On the eve of the Pope Benedict the 16th’s first visit to the U.S., today’s health headlines contain the two very different views of two very prominent African-Americans about unborn children in their mother’s wombs.
In one story, Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Barrack Obama confided that he did not really understand the biological fact that human life begins at conception.
Obama said, “This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on.” He went on to say, “I think it’s very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs?”
One might think that if Senator Obama didn’t know when human life began, that he would be opposed to any procedure that might end that life.
But, it appears that the Senator, at least based upon his voting record, has never seen an abortion that he does not like.
Given the fact that since abortion became legal in 1973, more than 15 million black babies have been killed without drawing a single breath and abortions are more commonly performed on black women, as compared to any other race, you might think the Senator would vote to protect the potential for life – at least until he decides whether it is life or not.
But not Senator Obama. While in the Illinois Senate, he voted against a bill that would have required medical facilities to provide appropriate medical care to babies who survive botched abortions – while a federal version passed in the U.S. Senate on a unanimous vote with the support of pro-life and pro-abortion lawmakers.
But then , his support of abortion for any woman at any time may be easier to understand given his statement that if his 16-year-old daughter got pregnant, he would not “want (her) punished with a baby.”
My how his comments contrast with Martin Luther King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, who, on this year’s anniversary of her uncle’s death, called abortion the new civil rights cause.
Now, she says that “racism and abortion are linked and have the same roots in justifying immoral actions based on selfish desires.) Dr. King points out that when, “we create the deceptions that the other person is less important, less worthy, less human … These pretenses help us feel a bit better about discriminating against someone because of his skin color or gestational age, but they’re still lies and our actions are still wrong.”
Maybe the Pope, during his visit to the U.S. this week, will remind our Presidential candidates of what he has so wisely pointed out in the past – that we all have an obligation “to minister to women who have been victimized by abortion.”
The Pope said abortion has left millions of women physically, emotionally and spiritually wounded and Catholics must reach out to them.
The pontiff said abortion has “devastating consequences” for women, families and society.
He called abortion a “painful decision” and fretted that “so many women have had to make [the decision] alone” and that abortion leaves an “unhealed wound they carry in their souls.”
He urged women who have had abortions to not feel a sense of hopelessness and despair but to open themselves to hope and healing that can come through repentance and forgiveness from God.
At the same time, Pope Benedict said Catholics have an obligation to reach out to women hurting after an abortion, saying they are “looking for peace and the possibility of recovery.”
“Following the example of the divine teacher, the church always takes an interest in the concrete person,” he said.
“Yes, the Gospel of love and life is also always the Gospel of mercy, offered to the real and sinful people that we are, to raise them from any failing and repair any wound,” he added.
Senator Obama, if you are not sure when human life begins, here’s your chance: ask the Pope or ask Dr. King. I’m guessing that either would be happy to have a chat with you.
But, I know there are millions of African-American babies, yet to be conceived, whose very lives, should you be elected President, that may depend upon your doing so.