Sunday, July 6, 2008

Obama on his faith... including abortion rights?

WaPo has a decent write-up on Obama's address to St Louis' African Methodist Episcopal Church. As Obama says, he probably won't win the votes of single-issue Evangelicals who are opposed to gay rights or abortion rights. But there are other areas - poverty alleviation, helping the sick including people infected with HIV/AIDS, stewarding the environment - where Obama is better than McCain. By showing up - and making it clear he is interested in their vote - hopefully Obama can do better than Kerry's abysmal 21-78 loss among White Evangelicals in 2004 (23% of the electorate, and perhaps the difference between Bush and Kerry; Kerry won 56-43 among the rest).

Incidentally, the WaPo also quotes Obama's position on abortion rights, as stated to the AME Church. Earlier, Obama stated that "mental distress" should not qualify as an exception to bans on late-term abortion. Now, this was weird - did he mean only physical threats to the mother's health were reasonable exceptions and a mental disorder/illness was not OK?
So, Obama's fuller position is, according to his statements before the AME Church:

"Historically, I have been a strong believer in a woman's right to choose, with her doctor, her pastor, her family," he said Saturday. "And I've been consistent in saying you have to have a health exception on any significant restrictions or bans on abortions, including late-term abortions.

"It can be defined by physical health. It can be defined by serious clinical mental health diseases," he continued. But "it's not just a matter of feeling blue."

OK... So there are exceptions made for "serious clinical mental health diseases." That sounds much better. And I am pretty sure there aren't women rushing out for an abortion just because they have suddenly had a change of heart - much as the GOP/religious right would try to hype the situation. [My opinion is based solely on my gut - not on any actual knowledge.]
Here's a good comment on the initial report, from a TPM post - apparently by a neonatal nurse.

No comments: