jeffpickering12

The O. Presidency

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2009 at 6:59 AM

What Obama’s Doing Wrong:

 

1) Expanding the Availability of Abortions

            With his rhetoric, he sits on the fence. With his voting and now actions as President, Mr. Obama falls on the side of supporting abortions. Yet his rhetoric continues to transcend his true stance; this is where I come in.

            I love Obama’s expertise in using rhetoric. I see rhetoric as a good thing, this blog is full of it, but what I believe to be one of the most important things in politics is aligning your rhetoric with your actions. That’s leadership, something the Obama administration isn’t doing (on the abortion issue).

            As one of his first items of business, President Obama issued the “Mexico City Policy and Assistance for Voluntary Population Planning” memorandum. The memo exemplifies the tragic position the U.S. has been in since 1961. Here’s why.

            The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) from using their federal funds to pay for the motivation, coercion, and performance of abortions as a method of family planning over seas.

            President Reagan withheld funds from NGOs again if they used non-USAID funds to do anything at all regarding abortions. This has become known as the Mexico City Policy.

            President Clinton repealed that policy and consequently U.S. federal funds were used for abortions in other countries.

            President Bush reinstated “Mexico City” in 2001. And the history lesson ends, I promise. But it’s important, right? Of course.

            So, Obama has now opened up the United States to pay for the aborting of lives in other countries. The next Margaret Thatcher, Mahatma Gandhi, or a future dear friend of yours might never see daylight. The next great hope of another nation could be terminated via your taxpayer money.

            Barack Obama ran for the office of Presidency assuring us that he would seek common ground on abortion. If common ground is comprised of Obama’s ideas alone, then I don’t see hope or change.

            “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours.” –Barack Obama. I do believe in my ability to change Washington Mr. President, even if Washington is now you. As long as Washington violates the sanctity of basic human life, I will believe it needs change. Prustice.

 

Links:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Mexico_City_Policy_and_Assistance_for_Voluntary_Population_Planning/

http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm

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  1. I notice that in talking about “common ground,” you don’t offer any such compromise. I suppose double standards are all right, as long as they don’t apply to the viewpoint you espouse. I also notice that you believe appending all your posts with “Prustice.” seems to endow you with the superior argument, a poor man’s QED.

  2. A Concerned Citizen,

    Thank you very much for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.
    As for “common ground”, I am disappointed with President Obama for using his rhetoric to blur where he actually stands. I would rather see him use his incredible rhetoric skills to explain why he makes the decisions he makes pertaining to abortions. I’m not sure where common ground will be found. I am young and have a lot to learn, but I do know why I disagree with abortion. So in my talking about “common ground” I was simply pointing out that isn’t what Obama is doing, he’s not aligning rhetoric with action.
    I see how that seems like a double standard. I will learn more and write a blog about where I see “common ground” can be found. Where do you see compromises?

    I believe with passion in what I’m writing about and “Prustice.” is a move of rhetoric. I want you, and everybody who reads my blog to believe that human rights should be the priority of Government. Human rights, no matter how young or old, location or circumstance, is what I care about. So yes, I believe in my stances, and yes, I will do everything I can to convince you to believe the same. I will use rhetoric.

    Thanks again, looking forward to your response.

    Have a great day,
    -Jeff

  3. “On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I’ve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn’t have that.

    Part of the reason they didn’t have it was purposeful, because those who are opposed to abortion have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral. Oftentimes what they were trying to do was to polarize the debate and make it more difficult for people, so that they could try to bring an end to abortions overall.”

    “I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these decisions, in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy, and I think that’s where most Americans are.” -Barack Obama

    I believe this is rhetoric. I believe there is a solid record to be found. I can also glean from this a willingness to compromise on late-term (not partial-birth, as those procedures are so rare as to not even be a statistic) abortion. This took me a good five minutes to find. If you’re unwilling to do even the basic research, why should your arguments be credible?

