Going to the Chapel

I’m not going to lie.

My brain still fuzzy after the 4th’s fireworks and libations, I had to rub my eyes and go get my glasses upon reading this morning’s headlines.

Obama: Mental distress can’t justify late abortion

My heart sank.

Then I had to clear the cobwebs from my brain and process what was being said before I cried into my Women for Obama t-shirt.

Here is the short version, and what went on in my head as I read:

Senator Obama did an interview with some Christian magazine and said

Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain “a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother.”

Obama then added: “Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.”

In my head:

oh holy hell, is he pandering to the right with this crap? are you kidding me? why would he even talk about limits and and definitions when the women’s vote is being so heavily courted by Senator McCain…is he talking about limits on just late term or could this carry over into ‘mental distress’ in any termination of pregnancy and what exactly qualifies as ‘mental distress’ and who gets to decide and why is the government even INVOLVED in this and why on earth wold he say some like that to a Christian magazine and would he have said the same to planned parenthood and what in the hell is going on with my candidate because I realize this whole ‘move to the center’ thing is really just people educating themselves on where he has ALWAYS stood but has he always stood against mental distress/late term abortion stuff….crap I need coffee.

I then hinted to fellow Huffington Post contributor Lee Stranahan that he was welcome to drive the extra 20 minutes to deliver me a latte, since he was already out getting one for his wife. Lee politely mentioned something about gas prices and I begrudgingly made myself a pot.

I’m now two cups in and ready to break this down a bit so no one gets hysterical and suffers the same caffeine-free heart failure I did a few hours ago.

NARAL endorsed Obama. They believe “A health exception must also account for the mental health problems that may occur in pregnancy. Severe fetal anomalies, for example, can exact a tremendous emotional toll on a pregnant woman and her family.”

If Obama acts on his position, he’d be going against NARAL and other pro-choice entities.

However, Obama spokespeople stress “Obviously, as he stated in the interview, he has consistently believed those exceptions should be clear and limited enough to ensure that they don’t undermine the prohibition on late-term abortions.”

Which I HOPE means he’s not going to push that provision because it would undermine.

We will need clarification on that before we all go crazy here.

I’ll be the first to admit late-term abortion is where my very staunch support of all reproductive rights gets clouded. It’s uncomfortable to think about, to grapple with, to imagine. However I always default to the position of NOT knowing every woman’s situation.

We also know our right to control our own reproduction is constantly under attack. The anti-choice movement takes every inch they can get on any issue on the table to tries and ‘undermine’ current laws and legislation.

The issues are varied and the debate is large and overwhelming.

Even in my own family, the discussion and debate causes problems. My husband and I disagree over parental consent and continue to go around-and-around on the topic.

I respect my husband’s opinion, but I think he’s wrong.

I respect Senator Obama’s opinion, but I think he’s wrong.

I still married my husband, and we continue to debate the issue.

I’m still voting for Obama, and expect we will continue to debate the issue.

Maybe voting is a bit like marriage.

My husband has core values that I agree with and we compromise and fight and respect each other on some of the details.

Senator Obama has a core values that I agree with…I’m guessing between FISA and this, the compromise and fight and respect on those details will also emerge.

So long as those core values remain, I’m guessing we can stay out of divorce proceedings.

So long as those core values remain, I’m guessing we can stay out of third-party candidate, write-in vote proceedings.

The Senator, like my husband, remains the best person for the job.

Although I wish they were both a bit more like Mrs. Stranahan’s husband and would bring me some coffee.

Erin Kotecki Vest is Political Director at BlogHer.com and thinks she’s Queen of the World on her own blog Queen of Spain blog. She also contributes over at MOMocrats where even her non-coffee bringing husband has guest posted so the entire family can Rage Against the McCain.


  1. {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:”http://t.seesmic.com/thumbnail/09HwCaVAol_th1.jpg”}”title”:{“value”:” “}”videoUri”:{“value”:”http://www.seesmic.com/video/ModhULaaDE”}}}

  2. I’m so glad this post ended the way it did, and not the way I originally imagined. 😉

    I’m always surprised when I hear about people voting on hot button issues and ignoring the basic core values, the big sweeping similarities or differences that will have the biggest impact.

    Your marriage analogy is perfect.

  3. Wow. This topic makes my blood boil. I understand his need to ‘make nice’ with everyone, as those are the votes he’s trying to get, but I sure as shit hope he doesn’t ever feel pressured to give asinine comments like that again.

    Separation of church and state, please. **My body. My choice.** I say fuck you to anyone who thinks otherwise. Ok, I’m going to go have a drink now (too far gone for coffee – I’m an East Coast girl).

  4. gregory says:

    i am bored with obama .. america is not ready to change, too much inertia ..

    2012 is a more important election

  5. Erin – I have been staying away from becoming emotionally involved in this campaign because I want to see where the chips fall. John McCain revealed himself to be the King of Panderers. I sincerely hope that Obama finds a way to remain pure while entering the fray called politics. A key way to start is to remain firm in his convictions and uphold his core values. Let’s hope he finds a way to do that.

  6. Be true to yourself, Obama! Don’t suck up.

  7. I’m disappointed, but not really that surprised.

  8. I always admired how Obama seemed to speak respectfully of pro-life/anti-choice advocates while still remaining clearly pro-choice. In general I like how he’s able to articulate himself in a way that humanizes even those he disagrees with. I understand that’s more difficult to do now that his every word/move is under the spotlight. But I agree that he NEEDS to clarify his position.

    Anyway, loved this post. Love the marriage analogy.

  9. Under the current system we will always see the candidates engage in flip flopping and pandering. You can’t take a hard position on the right or left and be elected.

  10. Slipshod says:

    A better analogy might be a bad marriage:

    “I’m different from the rest, you won’t get hurt again.”

    “This new relationship is all about change. Trust me, things will be different.”

    “I’m not like the others, really.”

    “I can change, I can change. I can learn to keep my promises, I swear it…”

    When I cast my vote in the primary I thought it was for a change in policy after the election, not a change in position before it. I am all the more greatly disappointed for having let him get my hopes up that corporate influence, government transparency, and civil rights would all make a change in the direction I agreed with. Instead, I got sweet-talked into voting for him and then was sucker-punched.

    Now I feel like I’m the abused and disillusioned woman in the Pearl Jam song who keeps putting up with it because she doesn’t think she can find anybody better. Or maybe I know all there is to know about the crying game now. Either way, I want my vote back. And my donation.


  1. […] better. He has gone on record sucking up to those who willfully misinterpret the 2nd ammendment and the Right to Lifers, so I think I am done with politics and voting for the time […]

Speak Your Mind