Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 32

Thread: Barack Obama dives into abortion debate, raises eyebrows

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,372

    Question Barack Obama dives into abortion debate, raises eyebrows

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says "mental distress" should not qualify as a health exception for late term-abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.

    In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."

    Obama then added: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term."

    Last year, after the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on late-term abortions, Obama said he "strongly disagreed" with the ruling because it "dramatically departs form previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women."

    The health care exception is crucial to abortion rights advocates and is considered a legal loophole by abortion opponents. By limiting the health exception to a "serious physical issue," Obama set himself apart from other abortion rights proponents.

    The official position of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group that endorsed Obama in May, states: "A health exception must also account for the mental health problems that may occur in pregnancy. Severe fetal anomalies, for example, can exact a tremendous emotional toll on a pregnant woman and her family."

    The 1973 landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade, established a right to an abortion, and a concurrent case, Doe v. Bolton, established that medical judgments about the need for an abortion could include physical, emotional and psychological health factors.

    "Senator Obama has consistently maintained that laws restricting abortions must contain exceptions for the health and life of the mother," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said Thursday. "Obviously, as he stated in the interview, he has consistently believed those exceptions should be clear and limited enough to ensure that they don't undermine the prohibition on late-term abortions."

    In a statement, NARAL Pro-Choice said Obama's magazine interview is consistent with Roe v. Wade.

    "Sen. Obama has consistently said he supports the tenets set forth by Roe, and has made strong statements against President Bush's Federal Abortion Ban, which does not have an exception to protect a woman's health," the organization's statement said.

    A leading abortion opponent, however, said Obama's rhetoric does not match his voting record and his previously stated views on abortion rights.

    David N. O'Steen, the executive director of National Right to Life, said Obama's remarks to the magazine "are either quite disingenuous or they reflect that Obama does not know what he is talking about."

    "You cannot believe that abortion should not be allowed for mental health reasons and support Roe v Wade," O'Steen said.

    In the interview with Relevant, conducted on Tuesday, Obama also defended his opposition to restrictions on induced abortions where the fetus sometimes survives for short periods. Obama voted against such a bill when he was in the Illinois Senate. He has said he supported a federal version of the law that contained more specific language because he feared the Illinois proposal would have applied to all abortions.

    "There was a bill that came up in Illinois that was called the 'Born Alive' bill that purported to require life-saving treatment to such infants. And I did vote against that bill," Obama said Tuesday. "The reason was that there was already a law in place in Illinois that said that you always have to supply life-saving treatment to any infant under any circumstances, and this bill actually was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, so I didn't think it was going to pass constitutional muster."

    My Way News - Obama: Mental distress can't justify late abortion
    im not even going near this one
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #2
    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,884

    Default

    WTF? What is he, a scientologist? Mental health is just as important as physical!

  3. #3
    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,568

    Default

    What's his definition of "late term abortion" though?

    Regardless, I wouldn't panic. Aren't less than 2 percent of abortions classified as "late term" abortions, or something? I'm quite sure it's nothing to worry about.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,540

    Default

    Here's the thing..Amniocentisis at 16 weeks, results at 18 weeks, ultrasound for abnormalities at 22 weeks. What if you find out the baby has some severe deformities during the US? At 22 weeks plus the time to digest and think about your choices you're at the end of the second trimester.

  5. #5
    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    Here's the thing..Amniocentisis at 16 weeks, results at 18 weeks, ultrasound for abnormalities at 22 weeks. What if you find out the baby has some severe deformities during the US? At 22 weeks plus the time to digest and think about your choices you're at the end of the second trimester.
    I'm sure that the case of birth defect falls doesn't fall within the same category as "maternal mental distress", though.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Folieadeux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3,232

    Default

    I somewhat agree. Perhaps I am biased because I'm really not for late term abortions, but I think 'mental distress' in late term abortions needs to be better defined. And I think if you only started having 'mental distress' late in your pregnancy, you probably had issues from the beginning of the pregnancy that should have been addressed quicker. On the other hand, if a child is found to have a gravely serious physical defect, then I don't find problem with late term abortion.
    ssabmud

  7. #7
    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    dreaming about being on a lake in Ontario
    Posts
    4,085

