During his years as a state and federal legislator, Obama consistently voted in favor of expanding abortion rights and the funding of abortion services with taxpayer dollars. Says author David Freddoso, “I could find no instance in his entire career in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion.”
In July 2006 Obama voted against a bill stipulating that the parents of minor girls who get out-of-state abortions must be notified of their daughters' actions. In March 2008 he voted against a bill prohibiting minors from crossing state lines to gain access to abortion services. That same month, he voted “No” on defining an unborn child as a human being eligible for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
On July 17, 2007, Obama declared: “The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” This bill would have effectively terminated all state restrictions on government funding for abortions. It would also have invalidated state laws that protected medical personnel from losing their jobs if they refused to participate in abortion procedures.
Obama's Support for Planned Parenthood
The largest abortion provider in the United States, Planned Parenthood in 2008 alone was responsible for 324,008 abortions, as compared to just 2,405 adoption referrals. This ratio was representative of the organization's activities in most years.
On July 17, 2007, Obama thanked Planned Parenthood for “the outstanding work” it was doing “for women all across the country and for families all across the country.... I put Roe at the center of my lesson plan on reproductive freedom when I taught Constitutional Law. Not simply as a case about privacy but as part of the broader struggle for women’s equality.”
During an April 26, 2013 speech to Planned Parenthood, Obama said: “As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”
Obama and Partial-Birth Abortion
When Obama was a state senator in 1997, two separate “partial-birth abortion” bans came up for consideration. On both occasions Obama voted “present,” the functional equivalent of a vote against the ban. The term “partial-birth abortion” refers to a procedure where the abortionist maneuvers the baby into a breech (feet-first) delivery position, permits the baby's entire body to exit the birth canal except for its head, and then uses scissors to puncture the baby's brain and kill it (while the head is still inside the mother).
In 2000, Obama voted against a bill that would have ended state funding for partial-birth abortions.
A Legalized Form of Infanticide
In 2002 Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that somehow survived late-term abortion procedures. The Act twice came up in the Judiciary Committee on which Obama served. At its first reading he voted “present,” the functional equivalent of voting against it. At the second reading, he voted “No.” The bill was then referred to the senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, which Obama chaired after 2003. As chairman, he chose never to call the bill up for a vote.
Obama Strikes Down Rule that Prohibited U.S. Funding of Abortion Clinics Overseas
On January 23, 2009—the day after the 36th anniversary of the famous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision—President Obama struck down a rule that had prohibited U.S. money from being used to fund international family-planning clinics that either promote abortion or provide referrals to abortion services. Stating that such restrictions on funding had been used as a “political wedge issue,” the President said that he had “no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.”
Obama Issues Edict Forcing Religious Healthcare Providers to Violate Their Own Views on Abortion and Contraception
In January 2012 the Obama administration issued an edict mandating that religious hospitals, schools, charities, and other health and social service providers give their employees health-insurance plans covering contraception, abortifacient pills, and sterilizations—even if those things were in violation of the employers' moral or religious codes. Critics pointed out that Obama's edict violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
On February 10, 2012, the Obama administration, reacting to harsh public criticism, announced that: “If a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge.”
According to pro-life Rep. Chris Smith: “The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naive or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.... The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers ‘will not’ have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their ‘insurance companies’ will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”
Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League stated that the new rule amounted to a “shell game.” “At the end of the day, religious employers are still required to provide insurance plans that offer free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients in violation of their moral tenets,” he said.
43 Catholic Organizations Sue the Obama Administration
In May 2012, a total of 43 plaintiffs filed 12 separate federal lawsuits against the Obama administration, challenging the constitutionality of its mandate that religious entities must purchase insurance policies covering contraception and abortion-related procedures.