Obama and abortion - position shifts for evangelicals

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Stargazer
Obama and abortion - position shifts for evangelicals

 

Stargazer

As Obama courts the right wing "evangelicals" his position changes. Let's see what he decides in a few months, when he can't stand the pressure anymore. Does anyone trust Obama not to throw women under the bus? Overall he had been 100 percent pro-choice, stating that women should be allowed abortions when under mental stress.

Now?

[url=http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/7/3/20917/25581]Obama: mental stress doesn't justify late term abortion[/url]

quote:

In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."
Obama then added: "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 the child to term."


Compared to last year, also from Obama:

quote:

Last year, after the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on late-term abortions, Obama said he "strongly disagreed" with the ruling because it "dramatically departs form previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women."

quote:

Q: The terms pro-choice and pro-life, do they encapsulate that reality in our 21st Century setting and can we find common ground?

A: I absolutely think we can find common ground. And it requires a couple of things. It requires us to acknowledge that..

1. There is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tamp down. I think that's a mistake because I think all of us understand that it is a wrenching choice for anybody to think about.
2. People of good will can exist on both sides. That nobody wishes to be placed in a circumstance where they are even confronted with the choice of abortion. How we determine what's right at that moment, I think, people of good will can differ.


[url=http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm]Obama On Abortion[/url]

Thanks Obama!! Thank you for ensuring abortion stays a "moral issue" and not a health issue (mental health isn't health eh?)

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]Overall he had been 100 percent pro-choice, stating that women should be allowed abortions when under mental stress.[/b]

That's not 100% pro-choice. 100% pro-choice means stating that women should be allowed abortions whenever they want them. Period. Not because they're under "mental stress" or for "health reasons" or anything else.

Maybe it's just a case of low expectations, but I never expect presidential candidates to be 100% pro-choice. They all have to pander to some degree on this issue, as repulsive a political reality as that is in the US.

If he totally sells women out, however, and starts acquiescing to legal restrictions instead of just making the right noises to placate the "sort of pro-choice, sort of paternalistic" crowd, then he's no better than a Republican.

Well, really, who am I fooling? He's not much better than a Republican either way. Pro-state-sanctioned-murder, pro-NAFTA, not really pro-choice, pro-war, and denies that the US is racist or colonialist. What good is he? He's just another sellout presidential candidate.

Stargazer

I guess I should have ordered my quotes a little better. Last year he was for abortions, regardless. He defended women who choose an abortion for mental health reasons.

This year, he no longer defends that position. Of course, his mind was changed when he started pandering to the religious right.

I have zero faith in Obama. I think in due time he'll be swinging farther to the right on this issue. Because he can, and it will get him votes from people he should not, as a "progressive" ever be courting. Screw the religious right. They have the entire Republican Party, half of the Democrats, and almost all the airtime, yet Obama feels the need to give them more of what they already had.

Since when is courting the religious right a good progressive thing to do.

I dislike Obama. very much.

[ 07 July 2008: Message edited by: Stargazer ]

RationalThought

Do you dislike him 'very much' because you thought that he'd be more progressive due to his particular background? To put it another way, if he'd been just another stock democrat who switched positions to suit conditions would you have disliked him as much as you currently dislike Obama?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Do you dislike him 'very much' because you thought that he'd be more progressive due to his particular background?

Maybe its because he misled or fooled people into believing he was truly an agent of change.

Stargazer

quote:


Do you dislike him 'very much' because you thought that he'd be more progressive due to his particular background? To put it another way, if he'd been just another stock democrat who switched positions to suit conditions would you have disliked him as much as you currently dislike Obama?

The questions are redundant. The first one is essentially the same as your second one.

I dislike ANY Democrat (yea, any of them) who change positions on progressive matters in order to court these right wing religious nuts. I dislike Obama the most because he could very well be the next president of the US of A, and from what I've been reading, he'd throw anyone under the bust to get elected.

And no, I don't fall for the BS line "that's what they have to do to get elected".

And of course, there is the mass deceit that he is now engaging in - that is is progressive. Which he isn't.

RationalThought

Would you rather have Obama or McCain as US President? Those really are the only two viable options because Nader will not get elected.

Not wishing to prejudge your answer but I bet you'll pick Obama. Am I right?

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by RationalThought:
[b]Do you dislike him 'very much' because you thought that he'd be more progressive due to his particular background?[/b]

I know you didn't ask me the question, but I concur with Stargazer.

Take a made-up scenario. I can't imagine John McCain or Hillary Clinton or John Edwards or various others responding to some hypothetical gossip by posting this on their campaign websites:

[b][i]"I am not now and never have been a Jew."[/i][/b]

Obama - for whatever reason - dares to respond to rumours by posting [url=http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/11/12/obama_has_never_been_a_m... like this[/url] on his official campaign website:

[b][i]"Barack is not and has never been Muslim."

