I hope those who thought Obama wasn’t going to be “extreme” on abortion issues aren’t surprised today. As this website outlined well before the election, along with many other conservative sites, President Obama has taken extreme policy positions with respect to abortion-related issues since his days as an Illinois state senator (see his position on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act). Today the President delivered on his promise to pro-choicers.
In 1984 President Reagan ordered a ban on the delivery of federal funds to international organizations which perform abortions or provide information on the procedure. The “Mexico City policy” was reversed by President Clinton in ’93 and reinstated by President Bush in ’01. The funds are administered through USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). Today President Obama reversed the policy.
If this weren’t bad enough, President Obama is also expected to restore funding to the U.N. Population Fund. The Bush administration took the position that money from the Fund goes to support China’s “family planning” policies. According to many observers, those policies often result in coercive abortions.
And here in Wisconsin, these issues will likely receive heightened attention in light of the UW Hospital and Clinic’s consideration of plans for a second trimester abortion facility. State Sen. Grothman (R-West Bend) commented that he was “ashamed that the University would even consider being a part of a 2nd trimester abortion clinic.” Sen. Grothman and 28 other state legislators sent a letter to the hospital asking it to reconsider the proposal.
Unfortunately these events help serve as a reminder that this issue is not dead, and in all likelihood will not die any time soon. Yesterday marked the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The case serves as a perfect example of what happens when the judiciary enters an intense culture battle. Even many constitutional scholars admit that the Supreme Court made a terrible mistake by issuing a decision while the terms of the debate were still being formulated at the state level.
A final comment. As the conservative movement and the Republican Party attempt to “find their way” over the course of the next few years of liberal control, there will be many suggestions for “change” on the right. The fact of the matter is that many of those suggestions will be good ones. I for one feel that the Republican Party and the conservative movement in general should not hide when the issues of the environment or immigration arise. Why can’t conservatives be the voice of reasonable environmental policy that focuses not only on the positive environmental and health affects of increased conservation, but also the economic benefits of the efficient use of goods and products? Why can’t conservatives advocate for an improved and efficient immigration system, better security at the borders and a reasonable and logical policy with respect to those individuals who have come here illegally but have contributed to the economy and now have children that are U.S. citizens?
However, I hope that the issue of life does not become a part of any “change” or compromise. I for one will always advocate for the rights of the unborn.