I have received a lot of comments about my column from the Sept. 24 issue of The Sower, “Candidate’s Potential Impact on the Supreme Court,” some positive, some negative. Some readers were surprised to learn that I think the Supreme Court is the most important issue in this election, as opposed to the war, global warming, or a tax cut for 95% of Americans (including many who don’t pay taxes). Some readers doubt that the next President really will have much impact on social issues like abortion.
Gerald Ford was President from 1974-1977. The judge Ford appointed to the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens, is still in office today. As this proves, the influence of a President’s Supreme Court appointments can extend decades beyond the end of his Presidency.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that there is a very high probability that one or more Supreme Court Justices will need to be replaced in the next four to eight years. It would be irrational for an informed and intelligent voter to ignore this issue when voting for the next President.
Therefore, I would like to further examine Obama’s record on the issue of abortion, since he is likely to impact it if he wins in November.
I am aware that not all Democrats are pro-abortion, but Obama definitely is.
In Dr. Albert Mohler’s opinion, “Abortion is back front and center in the 2008 presidential race. Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party Platform call for a reversal of Roe v. Wade and against any notion of abortion as a fundamental right. Both the candidate and the platform call for specific measures to curtail access to abortion and to lead, eventually, to the end of abortion on demand. Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party Platform call for a stalwart and enthusiastic defense of Roe v. Wade and for expanded access to abortion. In the case of Sen. Obama, his advocacy of abortion rights goes considerably beyond where any major candidate has ever gone before.
Pro-abortion group NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League) gives him a 100% approval rating for his voting record. In fact, as a state Senator in Illinois, Obama killed a bill called the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. The purpose of this bill was to protect infants, regardless of their stage of development, who survived induced abortions. This bill would only have protected infants who were fully delivered from the womb, and it contained a clause which expressly stated that this would not affect the legal status of an infant inside the womb. Obama voted to kill this bill because he believes in an absolute right to an abortion, a right which extends, remarkably, even beyond the womb.
Obama himself has told us that his views on abortion will affect his appointments for the Supreme Court. At the Saddleback forum, where Obama dodged the abortion question by claiming it was above his pay grade, he promised he would not appoint judges like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. He also voted against Bush’s appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Those four Justices are the only pro-life jurists presently serving on the court. Although deciding when life begins may be above Obama's pay grade, he has no problem voting against the right to life on every occasion when he has the opportunity. As Prof. Robert George of Princeton concludes, Obama is "the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States,...Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress."
About this time of year, I start looking forward to Christmas, which brings to mind one of my favorite stories of all time, Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Before his miraculous conversion, Ebenezer Scrooge expressed his hope that the poor would just die, and thus “decrease the surplus population.” To Scrooge, the poor were nothing but unwanted members of society, not full human beings. This same philosophy is expressed today to justify abortion as the right of a woman to terminate an unwanted child. “In the classic form of this argument, a woman must have the right to an abortion at anywhere, any time, for any reason, whether or not she can pay for it,” writes Mohler. As Christians, this is a question we must answer: how is someone with extreme pro-abortion views any different from the unrepentant Scrooge?
And so, this being my last chance to comment on this election in The Sower, I’d like to endorse John McCain. During the Republican primary, McCain was probably fifth on my list of favorite Republicans because he was less conservative than my top choices (the furthest from Bush, you might say). Yet during this election cycle, as I learned more about him, my respect for John McCain increased immensely. Whatever minor differences you might have with McCain on policy issues, you cannot deny that he is a man of character.
(You can find the text of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act at http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/ExactBillKilledbyObama.html.)