    Let’s ignore for a moment the medical side of the argument, the legal side of the argument; all positions on the issue with a basic in scientific fact or precedent going back decades. It’s true, Thatcher or Gandhi could have been aborted. But so could Hitler, Ted Bundy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh, and countless others responsible for the taking of ADULT lives. I find that argument ludicrous, one which appeals to those who choose not to think. And for those in impoverished nations who need access to family planning, what would you suggest? Abstinence? That’s a concept best understood by industrialized, majority-Christian nations, not the underdeveloped countries the policy is trying to help. But that’s the problem with this particular social issue. Those on your side fail to see eye to eye on any issue, because you have been told all your lives the procedure is evil. Is removing a blastocyst evil? A fetus? Am I going to Hell if I am a doctor who does my job? To you, yes. To me, I understand what makes a human being a human being, and know that abortion in no way takes human life. Partial-birth procedures are the exception, but there is not a medical procedure that is so rarely practiced in this day and age, unless leeching is included.

    In response to your use of rhetoric, all I can say is rhetoric is most effective when there is no need to call attention to it, something which you’ve done multiple times in your posts. Only when properly administered can rhetoric affect the positions of others, and I fail to see how these posts will win anyone over, based on what I have seen.

    I’m sure you’ll post some sort of defense, and I look forward to reading it. However, I think you are being intellectually dishonest, perhaps without intending to. There is certainly a bias here, and I will be surprised if it doesn’t show through in future posts. I will be watching closely.

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Citizen

  4. I have a question. I am going to be honest, I don’t know much about politics or where Obama stands. Could you please inform me? When Obama says, “all I’ve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn’t have that.” does he mean that he is only ok with abortion if it is protecting the mother? Does this mean that he is opposed to abortion if the mother could support the child without any harm? (I understand that the definition of support the child without any harm is debatable but i think you understand the question). Help…?

  5. This statement is in regard to late-term abortion. On procedures undertaken before 16 weeks of gestation have passed, the “woman’s decisions” comment applies. He believes it to be entirely in the hands of the woman who chooses to undergo the procedure, not government’s or the church’s.

  6. A Concerned Citizen,

    You said, “If you’re unwilling to do even the basic research, why should your arguments be credible” You are right and I apologize. Obama has made some statements that tell us he stands on the side of continuing abortions. I’m sorry I overlooked this, and thank you for pointing it out.
    You made a point saying that if people like Hitler were aborted less “ADULT lives” would’ve been taken. My question to you is, why are adult lives more valuable than the lives of growing infants? Age should have no bearing on human rights and that’s where this blog stands, (read Prustification).
    You said, “for those in impoverished nations who need access to family planning, what would you suggest? Abstinence? That’s a concept best understood by industrialized, majority-Christian nations, not the underdeveloped countries the policy is trying to help.” I’ve been overseas in impoverished nations. I have friends in underdeveloped countries and they are just like you and me. They’re driven and smart. If taught, just like us, they can understand abstinence and birth control as means of family planning. Why do you think terminating their children is the help needed? I think faith in their intellect is low with Obama’s policy.
    As for the, “Am I going to Hell if I am a doctor who does my job? To you, yes,” statement, my question is simple. Why are you bringing “going to Hell” into this discussion? I never wrote, nor believe, anything close to that. This is the creation of an off-topic straw man, built to tear down and support your bias, instead of responding to what I wrote and nothing more.
    This discussion won’t be constructive for readers if we don’t get back to the topic, President Obama and abortion policy.
    You asked, “Is removing a blastocyst evil? A fetus?” and stated, “To me, I understand what makes a human being a human being, and know that abortion in no way takes human life.” Well, I too believe I understand what makes a human being a human being, and I firmly believe that abortion in everyway takes human life.
    The blastocyst stage ends after week 4. The heart, circulatory system, and neural tube are forming in the little embryo during week 5. Nose, mouth, and ears are taking shape while intestines, pituitary gland, brain, muscles, and bones are forming, the heart is beating at about 100 to 160 beats per minute as blood moves through their system in week 6. (Abortions performed during or after week six are stopping a heartbeat.) Their liver is pumping out red blood cells, the umbilical cord has distinct blood vessels to transport oxygen and nutrients, and an appendix and pancreas both exist in week 7. Webbed fingers and toes are showing themselves, breathing tubes are heading to their lungs as nerves in the brain connect to each other during week 8. The embryo, that has a beating heart, becomes a fetus, after all this human growth has occurred, eight weeks after conception. And more significantly, their soul is bearing the image of God from day one.
    When someone’s heart ceases to beat, that person dies. Majority of abortions (77% or 500,004/642,170 lives in 2000) stop a beating heart.
    Yes, I am biased. I have firm beliefs about human rights that guide both my life and this blog. So expect it; my beliefs will be undeniable.
    I don’t know if I’ll win you over and that’s ok because I’m loving your contributions to this discussion. My hope for people like us is that we could debate issues with respectful vigor and still be able to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together once the closing words are expressed.

