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July 2nd, 2010
05:07 PM ET

White House ties new pregnancy assistance fund to 'common ground' abortion plan

President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in June.

The Health and Human Services Department announced Friday that it is making $25 million available to states to support pregnant women and teen parents, in an initiative that the White House is framing as a way to find common ground on abortion.

The new federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund will award grants to states aimed at providing pregnant women and teen parents support for completing high school or college degrees and for getting health care, child care and housing, HHS said in a news release Friday.

The grants can also be used to combat violence against pregnant women, the release said.

In an e-mail announcing the initiative to nonprofit groups on Friday, the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at HHS tied the new fund to the abortion issue.

"It was only a year ago that President Obama gave a seminal speech at Notre Dame urging our nation to find common ground on the issue of abortion and unintended pregnancies," said the e-mail, which was obtained by CNN.

"The Pregnancy Assistance Fund is a competitive grant program established by the Affordable Care Act to assist women who have decided to carry their pregnancies to term and those who are parenting," the e-mail continued. "...This funding is another critical step in the President's vision for common ground."

HHS did not mention abortion in its Friday news release on the establishment of the fund, which was created by the health care bill that Obama signed in March.

"The opportunity created by the Affordable Care Act will provide States and Tribes needed assistance to support vulnerable teens and women who are pregnant and parenting," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the news release.

"The Pregnancy Assistance Fund provides States the opportunity to link these families to health, education, child care, and other supports that can help brighten the futures of parents and their children," she said.

Moderate religious groups hailed the measure as an important way for the White House to deliver on its goal of reducing the need for abortion, which Obama articulated last year in establishing the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

"Pro-life and pro-choice people have gotten behind it so it's a good first step at reducing abortion and providing support for healthier babes and mothers," said Kristen Day, executive director of the antiabortion group Democrats for Life of America. "Once we show how effective this is we can go back and expand this program."

Day, who has consulted with the White House on reproductive health issues, said the new fund also had political benefits for Democrats. "We've been working on common ground around abortion for a long time because we want to take it away as a wedge issue," she said.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America also indicated that it supported the measure.

But conservative anti-abortion groups greeted the announcement of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund more skeptically.

"This money is mandated for services for pregnant teens and women - violence prevention, vocational training," said Carrie Gordon Earll, a spokeswoman for CitizenLink, the public policy arm of the evangelical group Focus on the Family. "It would be inaccurate to characterize it as 'abortion common ground' since it doesn't specifically address abortion."

The new health care law appropriates $25 million for the Pregnancy Assistance Fund each year through 2019, according to HHS. The grants will be awarded competitively.

When Obama established the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in February 2009, the White House said that "it will be one voice among several in the administration that will look at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Barack Obama • Culture wars • Health care • Politics

soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. JB

    One cannot assume their own personal beliefs are held be everyone else. I agree, if you don't believe in abortion you shouldn't pay for it, however, in todays social and economic climate you have to face reality. The reality is people completely unprepared in regards to caring for a child both emotionally and financially get into this situation, finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. If someone feels aborting they're pregnancy is whats best for them then they should be able to do that. The government should make contributing to this fund an option on your taxes and if you think it's wrong, don't give. Besides, most people on this comment page have no idea what it's like to be in that situation, including myself, so spare us when it comes to expressing your religious beliefs.

    July 3, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  2. Jen R.

    War is murder; how many children die in war? I don't see the same intensity to stop war. Government has not place in our personal medical choice. Besides if you're not willing to personally pay for or adopt these unwanted future welfare cases...shut up!

    July 3, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  3. Jen R.

    I do not want tax money of any kind going to fund housing or any other kind of support for teens or women who can't take care of their own pregnancies. You want to keep your spawn, then pay with your own dime, not mine. Or, better yet, have your parents pay or get an abortion. Maybe the ranting pro-lifers should foot the bill and put their money where their big mouths are. Funny how they don't want big government messing with their business, but it's ok to mess with personal choices. Also, why don't they scream over the loss of young lives in wars like they do for a bundle of cells that can't live on their own yet?

    July 3, 2010 at 1:13 am |
    • nwatcher

      For the record, pro-lifers do put their money where their mouths are (and then pay taxes that our govmnt spends to undermine their efforts ) You may want to look into that...and your blood pressure...

      July 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  4. Clayton

    Meeting at a common ground is the best way to go Tom. Forcing your religion on others can be turned straight back at you. I could care less what you believe. I, like many others, want equality for all and the choice as an American to make decisions on my own without YOUR religion telling me what I can and cannot do. If you want religion to rule your life so much, you can come out here to the Middle East. There's a lot of countries that would be happy for you to live under their religious rule. Get a grip on life.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  5. Just a thought

    Unfortunately, these type of propaganda productions tend to not be based in scientific fact, nor are they comprehensive with medical practitioners in that they do not have a solid foundation in biological sciences. Both sides should ne presented without bias; that would be the Christian thing to do.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  6. Antonios672

    The Republicans are hostages to the Tea Party. The longer they stick with them, the sooner independents will see clearly what is going on. Sooner or later this country will be center-left, we will regulate the thieves (Banks,Oil,Coal etc.) and create a middle class again, the bone of our existence as a wealthy and secure nation. Patience Democrats, change takes time.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  7. Alex from Michigan

    It's common ground because the best way to reduce the number of abortions in this country whether they are legal or illegal is to help women, especially young women, with unwanted pregnancies to see alternatives to abortion and be able to still achieve their life goals even with the pregnancy. When abortion was illegal, abortion wasn't non-existent, it was simply done in illegal back room environments that are extremely dangerous to the woman, helping pregnant women when they are in need is the only way to effectively reduce abortions.

    And regarding your comment about Obama wanting to kill infants that survive abortions. Obama voted no on a law that among other things stated that a doctor would be required to help save a child who was born alive after a failed abortion. Republicans like to use that as saying that Obama wants doctors to let babies die. However, Illinois law already stated that a doctor was required to help, so in terms of that particular provision, whether the law passed or not doctors would be required to save a child born alive after a failed abortion.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  8. Jesus Cristo

    I am a Super Liberal and dont believe in Abortion.... But I do think a Woman has the right to choose...

    July 3, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  9. Just a thought

    CatholicMom, while I am neither voicing an opinion either way here with the regards to when life begins, as this is truly the crux of the debate, I do feel a need to correct an error in your spirited commentary.

    A human fetus is unable to feel pain at 24 weeks gestation, this is a proven medical fact, as the neural tube has not developed enough for pain perception, i.e. lacking pain receptor sites. The medical community has found that pain perception may even begin significantly later than 24 weeks, but that is still being investigated.

    When over 80% of abortions occur prior to the end of the first trimester, it is safe to say you may be exaggerating in your claims. As far as the late-term abortions, which occur after either 22 or 24.weeks, they may only occur in cases of devastating neurological defects to the fetus (which would mean the fetus would not be "feeling", so much as responding to autonomic nerve stimulation), death of the fetus, or serious health consequences to the mother (which, more than likely have stressed the fetus to death or irreversable damage).

    July 3, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  10. nonesuch

    Abortion is not a religious issue for anyone except the woman who's pregnant. If she, her doctor, and her God are involved, what do they need any of you for?

    July 3, 2010 at 12:03 am |
    • beentherehaveyou

      I want everyone who has so much to say about abortion to find themselves in the position of possibly having a child they can't imagine raising because of circumstances beyond their control. For everyone that offers adoption up as the only alternative, start by picking up one of the children already in the system & rescue them. Its not just the poor, undereducated deciding to abort but all kinds of people who don't want children INCLUDING married couples who decide the timing isn't right for a child or any other reason they decide is valid. Honestly, we need to think about the options we give teenagers to start combatting the rise in teen pregnancies. College is now a far away dream for most kids- public programs where they'd learn job skills are gone. High schools have become daycare centers- teacher are overworked, underpaid & not appreciated. Sex isn't something you have to learn or pay for- why do you think so many kids have resolved to just do it? There's not much else for them. Sad but true... for every one of you that thinks $400 for an abortion is too much to ask but complains about your tax dollars being used to fund welfare, get over yourselves. If abortion isn't something you don't see yourself doing, don't do it. Until any of you can come into my home & feed me and my children, take the time to turn off your judgement & fix what you can about the world.

