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A Catholic Case Against Obama


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A Catholic Case Against Barack

By Patrick Buchanan

In the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama rolled up more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. Among Catholics, he lost by 40 points. The cool liberal Harvard Law grad was not a good fit for the socially conservative ethnics of Altoona, Aliquippa and Johnstown.

But if Barack had a problem with Catholics then, he has a far higher hurdle to surmount in the fall, with those millions of Catholics who still take their faith and moral code seriously.

For not only is Barack the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby's skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse into the pan.

Partial-birth abortion, said the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary."

Yet, when Congress was voting to ban this terrible form of death for a mature fetus, Michelle Obama was signing fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, Barack would be "tireless" in keeping legal this "legitimate medical procedure."

And Barack did not let the militants down. When the Supreme Court upheld the congressional ban on this barbaric procedure, Barack denounced the court for denying "equal rights for women."

As David Freddoso reports in his new best-seller, "The Case Against Barack Obama," the Illinois senator goes further than any U.S. senator has dared go in defending what John Paul II called the "culture of death."

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?

How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

When a bill almost identical to the one Barack fought in Illinois, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2001, the vote was 98 to 0 in favor. Barbara Boxer, the most pro-abortion member of the Senate before Barack came, spoke out on its behalf:

"Of course, we believe everyone should deserve the protection of this bill. ... Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that. ... We join with an 'aye' vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous."

Obama says he opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act because he feared it might imperil Roe v. Wade. But if Roe v. Wade did allow infanticide or murder, which is what letting a tiny baby die of neglect or killing it outright amounts to, why would he not want that court decision reviewed and amended to outlaw infanticide?

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right?

Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

What we once called God's Country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.

Before any devout Catholic, Evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew votes for Obama, he or she might spend 15 minutes in Chapter 10 of Freddoso's "Case Against Barack." For if, as Catholics believe, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, and participation in an abortion entails automatic excommunication, how can a good Catholic support a candidate who will appoint justices to make Roe v. Wade eternal and eliminate all restrictions on a practice Catholics legislators have fought for three decades to curtail?

And which Catholic priests and prelates will it be who give invocations at Obama rallies, even as Mother Church fights to save the lives of unborn children whom Obama believes have no right to life and no rights at all?

I am far from a Patrick Buchanan fan, but I have a hard time rebutting anything he's saying here. I've yet to hear anything out of Obama's mouth that indicates any substantive, real compromise on this point, even as he has pledged a willingness to meet people in the middle on other issues. In fact, he's on record as saying he'll go further than any Democrat candidate to date to remove restrictions on the procedure. Baffling.

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Will one of the Obama supporters please explain that. Don't argue about who wrote the column and what their political beliefs are. Don't argue about how McCain flip flops, don't call him McSame, just address the damn question for once. No mentioning the economy, or the words hope or change. All I want is for you to explain to me how you can support stabbing a baby in the head, and removing the brains while the baby is in the process of birth.

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Will one of the Obama supporters please explain that. Don't argue about who wrote the column and what their political beliefs are. Don't argue about how McCain flip flops, don't call him McSame, just address the damn question for once. No mentioning the economy, or the words hope or change. All I want is for you to explain to me how you can support stabbing a baby in the head, and removing the brains while the baby is in the process of birth.

Or beyond that, the utterly bone chilling refusal to support the Born Alive law on the off chance that it might somehow infringe upon the right to abortion in other instances. And the pledge to sign an act that would wipe out all current federal, state or local restrictions on abortion, yet portraying himself as one that listens to all sides and is willing to compromise. That's not compromise, that's ramrodding your side down the other's throat.

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I've seen that, yet, the truth is, Obama did indeed vote against the Born Alive bill. And there is still no excuse for taking a late term baby that is perfectly capable of living outside the womb on it's own strength, and jabbing scissors in its skull so you suck out the brains (collapsing the head) and pulling it the rest of the way out. It's utterly inexcusable.

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When Obama was in the Illinois Senate, the Born Alive Infants bill came up three successive years.

In 2001, three bills were proposed to help babies who survived induced labor abortions. One, like the federal Born Alive Infants bill, simply said a living "homo sapiens" wholly emerged from his mother should be treated as a "'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"

On all three bills, Obama voted "present," effectively the same as a "no." Defining "a pre-viable fetus" that survived an abortion as a "person" or "child," he argued, "would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

It is not uncommon for someone to vote against a bill outright for a small part that is not acceptable.

Obama has done this many times, As well as voting present when circumstances dictate.

Again, if this is your voting litmus test, then fine, but to take this issue use it to demogogue Obama as a "baby killer" is ridiculous.

Then again, kool-aid glasses up with most of this group.

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When Obama was in the Illinois Senate, the Born Alive Infants bill came up three successive years.

In 2001, three bills were proposed to help babies who survived induced labor abortions. One, like the federal Born Alive Infants bill, simply said a living "homo sapiens" wholly emerged from his mother should be treated as a "'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"

On all three bills, Obama voted "present," effectively the same as a "no." Defining "a pre-viable fetus" that survived an abortion as a "person" or "child," he argued, "would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

It is not uncommon for someone to vote against a bill outright for a small part that is not acceptable.

Obama has done this many times, As well as voting present when circumstances dictate.

Again, if this is your voting litmus test, then fine, but to take this issue use it to demogogue Obama as a "baby killer" is ridiculous.

Then again, kool-aid glasses up with most of this group.

Wrong. And I've detailed this before:

Ok after looking it up, the first Illinois bill (in 2001) that he voted "present" (effectively a "no" vote) on stated that a "homo sapiens" that was wholly emerged from his mother with a "beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles" should be treated as a "'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"

Obama explained his vote against it thusly:

"Number one," said Obama, explaining his reluctance to protect born infants, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a 9-month old -- child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

Problem is, this isn't a "pre-viable fetus" the bill was describing. It was a baby, completely out of the mother struggling now to survive.

In 2002 the Congress passed a similar bill that included language that specifically said, "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being born alive as defined in this section." The bill passed the Senate 98-0.

In 2003, another bill was introduced in Illinois and language was added to the bill that was verbatim the same as the one passed by Congress that I mentioned above. By this time, Obama was the chair of the Health and Human Services committee there. Obama kept the bill in limbo in committee, never bringing it to the Senate floor for a vote.

Later in his debate with Alan Keyes for the Senate seat, he was called on it and he said, "At the federal level there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe v. Wade. I would have voted for that bill."

But he'd effectively killed just that exact bill.

The text of the actual bill he kept in limbo is here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fullt...=000500700K1.36

And these bills have come up because of the testimony of nurses and other workers in abortion clinics and hospitals who witnessed this very thing happening...intact baby survives abortion attempt and was left to die on a table or in the trash. No criminal charges were applied because the child was considered a result of the abortion and not a living human being, so it's not some phantom problem. One of those nurses testified before Congress:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/testimony/st...kercongress.htm

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Yes, we can … elect a guy who votes for infanticide

And abortion on demand at any time during the pregnancy is not a litmus test for dimocrats, it's just one of our core values.

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Just for a point of reference: let's say we had a President who sent 100,000+ alive babies who were of age 18-26 into an optional and unnecessary conflict where death tolls reached into the thousands...

As for your candidate maverick McCain - drink up:

The confounding problem with Mr. Straight Talk is that his public statements on abortion have been anything but straight. This meandering began most seriously in 1999, as McCain made his first bid for the presidency. On the eve of that campaign he told the San Francisco Chronicle that he'd "love to see a point where [Roe] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. ... But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." That same year, he suggested that Republicans revert to the language of the party's 1980 platform, which affirmed GOP support of a constitutional amendment to defend the unborn, but also "recognize[d] differing views on this question among Americans in general--and in our own Party." McCain said, "I believe we are an inclusive party, and we can be so without changing our principles." He also told reporters that if his then-15-year-old daughter got pregnant, they would make "a private decision that we would share within our family and not with anyone else"--a response that to some ears sounded a lot like code for the right to privacy and abortion. McCain even said he would consider a pro-choice running mate.

It was ideologically moderate but politically dangerous positions like these that earned McCain his reputation as a "maverick"--and that got him creamed by the GOP's right-wing base. The National Right to Life Committee helped destroy him in the all-important South Carolina primary, running ads that said, "If you want a strongly pro-life president ... don't support John McCain."

So, this time around, McCain has swerved sharply to the right. The campaign website of the same man who, eight years ago, said Roe shouldn't be overturned now says, "John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench." He sent heartfelt words to the National Right to Life Committee's annual convention: "I am pro-life," he told them, "because I know what it is like to live without human rights, where human life is accorded no inherent value. And I know that I have a personal obligation to advocate human rights wherever they are denied ... when we fail to respect the inherent dignity of all human life, born or unborn. " McCain's advisers have said that he will not fight to soften the Republican platform on abortion, and McCain himself has said that it would be "difficult" to choose a pro-choice running mate.

To many voters, the McCain of 2000 is the true McCain, with his latest statements constituting an understandable, if undignified, pander to the GOP's right-wing base. They simply cannot believe that the maverick who defied the party's hard-core social conservatives on embryonic stem cell research and campaign finance reform would toe the conservative line on abortion. But, in truth, it was his 2000 position on abortion that was the outlier--a short-lived attempt to court the center after George W. Bush had locked up the religious right's support. McCain is not, and never was, a moderate.

During his political career, McCain has participated in 130 reproductive health-related votes on Capitol Hill; of these, he voted with the anti-abortion camp in 125. McCain has consistently backed rights for the unborn, voting to cover fetuses under the State Children's Health Insurance Program and supporting the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which allowed a "child in utero" to be recognized as a legal victim of a crime. He has voted in favor of the global gag rule, which prevents U.S. funds from going to international family-planning clinics that use their own money to perform abortions, offer information about abortion, or take a pro-choice stand. And he has voted to appoint half a dozen anti-abortion judges to the federal bench, as well as Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. During the Bork hearings, McCain attacked the Court's creation of a right to privacy in Roe v. Wade: "Whether one is pro-or anti-abortion," McCain said in an October 1987 hearing, "it is difficult to argue that the Court's opinion is not constitutionally suspect."

Some of these votes were, politically speaking, no-brainers for anyone vaguely in the pro-life camp. But McCain also joined efforts supported only by the radical wing of his party. He voted, for instance, with only one-fifth of the Senate to remove family-planning grants from a 1988 spending bill and with only 18 senators that same year against allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

In 1994, the year after abortion provider David Gunn was killed outside a Florida clinic, McCain voted with 29 members of the Senate against establishing penalties for violent or threatening interference outside abortion clinics. Many solidly pro-life Republicans--Mitch McConnell, Kit Bond, John Danforth--voted in favor of the bill, called the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). "We tried to get as many co-sponsors as we could, and we postured the thing as anti-vigilante violence," recalls Judy Appelbaum, a Washington lawyer who was counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy at the time and the lead Hill staffer on the bill. "We argued that, even if you oppose abortion, you should not condone these actions." According to Appelbaum, law enforcement officials, newspaper editorialists, health care providers, and law-and-order politicians all supported the bill. "There were a number of very anti-choice senators who voted for FACE," she says, "and [McCain] wasn't one of them." Instead, McCain joined senators like Orrin Hatch and Jesse Helms in opposition.

Every hint McCain has ever given that he will do anything but work immediately to restrict abortion rights to his maximum ability is a pander, an attempt to shore up that maverick image at moments when it was to his electoral benefit to run center rather than hard right. These punitive, absolutist anti-abortion votes are the real McCain.

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=...a676e0b&p=1

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Just for a point of reference: let's say we had a President who sent 100,000+ alive babies who were of age 18-26 into an optional and unnecessary conflict where death tolls reached into the thousands...

Slurp, lover of all things achmed, strikes again. Got something on your chin, there.

Mr. Librul is pro-baby-killer. His record proves it. To try and defend it is basically swallowing. Achmed thinks you're the best, Slurp.

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Just for a point of reference: let's say we had a President who sent 100,000+ alive babies who were of age 18-26 into an optional and unnecessary conflict where death tolls reached into the thousands...

As for your candidate maverick McCain - drink up:

The confounding problem with Mr. Straight Talk is that his public statements on abortion have been anything but straight. This meandering began most seriously in 1999, as McCain made his first bid for the presidency. On the eve of that campaign he told the San Francisco Chronicle that he'd "love to see a point where [Roe] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. ... But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." That same year, he suggested that Republicans revert to the language of the party's 1980 platform, which affirmed GOP support of a constitutional amendment to defend the unborn, but also "recognize[d] differing views on this question among Americans in general--and in our own Party." McCain said, "I believe we are an inclusive party, and we can be so without changing our principles." He also told reporters that if his then-15-year-old daughter got pregnant, they would make "a private decision that we would share within our family and not with anyone else"--a response that to some ears sounded a lot like code for the right to privacy and abortion. McCain even said he would consider a pro-choice running mate.

It was ideologically moderate but politically dangerous positions like these that earned McCain his reputation as a "maverick"--and that got him creamed by the GOP's right-wing base. The National Right to Life Committee helped destroy him in the all-important South Carolina primary, running ads that said, "If you want a strongly pro-life president ... don't support John McCain."

So, this time around, McCain has swerved sharply to the right. The campaign website of the same man who, eight years ago, said Roe shouldn't be overturned now says, "John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench." He sent heartfelt words to the National Right to Life Committee's annual convention: "I am pro-life," he told them, "because I know what it is like to live without human rights, where human life is accorded no inherent value. And I know that I have a personal obligation to advocate human rights wherever they are denied ... when we fail to respect the inherent dignity of all human life, born or unborn. " McCain's advisers have said that he will not fight to soften the Republican platform on abortion, and McCain himself has said that it would be "difficult" to choose a pro-choice running mate.

To many voters, the McCain of 2000 is the true McCain, with his latest statements constituting an understandable, if undignified, pander to the GOP's right-wing base. They simply cannot believe that the maverick who defied the party's hard-core social conservatives on embryonic stem cell research and campaign finance reform would toe the conservative line on abortion. But, in truth, it was his 2000 position on abortion that was the outlier--a short-lived attempt to court the center after George W. Bush had locked up the religious right's support. McCain is not, and never was, a moderate.

