Did the title of this article get your attention? I knew it would. It’s equivalent to other titles such as “Adolph Hitler, the Pro-Jewish Dictator,” or “Jeffrey Dahmer, the Great Vegetarian.” They are so opposite from reality that they make us gasp in shock or convulse in laughter. And yet there is a group of so-called Catholics who actually make the argument that Obama is pro-life. The group is Catholics for Obama (CFO). On the front page of their website, they answer this question: “Is Barack Obama Really Pro-life?” The first sentence of their reply is straightforward: “In 2012, even more than in 2008, the answer is ‘Yes!”. (I guess the exclamation mark makes it more convincing.)
Now, of course, most of us who are unequivocally pro-life could recite a litany of Obama’s words and actions that would put a lie to such a preposterous statement. After all, there has never been a more pro-abortion president. And it would be easy to dismiss the group as part of the liberal lunatic fringe. But their arguments convince many uninformed Catholics. So let’s take a couple of minutes to examine their arguments and then refute them.
To begin, the website continues, “Looking through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, President Obama has spent his entire career striving for the common good.” (Can anyone say, “Dangling participle?) The obvious question is “What is the common good?” The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) defines the term by quoting from Gaudium et spes: “[T]he sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” The CCC then explains three essential elements of the common good. First, a government must respect the inalienable rights of all humans. Second, a government should make accessible what is needed to “lead a truly human life.” And, third, a government must use all morally acceptable means to protect the citizens from physical harm.
My guess is that CFO is focusing on the second element because what is necessary to lead a truly human life is, according to the CCC, food, health, work, and education. So, if the President helps provide food stamps, health care, government jobs, and student loans, then he must be pro-life. But, of course, there’s a problem here. Abortion denies the unborn child his inalienable rights, prevents him from leading a “truly human life,” and inflicts upon him irreversible physical harm. In short, an aborted baby can no longer enjoy the fruits of the common good.
The second CFO argument to prove Obama’s pro-life credentials is the fact that he “led the historic effort to pass health insurance reform . . . extending care to 32 million more Americans.” The CFO claims that health reform has been “a central tenet of Catholic Social Justice for more than 100 years.” A central tenet? Really? Since before 1912? Forgive me for being somewhat skeptical, but I will admit that the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has certainly endorsed national health care for at least three decades. But so what? The issue is whether Obama is pro-life or not. And that means that Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) must be scrutinized.
Writing in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy, authors Bill Saunders and Anna Franzonello give the following summary:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act . . . violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment by allowing federal subsidies to be applied to insurance plans that cover abortion. Other provisions of the bill could be used to mandate abortion coverage by exchange plans and even require all insurance providers to cover abortion. Additionally, the Senate bill provides that if the Hyde Amendment ever fails to be renewed, federal funds may pay directly for abortion under health care reform.
And let’s not forget the HHS Mandate. The same USCCB that lobbied for Obamacare now protests, “The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well . . .[T]he mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals.”
So let’s look at the truth behind the CFO health-care argument. Since abortion and contraception are a major part of Obamacare, it is clear that aborted children will not be covered under the plan because they will be dead. In addition, with the government forcing abortion coverage on insurance carriers, even more unborn babies will die. Obama pro-life? I think not.
The CFO then asserts, “President Obama implemented the first explicit abortion reduction legislation in US history, promoting health care for pregnant women and better infant care, day care and job training.” Unless the CFO is referring to Obamacare again, the only other legislation Obama signed was a bill to provide $250 million to local governments to help women who want to continue their pregnancies. Sounds great! But wait. Obama is an unapologetic, dedicated supporter of Planned Parenthood, the number-one killer of unborn children in America, slaughtering over three hundred thousand infants per year. Plus, nearly half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money is given to Planned Parenthood each year so they can keep the killing machines running. And yet the CFO says the President is pro-life. One would have to be brain-dead to fall for such sophistry.
What we have here is the old “seamless garment” argument. If a political candidate supposedly cares about the exploited poor, government health care, unions, illegal immigrants, oppressed women, and other “liberal” causes, then the fact that he favors abortion is just a peccadillo. After all, the killing of the innocent is just one issue among many “life” issues. When people buy into this sinister argument, we end up with millions of people who call themselves “Catholic” voting for pro-abortion candidates. As a result, millions of babies die. This is clearly a problem. But more than a problem, it’s a scandal.