Barack Obama is committed at all costs to keeping all forms of abortion at any stage in the pregnancy, legal. One of the interesting consequences of this position is that it necessarily involves denying that a child is a person unless that child was full-term and intentionally delivered. For instance CNS News reports that Obama declared in 2002:
Obama went on to question whether the law would pass constitutional muster if the “child … temporarily alive outside the womb” was called a “person.”
“Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a–a child, a nine-month-old child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.”
In the quote above, Obama has placed himself in an interesting position philosophically. First it is clear that the overriding concern, which trumps all other considerations, is that Abortion remain legal and that the mother’s ability to kill her unwanted child remain inviolable. So, what really matters in the Obama view of the “personhood” of children in the first nine-months and their basic right to live is not the age of the child, or their location (delivered or in utero), it is the desire of the mother in regards to that child.
In essence a person initially has no right to live, whether they live or die depends on whether their mother wants them to live or die and therefore in Obama’s system no-one has an inalienable God-given right to life. Rather your life is initially in the hands of another person. Why then may not a mother rightly choose to “terminate” the life of her infant or her toddler as “neonaticide” advocate Stephen Pinker argues? Why do we arbitrarily say that once the two have left the hospital her supreme power over that life is terminated? Additionally, given the idea of our right to live is initially alienable, why should it not remain that way? Nothing in Obama’s philosophy absolutely bars the idea that your right to live could be revoked by doctors, relations, or the state when you once again become dependent and inconvenient.
At one time we viewed the slaveholder’s desire to deny full personhood to people based on race to be repugnant, and yet now we appear to have no problem denying the same right on the basis of the arbitrary whims of a mother.