During his political career, McCain has participated in 130 reproductive health-related votes on Capitol Hill; of these, he voted with the anti-abortion camp in 125. McCain has consistently backed rights for the unborn, voting to cover fetuses under the State Children's Health Insurance Program and supporting the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which allowed a "child in utero" to be recognized as a legal victim of a crime. He has voted in favor of the global gag rule, which prevents U.S. funds from going to international family-planning clinics that use their own money to perform abortions, offer information about abortion, or take a pro-choice stand. And he has voted to appoint half a dozen anti-abortion judges to the federal bench, as well as Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. During the Bork hearings, McCain attacked the Court's creation of a right to privacy in Roe v. Wade: "Whether one is pro-or anti-abortion," McCain said in an October 1987 hearing, "it is difficult to argue that the Court's opinion is not constitutionally suspect."

Some of these votes were, politically speaking, no-brainers for anyone vaguely in the pro-life camp. But McCain also joined efforts supported only by the radical wing of his party. He voted, for instance, with only one-fifth of the Senate to remove family-planning grants from a 1988 spending bill and with only 18 senators that same year against allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

In 1994, the year after abortion provider David Gunn was killed outside a Florida clinic, McCain voted with 29 members of the Senate against establishing penalties for violent or threatening interference outside abortion clinics. Many solidly pro-life Republicans--Mitch McConnell, Kit Bond, John Danforth--voted in favor of the bill, called the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). "We tried to get as many co-sponsors as we could, and we postured the thing as anti-vigilante violence," recalls Judy Appelbaum, a Washington lawyer who was counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy at the time and the lead Hill staffer on the bill. "We argued that, even if you oppose abortion, you should not condone these actions." According to Appelbaum, law enforcement officials, newspaper editorialists, health care providers, and law-and-order politicians all supported the bill. "There were a number of very anti-choice senators who voted for FACE," she says, "and [McCain] wasn't one of them." Instead, McCain joined senators like Orrin Hatch and Jesse Helms in opposition.

Every hint McCain has ever given that he will do anything but work immediately to restrict abortion rights to his maximum ability is a pander, an attempt to shore up that maverick image at moments when it was to his electoral benefit to run center rather than hard right. These punitive, absolutist anti-abortion votes are the real McCain.

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=...a676e0b&p=1

And rr brings out the moral equivalence rebuttal. Expected from a Kool-Aid drinking, disciple of the Obama postmodernist school of feel good talking points.

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Decisions to go into war are complicated. And in the end, I don't even agree with the decision to go into Iraq (though I do believe Afghanistan was a correct call). However, the soldiers who are in this conflict volunteered for military service and knew that such things were a possibility. And they are trained to deal with what's coming their way and taught how to defend themselves.

Now, had the President taken those same soldiers, lined them all up and summarily executed them, your analogy might be a bit more apt.

Furthermore, I don't know why you keep thinking I'm so in love with a McCain presidency. I'm not. But this is the hand I've been dealt. A guy who is somewhat or shakily pro-life and a guy who is pretty much not at all...at least when it comes to babies.

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When Obama was in the Illinois Senate, the Born Alive Infants bill came up three successive years.

In 2001, three bills were proposed to help babies who survived induced labor abortions. One, like the federal Born Alive Infants bill, simply said a living "homo sapiens" wholly emerged from his mother should be treated as a "'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"

On all three bills, Obama voted "present," effectively the same as a "no." Defining "a pre-viable fetus" that survived an abortion as a "person" or "child," he argued, "would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

It is not uncommon for someone to vote against a bill outright for a small part that is not acceptable.

Obama has done this many times, As well as voting present when circumstances dictate.

Again, if this is your voting litmus test, then fine, but to take this issue use it to demogogue Obama as a "baby killer" is ridiculous.

Then again, kool-aid glasses up with most of this group.

This is pathetic. You use the tired old "litmus test" line once again. Even though you know there are other reasons why most on here do not like Obama as president. I realize some aren't that rational but their are legitimate issues people have with Obama. Abortion happens to be the topic of this thread so that is what is discussed. It is a big issue for some of us but it doesn't make it the only barometer that some of us use.

As for kool-aid glasses, that's definitely pot-kettle type stuff there. Disagree with Obama and feel the wrath of rir!

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Decisions to go into war are complicated. And in the end, I don't even agree with the decision to go into Iraq (though I do believe Afghanistan was a correct call). However, the soldiers who are in this conflict volunteered for military service and knew that such things were a possibility. And they are trained to deal with what's coming their way and taught how to defend themselves.

Now, had the President taken those same soldiers, lined them all up and summarily executed them, your analogy might be a bit more apt.

Furthermore, I don't know why you keep thinking I'm so in love with a McCain presidency. I'm not. But this is the hand I've been dealt. A guy who is somewhat or shakily pro-life and a guy who is pretty much not at all...at least when it comes to babies.

I think we share the same opinion on Afghanistan and Iraq and probably have similiar sentiments about the last 8 years as a whole. However, I do think your "defense" of the military conflicts under the guise of a "voluntary military" is a tad short-sided...."well you volunteered and we trained you for combat, so you have no reason to complain if our leadership makes poor decisions, unnecessarily puts you in harms way, doesn't equip you with the troops/gear you need to get the job done, etc. I would be willing to bet a lot of our military would now tell you "this is not what I signed up for." Of course, most of them are essentially stuck serving out their terms. I think it's just terrible.

As for your vote/support of a particular candidate/party, I could really care less. You have an issue that is of uber-importance to you and many others and I respect that. But I do think it does your side no justice to validate your vote for the "lesser of two evils" by calling the opposition a "baby killer."

IMO, casting a vote based primarily on this one issue ("litmus test") is no way to pick the next leader of the free-world..but then again, what do I know? I'm just a "liberal socialist who is obsessed with an articulate leader/preacher" who just so happens to put forth policies that make sense and who has demonstrated the vision, judgement, wisdom and ability to lead.

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I think we share the same opinion on Afghanistan and Iraq and probably have similiar sentiments about the last 8 years as a whole. However, I do think your "defense" of the military conflicts under the guise of a "voluntary military" is a tad short-sided...."well you volunteered and we trained you for combat, so you have no reason to complain if our leadership makes poor decisions, unnecessarily puts you in harms way, doesn't equip you with the troops/gear you need to get the job done, etc. I would be willing to bet a lot of our military would now tell you "this is not what I signed up for." Of course, most of them are essentially stuck serving out their terms. I think it's just terrible.

Well, you're overstating what I said. I didn't say people or the soldiers themselves don't have a "right to complain" about poor decision making on the war. I just said that you can't equate a soldier being sent to war possibly dying with an innocent child being snatched from the womb with only the head left inside (so they can avoid infanticide charges on a technicality), collapse the skull, then remove them. Neither can you equate the soldier's plight with a child who survives the abortion attempt being left to die in the garbage or on a clinic table somewhere.

As for your vote/support of a particular candidate/party, I could really care less. You have an issue that is of uber-importance to you and many others and I respect that. But I do think it does your side no justice to validate your vote for the "lesser of two evils" by calling the opposition a "baby killer."

While I never used those words (which makes your use of quotes curious), I won't apologize for seeing a difference between someone who isn't as consistently pro-life as I would like for them to be vs someone who supports partial birth abortions and won't support a law requiring medical treatment for babies that survive abortion attempts. On other issues, I have pluses and minuses attached to each of them. This issue is a huge minus for Obama though.

