Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Obama "Clarifies" Abortion Stance:

As noted here, the law governing late-term abortions, which has been upheld by the US Supreme Court, includes an exception for women who would suffer emotional or psychological harm if they were required to bring a pregnancy to term. Only Justices Scalia and Thomas opposed the exemption. Obama’s “serious clinical mental health diseases” criterion goes much further than the Supreme Court, which ruled that “[M]edical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional , psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well- being of the patient.” That allowance is intended to account not just for serious clinical diseases but for cases such as: A girl who was raped by a relative and couldn’t get to an abortion clinic or didn’t know she was pregnant; a woman whose fetus can’t possibly survive; or a girl who may commit suicide if forced to bring a child to term.

Obama could have clarified his position on abortion in a way that satisfied abortion-rights defenders. (One ardent Obama supporter outlines what she wishes he’d said here). Instead, he “clarified” by tying himself in rhetorical knots, implying that some women seek abortions because they’re “just feeling blue” in the process. I do a lot of things when I’m feeling blue—drinking, crying, and calling my mom come to mind—but I don’t think I’d hoof it to one of the two clinics in the country that still provide (extremely rare) late-term abortions just because I’m having a bad day.

6:21 AM