      July 4, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  11. Antonios672

    Tom, and the rest of the frenzy right, will be surprised come election time. We will drink those Tea Party nuts during breakfast, and then go to vote as we must cause they must seize to exist. They want their country back LOL, NO this is the country we want rednecks, a progressive for the people government. A bunch of Southern states cannot stop the evolution of our society because they haven't read a book in their lives.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  12. CatholicMom

    Could someone explain how ‘common ground’ would work on abortion? Either you are for abortion or you are against it. Where is the common ground?

    Would the common ground be-that if a baby survives an abortion [which the baby would then be a live child out of the womb] would there be mercy given the child at this point or would it still be left on the abortionist’s cold, hard tray to suffer agony until she or he dies? This is ‘common’ practice, not 'common' ground. It is also ‘commonplace but, no, not common ground.

    It is NOT good for the commonwealth to lose its common sense.

    What is this talk about better health care for ALL? Just murder the ones you don’t want to commit to health care; I see. No commonweal in that.

    It is a sad state of affairs but we must admit we have lost our common touch.

    July 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Christian

      CatholicMom: There is no "common ground" in legal terms in abortion, nor will there, or should there be. Abortion is legal, and is likely to remain that way, as more than 50% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal, and nearly 75% believe it should be legal in the case of rape/incest/violence. So, while revoking abortion may appeal to a base, the fact it, it's not a political winner.

      So, your kind should focus on finding ways to encourage women to keep their babies. Even if abortion were illegal, many women would be unable to care for them, emotionally or financially. Children would be abandoned, starved, abused, neglected. The focus, then should be on ways of fighting these things. Ensuring that women will have health care from themselves and their children. Ensuring they will have SAFE housing, and affordable daycare so that they can work. Ensuring they have access to food. Amazing how you stop caring about the child after it's popped out. Control them while they are pregnant, abandon them when they are done.

      Yes, adoption is an option. But it's only a viable option because abortion is legal. Because right now, there are about 24,000 infant adoptions in the US each year. Tell me, where are you putting the other 1.37 MILLION children that would be born by illegalizing abortion?

      July 3, 2010 at 8:14 am |
    • Believer

      @Christian.........Adoption is not an option because abortion is legal, tha's a totally illogical statement. Adoption is always an option. Here's the key, make adoption financially feasible. The costs of the adoption process, not the rasing of the child afterward is prohibitive to nearly 80% of our nation. Whne the cost of an adoption exceeds the cost of a small vehicle we have gone too far. Maybe this ist he option that the government should look at funding more strongly.

      July 3, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Idiodcracy

      Hey CatholicMom: Instead of forcing your beliefs on everyone else, why don't you focus you energy on stopping the Catholic preists from molesting young boys and then having the Pope cover up from them. How about that CatholicMom? Does that sound good to you?

      July 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
    • Reachingstars

      Sure Believer, let's just give abandoned children away for half price! That makes no sense and is scary to think about. The question still remains however – where DO we put over a million children? You have to play a serious game of "what if" in your head and examine the possible options – none of them are good and some are horrible. I won't even start thinking about how high we'd have to raise taxes for the government to afford these children.

      As a mother, I hate the thought of abortion but the one thing that tears at my heart the most is knowing that children are born every day to mothers who abuse and neglect them (among other unspeakable evils). If suffering is to occur – as is inescapable in all of life – I'd rather it be for a gracious few seconds than for years on end to an actual LIVING child.

      July 3, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  13. Patrick

    Until the child is able to live on its own outside the womb, it is a parasitic life form. It is a fact, read the definition if you like. Over population is a problem and honestly what another human does with their body is none of your business. I do not care what your religion says. It does not concern me and I should not have to abide by your religious dogma.

    July 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • conan the contrarion

      yeah, supply and demand. we have enough people at this point i guess. parasite. religious or not, calling your own species a parasite is sounds sort of nazi like.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Patrick,
      You said, ‘ what another human does with their body is none of your business’—but it isn’t their body that they are aborting—it is someone else’s body.

