Obama speaks with Relevant Magazine about Abortion

I was listening to the Relevant podcast yesterday (this is the part of the article where you drop everything, open up your iTunes player, go to the Store and subscribe to the Relevant Podcast for much insight and hilarity) and heard a short interview with presidential candidate (and long-term Left Cheek reader… so I’ve heard) Barack Obama. I was so intrigued by it that I figured that I need to transcribe a section of it. But then I checked by the site today and found it there, in print (or pixel, as it were).

I’ve been waiting for awhile to hear some clarifications on Obama’s stance on abortion. At this point, I won’t go into too much detail on my own stance, except to say that I don’t like abortion and would prefer that it would never be an option – but at the same time realize that for a lot of people, it may be the only viable option that they see and that it is not politically viable to overturn RvW at this moment.

In any case, Obama dispels the rumors. You heard it here first, kids!

Strang: Based on emails we received, another issue of deep importance to our readers is a candidate’s stance on abortion. We largely know your platform, but there seems to be some real confusion about your position on third-trimester and partial-birth abortions. Can you clarify your stance for us?

Obama: I absolutely can, so please don’t believe the emails. I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.

The other email rumor that’s been floating around is that somehow I’m unwilling to see doctors offer life-saving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion. That’s just false. There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the “Born Alive” bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill. The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn’t think it was going to pass constitutional muster.

Ever since that time, emails have been sent out suggesting that, somehow, I would be in favor of letting an infant die in a hospital because of this particular vote. That’s not a fair characterization, and that’s not an honest characterization. It defies common sense to think that a hospital wouldn’t provide life-saving treatment to an infant that was alive and had a chance of survival.

Strang: You’ve said you’re personally against abortion and would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions under your administration. So, as president, how would do you propose accomplishing that?

Obama: I think we know that abortions rise when unwanted pregnancies rise. So, if we are continuing what has been a promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education giving good information to teenagers. That is important—emphasizing the sacredness of sexual behavior to our children. I think that’s something that we can encourage. I think encouraging adoptions in a significant way. I think the proper role of government. So there are ways that we can make a difference, and those are going to be things I focus on when I am president.


7 thoughts on “Obama speaks with Relevant Magazine about Abortion

  1. Its very expedient for your man Obama to say these things….now lets see what he said in front of PP less than a year ago. I would remind you that PP kills 138 babies to every one adoption and they gain $300 million in tax dollars annually. I can provide their 990’s if youd like, but ehre Obama, with links to the trascript and video:Dessa Cosma: Um, as you were talking about earlier, the recent Bush Supreme Court’s decision really took away critically important decisions from women and put them in the hands of politicians. And as a result of this, we’re expecting, and have already seen, so much anti-choice legislation at the state level. Um, what would you do at the federal level not only to ensure access to abortion but to make sure that the judicial nominees that you will inevitably be able to pick are true to the core tenets of Roe v. Wade?Barack Obama: Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. [Applause.] That’s the first thing that I’d do. Um, but the, okay, but, but your question about the federal courts is absolutely on target. I taught Constitutional Law for ten years and I have to say after reading this latest decision and the series of decisions that the Supreme Court has been putting forward that I find it baffling. NOw, lets examine Obama’s vote against Live Borth Abortion, which he defends as well as all of his little justifiers, by claiming it was unconstitional. Guess what, it passed locally in Illinois, but also passed overwhemingly nationally….now he’s either flat out lying or he is an idiot in Constitutional law…maybe thats why he taught it….those who cant…teach.http://lauraetch.googlepages.com/barackobamabeforeplannedparenthoodactionhttp://www.imoneinamillion.com/

