By Michael Baggot

JOHNSTOWN, PA, April 1, 2008 ( – In a comment deemed insulting to single mothers and their children, presidential hopeful Barack Obama announced during a town hall meeting on Saturday that he did not want his children “punished with a baby.”

Following comments insisting that information on contraception be included alongside abstinence education, Obama stated, “I’ve got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16.”

On Monday, the Christian Defense Coalition issued a response criticizing Obama’s comments.

“Saying that single women could be ‘punished with a baby,’ is not only a slap in the face to every child born to a young mother, but it diminishes the great joy that children bring to their families regardless of the circumstances in which they were born.”

“In America, we should be working to help young babies that are born in challenging situations and offering assistance and hope to their mothers. We should not be condemning them by saying that somehow it has now become ‘punishment’ to have a child in this country,” stated Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition

Rev. Mahoney asked that Obama apologize for his Saturday comment and address “his anti-child and anti-compassion mind set.”

“What Senator Obama said and what he believes is clear – children are ‘miracles,’ but we have a problem when so many children are having children. As Senator Obama said on Saturday – and on many other occasions – parents have a responsibility to teach their children about values and morals to help make sure they are not treating sex casually,” Bill Burton, Obama’s national spokesman, told Christian Broadcast News.

Obama drew criticism in February for a statement that his biggest mistake as a Senator was his March 2005 vote for a Senate bill permitting Terri Shindler Schiavo’s parents and brother to make their case before federal courts to keep their brain-injured daughter alive via feeding tube.

“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.” Responded the Terri Shindler Schiavo Foundation.

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Watch Obama’s comments:

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