IMO, casting a vote based primarily on this one issue ("litmus test") is no way to pick the next leader of the free-world..but then again, what do I know? I'm just a "liberal socialist who is obsessed with an articulate leader/preacher" who just so happens to put forth policies that make sense and who has demonstrated the vision, judgement, wisdom and ability to lead.

This litmus test thing irritates me. Mostly because it gets tossed at social conservatives who oppose killing innocent babies in the womb and vote with that in mind. No one ever steps back and points out that the same thing is true of the pro-choice side. When is the last time a candidate that was pro-life had a prayer of winning the Democratic nomination? There are a TON of Democrat voters who simply would refuse to support such a candidate even if they liked his or her views on other issues. Funny how they never get stuck with the "litmus test" canard. Believe me, I've talked to them. Their zealotry for "choice" is religious.

But beyond that, it's not a "litmus test" issue for me. It's a high priority issue and there is a difference. Which is why I could, in good conscience, vote for Harold Ford Jr. in the Tennessee Senate race in 2006 over Bob Corker. Corker, much like McCain, had a mixed past on the issue but was proclaiming full fidelity to the pro-life view now that he was running. Ford admitted he wasn't for reversing Roe but in contrast to Corker, he addressed the issue head on, in detail. He opposed partial birth abortion, supported the Born Alive act, supported parental notification laws for minors and was a key supporter of the Democrats For Life 95-10 initiative that had concrete steps and plans with the goal of reducing abortions by 95% within 10 years. I'm for reducing abortions even if we go about it a different way. By stark comparison, I've heard extremely little from Obama on the issue to counteract his far left position on the matter except some vague nods to "working together" or "listening to the other side."

So forgive me if the litmus test BS comes off as a tad uninformed and whole lot condescending.

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I think this conversation falls some where between your frustrations over my attempts to pigeon-hole your beliefs/voting preferences and my view that these types of personal/social stances have pushed the dialogue to a point where the nation operates in a polarized environment and the political dialogue is shaped accordingly. It is Karl Rovian tactics 101 and it makes me sick.

The result of course, is gridlock in D.C. with venom spewing from both sides. Simply put, this is not the America I believe and not the government I want. I believe this is exactly what Obama was referring to back in the spring when he said (and I’m paraphrasing) “people are so frustrated and skeptical of government to get any thing done that they cling to social issues (guns/abortions/gay marriage/etc).” This ultimately distracts us from tackling real problems.

As for the specific abortion issue…I’m a bit torn. And I don’t mean to sound nonchalant about a serious topic but honestly, this does not fall at the top of my priority list. At my core, I don’t feel like the government should be in the business of telling society what they can or can’t do in regards to these deeply personal decisions. I find it to be the ultimate hypocrisy from the limited government crowd. To put it another way, while I personally may have a “pro-life” view, who am I (or why would I want my government) to force my beliefs on any one else?

In regards to this issue being a litmus test – I think you make good points about it being a litmus test both ways. However, I do think you are overlooking some solid pro-life Democratic politicians including Tim Kaine of Virgina, Bill Ritter of Colorado, Joe Manchin of West Virgina, Ben Nelson, Harry Reid, Mark Pryor, Bob Casey and many many more U.S. Congressmen.

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As for the specific abortion issue…I’m a bit torn. And I don’t mean to sound nonchalant about a serious topic but honestly, this does not fall at the top of my priority list. At my core, I don’t feel like the government should be in the business of telling society what they can or can’t do in regards to these deeply personal decisions. I find it to be the ultimate hypocrisy from the limited government crowd. To put it another way, while I personally may have a “pro-life” view, who am I (or why would I want my government) to force my beliefs on any one else?

I think where we split is that I too don't want the government dictating to people what they can and can't do with their bodies, generally speaking. But to oppose abortion is not to swing to the other extreme and be all in favor of the government telling people what they can or can't do on personal matters. I'm not for telling people they can't have a tubal litigation or a vasectomy. Pro-life folks aren't out there asking for tighter scrutiny on hysterectomies (except to perhaps call for doctors to examine whether one is truly necessary since it has so many other physical consequences for a woman's body). I don't hear pro-life folks clamoring to outlaw breast augmentation or reductions or other cosmetic surgeries. So to frame it as wanting to "control people's bodies" (as so many pro-choicers do) is disingenuous.

Limited government does not mean absentee government. If we're not total anarchists, we all favor some degree of government involvement in people's so-called "personal" decisions. We tend to all agree that when your personal decision affects another person's life, it becomes less of a personal matter and more of one society has a right to weigh in on. The rub here isn't that one side wants to keep the gov't out of personal matters while the other wants oppressive gov't control over them. The debate is over whether this is merely a personal matter or affects another person's life.

In regards to this issue being a litmus test – I think you make good points about it being a litmus test both ways. However, I do think you are overlooking some solid pro-life Democratic politicians including Tim Kaine of Virgina, Bill Ritter of Colorado, Joe Manchin of West Virgina, Ben Nelson, Harry Reid, Mark Pryor, Bob Casey and many many more U.S. Congressmen.

I am encouraged by pro-life Democrats being elected to Congress or as governors. But I'm referring to the race for President. And while Senators are important, the Pres is the guy that gets to make executive orders on the matter and appoints judges to the courts who decide on these issues. That's the real power position from a government standpoint on the matter and Democrats on a national scale (rather than races run on a state or congressional district level) simply refuse to give a pro-life guy a chance right now.

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I think this conversation falls some where between your frustrations over my attempts to pigeon-hole your beliefs/voting preferences and my view that these types of personal/social stances have pushed the dialogue to a point where the nation operates in a polarized environment and the political dialogue is shaped accordingly. It is Karl Rovian tactics 101 and it makes me sick.

The result of course, is gridlock in D.C. with venom spewing from both sides. Simply put, this is not the America I believe and not the government I want. I believe this is exactly what Obama was referring to back in the spring when he said (and I’m paraphrasing) “people are so frustrated and skeptical of government to get any thing done that they cling to social issues (guns/abortions/gay marriage/etc).” This ultimately distracts us from tackling real problems.

As for the specific abortion issue…I’m a bit torn. And I don’t mean to sound nonchalant about a serious topic but honestly, this does not fall at the top of my priority list. At my core, I don’t feel like the government should be in the business of telling society what they can or can’t do in regards to these deeply personal decisions. I find it to be the ultimate hypocrisy from the limited government crowd. To put it another way, while I personally may have a “pro-life” view, who am I (or why would I want my government) to force my beliefs on any one else?

In regards to this issue being a litmus test – I think you make good points about it being a litmus test both ways. However, I do think you are overlooking some solid pro-life Democratic politicians including Tim Kaine of Virgina, Bill Ritter of Colorado, Joe Manchin of West Virgina, Ben Nelson, Harry Reid, Mark Pryor, Bob Casey and many many more U.S. Congressmen.

1st paragraph:

How is it Karl Rove's fault that the democrats respond with vitriolic dialogue that furthers the split in the country? This issue is going to be polarizing no matter what. It is a black and white issue. You either support Abortion or not. You can't half support abortion.

2nd paragraph:

When one side of the government believes that killing children is OK, they deserve metaphorical venom to be spewed all over them.

3rd paragraph:

This is not the government telling somebody what they can or can't do with normal personal decisions. Killing is not a normal personal decision. You can't kill your child at 2 years old because you don't want them around anymore, but somehow democrats think its ok at the youngest of ages. Limited government people still want government to prevent murder. So, your analogy is bad. Who are you to force your belief that stealing or raping is not ok?

