[Cross-posted on Southern Appeal]
Pepperdine Law Professor and prolife legal scholar, Doug Kmiec, has announced that he is endorsing Senator Barack Obama for the U. S. presidency. I have learned so much from Professor Kmiec's clear and persuasive academic writings, and very much appreciate his contributions to the study of jurisprudence. For this reason, I have been disappointed by his less than compelling apologetic for his presidential endorsement. Consider, for example, these recent comments by Kmiec about a meeting he and others had with the Illinois Senator (HT: Carl Olson, Insight Scoop):
The discussion dwelt at some length on abortion. Obama said he earnestly wants to "discourage" the practice—despite the distortions of some who think if they affix the "pro-abortion-won't-overturn-Roe-label" to the senator, pro-lifers like myself won't give him the time of day. Sorry, good friends, not this year.
Not to understand that there is more than one rather indirect and elusive judicial way to address an intrinsic evil understates the ingenuity of the devout. Describing the abortion decision as a "difficult, deeply moral one," Obama sees it as one only the woman can make. Unless her choice affirms life that is not my Catholic view, and I told him so. But disagreement or not, it is abundantly clear from our conversation that Obama shares a common aspiration to reduce the incidence of abortion.
How? Obama is committed to encouraging "responsible sexual behavior," discouraging unwanted pregnancies, promoting adoption as a more viable, affordable and appealing option than it presently is, and putting off limits in a manner consistent with the law as the justices see it, late-term abortion. Obama will not exclude abortion from medical coverage to fulfill a health exception "rigorously defined."
Professor Kmiec neglects to mention that Senator Obama, while in the Illinois legislature, refused to vote for a law that would require the protection of babies that survive abortions (similar to the federal "Born Alive Infant Protection Act), that the senator aggressively disagreed with the Supreme Court's opinion to uphold a federal ban on partial-birth abortions (Gonzales v. Carhart ), that the senator would not if he ascends to the presidency appoint judges or justices who would on principled grounds reject the logic of Roe v. Wade that excludes without exception all the unborn from the moral community, and that the senator would consider his own infant grandchild as "punishment" if any of his two daughters had conceived the child without the explicit intent to bring a baby into being.