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Barack Obama on Abortion

Democratic incumbent President; IL Senator (2004-2008)


ObamaCare asks insurance companies to provide contraceptives

In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. Because this is not just a health issue, it's an economic issue for women. It makes a difference. This is money out of that family's pocket. Romney not only opposed it, he suggested that in fact employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage. That's not the kind of advocacy that women need.
Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 16, 2012

Insurers must provide contraception, but not employers

For days, Obama had been hammered over a regulation in the health-care law that required religiously affiliated hospitals & universities to provide birth control for their female employees even if that conflicted with church teachings.

This week, he tried to end the debate with what he called an "accommodation." The employees still will be offered free birth-control coverage, but the benefit will come directly from their insurers, and no religious groups' money will be used.

The question now is whether the maneuver will tamp down the political fire. He appeared to have made progress, winning over the Catholic hospital association and Catholic Charities--although not the nation's bishops.

Evidence suggests that insurers will comply because providing birth-control coverage reduces overall costs (birth control is much cheaper than pregnancy). Obama waded into the details of the dispute himself and personally crafted the solution.

Source: Christi Parsons in Philadelphia Inquirer, "Birth Control" , Feb 12, 2012

Catholic Bishops rejected segregated abortion funds

Suddenly abortion, a long-dormant political issue in the mainstream, came back to the fore. At Ted Kennedy's funeral service Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston managed to work in a little lobbying on health care. O'Malley pulled the president aside and told him that the Catholic bishops were eager to back the bill but couldn't support anything that would open the way to abortions. Listening patiently, Obama had no idea how actively the Church was about to flex its muscles.

Shortly before the House bill reached the floor, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejected a compromise worked out by Congresswoman Lois Capps that would have segregated private funds for abortions from public money on a future health exchange. The bishops called that "money laundering."

Source: The Promise: Obama Year One, by Jonathan Alter, p.408 , May 18, 2010

2007 bill: discount contraceptives at college health clinics

Senator Obama's "Prevention Through Affordable Access Act," a 2007 bill aimed at boosting the price of Medicaid pays Schering-Plough. Obama's bill never went anywhere until Obama became president. Then it was stuck in the 2009 omnibus appropriations bill, and Obama signed it into law.

The liberal media hailed the measure as a victory for women's rights. Other standard media accounts claimed the measure "will allow pharmaceutical companies to once again supply college-health clinics with discounted birth-control pills and other contraceptives."

But this is misleading. There was no law keeping drug makers from selling their contraceptives to college students at discounted prices--known as "nominal pricing." The problem for the drug makers was that, under a 2005 law, if drug makers offered students a discount on contraceptives, they would also have to slightly discount the same drug to Medicaid. Thanks to Pres. Obama, they aren't "penalized" by Medicare anymore for offering college discounts.

Source: Obamanomics, by Timothy P. Carney, p. 94-95 , Nov 30, 2009

No litmus test; nominate to Court based on their fairness

Q: Could you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on Roe v. Wade?

McCAIN: I would never, and have never in all the years I’ve been there, imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the Court. That’s not appropriate to do.

OBAMA: Well, I think it’s true that we shouldn’t apply a strict litmus test and the most important thing in any judge is their capacity to provide fairness and justice to the American people. And it is true that this is going to be, I think, one of the most consequential decisions of the next president. It is very likely that one of us will be making at least one and probably more than one appointments and Roe vs. Wade probably hangs in the balance. I will look for those judges who have an outstanding judicial record, who have the intellect, and who hopefully have a sense of what real-world folks are going through.

Source: 2008 third presidential debate against John McCain , Oct 15, 2008

1990: Wrote law article that fetus cannot sue mother

As president of the Harvard Law Review and a law professor in Chicago, Barack Obama refined his legal thinking, but left a scant paper trail. His name doesn’t appear on any legal scholarship. But an unsigned--and previously unattributed-- 1990 article unearthed by Politico offers a glimpse at Obama’s views on abortion policy and the law during his student days, and provides a rare addition to his body of work.

