2 thoughts on “Abortion trumps all: not so simple

  1. I guess, I’ll be the first to reply.

    First of all, you spend seven paragraphs and provide quote after quote to build up the notion that Romey will not support the pro-life movement. i aggree that he has never been part of the movement, and probably won’t be a stalwart for us. But, then, you compare him to President Obama by saying, he “a guy who supports the status quo [of abortion]….and who does nothing to oppose it.” That’s about the weakest representation of Obama’s stance on anti-life record that you can muster? Not an honest comparison of the two men at all!!! That’s all you can say about Obama’s pro-choice work? Nice straw man argument. He has done WAY more than just support the status quo. He has been vigorously working against pro-life legislation his whole career and is the single biggest pro-choice president we have ever had. Not a mention of the attack on religeous freedom issue. Later in your blogg, you suggest that in 4 years we’ll be in about the same place we are now, with regard to right-to-life issues, if Obama gets re-elected . This is the most foolish statement in your entire blogg. Wait until he gets a second term, when he doesn’t have the American people to be accountable to in an election?!? You’ll see all kinds of attacks and erisions on life like we haven’t seen in years! He has already hinted at this interviews with supporters. You present him as if he’s not actively working against us. Let’s describe them both accurately and honestly and then see where we stand.

    Another point: In support of Obama, you write, “he’ll work actively and perhaps with some effectiveness to diminish other weighty violations of human dignity.” I say name ’em. What will he do? And how would his accomplishments with them compare to 1.2 million abortions a year? Let’s see your math. If you’re talking about war, well Mr. Obama owns Afghanisgtan now, and is responsible for more deaths than Bush in that war, by the numbers. How come he hasn’t brough our boys home? What’s waiting for? If you’re talking about AIDS, I am still waiting to see the headlines that Obama is spending more on AIDS and development for Africa than Bush comitted. It hasn’t happened yet. And it ain’t gonna happen. Bush comitted more US aid to fight AIDS in Africa than all of his predicessors combined. I belive that Romeny, who is a quiet compassionate man himself, who’s recent tax returns revealed that he gave upward to 16% of his income to charity, will do WAY MORE than Obama to help fight global poverty.

    Most significantly, I disagree with you about which candidate can help the poor more. Obama is doing far more damage to the average poor family by his mishandling of the economy. He is way in over his head on this. His decisions have caused more harm than good, driven more into poverty, and kept more in longer than they need to be. There has been NO recovery, no job growth, a massive increase in debt, and mis-use of tax-payer money. I believe that job growth will robost under a Romney, helping more people out of poverty.

    That’s not to mention the dissaster he is on foreign policy, which is the #2 driver for my vote. He’s spending time with the ladies on the View while the world leaders were meeting at the U.N., and our embassies are getting hacked into and our ambasadors getting killled. He didn’t have time to meet with Isreal’s leaders??!?! He whispers to the French President to “wait until after the election…”. What?? You have got to be kidding me.

    • Marc,

      Barack Obama is a committed pro-choice politician and has had a strong pro-choice record. I won’t deny, defend, or ignore that. Indeed, I lament it. Various posts on this blog should leave no doubt that I’m convinced of that. Abortion is a moral outrage and ought to be illegal at all stages of pregnancy. My apologies if my representation of him was not strident enough for you (though judging from all of the multiple punctuation marks in your comments, it would be difficult to get strident enough for you).

      I do think it’s kind of silly to suggest that, despite this strong pro-choice record he’s established, he’s just waiting to see if he gets a second term before really getting behind the pro-choice agenda. That’s just a weird scare tactic.

      You ask what “other” violations of human dignity President Obama will address? First of all, even if he “only” defended the newly recognized right to health care, that would be a heck of a lot, since the other side promises to dismantle it. (Note that I say “newly recognized,” not “newly established,” for Catholic teaching is clear that access to health care is a human right, not granted by fiat of any government. In promising to repeal the law, Romney/Ryan threaten a basic human right, which is recognized in law by almost every other developed nation.)

      Beyond that, his election will work against poverty and hunger. It will do this by preventing the adoption of the proposed Ryan budget, or anything like it, thus protecting programs and systems that are crucial to survival for millions of the poor and elderly in the United States.

      Third, Obama’s election would similarly protect access to higher education, again by helping to keep the Ryan budget, which would promise doom for Pell grants, from becoming reality.

      Fourth, he will help prevent joblessness. The Obama administration has demonstrated its effectiveness in rebuilding the economy. He inherited one that was absolutely trashed and has gone about the steady work of rebuilding it. Sure, there’s a long way to go, but complaints about a poor economy coming from the Republicans are unfair and opportunistic.

      Fifth, there’s the issue of the environment. Obama is not moving fast enough for me to protect it, but he’s certainly holding out against damage a Republican administration would do.

      Sixth, regarding war, I’d like to see him move much quicker to “bring our boys (and girls, I’d add) home,” but a Republican supporter complaining about how quickly we’re moving on that would be appalling.

      Note that even if Obama didn’t do much, protecting against the damage that the other guys tell us they will do is a lot.

      But please don’t talk to me about “doing the math” to decide if these issues are equal in weight to abortion. As I’ve said, that might work if we were weighing an Obama presidency against an alternative that offered any hope or intention of addressing those millions of babies per year dying by abortion. If that were the case, the decision about who to vote for would be obvious. But we went through eight years of Ronald Reagan, four years of George Bush, and eight years of George W. Bush, and none of them did much to quell the terror. “Doing the math” on the figures you can see, not to mention “doing the math” on Mr. Romney’s pro-life resolve (=0) reveals the emptiness of efforts to suggest that any hypothetical math would yield a positive in terms of abortion.

      Finally, it’s difficult to know where to begin with the suggestion that Mr. Romney’s policies might do more to help the poor. Sure, he might balance the budget successfully. I can balance my household budget by refusing to feed half my children. And I could claim the intention is to help get the family out of debt! But it would not be a morally acceptable way of doing it. In the same way, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has recognized that Mr. Ryan’s plan is morally problematic. (Not a bishop or two, but a committee that represents the conference as a body. At least, that’s what the conference says: http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-063.cfm) Ryan’s plan does not help the poor, but puts them at greater risk. The bishops have been joined in that judgment, as is well known, by faculties and administrators of Catholic universities and priests and sisters all over the country. Plenty more details on these risks here http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3723 and here http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3658 .

      Does this mean you should vote for Barack Obama? Nope, I’m not saying that. I’m saying don’t justify a vote for Mitt Romney by saying he’s clearly the morally superior choice or somehow more supportive of the Catholic moral vision. It’s just not so.

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