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Obama’s Blues

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In Obama’s attempt to pander to the evangelical right, once again he offends women by supporting the stereotype that they are frivolous and in need of external control. In an interview with Relevant, a religious magazine, Obama stated:

“…I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. 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. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.”

In a follow-up clarification, after some outside grumblings, Obama did concede that “serious clinical mental health diseases” would qualify, but women should not be able to obtain a late-term abortion just because they are “feeling blue.”

As Marie Cocco of the Washington Post observes, “Obama has backhandedly given credibility to the right-wing narrative that women who have abortions—even those who go through the physically and mentally wrenching experience of a late-term abortion—are frivolous and selfish creatures who might perhaps undergo this ordeal because they are ‘feeling blue.’”

So, Obama is now OK with late-term abortions if the woman’s physical health is in serious jeopardy or if she is stark raving bonkers. However, it is important to point out that the meaning of these critical terms are wobbly and soft. Where is the bright line that demarcates “sufficient” physical or mental illness from “insufficient” levels? No physical or mental health professional or biomedical ethicist worth their salt would even attempt to offer strict definitions that would apply in every individual case. In the final analysis, each situation is unique, defying any imposition of rigorous rules by politicians who are rarely medically sophisticated and who don’t know the women, many of whom are frightened and confused teenagers.

But there is more. Who else did Obama leave out? What about women like Gretchen Voss, a healthy, happily married woman of firm mind, eagerly awaiting an impending birth? Except for one thing. It was discovered late that the fetus had multiple defects so serious that the quality of life would be negligible and the expense of life-long intensive care unbearable. Obama apparently has not considered an agonizing decision that can only be made by the mother, her family, and her medical and religious advisors. Read Gretchen’s poignant story here.

Lynda Waddington was also faced with making this heartbreaking decision, and has this to say about what no man could fully understand:

“On one hand, I’d like nothing better than to take Obama’s hand and force him to walk each and every step of that experience with me. I want him to know the bittersweet feel of a child that will never live outside of the womb against his insides. I want him to wake up in the middle of the night and just for a moment know peace before the reality of what’s taken place comes crashing down again… I want him to feel the nation’s war of words in relation to abortion as personally and as raw as I do. I want him to understand that psychological wounds leave horrific scars.

On the other hand, the dismal truth is that I’m not that cruel. Even if I had the ability to force my memories and my experiences on Obama, even if by doing so I could virtually guarantee that he’d never again utter such an ignorant (at best) or politically-motivated (at worst) response… I couldn’t do it. What I’ve experienced is something I’d never wish, much less willingly give, to another person.” Read Lynda’s full story here.

I don’t know anyone–and I most certainly include myself—who is suggesting that the approximately 1% of all abortions that are performed late term should be casual events. But, this cartoon is more about women and their most personal and difficult life decisions and less about abortion, per se. That issue can be argued in other forums.

A final irony: Another Obama flip-flop! As a Harvard-trained lawyer on record for supporting Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, and as one of 19 co-sponsors of the Freedom of Choice Act, Obama should know that this bill would make both Supreme Court cases federal law and that the majority of Doe allows for physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age to be taken into consideration during any stage of pregnancy. (Read more about Obama’s support for the Freedom of Choice Act here.)

  • Don S

    Pat, I think your outstanding cartoon and detailed commentary attests to how seriously you view BO’s dismissive and deprecating, flippant and confused position is on late term abortion. The man clearly goes off half-cocked when attempting to deal with serious issues. So it is no wonder that he has to backtrack and try to explain what he meant to say. He usually does this after he sees his spontaneous off-thecuff comments have just gotten himself in a mess of trouble. Or after his support crew has just pointed out that he has just alienated a large segment of the people hoped to gain support from. He changes positions as easily as a chameleon changes colors to blend with its surroundings. Worse, he doesn’t seem to be aware of it until it is brought abruptly to his attention. Not only has he offended a large segment of potential female voters by his inability to empathize with what they go through when facing an abortion decision, he makes it clear that he is a total failure when it comes to leadership. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. It is clear from the many comments disparaging BO and his flip-flopping, that this man is more like an itinerant faith healer who sways audiences with an emotional appeal to their hopes for a miracle. Unfortunately, there seems to be little substance under the illusion. I think his bubble is about to burst.

