Actually, That Makes It Worse

Insight Scoop has its way with Doug Kmiec and a talk he gave at St. John's seminary in Camarillo. Most notable to me was this:
Later in the talk, Kmiec described meeting Obama at a forum for “faith leaders in Chicago.” Kmiec described how he had challenged Obama about his statement that the senator wouldn’t want his daughter to be “punished with a baby.” Kmiec recounted: “So I said to him: ‘What in the world are you thinking?’ [He asked me] ‘…how many children do you have?’ I said ‘five.’ He said, ‘When your wife first told you that she was with child, how did you feel?’ I said ‘great.’ Then he said: ‘There are some people who don’t have… [much], who don’t have a husband, who are… just barely knowing where they’re going to eat… and the announcement to them of a child coming is… [not great].’”
First of all, as Chris Olson points out, for what kind of person is it a revelation that sometimes people are afraid to have a child? We had great difficulty conceiving in the first years of our marriage. No child was ever more longed for, prayed for, sacrificed for or desired by a large extended network of family and friends than Eldest Weed. Yet by the time he made his presence known I'd given up and I have to confess my first reaction to the thin blue line of the pregnancy test was abject terror. Who doesn't know that's a real response even to a wanted child? Is it even credible to claim otherwise?

More importantly, though, I have been a defender of Obama on the ground that when you listen to his intonation in that quotation, it's clear he is talking about contraception, not abortion. The response was to a question about AIDS. Let's have it again, in context.
When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include — which should include abstinence education and teaching the children — teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include — it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16. You know, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.
The mistake he's referring to is having sex out of wedlock, and he's hoping if they make the mistake of being sexually active, they'll use "protection." Maybe in the end it amounts to the same thing --maybe the attitude of child as punishment is all-- but he wasn't trying to say that he wants his girls to abort his grandchildren. (Even though many on my side of these questions claimed otherwise.)

Kmiec's anecdote makes it worse. It wasn't just a slip, it was a policy: yes, I do think a baby is a punishment. And Kmiec found this extreme answer more convincing? Click the link for further argument fillet.