The anti-abortion group CatholicVote has put together a new, disingenuous advertisement supposedly encouraging women to eschew abortions by intimating that their currently-unwanted pre-born children will grow up to be President... just like Ann Dunham's kid.
The ad picks up on an anti-abortion meme first brought to our attention last fall by the National Review's Ed Whelan, who said:
Nearly 48 years ago, a young woman, not yet 18, became pregnant in her freshman year of college. Living in a time and place in which abortion was generally illegal, she proceeded to marry the father of her child and gave birth to a son. Perhaps she would have done so irrespective of the abortion laws at the time, even if, say, she lived in a legal culture that celebrated abortion as a fundamental right. Very possibly not. (I haven’t found any statistics on the percentage of pregnant college freshmen who abort their pregnancies, but indirect indications suggest that it’s very high.)
Barack Obama may actually believe, as he stated yesterday, that Roe v. Wade “was rightly decided.” But it may be very lucky for him, as the son born of that woman, that it hadn’t been decided a dozen or so years earlier.
It was annoying enough that Whelan (and others) would assume that Ann Dunham would have aborted Barack Obama had she the option — plenty of women choose not to every day...many of them pro-choice.
But to see it on camera is, as Jessica Valenti at Feministing says, tacky and offensive on a whole other level. To suggest that Barack Obama's deceased mother would have contemplated an abortion in her circumstances without knowing a thing about her is tacky and offensive. To suggest that the sonogram — which the anti-abortion movement sees as an effective weapon to convince women not to have one — was Barack Obama in his mother's womb is nauseating, let alone completely inaccurate and impossible. And to use his image and his popularity to sell a political message with which he would disagree — since the point of CatholicVote is not to convince women to eschew abortion per se, but to convince them to vote for politicians that would not allow them to make the choice in the first place.