  • lady di

    Hey, Bozo Barrack:

    Why don’t you stay out of Women’s affairs? We don’t want sexist morons like you speecifying your ignorance and making laws over our bodies…Go to Kenya and check up on cousin Odinga to whom you donated 50,000 for his Sharia law campaign!

    Shame on you Barack! Stop bashing women’s helath issues! Join the Republicans. You belong there with them!

  • Dr. Jess.

    JESSE JACKSON:

    WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO PERFORM THE SURGERY YOU PROMISED ON OBAMA? we’re eagerly awaiting in the reception area…

    OR HAS IT ALREADY BEEN DONE…..we thought so!

  • sue

    Barrack’s only defending his own mother’s mental health issues as “just a case of the blues”. If they had been treated in Hawaii back in ’61, she would have been given the chance to deny this great gift god sent her way….and we could have been spared this farce of a man…

  • Barry’s Mental Health

    OBAMA IS THE MOST MISOGYNISTIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN HISTORY!

    DIMINISHING AND DEGRADING WOMEN (like his campaign did Hillary throughout) IS HIS SPECIALTY!

    “FEELING BLUE”? does this Imbecile know what the hell he’s talking about.

    He shoudl shut his mouth up when discussing Women’s Health! He’s ignorant and viciously flippant! What an abortive male fetus he must have been….

  • birth control!

    BARRY’S MAMA MUST HAVE BEEN VERY BLUE. THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL CAME OUT IN 1965, 4 YEARS AFTER THE 17=YEAR OLD MOTHER GAVE BIRTH….NOW, GUESS WHO’S BLUE….THE WHOLE COUNTRY…

  • Xeroxed

    Please someone respond to my queery:

    Is Obama’s flippantly petulant usage of the English language a result of his trying to be hip/cool rapper-wannabe kind of guy “dusting” off stuff from his shoulders, using lax, monosyllabic terminology…or is it the result of his truly being statteringly incapable of uttering a polysyllabic phrase without a teleprompter? I don’t know…I find he’s very awkward and wonder why he’s been lauded for being such a good speechifier! His words sound hollow and somehow he looks incapable of expressing a full thought, searches for the right word arduously and generally does not impress me with his mediocre linguistic skills.
    He had very mediocre marks throughout highschool and university.

    Barry attend Law School on an Affirmative Action Program or a Mature Student Scholarship? I wonder if anyone knows how he entered Law School as he was in his early thirties….Sure, he’s a reader, but I’ve seen readers…and Barry pales beside an Italian frirend of mine for whom english is his second language! Sure, Barry was a reader….but, really, what’s so special about him–OTHER than his deep baritone voice that does carry in an auditorium. But he cannot do the “dialogue” part…He seems uncomfortable with people, gays, especially women (I think he is not so much a sexist as he is afraid of disclosing his gayness or bi-sexuality, as all Chicago knows when the gay Choir master at Trinity was murdered last December!)

  • paraskeve

    Gee, please Rev. Jackson, do you think you can schedule your recommended therapeutic surgery on Obama before November? Before he throws you under the bus….

  • memi

    So, Obama thinks “Mental Distress does not qualify as serious health issue for women”? Is this the way he thinks he’s going to get women voters?