The six-page summary considers the charged, if peripheral, question of whether fetuses should be able to file lawsuits against their mothers. Obama’s answer, like most courts’: No. He wrote approvingly of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the unborn cannot sue their mothers for negligence, and he suggested that allowing fetuses to sue would violate the mother’s rights and could, perversely, cause her to take more risks with her pregnancy.

Obama’s article, which begins on pg.823 of Vol.103 of the Harvard Law Review, is available in libraries.

Source: Politico.com, “Obama’s lost law review article” , Aug 22, 2008

FactCheck: Abortions HAVE gone down under Pres. Bush

Obama, who favors a legal right to abortion, noted that he was trying to “reduce the number of abortions.” But he went too far when he falsely accused President Bush of failing to meet that same goal, saying incorrectly that “over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down.”

This is an erroneous claim that we first tracked down and debunked more than three years ago when it was being repeated by Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton, among others.

The Guttmacher Institute, whose figures are cited regularly by both sides in the abortion debate, say on their Web site, “In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million abortions in 2000.”

There’s little to show the decline has come about because of anything President Bush did or didn’t do. In fact, the number of abortions in the U.S. has been falling steadily since the 1980s regardless of whether the person in the White House favored a legal right to abortion or opposed it.

Source: FactCheck.org analysis of 2008 Saddleback joint appearance , Aug 16, 2008

1997: opposed bill preventing partial-birth abortion

In 1997, Obama voted in the Illinois Senate against SB 230, a bill designed to prevent partial-birth abortions. In the US Senate, Obama has consistently voted to expand embryonic stem cell research. He has voted against requiring minors who get out-of-state abortions to notify their parents. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives Obama a 100% score on his pro-choice voting record in the Senate for 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238-239 , Aug 1, 2008

Opposed legislation protecting born-alive failed abortions

Obama has consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live. He insists that no restriction must ever be placed on the right of a mother to decide to abort her child.

On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois senator who rose to speak against a bill that would have protected babies who survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to object that if the bill passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would "forbid abortions to take place." Obama further explained the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a late-term labor-induced abortion had a right to live, "then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238 , Aug 1, 2008

Ok for state to restrict late-term partial birth abortion

On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I’ve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn’t have that.

Part of the reason they didn’t have it was purposeful, because those who are opposed to abortion have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral. Oftentimes what they were trying to do was to polarize the debate and make it more difficult for people, so that they could try to bring an end to abortions overall.

As president, my goal is to bring people together, to listen to them, and I don’t think that’s any Republican out there who I’ve worked with who would say that I don’t listen to them, I don’t respect their ideas, I don’t understand their perspective. And my goal is to get us out of this polarizing debate where we’re always trying to score cheap political points and actually get things done.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series , Apr 27, 2008

We can find common ground between pro-choice and pro-life

Q: The terms pro-choice and pro-life, do they encapsulate that reality in our 21st Century setting and can we find common ground?

A: I absolutely think we can find common ground. And it requires a couple of things. It requires us to acknowledge that..

  1. There is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tamp down. I think that’s a mistake because I think all of us understand that it is a wrenching choice for anybody to think about.
  2. People of good will can exist on both sides. That nobody wishes to be placed in a circumstance where they are even confronted with the choice of abortion. How we determine what’s right at that moment, I think, people of good will can differ.
And if we can acknowledge that much, then we can certainly agree on the fact that we should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion.
Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

Undecided on whether life begins at conception

Q: Do you personally believe that life begins at conception?

A: This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. I think it’s very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don’t presume to know the answer to that question. What I know is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we’re having these debates.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

Teach teens about abstinence and also about contraception

We’ve actually made progress over the last several years in reducing teen pregnancies, for example. And what I have consistently talked about is to take a comprehensive approach where we focus on abstinence, where we are teaching the sacredness of sexuality to our children.

But we also recognize the importance of good medical care for women, that we’re also recognizing the importance of age-appropriate education to reduce risks. I do believe that contraception has to be part of that education process.

And if we do those things, then I think that we can reduce abortions and I think we should make sure that adoption is an option for people out there. If we put all of those things in place, then I think we will take some of the edge off the debate.

We’re not going to completely resolve it. At some point, there may just be an irreconcilable difference. And those who are opposed to abortion, I think, should continue to be able to lawfully object and try to change the laws.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

GovWatch: Obama’s “present” votes were a requested strategy

“In the Illinois state legislature, Obama voted ‘present” instead of “no’ on five horrendous anti-choice bills.”
--E-mail from NOW attacking Sen. Obama’s record on abortion issues.

The National Organization for Women has strongly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. A chain e-mail denounced Obama’s record on abortion, citing his “present” votes on a succession of bills sponsored by anti-abortion activists.

The Facts: Under the rules of the Illinois legislature, only yes votes count toward passage of a bill. Planned Parenthood calculated that a ‘present’ vote by Obama would encourage other senators to cast a similar vote, rather than voting for the legislation [and asked Obama to vote ‘present’ as a strategy]. NOW never endorsed the Planne Parenthood strategy of voting ‘present,’ saying “They were horrible bills, and we wanted no votes.” Illinois NOW and Planned Parenthood had different voting strategies on the abortion issue. It was impossible for Obama to satisfy both groups at once.

Source: GovWatch on 2008 NOW pro-Clinton campaign literature , Feb 6, 2008

Expand access to contraception; reduce unintended pregnancy

AT A GLANCEOBAMA’S PLANOBAMA RECORD
Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 35-36 , Feb 2, 2008

Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases

Barack Obama believes we owe it to the American public to explore the potential of stem cells to treat the millions of people suffering from debilitating and life threatening diseases. Stem cells hold the promise of treatments and cures for more than 70 major diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes. As many as 100 million Americans may benefit from embryonic stem cell research. As president, Obama would: Obama introduced legislation in the Illinois Senate to ensure that only those embryos that would otherwise be discarded could be used and that donors would have to provide written consent for the use of the embryos.
Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, BarackObama.com “Flyers” , Aug 26, 2007

Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion

Q: What us your view on the decision on partial-birth abortion and your reaction to most of the public agreeing with the court’s holding?

A: I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. And I think that’s where most Americans are. Now, when you describe a specific procedure that accounts for less than 1% of the abortions that take place, then naturally, people get concerned, and I think legitimately so. But the broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? And I trust them to do it. There is a broader issue: Can we move past some of the debates around which we disagree and can we start talking about the things we do agree on? Reducing teen pregnancy; making it less likely for women to find themselves in these circumstances.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC , Apr 26, 2007

Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters

[An abortion protester at a campaign event] handed me a pamphlet. “Mr. Obama, I know you’re a Christian, with a family of your own. So how can you support murdering babies?”

I told him I understood his position but had to disagree with it. I explained my belief that few women made the decision to terminate a pregnancy casually; that any pregnant woman felt the full force of the moral issues involved when making that decision; that I feared a ban on abortion would force women to seek unsafe abortions, as they had once done in this country. I suggested that perhaps we could agree on ways to reduce the number of women who felt the need to have abortions in the first place.

“I will pray for you,” the protester said. “I pray that you have a change of heart.” Neither my mind nor my heart changed that day, nor did they in the days to come. But that night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer of my own-that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that had been extended to me.

Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.197-8 , Oct 1, 2006

Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism

When we get in a tussle, we appeal to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution’s ratifiers to give direction. Some, like Justice Scalia, conclude that the original understanding must be followed and if we obey this rule, democracy is respected.

Others, like Justice Breyers, insist that sometimes the original understanding can take you only so far--that on the truly big arguments, we have to take context, history, and the practical outcomes of a decision into account.

