Barack, you had me at hello. Your winsome smile, inspirational life story, commitment to ending the war, and can-do attitude makes me want to love you. And I mostly do. But Barack. Seriously. The partial-birth abortion thing? Not cool.

Sure, I realize that many in your camp are pro-choice, and there are some disagreements between us as to when life begins. I realize that many do not share my views on the protection of a teensy tiny fetus. But when we are talking about the intentional killing of a baby old enough to live outside the womb? Good Lord, something is not right.

And there is lots of talk about situations where the mother’s health is at risk. But may I point out – a partial birth abortion is much more risky than an induction or c-section, which are better options if we’re really talking “health of the mother” here. Since when is it safer to crush a baby’s skull while still in a woman’s body, instead of allowing the baby to be delivered alive? Oh wait. Here’s the answer to that question:

There are in fact absolutely no obstetrical situations encountered in this country which require a partially delivered human fetus to be destroyed to preserve the life or health of the mother

-(Dr. Pamela Smith, Senate Hearing Record, p.82: Partial Birth Abortion Ban Medical Testimony).

You have been pretty diplomatic so far when you discuss this issue. Sure, you might even find it unseemly. It may not be what you would do. But you strongly believe in a woman’s right to choose. Here is your statement on the issue from the 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007.

I think that most Americans recognize that [partial birth abortion] is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these [partial birth abortion] decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. The broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions about [partial birth abortion]? And I trust them to do it.

Call me cynical, but since when do we trust the general public to make wise decisions ON ALL THINGS? Again, perhaps I’m jaded, but do you really think that when people are preparing to make morally reprehensible decisions, that they call their clergy or therapist first? I doubt it. In fact, of several lifelong pastors I asked, none of them have EVER had a church member approach them wanting late-term abortion advice. Nor has this ever come up in the large psychotherapy practice where I see clients and supervise therapists. Just for fun, let’s look at this statement, but swap out some other decisions we could leave up to the “wisdom” of the general public:

I think that most Americans recognize that [running red lights] is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these [running red lights] decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. The broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions about [running red lights]? And I trust them to do it.
I think that most Americans recognize that [having sex with underage boys] is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these [having sex with underage boys] decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. The broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions about [having sex with underage boys]? And I trust them to do it.

I think that most Americans recognize that [leaving children unattended in the car] is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these [leaving children unattended in the car] decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. And I think that’s where most Americans are. . . The broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions about [leaving children unattended in the car]? And I trust them to do it.

Do these examples sound ridiculous? Absolutely. If we want to protect the innocent, sometimes we need to intervene. Choice is not an option for every issue. That is why we have laws against theft, murder, child abuse, and rape. Yes, perhaps we can’t mandate morality. Fine. Then let’s limit abortion to be done only when the baby is too young to survive outside the womb. Let’s leave it to techniques that don’t involve killing a baby mid-delivery so that, technically, it’s not murder because a toe is still in the birth canal.Barack, I like you, but I can’t defend you on this one.