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?
What are we to make of the first African-American president who is so blind to the devastation abortion has wrought among African-Americans? African-Americans make up less than 15% of the U.S. population, but over 35% of abortions are performed on African-American women. To get some sense of the magnitude of this impact, consider that, according to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 293,000 black Americans died in 2005. The single largest cause of death was heart disease, which claimed over 74,000 lives. By comparison, the 1400 abortions of black babies daily in the United States is over 438,000 African-Americans destroyed every year. Upwards of 13 million abortions have decimated the African-American population in this country. This is a holocaust, and one that cannot be prettied up under the rubric of “reproductive freedom.” Why does the man who hearkens back to the words of Martin Luther King not heed the call of some of King’s descendents who lead on this issue today?
And, ironically, since the “family planning” agencies now receiving U.S. dollars are disproportionately working in developing nations, the recipients of such “care” will almost certainly be “people of color,” as the expression goes. What do Obama’s supporters think about the fact that among his first acts as President is helping pay for the destruction of babies of color in other countries?
More to the point, what will our enemies across the globe think of it? The Obama campaign, as well as every single one of its shills in the Pravda press, Hollywood, and academia, has made much of Obama’s intention to burnish America’s reputation abroad. In his inaugural address, he said, “To Muslim leaders, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect…” and “To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you…”
Is this the “mutual respect” Obama described? Is this how America will “work alongside” the people of poorer nations? Forget the bland euphemisms about “women’s right to choose,” and “reproductive freedom.” Here’s a better translation of how our Islamic neighbors and others will likely see this magnanimous gesture: “Hey, there! The Americans are coming! We have money, and curettes! We are here to see your women and children … and kill them!” It strains credulity to suppose that one who professes to be as worldly as Obama does cannot understand how some cultures – particularly religious ones – might not share the enlightened American viewpoint that destroying your offspring is the high watermark of human evolution. This is hardly the way to endear ourselves to the countries and groups whose opposition to what they view as decadent Western “values” fuels their interest in our downfall.
To those conservative writers who have been desperately trying to convince themselves (and us) that Obama is going to “govern from the middle,” this should be a shot across the bow. Garbage. Obama is going to do exactly what he has done all along – tell people what they want to hear in terms vague enough that they are capable of multiple interpretations [thanks to Gary Andres at The Weekly Standard’s blog for the link], do precisely what he wants to do, and where those two things are inconsistent, count on the fawning, slobbering media to make his excuses for him; he will make none.
And I have a special message for all the pro-lifers out there who voted for this guy – especially you, Doug Kmiec, and the God-only-knows how many Catholics you deluded into voting with you: you bear a portion of the responsibility for the additional deaths that will occur as a result of this policy change. Has your Obamaphoria morphed into a hangover yet? Are any of you waking up to the fact that Obama is our most ardently pro-abortion president to date? His appointment of Ellen Moran didn’t convince you? Has his executive order convinced you? Will his support for the Freedom of Choice Act do it?
Obama’s encouragement of abortion in other nations undermines the powerful and passionate ideas he expressed on the day he was sworn in as 44th President of the United States, and renders them meaningless. But none of those ideas seem as hollow as this one: “And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, ‘Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.’”
Empty words, coming as they do from one who will pay for empty wombs.
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.