I have to side with Justice Breyer’s view of the Constitution--that it is not a static but rather a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.

I see democracy as a conversation to be had. According to this conception, the genius of Madison’s design is not that it provides a fixed blueprint for action. It provides us with a framework and rules, but all its machinery are designed to force us into a conversation.

Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p. 89-92 , Oct 1, 2006

Moral accusations from pro-lifers are counterproductive

Q: [to Keyes]: Doesn’t your pro-life stance conflict with your support of the death penalty?

KEYES: It doesn’t conflict at all. Abortion and capital punishment are at different level of moral concern. Abortion is intrinsically, objectively wrong and sinful whereas capital punishment is a matter of judgment, which is not in and of itself a violation of moral right. The question of whether or not you should apply capital punishment depends on circumstances and it’s an area where Catholics have a right to debate and disagree.

OBAMA: Now I agree with Mr. Keyes that the death penalty and abortion are separate cases. It’s unfortunate that with the death penalty Mr. Keyes respects that people may have a different point of view but with the issue of abortion he has labeled people everything as terrorists to slaveholders to being consistent with Nazism for holding an opposing point of view. That kind of rhetoric is not helpful in resolving a deeply emotional subject.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes , Oct 21, 2004

Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill

State Senator Barack Obama today called for passage of the Ronald Reagan Biomedical Research Act (HB 3589), which will permit embryonic stem cell research in Illinois. The bill, formerly known as the Stem Cell Research Act, was recently renamed to honor the memory of former President Ronald Reagan.

The Ronald Reagan Biomedical Research Act specifically permits embryonic stem cell research in Illinois. Today, more than 100 million Americans are afflicted by medical problems [which could be affected by this research]. Obama says, “This bill affects diseases that attack Americans - regardless of their gender, age, economic status, ethnicity, race or political affiliation. This is about a commitment to medical research, under strict federal guidelines. I call on leaders in Illinois and President Bush in Washington to stop playing politics on this critical issue and expand the current policy on embryonic stem cell research so that we can begin finding the cures of tomorrow today.”

Source: Press Release, “Stem Cell Research Bill” , Jun 16, 2004

Protect a woman’s right to choose

For almost a decade, Obama has been a leader in the Illinois legislature in the battle to protect a woman’s right to choose and promote equal economic rights and opportunities.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, ObamaForIllinois.com , May 2, 2004


Barack Obama on Voting Record

Blocked IL law: Born Alive Infant Protection Act

Revealing that their religious beliefs meant less to them than their political beliefs, a majority of Catholics in 2008 voted for a man who captured the endorsement of the National Abortion Rights Action league in a race against Hillary Clinton. Obama supported partial-birth abortion, in which the baby's skull is sliced open with scissors in the birth canal and the brains sucked out to ease its passage.

In the Illinois legislature, Obama blocked the proposed Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a bill to protect infants who survive abortion. He promised supporters he would sign a "Freedom of Choice Act" to repeal all legislated restrictions on abortion, state and federal. Taking office, he opened the door to federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and , by executive order, repealed the Reagan-Bush prohibition against using tax dollars to fund agencies broad that perform abortions.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p.100 , Oct 18, 2011

Opposed born-alive treatment law because it was already law

McCAIN: Sen. Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, voted against a law that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion. He voted against that. Then there was another bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the state of Illinois not that long ago, where he voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion. That’s a matter of his record.

OBAMA: If it sounds incredible that I would vote to withhold lifesaving treatment from an infant, that’s because it’s not true. There was a bill that said you have to provide lifesaving treatment. The fact is that there was already a law on the books in Illinois that required providing lifesaving treatment, which is why not only myself but pro-choice Republicans and Democrats voted against it. With respect to partial-birth abortion, I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, as long as there’s an exception for the mother’s health and life, and this bill did not contain that exception

Source: 2008 third presidential debate against John McCain , Oct 15, 2008

Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007

Sen. Obama received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.
Source: NARAL voting record, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org , Jan 1, 2008

Voted against banning partial birth abortion

Obama’s record in Illinois represents that of a pragmatic progressive, who pushed for moderate reforms and opposed right-wing legislation. In the IL legislature, voting “present” is the equivalent of voting “no” because a majority of “yes” votes are required for passage. Many IL legislators use the “present” vote as an evasion on an unpopular choice, so that they can avoid being targeted for voting “no.” During the 2004 Democratic primary, an opponent mocked Obama’s “present” vote on abortion bills with flyers portraying a rubber duck and the words, “He ducked!”.

