At last night's prime time press conference, President Obama responded to a question about abortion by saying that he hopes to “tamp down” some of the “anger” cause by his pro-abortion decisions. Pro-life organizations are doubtful this will happen, saying that “abortion advocates clearly have an open door” at the White House.
Obama, celebrating his first 100 days in office, spoke about the economy, swine flu, and a host of other topics facing the nation. After concluding his speech, he was asked by Ed Henry of CNN about the “controversy” he has caused among Catholics for his pro-abortion stance and his upcoming commencement speech at Notre Dame.
The reporter reminded Obama that he had said during the campaign that it was “above his pay-grade” to comment about when life begins, but now that he is President, his “pay-grade is a little higher.”
Obama laughed at the question and then told the reporter that his abortion stance has been “very consistent,” adding that abortion is a “moral and ethical issue.” He also said that those who are “pro-choice” make a “mistake” when they suggest abortion is “simply an issue about women’s freedom.”
He went on to further say, “the reason I’m pro-choice is because I don’t think women take that – that position casually” and that they are in a “better position” to decide to take the life of their child than members of Congress or a president of the United States.
Teen pregnancies were something he said he would like to reduce, since they have “started to spike up again,” Obama said.
The U.S. president also told reporters that a “task force” within his Domestic Policy Council is working with both the pro-abortion and pro-life groups to try to work together to reduce pregnancies and gather “consensus.”
He concluded his answer on abortion by saying the “Freedom of Choice Act is not [his] highest legislative priority,” but instead wants to “tamp down” some of the “anger” around his pro-abortion policies during his first 100 days.
Austin Ruse, Director of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, told CNA in an email that President Obama's response shows that he is “very crafty” and “has many Catholic quislings giving him cover on his abortion radicalism.”
Ruse cited the fact that just a few years ago Obama voted against giving medical assistance “to a baby gasping for breath after surviving an abortion.” More recently, Ruse noted that “against the wisespread wishes of the American people, he has begun to spend taxpayer money on abortions overseas. And his Secretary of State just announced that the full force of the U.S. government will be used to spread abortion around the world.”
“By any standard except the abortion lobby, these are radical measures and why he is considered the most pro-abortion president we have ever had,” said Ruse.
The women's pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List took issue with Obama's claim that pro-lifers have a say in the abortion debate.
“President Barack Obama spoke of finding ‘common ground’ on abortion policy, but abortion advocates clearly have an open door,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told CNA.
“It’s only been 100 days, but President Obama has managed to check off ten of the fifteen demands of the abortion industry. From his personnel selections to his exclusion of pro-life voices from the health care debate, the President’s actions speak louder than his words. This is the most aggressive, pro-abortion administration in decades.
“Fortunately,” she addded, “pro-life activists are more energized than ever to defend women and unborn children at every opportunity. The Obama Administration should be prepared – commonsense abortion policy like the Hyde Amendment will not be repealed without a fight by pro-life Americans.”
Mark Stricherz, political commentator and author of the book “Why the Democrats are Blue” remarked to CNA that "President Obama's rhetoric about abortion is that of a moderate. But his record is that of an ally of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. For example, he supports taxpayer funding of abortion, such as efforts to rescind or curtail the Hyde Amendment."
"While signing FOCA into law is not a priority of his now, if he is elected for a second term, it could well be," he added.