August 21, 2008


Doctors Can Refuse to Provide Abortions (RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, August 21, 2008, Associated Press)

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said today that doctors should not face retaliation from employers or medical societies because they object to abortion. Mr. Leavitt says "freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree."

The rule, which applies to institutions receiving government money, is likely to be challenged by abortion rights supporters.

A simple statement that he doesn't think anyone should be forced to perform an abortion would help Senator Obama seem like less of a pro-death extremist. Presumably the press will ask him.

Good and Evil and Obama: A meaningless wrestle. (Jonah Goldberg, 8/20/08, National Review)

[W]hen the question turns to abortion, political Obama insists on a policy of moral agnosticism and political laissez-faire. Asked directly when life begins as a legal matter, he punted, saying the answer was “above my pay grade.”

Obama, commendably, told Warren that he wants to reduce the number of abortions. After all, he observed gravely, “we’ve had a president who is opposed to abortions over the last eight years, and abortions have not gone down.” Unfortunately, Obama wasn’t telling the truth. The abortion rate is the lowest it’s been since 1974, partly because of pro-life policies under Bush, but also thanks to those implemented at the state level since the 1990s.

At Saddleback, Obama offered the ritualistic support for Roe v. Wade expected of all Democratic politicians, “not because I’m pro-abortion,” but because women “wrestle with these things in profound ways.

This is surely true in many instances. But political Obama won’t explain why “wrestling” with a serious moral question is an adequate substitute for deciding it correctly. People wrestle with all sorts of moral quandaries in “profound ways.” Many slave owners wrestled with whether they should free their slaves, but that did not obviate the need for the Emancipation Proclamation.

Alas, when it comes to abortion, it’s probably silly to expect anything but rote fealty to ideological pieties from a Democrat, just as it’s naive to expect anything but the appropriate pro-life talking points from a Republican. But for a self-styled champion of nuance, political Obama’s rigidity is spectacular to behold.

In 2003, as chairman of the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Obama received a statement from Jill Stanek, a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. She testified that at her Chicago-area hospital, she’d seen a baby accidentally delivered alive during an abortion and then “taken to the soiled-utility room and left alone to die.”

I’m no expert on the Christian Gospel, but something tells me that Matthew might consider these wailing creatures the least of our brothers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2008 4:33 PM
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