Chris Smith Prays for Obama. I Am Praying for Smith.


Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey used last week’s March for Life as another opportunity to sound the alarm on the administration’s “virulently pro-abortion” agenda and to declare that President Obama is “obsessed with promoting abortion.”

Au contraire, President Obama, whose responsibility it is to run America, has his hands full cleaning up the mess left by the last guy and winning over Americans who have been incensed ever since he offered them a cheaper, more efficient, and more ethical way of caring for their health. He doesn’t have time to be “obsessed” with abortion.

Chris Smith, on the other hand, is obsessed with abortion. Smith, whose top campaign contributor for the last election was Right to Life’s PAC, has made it his mission to make abortion inaccessible both here and abroad. As Michelle Goldberg reported last year in the American Prospect:

Smith, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has devoted much of his career to fighting reproductive rights worldwide, personally prevailing on foreign politicians not to liberalize their abortion laws and, during the Bush years, leading the charge to freeze the American contribution to the United Nations Population Fund.

Smith co-sponsored a bill prohibiting taking a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion if the minor lives in a state that requires parental notification. He also co-sponsored a bill to allow federal funding to be used for alternative-to-abortion services, that is, services that promote “childbirth instead of abortion” and provide “information or education (including classes), regarding prenatal care, childbirth, adoption, parenting, chastity, or abstinence.” These “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”, which often set up shop across from reproductive health clinics, promote childbirth by giving women medically inaccurate information about abortion, often insisting that abortion causes breast cancer, infertility, and the non-existent post-abortion syndrome. They disseminate overtly religious information—that abortion will cause you to go to hell, for example. Smith has worked to impose anti-contraception, anti-abortion policy on other countries, as well, authoring a bill to deny funding to any foreign organization that promotes or performs abortions—a reintroduction of the Mexico City Policy that Obama rescinded last January.

One of Smith’s tactics is, perversely, to present himself as an advocate for women’s health. He claims that abortion leads to depression, suicide, and a 40 percent increase in breast cancer risk. These claims have been refuted again and again by the American Psychological Association and the National Cancer Institute, respectively. (The NCI points out that studies that have shown such a link “used recalled information in populations in which induced abortion had a social or religious stigma, differential reporting of prior abortion by breast cancer patients, and controls”—as in, “I am pro-life, so are most people I know, and I know a woman who I think had an abortion and later, she developed breast cancer.” Not science.)

In his speech at the March for Life, Smith called the right to life movement “the greatest human rights struggle on earth.” And he addressed the following to President Obama: “we do pray and fast for you, even as we tenaciously fight your anti-life policies.”

70,000 women die each year as a result of illegal abortions. Through his work on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chris Smith is doing his best to drive that number up. So, Chris Smith, though your use of the words “human rights” is nauseating, I will pray and fast for you, even as I tenaciously fight your anti-life policies.

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  • jgbeam

    Chris Smith is a true, dedicated hero of the pro-life movement. I join him in praying that Obama reverses his pro-abortion agenda.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • liberaldem

    Chris Smith isn’t a hero. He’s decided that he has the right to inflict his personal religious and political beliefs on other people.

    Perhaps, Mr. Grant, you won’t be happy until women are once again dying because of back alley, illegal abortions. THAT will be the result if abortion is once again criminalized in the United States.  Please don’t delude yourself that if abortion becomes illegal it will not be performed.

     

     

  • marysia

    As a prolifer, I do not understand why Smith ever wanted to defund UNFPA. UNFPA does not promote abortion, but is the world’s largest facilitator of postabortion care, family planning, maternal mchild health care, and other positive alternatives to abortion. The defunding actually *caused* many abortions.

    Concern for unborn life is inseparable from concern for already-born lives. Prolife should be measured according to both things, not one or the other.

    On Common Ground Columnist & Editor, Nonviolent Choice Directory

  • crowepps

    Then there is the Obama abandonment of women in China. No only did Secretary Clinton say America’s traditional concern for human rights in China wouldn’t “interfere” with other issues like peddling US bonds to Beijing, but our government is now funding organizations that brutally oppress Chinese women.

    Despite the fact that the UN Population Fund has actively supported, co-managed, and white-washed the most pervasive crimes against women in human history, President Obama donated $50 million to the UNFPA. In three weeks, the House will look to increase that to $62 million in 2010.

    (In 2008 under President Bush—the US State Department found once again that the UNFPA violated the anti-coercion provision of Kemp-Kasten and reprogrammed all funding originally earmarked for the UNFPA to other projects including maternal health.)

