America Magazine Online | 2008-12-17 | Michael Sean Winters
The President-Elect needs to focus like a laser on the economic crisis once he takes office next month. Not only is there a great deal of human suffering wrapped inside the rising unemployment numbers, but a host of other governmental challenges become more difficult the longer the economic downturn continues. The federal deficit, the solvency of entitlement programs, health care reform, all become more intractable every day the economy is in recession.
But, it is a mistake to think that the economy is the only issue voters care about and it would be a mistake for Obama to entirely neglect other issues. For Catholics – to be more precise, for centrist Catholics who voted Republican in the previous two election cycles but for Obama this time – the economy was certainly a concern. But, many of those Catholic swing voters were only willing to give Obama a hearing on the economy because he had convinced them he was serious about another issue of importance to them: reducing the abortion rate. A group of prominent and not-so prominent pro-life Catholics went to the mat for Obama, starting with Professor Doug Kmiec, and the administration cannot simply throw them under the bus.
Make no mistake: Obama’s initial actions on the abortion issue will not be pro-life. While concern about the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was mostly a scare tactic employed by GOP operatives (the bill has no chance of passing), Obama will undoubtedly rescind the Mexico City gag rule which prevents agencies that receive federal funding from counseling about abortion services. This and a few other marginal changes can be enacted by executive order. Obama is pro-choice and there is no finessing the point.
But, he can twin his pro-choice executive orders with a call for an abortion reduction summit at the White House for the fall of 2009. The timing provides him eight months of undiluted focus on the economy. He can appoint prominent pro-life Democrats to….Read the Full Article Here!