  2. Obama’s Legislative Actions Considering Obama’s Islamic connections, it is not surprising that he introduced a bill in Illinois called “Islamic Community Day” which proclaimed that November 1, 1997 would be the South Shore Islamic Community Center Day. Obama’s other legislative actions in Illinois demonstrate that he is a liberal Democrat who puts left-wing ideology before the best interest of the people. Incredibly, Obama opposed four times the Born Alive Infant Protection Act that would have prohibited a baby that was born alive from being left to die, simply because the mother said she wanted the baby to die. He also sided with the Democratic Party’s radical pro-abortion special interest group by opposing a bill that defines as a “person” a fully born baby who survives an abortion. Obama was the only member of the Illinois Senate who voted against a bill that prohibited the early release of sexual predators. He also refused to vote for a bill that would have increased penalties for drug traffickers. Obama voted against a bill that made it a criminal offense for convicts to have contact with a street gang while out of jail on bail or on probation. He even voted against a bill that would have delivered the death penalty to gang members who murder first responders. Obama sent a shock wave throughout the state of Illinois when he voted to make a criminal out of a homeowner who was forced to use a gun to defend himself in his own home. As a US senator, Obama voted against the minimum wage bill. Now, Obama is on the presidential campaign trail promising to increase the minimum wage. What a hypocrite.http://blackrepublican.blogspot.com/

  3. so, are the two anonymouses one person or two. i kind of sense that maybe it’s two, but i just can’t figure that two people do not know how to leave their identity or name. so, if i get around to answering or debating everything, then it’s because i’ve got a lot of time on my hands. otherwise, even though i have a good clue as to who left the first comment (and though the second one gave me an address of some sort that i’ll check out later), it’s late so i’ll get around to it…on the abortion issue:i don’t agree with abortion. i don’t like it. at all. my daughter is turning a year old in a couple days and i just canNOT imagine life without her. i could not imagine my wife making that decision. but then again, we haven’t had to come to grips with that decision. our belief system is tied directly to the idea of the sanctity of all life, which would account for the unborn, those with severe disabilities, those on death row (many of whom did not receive fair trials even here in the US), the malnourished, those that go to war, those on whom war is practiced, and yes, even terrorists, heads-of-state, and bullies.apparently, not everyone believes in this ‘culture of life’ that pope John Paul II talked about. but it seems that a lot of “pro-lifers” will pick-and-choose what or who to defend and who to allow to the wayside. this isn’t the case with all, of course, but generally when we discuss the sanctity of life, that’s all we care about. and i think we are choosing to fight a losing war on the wrong fronts. let’s take the abortion issue out of politics and let’s look at some of the root causes of abortion and do what we can to severely limit them, not by law, but by love.yeah, that was cheesy.the president, honestly, if 20 republican, anti-abortion president years out of the last 28 in the US hasn’t taught us much else, can’t do much about abortion. but he can do stuff about many of the other sanctity of life issues – especially war. and that is the issue that the republicans are failing on.would it be great if Obama were anti-abortion and thoroughly pro-life (or as pro-life as you can be and still run an entire nation)? absolutely! is it necessary? no (though we should continue to pray for him in that light). what is necessary? our social action. love, not law.

  4. Maybe you didnt get my last post, or maybe your busy…either way I’d like to make just two points on where I believe social gospelists get these specific topics wrong, you wrote:”but then again, we haven’t had to come to grips with that decision. our belief system is tied directly to the idea of the sanctity of all life, which would account for the unborn, those with severe disabilities, those on death row (many of whom did not receive fair trials even here in the US), the malnourished, those that go to war, those on whom war is practiced, and yes, even terrorists, heads-of-state, and bullies.”War and killing (especially the death penalty) is absolutely justified in scripture; murder (abortion) is not. John the Baptist didnt tell the soldiers to stop warfare. I often get this “war argument” or the “womb to the tomb” or death penalty argument. Lets say you and I dont agree that killing is justifiable in scripture. Then lets put war, the death penalty and any other thing you want and stack it up against abortion…were talking 2 MILLION murders annually or to put it in a number we can grasp, 4000 babies murdered daily. My suggestion is that worldy matters effect our brains way too much as Christians. Our ideals are based off of hatred for this specific war, this president etc. And that messes with prioritization.And what does Gods word tell us about being influenced by the world?:Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. Rom 12:2As for the “womb to the tomb”, its hard to even care for someone who doesnt even make it out of the womb…couldn’t that $300 million in taxes we pay to murder babies be used to handle that care more effectively?The other point is that justification for these acts, whether gay unions or abortion, and by justification I mean throwing red herrings into the conversation (like war and death penalty) is dangerous:Although they know God’s just requirement-that those who practice such things deserve to die-they not only do these things but even applaud others who practice them. Rom 1:32I hope this finds you and your family well and that you and I both supplicate, examine His law and pray for guidance.

