Well, that didn’t take long. Only 72 hours after he took the oath of office, newly-minted President Barack Obama signed an executive order releasing federal funds to agencies that promote and provide abortion overseas. Known as the “Mexico City Policy,” this has gone back and forth since Reagan instituted the original ban. Bush I kept it in place. Bill Clinton lifted it. Bush II put it back into place. Obama has lifted it again.
Yes, I know everyone expected it. I know the issue of abortion is sooooo last administration. I know that nothing will take the bloom off of Obama’s rose. And yes, I know that a lot of people don’t care.
But they should. Obama ran as the candidate of “hope” and “change we can believe in.” With nearly 50 million children destroyed by abortion in the United States alone since 1973, do we really need more? Technology like 3-D ultrasound has demonstrated that the human child in the uterus is far more developed and biologically sophisticated much earlier in gestation than we knew 36 years ago. (Remember “it’s just a clump of cells”?) Fetal surgery now saves children with formerly life-threatening conditions like spina bifida, and treatment for preemies has backed up viability to less than 23 weeks – that is just over halfway through a normal pregnancy. Isn’t it long past time that America’s policy on abortion reflected the scientific information that we now have about fetal development? Shouldn’t the president whose campaign was energized by cutting-edge technology, and whose inaugural address emphasized the proper role of science be swayed by that?
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.