Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- President Barack Obama has compiled a new group of faith-based advisors who will comprise his new White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. However, unlike President Bush's group of religious advisors, Obama's includes abortion advocates. The revamped White House office will direct federal funds to religious and neighborhood groups for social service projects.
The members of the office will officially be announced on Thursday, but a preview of the some of the people who have been appointed shows Obama has included some abortion advocates.
Joshua DuBois, a 26-year old political activist who headed up religious outreach for the Obama campaign is one of the members of the new panel.
The Obama "faith tour" was soundly condemned by pro-life advocates during the campaign because it had the involvement of Pepperdine University professor Doug Kmiec and others who falsely claimed Obama was pro-life on abortion.
"That is just is a public relations product cooked up at liberal think tanks like Third Way, where veteran pro-abortion activists specialize in developing strategies to help hard-core pro-abortion politicians camouflage their positions," NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson told LifeNews.com at the time.
Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Washington-based Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a political group, will also be involved in the White House faith group.
However, the center Saperstein heads agreed to co-sponsor the national pro-abortion march Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other abortion advocates organized in 2004.
In addition, former NARAL President Kate Michelman was invited to attend the Union for Reform Judaism's biennial convention in Minneapolis in 2003.
She told convention-goers, "We are counting on groups like this -- activists like you -- to pack the buses and come to Washington" for the pro-abortion march.
Saperstein himself has attacked pro-life advocates and, in 2005, called "reprehensible" and "abhorrent" comments Focus on the Family head Dr. James Dobson made comparing the destruction of human embryos in embryonic stem cell research to the deaths of Jews killed during the Nazi holocaust.
Saperstein chided Dobson for trying to "link for political purposes" to the death of Jews "research on blastocysts that will be destroyed anyway."
Bishop Vashti McKenzie, the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is involved in the group.
In November 2006, she signed her name to a letter blasting pro-life advocates for saying Sen. Barack Obama should not be welcomed at an AIDS summit hosted by evangelical church pastor Rick Warren because of his pro-abortion views.
The list also includes megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, who claims to be pro-life but agreed to deliver the closing prayer at the Democratic convention and has distorted the pro-life record of former President Bush.
"With eight years of Bush the abortion rates have not declined," he erroneously claimed.
However, the claim doesn't square with the latest national abortion numbers put forward by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research firm associated with Planned Parenthood, the abortion business that has endorsed Obama.
In January 2008, AGI reported that the number of abortions nationwide have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years and have declined 25 percent since 1990 -- with half of that time period coming under pro-life presidents.
Meanwhile, research from a nonpartisan political watchdog group finds the claim false when compared with national and state abortion statistics.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania says that claims that abortions have not decreased under President Bush are "not true."
"Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001," the researchers have written.
"This claim is false. It's based on an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased," Annenberg indicates.
"The claim is repeated by supporters of abortion rights as evidence that Bush's anti-abortion policies have backfired, or at least been ineffective," it added. "But the claim is untrue."
Hunter also said he thought Obama could have the Democrats "arguably steal the title of the pro life party" because he bought into Obama's claims that he would reduce abortions because somehow his financial policies would overcome the other major pro-abortion actions he would take as president.
Steven Ertelt, Editor http://www.lifenews.com/nat4816.html