By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2008 ( – Barack Obama, the young, dynamic contender for the US Democratic presidential nomination, is continuing to send strong signals to members of his party that he is the strongest anti-life candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

At the last Democratic debate before the March 4 primary showdown in Texas and Ohio that could effectively decide the Democratic nominee, both Sen. Hillary Clinton – a fierce abortion supporter who is aspiring to be the first female president of the United States – and Sen. Obama – who is vying to be the first black US president – were asked which votes they would take back in their senatorial careers. Clinton cited her vote for the Iraq war; Obama said his vote for Terri Schiavo.

“It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped. And I think that was a mistake,” Obama said at the debate. “And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better … and I think that’s an example of inaction, and sometimes that can be as costly as action.”

Obama was referring to his vote in March 2005, when the Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent that permitted Schiavo’s parents and brother to make their case before federal courts to keep their brain-injured daughter alive via feeding tube. Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael, who had guardianship over her while engaged in public adultery with a girlfriend, had a state judge remove her feeding tube, dehydrating her to death, because he claimed she never wanted to live in a so-called persistent vegetative state (PVS).

“Everyone with a disability, or who knows someone with a disability, should be outraged that a potential US president would so callously reject his own action taken in favor of life over death,” Terri’s father, Robert Schindler said in a statement released to the press by the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. “Is it so incredulous that a family had the ‘audacity of hope’ to believe its government would care about one profoundly disabled woman? It is a shame that Senator Obama, who claims to embody ‘hope,’ is crushing it for the families of people with profound disabilities.”

Obama has been riding a surge of support and enthusiasm among Democratic voters after having won 11 straight primary contests over Clinton. He leads the delegate count, and now seems poised to take the nomination from Clinton.

However, Obama has been seizing the mantle of the Democratic Party’s pro-death wing, where once Clinton held an unassailable position as all-but crowned abortion nominee. Despite the fact that 10 influential feminists and leaders of the abortion movement endorsed Clinton last week, Frances Kissling, former president of the abortion advocacy group Catholics for Free Choice and dubbed the “philosopher of the pro-choice movement”, came out strongly in favor of Obama, saying that he, not Clinton was the better candidate to “complete the social transformation promised by Roe.” (

Obama has an extremely anti-life record that verges into the realm of condoning infanticide, including repeated votes during his career in the Illinois Senate against bills that would have protected babies that survived an abortion. Obama voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act numerous times on the basis that it might infringe on women’s rights or abortionists’ rights.

“Thanks to all of you at Planned Parenthood for all the work that you are doing for women all across the country and for families all across the country-and for men, who have enough sense to realize you are helping them, all across the country,” Obama told supporters.

In a speech to Planned Parenthood activists in July 2007, Obama made clear that he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act to enshrine Roe in federal law, include Planned Parenthood in a universal health-care scheme, increase funding for sex-education and contraceptives, and select judges in the mold of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Pro-life advocates may discover that Barack Obama’s rhetorical abilities may make him a more powerful abortion president than the acrimonious Hillary Clinton, who, despite having more political accomplishments as First Lady and a US Senator for the abortion movement, has suffered considerably in the polls in part to her inability to overcome Obama’s charm and oratory skill.

“I am absolutely convinced that culture wars are so nineties; their days are growing dark, it is time to turn the page,” Obama said in July. “We want a new day here in America. We’re tired about arguing about the same ole’ stuff. And I am convinced we can win that argument.”

See related coverage by

“Philosopher of Abortion Movement” Says Obama A Better Choice than Hillary

See transcript of Obamaa’s speech to Planned Parenthood in 2007

Schiavo Foundation Laments Obama’s “Mistake” Comment on Terry Schiavo