    China’s one-child-per-couple policy relies on coerced abortion, involuntary sterilization, ruinous fines in amounts up to ten times the salary of both parents, imprisonment, and job loss or demotion to achieve its quotas.

    With both the UNFPA and the Obama Administration enabling, China’s barbaric government policy has made brothers and sisters illegal in much of the country.

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/government/09-06-chris-smith-nrlc.htm

    Of course, this isn’t actually true.

    Background

    Congress is considering the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that contains $25 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for FY 2004 to support family planning services worldwide. President Bush is currently withholding funding to this United Nations agency although the funding was approved by Congress.

    For the past two years, President Bush has withheld funding for UNFPA over allegations that UNFPA supports family planning methods in China that coerce women into abortions they do not choose or force them to pay a high fee to have additional children. Families around the world are being affected by this funding freeze, and the President’s decision needs to be reversed. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provides family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention services to poor countries, many of them not reached by United States international development funds. UNFPA is the world’s largest multilateral agency working to expand access to health care services. It does not provide abortions and works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

    United Nations officials estimate the loss of U.S. funding could hinder efforts to prevent 800,000 abortions and the deaths of 4,700 mothers and 77,000 children under age five. The funding shortfall would also hurt the agency’s international HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

    Thus far, two separate delegations have made fact-finding trips to China to investigate the allegations, one appointed by the White House and the other comprised of religious leaders in the United States. Both delegations reported that UNFPA is a "force for good," and that this agency, in effect, is preventing abortions, assisting China to reform its family planning policies and aiding in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

    http://www.pcusa.org/washington/issuenet/wf-040205.htm

     

     

  • liberaldem

    I think your comment about UNFPA is so important because it highlights the many areas of healthcare this organization provides and that it is an excellent example of common ground.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Great article but, I’m not certain any amount of prayer is going to help Chris Smith. I can’t stand it when anti-choicers say “I’ll pray for you.” Especially when it’s to coerce me into doing something I don’t want to do. Like having a child against my will. Or giving up my right to my body. Or submitting to some bs patriarchal ideal of womanhood. Like you, I will probably send thoughts out to the universe that Chris Smith will gain wisdom, compassion, and understanding on the issue of choice. But I’m not expecting any miracles. I believe that wise, compassionate, and understanding people are pro-choice. They trust women and respect their right to decide their own future.

  • faultroy

    I don’t understand why you would criticize Smith’s support of a law that prevents minors from being taken across state line when they reside in Parental Notification States. I would think that your last comment about 77,000 women dying each year because of alleged botched abortions would make you support this kind of law since it would actually save lives. Who wants their child–whom a parent is legally responsible for–to make such a serious choice? My concern is that He even had to initiate such a law. And while I am pro-abortion, Smith’s comments about abortion leading to depression and suicide is also accurate–it certainly doesn’t mean that it WILL, but it does mean that it COULD–and it has.

  • crowepps

    I don’t understand why you would criticize Smith’s support of a law that prevents minors from being taken across state line when they reside in Parental Notification States. I would think that your last comment about 77,000 women dying each year because of alleged botched abortions would make you support this kind of law since it would actually save lives.

    The girl who wishes to avoid telling her parents can only receive an in-state abortion by turning to the illegal network, where she is more likely to have one that is botched.  She is more likely to die if she completes her pregnancy than if she has an abortion.  She is more likely to commit suicide because of her pregnancy.  These laws don’t ‘save lives’ – they put them at risk.

    Who wants their child–whom a parent is legally responsible for–to make such a serious choice? My concern is that He even had to initiate such a law.

    I think most parents would want to be involved in such a situation, and certainly most of the time they are, but I’ve got to say, the idea that the parents might ‘make such a serious choice’ and then impose their own solution on their daughter is kind of chilling – do you believe parents should be able to force their daughter to abort when she doesn’t wish to do so or to continue the pregnancy when she doesn’t wish to do so? 

    And while I am pro-abortion, Smith’s comments about abortion leading to depression and suicide is also accurate–it certainly doesn’t mean that it WILL, but it does mean that it COULD–and it has.

    Correlation is not causation.  It is inaccurate to say that any mental health incident which might happen after the abortion was caused by the abortion.  The same ‘doesn’t mean that it WILL, but it does mean that it COULD’ might also be applied to ‘abortion leads to being happily married’ or ‘abortion leads to being a loving mother to subsequent children’.  Statistically, it appears that there is no difference in the rates of depression or suicide between women who have aborted, women who have miscarriages and women who give birth.