Yesterday I got a fund-raising pitch for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, courtesy of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Along the way they expressed outrage that:
The othertake awayis that our opponents are ready to play dirty. CNN recently reported that an anti-choice group calling themselvesThe Real Truth About Obama, Inc., is trying toSwift BoatBarack Obama by running false adsin key states during theelectioneering communicationblackout period 60 days before the general election.
They link to a story on CNN Political Ticker as their source. Here’s what the story has to say about this terrible ad:
The Real Truth About Obama wants to post ads on its Web site and on the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity talk shows in key states during theelectioneering communicationblackout period 60 days before the general election. The ad features anObama-like voicesaying he would make taxpayers pay for all abortions, ensure minors’ abortions are concealed from their parents, appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices and legalize the late-term procedure that abortion opponents callpartial-birthabortion.
Let’s break this down and look at what, if CNN is reporting the contents correctly, the ad actually claims.
Barack Obama would make taxpayers pay for all abortions. — Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal healthcare programs from funding abortions. NARAL also opposes the Hyde Amendment. Obama’s opposition to the Hyde Amendment is one of the reasons that NARAL supports Obama’s candidacy.
All abortionsis no doubt wrong — even if the Hyde Amendment were repealed, it would mainly affect women receiving Medicaid, women in federal prisons, women in the military, and a few other groups of women who receive their healthcare coverage from the federal government. But since Obama, like most
progressives,believes in substantially expanding the scope of federally-funded healthcare programs, and believes in repealing the Hyde Amendment, he is also committed to believing that many if not most abortions should be paid for using federal tax dollars. I oppose federal funding of abortions because I oppose all federal funding of healthcare. But I see no reason to discriminate against abortion here as opposed to all other surgical procedures: if you believe strongly in making taxpayers pay for other people’s medical care, and you believe that abortion is a legitimate form of medical care, then why the hell wouldn’t you believe in making taxpayers pay for other people’s abortions?
Barack Obama would oppose laws requiring parental notification when minors get an abortion. — Of course Obama would oppose laws requiring parental notification when minors get an abortion. NARAL also opposes laws requiring parental notification when minors get an abortion. As well they should: parental notification laws, which treat young women as if their reproductive organs were the property of their parents, are tyrannical, foolish, and destructive invasions of young women’s freedom, as well as extremely dangerous for young women in abusive or unstable family situations.
Barack Obama would appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices. — Of course Obama would appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices. The fact that he would appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices is a large part of the reason that NARAL supports Obama’s candidacy. And for good reason: pro-choice Supreme Court justices are much less likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Barack Obama would work to repeal the federal ban on so-called
partial-birth abortion.— Obama voted against so-called
partial-birth abortionbans in the state legislature in Illinois and in the federal Senate. NARAL also opposes these bans, and the fact that Obama opposes them is one of the reason that NARAL supports Obama’s candiday. And for good reason: late-term abortion procedure bans are tyrannical, foolish, and destructive invasions of women’s rights to control their own bodies, and doctor’s rights to choose the safest available procedure for a late-term abortion. The bans endanger women’s health and criminalize doctors for practicing good medicine.
Swift Boating here, because the ad consists mainly of factual statements about Barack Obama’s positions — positions which Barack Obama is, in the main, right on, and which NARAL agrees he is right on. Of all the claims made in the ad, only one part of one of the claims actually attributes a position to Barack Obama which he does not hold. Only part of one of the claims attributes any claim to Obama that NARAL does not actually support. And only one of the claims attributes any claim to Obama which he is actually wrong to hold. The ad says a bunch of things about his view which are mostly true and which he is mostly right about. His views on these topics may be controversial, but they are only controversial among people who are already anti-abortion, or who are take-one-for-the-party doughfaces and useless hand-wringers without any consistent position. They are certainly not controversial within the pro-choice movement. And what the hell is the point of an outfit like NARAL if not to publicly support and agitate for controversial positions on behalf of the pro-choice movement, rather than pretending as if it were somehow bad to have those positions attributed to you?
A little courage of our convictions, please.