President Obama and the abortion debate

obama-catholics_122149739607How will President Obama frame the abortion debate?  In giving the commencement address at Notre Dame he can’t avoid it.  Will he acknowledge what more and more Catholics already know — the GOP never delivered on their anti-abortion promises?

I think he will deliver a message that inspires us all to attack the problems behind abortion — poverty, birth control, education,  concentrating on measures that help reduce the numbers of unwanted pregnancies.  Even mentioning birth control will be controversial at a Catholic University, or will it?  Have most Catholics realized the conundrum of being against abortion and birth control?  I know the Church hasn’t, but have most of the Church’s followers?

I think he will point out our areas of agreement and will highlight that Americans agree on more than they disagree on.  He is more in tune with religious people on his stance about unjust war, harsh interrogations, social justice issues, the environment, protecting family wages, attacking the underlying causes of abortion.

A recent poll by Quinnipiac University found 56 percent of Americans think Notre Dame should not rescind its invitation to Obama – among Catholics the number was an even higher 60 percent.

This speech can’t ignore abortion, but also must be about the graduates.  Emphasis on abortion gives too much attention to the protesters who strive to be in the limelight.  They use horrible ways to attract attention to a debate that doesn’t change minds.  Those who concentrate on abortion are increasingly isolated as the debate has moved on to finding solutions.

Will this speech be another that history points to as a turning point?  During his time as a candidate he addressed some difficult issues such as race and made all of us think harder, inspired us to be better.  Will this be another history-making moment?



Filed under abortion, Religion

21 responses to “President Obama and the abortion debate

  1. I agree with you completely. Thank you for a well-written, well-reasoned post.

  2. Hello Point of View, welcome. I visited your site and found your place comfortable. I think we share some opinions.

  3. Bad Biker

    Barack Obama has a way of speaking that inspires one to be more open minded in thinking about an issue.

    The abortion debate is futile unless it includes a discussion of the REAL issue, which is unwanted pregnancies. Abortion is merely the symptom.

    Until Americans are completely open about comprehensive sex education – not the failed abstinence only program – then we will continue to see unwanted pregnancies and more abortions.

    Perhaps our president can turn the debate to addressing the issue and not just the symptom.

    Let’s hope.

  4. As I’ve read several stories on this upcoming speech, it seems the protesters are the usual bunch of idiots who don’t want solutions — their number one goal is attention, and somewhere down the line they say they want abortions to be illegal (without ever admitting even to themselves that they won’t stop by being illegal).

    Randall Terry hasn’t ever been anything but a media whore and an idiot who can claim as his life’s biggest accomplishment having been arrested some 40 times.

  5. The Republican Party would have been dead in the water long ago if it hadn’t been for abortion. They sure don’t want solutions, and they’ve not done anything but make empty promises.

  6. Bad Biker

    The GOP had the stage – House, Senate and presidency – for six years and never even attempted to outlaw abortion or even seriously restrict the practice. Their desire is strictly to pander to the base.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    At times it really tickles me, President Obama was first painted as the most liberal of all Senator.
    Then he makes a decision that he seems to get more approval from Conservatives then Liberals.
    He is painted again as the most pro-abortion President ever elected, yet he has stated he does not favor late term abortion. He has failed to strongly fund programs that present Abortion as a solution.

    I can hardly wait for when he would end any threat from terrorism, He will be the most anti-terrorists President elected as said by the Cons!

  8. I think that Obama should avoid any abortion mudslinging. Our country has way too many other things to attend to right now. Of course there are many people who think it’s murder so they don’t want to wait.
    We could debate this till the cows come home and not solve it.

  9. In fact, here is what the press secretary had to say:

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Obama plans to “make mention” of abortion when he appears here. But Gibbs signaled that abortion will not be a major theme of the president’s address. Obama is “cognizant of the fact that this is a commencement ceremony,” the president’s chief spokesman said. “This is a special occasion for families to celebrate.”

  10. This is great! If it doesn’t make you smile or maybe laugh out loud you should go back to bed. 😉

    “My Commencement Address
    by Christopher Buckley

    I have to give a speech at a commencement exercise, and I’m a little nervous.”

  11. i agree, this debate has been going on for so long now and no matter what they are going to be opposing people who dont agree

  12. Hi court, welcome.

    I listened to President Obama’s speech and found it inspiring. He wants to get to solutions that help women who carry their babies to term, that reduce unwanted pregnancies, that bring people together with dignity no matter where they are on the issues.

    That is a better course than fighting and trying to make someone wrong. There doesn’t always need to be a winner and a loser. Life isn’t always easy, but fighting one another doesn’t help anyone.

  13. tosmarttobegop

    I watched it too, great speech and to a real points, too long the focus has been on the symptom and not addressing the illness. To many just are focused and attribute all abortions to one simple causes.
    Women not wanting to be responsible for their own actions and Abortion is the easy way out.
    But Obama truly addressed the illness and said what could be done to reduce the rate of abortions.

    Too often the pro-life crowd acts like a Doctor who has a patent with lung cancer and only wants to treat the cough instead of the illness.

    I did switch over to Fox after the address to see how they was handling the address. They had on a Democrat adviser versions Mike Steele.

    The Democrat basically just repeated the points that Obama made. While Steele simply said that the adviser was a excellent “Apologist for the President”. I thought just what did the President say that there was a need for a apology for? Perhaps its because Obama just is not playing the game by the rules. He does not give them anything off the bat for them to ridicule or that they can argue against without seeming stupid!

    • tosmarttobegop

      They had on a Democrat adviser versions Mike Steele.
      should have been adviser against Mike Steele. Oh and by the way the more I hear Steele the more he sounds like the GOP is a party of one and its him :>

  14. jammer5

    An outstanding speech. I wonder how the cons will spin that one.

    • They must really be afraid of this man.

      When they’re all alone don’t they look around and admit they have no leaders, no ideas, no appeal, too few numbers to win elections, and no good news on the horizon? If they don’t, I hope I never understand their thoughts — they have to be really bizarre. I don’t wanna go there.

    • tosmarttobegop

      So far, it is just words, he has no interest in listening to the other side, he is lying, he is amoral.

  15. There are some who will not be able to look past their obsession and will say there is no common ground. I hope their numbers are getting smaller. Maybe the younger generations can understand where the work is needed, where the efforts are best placed to bring results and help where it’s needed.

    I think most people value life highly, but some can’t admit that legality isn’t going to change the reality of abortion.

    A woman, her doctor and her god.

  16. Thunderchild

    I did not get to see the speech.

    “We could debate this till the cows come home and not solve it.”

    And we won’t. Because the balance of the cons are not arguing from an honest place.

    SOME of them are anti sex. SOME of them are anti woman. SOME of them are “no matter what it is, you did it you own it!”.

    You can’t find common ground with folks who will not even be honest (even with themselves) about where they are really standing.

  17. lilacluvr

    I did not watch the speech today but I read on the Huffington Post blog that Obama included the protester’s shouting on the transcript of the speech that had been sent out to the press. Can you imagine Bush ever including a protester’s shouting on his speech transcripts? Protesters were not even allowed inside when Bush was speaking.

    What was also sent out was the positive response Obama received from the audience and the Notre Dame graduates after the protester did his shouting.

    Obama is a smart politician and I think he is a man who really does want to hear all sides of a debate. Obama is not so insecure that he needs to shut down any and all criticism when he is out in public giving speeches.

    In doing so, Obama has given the opposition their chance to say their piece; but, like the audience at Notre Dame proved, the protester was outnumbered and looked to be a very small minority.

    Abortion is an issue that will never be resolved as long as we have two camps so entrenched in their own version of being ‘right’.