Obama’s Pro-Life Concession

The debate over whether President Barack Obama is really interested in trying to reduce abortions through the introduction of social programs to assist pregnant women can’t be answered now.

A more conclusive judgment must await the introduction of the actual programs and an assessment of their effects. But in the meantime pro-lifers have every reason to be skeptical, given the concrete pro-abortion actions Obama has taken already since becoming president.

However, as U.S. News & Report’s Dan Gilgoff noted yesterday at his God & Country blog, Obama has ceded ground to the pro-life cause simply by claiming he wants to reduce the number of abortions.

It would be a mistake for pro-lifers to read too much into Obama’s concession, which has obvious parallels to Bill Clinton’s dictum that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”

At the same time, it also would be a mistake to read too little into it. When even pro-abortion presidents like Clinton and Obama feel obliged to acknowledge abortion as something to be avoided, they contribute to fostering a wider appreciation among all Americans that there’s something serious wrong with abortion.

As Gilgoff comments:

But in articulating a goal of reducing the need for abortion, hasn’t the White House already made a judgment about its undesirability? “Let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions,” Obama said in his recent speech at the University of Notre Dame. Why reduce the number of women seeking abortions if there’s nothing wrong with the procedure?