The President’s statement on the 41st anniversary of Roe – what say you?

Gathering on the National Mall before the 2013 March for Life (E. Kolb photo)
Gathering on the National Mall before the 2013 March for Life (E. Kolb photo)

President Obama recognizes, as do I, that the Roe v. Wade decision is profoundly important – even though our reasons are very different. He took time out of his busy schedule to compose an official statement to mark today’s 41st anniversary of Roe. Here is the statement in full.

“Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.  We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.  And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children.  Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”

Comments, anyone? I have a few.

“as we reflect”

If the President had seriously wanted to see fellow Americans reflecting on Roe, he might have penciled in a visit to the National Mall on his morning schedule. Despite a snowstorm that fouled up all forms of transportation in the NYC-DC corridor, the annual March for Life went on earlier today as usual. Prolife Americans were “reflecting” in substantial numbers. (Photos here from the March for Life Facebook page.)

“the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health”

The “principles” of Roe are this: there is no humanity to the preborn child, and abortion is an aspect of health care.

Much more now than in 1973, denying the humanity of the preborn child is an arbitrary political view grounded in hostility to science. Unique DNA: tough to dehumanize that. As for abortion as health care, just look at the resistance to the HHS mandate, which tries to force Americans to subsidize abortifacient drugs and devices as “preventive health care.” Not settled – not by a long shot.

If the President were honest, he’d recognize another principle that was explicitly included by Justice Blackmun in Roe’s ruling: the my-body-my-choice argument is necessarily subject to intervention – that is, restrictions – as a woman’s pregnancy advances. As it happens, a number of Supreme Court decisions based on Roe since 1973 have established that abortion funding restrictions are acceptable, that parents have a right to involvement in their adolescent daughters’ pregnancy decisions, that narrowly-drawn informed consent statutes are consistent with legal abortion, and that there is no constitutional protection for an abortion method that pulls the child partway out of the mother’s body before delivering the coup de grace.

“We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care …”

…by which he means “free” abortion on demand, without apology, paid for by you and me and our children and grandchildren.

“…and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.”

A right to privacy? Where does this apply in the President’s mind and policies, aside from abortion? I’m not impressed with how privacy is protected under his health care law. Providers, insurers, navigators, the federal healthcare.gov website: how many times do I have to give up my health information before we all recognize that it’s not exactly private anymore? I’m not sure anything this side of the front pages of a tabloid is considered “private,” as far as our President is concerned.

Reproductive freedom, to this President and all who defend Roe, means the preborn child is disposable property – no more or less than a “thing” – that comes into humanity only when the mother wishes it so.

“…we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies …”

Here’s the make-life-perfect argument: if we want to cut down on abortions, let’s provide lots and lots of contraception (preventive care, as the man says). Once women don’t get pregnant unexpectedly, and all the support systems are guaranteed, then there will be no need for abortion. But don’t get bogged down in talk of sexual continence, for men or women – too religious and judgmental.

No, Mr. President. I do not buy any argument that says I need to take a child’s life, and that’s what you’re implying. You’re also implying that pregnancy is an endemic disease from which women need to be protected. Bad science has you in its grip again. Women deserve better.

“…support maternal and child health …”

See “Gosnell, Kermit.” He operated his charnel house under the protection of devotees of “reproductive freedom” who refused to investigate reports of injured women. The president has opposed the kind of oversight that would have shut down Gosnell and saved the life of Karnamaya Mongar. I note also that as an Illinois state senator, President Obama voted repeatedly against legislation that would have required that care be provided for children born alive after abortion attempts. Child health, indeed.

“…and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children.”

No, Mr. President, you are not committed to all our children. Only the ones who are “chosen” are included in your vision.

“Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”

And he wound up with this, with Roe as a starting point? A grown man who was twice elected President thinks that a person’s humanity depends on another person’s choice, and then he mentions freedom and opportunities.

Yikes.

At least the Chief Executive recognizes that Roe v. Wade is worth remembering. It’s left to prolife Americans to remember it for the right reasons.