Rational people believe they are making this decision when they have sex. If a pregnancy results, they have already made the decision. If everybody knew this was the case and that they couldn't murder to get out of "trouble", there would be far less "need" for abortion and definitely a lot less little liberals running around.

4th paragraph:

As far as this being a litmus test, there are many many many more things wrong with Obama and even if both support abortion I would still vote for McCain. So, "litmus test" theory debunked.

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While I never used those words (which makes your use of quotes curious), I won't apologize for seeing a difference between someone who isn't as consistently pro-life as I would like for them to be vs someone who supports partial birth abortions and won't support a law requiring medical treatment for babies that survive abortion attempts. On other issues, I have pluses and minuses attached to each of them. This issue is a huge minus for Obama though.

I think this is the kind of divisive framing that typically stalls ANY substantive discussion of abortion. Obama has always been staunchly pro-choice. He's never denied that. He's always adopted President Clinton's view of abortion in that they should be legal, safe and rare. But, to imply that in his supporting that view he, by necessity, supports or advocates the procedure called partial birth abortion or that he wants "born alive" babies to "lie on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath," is demagoguery.

On the PBA part of this equation, Obama has consistently held that abortion legislation meet certain criteria. First, it must contain what is known as a "neutrality clause." The original Illinois versions didn't have this. It was later changed to include one. Second, legislation must always allow exceptions when the life or health of the mother is in question. The Illinois versions didn't. Lastly, these laws were all anti-choice ploys to chip away at Roe v Wade and get social conservatives to the polls when Federal legislation addressing this issue was already on the way.

As for the question of whether to provide medical treatment or not, I am curious as to why Buchanan didn't include the fact that laws regarding this had already been in effect in Illinois since 1975? It was already a felony in Illinois for a physician to withold medical treatment in the case of a live, post-abortion infant. LINK The republicans in Illinois seem to have been doggedly pushing a for solution that was in search of a problem.

I'm for reducing abortions even if we go about it a different way. By stark comparison, I've heard extremely little from Obama on the issue to counteract his far left position on the matter except some vague nods to "working together" or "listening to the other side."

If you've only heard extremely little, it's not because he's done extremely little. He's a proponent of expanding access to contraception to reduce unintended pregnancy. Toward that end, he voted for $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives, he sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women and he also co-sponsored the Prevention First Act which also would've expanded access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care.

The republicans' effort to eliminate abortions is simply to criminalize it, as if they didn't exist before Roe and would cease to exist if they could just criminalize them again. While attempts at this have always scored points with and garnered support from social conservatives, it's doesn't seem very realistic to me if the reduction/elimination of abortions is truly the goal. A better approach, to me, is to address the need for them in the first place.

Legal- I personally wouldn't advocate that my wife, girlfriend or daughter have an abortion. But, at the same time, I wouldn't presume to know what's best for someone else's wife, girlfriend or daughter. I can't say that someone else's reasons for having one should be trumped by my reasons for them not to. I don't have to live with results of that decision. I think there should be reasonable limits. While I've never been in a situation where abortion would personally affect me, I've witnessed it in others.

A few years ago I had a patient who was being treated for lymphoma, I believe. She was undergoing chemotherapy and maybe radiation therapy, too. Anyway, I was doing a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis and when I got to her pelvis, I started seeing little bones in her uterus. My first response was to immediately stop the scan and then I checked her paperwork to see if she said she was pregnant and I'd overlooked it. She'd stated that she was NOT pregnant, so, if she was being honest, she didn't know. An ultrasound was done and the fetus was alive.

If abortion were illegal, this would've created quite a dilemma. Does her oncologist continue with her cancer treatment, knowing how dangerous it would be for the fetus? If he does, what are the legal ramifications if the fetus dies as a result? Does he get sued by her for malpractice or does he get charged with murder? If he discontinues treatment, does her cancer progress to the point that it becomes uncurable? Is he liable for her death? From her perspective, how do we say that she's stuck carrying that baby to term, if he even makes it, and providing whatever care may be required as a result of the chemotherapy? Do we still call her a murderer?

Legal abortion was available to her and that was the decision she made.

Safe- With legal abortion comes medical guidelines, standards and oversight. Providers would have to demonstrate a level of skill to get licensed, thereby reducing the risks associated with an abortion. With it also comes the ability to collect valuable demographic information that can be used to determine reasons certain people get abortions and craft measures to reduce them. What are the correlations between abortion and poverty? If it's because those women have limited access to healthcare and contraception, this can be better addressed. If teens are getting them in inordinate amounts, this can be better addressed. Pushing abortion back into the shadows won't necessarily reduce abortions, but, it will make them more dangerous, more expensive and would negatively affect our ability to counsel women who have an unwanted pregnancy.

Rare- Education is important to the reduction of abortions. I think we take for granted that everybody knows at least what we know about reproduction, contraception, etc. Access to contraception is important. Access to prenatal healthcare is important. Efforts to simplify the adoption process is important. A comprehensive, multi-pronged approach is, I think, a better way to reduce abortions and that's what Obama has supported.

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I think this is the kind of divisive framing that typically stalls ANY substantive discussion of abortion. Obama has always been staunchly pro-choice. He's never denied that. He's always adopted President Clinton's view of abortion in that they should be legal, safe and rare. But, to imply that in his supporting that view he, by necessity, supports or advocates the procedure called partial birth abortion or that he wants "born alive" babies to "lie on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath," is demagoguery.

Here's the thing. When you see a brutal act being performed and do nothing to stop it, claiming to be against the results of said brutality rings a tad hollow. If that's demagoguery, I'm sorry for hurting people's feelings.

On the PBA part of this equation, Obama has consistently held that abortion legislation meet certain criteria. First, it must contain what is known as a "neutrality clause." The original Illinois versions didn't have this. It was later changed to include one. Second, legislation must always allow exceptions when the life or health of the mother is in question. The Illinois versions didn't. Lastly, these laws were all anti-choice ploys to chip away at Roe v Wade and get social conservatives to the polls when Federal legislation addressing this issue was already on the way.

It really doesn't matter what the motivation is on this matter. The procedure is inhumane and barbaric. A civilized person in the 21st century should recoil in horror, not equivocate or come up with non-existent reasons to allow the procedure.

But beyond that, this procedure simply isn't medically necessary. Ever. And as long as we're speaking of certain sides inserting Trojan horses into the picture to benefit their view of things, the "health" exception that keeps being talked about is one of those. It essentially eviscerates the ban altogether. Abortionists have testified over the years that any pregnancy is a health risk for the mother. Not to mention the claims of "mental anguish" that get classified under "health risk" to allow the procedure. Even one of the abortionists that testified during all of this before Congress admitted, "In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along."

As for the question of whether to provide medical treatment or not, I am curious as to why Buchanan didn't include the fact that laws regarding this had already been in effect in Illinois since 1975? It was already a felony in Illinois for a physician to withold medical treatment in the case of a live, post-abortion infant. LINK The republicans in Illinois seem to have been doggedly pushing a for solution that was in search of a problem.

Actually, that's not the full story. The Illinois law in that the person who made the determination as to whether they might deliver a live, viable baby in the course of attempting the abortion is the abortionist themselves. The person who is actually invested in killing the child via abortion. It made it a very loose judgment call and resulted in virtually no penalties for the abortionist because they could always fall back on the idea that "in their judgment" they wouldn't need a 2nd physician there because they didn't expect to deliver a viable baby. And of course the abortionist's primary patient is the mother.

What the new bill was attempting to do was close the loopholes by removing the judgment call on viability and make it so that any abortion that might result in a baby being born alive would require a 2nd physician present at delivery to assess and attend to the baby.

And Obama understood this distinction between the existing 1975 law and what was being proposed. Quoting from State Net March 5, 2002, during testimony before the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee meeting (Stanek was the nurse whose testimony before Congress I linked to earlier):

OBAMA questions Stanek whether she thought situations were happening where doctors that make assessments that are liable have no regard for human life are letting that child die.

STANEK states a loophole in current law, states that a physician determines a fetus is viable and what's happening now is that they're determining this before the baby is aborted, therefore, at delivery they don't have a 2nd doctor there with them. These babies aren't being assessed...

OBAMA: ... My concern is what appears to be the doctors really don't care about children who are born with a reasonable prospect of life because they are so locked into their pro-abortion views that they would watch an infant that is viable die. That may be your assessment and I don't see evidence of that. What we are doing here is to create one more burden on a woman and I can't support that.

In other words, he just can't fathom that such a thing would happen or that there's any potential for conflicts of interest or bias. So rather than err on the side of caution and be sure we're not allowing viable babies to die, he'd rather not impose such a terrible "burden" on a woman to require a doctor to be present if such a scenario is possible.

But Ms. Stanek knew better because in her congressional testimony she stated that she was a witness to such things.

I am a Registered Nurse who has worked in the Labor & Delivery Department at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, for the past five years. Christ Hospital performs abortions on women in their second or even third trimesters of pregnancy. Sometimes the babies being aborted are healthy, and sometimes they are not...

In the event that a baby is aborted alive, he or she receives no medical assessments or care but is only given what my hospital calls "comfort care." "Comfort care" is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket until he or she dies, although even this minimal compassion is not always provided. It is not required that these babies be held during their short lives...

...A Support Associate told me about a live aborted baby who was left to die on the counter of the Soiled Utility Room wrapped in a disposable towel. This baby was accidentally thrown into the garbage, and when they later were going through the trash to find the baby, the baby fell out of the towel and on to the floor...

I was recently told about a situation by a nurse who said, "I can't stop thinking about it." She had a patient who was 23+ weeks pregnant, and it did not look as if her baby would be able to continue to live inside of her. The baby was healthy and had up to a 39% chance of survival, according to national statistics. But the patient chose to abort. The baby was born alive. If the mother had wanted everything done for her baby, there would have been a neonatologist, pediatric resident, neonatal nurse, and respiratory therapist present for the delivery, and the baby would have been taken to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for specialized care. Instead, the only personnel present for this delivery were an obstetrical resident and my co-worker. After delivery the baby, who showed early signs of thriving, was merely wrapped in a blanket and kept in the Labor & Delivery Department until she died 2-1/2 hours later....

This was already happening. In Illinois. And the law did not make it such that the abortionist could really be prosecuted for such neglect and callous indifference to human life unless somehow you could get them to admit that they 1) were reasonably convinced there would likely be a "viable" baby born alive that survived the abortion attempt and 2) they chose to both not call in a 2nd doctor for the baby and they themselves willingly did nothing to help it themselves even though they had the ability to do so. Fat chance of that happening.

If you've only heard extremely little, it's not because he's done extremely little. He's a proponent of expanding access to contraception to reduce unintended pregnancy. Toward that end, he voted for $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives, he sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women and he also co-sponsored the Prevention First Act which also would've expanded access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care.

There is far more to reducing abortions than the tired Democrat mantra of "MORE CONTRACEPTION!" For instance, the 95-10 initiative from Democrats for Life I mentioned earlier (and which Obama has never acknowledged exists, nor even cribbed any substantive ideas from) tackles the problem several ways. Going beyond mere prevention efforts, some of the things it proposes are:

--establishing a toll-free number to direct women to places that will provide support and Pregnancy Counseling and Childcare on University Campuses.

--requiring doctors to provide accurate information to patients receiving a positive results from prenatal testing and counseling in maternity group homes

--making the Adoption Tax Credits Permanent and Increase Tax Credit

--eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition enabling more women to get insurance and thus prenatal care

--supports Informed Consent for Abortion Services

--increases Funding for Domestic Violence Programs

--requires the SCHIP to cover pregnant women and unborn children.

--provides free home visits by registered nurses for new mothers

--includes incentives to reduce teen pregnancy

--provides protection for pregnant college students who wish to continue their education.

A fuller list can be found here: http://www.democratsforlife.org/documents_..._10brochure.pdf

Other ideas from places like Feminists For Life include working with college campuses to provide child care services so that women who do become pregnant don't have to choose between quitting and raising the child (and thus likely being stuck in low paying jobs) or abortion. That's not choice, that's duress.

The republicans' effort to eliminate abortions is simply to criminalize it, as if they didn't exist before Roe and would cease to exist if they could just criminalize them again. While attempts at this have always scored points with and garnered support from social conservatives, it's doesn't seem very realistic to me if the reduction/elimination of abortions is truly the goal. A better approach, to me, is to address the need for them in the first place.

I have many issues with the way Republicans have attempted to deal with this problem, but given the choice between walking 100% in lockstep with NARAL while doing little besides giving out more condoms and the Pill, and erring on the side of caution that what we may be euphemistically referring to as "abortion" is in many cases really infanticide, I'll take the abundance of caution and restrict it. Especially late term one like the cases just described.

Legal- I personally wouldn't advocate that my wife, girlfriend or daughter have an abortion. But, at the same time, I wouldn't presume to know what's best for someone else's wife, girlfriend or daughter. I can't say that someone else's reasons for having one should be trumped by my reasons for them not to. I don't have to live with results of that decision. I think there should be reasonable limits. While I've never been in a situation where abortion would personally affect me, I've witnessed it in others.

Personally, I can't sit by and say that it's someone's choice to kill another person.

A few years ago I had a patient who was being treated for lymphoma, I believe. She was undergoing chemotherapy and maybe radiation therapy, too. Anyway, I was doing a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis and when I got to her pelvis, I started seeing little bones in her uterus. My first response was to immediately stop the scan and then I checked her paperwork to see if she said she was pregnant and I'd overlooked it. She'd stated that she was NOT pregnant, so, if she was being honest, she didn't know. An ultrasound was done and the fetus was alive.

If abortion were illegal, this would've created quite a dilemma. Does her oncologist continue with her cancer treatment, knowing how dangerous it would be for the fetus? If he does, what are the legal ramifications if the fetus dies as a result? Does he get sued by her for malpractice or does he get charged with murder? If he discontinues treatment, does her cancer progress to the point that it becomes uncurable? Is he liable for her death? From her perspective, how do we say that she's stuck carrying that baby to term, if he even makes it, and providing whatever care may be required as a result of the chemotherapy? Do we still call her a murderer?

Legal abortion was available to her and that was the decision she made.

See, here's the thing. Most pro-life advocates would say they oppose abortion either in cases where the life of the mother is at stake (my personal position as another person's life is the only thing that would rise to the level of making it morally acceptable), or that plus rape or incest. And if you took all of those cases combined, they add up to less than 3-4% of all abortions performed in this country. And either of those positions would cover your scenario above.