    Have a great week,
    -Jeff

    http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-6-weeks_1095.bc

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5212a1.htm (Stats from Tables 6 & 7)

  7. I’m assuming you’d want abortion to be made illegal. If so, what should be the penalty for women that have illegal abortions? It’s murder isn’t it? Would we put them to death? Life in prison?

    Eagerly awaiting your reply..

  8. As a woman who has lost four babies within the time frame of 11-21 weeks gestation, the phrase “freedom of choice” troubles me. Life and death are not choices. If they were, no one would choose the latter. I would not have chosen for my babies to die. That situation was thrust on me due to the natural course of life and death that we encounter on a daily basis. My babies were wanted by myself and my family. So therefore, to me and my family, their lives had value. No person in the medical field can convince me otherwise and no one in their right mind would even try. Why is it that wanted babies are valuable and unwanted babies are not? Is it our opinions of people that determine their worth? To believe that my children were valuable only because I wanted them is narcissistic of me. They were valuable because they were created with a design making them uniquely human from the moment of conception. I held my 8.2 ounce son in my very hands and let me tell you he was absolutely as human as I am.

    Even among “pro-life” individuals there are many who do not truly understand the value of “the fetus.” Any woman who has ever had a miscarriage can tell you that. It is dismissed by many in the medical community as well as Christ followers as an unfortunate medical condition. We are expected to simply “get over it” and try again. No one would expect a mother to “get over” her child dying and resume life as normal as if that child had never existed.

    I say all this not as a rant from a bitter woman. I say this simply to put in perspective that as a whole our community, pro-life and pro-choice, does not put enough value on the “products of conception.” Until we as a people begin to value the miraculous and complex design that we are as well as the designer Himself, we will continue to be flippant about the human being in it’s earliest form.

    I can’t propose to know how a woman faced with the decision to terminate a pregnancy must feel. I believe that it must be an agonizing decision for most of them. And I believe it’s agonizing because at the core of who they are, they know that there must be a better way. My husband and I have adopted a child who could have become just one more abortion statistic. For whatever reason or series of reasons, he is here. There are those who can’t bear children. There are those who can parent the children that others cannot. It is my hope that women faced with the heart wrenching decision to terminate will consider those who would lavish love on their child with a reckless abandon. It is my hope that they would consider that child not as an unwanted burden but as a bittersweet gift.

  9. As a woman who has been trying for 5 years to have a baby and as a teacher who has heard first hand accounts of girls using abortion as their birth control of choice, I completely agree with you that abortion is NOT right. EVERY human life is of value – whether you are one day into gestation or 100+ years old. I can understand a baby not being wanted, but carry it to term, put it up for adoption, and let someone who CANNOT have their own child love and care and raise that child as their own.

    I am VERY impressed with you, Jeff. I’ve always known that you had a great head on your shoulders, but I’m even more impressed now that you are learning and growing at college. Keep fighting the good fight. People are reading… 🙂

  10. You may define life as the heart beating, but I define it through a variety of criteria, both scientific and ethical. The mere presence of a circulatory system doesn’t cut it for me, nor for medical science. Ethically and philosophically, the fetus has no consciousness or self-awareness. This means the unborn fetus amounts to an entity which is fully dependent on the mother for sustenance. Therefore, it is within the mother’s right to end the dependency. I consider ending an adult life to be murder because an adult human being is defined as living. A fetus is not, nor can they be considered human until birth in my view. The “going to Hell” comment was a continuation on my response to your assertion that abortion is a morally corrupt option. I extended the notion of evil to the concept of Hell; no straw man, just an extrapolation of your comments.

    Bush also eliminated contraceptive funding in his plan. This would include forms of birth control, which you seem to support. Family planning covers both birth control and abortion if necessary. Even if an idea like abstinence could be understood in impoverished nations, abortion should still remain an option for those mothers who would not be able to carry the fetus to term or could not provide for the child at that time. To take abortion off the table is to invite unsafe procedures into such countries, and that would obviously be a more dangerous direction for those nations to take.

