The Susan B. Anthony List has criticized presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s recent remarks about his stand on partial birth abortion. The pro-life group argues that he knows his actual record on abortion doesn’t “resonate with everyday American voters.”
According to the Susan B. Anthony List, Obama is a co-sponsor of the “Freedom of Choice Act,” which would allow taxpayer funding of abortions and reportedly nullify almost all state and federal limits on abortion. He has publicly pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as his first presidential action.
As a state legislator, Obama also opposed the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which is intended to protect babies who survive abortions. He voted against the legislation twice and “present” once – effectively a “no” vote.
He has also criticized the Gonzales v. Carhart Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth abortion ban. “I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women,” he has said.
"Barack Obama knows his extreme record on abortion doesn't resonate with everyday American voters, so now he's trying to soften his image," said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a press release. She thinks such a strategy will not work.
Obama reportedly has a zero percent approval rating with the National Right to Life Committee and a 100 percent approval rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, while the Planned Parenthood Action Fund has also recently endorsed his presidential candidacy.
Responding to CNA in an e-mail, Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman Joy Yearout said many voters know Obama supports abortion, but do not know the extent of his support.
She noted that Obama has said that passing the Freedom of Choice Act would be his “number one legislative priority.”
“In essence,” Yearout explained, “it would allow abortion at any time, for any reason, and paid for by American tax dollars. ‘Freedom of Choice’ sounds nice -- unfortunately it would mean death for thousands of unborn babies and pain for their mothers. And Obama would sign it first thing.”
Yearout thought that Obama is successfully balancing his extreme pro-abortion position with his need to appear moderate.
“He talks the abortion talk to Planned Parenthood rallies and usually avoids talking about it anywhere else,” she told CNA. “Many predicted he would use the abortion issue to reach out to supporters of Hillary Clinton -- but he isn't. He knows his extreme abortion position only appeals to a small slice of the electorate. Your everyday American woman doesn't believe abortion should be taxpayer-funded and available for any reason at any time.”
Legislative action at the state level, Yearout said, has even tended to add more restrictions on abortion, not fewer.
“Barack Obama would roll back every pro-life success of the last thirty years,” she argued. “Obama's advocacy for an extreme abortion agenda would be tragic for women and their unborn children.”