Safe- With legal abortion comes medical guidelines, standards and oversight. Providers would have to demonstrate a level of skill to get licensed, thereby reducing the risks associated with an abortion. With it also comes the ability to collect valuable demographic information that can be used to determine reasons certain people get abortions and craft measures to reduce them. What are the correlations between abortion and poverty? If it's because those women have limited access to healthcare and contraception, this can be better addressed. If teens are getting them in inordinate amounts, this can be better addressed. Pushing abortion back into the shadows won't necessarily reduce abortions, but, it will make them more dangerous, more expensive and would negatively affect our ability to counsel women who have an unwanted pregnancy.

But this still does not address the core issue of whether we should have the right to kill another human being. There are many things we make illegal in this country for good reasons. And there are people who are determined to do them anyway to their own peril. Why not get serious about attacking the primary reasons women seek abortions (which is lack of emotional, family and financial support) rather than just sweeping the consequences of our earlier choices under the rug at the abortion clinic?

Rare- Education is important to the reduction of abortions. I think we take for granted that everybody knows at least what we know about reproduction, contraception, etc. Access to contraception is important. Access to prenatal healthcare is important. Efforts to simplify the adoption process is important. A comprehensive, multi-pronged approach is, I think, a better way to reduce abortions and that's what Obama has supported.

Obama has not supported comprehensive, multi-pronged approaches. He's supported tepid steps aimed primarily at increasing the availability of contraception and some access to women's health services. That won't cut it. It's a band aid on a bleeding artery. A list of Democratic Senators and Congressmen who support the 95-10 initiative can be found here: http://www.democratsforlife.org/index.php?...0&Itemid=45

Obama's name is conspicuously absent. On the other hand, when Harold Ford Jr. was in the House of Representatives, he supported the bill with Lincoln Davis.

On top of that, he's not even willing to support restrictions on common sense issues like parental notification of minors (my child can't even take a Tylenol at school without my permission, but she can have a serious medical procedure? Are you kidding me?) or banning a barbaric act like Partial Birth Abortion. He knows of situations in his own state (because the nurse who testified of these acts testified before is IL Senate committee) where babies are being left to die without medical care, but prefers not imposing a mild burden in favor of the child's life on the woman seeking to terminate it.

I'm sorry, that dog won't hunt.

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Also, as far as Obama claiming to be against the Illinois version of the born alive bill because it was redundant, this is what he had to say before:

Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, even though he voted against a state version of the proposal. The federal version was approved; the state version was not....

The difference between the state and federal versions, Obama explained, was that the state measure lacked the federal language clarifying that the act would not be used to undermine Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that legalized abortion.

That's a lie in two ways. First, the 2003 version of the bill in Illinois adopted the exact same language of the federal bill to insure they were only talking about babies fully outside the womb and not referring to preborn fetuses. Second, in the testimony I mentioned in the previous post, his objection was that he thought it was presuming that abortion doctors wouldn't make proper judgments on the situation and that it would impose a burden on women even after that language issue had been addressed.

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It really doesn't matter what the motivation is on this matter. The procedure is inhumane and barbaric. A civilized person in the 21st century should recoil in horror, not equivocate or come up with non-existent reasons to allow the procedure.

But beyond that, this procedure simply isn't medically necessary. Ever. And as long as we're speaking of certain sides inserting Trojan horses into the picture to benefit their view of things, the "health" exception that keeps being talked about is one of those. It essentially eviscerates the ban altogether. Abortionists have testified over the years that any pregnancy is a health risk for the mother. Not to mention the claims of "mental anguish" that get classified under "health risk" to allow the procedure. Even one of the abortionists that testified during all of this before Congress admitted, "In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along."

There was a Federal ban already coming. There are only two reasons there would be a need for a state version which, presumably, was finally written almost verbatim as the Federal version. One would be to enact more restrictions and the other would be to demagogue those who opposed it, which is what happened. The state can't make it more lenient than the Federal one and since it had been introduced by a republican, I'm sure that wasn't the goal.

Actually, that's not the full story. The Illinois law in that the person who made the determination as to whether they might deliver a live, viable baby in the course of attempting the abortion is the abortionist themselves. The person who is actually invested in killing the child via abortion. It made it a very loose judgment call and resulted in virtually no penalties for the abortionist because they could always fall back on the idea that "in their judgment" they wouldn't need a 2nd physician there because they didn't expect to deliver a viable baby. And of course the abortionist's primary patient is the mother.

What the new bill was attempting to do was close the loopholes by removing the judgment call on viability and make it so that any abortion that might result in a baby being born alive would require a 2nd physician present at delivery to assess and attend to the baby.

I don't see the ambiguity. According to the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, "Viability" means that stage of fetal development when, in the medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support. So, we know when major organ systems develop. If a woman came in and was 30 weeks pregnant, there would be a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival. A four week old fetus? No.

But, existing law already eliminated any perceived loopholes. It reads, ( b ) Subsequent to the abortion, if a child is born alive, the physician required by Section 6(2)(a) to be in attendance shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion. Any such physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates Section 6(2)( b ) commits a Class 3 felony. Viability or second physicians don't matter. If the baby lives, medical care must be rendered. Illinois already had a law.

There is far more to reducing abortions than the tired Democrat mantra of "MORE CONTRACEPTION!" For instance, the 95-10 initiative from Democrats for Life I mentioned earlier (and which Obama has never acknowledged exists, nor even cribbed any substantive ideas from) tackles the problem several ways. Going beyond mere prevention efforts, some of the things it proposes are:

--establishing a toll-free number to direct women to places that will provide support and Pregnancy Counseling and Childcare on University Campuses.

--requiring doctors to provide accurate information to patients receiving a positive results from prenatal testing and counseling in maternity group homes

--making the Adoption Tax Credits Permanent and Increase Tax Credit

--eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition enabling more women to get insurance and thus prenatal care

--supports Informed Consent for Abortion Services

--increases Funding for Domestic Violence Programs

--requires the SCHIP to cover pregnant women and unborn children.

--provides free home visits by registered nurses for new mothers

--includes incentives to reduce teen pregnancy

--provides protection for pregnant college students who wish to continue their education.

A fuller list can be found here: http://www.democratsforlife.org/documents_..._10brochure.pdf

Other ideas from places like Feminists For Life include working with college campuses to provide child care services so that women who do become pregnant don't have to choose between quitting and raising the child (and thus likely being stuck in low paying jobs) or abortion. That's not choice, that's duress.

I don't have a problem with most of these. I've heard Obama advocate many of these ideas already. Much of it falls under education initiatives he's either sponsored or co-sponsored. Much of it falls under his proposed healthcare plan. It's nothing new.

I have many issues with the way Republicans have attempted to deal with this problem, but given the choice between walking 100% in lockstep with NARAL while doing little besides giving out more condoms and the Pill, and erring on the side of caution that what we may be euphemistically referring to as "abortion" is in many cases really infanticide, I'll take the abundance of caution and restrict it. Especially late term one like the cases just described.

OK. You've just restricted it. Did the abortions get reduced? Did the unwanted pregnancies stop? The answer is "You don't know." But, you won.

