- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 4, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Much has been made about Sen. Barrack Obama’s status as the “first African-American nominated for president by a major U.S. party,” and rightly so. It is indeed a historic event. Polls show a huge preference for Mr. Obama among African-Americans. Beyond solidarity of skin, his Kenyan connection seems to make real the African in African-American. In reality, however, Mr. Obama’s chilling support of the Freedom of Choice Act mocks that very core.

The majority of African nations do not allow abortion except for grave matters, and Kenya is one of the most restrictive. In the early 1990s, when Nigeria proposed legalizing abortion, women came storming out of bush and villages in protest, and the legislation was overturned. Even the men opposed unrestricted abortion on the principle, as Steven W. Mosher said in his book “Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits,” that for a Nigerian man, family and children “are not just a sign of his wealth and power, they are his wealth and power.”

In co-sponsoring the Freedom of Choice Act, Sen. Obama sadly fails to support American women and children and basic human rights. If a baby lives following an abortion attempt, this act would allow covert killing of the infant through the overt refusal to provide medical attention and nutrition. It’s just that coldblooded.

African-American women already have the highest abortion rate in the United States, and African-American teens are three times more likely than their white peers to terminate a pregnancy. How can this proposal help African-American women? How does this act raise the dignity or lend enduring support to the pregnant African-American woman or, for that matter, women of any race?

Even though Africans grapple with poverty and hardship unlike any suffered by Americans, they struggle to find ways to support their children and families. Instead of abortion, they design supportive facilities to care for children while family members visit on a regular basis. Ultimately, the child returns to the family. Certainly, a candidate with a Harvard degree can come up with better alternatives than to watch legally as a baby dies right before his eyes. America needs an African-American model of male leadership, presence and support of family and child.

MAURA M. PARKER

Mount Airy, Md.

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