Another Obama Abortion Distortion

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Aug 18, 2008 10:25 PM
The Saddleback Forum with Barack Obama is nothing less than a treasure trove of profoundly revealing moments.  Listening to Hugh Hewitt replay excerpts from the forum today, yet another distortion by Barack caught my ear.  It happened during the abortion section of the discussion (transcript here):

AND SO FOR ME, THE GOAL RIGHT NOW SHOULD BE -- AND THIS IS WHERE I THINK WE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND AND BY THE WAY I HAVE NOW INSERTED THIS INTO THE DEMOCRAT PARTY PLATFORM IS HOW DO WE REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS BECAUSE THE FACT IS THAT ALTHOUGH WE'VE HAD A PRESIDENT WHO IS OPPOSED TO ABORTIONS OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, ABORTIONS HAVE NOT GONE DOWN.

By  now, it's been well-established that Barack was wrong when he said abortions hadn't gone down.

But focus instead on the assertion that he had "inserted" into his party's platform language about how to reduce the number of abortions.  That's designed to sound as though he's working to shift the platform toward an emphasis on making abortions less frequent -- taking a stand that fewer abortions are better than more of them --  doesn't it?

But as I noted here last week, the reality is different.  The Dem platform has actually removed the language about abortion being "safe, legal and rare." 

Steve Waldman, editor of Beliefnet and a member in good standing of the MSM notes that the platform change eliminates any language that would suggest that not aborting is morally superior to aborting.  He wondered whether the Saddleback event would include a "strong personal statement from Obama about the moral necessity of reducing abortion."

Well, we know what happened.

By Waldman's account, it sounds like the language that Barack was touting might have been inserted as more of a strategic/political calculation (or may be used that way), rather than a statement of principle (as he wanted the Saddleback audience to believe) -- even as the moral language was stripped.

Finally, it's remarkable that Democrats wouldn't even allow a "conscience clause" to be put in, acknowledging a diversity of opinion exists within the party when it comes to abortion.  It would have been interesting to hear Barack try to justify that omission.