President Obama’s legacy teaches us that knowing when human rights begin should not be above the President’s pay grade.
Imagine for a moment that you are helping your friend move. You arrive and there are piles of boxes ready to be loaded onto the truck. Your friend tells you that one of the boxes has an antique vase inside worth $10,000.
But he can’t remember which one.
Would you simply shrug your shoulders, ignore the warning, and throw the boxes into the moving truck? I doubt it.
Even a busy candidate running for president would likely show more care for his friend’s expensive antique.
During the 2008 Election, Barack Obama and John McCain attended a presidential forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren. Pastor Warren asked Candidate Obama, “at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?” Obama answered, “Whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade.” Obama attempted to sound nuanced and balanced in his position. The question of when life begins is contentious and he wanted voters to believe that he would not decide. The reality, of course, is that President Obama spent the next eight years deciding when human rights begin and at what point children have value.
Unfortunately for the unborn, President Obama wasted no time ensuring that they would have no legal protections. The following is a partial list of executive actions and legislative initiatives in which President Obama decided that children in the womb were unworthy of human rights.
- Three days after taking office, President Obama reversed the long-standing “Mexico City Policy”that prevented organizations receiving foreign aid from using the funds for abortions.
- Federal funds made up 33% of Planned Parenthood’s budget in 2008. Today, they are nearly 50% their budget. When Congress attempted to strip Planned Parenthood of its funding in response to undercover videos released in 2015, President Obama fought back and threatened to veto any such legislation.
- Obama ensured that abortions would be funded through the passage of his signature healthcare bill, the Affordable Care Act. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 1000 Obamacare exchange plans cover abortion and are eligible for tax payer funding.
- The Department of Health and Human Services enacted a regulation that required employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, including abortifacient drugs. Religious aid organizations like Little Sisters for the Poor sued in federal court because providing such coverage violates their belief that unborn babies deserve human rights.
- President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation redefining the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on denying service or medical coverage due to a person’s “sex.” The new definition included protections for sexual reassignment surgery and abortion. Under the regulation, Christian medical organizations and professionals would be required to “perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions, regardless of their contrary religious beliefs or medical judgment."
- In 2013 and 2015, Congress considered banning abortions after twenty weeks gestation. Currently only six nations in the world allow abortions after twenty weeks without restriction. The proposed bills would have brought America’s abortion laws into closer alignment with the laws of Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, and France. Rather than supporting legal protections for the unborn that are embraced throughout the world, President Obama vowed to veto the bills.
If President Obama’s response to Pastor Warren was true, that he truly did not know when babies became worthy of human rights, why did he not show the least bit of interest in erring on the side of caution in these cases? Why insist on vetoing any restriction on abortion, when there was the possibility that abortion could violate human rights? After all, human life is far more valuable than a friend’s antique vase.
Uncertainty about when life begins should not mean uncertainty about the value of life itself.
Barack Obama was elected president by promising voters “hope and change.” His rallying cry of “Yes we can!” reassured voters that America did not need to be bogged down in the rebuilding of Iraq, a financial recession, or the march of global terror. Our best days as a nation were ahead of us. Despite his optimistic rhetoric, President Obama’s administration pursued and enacted some of the most pro-abortion policies in history and brought no hope to the more than eight million babies aborted since 2008.
The abortion industry entered 2008 wondering, “Can we reduce the legal rights of the unborn?” President Obama’s unspoken response appears to have been an enthusiastic, “Yes we can!”