Thursday, January 22, 2009

Change to believe in?

Among President Obama's first official acts scheduled perhaps as soon as today, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, will be ones destructive of human life. He will sign an executive order overturning the Mexico City policy, which was implemented by President Reagan to stop federal funding of international abortions. President Clinton overturned it his first few days in office, but President Bush had reinstated it. Now, American taxpayer dollars will once again be used to fund abortions and abortion advocacy abroad. Anyone who values the rights of the unborn has to feel grieved that we have changed from a president who understands what the culture of life is all about -- who knows that protecting the lives of the innocent and voiceless includes protecting the lives of the unborn -- to one who, far from recognizing the sanctity of human life, by his own account would work actively to entrench and expand abortion rights.

Relatedly, President Obama is also planning to reverse Bush's executive order banning federal (taxpayer) funds for embryonic stem cell research, which involves the creation and destruction of human embryos. Nevermind that such research is immoral, ineffective and unnecessary (adult stem cell research is far more promising and already effective, with no moral issues), as I've written about many times before, or that (for instance) in this economic climate federal money might better be spent elsewhere.

Finally, and again, Obama told Planned Parenthood last year that the first thing he'd do as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which supposedly would codify Roe, but would actually go far beyond that to wipe out all abortion laws in the country: parental notification laws, waiting periods, counseling laws, bans on partial-birth abortion, and so forth (all laws "interfering" with the right to abortion). It would allow taxpayer money to directly fund abortions through Medicaid by eliminating the Hyde Amendment. And it could threaten the right of conscience for Catholic hospitals and pro-life physicians not to perform abortions. In short, it's pretty much the most radical pro-abortion legislation we could have, and with a Democratic majority and a committed president, it's going to take tremendous effort on the part of Catholics and other pro-life supporters to fight it.

It's a terrible shame that, even in a year in which the bishops spoke out more than ever about the Church's clear teaching on abortion, around 54% of Catholic voters picked likely the most pro-abortion president we've ever had. Please pray for the marchers in the annual March for Life in Washington today, for the defeat of FOCA, and for the conversion of this president to recognize the value of unborn human life.

You can follow events from today's march at Blogs 4 Life or EWTN. (I just saw the Notre Dame right-to-life club go by in the crowd. Go Irish!) For media coverage of the march, which is usually quite lacking, keep an eye on Get Religion. Looks like the Post has an article for tomorrow planned, though nothing ran today. I should hope in this year the march gets more attention -- if nothing else, the arrival of the new administration, as the Post seems to have noted, provides a good hook.