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CCkissesx View Post
    I somewhat agree. Perhaps I am biased because I'm really not for late term abortions, but I think 'mental distress' in late term abortions needs to be better defined. And I think if you only started having 'mental distress' late in your pregnancy, you probably had issues from the beginning of the pregnancy that should have been addressed quicker. On the other hand, if a child is found to have a gravely serious physical defect, then I don't find problem with late term abortion.
    I agree. I'm for abortions rights, but I know most people don't want women going around deciding at the last minute she doesn't want this baby and it is going to cause her distress. That is what adoption is for. Real mental health due to a rape, or a severe physical deformaty O.K. But those are already covered.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

  8. #8
    Hit By Ban Bus!
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    556

    Default

    Obama's abortion answer spurs questions

    by Frank James, updated at 5:37 pm with Obama campaign response.

    Does Sen. Barack Obama really mean to say he supports new restrictions on late-term abortions that would effectively weaken Roe v Wade?

    That's the huge question that remains following the Democratic presidential candidate's statement yesterday that he doesn't believe a pregnant woman's "mental distress" should be considered a sufficient exception to bans against late-term abortions.

    As Jan Crawford Greenburg, ABC News legal correspondent so ably points out in her Legalities blog, Obama's response yesterday to a reporter's question in which the senator sought to clarify his earlier remarks on the issue, left open the possibility that he actually supports a significant narrowing of abortion rights.

    This, of course, would come as a shock to his liberal supporters and many of those voters who backed Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primaries, voters Obama is now trying to win over. Many of those voters very much support abortion rights.

    Attempting to clarify comments he made during an interview in Relevant magazine in which he seemed to strongly indicate that he supported a late-term abortion exception for the physical-health of the mother but left the impression he might not support a mental-health exception, Obama yesterday told reporters on his campaign plane that he, indeed, supported mental-health exceptions. Such exceptions were acceptable so long as they were for clinically-diagnosed conditions, he indicated.

    What he did not support was the idea of exceptions that would allow late-term abortions based on "mental distress." "It is not just a matter of feeling blue," Obama said.

    I'm not too proud to say that answer was enough to throw this non-lawyer off the scent but it didn't Jan, a University of Chicago trained lawyer. That's why when she worked with us at the Chicago Tribune where she covered the Supreme Court, her nickname was Justice Greenburg, because of her detailed knowledge of the high court and her probing mind.

    Here's her cogent analysis of Obama's answer which points to why the senator is going to be forced to address this issue again:

    So Obama, it seems to me, still is backing away from what the law says--and backing away from a proposed federal law (of which he is a co-sponsor) that envisions a much broader definition of mental health than the one he laid out this week.

    That proposed federal legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, refers to the key Supreme Court case on the issue, which was decided the same day as Roe v. Wade in 1973. In that case, Doe v Bolton, the Court said a doctor could decide to perform an abortion based on "all factors--physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age--relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health."

    Subsequent cases in the Supreme Court and lower courts have said states cannot ban abortions where the doctor deems them necessary to protect a woman's physical and mental health. Lower courts have taken that to mean a state cannot prohibit an abortion--even one post-viability--if the woman would suffer severe emotional harm without it.

    Nowhere do those cases impose criteria of "serious clinical mental health diseases."

    That's not what the law is today. The Court has said the Constitution prohibits states from banning post-viability abortions unless those laws contain a broad mental health exception---one that includes mental distress and severe emotional harm. Abortion rights groups have fought for decades to preserve these exceptions, and I'm awfully curious what they will think about limiting them to women with mental disease or mental illness. (A good question for Monday, when we're all back in the office.)

    Safe to say that abortion-rights supporters are not going to be satisfied with vagueness from Obama on this issue. Indeed, they may find added causes for concern in the "clarification" he provided Saturday.

    Take Obama conscious or not use of the language of abortion opponents in his answer to the reporter.

    Here's what he said at one point:

    "My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously," Obama continued.

    The term "partial-birth abortion" is how abortion foes describe a particular and rarely performed late-term abortion procedure.

    Doctors refer to it as intact dilation and evacuation. Abortion-rights activists generally despise the partial-birth abortion term.

    In a 2004 National Press Club speech, Kate Michelman, then NARAL Pro-Choice America's president, referred to the term dismissively as "so-called 'partial-birth abortion.' That is a political, not a medical, term. No one knows quite what it means..."

    That would be the same Michelman who endorsed Obama in February right before Super Tuesday.