"Barack never attended a Muslim school."

"Barack's middle name is not Mohammed."[/i][/b]

I may be naive, but I don't think any other candidate could have gotten away with despicable statements of this nature.

I had zero expectations of Obama, but even so, he has chosen to come in at way below zero.

RationalThought

Seems to me those statements are the truth. People lied by calling him a Muslim for example, so he responded with the truth, namely that he is not a Muslim, not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't see what's despicable about setting the record straight.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by RationalThought:
[b]I don't see what's despicable about setting the record straight.[/b]

That's pretty clear.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by RationalThought:
[b]Not wishing to prejudge your answer but I bet you'll pick Obama. Am I right?[/b]

Again, I certainly can't speak for Stargazer, but even though there is practically nothing of substance to choose between Obama and McCain, my choice at this point would be McCain, for one simple reason:

McCain has not yet threatened (to my knowledge) to invade Pakistan.

RationalThought

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

That's pretty clear.[/b]


Haha, please delivider us some more witicisms, oh he-who-has-been-threatened-with-suspension-for-saying"white women being violated by indians"-in-[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=38&t=000696]T....

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Would you rather have Obama or McCain as US President?

They are the same candidate.

RationalThought

No, Obama is the [i]change[/i] candidate. Change you can [i]count[/i] on. McCain is the 'stay the course' candidate.

Michelle

Belieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve!!!!! Believe in the change! Change the belief!

Michelle

RationalThought, it would be great if you could take your baiting of unionist somewhere else. Like another web site. Stop dragging arguments from other threads into this one. When the moderators die, you can apply for our jobs. Until then, you can leave the chastising of other babblers for misbehaviour on the site to us.

[ 07 July 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

RationalThought

Very well, but I did find it rather sad that such an individual who could say such things about 'indians' and 'women' would feel comfortable posting in the Feminism forum. Anyway, I am sure the mods will deal with his transgressions in the appropriate manner.

Michelle

It was dealt with. In the other thread. By a moderator. Which isn't you.

If you have a complaint about another member of the forum, the procedure is outlined [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/policy.html]here[/url].

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


No, Obama is the change candidate. Change you can count on.

Oh, I know. I've watched him change from progressive to right wing right in front of my own eyes. More than that, I have watched him morph from Barack Obama to Barack McBush.

RationalThought

I don't believe he's really changed his positions all that much, because there's no real need to change them. Polls show that over 55% want an end to the way things are going in the US. He's got it wrapped up. Why bother to dilute his message?

Michelle

Anyhow, guys. This thread is about Obama and abortion. Maybe we could get back on topic. There's already another thread where you can discuss whether or not Obama is selling out his principles in general.

This thread is in the feminism forum for a reason. Please respect that and either stay on topic or don't post at all in this thread. Thanks.

West Coast Greeny

Actually Stargazer, Obama's position didn't shift one atom width. Look at the quotes again:

quote:

In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."
Obama then added: "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 the child to term."

quote:

Last year, after the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on late-term abortions, Obama said he "strongly disagreed" with the ruling because it "dramatically departs form previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women."

The two statements don't contradict one another. Obama is in favour of abortion in the first two trimesters, and opposed to it in the third, except when the physical health of the mother is imperiled. (Whether you agree with the stance or not is another issue)

Obama is being the professional politician that he is, casting his views in the best light possible for both social conservatives in one forum and the general audience in another. Now, whether you agree with his stance or not is another matter.

RationalThought

President Obama will not restrict abortions beyond what they are already. I don't think he'll loosen things up either. Basically status quo, with pro-abortion justices appointed to the SCOTUS.

Stargazer

You have no idea what Obama will do. What, are you part of his campaign? You're not a female, so his stance on abortion now (or when he moves even further to the right) clearly will not bother you. Besides, you seem to have a rather Stepford Wife like Obama mania going on.

Unionist - thanks.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by RationalThought:
[b]I don't believe he's really changed his positions all that much, because there's no real need to change them. Polls show that over 55% want an end to the way things are going in the US. He's got it wrapped up. Why bother to dilute his message?[/b]

I agree he has not changed his positions much. He has always had one position and that is "I will do what is necessary to get elected." That is a pragmatists political viewpoint not a progressives. Now progressives can be pragmatists however to me there are some baselines to be able to call yourself a progressive. One of the primary things is to understand that a woman should have control over her own body, full stop no ands ifs or buts. Anything less is not progressive.

Obama and Rice in 2008

The Reason I like this ticket is if you look at her statements about public policy they read as vague and as "progressive" as her fellow Ivy League elitist.

The Perfect Storm to Win the White House

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I never in a million year thought I would say this, but I think Hillary would not have sold out women as quickly as Obama did.

