Another Major Pro-Life Scholar Endorses Obama Citing Pro-Prevention Policies

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Another Major Pro-Life Scholar Endorses Obama Citing Pro-Prevention Policies

Scott Swenson

Described as a leading Catholic establishment figure who remains staunchly pro-life, Nicholas Cafardi is adding his voice to those who believe Obama's pro-education, pro-prevention policies to reduce unintended pregnancies make sense.

A second major pro-life scholar is coming out in strong support for Sen. Barack Obama, specifically citing Obama’s pro-education and pro-prevention agenda to reduce unintended pregnancies. According to The Boston Globe:

Nicholas P. Cafardi,
a law professor and the former dean of the Duquesne University Law
School, is an establishment Catholic figure — he is a leading expert
on canon law, he spent 13 years as the general counsel for the Diocese
of Pittsburgh, he spent three years on the board of the Canon Law
Society of America, and he was appointed by the US Conference of
Catholic Bishops to the first National Review Board advising the church
on its response to clergy sexual abuse. He authored an analysis of the
bishops’ response to clergy sexual abuse, "Before Dallas,” that was
published this year by Paulist Press.


Writing for the Religion News Service and appearing in many publications including the National Cathiolic Reporter, Cafardi’s article is entitled "I’m Catholic, Staunchly Anti-Abortion, and Support Obama."

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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There’s another distinction that is often lost in the culture-war
rhetoric on abortion: There is a difference between being pro-choice
and being pro-abortion. Obama supports government action that would
reduce the number of abortions, and has consistently said that "we
should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that
might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion." He favors a
"comprehensive approach where … we are teaching the sacredness of
sexuality to our children." And he wants to ensure that adoption is an
option for women who might otherwise choose abortion.

Obama worked all of that into his party’s platform this year. By
contrast, Republicans actually removed abortion-reduction language from
their platform.

What’s more, as recent data show, abortion rates drop when the
social safety net is strengthened. If Obama’s economic program will do
more to reduce poverty than McCain’s, then is it wrong to conclude that
an Obama presidency will also reduce abortions? Not at all.


Professor Doug Kmiec, Ronald Reagan’s constitutional lawyer as head of the office of
legal counsel for the Department of Justice, has been a vocal supporter of Obama and has been part of private meetings Obama held with faith leaders, where many came out declaring Obama "more centrist" on issues of reproductive health. Kmiec has been denied communion because of his endorsement.

It defies all logic that these staunchly pro-life luminaries of Catholic legal scholarship would take these positions if the ludicrous charges about Obama supporting "infanticide" were in any way true. These repeatedly debunked charges have been recycled since 2004 and are being made in emails, featured in videos, and are motivated by self-promoters like Jill Staneck and lobbying groups like the National Right to Life Committee that rely on perpetuating divisive abortion politics. The charges are also appearing in television ads supported by one multi-millionaire who profits from federal grants — paid with your tax dollars — creating failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

This shift among leading pro-life Catholic scholars is also supported by leading conservative political writers and thinkers like David Frum, Mickey Edwards and others who have written about the need for conservatives to change their approach to abortion politics. But the McCain-Palin platform, as Cafardi points out, calls for a ban to all abortions, and they have promised to appoint judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. While some suggest undoing that Supreme Court case will simply return the matter to the states, it also opens the door to a Congressional fight for a federal ban on abortion and would begin another generation of divisive abortion-related politics creating more gridlock in Congress and state legislatures.

Progressives in Congress led by pro-choice Democrats and Republicans, as well as pro-life Democrats, have consistently supported policies like the Prevention First Act, the Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act, and the Responsible Education About Life Act only to be blocked by the same old divisive anti-choice politics that defined the social conservative Culture War for the past 30 years.