    Too bad this moronic misogynist was born 4 years before the birth control pill became legal in the U.S. in 1965! Teenage mothers like his own were not aware of the ‘risks’ and “serious health issues” that take many forms….one of them was named BARRY SOETORO and became Barack Hussein Obama in search of a convenient opportunistic self…

    What could bring more mental distress to this country than having this aborted intelligence as presidential material? Cousin Odinga in Kenya received from Barry thousands of dollars in campaign funds to support his SHARIA LAW initiatives…well….burqas for american women if this Identity-challenged male gets to the white house..god, Jehova, and allah help us all…and call in Zeus for good measure!

  • Fred C. Dobbs

    If this clown actually gets elected, I am going to set up several new sub-S corporations in Nevada with names like: “James Earl Ray Marksmanship Institute”, “Lorraine Lodging Corporation”, “Nathan Bedford Forrest Memorial Committee for Race Relations”, and as many other nasty, racist-sounding (But QUITE legal) names as I can afford at $130/whack.

    I once respected Sam Nunn, but Fuck Him, too, now.

    All these people want to make Race an issue?

    Oh, my…let’s start real soon.

  • Cooney

    Believe I did write NARAL & NOW, read all about your flip-flopping pandering putz:

    Did Obama ever stop to think that maybe a mentally ill woman does not get an early abortion simply due to the fact she is mentally ill. The statement by Obama,”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.” is the most uninformed blatantly prejudicial statement about mental illness and abortion I have ever heard. He is an ignorant biased pig.

    Signature Ommitted

  • Lucille Arneson

    Is there anyone who can honestly say he knows what Obama stands for on any issue whatsoever?

    I suppose with a law degree, he’s qualified to tell women to consult with him about their issues regarding choice. Then I wonder, if he passed the bar. He’s never practiced law.

    He must have a sore neck the way he has to repeatedly turn his head from left to right and right to left in order to stand with whomsoever he’s talking to at any given moment.

    Great qualities for a presumptive nominee for president!

  • Rich

    Great cartoon Pat. It says it all. I can not imagine any women thinking in regards to a late term abortion, I am feeling blue so should I go shopping or get a late term abortion. I can not believe that a doctor would let a women undergo this complicated procedure just because she is feeling a little blue.

    As a man, this is what I understand and I am not even running for an office.

    Thank you to everyone for having dialogue that is staying on the subject.

    Rich

  • Annie Oakley

    Thanks, Pat Racimora. That’s a great cartoon, and on such a hot topic. The X’d out eyes on the blue patient just get me. This really makes me mad, but at the same time your ‘toon really makes me laugh. Well done.

  • JohnnyB

    Another Great Cartoon, Pat.

    I think that Ob has no clue to what a woman goes through when facing this decision. That scares me.

    Also, your cartoon could also be interpreted as Hillary in the bed, and all of us feeling BLUE.
    There’s no way to get over this. Hillary won more votes than Ob (like Al Gore over W), but because of Michigan (Ob getting the Uncommitted votes, which is ILLEGAL), and also getting 4 of Hillary’s delegates given to him by the DNC), and then getting Florida’s delegates when he should be Sanctioned for advertising in the state and get NO Delegates, Ob is deemed our nominee even before he has the necessary pledged delegate total needed to be the nominee. The DNC cuts the delegates to 1/2 vote each. Is there no shame?

    Yes, we are BLUE. Ob’s position on trimester abortion is another slap at women.

  • Samuel Copeland

    The problem with us Hillary supporters — male and female — is that we have periodic emotional outbursts.

    It’s all hormonal too. I know it couldn’t be anything environmental such as me getting angry at a choice between a war hawk and a manipulative, ego-maniac liar — neither of whom know a damn thing about the economy — for president because the DNC has bestowed on us the blessing and privilege of voting for the Messiah.

    Great cartoon, by the way.

    • StrawberrybitesBarky

      This whole mess has left me more than emotional, I’m downright primal.

  • Katmoon

    The draft age o supporters believe because he have a speech against the war(not a vote) he won’t support a draft, thus they are “safe”.

