FIAMC Statement on Obama and Life Issues

"Obama Promised to Be a Force for Positive Change"

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ROME, FEB. 17, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is the statement released today by the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations about new threats to human life under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.



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The election of Barak Obama as President of the United States marked an important watershed in American history and culture. Running for office in a time marked by economic and geo-political turmoil, Obama promised to be a force for positive change, political reconciliation and effective government. Unfortunately, President Obama has begun his term with actions that will undermine respect for human life, human dignity and religions freedom. We call upon Catholic physicians and health care providers, and all people of good will, to spare no effort in convincing President Obama to reverse these decisions.

During the 2008 campaign, some Catholics and self-identified Catholic advocacy groups endorsed Barak Obama for President based in part on his support for economic justice and foreign policy, and in part on his pledge to try to reduce the number of abortions by increased social spending on support for pregnant women. Yet as a legislator and as a candidate, Obama had taken positions utterly opposed to respect for human life. For example:

-- Obama has long been an advocate of abortion on demand, and has touted his 100% approval rating from Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion in the United States;

-- Obama opposed every limitation on abortion, including laws requiring parental notification and consent before minors could obtain abortions;

-- Shockingly, as a state senator, Obama actively opposed any protections for infants born alive after failed abortion procedures and misrepresented his record on this issue during the 2008 campaign;

-- Finally, during the campaign, Obama proudly proclaimed his support for the “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA) -- the most radical expansion of abortion license in the world -- and promised to sign the law as President.

In addition to his unqualified support for abortion, Obama has promised to provide federal funding for stem-cell research that destroys human life at the embryonic stage.

Since taking office, President Obama has engaged in a series of actions that indicate that he is prepared to implement his prior support for abortion.

-- Within the first few days of taking office, Obama overturned the “Mexico City Policy,” a U.S. government policy that denies federal funding to international agencies that promote or perform abortion as a means of birth control;

-- More ominously, when overturning this policy, President Obama indicated his willingness to provide financial support to the United Nations Population Fund, an organization that lost U.S. government funding after it collaborated with the Chinese government’s coercive “one child” population policy.

-- President Obama is filling his Cabinet and Administration positions with supporters of abortion, including Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State (who has long been a proponent of abortion “rights” in the United States and around the world); Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff (who had a 100% voting record with the National Abortion Rights Action League as a member of Congress and a reputation as an aggressive pro-choice politician); Dawn Johnsen, nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (who was the Legal Director for NARAL and part of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project); Eric Holder, Attorney General (who has been a longtime supporter of abortion “rights”); Melody Barnes, Chair of the Domestic Policy Council (who has been a member of the boards of directors for both Planned Parenthood and Emily's List); Ellen Moran, White House Director of Communications (who is the current executive director of Emily's List); and Thomas Perelli, nominee for Associate Attorney General (who collaborated with pro-euthanasia attorney George Felos to successfully starve Terri Shiavo to death).

-- While he has made no move to encourage the passage of FOCA, many are still concerned that the provisions of FOCA will be added piecemeal to other bills and legislative acts.

-- Finally, President Obama has declared his opposition to the new HHS rule that protects the conscience rights of health care providers. The rule was enacted in the last days of the Bush administration in response to many threats to the conscience rights of physicians, pharmacists and health care providers in the United States.

In light of these actions and appointments, we are issuing an urgent appeal to President Obama to reconsider his support for abortion and research that can succeed only by destroying innocent human life. In addition, we offer our prayers, encouragement and appeals to Catholic physicians in the United States to educate the public and to oppose these efforts to promote abortion. Finally, we appeal to all members of FIAMC to be vigilant in opposing the new threats to human life and dignity that could now come from the Obama administration officials in foreign policy positions and at the United Nations.