Doug Kmiec is at it again, trying to make the pro-life case for Barack Obama. To make this argument, he has to stack the deck heavily in Obama’s favor. Because he judges John McCain unlikely to succeed at overturning Roe v. Wade — an assesment I share — a vote for McCain isn’t necessarily pro-life. But a vote for Obama, who opposes extending legal protection to unborn children in most if not all cases, is permissible because he believes abortion is “a tragic situation” that should occur less frequently. There are plenty of well meaning people who hold the position that abortion is regrettable but should be permissible, a necessary evil. But that position is not pro-life.
No, Kmiec argues, Obama would actually try to reduce abortions through aid to pregnant mothers, sex education, adoption services, and other mechanisms aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies and making it more feasible to bring crisis pregnancies to term. All McCain would do is repeat Republican promises to overturn Roe, an “effort [that] has not saved a single child,” according to Kmiec. But Roe isn’t the only issue in play here. Obama has said he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which invalidate state abortion restrictions that have reduced abortion rates. McCain would veto such legislation. Obama supports taxpayer funding of abortion while McCain favor the Hyde Amendment, which advocates on both sides of the issue believe has prevented many abortions.
In short, there is no clear evidence that anything Obama is proposing would reduce abortions and some reason to believe his policies, if enacted, would increase them. Kmiec even suggests in his penultimate paragraph that legal protection for the unborn should be negotiable. Issues of war and peace might provide proportionate reasons for Catholics and other pro-lifers to vote against McCain (though I think Obama’s about as likely to please such voters as McCain is to overturn Roe). But Kmiec’s odd pro-life case for being pro-choice, as Ramesh Ponnuru puts it, doesn’t do the job.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?