Regardless of what you might think of former President George Bush you have to admit when it comes to protecting life he is at the top of the presidential stack. During his presidency, he signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, appointed two solid, pro-life Justices to the United States Supreme Court, signed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and from day one prohibited the proliferation of research that would use human embryos the way the Nazi's used Jews during World War II.
What a difference a President can make. Already, President Obama has rescinded the Mexico City Policy that prohibited the federal government from using tax money overseas to perform abortions. Granted, the Mexico City Policy has been used as a political football over the course of several administrations. Established during the Reagan Administration, the ban has been reinstated then reversed by Republican and Democrat presidents and has thus become a sort of political measuring stick of an administration’s view of life. According to a Gallup Poll taken after Obama’s decision it was the most unpopular of his young presidency. Only 35 percent approved of Obama’s rescinding of the policy while 58 percent disapproved. But as time goes by, Obama’s action on the Mexico City Policy will fade into the background of political noise on Capital Hill and will cost him little in actual political capital.
Anyone who happened to be awake and paying attention during the campaign cannot be surprised to see Obama making pro-abortion moves. After all, as a state Senator from Illinois, he vehemently opposed and over four years voted against the Illinois Born Alive Infant Act. The law would simply force doctors to save the life of a baby that survived an abortion attempt. It was a bill to stop infanticide and yet then Senator Obama saw it as a “backdoor attack on a woman’s legal right to abortion.”
But on March 9th, President Obama crossed the Rubicon and burned his bridges with pro-life voters by lowering the value of human embryos to that of laboratory mice. On January 10, 49 BC Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River in Italy committing himself and his army to war with the Empire. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, upon crossing Caesar uttered, “alea iacta est” or “the die is cast.” Certainly, the die is now cast for a radically pro-abortion administration to continue its assault on life in the womb. Life is now expendable if the possibility exists, no matter how remote, that someone's suffering might be alleviated if we kill enough embryos. Never mind the fact that not one single significant breakthrough has been achieved through embryonic research. Umbilical cord blood and regular stem cell research has brought about some amazing scientific breakthroughs. What makes this decision all the more insidious is the fact that scientists are making great strides toward being able to produce cells that act like embryonic cells without destroying any human embryos. But of course, this means nothing to President Obama since he owes a major political debt to the radical pro-death section of the Democrat Party.
Upon hearing the news that the ban had been lifted, Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activity said, "This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested."
On the other side of the argument you have Rev. Joel Hunter who serves on the White House Advisory Panel. Hunter said, "The principle is still that it's not only understandable but in some ways moral to use embryonic stem cells that are destined for destruction for research for helping people." “In some ways moral”... I would really like to hear Hunter describe moral scenarios for the destruction of human life. I wonder if it occurred to him while he was speaking that he was using the same argument to justify destroying life that the Nazi's used to justify experimenting on the Jews during the Holocaust. Since Jews weren't really people and since they were going to be sent to the gas chambers anyway why not learn something by torturing them?
In his haste to allow federal funding for research on human embryos, President Obama forgot to put any restrictions on how the embryos can be obtained. It is now perfectly legal to create human embryos for the purpose of killing them through experimentation. The only obstacle standing in the way of open season on embryos is something known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment which has been included in every spending bill since in every fiscal year since 1996. The amendment reads, “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death” is explicitly banned. Ironically, that language was included in the omnibus-spending bill Obama signed just two days after reversing the Bush ban. But Democrats in both the House and the Senate are already lining up legislation that will overturn this legislative protection for human embryos.
Is this what President Obama was talking about when he said he would bring "change we could believe in?" Maybe tomorrow he will toss a bone to the PETA crowd by banning experiments on lab rats.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.