      July 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
    • Patty

      Thank you; well stated, Patrick!

      July 3, 2010 at 1:20 am |
    • Sue Mc

      Catholic Mom, until those cells are viable outside the womb, it's the women's (host's) body. Get over it. Focus on kids who are already here with parents who can't take care of them properly. Why don't you adopt a few of them if you want to help the situation. If you already have, good for you! Just leave the rest of us alone with our own choices.

      July 3, 2010 at 1:23 am |
    • dalis

      @ Patrick The difference between a fetus and its mother is not a difference IN KIND but in stage of development, a difference of maturity. Flat out, a parasite is by definition of another species AND is biologically harmful to the host. It's not parasitism; it's human reproduction.

      July 3, 2010 at 3:19 am |
    • dalis

      @ Sue Mc What you say about the fetus being a part of "the women's (host's) body" flies in the face of biology. The fetus and the placenta have distinct DNA and sometimes a distinct blood type from the mother. The direction of its growth is not extrinsically determined, but is in accord with the genetic information within it. The fetus is a distinct organism that metabolizes nutrients on its own. Nutrients are exchanged across the placenta, but the blood never mingles. It's all there in black and white in any embryology or biology textbook.

      July 3, 2010 at 3:20 am |
    • dalis

      I recommend reading the article "A Distinct Human Organism" by Robert P. George on the NPR website.

      July 3, 2010 at 3:21 am |
    • poster

      using your definition of parisitic life form, then a newborn baby is a parisite since it depends on another life( the mother) to live. Should we allow the killing of newborns?

      July 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • runner920

      No worries about "having to abide by religious dogma" in your case– you don't have a uterus (if your name really is Patrick and you are a man), so no government entity will force you to support a "parasitic life form."

      Because of advanced medical care, the age of viability is getting younger and younger. Where do we draw the line? 28 weeks? What about 27 weeks and 6 days? What about 27 weeks and 5 days? Is there that much difference from day to day? This is a human rights issue, so feel free to split hairs.

      July 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • anonymous61

      Uh, Patrick, you can't live on your own without the support of society – does that make you a parasitic lifeform? You can't grow your own food, build your own home, provide yourself with clean water, electricity, clothing, and all the other prerequisites of modern life. Shut off from the support of society you'd die in a few days (or weeks, if you're lucky). And to carry your analogy further, at what point does a child outside the womb become able to live without the support of others – without being a parasite? At 1 day? 1 month? 1 year? 10 years? HUH? Think before you type.

      July 5, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  14. Wake Up

    The Evangelical Thought Police want to stop Abortion but don’t want Reproductive Education taught in the Schools! if the Youth knew how to avoid getting pregnant there would be no Abortion in the first Place! Also their Medieval mindset of trying to maintain Celibacy before marriage worked in the Middle Ages and the Ozarks when folks got married at 16yrs old – O.K. keeping Celibate till 16 is one thing but modern US citizens don’t get married until their 30’s the Bible Beaters are trying to enforce a so-called Moral code that is as impossible to achieve as Pat Robertson turning down a 700 club donation!

    July 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • DKJ

      Hello, we are not a third world country with out education, the main problem here is we are allowing our children to be raised by others including the State. Morals are taught through a family unit and that itself is a dying breed. Why should the state support these children, is not the family's responsibility? Besides isn't it most religions motto, to go out and multiply?

      July 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Emmitt Langley

    So is the socialist compromise to slaughter only 60,000 innocent babies a year instead of 1.2 million?

    Man, I guess the fascist germans were also surprised when Jewish people didn't go for their compromises either.

    Just because you make murder legal, doesn't make it right.

    July 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Since abortion has NEVER been deemed 'murder' by anyone but nutcases, you have no point. Abortion was legal when the founding fathers wrote the constitution. If they believed it were a crime, why didn't they say so then?

      July 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Idiodcracy

      Real classy Emmitt. Since you want to make Holocaust anaolgies, I think we should round up every ignorant right wing moron in this country and put them in Arizona with a big tall barb wire fence around it. Then you can all live however you want without pushing your stupid beliefs on other people.

      July 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • ybs

      Right! Will all the child s*xual abuse cover-ups, let's shut down all CC!

      July 5, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  16. Donkey Party

    Yes Robert, things will change in November, the rest of the radical extremist theological haters will be voted out, and those running on that platform won't be voted in. There will be a real super-majority in the Senate after November. Be thankful if any GObPer still has a seat.

    July 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Emmitt Langley

      Then you can kill all the innocent babies you want, huh?

      July 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Emmitt, if you see any babies being killed, do call 911. Babies aren't involved in an abortion. Fetuses are, and their 'rights' extend only as far as the woman carrying them chooses to allow.

      Grow a uterus. Until then, keep your little buddy in your pants. That's the extent of your say about the matter.

      July 3, 2010 at 12:01 am |
    • SarahK

      You do realize that the other name for a donkey is an @ss

      July 3, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • Molly

      nonesuch, it always cracks me up when pro abortionists try to split hairs by saying it's a fetus and not a baby. It's called a fetus until it is born. So by your argument a woman should be able to kill a 6 month old baby just because it hasn't been born yet. That is a sick way of thinking.

      July 5, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  17. Robert

    Sorry – I meant bribery.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  18. Robert

    Those with blinders on will think the President is telling the truth. What a joke. They must have forgotten what he helped sign into law in Chicago....no funding for newborns birthed by abortion. And I do wonder how Sestak feels now – since this is the first step to erosion of the blackmailing he took. Come November 2010 = thank goodness things will change BIG TIME.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
  19. cheaptees

    If birth control was EASIER to obtain (more local clinics strictly for birth control, no, not abortion, just birth control, i.e. condoms, the pill, depo shots, and it was FREE) there would be LESS unplanned pregnancies, AND FEWER ABORTIONS. LETS PREVENT PREGNANCIES TO STOP NEED FOR ABORTIONS! let's start there...

    July 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Emmitt Langley

      Murder is never a good solution for anything. Call it what it is...you're for ending an innocent life. That is murder. And murder is never the answer.

      July 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
    • JLP

      I agree with you 100% if birth control could be easier accessed than abortion rates would go down. But I also believe that their are people out there who should have abortions before the give birth. Some people just shouldn't be parents. It is better to terminate a pregnancy than to let that child be abused in anyway or murdered when it is older. There are stories everyday about parents abusing their children and killing them so how could you not believe it would have been better for them to have an abortion. My sister in law works at a detention facility for girls that have major mental issues due to abuse. It is absolutely ridiculous to not support something that would prevent people like those parents from having children.

      July 3, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • SarahK

      Birth control is easy to get. THe real issue is many of these girls choose not to use it.

      July 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
    • Carol A

      I have to disagree with you. Even with birth control available there will still be unwanted pregnancies. I knew a girl (22yrs old) who said she deliberately got pregnant because she knew she would get welfare, etc... and then when it wasn't all she thought it was going to be she enlisted in the Navy to support herself and child because the father was a no-load bum.

      Besides, having to take a pill each and every day at the same time is quite a chore to some who can barely brush their teeth in the morning.

      July 3, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Nursehope

      Emmitt: Murder only applies to the living. Fetuses are incapable of LIVING outside the womb before 28-30 weeks gestation.

      July 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Matt

      Free Clinics! Yes, because 25 cent condoms are far more expensive than a 500 dollar abortion operation. I see your point!! (Rolls eyes)

      July 4, 2010 at 2:39 am |
    • Kaili Lynn

      There is planned parenthood to help out with cheap or free BC pills and such.
      So it is attainable and has been for some time now.
      I am 32 and went to planned parenthood when I was 17 for BC pills.
      They gave them to me for free,

      July 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • DKJ

      Birth control has been around & available for over 30 years and I see little girl 11-12 yrs old pregnant along with 14-16 yrs olds having their second child. Where are the parents? I live in a small town and I can imagine the larger cities. I don't personally agree with abortation as a form of birth control, however, I would rather see someone have an abortion then throw their babies in garbage cans or sell them for drugs. Even worst, a live time of abuse. Why don't all you anti-abortionist adopt all the unwanted children we have the US already?

