Doug Kmiec is at it again. There are just two little problems with his pro-life case for Barack Obama. The first is that pro-lifers don’t just believe abortion is an unpleasant or regrettable social phenomenon. They regard it, in most to all cases, as the unjust taking of a human being’s life. It’s true that “there is more than one rather indirect and elusive judicial way to address an intrinsic evil,” but it is hard to square the pro-life position with an acceptance of the Roe constitutional regime explicitly denying unborn children legal protection.
Second, there is little to no evidence that Obama favors doing anything more than the average pro-choice politician to reduce the incidence of abortion. He supports the Freedom of Choice Act, a position that makes him worse than John McCain would be if the Republican did absolutely nothing about Roe. He supports taxpayer funding of abortion, even though the Hyde Amendment has done more to reduce abortions than any other single piece of pro-life legislation. He has not endorsed the pro-life Democrats’ 95-10 initiative. At most, Obama might, according to Kmiec, support weak loophole-ridden restrictions on late-term abortions. Obama has probably said less to give pro-lifers are reason for hope than Hillary Clinton, even though he has expressed plenty of respect for the pro-life — or is it anti-choice? — position.
If Kmiec wanted to explicitly argue that he was supporting Obama in spite of his pro-choice views because of the war or some other proportionate reason, that would be one thing. But instead he wants to pretend that a vote for Obama somehow advances pro-life goals on abortion in some meaningful sense.