After watching the President try and explain his abortion position during the entire campaign and do it in a way that neither infuriates his far left, liberal, pro abortion constituency nor his moderate, Christian and anti-abortion constituency, it is still difficult to understand what he really believes on the abortion issue.
His latest venture, signing an Executive Order to assure no federal funds in health care are used for abortions, a move required to get pro life votes necessary to save his health care extravaganza, was done in such a secret and unusual manner it shows how far from the issue he tries to remain. There was no press, no cameras, no public statement, no press release and just a handful of unidentified pro life members of Congress invited to the White House to witness the signing. It was a far cry from the hoopla over the nationally televised health care signing a couple of days earlier.
Yesterday his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs continued to downplay the event with the White House press corps who were insulted by being locked out of the event, in spite of the administration pledge of full transparency. Gibbs ignored the questions from the press and told them the White House photographer has a picture that could be used by the media, refusing to answer why Obama banned the press.
At least House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in the euphoria of getting health care approved, said that President Obama signing the anti-abortion Executive Order was a victory for life. Remember this was done for the group of Democrat pro life congressmen who opposed the health care bill because it did not make it clear no federal funding could be used for abortions. Once Obama took Congressman Bart Stupak for a ride on Air Force One the door was open to win over the group.
When Obama agreed to issue the Executive Order at the last moment before the health care vote because he did not have the votes to win without the pro lifers, it sealed the deal. But Gibbs said the Order was no big deal because it did nothing but say the president was abiding by the current federal abortion laws. He should also have said the president could change his mind any moment and cancel it, the next president could throw it out, or congress could even override it.
Yet the Washington Times reported that pro life groups are getting an unexpected boom from the fallout of the controversial Health Care law. They’ve been receiving contributions at the highest rate since the partial-birth abortion debates of the 1990s.
This following the deal struck by Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) regarding abortion funding in the new Health Care law. Stupak agreed on Sunday to vote for President Obama’s Health Care bill in return for an Executive Order maintaining the current levels of abortion funding.
According to the Washington Times, ‘The Susan B. Anthony List immediately stripped Rep. Stupak of a Defender of Life award it was planning to bestow on him Wednesday.’
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, called the deal 'unconscionable.' In an interview with CNCNews.com, Burch said 'The Executive Order is a band-aid solution that fails to solve the fundamental problems in this bill, and can be repealed at any time, for any reason, by the president or future presidents. The order is likely to be challenged by pro-abortion groups, and could be struck down by the courts.'
What is really discouraging is the failure of all politicians to really frame the abortion issue in terms anyone can understand. Try this. Since the 1973 Roe versus Wade decision, there have been FIFTY (50) MILLION abortions performed in the United States. That means over 1.3 million abortions are performed every year. Worldwide there have now been ONE BILLION legal abortions performed.
Advocates claimed abortion was needed in three cases, rape or incest, a threat to the health of the baby, or a threat to the health of the mother. History has proven them wrong. Multiple studies performed with the advantage of actual statistics show only 1% of all abortions resulted from rape or incest, just 2% resulted because of the health of the baby, and 2% resulted from the threat to the health of the mother. In other words the three major causes for passing Roe versus Wade actually represented no more than 5% of the total abortions performed.
Based on the claims in the debate over Roe versus Wade we should not even have a law since so few abortions performed meet the primary needs used to justify the law. However, there is another reason to reconsider the language of the law besides 50 million deaths and no justification for the law, that is what the law did do in the first place.
Roe versus Wade was a ruling by the Supreme Court that centrally held that a mother may abort her pregnancy for any reason, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable'". The Court defined viable as being potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. In 1973 viability usually occurred at about seven months (28 weeks) but might occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. Medical breakthroughs since the ruling and prenatal advances have demonstrated that the ability of the fetus to live outside the mother's womb can come at a much earlier time.
In fact just recently the youngest baby in history was delivered at 21 weeks and 6 days, survived and has now gone home to live a normal life. Amillia Sonja Taylor was born October 24, 2009 in Florida. She is living proof that Roe versus Wade is scientifically wrong, a baby can survive at 21 weeks, not 28 weeks.
Clearly the language of the law is flawed, so what should it be? Here is the test for all pro abortion groups who claim they really aren't advocating taking lives. There is one medical test widely accepted and upheld by the courts to establish that a human is legally alive or dead.
The Uniform Determination of Death Act, promulgated in 1980 and supported by the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, has served as a model statute for the adoption of state legislation that defines death. The act asserts: “An individual, who has sustained either irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brainstem, is dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.”
Since brain activity is the legal measure for the cessation of life, then it must also be the legally accepted measure of the beginning of life. A fetus becomes a living baby when brain activity can be first measured. According to established science with the use of an electroencephalogram, or EEG, activity in the brain can be detected as early as six weeks gestational age (6). Whether brain activity begins at this time or started earlier but becomes detectable at this time is uncertain; it is known that neural connections begin forming as soon as neurons begin forming, as early as 14 days gestation.
A Constitutional lawyer like President Obama should embrace scientific advances that have proven when brain activity is detected, at six weeks, and since the courts accept brain activity as a reliable measure of life or death, then life can be scientifically proven at six weeks.
Roe versus Wade, adopted nearly four decades ago, is medically and scientifically obsolete in the determination that life begins at 28 weeks. Responsible members of Congress and the White House should advocate, in the interest of scientific accuracy, a change in the law to reflect the latest scientific advances. With 50 million abortions already performed, do we really want to keep terminating the lives of babies we know are living beings?
Abortion is not a matter of pro choice when the baby being aborted is a living, human being in the eyes of science. Pro Life and Pro Choice advocates should join in seeking this correction of a flawed law and the Obama Administration and Congress should make it the law of the land.