    Clearly, no one here has actually spoken to someone who has gone through the process of having an abortion. If they had, they would know that no right-thinking person would consider abortion a type of birth control. It is a difficult procedure, one that takes a lot of thought, and expensive to boot. There are a variety of reasons for a woman to make the hard choice. None of them are considered with reckless abandon or irresponsibility. There is a difference between children who are wanted and children who are not because the mother has to divide her resources and provide for another organism for at least nine months. Because of the weight of that commitment, many women decide to end it before it begins or just after. They have that right, and do not deserve to have it taken away because others think differently about what action should be taken. True, all options should be taken into account before the woman chooses to abort. But to demand it not be available is a form of fascism, an oligarchy of a minority. You claim a human rights issue in abortion. I do as well.

    The bias I was suggesting was not one towards human rights; I think we all hold that particular one. You seem more interested in lauding George W. Bush and condemning Barack Obama than the issues you claim to discuss in this blog. Only pointing out one misstep in his Presidency that you barely gloss over is hardly fair when the rights of Americans were so carelessly stamped on by his policies. I doubt anyone reading this is going to find it difficult to glean who you really support(ed), and I don’t think that is particularly fair.

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Citizen

  11. A Concerned Citizen,

    As for the bias you say I have, read “The O. Presidency, What Obama is Doing Right” and “The W. Presidency, What Bush Did Wrong”

    I, through this blog, will not support either President 100% of time.
    I agree with Obama and Bush on Africa policy.
    I agree with Obama and disagree with Bush on Guantanamo Bay policy.
    I agree with Bush and disagree with Obama on Abortion policy.

    I posted two blogs on Bush, what he did Right and Wrong. Then, I posted one blog on Obama, and it was only about what he did Wrong. Thank you for pointing this out. I should have posted what Obama is doing Right shortly after what he is doing Wrong. Because of that mistake, it looked like I support(ed) Bush over Obama. That isn’t following my blogs mission statement. That is unfair. And I’m sorry.

    I posted a blog about Foreign Aid to Africa and what Obama is doing Right today, read it.
    One about Guantanamo Bay and President Obama will be up shortly, read it too.

    Now, this comment will be my last on this conversation, so here it is.

    First, you had the audacity to say, “Clearly, no one here has actually spoken to someone who has gone through the process of having an abortion.” Did you read Aggie Teacher or Jenny Hintzes comments? Have you spoken to someone who has gone through it? What were you thinking?
    Your attempt to defend your out-of-line “going to hell” comment was very well written. One problem, in this particular case, extrapolation = straw man and off topic.

    If the determining factor for if a human is a human and has rights is “dependency”, then people living with mental retardation and physical handicaps, those in nursing homes, and infants should all be terminated. Those people are entities that are fully dependent on the help of others for sustenance. So those that take care of them should be given the right to end the dependency. That is where that logic leads. That is not good.

    You said, “A fetus is not, nor can they be considered human until birth in my view.” That is your view, fair, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My view is different. I completely disagree with you, a human is a human from conception, and I will fight for their rights as well as the rights of the mother’s of those children. In this case, it’s not an “either or” it is a “both and”. My hope for our society is that we will take care of both the mother and the child.

    We should respect all human life and care deeply for each person. That is not a form of fascism or an oligarchy of a minority. That is a free and just society. That is We the People. People both visible and invisible, wanted and unwanted, independent and dependent.

    And to you, Concerned Citizen, no matter your beliefs about the world, politics, and religion, hear me on this. I think you have unbelievable worth and dignity and significance in this world and in the United States. It makes no difference to me how young or old you are, your location or circumstance, or your past history and intellectual ability. You matter to me, and I’m happy for the discussion we’ve had.

    Have a great day,
    -Jeff

    P.S. Another Concerned Citizen, I do believe that abortion is murder, so yes I want abortion to be made illegal. Once we make this progressive step towards human rights and make abortion illegal, the criminal penalty for those that break this law should lay with the doctors that perform them. If you punish the women having illegal abortions and not the doctors, then you aren’t stopping the problem. Those doctors will continue to abort children and break the law if they aren’t the ones criminally penalized. As for the exact punishment, I’m not completely sure what it should be.

  12. Jeff/Prustice,

    I think you glanced over my question:
    I’m assuming you’d want abortion to be made illegal. If so, what should be the penalty for women that have illegal abortions? It’s murder isn’t it? Would we put them to death? Life in prison?

