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.