    So what are we to make of this? Does Obama really mean what he said about "mental distress" not being an acceptable reason for an exception to late-term abortion bans, in which case, it's probably an understatement to say he's going to have a major problem with a big part of his base?

    Was he just being lax with his language, a dangerous mistake on an issue as deeply felt and contested as abortion?

    Is he trying to send a signal to voters in swing states, like working-class whites, especially Catholics in Ohio and Michigan, by cunningly infusing his comments to reporters with the language of the anti-abortion movement?

    The Obama campaign schedule indicates the senator is back in Chicago with no public events today. That should give him some time to rehearse his thoughts on abortion since reporters are likely to try and pin down precisely where he stands in the coming days.

    Updated at 5:37 pm:

    Linda Douglass, a senior campaign spokesperson for the Obama campaign provided this statement.

    Senator Obama has always fought for a women's right to choose and has consistently opposed efforts to pass measures lacking a health exception. Also, Senator Obama recognizes that some people view these health exceptions not as exceptions, but as a way around these restrictions. Senator Obama believes that while "mental distress" or simply "feeling blue" should not be covered by a health exception, there will be cases where carrying to term a pregnancy may seriously damage a woman's mental health and those cases should be covered. During an interview with Relevant Magazine, Senator Obama made the point that we can craft well-defined health exceptions - as pro-choice legislators have tried in Congress and in state legislatures - that address those concerns.

    Obama's abortion answer spurs questions (The Swamp)

  9. #9
    Hit By Ban Bus!
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    this is so sick! poor babies, this is awful. sick bastard

  10. #10
    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,884

    Default

    ^Huh?

  11. #11
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    33,706

    Default

    he's pandering to the evangelicals......


    An important split is emerging within the Democratic Party over abortion. Barack Obama’s reaction to it will tell us a great deal about how he intends to unify people of different views and manage key voting blocs.

    A group of progressive evangelicals, including the Rev. Jim Wallis, has urged Sen. Obama to embrace an “abortion reduction agenda” that focuses on improving economic support for women so they won’t feel financially pressured into having abortions. The Rev. Tony Campolo, a member of the Democratic Party platform committee, announced that he’s going to mobilize an effort get an abortion reduction plank into the party platform.

    Pro-choice activists have reacted angrily. Kate Michelman, the former head of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Frances Kissling, the former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, declared on Salon.com that Mr. Wallis and company were implying that “given the choice, having a baby is a more moral choice.” Their approach will therefore “be understood for what it is: condescending and sexist.”
    The altercation revealed clearly that two of Sen. Obama’s political goals are in conflict.

    On the one hand, he wants to court moderate evangelical Christians and centrist Catholics. Evangelicals and, to a lesser extent, Catholics tend to oppose abortion.

    On the other, he wants to court independent suburban women, who tend to be pro-choice, and he’s laboring to attract Hillary Clinton voters – and donors to her campaign.

    Perhaps this is why Sen. Obama’s moves on abortion have seemed clumsy. He made news by saying he supported a ban on “partial birth” abortions except if the mother’s life or health was seriously threatened –only to back off and add “mental health” to the list of exemptions.

    Sen. Obama’s approach has been to combine pro-choice policies with conspicuous respectfulness of pro-life people. While he supports the Freedom of Choice Act, which would potentially roll back state restrictions on abortion, his Web site declares that he “respects those who disagree with him.” In his book “The Audacity of Hope,” he recounted how a pro-life protester had once offered to pray for him: “I said a prayer of my own – that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that had been extended to me.”

    His most evangelical-friendly formulation came in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “Abortion is a deeply moral issue and those who deny there’s a moral component to it are wrong,” he said, adding that he trusted women to make “a prayerful decision” and said sex education needed to impart the “sacredness of sexuality.”

    You might think: how can this furrowed-brow strategy possibly work? Pro-life people surely won’t be lured by empathetic words if his policies go the other way. Some won’t but some will. For some centrist Catholics and moderate evangelicals, disgust with the Democratic Party was less about policy than perceived contemptuousness of pro-life people.

    There are at least three specific flashpoints going forward.

