Sunday, March 30, 2008

'Punished with a baby'?

UPDATE 4/4: Reply to Pandagon.

* * * * *
Just about to log off when I decided to check Memeorandum, and saw Obama's bizarre defense of abortion:

"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. . . ."
Huh? Who thinks of babies as "punishment"?

Better yet, what kind of father would describe babies as "punishment"? As a father of six children (three of them teenagers), I was dumbfounded by Obama's use of this phrase. Of course, this being a Democratic primary, there's really no difference between Obama and Hillary on the abortion issue, but Obama's bizarre phrasing is still remarkable.

Nathan at Stop the ACLU was shocked:
Regardless of your feelings on sexual education, this statement oozes with animosity. It also reveals the true heart of Barack Obama. Despite his so-called “understanding” of both sides of the abortion issue, any person that could utter such cold, abhorrence when discussing a fellow human being has no intention of displaying any goodwill to pro-lifers.

While I am not prepared to say that one ill-phrased sentence "reveals the true heart" of Obama, it doesn't enhance his reputation as a great speaker.

Also, if Obama wants to keep his girls out of trouble, it's not really so much about "teach[ing] them . . . about values and morals" as it is about keeping a sharp eye on your kids' friends. Peer pressure is dangerously powerful, so don't let your kids hang out with trashy hoodlums.

With girls, it helps a lot to drill one thing into their heads, from the time they're old enough to talk: Boys have cooties.

UPDATE: Linked by Michelle Malkin -- thank you, ma'am.

UPDATE 3-31: SiteMeter showed a bunch of Google hits on this post, and when I went to Memeorandum, I saw the story had been picked up at Christian Broadcasting Network by David Brody, who says:

I understand Obama was talking off the cuff and these were not prepared remarks. I also know that when you're on the campaign trail 20 hours a day you will say something you wish you hadn't. But still. "Punished with a baby?" That just doesn't sound right. Why use the word punished? I would think that word would be alarming to people and possibly offensive to those who have had babies out of wedlock.
And perhaps most offensive to those who were born to unwed mothers: "Mom, was I punishment?"


  1. McCain – Jindal is the best ticket for the GOP.

    Unless we want Obama to enforce Roe v Wade for another 30 years...

    The demographic winter is coming to the US.

    Aging workforce.

    Have a nice day.

    Solange Miller


    I'm on the fence where Obama is concerned... not sure who I'll vote for yet (and the democratic primaries are at this point undecided). However, I'm sick of not getting the full story. Give us the FULL quote so that we can decide how we feel about it.

  3. Ah. Perhaps you're unaware that a great many people talk about having an abortion as "avoiding the consequences of their behavior". To those people, who see babies as "consequences", it's clear that having to go through the burden (which is substantial) and risk (which is significant) of pregnancy is punishment - which is to say, negative consequences attached to behavior.

    Of all of the arguments against abortion, that it "avoids the consequences" is the weakest I can imagine. Nevertheless, it is used quite a lot and a person who is used to thinking deeply about the issue is likely to see a great many opponents viewing a pregnancy (and the need to take care of the resulting baby) as punishment.

    Senator Obama is saying that he considers that point of view to be inappropriate. He feels that if his daughters were to end up pregnant, forcing them to continue the pregnancy would be inappropriate... though they could certainly choose to do so.

    It's not something that will endear him to pro-life folks. He has made his decision that women should be free to choose to have an abortion, and he will try to push his point of view against those who argue against it, making sure people understand that pregnancy is not a comfortable situation, that it is a sizable burden, that it is a significant risk.

    But it shows an honestly held position, and a stand based upon a principle.

  4. It is a disappointment when people try to distort the truth. Senator Obama was referring to HIV/AIDs as the punishment for not practicing abstinence, his first choice for unmarried persons or contraceptives.

    If you want the full quote go to media matters.

  5. Too bad Obama's mother was punished so hard ....