Two nights ago my nine year old son asked me who I was going to vote for in this election. In the process of telling him why I wasn’t terribly pleased with either choice, I told him that one of the drawbacks to Barak Obama is that he has voted to allow abortion. My son responded in shock, how could anyone vote for someone who allows unborn babies to be killed?
Good question. I understand that there are many other issues in this election and that Republican candidates often seem more interested in stopping abortion before elections than after. They have long used abortion as a useful wedge issue to keep their conservative base in line. After 20 years of Reagan, Bush, and Bush, not much has changed.
Still, it is hard to understand how a candidate who cares so much for the poor and helpless has so far not stuck up for the unborn. I can’t accept Obama’s statement that knowing when life begins lies “above his pay grade.” Maybe he doesn’t know the exact moment, but presumably it’s long before the third trimester, when the partial birth abortions that he did not oppose occur. I am disturbed by Obama’s speech at the Democratic national convention, when he said that we can find middle ground on the abortion debate by agreeing that we should have less unwanted pregnancies. If that is his idea of middle ground, I don’t want to know where his default position lies!
I like the idea of having our first black president with a foreign name and the hope that brings of something new. I like Michelle, the return of Camelot, and all that. But my vote will ultimately be decided by the question my son will ask me on election night. Who did you vote for, daddy?