President Obama has taken a lot of heat and hatred from Catholic Bishops as of late for his decision to expand women’s access to contraception, a move that members of the Catholic Church and the Republican Party claim is pro-abortion. Indeed, the Catholic hierarchy and conservative politicians such as Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and others seek to ban contraception and abortion services entirely based upon their twisted interpretation of the Bible.
So that makes Romney more pro-life than President Obama, right? Not so fast.
In an article published by the National Catholic Reporter, an independent news source, civil and canon attorney and Duquesne School of Law Professor Nicholas Cafardi deems President Obama the most pro-life candidate in the 2012 Presidential election. Sorry Romney supporters.
Cafardi didn’t just say this out of the blue either. In fact, he makes a compelling case based upon what Obama has done in his four years in office versus what Romney did as Governor of Massachusetts and what he is now advocating in his current policy.
According to Cafardi, even though President Obama is pro-choice, by providing hundreds of millions of dollars through the Affordable Care Act to help poor women, Obama is actually giving more women the ability to decide against abortion, therefore cutting the number of abortions.
“There is no doubt Obama is pro-choice, Cafardi writes. “He has said so many times. There is also no doubt Romney is running on what he calls a pro-life platform. But any honest analysis of the facts shows the situation is much more complicated than that. For example, Obama’s Affordable Care Act does not pay for abortions. In Massachusetts, Romney’s health care law does. Obama favors, and included in the Affordable Care Act, $250 million of support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion. This support will make abortions much less likely, since most abortions are economic. Romney, however, has endorsed Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan’s budget, which will cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the federal plans that support poor women. The undoubted effect: The number of abortions in the United States will increase. On these facts, Obama is much more pro-life than Romney.”
Cafardi then slams Mitt Romney in ways that should make not only the Catholic Church, but the Republican Party as well, cringe.
“But let’s not stop there. Obama does not financially profit from the abortion industry. Romney does. Bain Capital, in the time Romney was listed as its legal head and even when he was attending Bain board meetings, was an owner of Stericycle, a major disposer of the dead bodies of aborted children in the United States. Bain owned a share of Stericycle until 2004, selling its interest for a profit in the tens of millions of dollars. We can parse what Romney’s 1999 “retroactive retirement” from Bain means, but he still gets an annual payout from the firm. To the extent those dollars are part of Bain’s Stericycle profits, a strong argument exists that Romney is an abortion profiteer. How pro-life is that? And it has long been known that millions of Bain Capital’s original outside funding, solicited by Romney himself, came from wealthy El Salvadorian clans, some of whom, while they were funding Bain, were “ to right wing death squads.” Death squads killed tens of thousands of mostly poor people in El Salvador. They also killed priests, nuns and Archbishop Oscar Romero. How pro-life is that? How pro-life is taking the money of these people and doubling or tripling it for them? And did any of their Bain profits fund more death squads? Before we endorse Romney’s “pro-life” claims, isn’t it important for us to know that?”
In other words, Romney is not the pro-life candidate in this Presidential bout. Obama is. It should also be pointed out that because President Obama has given women greater access to contraceptives, he is giving women across the country more opportunity to prevent unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions. Simply by helping women prevent pregnancy in the first place, President Obama is preventing abortions. Romney on the other hand, would restrict contraception, which would lead to increased pregnancy rates and in turn, more abortions.
The choice is clear. President Obama has enacted policies that give poor women the financial and medical help they need which gives them the ability to carry pregnancies to term and raise children without worrying too much about how to afford caring for them properly. Obama’s contraception policy also gives women the ability to prevent pregnancy in the first place, and therefore prevents abortions as well. On the flip side, Romney is a man who wants to ban abortion, which will lead to more back alley abortions that cost lives. He’s also a man who will restrict access to preventative medicine women need to prevent unwanted pregnancy. That means more unwanted pregnancies and more back alley abortions. Romney also seems to pal around with right-wing death squads and he personally has profited from abortion. All of these things should make all conservatives take a closer look at their presidential nominee and the facts. If conservatives truly want to elect a President who will cut national abortion rates, they’ll vote for President Obama. That’s assuming they can get over their racism as well, of course.
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