  5. I wish you damn Republicans would see your president for what he really is…a warmonger. How many lives have been lost in Iraq? How many babies killed? In the US, how many children are born into poverty?The thing that really jerks my chain about the current Republican ideology is that you can see past the trees for the forest. Honestly, if this country had more a consistent ethic of life, you could see this. I think abortion levels can be lowered without a ‘ban’ on abortions. Whether you want to believe it or not, abortions (illegal) will still happen regardless of if the government backs them or not. We need to be looking more at the root causes of abortion and how to cure the cause and not just the abortion itself. We also need to be looking at a consistent pro-life stance. This includes demiliartizing the nation. This includes poverty, which is the root cause of a lot of what ails this world.

  6. anons,can someone please learn to either sign in, leave an email or at least put your names and/or handles at the bottom of your posts.anon #3,comment moderation is not enabled and i haven’t deleted any comments recently. so, it sounds like your comment never made it in. sorry about that. but let me briefly answer some of your themes.God said we should not commit murder. although in the old testament, he did justify and sometimes outright tell his people to commit what we would consider nowadays to be atrocities of war, God was starting something new. for the time, it was necessary. but the new testament is a new way of dealing with God and that through Christ. we follow his example, not Moses’. Jesus constantly talked about that, as did Paul. what Jesus says regarding vengeance or killing or violence trumps the old version of it. period. when he was saying ‘turn the other cheek’ (which, fwiw, i named this particular blog after) he meant not just personally (as in murder) but politically/socially as well. he was talking to a proud nation that wanted its freedom from a repressive empire (hmm… sound familiar?) and was willing to get it back by any means necessary.as per capital punishment: i’m not entirely sold that it’s entirely wrong. but the way it is practiced (in many countries and here in the US with the extreme bias towards convicting african-american males with scant evidence), i certainly am. if we say that that is justice, we take the efforts out of the causes of injustice (as anon #4 was alluding to) and are guilty of helping to cause the injustice (which is often a result of another injustice. such as stealing can be a result of hunger or murder a result of infidelity).and the numbers don’t justify war. i’ll buy that there is such a thing as a just war, but the invasion of Iraq was anything but. if it were, why aren’t christians advocating invading sudan?anon #4,i agree with you. but the name-calling is unnecessary and disproves your greater argument.

  7. Jasdye:Which is it in your opinion? You compare new covenant to old covenant to defend turning the other cheek but then prclaim there is justified war. Youre contradicting yourself….being formed by your worldy opinion, thats why I put Rom 12:2 in there.Now if youre taking the side that Jesus always turned the other cheek and we should follow, then youre saying that there is no such thing as justified violence…which is absurd, because Christ himself demonstrated it. Then you proclaim that justified war exists, which goes against your commnets regarding the new covenant. You write: that we “are guilty of helping to cause the injustice”, which is my point exactly on you who would have a abortion happy Obama as president. Do you see what anan 4, that I cant see the forest, blah blah blah. Again, I ask for comment on the fact that 4400 babies are murdered daily due to abortion and how, in your mind, that compares to your idea of so-called injustice in Iraq or with the death penalty. Why I am labelled for being passionate about the murder of babies but folks like you arent labelled for what you see as a disgrace? Again, I offer up to you that your social gospel is shallow and pick and choose at best, which is exemplified in the contradiction you have placed yourself within. You want the scripture to bend around your world view, as does anan 4…who doesnt even understand that it is not the government “backing” abortion…it is us, the taxpayers (remember: 2,000,000 murders and $300 ,000,000 in taxes) and you who choose to support Obama. Please, get back to your original commercial for Obama, and address the fact that his voting record and his own words reflect the exact opposite of what you posted.Damn republican.

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