Obama in 2004: Unborn baby is only ‘potential life’

At a campaign event in 2004, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama stated that he believed a fetus is more than just a ball of cells; it is, in fact, a “potential life”:

“My basic view is that abortion is an extraordinarily difficult moral issue. As a Christian, I think that a fetus is not just a collection of cells,” Obama says. “It is a potential life.”

Notice that, while Obama at least acknowledged the existence of a developing being, he was unable to acknowledge that said being is actually alive. A child whose heart beats, who kicks and hiccups, is only a potential life.

According to Obama, that’s exactly what it is:

“And I think that after viability it is legitimate for the state to prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is an exception for the mother’s life and health. Prior to viability, the problem is that this potential life is inside someone else’s body,” Obama continues. “It’s inside a woman’s body. And I don’t feel that it is appropriate for me to simply dictate to that person, to that woman what she should do with her body.

A woman carries and protects another human being inside of her, a human being that grows and develops from the moment that it is conceived, and, in Obama’s universe, that’s a “problem.” Disgusting. And what’s worse is that today, in 2012, President Obama believes that when those potential lives are fully realized, that is the biggest problem of all.

  • http://pinterest.com/j0s1395/ Josephine (D)

    Why is it that liberals claim to love science, but then deny it when it clashes with their agenda?

  • Fire and Adjust!

    No, it IS a life…………in a different stage of NATURAL development whose NATURAL environment is a womb………..

  • Aestro

    I am pro-choice, but it’s not an easy choice. On the one hand, I fully support birth control being widely available and taught in school – preventing unwanted pregnancy goes a long way to not having to ask the question of abortion in the first place. On the other hand, I would have a lot of problems with a woman terminating a late-term pregnancy – that is dangerously close to simply killing a newborn.

    This is where my difficulty lies – I don’t know where life begins. I don’t know if that’s a scientific question, a religious question, a philosophical question, or all of the above. I don’t know if I would consider a collection of cells fewer than what we shed in dead skin each day a “life” solely because it becomes a human. I don’t know if the early stages of a fetus (usually week 9, when organs and human shapes are forming but only just) is a human life.

    I am pro-choice because I understand why a pregnant woman wouldn’t want to bring a child she can’t care for into the world. Many of the same people that tell her she shouldn’t get an abortion will also call her a slut or a whore and decry the government for offering assistance to the woman that chooses to bear that child. Even if she chooses to put up the child for adoption, that often comes with a hard life for the child (in addition to the high cost of birth).

    That said, I understand why you would want to ban abortion. Even with the doubts, I understand wanting to err on the side of caution in regards to human life. If you believe life begins at conception, even more so. It’s a perfectly reasonable position and it is frustrating when my liberal brethren get so caught up in the politics that they fail to see the other side. I hope that you grant us the courtesy of doing the same.

    • Sarah

      Scientifically, life begins at conception. Study a high school biology class and you’ll find that even single-cells are considered “life.” An unborn child meets the scientific criteria for life the moment it is conceived.

      I know you mention a pregnant woman not wanting to bring a child into the world who she can’t care for, but the answer is not abortion, it’s adoption. I’ve met so many adopted people, so many people whose mother were unmarried, single, abandoned, teenagers, yet they chose life. They gave their daughter or son away to a family who COULD care for them.

      Even then, why should a mother choose whether her child lives or dies? You should be able to carve your own paths in life. We live in America, the land of opportunity. Even someone growing up with a hard childhood can still succeed later in life. The mother shouldn’t make a decision based off of, “Well, they’ll live a crummy life anyway.” She doesn’t know that! No one knows what comes next in life.

      An innocent life is an innocent life… from conception onward. We shouldn’t play god with the lives of the unborn. Let them live and make their own choices.

      That’s why I’m pro-life.

    • Johnny Banco

      You are being intellectually dishonest to say that you don’t know where life begins, or if a living human fetus is human life, which is the kind of ridiculous equivocation that causes rationalizers like you and Obama to deserve the label, “cowards”.

      • Sarah

        I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they’re truly open-minded about abortion, that’s a good thing. I welcome that. Give them some facts, it might help them change their mind.

