The larger truth at Notre Dame

posted at 4:52 pm on May 18, 2009 by Doctor Zero

In his commencement address to Notre Dame over the weekend, President Obama said, “I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. Because no matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable.” The second sentence is an admirably clear statement of the abortion debate, which is driven by a disagreement over its basic terms. The first sentence is an outright lie – Barack Obama very much believes the debate on abortion should “go away,” because his political party is absolutely, fanatically devoted to the position that this debate was settled, forever, in 1973. The rest of Obama’s remarks on abortion, and much of the rest of his commencement address, was an embarrassing set of evasions that doesn’t square with Obama’s governing philosophy.

The pro-choice position holds that a pregnant woman has an absolute right to control her own body and abort an unwanted pregnancy. The pro-life side believes the life of the unborn child is a more important consideration than personal liberty. The majority of people who identify themselves as “pro-choice” do not believe the aborted fetus is a living human being with any legal rights. Some see abortion as essentially a surgical procedure to remove a clump of cells. This view is hard-coded into federal law through the Roe vs. Wade decision, which states that no legal restriction can be placed on aborting a fetus until it can potentially survive outside the mother’s womb. The majority of people who identify themselves as “pro-life” believe the unborn child is human long before it can pass this “survivability” test, so abortion involves the killing of a living human being. This is not a difference of opinion that can be resolved by “holding hands” and “building bridges.” I doubt it is a question medical science will ever resolve conclusively for us, since they’ll never develop a soul detector… and if they did, it would immediately be suppressed by politicians, to prevent it from being used on them.

When Obama gave his commencement address, he spoke as if he were addressing two equal sides of an ongoing debate awaiting resolution… but in reality, he is the head of a federal apparatus that regards the legality of abortion on demand as permanently settled, and the head of a party that regards dissension from pro-choice orthodoxy as heresy. The students at Notre Dame didn’t need to hear breezy platitudes about how they should learn to “open their hearts and minds to those who may not think precisely like they do,” a lesson Obama pompously declares himself qualified to teach. Instead, they needed to hear Barack Obama explain why he will not even consider appointing a Supreme Court justice who has the slightest criticism of the shoddy Roe vs. Wade decision. They needed to hear why the Democrat Party would never extend a pro-life speaker the courtesy Notre Dame extended to him.

It’s easy to ramble on about how everyone should be civil and learn to respect each others’ viewpoints, when your side of the debate is sitting on a Supreme Court decision that renders the opposing position illegal. Does anyone think Obama would have been singing the praises of open hearts and open minds if George Bush’s Supreme Court had struck down Roe vs. Wade, and forty states had immediately passed laws making abortion illegal, except in cases of forced pregnancy and medical necessity? Would he have secured the Democrat nomination if he’d spent 2008 lecturing the Democrat base about how “differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, and especially love,” without federal law mandating that those will always be differences of opinion, rather than differences in policy? If abortion had been legally outlawed in some states, would the media allow a pro-life president to tell a student body how much he honors their consciences, without pointing out how an oppressive law has rendered their conscience irrelevant?

The last thing anyone in the Democrat Party wants to do is have a genuine debate, with serious consequences, against the pro-life movement. The best liberals can bring themselves to do is offer tepid acknowledgement that another side to the debate exists, which you can barely hear over the sound of the liberal congratulating himself for the openness of his mind. Pro-life demonstrators have already been classified as incipient terrorists by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, and now they’ve been compared to night-riding vigilantes… by the leader of a Catholic school, no less. As with the opponents of same-sex marriage, those who strongly oppose abortion on demand are told their beliefs are permanently trumped by legal decisions and court interpretations, and they should content themselves with dropping a card into the national complaint box, where the government’s customer-service department will review it and get back to them later. Your opinion matters to us! Have a nice day!

Obama’s rhetorical smokescreen burns away when you remember who he is, and what positions he has supported as both senator and President. He encourages his audience to “work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions.” How? By giving official power and funding to the young women who have been going into those federally-supported abortion clinics with video cameras, and documenting their abuses? He asserted that “too many of us view life only through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the world is necessarily a zero-sum game. The strong too often dominate the weak, and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice.” Who’s more motivated by “immediate self-interest and crass materialism,” the pro-lifers, or the people who treat unwanted pregnancies as sudden attacks of an acute disease? Isn’t it socialists who regard the world as a zero-sum game, and assign themselves the duty of spreading the wealth around to the less fortunate, who can never earn a fair piece of the economic pie for themselves because the rich and powerful are hogging all the pie? Wasn’t it “immediate self-interest and crass materialism” that led Obama’s party to conclude it had a right to steal trillions of dollars from future generations to pay off its political allies today?

Considering the Left’s obsession with lunatic environmentalism, and the way they generally describe the results of unwanted pregnancies as little more than tax liabilities for a groaning welfare state, one might think their enthusiasm for abortion on demand comes from a conviction that keeping the population down is the only way to get that pie divided efficiently. Conservatives are the ones who believe the world is better with more people in it.

Obama urged pro-lifers in his audience to “join hands in a common effort” with their opponents. He should have made it clear that they would forever be the junior partners in this common effort, and he was prepared to spare no effort in keeping it that way. If he truly respects the passion and commitment of his opponents, he won’t mind putting his party’s rigid ideology to the test against them. It’s easy to salute the spirit of competition when you’re confident you’ll be the only legal contestant.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Comments

I’m not understanding your point.

What does “taking custody” of an individual have to do with the basic right to not be murdered?

Itchee Dryback on May 18, 2009 at 7:42 PM

It’s an enforcement issue. Since the unborn child can’t be separated from the mother’s reproductive system in the first few weeks it is practically impossible to prevent the mother from using her own body to prevent implantation or cause her uterus to reject the embryo.

If the state could take custody it could protect the unborn’s life, however it lacks the means to do so.

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 8:08 PM

3. Differentiated cell clumpsNon-uniformed enemy combatants do not have citizen rights that trump the rights of citizens to live without fear of their terroristic plans host wombs.

Bet you have a harder time with that one, eh, strangelet?

SailorDave on May 18, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Well of course it has! I think something like 90% of Down Syndrome individuals are aborted.

Alana on May 18, 2009 at 7:59 PM

That was already covered in Roe. The contention the other commenter made was that Roe would create a slippery slope beyond abortion to other advances in the culture of death.

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Has the ADA included the abortions performed after an amniocentesis indicated a possible physical defect?

onlineanalyst on May 18, 2009 at 7:32 PM

No, Roe said that the unborn don’t have much in the way of rights during the first two trimesters. Roe was 1973. The ADA was 1990 and could only cover those with disabilities who were already born.

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Someone answer me this question: What good are all of the other rights liberals are so proud of trumpeting if you don’t have the right to life?

either orr on May 18, 2009 at 8:30 PM

It is time once again to separate church and state issues here. Yes, I am a big supporter of that separation, but not in a way that is going to sit well with the lefties here; or the ACLU.

From the perspective of religious belief, and personal ideology, I am against abortion. I would not condone it, support it, participate in it or ever say that I thought it was OK. If any member of my family was considering aborting a child I would strongly advise against it. I might even have a very pointed debate with that family member, in a private setting.

From a public/political perspective I don’t think it is any of my business if you, or your significant other, decided to kill your unborn children. If it were up to me it would not happen; but I am open minded enough to grasp that it is not and should not be up to me. If you ask me I’d tell you that I think it is wrong, but I would not seek you out to tell you that. It is none of my affair.

From a pragmatic perspective, I can only imagine the you probably know your own gene pool better than I do, and if you think your DNA should not be allowed to reproduce, I am willing to consider that maybe you are right. The more I see of the groups that are militantly pro-abortion, the more I am convinced that in the matter of their DNA, they may have a point.

