Hillary and Obama answered a variety questions at the CNN’s Compassion Forum. This blog post is the extended edition of the “Compassion Forum” with a “view from the womb.” For the original transcript you can Google: conception, Hillary, Obama, Compassion Forum and get a slew of references …or view it on Youtube… Below are Obama’s and Hillary’s response to the abortion issue with an added “view from the womb”...which I have provided.
MEACHAM: Senator, do you believe personally that life begins at conception?
CLINTON: I believe that the potential for life begins at conception. I am a Methodist, as you know. My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out.But for me, it is also not only about a potential life; it is about the other lives involved. And, therefore, I have concluded, after great, you know, concern and searching my own mind and heart over many years, that our task should be in this pluralistic, diverse life of ours in this nation that individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision, because the alternative would be such an intrusion of government authority that it would be very difficult to sustain in our kind of open society.And as some of you've heard me discuss before, I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare. And I have spent many years now, as a private citizen, as first lady, and now as senator, trying to make it rare, trying to create the conditions where women had other choices.I have supported adoption, foster care. I helped to create the campaign against teenage pregnancy, which fulfilled our original goal 10 years ago of reducing teenage pregnancies by about a third. And I think we have to do even more.
HUMAN IN THE WOMB: Senator Clinton, How am I “potential life”? Before my mother even knew she was pregnant, my heart was beating. I am 7 weeks old and will be in this womb for many more weeks, but if I understand you correctly, you believe that it should be legal to kill me? I can be suctioned to death and you think that is morally acceptable? I can have instruments cut my limbs apart. I can be deluged in a saline solution and you think that is a right?
MEACHAM: Senator, do you personally believe that life begins at conception? And if not, when does it begin?
OBAMA: This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I've said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.
HUMAN IN THE WOMB: Senator Obama, I am seven weeks of age and be honest, you believe that it should be a legal right to kill me throughout the full nine months of my life in the womb, and if I survive an abortion, you believe that I should be left to die without intervention. There is something very powerful about my human life in the womb, which you call potential life, which has moral weight to it, sir.
I heard through the wall of the womb, an article read aloud that was written by Sherif Girgis, that was addressed to you--Mr. Obama. Here is what got me kicking:
"You have asked me to vote for you. In turn, may I ask you three simple questions? They are straightforward questions of fact about abortion. They are at the heart of the debate. In fairness, I believe that you owe the people you would lead a good-faith answer to each:
1. The heart whose beating is stilled in every abortion — is it a human heart?
2. The tiny limbs torn by the abortionist’s scalpel — are they human limbs?
3. The blood that flows from the fetus’s veins — is it human blood?
If the stopped heart is a human heart, if the torn limbs are human limbs, if the spilled blood is human blood, can there be any denying that what is killed in an abortion is a human being? In your vision for America, the license to kill that human being is a right. You have worked to protect that “right” at every turn. But can there be a right to deny some human beings life or the equal protection of the law? [read the full article here: http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=YzM2YTc2NDc1ODMyNTM5MTBhZjcyOTBlNmRkMTgwY2Y ]
Thank you Sherif Girgis! I know you are a senior philosophy major at Princeton University and a 2008 Rhodes Scholar, but it doesn't take Rhodes Scholar to figure out that abortion is a moral outrage does it? Way to go Sherif!
Here are some of my own thoughts from the womb:
* A human being is a human being no matter how small they are.
*How am I not a living human being?
- *Should I have the right to live?
- *Why should someone have the right to tear me limb from limb?
*My heart was beating around 24 days of being conceived.
Thank you to Life Issues who gave me permission to use this great photograph. You can check them out at http://www.lifeissues.org/
HUMAN IN THE WOMB: Senator Obama and Senator Hillary, as post womb human beings, would you please check out the research that your fellow senators did in 1981? In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):
Professor Micheline Matthews-RothHarvard University Medical School
"It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."
Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception."
Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes "After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."
Professor Hymie, GordonMayo Clinic
"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School
"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."
The official Senate report reached this conclusion: Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.
Check out resources: