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January 22, 2009

Obama on Roe Anniversary: 'I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose'

As thousands marched from the National Mall to the Supreme Court today, President Obama issued a press release on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere.

Comments

If abortion isn't what pro-lifers say it is, why do we need to reduce it? Someone please explain.

"That is what I want for women everywhere."

Except for the unborn females that are aborted.

How ironic that Obama advocates the torture of female babies while banning torture of terrorists who vow to kill us.

to answer Jared:
Both "sides" can be against irresponsible sexual acts, can't they?
No matter what the laws of ANY land are, there will be homosexual and heterosexual acts that many of us are not fond of.....and only the latter might rather directly result in marginal parenting.....

I'd encourage all readers to do some serious research about abortion (anywhere in this world) when and wherever it was (is) illegal. It continues (continued) to happen on a very large scale AND THERE'S NOT A THING I CAN DO ABOUT IT!

No matter who our President or dictator happens to be, there will be many, many homosexual acts and abortions.....

Please stop pretending that the "proper" edict will really change anything.

(ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE FAR MORE FEMALE MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS NOW, THAN IN 1973. This is a very important fact that you and I cannot change, no matter our beliefs.)

The problem with anti-abortionists is that they are also anti-birth control. We cannot control people's behavior. While I believe their non-religious reason to not want abortions to happen most others see it as "Christians" trying to tell us how to live our lives. We need to find other ways to decrease abortions. Education perhaps.
Another thing most want to eliminate all abortions even those that would cause the death of the mother or serious harm to her health. I know some take advantage of that but since we cannot know the truth I believe we should leave up to the woman, her doctor and God.

No he doesn't advocate the torture of female babies. He has made it quite clear thqt he believes that the best way to avoid abortion is to prevent pregnancies in the first place. Deciding to have an abortion is not an easy choice usually. Those of you who oppose it are entitled to hold your point of view, but so are those who believe it has a place. If you walk a few miles in the footsteps of the women who have them maybe you would understand better why those of us who believe it has a place think that way (though you still might hold a different point of view - and that is fine).

The late W.A. Criswell said that life begins at birth. He made this statement after the Roe vs. Wade decision. The law of the land gives a woman the right to control her body, and the far right religionists want to tell women what to do. Personally I am against abortion, and I promised myself I would never have one. This is a matter of choice, and the fundamentalists don't like that. Abortion is legal in the United States of America, and some don't like the law. They can choose not to have an abortion, and they can be happy. "If men could get pregnant, Abortion would be Legal, Ethical, and Federally Funded." Amen.-Wendell Franklin Wentz

If one legislates an easy escape for a lack of responsiblity, won't there be a repercussion for it? If I steal and get caught, isn't there a repercussion for it? How about if I don't make my mortgage payment? Can I still keep my house? Why not? After all, we have legislated irresponsibility in our lives. Why shouldn't we legislate irresponsibity in other areas of life? Sounds like insanity to me.

It is so sad to me that we are still arguing about whether it is a woman's "right" to choose between life and death for her unborn child. In the meantime 50 million babies have been murdered. When is it going to stop?

I am a pro-lifer, but I am starting to understand what Obama is ATTEMPTING to say. He doesn't like abortions, but at the same time, you can't govern what people do with their bodies! If people choice to engage in fornication, that is a choice with consequences. Even though President Bush was an advocate pro-lifer, did his executive order reduce abortions in this country?! How come we never hear the stats on this! What was the progression of the EO on abortion. The only way abortions will be reduced amongst CHRISTIANS, is if PASTORS return to REAL biblical teachings reference sexual morality and more, but more about the character of Jesus! The problem is not Pres. Obama; the problem is THE CHURCH not doing it's job teaching that our bodies are the TEMPLE OF GOD!! The pressure should not be on Obama, but THE CHURCH acting as witnesses for Christ to believers and non-believers. We are always holding others accountable, except our church leaders!! Maybe God is putting on the pressure for pro-lifers to stop whining and GET ACTIVE in being a witness for Christ more than they do to these women!! Alot of pro-lifers are not involved in anything concerning pro-life! Every four years, talking the talk, but not walking the walk!

Pro-lifers are pro-choice. The choice is about whether to have sex or not. The purpose of sex is to produce children. This is not a religious argument. Any biologist will tell you that. In our culture we have tried to divorce sex from bringing children in the world. This is because we want to practice sex for our own selfish fulfillment without taking responsibility for one of sex's primary purposes. Sex is the power to create a life and one should not engage in it unless one is willing to take responsibility for the life created. Once that life has been brought into the world, there is only one choice morally. The two parents are responsible for its nurture. We need a lot more sex ed in this country on all levels that explain why and how sex produces children and the moral and legal responsibilities that ensue.

Bush was for the torture of enemy soldiers. Obama is for the right to torture unborn children. Both of them violate their Christian profession of faith as each of us do in many ways daily. We need to pray for these two brothers to grow in their faith and to repent of their sins in these areas as we all need to live a life of moment by moment repentance for our sins against the the glory of God. There are no political saviors from either the right or the left, only fallen broken humans like all of us. It baffles me that these two Christian men could be blind to their errors in these areas, until I realize my own sin has no doubt blinded me to horrible things in other areas of my own life.

As for those that say you cant control people's behavior or you cant just make edicts, this is exactly what every law does. To follow your argument to its logical conclusion, we would do away with all laws. So the question is not about whether we are going to control behavior. It just about which behaviors we are going to control. Those who are for abortion rights are just as legalistic, fundamentalist and controlling in other areas of the law as they claim pro-lifers are about abortion. For example consider the areas of sexual harassment or racial discrimination. I agree with their attempts to control behavior legally in these two areas. I just add to them the protection of unborn human life.

Just because some will choose to violate the law and harm themselves in illegal abortions is not a reason not to have a law. It is horrible that some would choose to do this. We as a society need to provide women with every bit of legal protection and material support so that they do not feel that this is necessary. We as Christians need to stand with and walk with such women in grace, love and humility to help them through their difficulties that might tempt them in that direction. But the unborn child needs love, protection and sympathy as well.

Obama's last paragraph is completely incoherent to me. What has women having equal rights and equal opportunities have to do with abortion? I agree with all the particulars he listed. I just think that once a man and a woman have brought a human life into the world, both of them are responsible for its care. If laws have let men off the hook in this area, then don't make women less responsible for their children, make men more responsible.

In the end, abortion is not about women's rights. We can strengthen our laws to make sure men and women are treated equally in regards to their responsibilities for children they have brought into existence.
Abortion is about human beings as a whole not wanting to take responsibility for our sexuality. We need to do some serious reflection on the power and purpose of sex and stop treating it as merely a recreational activity

The core question is: "When does human life begin?" It begins at conception. That is implied by the Incarnation. Jesus did not begin to be Jesus at His birth, but when the Holy Spirit fertilised the human ovum in Mary's womb. Even an unbeliever knows s/he had personal existence as her/himself ten minutes before birth ... ten days before birth ... ten weeks ~ where does one end? At conception. No woman can choose to kill her baby and not escape the feeling of guilt, unless she sees her unborn baby as non-human. Hugh Wetmore, South Africa

Hey Wendall! W.A. Criswell wasn't perfect. He was wrong about tongues (I Cor. 14:2) and he was wrong about when he said life begins at birth because the scripture tells us, "when Elizabeth saw Mary, the babe leaped in her womb." The Lord has straightened out ole Wally in glory and he probably even speaks in tongues now. Blessings!

These are pretty stupid statements if you carry them through logically:

"No matter who our President or dictator happens to be, there will be many, many homosexual acts and abortions.....

Please stop pretending that the "proper" edict will really change anything."

You could say the same thing about murder and robbery and illegal drugs. So why should we have laws against them? Just because you have laws doesn't mean the crimes will not occur. That is what you are really saying. So, why have laws against anything? Because the state believes it should impose justice on its citizens for an ordely society.

So, if you agree that it is good to have laws against the killing of another human being without due process of the law, you next have to decide whether the living being in the womb is a human being, that is a person. If you decide it is not, you would be arguing against not only the Bible, but current medical science.

So, if the living being in the womb is a human being, then you need to decide whether it is to be afforded full rights or to be treated as African Americans in the United States during our slavery period and even after, or as non-whites in South Africa during apartheid or the Jews in Germany during the 1930s. To get around the issue of murder, these persons were, in fact, considered non-persons.