Now, when we get right down to the country nut cutting, all I want out of the government is to not force me to participate in something that I believe to be wrong and sinful. I don’t care all that much if Obama and his kids reproduce, or if they go to hell for that matter. But I resent very much being required to participate by having this sin subsidized, along with the other sins that the subsidizing of this one facilitates. Find a way to ensure that not a penny of my money will be used to pay for it, and I don’t care what you do to your own family legacy.

Now lefties, accept my right wing position that I’ll allow you to kill your kids, and assure my lack of forced support by taxation. You have it in your power to solve this whole issue in one act. What say you? IS this really just about you wanting my money?

MikeA on May 18, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Yeah, but the contention was that abortion was creating a slippery slope in 1973 that would lead to weeding out the disabled. The ADA is some evidence that, whatever the wrongs of abortion, it hasn’t yet produced those secondary effects.

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 6:36 PM

Not yet…

Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it’s not in the planning stages.

Timothy S. Carlson on May 18, 2009 at 6:39 PM

It took longer than 36 years to destroy education–and its attendant ability to think issues through, so that ‘slippery slope’ may a lot less steep than one might guess it to be.

baldilocks on May 18, 2009 at 8:46 PM

It’s an enforcement issue. Since the unborn child can’t be separated from the mother’s reproductive system in the first few weeks it is practically impossible to prevent the mother from using her own body to prevent implantation or cause her uterus to reject the embryo.

If the state could take custody it could protect the unborn’s life, however it lacks the means to do so.

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Sorry D, but that makes little sense to me.

The right to life is a given and needs no enforcement to have it apply imo.

Itchee Dryback on May 18, 2009 at 9:01 PM

The right to life is a given and needs no enforcement to have it apply imo.

Itchee Dryback on May 18, 2009 at 9:01 PM

It would require enforcement if the right were to have meaning. Otherwise it would be simply theoretical.

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 9:16 PM

dedalus on May 18, 2009 at 9:16 PM

Can you expand on that a bit? Some examples maybe.

It would seem that all the other rights a person has…ones that might need enforcement, are born into existence only after the first…most basic right..the right to life.. is realized. The need of enforcement is in the area of anyone who would take that from someone.

Itchee Dryback on May 18, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Dr. Zero, this was easily the best post on this topic I’ve seen.

Your opinion matters to us! Have a nice day!

After all, he might change whitehouse.gov to be less strident about choice, even though none of his viewpoints and none of his choices for the Supreme Court will change as a result. We should be content with that sop, I guess — NOT!

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2009 at 9:51 PM

From a public/political perspective I don’t think it is any of my business if you, or your significant other, decided to kill your unborn children. If it were up to me it would not happen; but I am open minded enough to grasp that it is not and should not be up to me. If you ask me I’d tell you that I think it is wrong, but I would not seek you out to tell you that. It is none of my affair.

MikeA on May 18, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Were your tax dollars to be spent on an abortion, would it then become your affair? You answer that several lines below the above.

Abortion is not a private issue, now that the Government has pronounced it to be a right. As we all know, when the United States declares something a right, that right is oft-times guaranteed by legislation funding it, and by laws preventing interference with it — including requiring those who would rather not participate to participate, because a right cannot be infringed by either the action or inaction of others.

I’ve had discussions with pro-abortion people that go like this: If I want an abortion, and the only doctor in town capable of giving me one refuses, he is violating my rights. If I want an abortion, my employer is obligated to cover same under his/her health plan, no matter what they feel about the procedure. If a pharmacist refuses to fill my prescription for the morning after pill, he or she should be stripped of their license. If I worked for a Catholic hospital, I would expect their medical plan to cover abortions and contraceptives. I have a right to an abortion, and those who would deny me that right are violating the law.

Look at Obama’s recent abrogation of Bush’s “freedom of conscience” order (and the praise for the move by pro-abortion advocates) for the hint as to where all this is heading. Bush’s order protected minor functionaries like drug store sales clerks from having to participate in an abortion scenario, and Obama has removed those protections.

unclesmrgol on May 18, 2009 at 10:08 PM

3. Differentiated cell clumps Negro slaves do not have citizen rights that trump the rights of citizen host wombs. their white owners.

strangelet on May 18, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Sound ridiculous? It didn’t to more than half the country in 1860.

rockmom on May 18, 2009 at 11:43 PM

Dr Zero, here is the LARGEST ISSUE of all.

