Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


In a National Catholic Reporter article, Doug Kmiec says the following:

The pro-abortion, even pro-infanticide, label tossed at Obama throughout the 2008 campaign was both unfair and contestable. The president is pro-decision-making by pregnant women, but he is not at all shy of saying how he hopes the decision would be made. Here is what the president said to the Domers:

"Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions. So let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women."

"Pro-decision-making by pregnant women." So this is how we, as defenders of the lives of children in the womb are to characterize the question of abortion? Someone like President Obama who would protect the lawfulness of deliberate feticide, enact policies to make it as widely available as possible, and support its funding with taxpayer money is not pro-abortion, he is merely "pro-decision-making by pregnant women"? Even when the decision (carefully left undescribed) is, in truth, a decision about whether to kill the child? It's this kind of abuse of language that people seem always to resort to when we want to obscure from view a deep injustice that is being done against our fellow human beings.

On the question of the fairness or unfairness of criticism of Barack Obama on abortion and infanticide, I would defy Doug or anyone else to identify errors of fact regarding what Obama has said and done in either of these two 2008 articles on the subject.

"Obama's Abortion Extremism":


"Obama and Infanticide":


What Yuval Levin and I report (and document) in these articles is either true or false. If it is false, the President's defenders should have no difficulty in exposing the falsehoods, since every point we address is a matter of public record.  If what we report is true, then it is the defenders---at least the ones who continue to regard themselves as pro-life---who have some explaining to do, not his pro-life critics.


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