uality, the media at least have an obligationrnto understand their teachings and tornreport them accurately.rnMark Tooley is a research associate at thernInstitute on Religion and Democracy.rnFAMILYrnAbortion, Adoption,rnandrnPresident Clintonrnby Janet Scott BarlowrnLast year, in a span of less than sixrnmonths, President Clinton vetoedrnthe congressional ban on partial-birthrnabortion, thereby positioning himself,rnbased on public-opinion surveys of thernprocedure, as an abortion extremist; andrnspoke publicly, more than once, aboutrnhis desire, now or in the future, to adoptrna child. (His current position on partialbirthrnabortion remains unchanged: anotherrnban without sufficient loopholes tornrender it meaningless, another veto.)rnl^hrough all of this, the mainstream media,rnsensing no moral contradiction orrnphilosophical dissonance, treated thernPresident’s veto and his adoption longingsrnas entirely unrelated events —rnwhich, in fact, is exactly how the Presidentrntreated them.rnPresident Clinton, of course, is entitledrnto both his executive powers and hisrnpersonal opinions. Likewise, the rest ofrnus are entitled to demand an explanationrnwhen the President’s exercise of his authorityrnclashes with his voluntarily statedrnpersonal views. We are entitled to thisrnbecause he is President: he wanted thernjob. It is a job that grants powers of lifernand death but does not require publicrnrevelation of the heart’s desires. So this isrnhow I see it: to use the authority that yournand you alone possess in order to allow,rnunder what we now know are false pretenses,rnthe killing of a nearly born babyrnby means that can only be described asrnbarbaric; and to follow that action withrnthe implication that you could, underrnother circumstances (i.e., were the babyrnnot killed), become that baby’s fatherwell,rnthis is a combination of deed andrnwords that demands moral clarification,rneven in this age of media obtuseness andrnpresidential self-regard.rnI will take President Clinton at hisrnword when he says he has thought seriouslyrnabout adoption. Perhaps he alreadyrnsees himself as a prospective adof)-rntive father. If so, he should not mind arnfew questions from an adoptive mother.rnDoes the President realize that, just likernhappy couples awaiting the birth of theirrninfants, prospective adoptive parents seerntheir children in their imaginations,rnknow them in their hearts, and pray forrnGod’s protection as their children notrnonly arrive in the world but find theirrnway home? Does he understand that everyrnadoptive parent is the beneficiary of arnwoman’s “choice,” and that as an adoptivernfather his connection to this womanrn—whose name he might not evenrnknow—and his gratitude for her couragernwill be too profound for words? Has itrnoccurred to him that his own considerationrnof adoption —not to mention thernlist of two million couples waiting tornadopt—is evidence in some sense thatrnthe elective death of every viable fetus isrnthe death of someone else’s child, perhapsrneven the child who would becomernhis own?rnI do not believe that abortion viewsrnshould be a litmus test for adoption. Irnknow adoptive parents who, after realrnstruggle with the issue, somehow managernto remain supportive of abortionrnrights. At the same time, these parents,rnlike all adoptive parents, feel nearly weakrnwith gratitude that their children —rnunique, distinct, utterly irreplaceable —rnwere allowed to live. Whatever their politics,rnadoptive parents understand thatrnadoption is an affirmation. One reasonrnthe zealots among the pro-choice ranksrnavoid discussion of adoption is that theyrnshare, albeit from opposite ends of thernuniverse, a basic understanding withrnadoptive parents: adoption happens becausernabortion doesn’t.rnAdoption is not only an affirmation ofrnlife, it is an acceptance of the infiniternmysteries of the human heart. Past thernconceits of biology and the artificialrnboundaries of race, with the laws stackedrnagainst them and by routes unpredictable,rnstrangers become families simplyrnby choosing to do so. This fact is asrnhumbling as it is thrilling.rnIs President Clinton humble beforernthe profundities of adoption? Only herncan say. What I know for sure is thatrnideas have consequences, choices reflectrnvalues, deeds are of a piece with words,rnand not even a President—least of all arnPresident—should be allowed to ignore,rnthrough moral carelessness, political calculation,rnpersonal arrogance, or simplernignorance the inextricable connectionrnbetween the miracle of adoption andrnwhat some call “the right to life.”rnTo follow to its logical moral conclusionrnthe combination of what PresidentrnClinton has said about adoption andrndone about abortion is to arrive here: BillrnClinton is prepared to look into the eyesrnof my adopted daughter—or millions ofrnother adoptees—and say this: “Yes, up tornand including the moment of your birth,rnI would have allowed your biologicalrnmother to have you killed. And yes, I amrnfit in every sense to be your father.” Therndegree to which the President might feelrninhibited by that prospect is the preciserndegree to which he should either reconsiderrnhis political position on abortion orrnshut up in public about his personalrnaffinity for adoption.rn]anet Scott Barlow writes from Cincinnati,rnOhio.rnFOREIGN AFFAIRSrnHow Jesse HelmsrnSaved the U.N.rnby Cliff KincaidrnMom and Dad went to the beachrnand all I got was this lousy Tshirt.”rnThis saying captures a bad jokernthat is played on kids. But when you’rernchairman of the Senate Foreign RelationsrnCommittee and end up with arnlousy T-shirt, it shouldn’t be a laughingrnmatter. In the ease of Jesse Helms ofrnNorth Carolina, his T-shirt says, “Somebodyrnat the State Department loves me,”rnwith the word “loves” in a red heart.rnThis story is not made up. Helms didrnwear such a T-shirt at a Softball game featuringrnstaffers from his office and thernoffice of Secretary of State MadeleinernAlbright. The T-shirt symbolizes an embarrassingrn”courtship” during which wernhave seen photographs of Helms and Albrightrnsmiling and holding hands. Inrnpractical terms, this arrangement meansrnthat the United Nations has been given arnDECEMBER 1997/43rnrnrn