The POTUS’s 115 lifeless words about “Roe v. Wade”

Abortion kills unborn children. But it also breeds deception and incoherence.

Yesterday, President Obama released a short statement on the 41 anniversary of “Roe v. Wade”. Surprising no one, he praised the 1973 Supreme Court decision. What stands out, however, is just how much misdirection and rhetorical sleight-of-hand is packed into the statement’s 115 words:

Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.  We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.  And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children.  Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.

A few thoughts:

• Who are “we”? The collective nation? Or just the pro-abortion nation? Or is it just the imperial “We”? He certainly doesn’t speak for me.

• Ann Coulter has correctly noted (and perhaps it’s not original with her) that abortion is the primary sacrament of the religion of secular progressivism. The career of President Obama is a case in point, as he has demonstrated an unreflective and rigid support for abortion that can only be described as ideological and radical. And the language used above—”we recommit ourselves…”—speaks to the religious nature of this irrational faith in the goodness of killing the unborn. (And, just so we’re clear: to be “pro-choice” is to be “pro-abortion,” no matter the rhetorical games you play.)

• If, as the President states, “every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health,” then how could anyone ever object to or condemn prostitution, pornography, purging, self-mutilation, drug use, over-eating, under-eating, or a host of other actions and lifestyles that involve a woman making choices about “her body and her health”?

• In what way is abortion “health care”? Sure, the abortionist “takes care” of the unborn child, in the most loathesome sense of that phrase, but whose actual, physical health is being addressed by the abortion in the vast majority of cases? Is pregnancy a disease? Does ending the pregnancy through abortion save the mother from terminal illness?

• Considering the ongoing issues with the NSA, government surveillance and secrecy, and related controversial issues, seeing the term “right to privacy”—that most sacred and precious right!—is darkly humorous.

• Freedom from the natural consequences of reproductive acts is not “reproductive freedom,” but “reproductive destruction.”

• The problem is not “unintended pregnancies”, but unwanted children and a culture of death. And not just the act of dealing death, but failing to deal honestly with the sacred nature of life and the fact the reproductive system is not meant to be a mere “recreational system”, free from any and all responsibilities and duties.

• If you are truly “resolved” to “to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies”, can you demonstrate that killing babies leads to less pregnancies? (It obviously leads to less births, but that’s not the point here.) It is often argued that the death penalty never dissuades people from committing murder or rape, but we are to believe, without any evidence, that abortions lead to a more responsible and humane approach to life, sexuality, and children?

• So, yes, let’s “continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children”—keeping in mind that children aren’t safe on those communities until they are born. Until then, they can be in great danger. The grotesque nature of that sad fact should be evident.

• And the whopper of all whoppers: “Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.” Everyone! Everyone? Really? Aren’t you forgetting someone?

Remember this exchange between President Obama and Rick Warren back in 2008?

Rick Warren: OK, now, um, let’s deal with abortion. 40 million abortions since Roe V. Wade, you know, as a pastor, I have to deal with this all the time. All of the pain, and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very com… complex issue. 40 million… uh, abortions. At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?

Obama: Well, uh, you know, I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or, uh, a scientific perspective, uh, answering that question with specificity, uh, you know, is, is, uh, above my pay grade.

But my favorite Obama quote regading aboriton comes from his initial presidential campaign, in an interview with Christianity Today:

For many evangelicals, abortion is a key, if not the key factor in their vote. You voted against banning partial birth abortion and voted against notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. What role do you think the President should play in creating national abortion policies?

I don’t know anybody who is pro-abortion. I think it’s very important to start with that premise.

The then-senator from Illinois also said:

I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn’t ‘fall out in church’ as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn’t want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.

Ah, where’s Douglas Kmiec when you need him? What’s that? He’s hoping to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016?

Douglas Kmiec, US ambassador to Malta from 2009 to 2011, has announced he is pursuing the vice presidency of the United States, backing Hillary Clinton. ..

In a Facebook post he said:
Thanks to my many friends who have asked me whether I intend to seek public office, Yes, I am.

After a lifetime of supporting Democratic and Republican candidates, I am taking up the challenges that confront our nation directly.

Specifically, and some will no doubt say, quixotically, I am pursuing the vice presidency of United States, but if all goes well that possibility will turn on the judgment of Pres. Hillary Clinton.

Of course public office should not be about titles and so I’m really just looking for a spot to do good in my last years while I still have energy and excitement of the ideas of social justice especially as they are now so well articulated by Pope Francis.

As the old saying goes, we get the leaders we deserve. 

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About Carl E. Olson 1207 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.