President Obama meets with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican for 25 minutes and, amid discussing the encyclical released by the pope earlier this week, the situation in the Middle East, Cuba and Honduras, interfaith dialogue, countering Muslim extremism, immigration and bioethics, Obama makes sure to promise his BFF that he would work to limit how many abortions take place each year in the United States:
"The pontiff told me that President Obama affirmed his personal commitment to try to reduce the number of abortions in the United States," spokesman Federico Lombardi said, according to Agence France-Presse.
This was the first meeting between President Obama and Pope Benedict. Mr. Obama sought common ground on abortion and stem cell research during the meeting, McDonough said, despite the differences between Benedict and the pro-choice president.
At the staunchly Catholic University of Notre Dame earlier this year, the president stressed his desire to reduce the number of abortions in America.
"Let’s make adoption more available," he said. "Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women."
Sure, there's no sound science showing that the availability of adoption has an impact on the abortion rate, or that women who carry to term aren't provided care and support, or that existing conscious clauses aren't sensible and don't honor the conscience of those who disagree with, you know, the availability of safe and effective medical procedures for pregnant patients. But other than that, let us, indeed, make sure that all our female reproductive health care policies are grounded in science and, equally important, that they accommodate the personal beliefs of this or that religious sect.