Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Very Sad, Very Timely

I woke up this morning, thought back over the past evening I had spent in front of the television, and felt sad. Many choices were made yesterday; we've made it clear what we as a people value most, and what – no, who – we are willing to sacrifice in a blind attempt to ensure a more comfortable future. Words from the Gospel of Luke came immediately to mind, and the thought that we can now substitute the names of many other cities for that of Jerusalem:
As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it…“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes…I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’…because you did not recognize the time of your visitation, of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 13:34-35; 19:41-44)
We sow the wind and reap…
Last year, on the 35th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, Barack Obama, our newly elected president released the following statement:
Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it's never been more important to protect a woman's right to choose. Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal [Partial Birth] Abortion Ban, and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women's health. With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women's fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.
Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.
He was simply reiterating a promise he made to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, six months before, when on July 17, 2007, he said, ”The first thing I'd do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

And what is the Freedom of Choice Act? California Senator Barbara Boxer, co-sponser of the bill, had earlier released a statement explaining that:
The Freedom of Choice Act supercedes any law, regulation or local ordinance that impinges on a woman’s right to choose. That means a poor woman cannot be denied the use of Medicaid if she chooses to have an abortion…abortions cannot be prohibited at public hospitals, giving women more choices than private clinics...we respect a woman’s ability to make her own decisions, and don’t force women to attend anti-choice propaganda lectures, which submits women to misleading information, the purpose of which is to discourage abortion. This means that women serving in our country in the military overseas would be able to afford safe abortions that can be performed in a military hospital.
Tax money, state and federal, would be mandated to fund abortions. Ask God to have mercy on us - that this be a campaign promise that our new president fails to keep; we already have too much blood on our hands.

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