      July 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Molly

      Birth control is pretty easy to get and free if you go to the Health Department. A lot of schools probably have free condoms, the problem is they either don't want to use them or don't know how to. The birth control pill is not something you can skip every once in a while, it's something you have to take at the same time everyday or your chances of getting pregnant are increased. Just because birth control is free and easy to get doesn't mean it will be used.

      July 5, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • anonymous61

      No no no, the increased availability of cheap artificial contraception has caused an increase in the incidence of abortion, because it contributes to the decreasing worth, in many people's eyes, of human life. Abortion has become a backup for failed birth control.

      July 5, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • daffogirl

      So what do you do with teen girls like 2 in our community who just had their second babies and assume that taxpayers have no problem with paying for their healthcare, housing and food? I'm all for helping people out, but there comes a time when people need to take responsibility and quit expecting others to pick up the pieces for them. These girls know about birthcontrol & had access to it, but they live in a culture where all the girls think it's wonderful to have these cute little babies even though they can't care for them. And when they're no longer cute, the abuse begins.
      Another thought, where is adoption in all this debate? For many of these pregnant teens, that could be the most responsible decision.

      July 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  20. AqChicago

    Tom,
    Looks like you are the sacred hero in this planet earth or call it planet "you". Let me describe you: a conservative republican who will use religion, similar to what the Islamic extremists do, to suppress freedom; torture prisoners; approve death penalty; kill people in the name of "war against terror"; use scare tactics; let wall street greed run its course and take down all the people with it, even if they were not involved in any way; cut takes so the rich get richer and poor get poorer, which, by the way, is kind of contrary to the Christian or any religion w.r.t giving more to the needy (only to some extent though). More importantly, your gurus- the conservative republicans, might also be one of those multiple affair folks, who, while preaching, will also keep committing those sins.
    You don't need to be qualified in any way to simply reach a common ground with any human being, especially in matters of disagreement. Unfortunately, what you and your republican friends know is to do everything by force-by hook or by crook. Keep it up.

    July 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • JWChicago

      I totally agree with AqChicago! Well done and correctly said! Tom is just your average Tea Party Republican extremist – scary.

      July 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Greg

      The Key is the Republican Party has one basic premise; to help rich people make more money, and they will get in bed with all kinds of strange beliefs for that cause. The Democrats want a good live for everyone, which is impossible to legislate. So the focus is all over the place.

      July 2, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
    • Peter

      As long as the GOP and the “double dipped Baptists” can keep us distracted with Social Issues: Gay’s, Creationism, the Evangelical Dumbing down of America and rewriting School textbooks– The real fleecing of America by the Corporate Goon Squads, Bankster Bandits and Health Care Creeps will continue unabated! (“Pay no attention to the Man behind the Curtain!) – Wizard of Oz

      July 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
    • Wake Up Again

      The Evangelical Thought Police want to stop Abortion but don’t want Reproductive Education taught in the Schools! if the Youth knew how to avoid getting pregnant there would be no Abortion in the first Place! Also their Medieval mindset of trying to maintain Celibacy before marriage worked in the Middle Ages and the Ozarks when folks got married at 16yrs old – O.K. keeping Celibate till 16 is one thing but modern US citizens don’t get married until their 30’s the Bible Beaters are trying to enforce a so-called Moral code that is as impossible to achieve as proving that the Earth is only 6,000 years old!

      July 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • EndthePlutonomy

      Republicans support a fascist corporatist plutocracy
      Democrats support and egalitarian democracy.

      Those are our choices in November, I pray we all choose wisely......

      July 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • SarahK

      Aq, you are so off base. Your generalities and hate mongering do not reflect the compassion you espouse.

      July 3, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
    • SarahK

      What Obama is doing is nothing more than a campaign strategy trick....I am sick of his tactics. I want to see some real leadership with real solutions. THis approach does nothing to tackle the pressing issue of rising teenage pregnancies.

