seriously. Obama has compiled a 100 percent lifetime "pro-choice" voting record, including votes against any and all restrictions on late-term abortions and parental involvement in teenagers' abortions.

To Obama, abortion, or "reproductive justice," is "one of the most fundamental rights we possess." And he promises, "the first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," which would over-turn hundreds of federal and state laws limiting abortion, including the federal ban on partial-birth abortion and bans on public funding of abortion.

Then there's Obama's aforementioned opposition to laws that protect babies born-alive during botched abortions. If partial-birth abortion is, as Democratic icon Daniel Patrick Moynihan labeled it, "too close to infanticide," then what is killing fully-birthed babies?

On the campaign trail, Obama seldom speaks about abortion and its related issues. But his few moments of candor are illuminative. When speaking extemporaneously, Obama will admit things like "I don't want [my daughters] punished with a baby." Or he'll say that voting for legislation allowing Terri Schiavo's family to take its case from state courts to federal courts in an effort to stop her euthanasia was his "biggest mistake" in the Senate. Biggest mistake?

Worst of all are Obama's accusations against anti-abortion advocates. He recently compared his relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers, a member of a group responsible for bombing government buildings, to his friendship with stalwart pro-life doctor and Senator Tom Coburn.

In his campaign book, Obama accuses "most anti-abortion activists" of secretly desiring more partial-birth abortions "because the image the procedure evokes in the mind of the public has helped them win converts to their position."

All this explains why the National Abortion Rights Action League voted unanimously to endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton, as did abortion activist Frances Kissling, who called Hillary "not radical enough on abortion."

It's surprising that 18 to 30 year olds, the most pro-life demographic in a generation, is the same voting bloc from which Barack Obama, the most anti-life presidential candidate ever, draws his most ardent supporters.

What's not surprising is that Gianna Jessen, who turned 31 last month, plans not to support Obama.

In The Audacity of Hope, Obama denounces abortion absolutism on both ends of the ideological spectrum. That is audacious indeed considering Obama's record, which epitomizes the very radicalism and extremism he denounces.


Charlie said...

Hey Steve, I hope you're doing well. I know it's been a little while since we connected, but I read your blog pretty regularly and I felt compelled to respond to this post.

18 to 30 year olds, the most pro-life demographic in a generation, is the same voting bloc from which Barack Obama draws his most ardent supporters because that group realizes that the abortion issue is much more complex than just whether or not it's legal. The primary cause of abortion in the United States is poverty, and a lot of folks who want to reduce the number of abortions in our country realize that something has to be done about poverty in order for that to happen. They also realize that just because a person pays lip-service to the issue doesn't mean that anything is actually being accomplished.

Take our current president for example. George W. Bush is and has always been a vocal opponent of abortion and he's received the support of many evangelicals for that reason alone. But as president he has actually reversed the 20 year trend of declining abortions in America during his term. While he did sign the Partial Birth Abortion Act in 2003, he also created an economic situation in our country where it's actually more difficult for many women to carry their pregnancies full term, resulting in a rise in abortions under his leadership.

It may very well be that Obama "the most anti-life presidential candidate ever" (which is a very questionable statement by the way) could undo the damage George Bush has done and actually reduce abortions by addressing the issue of poverty in a significant way.

I am every bit as anti-abortion as any evangelical out there, and that's part of the reason why I plan to vote for Barack Obama. I believe that some of the policies he plans to put in place will make it easier for women to have their children rather than abort them, which will have a much more significant impact on the number of babies aborted than whether or not abortion is illegal. I'm not suggesting that you have to agree with me, but the reality of the gospel translates into the complexity of politics in a variety of ways, and I think you'll find people who love Christ on both sides of almost every issue.

So, I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here. I know you're a intelligent and fair guy who wont be offended by a dissenting opinion.

Love to you and your family, tell your wife the Evanses said hello.


Stephen said...

Hey Charlie,

I appreciate the perspective you've put on the issue of abortion. I definitely agree that there is more often than not an underlying factor driving hot-button issues, and abortion is no different.

However, I'm not sure I would agree that poverty is the primary cause of abortion. According to statistics provided by, women with family incomes over $30,000 make up almost 52% of all abortions in the U.S. However, 52% of women having abortions are also under the age of 25, with women aged 20-24 making up 32% of all abortions. But of course, you know what they say about statistics.

I'm definitely with you on what you've stated about our current president. Unfortunately, it seems that many evangelicals give him the big thumbs up simply because he is anti-abortion, but completely disregard the impact that his administration has had on the economy. However, studies have shown just the opposite of what you’ve stated in that under Bush’s administration, abortion rates have continued their decline, not increased. I’m not sure if this is the study you have heard, but the original study (an opinion piece by Glen Harold Stassen) that claimed it had increased used data only from 16 states, while a study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute used data from 43 states and showed a decline. Stassen himself has conceded the AGI study was “significantly better” than his own. This and other info can be found at

The problem I can't get past with Obama and the point you bring up is this. Would making the economy better while at the same time passing laws supporting abortion help to lower the abortion rate? This assumes that poverty is indeed THE major driving force, which again I'm not sure can be proven, but again I'm willing to be proven wrong on this point.

Thanks again for the different perspective.

Charlie said...

Dang Steve, showing me up with your statistics and research. Touché.

Even if's statistics are correct, $30,000 is significantly below the medium income for a family in any state in the US right now. In fact, the medium income for a family of four in Virginia is $78,413, making the relative poverty level $39,206. That seems like a lot for Roanoke, but in larger urban centers (where the Guttmacher Institute says that 88% of abortions take place) that's not so much. Also, according to Guttmacher an overwhelming 73% of women stated their primary reason for having an abortion was "I can't afford a baby right now", and that the number of abortions drops off dramatically as income increases. But, as you already said, you know what they say about statistics. I do think there's a pretty strong argument to be made for economics as the primary issue causing abortions though, and if not the primary it's got to be in the top two or three.

As far as the validity of the Stassen study goes, you've got me there. I was reading the wrong guy. But even what I'm reading in Guttmacher's study shows that the decline in abortions nationwide has slowed considerably under Bush (coincidentally?) as our economy has suffered.

You might be right about Obama passing laws that make it easier to abort babies if he takes office, but ultimately I think that isn't the biggest issue. Just like the war on drugs has done virtually nothing to deter drug use in our country, I don't think that legislating abortion one way or the other isn't going to effect it as significantly as we would like. What we need to do is work in our own communities to create an environment where women don't see abortion as their only option. I see Obama as being more likely to make changes that make that a possibility, but I've been wrong before (in 2000 and 2004 to be specific).

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I feel smarter just having read what you wrote.

Stephen said...

Good points again. 73% is a hard figure to argue against. I especially like (and completely agree with) your statement that "legislating abortion one way or the other isn't going to effect it as significantly as we would like. What we need to do is work in our own communities to create an environment where women don't see abortion as their only option." Very good observation there.

Thanks for the discussion!

Charlie said...

No, thank you. It's been a pleasure. I'll see you at the polls (where we'll boldly cancel each other out).