Assessing Obamas First 100 Days

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has said that President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office have not confirmed the church’s worst fears about radical policy changes in ethical areas. The newspaper wrote in its April 29 edition that the new president has operated in most areas with more caution than predicted. “On ethical questions, too—which from the time of the electoral campaign have been the subject of strong worries by the Catholic bishops—Obama does not seem to have confirmed the radical innovations that he had discussed,” it said.

The article noted that the administration’s new draft guidelines for stem-cell research, for example, do not constitute the major change in policy that was foreseen a few months ago, writing that while the new guidelines “do not remove the reasons for criticism in the face of unacceptable forms of bioengineering” they are “less permissive” than expected. The newspaper also saw a positive sign in the recent introduction of the Pregnant Women Support Act, pressed by congressional pro-life Democrats. “It is not a negation of the doctrine expressed up to now by Obama in the matter of interruption of pregnancy, but the legislative project could represent a rebalancing in support of maternity,” the newspaper said.

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