  13. I know that you’re addressing Jeff directly with this question so I probably have no business giving my opinion on it. But, hey, that’s what blogs are for. I can’t tell you how Jeff would answer it but here’s my attempt. If abortion were ever made 100% illegal (which it probably never will be) those involved with doing it illegally would be subject to whatever punishment is determined fair and just by the legal system. I think we can all agree that there are crimes that are both under and over punished in our own opinions. It would take a lifetime or two to take something that is totally legal and accepted by society to completely illegal and punishable within the fullest extent of the law. I’m sure similar questions were asked of crimes committed against African Americans during our history. Because to take people who are stuck in a mindset of having the freedom to enslave or abuse another people group to a place of treating them with 100% equality is no easy process.

    To come to a place of consensus where people such as yourself, who believe infants can and sometimes should be terminated right up until their birth, and people like myself, who believe a human is entitled to it’s rights as a human at conception, is not something that’s likely to ever happen. There are still those today that believe an African American should not have the same rights as a non-African American. And I, of course, think that’s completely absurd. And a middle ground will not likely be found.

    And I have some questions for you, anonymous citizen. Are you a parent? Have you ever anticipated the birth of your child? Have you ever felt the kicks and hiccups of your son or daughter as they grow in the womb? Have you ever held your breath with a racing heart anticipating hearing the heartbeat of the child you have already given a name? Have you? Because until you have, you might consider the thought that you are speaking of something you can’t comprehend just yet.

  14. Another Concerned Citizen,
    I answered your question under P.S. of my last comment

  15. Firstly,

    I did not say “dependency” was the criterion for classification as a human being. I said there are a variety of characteristics that make something living, and others which make something human. The fetus does not hold many characteristics which define life, and none that define humanity. You latched onto my mention of dependency and pretended that was my criterion, when I only referred to it as a justification for the termination of a non-HUMAN life. Those with mental retardation and the handicapped obviously fall under the “human” category, as they hold a consciousness and self-awareness, whether inhibited or not.

    Since you want the procedure to be illegal, I suppose if the pregnancy endangered the health of the mother, you would not allow an abortion? Or would you, but then proceed to call for the physician’s incarceration? Or his execution, whatever punishment our legal system prescribes. I refuse to allow this. The comments made by Aggie Teacher and Jenny Hintze, one mentioning hearsay about abortion as birth control, the other arguing the basic line about adoption as another option, as if to say I’m against it, I did read.

    You also didn’t refute my point about the need for abortion as an option in developing nations. I’m perfectly fine with taking that as a concession. I would just prefer you didn’t patronize me when you find my positions intractable.

    And Mrs. Hintze, I find your comparison between this issue and the one for civil rights an unfounded and irrelevant one in this discussion. We are talking about non-sentient beings here and you act as if it is the same thing as denying fully adult humans their rights. As the fetus is completely and totally dependent on the mother for homeostasis, unlike the disabled who can function independently, the rights of the fetus are entirely within the scope of the mother. African-Americans are organisms which can live apart from the tyranny of slavery; they do not die if denied the ownership invoked before. Subtle suggestion that the pro-choice movement is anything like the plantation owners and segregationalists of the past is certainly the most “out of line” comment I’ve seen here. I’d ask for an apology, but I know better than to expect one from those who feel the need to invoke one of America’s darkest hours to attempt to prove a point.

    No, I am not a parent. I probably will not be for quite some time. However, this is precisely the reason why I do not presume to force my beliefs on those who are. Unlike you, I have no pedestal upon which to stand and claim one way of resolving a situation is more corrupt than another. Instead, I allow that there may be different opinions on the part of the rape victim or the pregnant teen, and I let them do what they feel is right. It is not my place to claim moral high ground when I am neither a parent nor a woman, so I am pro-choice. Do I believe there are better options? Yes. Do I want those options stressed as much as possible before an abortion is performed? Yes. But do I think that because of what I believe, a person should go through the pain and struggle of an unwanted pregnancy without any possibility of recovery? No, absolutely not. My inability to comprehend the experience of pregnancy is exactly why I refuse to impose my opinions on others. You may feel it is an injustice to abort a fetus, but as the right to give life falls squarely on the mother’s shoulders, it is her decision, and not yours, whether you agree with her choice or not. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Citizen

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