[Marxism] Obama on Abortion

roosaroot at gmail.com roosaroot at gmail.com
Mon Jul 7 08:57:09 MDT 2008

Obama on Abortion -- original statements and later "clarification"

Excerpt from Relevant Magazine: (Full:
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life_article.php?id=7591 )

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

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.

Obama's "clarification" of his abortion statement (excerpt from
article: http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/07/obama_backs_late_abortions_on.html

But in a press availabilty on his campaign plane today on the flight
from Butte, Mont. to St. Louis, Obama clarified what he meant.

Here's a transcript of the interchange as provided by the campaign.

Reporter: You said that mental distress shouldn't be a reason for
late-term abortion?

Obama: "My only point is this -- historically I have been a strong
believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and
her family. And it is ..I have consistently been saying that you have
to have a health exception on many significant restrictions or bans on
abortions including late-term abortions.

In the past there has been some fear on the part of people who, not
only people who are anti-abortion, but people who may be in the
middle, that that means that if a woman just doesn't feel good then
that is an exception. That's never been the case.

I don't think that is how it has been interpreted. My only point is
that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a
health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through
physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health
diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue. I don't think
that's how pro-choice folks have interpreted it. I don't think that's
how the courts have interpreted it and I think that's important to
emphasize and understand."

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