      July 3, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • AqChicago

      @ SarahK. How did i go off base and where do i display hate mongering? I have laid out the facts based on actions that conservative republicans have consistenly shown over the yrs. Let me be clear, true conservative republicans, who are religious and god fearing, do not do any of the crappy things i listed above. This is the case also with many athesits and many other avg. american, who may be of different religion-majority of them respect each other. Unfortunately, the political arm of the conservative republican, which is also the voice of of the party, are delusional folks who are actuall filled with haterd and instil fear in the public. Pls measure people/party by their actions, not just words.

      July 3, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • Olga

      Wow, I always thought that what is the difference between an extremist Muslim and an extremist Christian , and the answer is non. Well, may be a tiny difference; An extremist Muslim might blow him/herself for the cause, but the Christian will send the poor kids to do the fight, while they will not send their own kids (may be few will). Cheney didn't send his children, Nor did Bush... Nor did any official,

      July 4, 2010 at 1:26 am |
    • polymerguy

      I am a conservative republican, but I will quote Bill Clinton here because I think nothing could be more true in this day and time. "What we need is a national debate, not a national shouting match. "I applaud our presidents attempt in his efforts to preserve a woman's choice, to make sure that abortion isn't a woman's only choice.

      July 4, 2010 at 1:51 am |
    • DKJ

      Republican or Democrate, it doesn't make any different which name the go by, they are all politicians and will say what ever it takes to get one or another group's vote. It is all about control and what looks good. Welfare, socialism by another name.

      July 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • Pasadena47

      Here is another issue where democrats should lead the way. If you are a democrat I agree that you should be allowed to have an abortion. Sounds good to me.

      July 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • AnettaP.

      It is rather remarkable, in this independent's humble opinion, that you seem to think that members of the Tea Party movement or Republicans have the corner on hate-mongering, distortions of the truth, scare tactics, greed, corruption and so on after reading your diatribe. It is apparent that you have never researched their history beyond a media 30 second sound bite or given serious thought to the messages both are sending or taken a long hard look at your own. The Tea Party movement is not about extremism or extremists, especially given the fact that its' members come from across the political spectrum (dem, repub and ind,) who are fed up with a government that spends too much, is too big and intrusive, has too much power and control and does what little it does poorly. Rather than promoting greed as you stated, the republicans have attempted over the years to decrease the onerous regulations that cost businesses exorbitant amounts of money (money that could be better spent to pay workers, expand their business etc – and some of which make absolutely no sense. And if you didn't realize it, American businesses pay the 2nd highest Corporate tax rate in the world, are rarely owned by a single individual, but by stockholders (one of which might be your neighbor.) They also believe in personal responsibility, which if you come down to it is a part of what it means to be a free person and not a slave to anyone or anything. As for religion, it is only an enslaver if you choose to look at it that way; and to date I can't recall any active Christian terrorist cells blowing themselves up in the marketplace on a daily basis. I could go on, but what would be the point; you're so filled with hate with anyone who doesn't share your utopian
      view of the world that it would be a waste of time and there's not enough space to give you even more valid reasons why your logic is flawed and inane. BTW, Marx's vision of of a socialist-communist government was utopian and perfect except that he forgot the human element – that given enough power man will use that power against his fellow man and regardless of the political nature of any society, you will always have an elite class that will exercise that power. Your liberal movement included.

      July 5, 2010 at 3:08 am |
    • LL72

      AqChicago, I find your complete lack of respect for anyone with differing opinions than yours distasteful. Do you have any friends who don't have the exact same belief system as you? If so, do they know you talk this way? Really...despite what you might think, people of faith and people who don't agree with your particular political party are not out on an insidious plot to ruin your life or the lives of others. That kind of two-dimentional thinking only makes you look paranoid and sad. And it appears that you're no more open-minded than the people you appear to despise. For that matter, you make no case that an athiest Democrat holds any sort of monopoly on common sense. Once you can learn to express your differences properly, and with respect, perhaps people might really listen to what you have to say.

      July 5, 2010 at 8:37 am |
    • Jaci

      AqChicago,

      You are mistaking true conservatives with true Republicans. They are NOT synonymous.