        • Johnny Banco

          Since they are already aware of the truth regarding the life status of the fetus, which in part explains the struggle they’re having, about what doubt exactly are you supposing they should be given the benefit of – are you suggesting instead it would be better for me to say that they’re “acting cowardly” rather than use “cowards” to describe them, or, something else?

          • Sarah

            Well, I think they have two doubts. 1) Does life begin at conception. And 2) If life does begin at conception, is it *human* life. You said they were intellectually dishonest because they first say they didn’t know where life begins, but then they go on to say a “living fetus” (at least, that’s what I gathered from your post). I think these are valid questions that need to be asked and answered. The very moment after conception, is a single cell a human life? Is a collection of cells a human life? For years, the pro-abortion advocates have been saying, “It’s just a bunch of cells.” And people believe that. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they’re not being intentionally intellectually dishonest, that they truly don’t know when life begins, and they’re just looking for answers.

          • Johnny Banco

            I am sorry to have to say this, but you are making excuses for their intellectually dishonest “struggle” – they are not so childish and/or stupid that they don’t know the difference between human and non-human, and living zygotes/fetuses and unliving ones, and you are behaving as though they are that childish and/or stupid.

            The question then becomes, why do you feel the need to let them off the hook so easily? You can answer that however you will…

          • Sarah

            I’m just trying to answer their questions. I don’t know them in real life. Maybe they are just trying to waste my time. Or maybe they’re actually curious and want to have a conversation about abortion.

            Like I said, a lot of people have been fed the, “It’s just a bunch of cells,” propaganda from the pro-abortion advocates. A lot of people think it’s stupid to think a single cell is considered a human. A lot of people have a hard time looking a a mass of cells that doesn’t look human and calling it human. That’s just the experience I’ve had on this matter. I’m sorry if you feel like I’m making excuses for them or treating them like they’re stupid/a child. I’m sorry if I *am* treating them like they’re a child or stupid. That’s not my intention.

            They asked for some courtesy, so I’m trying to give them some courtesy. They said they’re trying to see the other side. I’m trying to provide them a glimpse of the other side. That’s all.

          • Johnny Banco

            I hope you know, and I believe you do, that I am not attacking you – I just find that you are being too nice towards people who talk like they do about human life.

            It’s simply not disputable to me that the twisted lie about not knowing has it root in the desire to protect people like Aestro from experiencing a guilty conscience about abortion…

          • Fire and Adjust!

            Aestro stated no awareness of truth, he/she stated, verbatim, “This is where my difficulty lies – I don’t know where life begins”

            Although I inherently disagree with Aestro and believe the beginning of life is VERY quantifiable, he/she is stating they are unsure of something…….then further states he/she has an open mind to consider both sides of the issue………That comes across as honest, not cowardly. This should be used as an opportunity to try and guide this person to come to a conclusion….not a moment to deride them into putting up a defensive wall which would block all future attempts at open discourse.

            Sarah took that opportunity to eloquently tell Aestor why SHE is pro-life. That keeps discourse open, insults do not.

          • Johnny Banco

            You, I, and Aestro know beyond all reasonable doubt that our ongoing lives began at conception, not some point afterwards – pretending otherwise is juvenile, idiotic, and insane.

            I’ve dealt with enough passive-aggressive people like Aestro in my life to know that giving them the benefit of the doubt w/o good reason only enables the bad behavior, which in this case is the intellectual dishonesty about the beginning point of a human’s life.

            I want to tell you, your critique of my “insult” reminds me of Jim Wallace and others who unconstructively blame the embassy attacks on ‘unnecessary provocation’ – it shows that you are missing the most important issue here.

    • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

      Thank you for sharing a well-reasoned opinion, even if it is one many of us here would disagree with. Regarding your remark of “erring on the side of caution,” I would mention only that the law requires certainty “beyond reasonable doubt” to incarcerate or execute a person; I would suggest that “reasonable doubt” is exactly what you express and which should tip the scales in favor of this living thing.