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. May 14-17, 2009. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
“The 1973 Roe versus Wade decision established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Would you like to see the Supreme Court completely overturn its Roe versus Wade decision, or not?”

Yes, Overturn– 30%
No, Not Overturn– 68%
Unsure– 1%

lol!
You are exactly where GW left you.
Screwed, because nothing will happen unless Roe is overturned.
;)

strangelet on May 19, 2009 at 12:55 AM

okfine >:(

3. Negro slaves citizen uteruses do not have citizen rights that trump the rights of their white owners undifferentiated cell clumps.

strangelet on May 19, 2009 at 12:58 AM

Very good Dr. Zero…as always…

CCRWM on May 19, 2009 at 1:03 AM

Dr Zero, here is the LARGEST ISSUE of all.

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. May 14-17, 2009. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
“The 1973 Roe versus Wade decision established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Would you like to see the Supreme Court completely overturn its Roe versus Wade decision, or not?”

Yes, Overturn– 30%
No, Not Overturn– 68%
Unsure– 1%

lol!
You are exactly where GW left you.
Screwed, because nothing will happen unless Roe is overturned.
;)

strangelet on May 19, 2009 at 12:55 AM

It certainly does shatter my hopes to learn that 687 of the people CNN talked to are opposed to overturning Roe vs. Wade. I don’t see how we can do it without them. I guess there really is no way to change people’s minds about anything. That’s why the people who say we’ll have a black President someday are fooling themselves.

Doctor Zero on May 19, 2009 at 1:23 AM

Obama has deployed the Sit Down and Shut Up strategy by claiming to want a debate that will never happen.

Bait and switch the discussion.

Kini on May 19, 2009 at 2:36 AM

I doubt it is a question medical science will ever resolve conclusively for us, since they’ll never develop a soul detector… and if they did, it would immediately be suppressed by politicians, to prevent it from being used on them.

You sir, have a gift. That was outstanding.

rhodeymark on May 19, 2009 at 6:19 AM

Excellent post Doctor Zero

shick on May 19, 2009 at 7:29 AM

undifferentiated cell clumps.

strangelet on May 19, 2009 at 12:58 AM

Isn’t it fun to make up your own ideas and definitions and pretend they mean something in the actual real world?

What do you mean “undifferentiated cells”? What point in a pregnancy covers that stage, as far as you understand it? In other words, from conception to what point does the validity of your position cover?

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 7:42 AM

Screwed, because nothing will happen unless Roe is overturned.
;)

strangelet on May 19, 2009 at 12:55 AM

With your insistence on citing polls that seem to favor the pro choice argument, why would you be so opposed to allowing the states decide again?

anuts on May 19, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Abortion fits perfectly into the Obama philosophy. Every “right” you have is granted not by God, but by the state. As such, they can all be controlled, ammended, modified or rescinded by the state. The pregnant woman is the “state” for the unborn and has all the power that the larger “state” allows her to have. When the state has control, the value of anything (even life itself) becomes arbitrary. If the state decides your life has value, you will be protected in the womb or get the medical care you need. If not, sorry pal, better luck next life.
This does not portend a monumental leap to euthanasia. More like a slight shuffle.

SKYFOX on May 19, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Can you expand on that a bit? Some examples maybe.

It would seem that all the other rights a person has…ones that might need enforcement, are born into existence only after the first…most basic right..the right to life.. is realized. The need of enforcement is in the area of anyone who would take that from someone.

Itchee Dryback on May 18, 2009 at 9:23 PM

The state will use its power to prevent others from taking basic rights away from you. In the case of life or liberty it will pursue aggressively cases of murder or kidnapping.