In 1997, Obama voted against SB 230, which would have turned doctors into felons by banning so-called partial-birth abortion, & against a 2000 bill banning state funding. Although these bills included an exception to save the life of the mother, they didn’t include anything about abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother. The legislation defined a fetus as a person, & could have criminalized virtually all abortion.

Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.147-148 , Oct 30, 2007

Supports Roe v. Wade

Abortions should be legally available in accordance with Roe v. Wade.
Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP.

CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To require that legislation to reauthorize SCHIP include provisions codifying the unborn child regulation. Amends the definition of the term "targeted low-income child" to provide that such term includes the period from conception to birth, for eligibility for child health assistance.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ALLARD: This amendment will codify the current unborn child rule by amending the SCHIP reauthorization reserve fund. This amendment will clarify in statute that the term "child" includes the period from conception to birth. This is a pro-life vote.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO: Sen. FEINSTEIN: We already clarified SCHIP law that a pregnant woman's coverage under SCHIP law is optional. We made it obligatory so every pregnant woman has the advantage of medical insurance. This amendment undoes that. It takes it away from the woman and gives it to the fetus. Now, if a pregnant woman is in an accident, loses the child, she does not get coverage, the child gets coverage. We already solved the problem. If you cover the pregnant woman, you cover her fetus. What Senator Allard does is remove the coverage from the pregnant woman and cover the fetus.LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 46-52

Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4233 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S081 on Mar 14, 2008

Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion.

CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To increase funding for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions consistent with the Child Custody Protection Act.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment enables enforcing the Child Custody Protection Act, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion by a vote of 65 to 34. Too many times we enact laws, and we do not fund them. This is going to set up funding so the law that says we are going to protect young children from being taken across State lines to have a surgical abortion--we are going to make sure those people are protected. OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BOXER: We already voted for $50 million to enhance the enforcement of child protective laws. If Sen. Ensign's bill becomes law, then that money is already there to be used for such a program. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 49-49 (1/2 required, or 50 votes; Sen. Byrd & Sen. McCain absent)

Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4335 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S071 on Mar 13, 2008

Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.

Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
  1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
  2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
  3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
  4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.

Opponents support voting NO because:

A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.

The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?
Status: Vetoed by Pres. Bush Bill passed, 63-34

Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill S.5 & H.R.3 ; vote number 2007-127 on Apr 11, 2007

Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.

This bill prohibits taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to save the life of the minor. Authorizes any parent to sue unless such parent committed an act of incest with the minor. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on a physician who performs an abortion on an out-of-state minor in violation of parental notification requirements in their home state.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

This bill deals with how young girls are being secretly taken across State lines for the purpose of abortion, without the consent of their parents or even the knowledge of their parents, in violation of the laws of the State in which they live. 45 states have enacted some sort of parental consent laws or parental notification law. By simply secreting a child across State lines, one can frustrate the State legislature's rules. It is subverting and defeating valid, constitutionally approved rights parents have.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Some States have parental consent laws, some don't. In my particular State, it has been voted down because my people feel that if you ask them, "Do they want their kids to come to their parents?", absolutely. But if you ask them, "Should you force them to do so, even in circumstances where there could be trouble that comes from that?", they say no.

This bill emanates from a desire that our children come to us when we have family matters, when our children are in trouble, that they not be fearful, that they not be afraid that they disappoint us, that they be open with us and loving toward us, and we toward them. This is what we want to have happen. The question is: Can Big Brother Federal Government force this on our families? That is where we will differ.

Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill S.403 ; vote number 2006-216 on Jul 25, 2006

Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives.

Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget that allocates $100 million for the prevention of unintended pregnancies. A YES vote would expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care. A YES vote would:
Reference: Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services; Bill S.Amdt. 244 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-75 on Mar 17, 2005

Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women.

Obama introduced expanding contraceptive services for low-income women

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Amends Medicaid to:

  1. prohibit a state from providing for medical coverage unless it includes certain family planning services and supplies; and
  2. include women who are not pregnant but who meet income eligibility standards in a mandatory "categorically needy" group for family planning services purposes.

EXCERPTS OF BILL:

    Congress makes the following findings:
  1. Rates of unintended pregnancy increased by nearly 30% among low-income women between 1994 and 2002, and a low-income woman today is 4 times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy as her higher income counterpart.
  2. Abortion rates decreased among higher income women but increased among low income women in that period, and a low income woman is more than 4 times as likely to have an abortion as her higher income counterpart.
  3. Contraceptive use reduces a woman's probability of having an abortion by 85%.
  4. Levels of contraceptive use among low-income women at risk of unintended pregnancy declined significantly, from 92% to 86%.
  5. Publicly funded contraceptive services have been shown to prevent 1,300,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and in the absence of these services the abortion rate would likely be 40% higher than it is.
  6. By helping couples avoid unintended pregnancy, Medicaid-funded contraceptive services are highly cost-effective, and every public dollar spent on family planning saves $3 in the cost of pregnancy-related care alone.The Social Security Act is amended by adding [to the Medicaid section] the following: COVERAGE OF FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES AND SUPPLIES -- a State may not provide for medical coverage unless that coverage includes family planning services and supplies.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Finance; never came to a vote.

    Source: Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act (S.2916/H.R.5795) 06-S2916 on May 19, 2006

    Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.

    Obama scores 0% by the NRLC on abortion issues

    OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:

    About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):

    The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense. The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

    The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.

    In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.

    Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006

    Ensure access to and funding for contraception.

    Obama co-sponsored ensuring access to and funding for contraception

    A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care. The Congress finds as follows:

    1. Healthy People 2010 sets forth a reduction of unintended pregnancies as an important health objective to achieve over the first decade of the new century.
    2. Although the CDC included family planning in its published list of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century, the US still has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among industrialized nations.
    3. Each year, 3,000,000 pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies, in the US are unintended, and nearly half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.
    4. In 2004, 34,400,000 women, half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.
    5. The US has the highest rate of infection with sexually transmitted diseases of any industrialized country. 19 million cases impose a tremendous economic burden, as high as $14 billion per year.
    6. Increasing access to family planning services will improve women's health and reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy, abortion, and infection with sexually transmitted diseases. Contraceptive use saves public health dollars. For every dollar spent to increase funding for family planning programs, $3.80 is saved.
    7. Contraception is basic health care that improves the health of women and children by enabling women to plan and space births.
    8. Women experiencing unintended pregnancy are at greater risk for physical abuse and women having closely spaced births are at greater risk of maternal death.
    9. A child born from an unintended pregnancy is at greater risk of low birth weight, dying in the first year of life, being abused, and not receiving sufficient resources for healthy development.
    Source: Prevention First Act (S.21/H.R.819) 2007-HR819 on Feb 5, 2007

    Other candidates on Abortion: Barack Obama on other issues:
    Incumbents:
    Pres.Barack Obama
    V.P.Joe Biden
    GOP Candidates:
    Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
    Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
    Third Party Candidates:
    Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)
    Roseanne Barr(PF)
    Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
    Jill Stein(G)
    Andre Barnett(Ref.)

    GOP Withdrawals:
    Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
    Herman Cain(GA)
    Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
    Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
    Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
    Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
    Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
    Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
    Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
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    Page last updated: Jan 22, 2013