    • Bowdoin81

      When I was a 21 year old college girl, I had two friends who got pregnant.
      One decided to marry her boyfriend and raise the child, a daughter. She finished her last two years of college as a married woman and mother. Life was a challenge for a while, but they had two more children and are still happily married with a rewarding family life.

      The other couldn’t picture herself married to her boyfriend, whose life revolved around getting “messed up.” Nor could she tolerate the inconvenience of carrying a pregnancy to term – she had things to do. Adoption was out; termination was in. Before heading home at the end of the semester, she went to the local family planning clinic and had the abortion. Days later, back in her home town, she began to hemorrage and had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors saved her life. The clinic had nearly killed my friend along with her unborn child, yet she returned to school for our senior year as if nothing had happened.

      Years later when I reflect on these women and the choices they each made, I am certain that questions of when life begins or how hard will life be for the child in an adoption or how expensive will be the birth had nothing to do with those choices. Rather, the variable was, am I willing to suffer the inconvenience of a pregnancy at this point in my life in order that a child might live? One woman said, yes, of course. The other said, no way.

  • weRbroke

    As soon as a woman pees on a stick and the Dr confirms her pregnancy, that same woman now counts as TWO persons to qualify for welfare, state or fed. How can it be a person when someone wants to be on welfare? A single woman in my state can only make $18 a day, while her single pregnant peer can earn the equiv of $19hr fulltime job and qualify for medicaid. Incidentally, that woman, using that extra person to qualify can turn around and expect medicaid to abort it free of charge. She can then ride on Medicaid another 6 months postabort, get knocked up and then KEEP that person, and stay on medicaid for 2 years post partum, while still earning as much as $19 an hour ft. Crazy. no wonder I see a lot of single young women with 2-5 kids, standing in line with the ETB card, no man, and living in Section 8 housing…they don’t need anyone but the taxpayers to pay their living expenses and daycare while they work a parttime job and rake in a healthy tax credit for all their kids. there is no incentive to quit having kids they can’t afford. no incentive for women to look for a good partner, if the dude doesn’t want to, he’s not going to stick around to be a father, and since the government is more than willing to reward poor choices, it is becoming a serious social problem.

    • Johnny Banco

      Well said.

    • otay

      Life begins at the beginning.

  • weRbroke

    The other day I went rounds with someone about the Trans Vag ultrasound. It is widely used as a diagnostic to confirm pregnancy and determine gestation of the developing baby. i support it’s use and most Dr’s do it to protect themselves from making a misdiagnosis and to date the gestation. In searching for some comments from women who went thru it, I found a number that commented that they had the test done, and the Dr told them it was missing something, or couldn’t detect a heartbeat, so the Dr recommended that they woman opt for a D&C to remove the pregnancy that the Dr said was not viable. These were women that wanted to be pregnant. They set a date and went home to cry and wait for the day they are prepped to abort a failed pregnancy. One particular woman said that when the Dr told her there was no yolk sac, and recommended she terminate a failed pregnancy, she refused to accept that the pregnancy was failing. Two weeks later, she had a second ultrasound done that not only detected a strong heartbeat, but a developing human being. The Dr was surprised, to say the least. Had she listened to the Dr, he had suggested termination. The woman now holds a sweet and perfectly formed baby, one that didn’t “appear” to be viable during that test. is it possible that the presence of such technology can lead women down a road to an elecive abortion, based on limited knowledge or poor test readings? Why are some Dr’s in a hurry to get that “failed” pregnancy out before it actually fails and turns into a miscarriage?

  • lana ward

    Abortion is murder. Period. When an aborted baby is alive and thrown in the trash, Obama should be forced to stand there and watch it die. That heartless,evil being

  • Terry

    That man says “uh” with every other word. If you can get past that, he says a late term abortion of a viable baby is OK if the mother’s health is in danger. Hey dumbass, if its viable and mom’s heath is in danger, the baby can be delivered, and will survive. He’s advocating murder of a baby that can otherwise survive outside the womb.

  • David Mortimer

    Like Obama once confessed on the campaign trail, that knowing when life beings is “above my pay grade.” Too bad for preborn human beings that he made a decision anyway…