In the first moments and then weeks after conception, the state has no ability to know that a new citizen has been created and no means to monitor the mother if she ingests substances that either prevent implantation or otherwise end the pregnancy.

The state might grant a right to life from conception but it would be mostly symbolic. It could also grant a right to be free from fatal disease but it wouldn’t be a right that it could substantively deliver on.

dedalus on May 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

The state might grant a right to life from conception but it would be mostly symbolic. It could also grant a right to be free from fatal disease but it wouldn’t be a right that it could substantively deliver on.

dedalus on May 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

You’re right..it would be symbolic.
Your basic rights don’t come from the state……they’re basic human rights. The right to be born after the process of human life has been started is the most basic.

Do you think that the “state” grants people the right to experience life?

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Your basic rights don’t come from the state……they’re basic human rights. The right to be born after the process of human life has been started is the most basic.

Do you think that the “state” grants people the right to experience life?

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 10:15 AM

If the state is not strong enough to protect that right, then the right is compromised. In a stateless system all rights become subordinated to mob rule.

The Constitution grants rights to people and puts them out of reach from the political officials. However, the state needs to be strong enough to enforce the Constitution.

In the case of pregnancy, the state can step in between the mother’s reproductive organs and the fetus. However, without the mother’s cooperation it will have a near impossible time doing it in the first days or weeks. Surgical procedures, of course, are easier to regulate.

dedalus on May 19, 2009 at 10:51 AM

The Constitution grants rights to people and puts them out of reach from the political officials. However, the state needs to be strong enough to enforce the Constitution.

That is the problem isn’t it…wishy washy representatives.

Actually, I have a slightly different read on the basics.

The Constitution recognizes that the basic rights..life being the most obvious, don’t come from government grantings, or protections. A human beings right to be born is a given.

Other rights..protection from property seizures..the right of peaceful assembly..speech, etc, are only apply after the obvious right of life and to be born has not been taken away by some government decree.

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Look, if you haven’t figured it out… here you go:


http://abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/medical_testimony
Now let’s dispense with the pleasantries and move on with doing what’s right.

Fozzy Bear on May 19, 2009 at 11:08 AM

That is the problem isn’t it…wishy washy representatives.

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 11:04 AM

As much as people complain about the courts I wouldn’t want my Constitutional rights at the discretion of my congressman.

Life is a prerequisite for all other rights. In the case of children who have been born the state will step in and provide some basic services to provide for them and hopefully find them permanent homes.

In the case of embryos the state can’t protect that right to the same degree. Even in the case of frozen embryos, that could be seized, the best the state could do is maintain them in a state of suspended animation. With embryos in the uterus the only way the state can protect the right to life is by compelling the mother to carry to term. Aside from the question of competing rights, the enforcement mechanism doesn’t exist.

dedalus on May 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Aside from the question of competing rights, the enforcement mechanism doesn’t exist.

dedalus on May 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM

What competing rights? The right to kill another human being for personal convenience is not implied or enumerated in the Constitution as far as I can tell. (being somewhat sarcastic here…..I have that right)

Not really focusing so much on embryos as much a fetus, thought that is just a technicality to me. Human life is human life. The only exception to me is in the imminent and unavoidable death of the mother.

The mechanism of enforcement would be the prohibition of abortion in all but the noted exception. In 2009 there is no need for abortion. A woman or a man can engage in at least 3 simultaneous forms of birth control. This was not available decades ago.
A womans default “reproductive rights” should also be tied to a womans “reproductive responsibilities” imo.

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Itchee Dryback on May 19, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I was putting the competing rights question aside. Women would assert that the state can’t compel them to carry to term and the state doesn’t have a means to protect life for the embryo apart from the mother.

My main point is that a “life from conception” law would be unenforceable. Logically it would need to even include prohibiting consumption of substances that impeded implantation.

Working to push abortion back to the point of viability is politically possible. However, even if laws were enacted all the way to conception they couldn’t be enforced for the very early stages of pregnancy.

dedalus on May 19, 2009 at 12:38 PM