I have read with interest several articles and blog posts reporting the great victory of Obama promising to reduce abortions during his recent visit with the Pope. But the Reuters story is more ambiguous regarding Obama's promise to reduce abortions. It implies that many in the Vatican may have misunderstood Obama's abortion stance in much the same way that his message is misunderstood by many here in the States, especially after his Notre Dame speech. Therefore, I thought I would dig into reporting of the event, Obama's past statements and the Vatican's interpretation of the event. Not surprisingly, Obama with his skillful rhetoric has made even many of the Vatican believe that he is willing to compromise on his pro-abortion stance, when, as Cardinal Rigali would say, the "truth is opposite."
Here is a portion of the Reuters' report: "'Obama told the pope of his commitment to reduce the number of abortions and of his attention and respect for the positions of the Catholic Church,'" Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters after he was briefed by the pope. Obama supports abortion rights and says his policy is to change economic and social conditions so as to put more women in situations where they do not feel they have to have an abortion." (emphasis mine) http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE5693XC20090710?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true
Indeed, one of Obama's advisers pointed out the exact difference between Obama's position and an actual desire to reduce the number of abortions:
"Melody [Barnes, the Director of Domestic Policy Council and a former board member of Emily’s List] testily interrupted to state that she had to correct me. 'It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions. 'The room was silent. The goal, she insisted, is to 'reduce the need for abortions.'" http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31970
Obama is a skilled politician. He loves to speak in ways that lets his listeners fill in the gaps with what they want to hear. He purposely speaks in a way that causes this confusion. Here is a quote from his book Audacity of Hope as reported by Real Clear Politics that is highly instructive: "'I serve as a blank screen,' Obama writes, 'on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.' He notifies readers that 'my treatment of the issues is often partial and incomplete.'" http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/12/obama_scores_as_an_exotic_who.html
He speaks of reducing the need for abortions and people hear, "I want to reduce abortions." But he does not. Unless of course you count his desire to put a condom in the pocket of every oversexed teenager. Bottom line, he does not care about reducing abortions.
Indeed, John Allen's reporting for the National Catholic Reporter makes it clear that this purposeful confusion by Obama is precisely what transpired at the Vatican this week: "Responding to the pope’s concerns, Lombardi said, Obama repeated his pledge to adopt policies aimed at bringing down the abortion rate, by addressing social conditions that sometimes compel women to have abortions. Although Obama has said that before, the fact that he did so in the presence of the pope, in the eyes of many Vatican personnel, lends the pledge extra weight." (emphasis mine) http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/no-retreat-abortion-vatican-gives-obama-benefit-doubt.
We need to carefully scrutinize and critically analyze everything Obama and his minions say and do on this issue to not get caught up in his trap of having us believe he has a desire to compromise with us! He has one goal, the implementation of a strong centralized government, that manages the largest economy on the planet with him at the helm.
Obama will take over the economy promising to reduce the need for abortion. But here is the catch, we know that abortion is never needed. To agree with him that his position is a good one, is to admit that abortion is needed. He has offered nothing but the traditional pro-choice position yet so many of us, including Vatican officials act like he is saying something good or new!
I'm waiting for him to say he will find ways to reduce the availability of the choice of abortion, to more accurately reflect the view of the majority of American's that abortion should be limited to a particular set of circumstances. That would be change and compromise from a pro-choice politician. All Obama offers now is a smokescreen to weaken our resolve, to move forward his socialist and anti-life agenda and to hide his absolute contempt for human life.
After all this is the same man who, despite wanting the most powerful office for protecting humanity in the world said the following in response to this question by Rick Warren:
"Forty million abortions, at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?
OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."
The response was flip and in the style of Pontius Pilate. It is the response of a man who is not interested in the truth or in the dignity of the human person, which is a necessary prerequisite to any true human development as laid out by Pope Benedict XVI in his new encyclical, Caritas In Veritate, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html.
We should not promote his efforts by accepting what he is reported as saying at face value. All we have is Father Lombardi's interpretation of Obama's statement, but viewed in the context of all of Obama's other statements on abortion reduction, he has made no new compromise, he has said nothing new. He just did the same thing he always does, he told some people whose support he wants, what they wanted to hear.
We, on the ground here in America, need to make this known to our fellow citizens and to Catholics around the world who only get superficial exposure to President Obama and his message, including the officials in the Vatican. Obama cannot be allowed to continue to perpetuate the myth that he wants to reduce the number of abortions while he finds new ways to pay for them.