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Obama administration could radically change United States landscape on social, moral issues
November 10, 2008
By Michael Foust
Barack Obama made history Nov. 4 in many ways, not least of which was giving pro-choicers hope they finally may be able to pass the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), a bill that pro-lifers call the most radical piece of abortion rights legislation ever introduced.
Obama's liberal views on abortion and "gay rights" flew under the radar during the general election — overshadowed partially by a struggling economy — but his positions on those controversial issues could dramatically alter American history, particularly since he has a pro-abortion House and Senate by his side.
The last time a Democratic president took office with a Congress of the same party was 1993, when Bill Clinton was sworn in with 57 senators and 258 representatives from his own party. Obama will have at least 56 Democratic senators and 251 representatives.
But pro-family leaders publicly worry that Obama — at least on social issues — is more liberal than was Clinton. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, previously called Obama "the most radical pro-abortion candidate to ever be nominated by a major party."
During the general election, pro-lifers often pointed to Obama's opposition to a ban on partial-birth abortion as well as his opposition to a bill in the Illinois legislature that would have required doctors to provide medical attention to pre-viable babies who survive abortion.
Like Clinton did, Obama has promised that he would sign the FOCA, which would overturn virtually every pro-life law on the state and federal level — such as parental notification laws and partial-birth abortion bans — and also would ensure that abortion remains legal, even if the Supreme Court someday overturns Roe v. Wade. It likely also would lead to taxpayer funding of abortion under Medicaid and any future government health insurance program.
Asked in 2007 at a Planned Parenthood meeting what he would do as president to make sure abortion remains legal, Obama replied that "the first thing I'd do as president is sign" the bill. He is one of 19 co-sponsors of it in the Senate (where it is known as S. 1964).
The Freedom of Choice Act first was introduced in 1989 and was thought to have had the votes for passage in 1993 when Clinton took office, but pro-lifers successfully killed it.
Obama's position on the Freedom of Choice Act isn't the only issue that concerns pro-family groups and citizens. Obama also could change the national landscape on:
• Embryonic stem cell research. A bill that would drastically increase public funding for embryonic stem cell research seems likely to become law — perhaps as soon as next year — with Obama in office. He supports the bill, which President Bush twice vetoed.
• The Supreme Court. At least two of the court's liberal stalwarts — 88-year-old John Paul Stevens and 75-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg — appear on the verge of retirement. Although replacing the two justices with another pair of liberal justices wouldn't change the ideological makeup of the court, it would give the court's liberal wing two much younger justices and would keep conservatives from reaching one of their long-sought-after-goals: replacing a liberal with a conservative and giving them five solid votes (a majority).
• "Gay rights." Obama supports same-sex civil unions — which grant homosexual couples all the legal benefits of marriage — and favors overturning the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which prevents homosexuals from serving openly. Just as significantly, Obama favors overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, a law signed by President Clinton which gives states the option of not recognizing another state's "gay marriage" licenses. (BP)