That said, the US badly needs to break out of their two party system.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


I never in a million year thought I would say this, but I think Hillary would not have sold out women as quickly as Obama did.

Really? Hillary stood by Bill through the worst of times and the worser of times. Obama tossed his Minister under the bus at the first sign the old boy had a mouth that wouldn't be gagged.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]
Really? Hillary stood by Bill through the worst of times and the worser of times. Obama tossed his Minister under the bus at the first sign the old boy had a mouth that wouldn't be gagged.[/b]

True enough FM. I just never liked HRC but I was suspect of BO when the whole campaign moved on to a nebulous love fest for change.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

BO? B.O.?

Huh, that's what the smell is.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

LOL!

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]R When the moderators die[/b]

And how I pray for that blessed event (speaking only for one self of course).

Robespierre

quote:


Originally posted by laine lowe:
[b]I never in a million year thought I would say this, but I think Hillary would not have sold out women as quickly as Obama did.

That said, the US badly needs to break out of their two party system.[/b]


Hell, yes, we need a labor-based third party so bad, but the horizon down here looks empty with every U.S. labor leader on his or her knees worshipping [i]behind[/i] the Church of Obama Magic Thinking; corporations are sitting in the pews, and media is covering the event out front, so the back of the church is where labor has to go.

Obama's statements quoted in the OP are really horrible, wow! With Clinton out of the picture this dyed-in-the-wool Democratic Party hack can turn his back on women's rights because he figures that intelligent women voters will have to vote for him anyway.

[ 07 July 2008: Message edited by: Robespierre ]

RationalThought

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]You have no idea what Obama will do. What, are you part of his campaign? You're not a female, so his stance on abortion now (or when he moves even further to the right) clearly will not bother you. Besides, you seem to have a rather Stepford Wife like Obama mania going on.

[/b]


You seem to have a chip on your shoulder because Obama has so much support. If American feminists - most of whom are Democrats - thought he was anti-abortion we'd be looking at Clinton as the Presidential candidate. But she's not. Now maybe you think you're smarter than American feminists and blessed with the ability to see what millions of others don't but I'll take their opinion of Obama over yours. Thank you very much.

Robespierre

quote:


Stargazer coined the phrase: Stepford Wife- like Obama mania

Best line of this thread so far. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by RationalThought:
[b]

You seem to have a chip on your shoulder because Obama has so much support. If American feminists - most of whom are Democrats - thought he was anti-abortion we'd be looking at Clinton as the Presidential candidate. But she's not. Now maybe you think you're smarter than American feminists and blessed with the ability to see what millions of others don't but I'll take their opinion of Obama over yours. Thank you very much.[/b]


This is rather a nasty piece of work and an insult to a long time poster. So according to your logic the American majority is always right and people who disagree are not as smart. All Hail Pax Americana!!!!

He did not say that a woman has the absolute right to decide what happens to her own body. Anything less than that is a cop out. At best his statements say he might not allow any more erosion of women's rights but its not like he put forward a progressive agenda on the issue.

KeyStone

Unionist,

I don't really see the issue with Barrack correcting to false rumours. You have to be quite naieve to not realize why it is necessary.

The right wing is intentionally trying to make him look like a fanatic, that will betray American to the Muslim people the first chance he gets.

What is the alternative? He doesn't address it and allows the right wing to convince many voters that he is Muslim?

Taking the high road, and only being concerned about the 10% of American voters who meet the moral criteria to be worthy of voting for him would be short-sighted and stupid.

RationalThought

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]So according to your logic the American majority is always right and people who disagree are not as smart. [/b]

Wrong. I said I'd take the view of American feminists on this issue, most of whom are Democrats and most of whom supported Obama.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sorry if a majority of American feminists (which by the way you have not provided links to this data) believe then anyone else is not smart. Mea Culpa I see now how benevolent Pax Americana is.

Michelle

The issue is how he corrects them. He goes out of his way to insist that he's not a Muslim, and he calls the rumours of his being a Muslim a "smear".

What he should be doing is saying something like this:

"There have been rumours that my political opponents have been circulating about me that are untrue, namely that I'm a Muslim, and that my middle name is Mohammad. I am not a Muslim - I've been a Christian all my life and I belong to X church. My middle name is not Mohammad, it is X.

"What concerns me, however, is not that I might be mistaken for a Muslim, but that my opponents who have been spreading these rumours consider Muslims to be unfit to hold high public office. I am not a Muslim, but if I were, I would be just as qualified to be the President of the United States of America as I am now, as a Christian. Just as I would be if I were Jewish, or Buddhist, or any other religion."

But he didn't do that. He calls it a "smear" to be mistaken for Muslim. He demands that people recognize that he is a Christian without speaking up for a religious group that has been racialized and discriminated against when he has been mistaken for one of them.

