Kathryn Lopez

It's hard to make sense of the whole ugly Virginia incident other than to understand that critics of the bill as a matter of principle don't want anyone to be reminded of what exactly is done in an abortion clinic. No one went into a frenzy because of an ultrasound itself -- they're already being done in Planned Parenthood clinics around the state for the sake of efficient abortions.

The real reason everyone -- from protesters in Richmond to TV writers -- is upset is because women will be offered the chance to look at an ultrasound. And that's a threat to the abortion industry. A glimpse behind the scenes of this fight shows that while these critics of the bill talk about women's health, they don't really have that in mind at all.

A few weeks ago, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a group that's really dedicated to women's health -- its mission is to stamp out breast cancer -- dared to attempt to sever its relationship with Planned Parenthood. It wasn't an unreasonable option, given the controversy that the group has attracted and considering that Planned Parenthood's agenda only tangentially aligns with Komen's. But, according to former Komen vice president Karen Handel, Komen's effort at good stewardship was betrayed by a Planned Parenthood drive that leaked the story to the press and launched a "well-orchestrated, vicious campaign." We are seeing a culture of death strengthen its foundations. We let bullies have their way with public policy, nonprofits and their corporate sponsors. When the federal government has told religious organizations that they must violate their deeply held beliefs by providing birth control to employees -- and the religious groups are then mercilessly ridiculed, dismissed and discredited, whatever the facts, we have a problem.

The SNL segment ended with a proclamation: "Don't tell me what to do." My sentiments exactly.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.