      I am a conservative who abhors what has been going on with both the Republican Party and the Tea Party and how they have tried to twist true conservatism into something I don't even recognize. I believe that governments need to be a HECK of a lot more responsible with our tax dollars and we are now paying the HUGE price for decades of bloated governments (do I need to point out the problems that California, Illinois and New York are experiencing right now, let alone the rest of the states in the Union?), but as far as issues like what choices a woman has in regards to her body and who has the right to get married, if it doesn't impact me personally, why should I have a voice in the matter? That's how most TRUE CONSERVATIVES that *I* know operate. Unfortunately, we don't have a TRUE politician with a TRUE spine to represent our position.

      So I will do my best to do my homework and unfortunately have to make compromises on my birthday, which also happens to be Election Day. Just don't lump me with the out of control Religious Right. That's not where I belong.

      July 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • smcgov

      maybe it's not occurred to you that if we adhered to our Constitution, then people would be free to make whatever wage they want. Businesses would be free to run the way they want. It's already been proven that Socialism and wage redistribution do not work. The bleeding hearts are always on here tryng to make everybody who works hard feel guilty somehow, I don't feel guilty in the least. I've had delivery jobs in the ghettos, I've seen places on a daily basis that I'm positive you only read about or see on TV, so don't try preaching to me about who's at fault here. It's not the GOP or the Republicans or any of that. We've got people in this country getting free housing, food stamps, free cable internet and free TV...you think I'm lying? This is in Obama's back yard. These people have never worked and won't ever work, and are able bodies, they are able to have kids though, because they get checks for those kids. Funny how most of the time the hardcore liberals I've met all have govt. jobs and are on the taxpayers' dime, they'll milk the system at the teat of the taxpayer and live off a great pension and chide people who have worked hard while they're surfing the internet at their govt. job. Many are in education, which is absolutely terrifying. They keep shouting about separation of Church and State yet they have no idea what our founders really meant. There are no new political ideas in the world...Obama thinks he's oh so smart yet he's trying to take us down a path that is a proven failure. The European Socialist countries are in a shambles. We're nearing a depression but Obama is sending huge sums of money to Afghanistan to pay for a war that we cannot win...why? We have no business in Afghanistan just as we didn't in Iraq. The tea party people you are bashing I support absolutely. Our govt waste is sickening. How anybody can label tea party people yet knows nothing about them is beyond me. I don't consider myself a member but they make more sense than the mindless drivel you are spewing on here. Our country was founded on their very beliefs...but only a hardcore Liberal could not get that point. Liberals are a disease that are eating our country from the inside out. The Republicans are not far behind. We need a great leader to get the country out of this Socialist path chosen by Obama and back on the road to being a Republic again and end this insane politicall correctness. I've figured it out after meeting people and talking about these issues for years....Liberals are people who think they are smarter than they really are....Republicans are people who seem to have more common sense, but are too rigid. Please go onto youtube and watch videos by Milton Freidman and then maybe you'll get it, what we were supposed to be. You haven't a clue though, thank God you aren't in office.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:32 am |
    • Artemis

      To smcgov:

      Interesting perspective. But given that most of my friends are liberals, I'd have to disagree. I qualify as educated (at least, I think three advanced degrees qualifies me as such), but I chose to work in the social work field to help change the world instead of complain about it from a distance. I, and other liberals like me, spend our days quietly working with the people you claim to be "milking" the system to get them to understand and take repsonsibility for their lives. Is it a problem? Sure is, and I'm reminded of it every time I see one of my neighbors hanging out in the kiddie pool with her three children instead of working because she is collecting welfare for having them. But I'd rather spend my energy making an effort to change society where the problems are rather than just rail against them.
      I certainly won't deny there's corruption everywhere: people are corruptable, regarless of what their party affiliation is. But I NEVER see Republicans or conservatives in my line of work, educating and confronting the poor, abused, and truly broken people in our society and showing them how to make change. My guess is Republicans and conservatives don't want to get there hands dirty with the messy business of cleaning up society: they'd rather figure out how to make money off it.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.