The 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision (January 22), a beautifully written speech and the moral status of this country have been weighing heavily on my mind.
Shortly after the massacre in Newtown, President Obama gave an incredibly moving speech. In it, he spoke of the importance and necessity of protecting our nation’s children. He stated, “This is our first task—caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.”
I know Sandy Hook affected the President with the same shock, sadness and grief as the rest of the country and world. I don’t doubt that he felt the same sting of fear and horror that the rest of America’s parents felt that day. And I want to believe that the President truly does see the necessity in protecting the lives of all American children. Yet there is a stumbling block that prevents me from grasping Barack Obama’s sudden apparent concern for life: his radical pro-abortion views.
For once, I agree with Barack Obama when he says that “caring for our children” is our “first job.” Our society will, and should, be judged for how we treat the most vulnerable members of society. Yet I am confused as to how America’s children can truly be cared for when the termination of preborn lives is widely accepted and encouraged, and when our nation’s leader has no shame when it comes to supporting pro-abortion legislation. I recall Obama stating his support for abortion because, if his daughters “made a mistake,” he would not want them “punished with a baby.” Michelle Obama lobbied for the legality of partial birth abortions, which she actually considers a “legitimate medical procedure.” Barack Obama voted three times against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have had no bearing on the “rights of the mother” but would provide medical care to babies who survived abortions. While arguing against legislation in the Illinois General Assembly, he referred to a newborn baby as a “fetus outside the womb.” Obama opposes a ban on partial birth abortions. He opposes a ban on sex-selective abortions, and he supported funding groups that support abortion overseas.
I am incredulous as to how one can state support and dedication to protecting children in an eloquent speech when that individual has spent much of his political career supporting abortion in the name of “choice” and “women’s health.”
In his speech at the Sandy Hook vigil, Obama posed a series of questions:
“…can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?”
Regardless of how many executive orders controlling firearms are signed in the name of protecting children, the answer to these questions will still be a resounding no. We cannot say we’re doing enough to keep all of America’s children safe when partial birth abortions are considered legitimate medical procedures—and when, according to recent statistics, an abortion stops a beating heart every 96 seconds. How can we let children know how much they are loved when, at the earliest stages of their development, many consider them a “choice” or a “fetus” or “blob of cells” rather than a human being? To quote Mother Theresa, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.” When a country accepts the termination of life for the sake of convenience or choice, how can that country possibly even begin to teach their youngest citizens the very meaning of love?
Abortion itself is the antithesis of “[giving] all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose.”
Many of the children at Sandy Hook were around six to ten years old. I don’t doubt the President’s sentiments and well-intentioned efforts to increase safety for America’s young children, but the fact is that six to ten years ago, the children of Sandy Hook would have been little more to the President than a “choice” or a “fetus.”
The widespread acceptance of abortion has severely bruised humanity. It’s created a culture that does not treat life as sacred, precious, and miraculous—but as disposable, a choice, a burden, and a medical problem with a medical solution. Perhaps nearly as bruising is the hypocrisy in one moment signing executive orders in the name of children’s lives, but having argued, in the past, against medical help for babies who survive abortions on the floor of the General Assembly.
After signing his recent gun control executive orders, the President said: “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation… When it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. Let’s do the right thing.”
It is our responsibility to protect the “most vulnerable among us,” to speak for those who cannot yet speak for themselves. Life is always sacred, not just when it makes a convenient political point.
Sarah Hinds | Lindenwood University | @Sarah_Hinds76