George Weigel has penned a sharp response to Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec’s response to his original Newsweek column .

The whole thing is worth reading, so it’s hard to select just a couple sample paragraphs. But here’s the opening:

I take it as an iron law of controversy that when three tenured law professors like Nick Cafardi, Cathy Kaveny, and Doug Kmiec fret in print about “intellectual siren calls” and “elegant theorizing,” something other than real argument—moral argument or policy argument—is afoot. A serious, bipartisan, national debate about the ways in which people of goodwill in both political parties can work together to build a culture of life in 21st-century America would be welcome. Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec are not making the contributions to that argument of which they were once capable. Indeed, as the Most Rev. Charles Chaput, archbishop of Denver recently put it (speaking, he emphasized, as a private citizen), “To suggest—as some Catholics do—that Senator [Barack] Obama is this year’s ‘real’ pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse. To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred ‘pro-life’ option is to subvert what the word ‘pro-life’ means.”

Why? Because the public record amply demonstrates that Senator Obama is not the abortion moderate of our professors’ imagination, but a genuine abortion radical. In the third presidential debate, Obama described Roev. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that obliterated the abortion law of all fifty states, as “rightly decided”—a judgment with which Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec have all disagreed in the past. Moreover, Senator Obama’s defense of Roe extends far beyond anyone’s “elegant theorizing.” Support for Roe was Obama’s stated reason for opposing Illinois bills aimed at providing legal protection for children who survived an abortion. Support for Roe buttressed Obama’s criticism of a Supreme Court decision upholding state partial-birth abortion laws. The full implementation of the most radical interpretation of Roe would seem to be the goal of Obama’s support for the federal Freedom of Choice Act [FOCA], which, by stripping Catholic doctors of “conscience clause” protections currently in state laws, would put thousands of Catholic physicians in jeopardy.

In short, there is very little, if anything, in Senator Obama’s public record to suggest that he agrees with Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec that abortion is a “tragic moral choice.” On the contrary, the 2008 Democratic platform removed language that described abortion as “regrettable” from the relevant plank. Do Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec imagine that they have a better grasp of Senator Obama’s views on the life issues than, say, the National Reproductive Rights Action League [NARAL], or other pro-choice Obama supporters?

The ending is even better. Read the entire thing .

Articles by Ryan T. Anderson

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