In Praise of Barack Obama
Giving credit where credit is due.
By Leon H Wolf Posted in 2008 — Comments (37) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Via the AP comes this news that Barack Obama has changed his mind, and is rejecting at least some of the extremism of NARAL, Emily's List, and other radical abortion organizations. The money graf:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says "mental distress" should not qualify as a health exception for late term-abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.
In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."
Obama then added: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term."
Of course, Obama's position here is only confined to late-term abortions, and thus only puts him slightly to the right of Bill Clinton on this issue, but in line with the vast majority of Americans who believe that late term abortions ought to be generally illegal. It should also be noted that this is diametrically opposed to everything Obama has ever said and every vote he has ever cast on abortion prior to this point, including his criticism of the Supreme Court's decision which upheld a federal law outlawing partial birth abortion and his refusal to vote to protect children who survive abortions and are born alive, so many conservatives will no doubt strongly suspect (with good reason) that this is mere election-year pandering.
Furthermore, given Obama's stated model for Supreme Court justices (Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer), pro-lifers should not expect that Obama will actually appoint any Supreme Court justice who would find any law that restricted abortion in any way to be Constitutional. In other words, there's still literally no reason that any thinking pro-lifer should *vote* for Barack Obama.
But that doesn't mean that Obama should not be lauded for rejecting the extremism and the fanaticism of the worst elements of the Democratic base like NARAL, Emily's List, and Planned Parenthood. It is good to know that whatever Barack personally feels about abortion, he has recognized that certain extremist groups with their extraordinarily liberal positions do not deserve to be part of the national conversation, and for that Obama deserves to be praised. Hillary Clinton, for one, would never have done anything like this. Her husband vetoed the Partial Birth Abortion Act twice and by all accounts Hillary treated the Emily's Listers and NARAL extremists like they were important and respectable people. Barack Obama knows better. Good for him.