    • Katmoon

      I meant “gave”, not have

  • D Johnson

    “Believe’s” comments are straight from a desperate housewives program. “He’s so hot.” He gives me a hardon.” What the hell does that have to do with running a country? You vote for the person who gives you the biggest boner? This idiot should take his sexual desires to the privacy of his bathroom and leave serious political discussion to people who are grown up enough to control themselves. If he’s a paid blog hack, than O should be demanding a refund.

    • clik212

      Folks believe is just pulling our chains. Let the poor bastard be. He’s getting off on all our attention and hate for him.

      He isn’t worth it.

  • http://deleted AnninCa

    I personally think McCain is safer on women’s issues than Obama. Obama’s superficial approach is alarming, and he simply doesn’t think things through. McCain is not particularly interested in this issue. I don’t think it will be on his radar much if he’s balanced by a Dem. congress.

    • http://redhotandbluepolitics.com grlpatriot

      It seems odd doesn’t it to think a Democrat cannot be trusted on this issue, but Obama cannot. I’m going to have to agree with you about McCain.

      • http://deleted AnninCa

        Well, if we get some real Democrats in Congress, McCain will have the perfect situation to go back to his ever-so-comfortable moderate place. He’ll not bother trying to push through arch-conservative judges with bad records. They won’t get through. He won’t fight congress on health care reforms, either. He might not promote it, but we don’t need him for that. We just need him to hold the place for 4 years.

        Obama is a loose cannon. No telling what he’d do. He might put someone in who loves his faith-based initiatives. I so agree with Jesse Jackson that Obama is off the wall there. *blech*

        His comment about mental distress and abortion is the first example of just why I’m opposed to that type of initiative. It’s fuzzy-wuzzy and leads to huge problems.

  • http://thehorizontalworld.blogspot.com/ Medusa

    Great cartoon and post, Pat.

    I think you should draw a cartoon with Backtrack Obama in bed with George W. Bush, for bedfellows they are.

    Backtracking is BO’s way….what a sham.

  • Asior

    Obama doesn’t deserve to be Prez. He’s a SEXIST garbage.

  • gotalife

    “Salon’s Walsh: Huffington, Markos
    misled readers about Obama:

    “He was never the great progressive savior that his fans either thought he was, or Arianna Huffington and Markos Moulitsas peddled to their readers,” says Salon’s Joan Walsh.
    >> Supporters become disillusioned after Obama’s
    turn toward the right”

    He is more to the right than McCain.

    Punked.

  • believe

    And don’t nobody SNUB me. We only like mature politicians around here.

  • believe

    :::BRUSHING THE CRAP OFF MY SHOULDERS:::

    :::SCRAPING THE CRAP FROM MY SHOES:::

    :::GIVING THE FINGER WHILE PRETENDING TO SCRATCH MY FACE:::

    Yes, let’s talk about Barack Obama and maturity, shall we?

  • http://uppitywoman08.wordpress.com Uppity Woman

    Ask Illinois NOW why they refused to endorse Obama.

    “When we needed someone to take a stand, Obama took a pass”.

    Gee, that doesn’t sound familiar does it?

  • believe

    Why don’t you?

  • salt

    Ok it’s time for Hillary to stop stumping with this guy, and NARAL abandon the organization withdrawal all support, Obama is offensive on so many levels but his ignorance and use of stereo types against women is past the pail, I would go as far as judging him biased, and guess what sweetie the only time I’m feeling Blue is when I read his your STUPID statements and cringe as I do, just as I have when I hear the red Party Puppet Bush.

    Democrats have failed this country mightily by nominating this arrogant ignorant but educated ARSE.

    • believe

      Why don’t you write to them and ask them to do that?

      • WildChild

        It won’t be necessary after you BOBOweeies switch your support to the real democratic candidate: Hillary Clinton

  • MrMike

    When all the dirt on Tony Rezko started to come out I thought that Obama was above it all. Lately, with his pandering to any group that has a vote, I’m beginning to wonder.