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Obama criticizes McCain’s pro-life record

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Democrat Barack Obama June 16 criticized John McCain’s pro-life record, saying female voters likely won’t vote for the presumptive Republican nominee in part because of his record on abortion.

Obama made the comments to ABC News in response to a question about McCain reaching out to female voters — particularly supporters of former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“I think John McCain is going to have trouble making the case, when on almost every single issue that’s important to women, he’s been on the wrong side,” Obama said. “You know, he is in favor of judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade.”

But Obama’s assumption about women’s beliefs on abortion is being challenged by a new generation of women who are opposed to abortion and favor overturning Roe v. Wade. One such woman is Kristi Burton, a 20-year-old pro-life activist who was the architect of a proposed personhood amendment that will be on the ballot in Colorado this fall. If passed, the constitutional amendment would give legal protections to any unborn baby from the moment of conception. (More information is available at ColoradoForEqualRights.com.)

“Yes, we are seeing a definite growth in the movement of pro-life women,” Burton told Baptist Press. “Countless women who once had an abortion have now changed their minds because of the effect that abortion had on their lives. They continually say, ‘If only someone had told me the truth that my unborn child really was a person.’ And so these women fight for the true pro-woman position now — the pro-life position, the position that tells women the truth.”

It will be the first time in U.S. history that citizens will vote on such an amendment. The core of the proposal is only 15 words and states, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include any human being from the moment of conception.” In the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority, stated that if personhood for the unborn is established, then the case for abortion “collapses” because “the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”

The pro-choice position, Burton said, is the “position for people — men or women — who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions.”

Obama has received the endorsement of several pro-choice groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List, and in coming days likely will receive an endorsement from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. National Right to Life has endorsed McCain.

Obama has pledged to nominate only judges who support legal concepts at the heart of Roe and also has said he “will not yield” on such a “fundamental” issue as abortion. He has said the “first thing” he would do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, a proposed law that would codify abortion-on-demand as the law of the land and also overturn every pro-life law — such as mandatory waiting periods, parental notifications and partial-birth abortion bans — on the federal and state level.

Several times during the campaign McCain has said he favors overturning Roe. A statement on his website says as much.

“I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support … the rights of the unborn [and] that I have fought for human rights and human dignity throughout my entire political career,” he said during an interview on NBC last year. “To me, it’s an issue of human rights and human dignity.”
Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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