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Change is Coming to United States Abortion Laws

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Commentary by Deal W. Hudson, www.insidecatholic.com  

December 15, 2008 (InsideCatholic.com) - Go to Change.gov, the Web site of President-elect Barack Obama, and you’ll find a document titled "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration." Signed by dozens of pro-abortion groups, including Catholics for Choice, this 55-page document provides an overview of the marching orders for the Obama administration in removing all present restrictions on abortions while dramatically increasing abortion funding.

Anyone who has bought into the myth that Obama is "moderating" his positions should notice that the first section is titled "Steps for the First Hundred Days." The groups that have spent millions supporting pro-abortion members of Congress, including Obama and Vice-President elect Joe Biden, aren’t in the mood to wait.

Many of the recommendations are about who gets government support. The pro-abortion groups not only want more money—nearly $3 billion—but they also want the government to stop funding groups who do not share their ideology.

For example, notice the following four recommendations out of the many contained in the document:
TM Provide $1 Billion for International Family Planning Programs
TM Restore Funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
TM Increase Funding for Title X Family Planning Program to $700 million
TM De-fund Abstinence-Only Programs

Taken together, the proposed policies would accomplish three things: 1) treat abortion as a health care right, 2) provide funding for abortions by insurance carriers or the government, and 3) put judges and political appointees in place who will protect abortion and government funding from future challenges.

Included in the document is a complete list of vacancies in the Federal Circuit Courts and a two-page list of federal appointees who should be vetted closely on their support for the abortion right. The bulk of these positions are found in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The billions being demanded for abortion funding will eventually flow unimpeded through these channels.

Assuming the new administration will do as bidden, Obama’s first term will see the end of the Mexico City Policy, the Hyde Amendment, the Kemp-Kasten amendment, the Weldon Amendment, restrictions on emergency contraception (Plan B), the termination of all abstinence-only programs, and reversal of the recent HHS regulation protecting pro-life physicians and institutions. Any present obstacle to the abortion right not covered by removing these restrictions, such as state laws requiring parental notification, would be covered by the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act.

The document rarely uses the word "abortion," relying primarily on phrases like the "health care needs of women" and "reproductive health services." Previous policies and legislation restricting abortion and its funding are referred as the product of "ideology" or a "political agenda." Nowhere is there any of the pre-election rhetoric about "dialogue" or "lowering" the number of abortions.

The attitude expressed in "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration" is anything but moderate—it is imperial, determined, and uncompromising. The fact that it is posted on the official Web site of the Obama-Biden transition is an unambiguous endorsement of its policy recommendations.

I would be surprised if the USCCB were not preparing some sort of statement urging the president-elect to reconsider acting upon the recommendations from the pro-abortion lobby.

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