See, here's the thing. Most pro-life advocates would say they oppose abortion either in cases where the life of the mother is at stake (my personal position as another person's life is the only thing that would rise to the level of making it morally acceptable), or that plus rape or incest. And if you took all of those cases combined, they add up to less than 3-4% of all abortions performed in this country. And either of those positions would cover your scenario above.

They very well may support it (you said oppose) in those cases, but, if it isn't allowed for in the law, then, tough nuts. The ploy of the right has been to try to do an end around Roe by introducing legislation with subtle language. The Illinois case was one example. They tried to pass a law without a neutrality clause. SCHIP was another one by trying to give health insurance to an unborn child when ANY health issues are covered by the mothers insurance up to 72 hours post partum.

But this still does not address the core issue of whether we should have the right to kill another human being. There are many things we make illegal in this country for good reasons. And there are people who are determined to do them anyway to their own peril. Why not get serious about attacking the primary reasons women seek abortions (which is lack of emotional, family and financial support) rather than just sweeping the consequences of our earlier choices under the rug at the abortion clinic?

On this we both agree. The problem has always been that attempts to address these things are always demagogued as "welfare", "socialism" and other like terms.

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There was a Federal ban already coming. There are only two reasons there would be a need for a state version which, presumably, was finally written almost verbatim as the Federal version. One would be to enact more restrictions and the other would be to demagogue those who opposed it, which is what happened. The state can't make it more lenient than the Federal one and since it had been introduced by a republican, I'm sure that wasn't the goal.

Actually, according to Ms. Stanek (whom I just spoke with on the differences), the Federal ban mostly applies civil penalties whereas the state one would also apply criminal penalties. It also means having more law enforcement (state and federal) and more prosecutors. If you're serious about putting teeth into these laws and giving these kids every chance at life, you've got to have real penalties for breaking the law.

I don't see the ambiguity. According to the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, "Viability" means that stage of fetal development when, in the medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support. So, we know when major organ systems develop. If a woman came in and was 30 weeks pregnant, there would be a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival. A four week old fetus? No.

But, existing law already eliminated any perceived loopholes. It reads, ( b ) Subsequent to the abortion, if a child is born alive, the physician required by Section 6(2)(a) to be in attendance shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion. Any such physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates Section 6(2)( b ) commits a Class 3 felony. Viability or second physicians don't matter. If the baby lives, medical care must be rendered. Illinois already had a law.

The point is though, the way the law was being interpreted in Illinois, the abortionist was getting off the hook with what had become, effectively, a wide open loophole. Every effort was not being made to help these babies...it was left up to the abortionist to make a judgment call (before the abortion had even taken place) as to what the likelihood of a viable baby being surviving would be before he even had to have a 2nd doctor there. The new law tightened that up by requiring the second doctor there when a live birth was possible and gave that doctor the power to make assess the child after the procedure, not the abortionist.

Ms. Stanek and others were witnesses to these things happening, repeatedly, in Illinois. I think if the 1975 law were strong enough, she would know.

I don't have a problem with most of these. I've heard Obama advocate many of these ideas already. Much of it falls under education initiatives he's either sponsored or co-sponsored. Much of it falls under his proposed healthcare plan. It's nothing new.

The answers I've seen him give have, for one, varied as to his reasoning for holding various positions and been rather vague.

OK. You've just restricted it. Did the abortions get reduced? Did the unwanted pregnancies stop? The answer is "You don't know." But, you won.

The thing is, you don't have to do one or the other. You can restrict it because it's the decent, human thing to do AND you can tackle the root issues that make some women think abortion is their only real choice.

They very well may support it (you said oppose) in those cases, but, if it isn't allowed for in the law, then, tough nuts. The ploy of the right has been to try to do an end around Roe by introducing legislation with subtle language. The Illinois case was one example. They tried to pass a law without a neutrality clause. SCHIP was another one by trying to give health insurance to an unborn child when ANY health issues are covered by the mothers insurance up to 72 hours post partum.

I guess all I'm getting at is that the scenario you proposed isn't even something the vast majority of pro-lifers are trying to get outlawed, so it's not exactly the quandry you're making it out to be.

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Actually, according to Ms. Stanek (whom I just spoke with on the differences), the Federal ban mostly applies civil penalties whereas the state one would also apply criminal penalties. It also means having more law enforcement (state and federal) and more prosecutors. If you're serious about putting teeth into these laws and giving these kids every chance at life, you've got to have real penalties for breaking the law.

OK. While I don't really want to quibble on this too much, it seems that the 1975 law already had teeth. Maybe not.

The point is though, the way the law was being interpreted in Illinois, the abortionist was getting off the hook with what had become, effectively, a wide open loophole. Every effort was not being made to help these babies...it was left up to the abortionist to make a judgment call (before the abortion had even taken place) as to what the likelihood of a viable baby being surviving would be before he even had to have a 2nd doctor there. The new law tightened that up by requiring the second doctor there when a live birth was possible and gave that doctor the power to make assess the child after the procedure, not the abortionist.

Ms. Stanek and others were witnesses to these things happening, repeatedly, in Illinois. I think if the 1975 law were strong enough, she would know.

This sounds like saying the same thing in a different way. "Likelihood of a viable baby" vs. "live birth was possible." It sounds like a distinction without a difference. Again, the 1975 law:

(2) (a) No abortion shall be performed or induced when the fetus is viable unless there is in attendance a physician other than the physician performing or inducing the abortion who shall take control of and provide immediate medical care for any child born alive as a result of the abortion. This requirement shall not apply when, in the medical judgment of the physician performing or inducing the abortion based on the particular facts of the case before him, there exists a medical emergency; in such a case, the physician shall describe the basis of this judgment on the form prescribed by Section 10 of this Act. Any physician who intentionally performs or induces such an abortion and who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly fails to arrange for the attendance of such a second physician in violation of Section 6(2)(a) commits a Class 3 felony.

( b ) Subsequent to the abortion, if a child is born alive, the physician required by Section 6(2)(a) to be in attendance shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion. Any such physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates Section 6(2)( b ) commits a Class 3 felony.

Note the first sentence. Viability is the operative word. According to the 1975 law, viability is "that stage of fetal development when, in the medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support." Again, we know approximately when, in the course of fetal development, which organ systems are mature enough to constitute viability.

You say, however, that the abortionist will, no doubt, act as if no fetus is viable and therefore not have that second physician available. Somebody already thought of that. More 1975 law:

( b ) Subsequent to the abortion, if a child is born alive, the physician required by Section 6(2)(a) to be in attendance shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion. Any such physician who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates Section 6(2)( b ) commits a Class 3 felony.

Whether the physician is acting in good faith-honestly trying to accurately assess viability-or he isn't, if the abortion attempt failed and the baby was alive, the physician is bound by law to preserve the life and health of the baby. If not, it's a felony.

I'm not sure what loophole exists or how it differs from the new law. You said that Mrs. Stanek and other witnesses saw these things happening repeatedly. From what I've read of her story, I assume you mean the babies that were put in soiled utility rooms until they died? How exactly did the existing law fail here? Again, from what I know of her story, she reported this to supervisors or some other channel in the hospital where she was told that no changes would be made and that's where it seemed to stop. How could the existing law work when proper authorities were seemingly never notified?

Out of curiosity, were any of the babies in the utility rooms anacephalic?

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