In an error-ridden op-ed in Friday's Los Angeles Times (10/17/08), Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmiec makes the outrageous claim that Barack Obama "has held himself out as a bridge builder" on the issue of abortion. Kmiec then advances a fallacious case that a faithful Catholic can vote in clear conscience for Barack Obama.
A "bridge builder" on abortion? Is Kmiec kidding?? Consider:
Obama has forcefully vowed that his very first act as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). FOCA claims a "fundamental right" to abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and no government body at any level would be able to "deny or interfere with" this right. Even the pro-choice NOW readily acknowledges that FOCA would literally "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies."
Obama has a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee and 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
As a state senator, Obama opposed Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have protected infants who were born alive and survived their botched abortions. And what’s just as bad: Obama has repeatedly lied about this during his campaign.
The Supreme Court ruling in Gonzales vs. Carhart upheld the federal ban on an abortion procedure called "Intact D&E" (aka "partial birth abortion"). In this procedure, a doctor dilates a woman’s cervix, reaches up into the uterus, grabs the unborn child by the legs, and pulls it down into the birth canal. The doctor then uses a long pair of Metzenbaum scissors to puncture a hole in the back of the baby’s skull. A vacuum tube is then inserted, and the contents of the skull are emptied out. Yet on the day the Court upheld the ban on this horrific procedure, Obama said, "I strongly disagree with today's Supreme Court ruling. . .I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose."
In other words, Barack Obama has given every indication that, as President, he would be the most ardent defender of unrestricted and unfettered abortion ever to hold the nation's highest office.
Kmiec also misleadingly asserts that Obama "add[ed] language to the Democratic platform affirming the choice of a mother to keep her child." The truth is that the Democratic Party's new platform on abortion is actually more pro-abortion than ever – a fact that even pro-choice leaders have acknowledged.
In addition, in his discussion regarding Catholics, Kmiec makes no mention of the fact that the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion dates back to its earliest days of existence. (See Didache 2:2, A.D. 70). First-century Jews were also very much opposed to abortion.
In July 2004, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger reiterated, "Christians have a 'grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it'."
Douglas Kmiec was once a respected member of the Catholic community. He is no longer. He has embarrassed the Church and scandalized the truth.
Shame on Dr. Kmiec. Shame on him.
Must-read: Dr. Robert George (Princeton), "Obama's Abortion Extremism"