OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 92 National Prayer Breakfast DOES LIFE BEGIN AT CONCEPTION?

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP file photo) President Barack Obama closes his eyes while a prayer is said during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP file photo) President Barack Obama closes his eyes while a prayer is said during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.

 (Pari Dukovic/Random House via AP) This photo provided by Random House shows the cover of “A Promised Land." The first volume of former President Barack Obama’s memoir came out Nov. 17.

February 21, 2021

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received severaletters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:

PAGE 286

“I gave remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast…”

This particular reference was the February 5th, 2009 talk, but I was glad that you were so committed to speak every year during your Presidency at the prayer breakfast! I noticed that you had Senator Mark Pryor working with you during one of these events. I used to teach a 3 year old Sunday School at our church (FELLOWSHIP BIBLE) back in the late 1990’s and I would stand at the front door and welcome in the kids. The class next to me was a class taught by Mark and we had the opportunity to visit some on the issues of the day including abortion. Here is a story written by a friend of mine who had a similar experience to mine in the same kind of unclear answers I got from Mark on abortion:

David J. Sanders: Pryor abortion stance hard to pin

David J. Sanders
Syndicated ColumnistPublished Friday, June 14, 2002

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill got in hot water with the leadership of the Catholic Church back in his home state of Massachusetts when he announced that his personal opposition to abortion wouldn’t hinder his support of the Constitution. (At the time of his announcement, the country was beginning to cope with the Roe v. Wade decision, which established that a woman’s right to an abortion was protected under the Constitution.)

Catholic leaders publicly chastised O’Neill. They were distraught that his proclaimed loyalty to what was at that time a new Supreme Court decision trumped any personal or religious convictions he had on the issue. The leaders asserted that O’Neill was worse than other supporters of abortion. They said his position was illogical in that he knew abortion was immoral and wouldn’t do anything about it.

Since entering the race for the U.S. Senate, Attorney General Mark Pryor has been somewhat elusive about his stand on abortion. Recently, questions about his position on abortion led Pryor’s pastor, Robert Lewis of Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock, to prod his high-profile parishioner on the issue.

Lewis, a noted author and religious leader in the conservative Bible church movement, announced in Sunday’s church service that his “interview” with Pryor on abortion would be posted on the church’s Web site and encouraged members of his flock to check it out.

Having visited with Pryor about his stance on abortion — which isn’t different from the positions of Bill Clinton, Al Gore or Tip O’Neill — I decided to check his latest statements, wondering if he had changed his mind.

What I found was a transcript of a conversation between Pryor and his pastor. Pryor offered little new information.

Pryor acknowledged that out of political expedience, as recently as 1998, he had identified himself as “pro-choice.” He said that he felt all abortion was wrong except when the life of the mother is at stake. Pryor also claimed that he would consider any law to limit abortion.

Pryor asserted that he is opposed to so-called partial-birth abortions, but did not mention that as attorney general he failed to appeal a federal court decision’s striking down Arkansas partial-birth abortion law.

Lewis tried to nail Pryor down on abortion, asking him what he considered his political position. Pryor gave a canned answer, in which, like Bill Clinton, he said that he is personally opposed to abortion.

“I think women should have the right to decide in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is in danger. As a United States senator, I would balance my personal convictions with my sworn responsibility under the Constitution as I carefully consider each issue relating to abortion,” Pryor responded.

Last March, I asked Pryor the same question and received a similar answer. Not satisfied with his answer I probed further asking him if he would be in favor of a law that banned abortion except in cases of the aforementioned exceptions.

Pryor responded that he thought it would be unconstitutional. So I went further. I asked if he would be in favor of a constitutional amendment banning abortion except in the case of rape, incest or life of the mother. He responded, “No.”

He offered up a weak argument proclaiming a “general reluctance” to amend the Constitution on specific issues. Pryor said he believes the legal doctrine on abortion will change over time with our attitudes and values.

Lewis asked Pryor when he believes life begins. (Pro-lifers consider this to be the “mother of all questions.” Since they believe that life begins at conception, any action, like abortion, after conception is destroying a human life. This is a point many pro-choice crowds will rarely concede.) Surprisingly, Pryor stated a “common sense” approach that led him to believe that life begins at conception.

Pryor was even more illusive when his pastor asked him about Roe v. Wade. He correctly stated that striking down Roe wouldn’t end abortion, but would give states the right to regulate abortion laws. Even when given a clear opportunity to say so, Pryor wouldn’t advocate the end of Roe.

He seemed more concerned with states having different standards than with curtailing abortion. If Roe were ever struck down, abortions in Arkansas would be illegal except in cases where the life of the mother was in danger.

Unlike the Catholic clergy that castigated O’Neill nearly three decades ago, Pryor’s pastor put on kid gloves. Pryor continues to advocate positions that are illogical and disingenuous; Lewis should have called him on the carpet. If Pryor believes that life begins at conception, how can he be for maintaining the status quo?

——

I do give Mark credit for coming to the conclusion that life begins at conception and I want to challenge you to reevaluate your own views on that!

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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