CNN’s “five things to watch for” in tonight’s debate includes “getting women’s issues into the conversation.” What can be expected from President Obama on the “women’s issue” of abortion? To quote Vice President Biden, probably “a bunch of stuff.” In last Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, from beginning to end, Biden’s statements regarding abortion were completely divorced from reality but entirely consistent with the Obama-Biden campaign’s messaging.
Biden delivered an emotionally charged and substantively wrong diatribe about what a Romney administration would mean for the U.S. Supreme Court and abortion: “Do you think [Romney’s] likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.”
Perhaps Biden would have benefitted from using some of his six-day hiatus to review Romney’s position on judicial nominations.
What Romney has promised is that he would nominate “judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the law.” Because, Romney stated, “it is long past time for the Supreme Court to return the issue of abortion back to the states, by overturning Roe v. Wade.”
That the issue of abortion should be returned to the state legislative process happens to be the opinion of Biden’s “far right” bogeyman, Justice Scalia, as well.
In the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Scalia and the other three dissenters agreed that overturning Roe would not, as Biden suspects, “outlaw abortion.” In fact, they wrote: “The States may, if they wish, permit abortion-on-demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so.” They simply held that abortion policy should be returned to the states.
But sensationalizing the overturning of Roe has been a key tactic in the Obama-Biden reelection campaign.
In Virginia, for example, the Obama-Biden campaign has been running an ad proclaiming that Romney’s support for overturning Roe makes him “too extreme for Virginia.” That is an absurd statement. Overturning Roe would simply allow Virginians to determine Virginia’s abortion policy.
Like the Obama-Biden campaign messaging, Biden’s abortion answer was laced with absurdity.
Biden actually began his remarks by confusing science with theology. “Life begins at conception” would have been the appropriate place for Biden to exclaim “That’s a fact! That’s a fact!” Biology, not “the Church’s judgment,” explains that a unique human being is created at fertilization.
The question that is answered, or informed, by faith and ethics is distinct: Should all human life—regardless of age or vulnerability—be protected by law? And here is where Biden’s I-just-can’t-impose-my-views-on-others mantra translates to “no.” Not all human beings, in Biden’s estimation, have an inviolable right to life.
Biden’s desire to have his defense of abortion-on-demand be perceived as simply toleration of others’ views is ironic. The Obama-Biden administration has proudly placed the sweeping mandates of Obamacare at the center of its reelection campaign. (And several articles have already addressed the absolute falseness of Biden’s claim that under the “preventive services” mandate no religious institution “has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide.”)
There is a word the Irish have for Biden’s abortion response: “malarkey.” Watching for abortion to “get into the conversation” tonight, one can expect more of the same from President Obama.
— Anna Franzonello is Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life Action.