    Government funding of abortions: The federal government currently cannot fund abortions for the poor except in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered, a provision known as the Hyde Amendment. “Senator Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment and believes it should be repealed,” Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro stated via email, adding, “Obama believes that the federal government should not use its dollars to intrude on a poor woman’s decision concerning her reproductive health care.”
    This will cheer abortion-rights activists but will be tough for even liberal evangelicals to swallow. They might accept the idea that the government shouldn’t ban abortions, but if they feel their own tax dollars subsidize abortions then they’ll view themselves as morally complicit in murder. “Obama would be very foolish” to take that position if he wants to win evangelicals, Mr. Campolo says.

    Partial birth abortions: While the majority of Americans want abortions to be legal, they oppose so-called partial-birth abortions. Sen. Obama says late-term abortions are “really problematic” but supports a ban that critics say is rife with loopholes. So I asked the campaign the question in a slightly different way: Did he believe the ban he supports “would eliminate most partial-birth abortions?” Mr. Shapiro skirted the question: “Senator Obama supports and believes it is appropriate to ban partial-birth abortions, provided there is an exception for the life and health of the mother. He believes that the most effective strategy to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.”

    Abortions vs. Unwanted Pregnancies: Former President Bill Clinton talked about making abortions “safe, legal and rare.” By contrast, Sen. Obama mostly talks aboutreducing the number of unintended or unwanted pregnancies. To the ears of a pro-life evangelical, those are two very different things. “I mean, come on!” Mr. Campolo says. “He’s got to go beyond that.” Of course, if he does, Ms. Michelman will hit back.

    There’s one other tactical consideration for Sen. Obama on abortion: his running mate. Many feminists who supported Sen. Clinton are still cool to Sen. Obama. If he put Sen. Clinton or possibly another woman on the ticket, he might be able to go farther toward the center on abortion.

    Or, he could go the opposite direction, choosing a pro-lifer such as Democratic Sen. Bob Caseyof Pennsylvania or Republican Sen. Chuck Hagelof Nebraska. Ironically, that would enable him to stick to a strong pro-choice set of policies because he’ll have dramatically shown his respect for pro-life people.

    My gut view, however, is that if he sticks with his current approach of conspicuous respectfulness without backing it up with something substantive, he’s unlikely to make much headway with evangelicals.

    Political Perceptions : Obama Faces Tough Choice as Democrats Split on Abortion
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  12. #12
    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    5,469

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by katerpillar View Post
    What's his definition of "late term abortion" though?

    Regardless, I wouldn't panic. Aren't less than 2 percent of abortions classified as "late term" abortions, or something? I'm quite sure it's nothing to worry about.
    Go check his voting record in Illinois. Some crazy shit.

    ETA: He can pander to the evangelicals all he wants... there is no way in hell he'll get them. Obama has lost the battle for the middle, IMHO, and now has to jump to the right, which will scare off those on the left who support him.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,250

    Default

    [QUOTE]
    A group of progressive evangelicals, including the Rev. Jim Wallis, has urged Sen. Obama to embrace an

  14. #14
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    14,493

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CCkissesx View Post
    I somewhat agree. Perhaps I am biased because I'm really not for late term abortions, but I think 'mental distress' in late term abortions needs to be better defined. And I think if you only started having 'mental distress' late in your pregnancy, you probably had issues from the beginning of the pregnancy that should have been addressed quicker. On the other hand, if a child is found to have a gravely serious physical defect, then I don't find problem with late term abortion.
    I agree with you. I think late term abortions are awful and should only be allowed if there is a very serious medical problem. Mental health problems can vary massively so like you said 'mental distress' needs to be
    better defined.

  15. #15
    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    If I was up your ass you'd know where I am!
    Posts
    7,751

    Default

    Can anybody who is so vehemently opposed to late term abortions unless there is a 'major medical complication' inform me of any known cases where some otherwise healthy woman just decided at 8.95 months to get an abortion because she changed her mind?

    To the best of my awareness the only late term abortions have happened for severe medical reasons. IMO, it's just a pathetic scare tactic that works on the average ill informed person and just attempts to further promote a negative perception of all abortions.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Texas debate: Hillary Clinton accuses Barack Obama of plagiarism
    By kingcap72 in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: February 22nd, 2008, 05:56 PM
  2. Barack Obama wins Wisconsin; Wis. exit poll: Obama with broad backing
    By january in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: February 20th, 2008, 09:43 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 22nd, 2008, 03:21 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 21st, 2008, 11:06 PM
  5. Sharon Stone's fur wardrobe raises eyebrows in Rome
    By Honey in forum Latest Gossip
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: October 29th, 2007, 09:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •