Could abortion cost Obama the election?

LifeSiteNews reports that Carl Anderson, head of the US Knights of Columbus, thinks that the Democrats’ strategy, making “unrestricted access to abortion a key component “to the re-election of President Barack Obama, will have an adverse effect on his chances. Anderson says that “On November 7, we may well look back at [the Democratic National Convention] and see that this was the week that President Obama lost the presidency – because of the abortion issue.”

It seems that a Knights of Columbus/Marist poll this year shows a majority of Americans disagreeing with Obama’s views on abortion: while 12 per cent supported him, 88 per cent opted for significant restrictions to the current law. Anderson surmises that if Obama falls out of favour with Catholics, it will be unlikely that he can win the presidency; no president in recent years has won without backing from the Catholic majority.

Michael Voris of disagrees with Anderson’s view. In his latest broadcast, “Catholics for Obama”, Voris lambasts the “too many Catholics” who came out in support of Obama at the Democratic Convention. “Parading their phoney Catholicism over millions”, he asks: “Why don’t the [US] bishops censor them?” His answer is that many of the bishops, very focused on issues of social justice, are themselves largely aligned with the policies of the Democratic Party. Influential Catholic families like the Kennedys, and politicians like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi, simply reflect the liberal views of US Catholics at large. It is unlikely that Obama is going to “fall out of favour” with this segment of the electorate.

Further to this, LifeSiteNews, in a report earlier this week, provides a sinister detail which might just help Obama return to the White House: Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider, has dedicated $3.2 million to air a new television commercial in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia. Called “Turn Back the Clock”, it attacks Mitt Romney’s support for overturning the abortion law and defunding Planned Parenthood. $1.85 million of ads will target northern Virginia; another £1.35 million will focus on Ohio. Polls show Obama and Romney engaged in a statistical dead heat in Virginia and the Democrats with a 2.2% lead in Ohio. No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio. Added to this the slight advantage that an incumbent has over his rival and we are likely to see Obama in the White House for a further four years.

If I were an American, I would vote for Romney. This is not because his ethical position fills me with much hope – in seeking election he has conveniently changed his attitude towards abortion, compared to his views in the past – but that the prospect of Obama, with his cynical anti-life and anti-marriage agenda, fills me with more gloom. Yet Obama still has a “charisma” that Romney totally lacks; Thomas Fleming writes on his blog that the Catholic Paul Ryan, Romney’s choice for vice –president, is “smart, energetic and tough” and that “most American conservatives would far rather have Ryan than Romney as their political leader.”

At least in America there is a real choice between the two parties. In the UK there is no Party that reflects conservative values anymore; indeed, the phrase “conservative values” has become politically meaningless; in trying to practise them you might end up in the courts. At the next general election this may come back to haunt David Cameron.