October 11th, 2008
12:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin heightens rhetoric on abortion

Gov. Sarah Palin greeted Pennsylvania voters at a Sheetz store in Altoona, cradling her son Trig in a baby carrier.
Gov. Sarah Palin greeted Pennsylvania voters at a Sheetz store in Altoona, cradling her son Trig in a baby carrier.

JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sarah Palin charged resolutely into the culture wars on Saturday, painting Barack Obama as a radical on abortion rights and drawing attention away from the troubled economy and an ethics investigation that concluded she abused her power as Alaska governor.

“In times like these with wars and financial crisis, I know that it may be easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life, and it seems that our opponent kind of hopes you will forget that,” Palin told a Pennsylvania crowd. “Like so much else on his agenda, he hopes that you won’t notice how radical, absolutely radical his idea is on this and his record is until its too late.”

Palin has mostly avoided raising her opposition to abortion rights on the campaign trail since she was tapped as John McCain’s running mate, a fact she readily acknowledged in her remarks. But Palin said Obama’s record on the matter is too extreme to be ignored, and she spent 10 minutes of her 30-minute speech discussing abortion.

“A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for activist courts that will continue to smother the open and democratic debate that we deserve and that we need on this issue of life,” she said.

Palin skewered Obama for voting “present” while in the Illinois State Senate on a bill that would have required medical care for fetuses that survived abortion. Obama actually voted present on three pieces of similar legislation.

“So in short, Senator Obama is a politician who has long since left behind even the middle ground on the issue of life,” she said.

Palin spoke in detail about praying along with her husband Todd about “the challenges to come” before giving birth to their son Trig, who has Down Syndrome. Palin’s remarks earned her loud applause, and an “Amen” from one man in the audience.

But the governor kept the focus primarily on Obama, highlighting in particular a remark Obama made about sex education while campaigning in Johnstown in March, when he told a voter he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby” or “punished with an STD” if they made a “mistake.”

“So I listened when our opponent defended his unconditional support for unlimited abortions and he said that a woman shouldn't have to be 'punished with a baby,'” Palin said as the audience jeered the Democratic nominee. “Ladies and gentlemen, he said that right here in Johnstown. 'Punished with a baby.' It's about time we called him on it.”

Contrary to Palin's assertion, Obama was not discussing his support for abortion rights when he made that remark in March.

soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Jenny from Chicago

    Abortion? *yawn*

    Talk about the economy or go home.

    October 11, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. What a Liar

    Hey Sarah, Obama is not twisting anyone's arm to make them have an abortion, well at least not to my knowledge. Did you on the other hand receive a memo or order from he and Joe Biden that said your loose Morals Daughter who has found herself 17 and knocked up has to report to a clinic immediately to get a government ordered abortion???

    What a disgusting, dishonest, lying sack of Hockey Mom Manure you have turned out to be... Please do the people a favor and admit that you abused your powers as a Governor of "The Largest State" in the union...

    Open comment to Sarah Palin, "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting".

    Please return home to Alaska so you can read ALL of the newspapers and look over at Russia and wait for Putin to rear his head so that you and you alone can save our country from certain invasion.

    October 11, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Susie

    She says Obama has no middle ground? She who believes a woman should have to carry a child even in cases of rape or incest? She who believes that because a choice is right for her daughter, everyone else must make the same choice? She who can only see black and white?

    October 11, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    Palin is dragging her kids all over the country with her. Just imagine if she became the VP and was dragging her kids all over the world and winking at all these world leaders. We would be at was with the wives of world leaders.

    This woman is an AIR HEAD. I was raised to believe GOD is perfect but when I see Palin I wonder. I do not wish to doubt GOD but the proof is in the puddin and if that is not enough proof, look at her number two on the ticket. He is not much better.

    October 11, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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