So hopefully this explanation clears up for you why some babblers feel that Obama's reaction to this is not only inadequate, but even racist.

Now, let's get back to the subject of the thread, namely Obama's position on abortion. If people want to discuss Obama's reaction to being mistaken for a Muslim, there are other forums where this can be discussed, like the international news and politics forum, or perhaps the anti-racism forum.

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by RationalThought:
[b]Now maybe you think you're smarter than American feminists and blessed with the ability to see what millions of others don't but I'll take their opinion of Obama over yours. Thank you very much.

...

Wrong. I said I'd take the view of American feminists on this issue, most of whom are Democrats and most of whom supported Obama.[/b]


RationalThought, please stop being condenscending and dismissive towards actual real live feminists who are speaking up in this forum. Otherwise I'm going to ask you stop posting in the feminism forum altogether.

[ 08 July 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by KeyStone:
[b]Unionist,

I don't really see the issue with Barrack correcting to false rumours. You have to be quite naieve to not realize why it is necessary.

The right wing is intentionally trying to make him look like a fanatic, that will betray American to the Muslim people the first chance he gets.

What is the alternative? He doesn't address it and allows the right wing to convince many voters that he is Muslim?

Taking the high road, and only being concerned about the 10% of American voters who meet the moral criteria to be worthy of voting for him would be short-sighted and stupid.[/b]


I demand that he issue press releases saying his is not Hindu and while he's at it not a Buddhist and not Confucian. There is only one true god (trust me I read it in a book in my hotel room) and he was a Jew, supposedly, so I guess he doesn't have to say he's not Jewish since he appears to want to portray himself as Christlike

His insistence on clarifying he is not a Muslim is a slap in the face to all American Muslims because he is implying that to be Muslim is something that is to be abhorred.

Robespierre

Some folks have said of Obama that he's "copped out" or "sold out", and I think I know what they are wanting to express when they use such phrases. But, to me, he's never once sold out because from the get-go this guy has been a true-blue Democrat. What he's doing now is exactly what I expected.

I'm pretty sure Obama will win the election by a slim margin. Then, we'll get four years of whining from disillusioned Democrats and others who substituted magical thinking for logic before the election. But, they will apologize for Obama every step of his rightward turn, nevertheless. U.S. voters will hang onto the lesser-of-two-evils mentality until they are actually out in the street, homeless and broke. Obama is clever enough to play that like a drum, too.

jeff house

quote:


U.S. voters will hang onto the lesser-of-two-evils mentality until they are actually out in the street, homeless and broke.

It is silly to call Obama "evil" unless you are some sort of far-right religious nut. I think your real objection is to the two-party system.

The idea that a two-party system necessarily leads to being homeless and broke is empirically false. I think that idea probably comes from a desperate yearning for a breakthrough by the left in the United States.

Unfortunately, no one but Obama or McCain has the slightest chance to become President. Since Obama promises to be substantially better, serious people on the left will vote and work for him. Others will resort to denial of reality.

Michelle

So does anyone want to discuss Obama's position on abortion, or shall I close this thread?

jeff house

If you do, will you reopen the thread which addresses why Obama gets insulted on Babble, but Stalin is off limits?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Unfortunately, no one but Obama or McCain has the slightest chance to become President. Since Obama promises to be substantially better, serious people on the left will vote and work for him. Others will resort to denial of reality.

Arguing Obama will be substantially better than McCain with substantially the same policies is a complete rejection of reality.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

This is a thread on abortion in the feminism forum.

Accidental Altruist

Isn't the whole "partial birth abortion" thing just a smoke-screen? Isn't it an emotive euphemism invented by some pro-lifer?

Michelle

Yup.

Ghislaine

I agree with Obama's position - as he originally framed it.

Once a fetus is viable outside of the womb and can survive on its own - ie around 20 weeks now - it should be removed whenever the mother chooses, but kept alive. I really cannot see the justification for killing it if it can survive on its own. A woman still has a complete right to her body and to control her body and to not become a mother against her will, however it the fetus can survive on its own, it should.

That said, abortion after 20 weeks is very rare and is used to cloud the entire issue. I would support legislation similar to what they have in Britain surrounding when abortion becomes a C-section at the time of the woman's choice.

Obama - he could do anything if he got power. Given his ability to change his mind and abandon former colleagues, ministers etc. I would not be surprised if he stacked the SCOTUS with pro-lifers who overturned ROE v. Wade or if he stacked it with pro-choicers who overturned some of the nasty anti-choice laws currently being passed in many states. He is the furthest thing from trustworty and what he says on abortion today is about is relevant as a the colour of his socks in terms of determining where he will stand in the future.

Case in point: his desire to "refine" his previous statements on Iraq withdrawal.

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