L’Osservatore Romano (LOR) published an article last week reminding U.S. President Barack Obama that the number of Americans who oppose abortion continues to be on the rise. This was recently demonstrated by the nearly 200,000 signatures to the "Manhattan Declaration," a document drafted by various Christian leaders in defense of life, marriage, the family and religious freedom.
LOR said: "The political and spiritual weight of the Manhattan Declaration is thus evident" as "this is a crucial moment for the Obama administration since the president's credibility is at risk over promises made during the campaign season, considering the not-so-encouraging results of the latest polls on the president's popularity."
In recent days "the spotlight is on health care reform," which is currently being debated in the Senate, with a bill that is "quite different from the one approved only weeks ago by the House of Representatives." That bill prohibited the use of federal funds for abortion and established conscience protections through the Stupak amendment, which was lauded by the U.S. bishops.
LOR pointed out that the difference in between the two bills cannot be considered an accident. “In fact it was Obama himself, in a recent interview, who said that the Stupak Amendment introduced unbalanced language in the health care reform and that "women's choices" should not be restricted.
Thus, LOR argued, Obama is moving between two contrary positions: that of keeping his campaign promises "not to use federal funds for abortion and that the right to conscientious objection be respected," and that of "influential pro-choice groups who demand an ultimate liberalization of abortion practices."
After noting that the Manhattan Declaration clearly defends life and opposes abortion, LOR explained that "polls in recent months show that the number of those who are pro-life continues to rise and is now larger than the number of Americans” who think unrestricted abortions should be allowed during the course of pregnancy.
LOR said the change in public opinion in the U.S. is made evident by the Manhattan Declaration, which reads: "no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.”
Among the signers of the declaration are "Jonah Paffhausen, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and Robert Duncan, Anglican Primate of North America, as well as the Rev. William Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors. Signers such as these could make Obama campaign staffers recalculate,” LOR said.