When Obama first announced his interest in running for president, I supported him. I feel that our country would benefit from having a leader of color, rather than the typical white Christian. He seemed like a very friendly gentlemen and well-spoken person who could be a wonderful president. I never vote based on first impression, however, so I began to research him–just to see what I could find on the surface for now. I was pleased with many of his views, until I ran into one that collided most unpleasantly with my morality.
Now, please understand that I am pro-choice. That does not mean that I am pro-abortion. I find abortion abhorable, but I don’t believe banning it is the best way to eliminate it. I believe a woman should have the right to chose abortion if she desires. I feel we would do better to lower the number of unwanted pregnancies and encouraging adoption instead. That seems to be working so far. I prefer not to take choice away. I would rather women chose to do the right thing than be forced to adhere to the ideals of others.
However, I do believe in restrictions on the practice. Obama does not. He goes so far as to have unbridled support even of partial-birth abortion. This is a procedure, performed in late-term pregnancies, where a fetus is extracted from the uterus via the birth canal by the legs. The head of the child is left inside the mother until after the infant’s brains have been sucked out. All the while the poor child is kicking and flailing. Many lives that are destroyed this way are past the point at which they are viable outside the womb.
I do not support a woman’s “right” to remove a healthy child, capable of living on its own, from her womb and kill it. If it’s at the point that you must induce labor, deliver part of the baby, and then end its life, you have waited too long. The point of perceived viability varies from state to state, with the average being about 24 weeks. Babies born after this time frame have a very real chance of survival after resuscitation and medical treatment in the NICU. Giving the child a chance at life by delivering it prematurely is preferable to killing hiim half-way through birth.
Premature birth is the number one cause of infant death. I would love to decrease the occurance of preterm labor, but not as much as I’d rather an unwanted baby have a chance at life. Since the ban, a pregnancy is continued as long as possible when the mother’s health is at stake. Labor is induced prematurely when waiting is no longer an option. Why we couldn’t have done that in the first place for women didn’t want to be mothers? We could have ended the pregnancies by premature delivery instead. The babies could have been sent to the NICU and then fastercare, and the mothers would still have been free of their “burden.”
John Edwards and Hillary Clinton do not support partial-birth abortion, unless the mother’s life is in danger. The bill did not have a clause protecting the right to terminate in those cases. A fetus is not viable outside the womb until the middle of the second trimester. A mother should have some option until that point, be it abortion or elective preterm delivery for the sake of her own health. She should also be able to terminate a grossly malformed fetus, though I myself might not make that choice.
I therefore understand and support the voting of Clinton and Edwards on that matter. Taking away choice shouldn’t mean stripping right to self-defense and to protect one’s own life as well. Certain circumstances must be taken into consideration. I am with Clinton and Edwards on that. I, however, cannot support Obama’s stance, which is not at all similar to that of the other Democratic candidates or my own.
Obama has made no statements suggesting support of any kind of limitations on abortion, even partial-birth abortion. He has repeatedly spoken in favor of it. This is one issue that I consider a deal-breaker, and because of it, I cannot vote for this man unless he changes his position. His lack of sympathy for tiny babes is too overpowering. The ban passed, so it’s a nonissue. His morality, however, remains relevant.
This man even voted against the “Induced Infant Liability Act!” It would have guaranteed medical treatment to infants who managed to survive an abortion near the end of a pregnancy. He stopped another bill similar to this from even receiving a hearing, that would have decreed that all live-born infants had the same rights whether their mothers wanted them or not. If he cares nothing for them, will he demand justice for infants whose mothers decide to kill them immediately after their birth? When a teen mother births unassisted in her bathroom and then discards the baby in the trash, will Obama demand justice? I could never stand behind a man who voted against protecting premature babies who survived an attempt to destroy their lives.
A man with no compassion for infant children is not the right person to lead our country, especially in this time of crisis. In this era, war is raging, and thousands are poor. Families are struggle, and hundreds of thousands are homeless because of Katrina. How can this man help us? He turned a deaf ear to the cries of premature babies, simply because their mothers did not want them. How can we expect him to care for other lives that have been devalued, such as abused or abandoned children?
About eighty percent of our population is against partial-birth abortion. I therefore highly doubt that Obama could win a presidential election. Nominating him as the Democratic candidate would be a mistake. He is a friendly, well-spoken man who is very educated. However, his support of completely unrestricted abortion practices will make it hard for many citizens to cast their votes for him at the polls. I cannot get behind him or see the vast majority of our population doing it either.
Clinton and Edwards are much better choices. They are pro-choice, but protective of babies. Each supports civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Both candidates have a new plan to end this war. We need a leader with balanced views and a warm heart now more than ever. We need someone that won’t divide us and isn’t for something that 80% of our population are against. We need someone who can unite us and care about every single citizen of our country. Obama is simply not the man for the job. He hasn’t got the heart for it.