This far-right notion that people go out essentially cheerleading for abortions is nothing short of asinine. Yet, as Fox News continues to inject steroids into this anti-President Obama story at Notre Dame, that is precisely what we’re left with: asinine, anti-President Obama garbage.
This is from Fox News:
Rev. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, told “FOX News Sunday” that the reason students and Catholic leaders are protesting Notre Dame’s decision to award an honorary degree to Obama is because they believe it’s the latest indication that the country is “trivializing abortion.”
Pavone was reacting to a new Gallup poll that shows more Americans calling themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice,” by 51-to-42 percent, for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995. A recent FOX News poll also showed more people describing themselves as pro-life for the first time since 2004.
“The nation is becoming more and more pro-life and they’re realizing that … abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy is just not where the American people are today, it’s not where they’ve ever been,” Pavone said. “The president’s position on this is in the minority.”
First, I think most people want to see as few abortions as possible. However, not all people are willing to take away a woman’s right to choose (her reproductive freedom). I would want to see more data from that poll before I would make any kind of a sweeping judgment. What’s in the minority is people who stand at clinics and harass women making a deeply personal and painful decision.
First off, Obama’s stance on abortion:
“I don’t know anybody who is pro-abortion. I think it’s very important to start with that premise. I think people recognize what a wrenching, difficult issue it is. I do think that those who diminish the moral elements of the decision aren’t expressing the full reality of it. But what I believe is that women do not make these decisions casually, and that they struggle with it fervently with their pastors, with their spouses, with their doctors.
“Our goal should be to make abortion less common, that we should be discouraging unwanted pregnancies, that we should encourage adoption wherever possible. There is a range of ways that we can educate our young people about the sacredness of sex and we should not be promoting the sort of casual activities that end up resulting in so many unwanted pregnancies.
“Ultimately, women are in the best position to make a decision at the end of the day about these issues. With significant constraints. For example, I think we can legitimately say — the state can legitimately say — that we are prohibiting late-term abortions as long as there’s an exception for the mother’s health. Those provisions that I voted against typically didn’t have those exceptions, which raises profound questions where you might have a mother at great risk. Those are issues that I don’t think the government can unilaterally make a decision about. I think they need to be made in consultation with doctors, they have to be prayed upon, or people have to be consulting their conscience on it. I think we have to keep that decision-making with the person themselves.”
I think President Obama’s stance is easily within the mainstream. Like a lot of people, he wants abortions safe, legal, rare and in the hands of people who know what’s best for them and their body. This is not to start a debate about abortion, but to debunk this notion that the president wants to run around encouraging people to have abortions or that people who are pro choice are pro abortion (a term designed to scare that is oftentimes used by pro-life people). My point is to point out that the president is not trying to cheer on women to have abortions. He understands how painful and personal a decision that is for women and for families. My point is to make sure that the president’s stance is a little better understood because his position is the position of a lot of people in this nation.
Leave it to Fox News to push this story because of its right-wing stance on the issues. Obviously, Fox is playing up the Gallup poll because it suits their conservative interests. And, the ability to tie it to this commencement address has to almost feel like Christmas in May for the conservatives at Fox News (they can trash Barack Obama, stand up as pro life, cite this poll that they like and create news).