It is pretty pathetic for people to say "I wouldn't do it but I would not tell others they can't". What a self-righteous dodge that is.

Can someone please tell me where it is written that the selfish desires of the mother should supersede the life of an unborn child? I say, "selfish" because, doesn't the mere act of abortion say, "I am more important than the life that I hold inside?" Are there not enough people in America that are standing in line and eager to adopt?

It's amazing to me that we ask God to bless our country at the inauguration and then turn around, within the first week of the new Presidency, and formally legalize the murder of our unborn children. If that's not bad enough, we then take our tax dollars and make us all, (whether we like it or not), a complicit part of this abomination! Is that the sort of action a Christian President should instigate?

I look at all the enthusiasm our country has for our incoming President. But, at the same time, I just have to wonder how anyone who calls themselves a Christian could have ever voted for him. This action makes it truly a sad day for our country.

To my mind, two things have been left out of the comments above.

Firstly, one must answer the question: is an embryo a unique living being from the moment of conception? If so, then it is as equally a question of human rights for the baby as for the mother. As a side note, only 1-4% of rapes result in pregnancy. An equally small percentage of abortions are performed to save the mother's life.

Secondly, the number of abortions has increased exponentially. Approximately 3,700 abortions are performed monthly in the US--monthly! That is excessive, even if you are pro-choice. Furthermore, far too many of those abortions are performed after the 1st trimester, in which case the babies are gassed, mutilated, and otherwise tortured to death. One cannot put an abortion performed in the 7th month down to an 'unplanned' pregnancy that surprised a young teenager, but irresponsibility and selfishness.

In conclusion, praising Roe vs. Wade as progress in the realm of human rights is a gross misunderstanding of the term and putting it in the same paragraph as "broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams" is misleading. Giving women a sense of self-value and respect, outside of premature (premarital) sex, would be the first logical step in broadening the opportunities available to women.

There always has been abortion, and there always will be. (After the use of the Pill began in the mid-1960s, the number of abortions rose exponentially; the year BEFORE Roe the rate was roughly what it is today; after Roe, that rate rose for a while, then leveled off, and later declined some.) The question is whether a woman has to risk death or imprisonment for making that choice. The only way to dramatically reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the reasons that women seek abortions--poverty, promiscuity, male abandonment, and many others. Under the Democratic presidents since Roe, the abortion rates have gone down more sharply than under Republicans. For heaven's sake, let's get behind Obama on the second paragraph of his statement and try to make a real difference in the abortion rates. OVERTURNING ROE WILL NOT STOP ABORTION!!!

"I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to kill her baby." "I remain committed to NOT protecting a baby's right to live." What a travesty.

what is most ironic is that obama wants government involved in pretty much everything else yet does not want it to intrude when the topic is "reproductive freedom."

I absolutely agree with the commenters who have stated that the real issue of abortion is one that has to be worked out in the depths of a person's heart and that overturning Roe v. Wade will not mean an immediate end toward abortion. Only the Lord can change people's hearts and lead them away from the decision to murder another human being.

So, yes, I believe that if there is an ultimate shift in this issue it will come from changed hearts (the Lord's domain) and not from the State. At the same time, woe to the State that sits by and nods hearty approval to the murder of innocents! The government can only go so far, but it must do what it can to protect the lives of all who live in the land it has been given to protect.

President Obama is correct that we,as a nation, must reduce the "demand" for abortion. Indeed, for any social ill that we can name the key to reducing its prevalence is to reduce demand for it, whether that ill is divorce or drug/alcohol abuse or domestic violence or ______ (fill in the blank). Perhaps for too long conservative Christ followers have been focusing on the "damn them to hell" approach, on the assumption that fear of such will cause the guilty to turn from their evil ways; fear doesn't work very well most of the time and often produces the opposite reaction than intended. And perhaps also for too long liberal Christ followers have pursued the "love them at any/all cost" approach, enabling more and greater sin by ignoring or distorting the Bible's clear teaching (yes, it really is clear!). But Christ calls us to make disciples by teaching them faith in a better life than the world offers in its many facets - lust, greed, escape from reality, etc. We need to strive to reduce demand for worldliness by living and advocating the holy life, without ignoring or exaggerating the outcome of a life lived in sin to its end. God gave us choice, and some will still choose wrongly; let us hope they are just a very, very few!