A familiar "pro-choice" trope is that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." No one is pro-abortion, we're told, and it's insulting to suggest otherwise. But evidence of abortion celebration abounds. Lefty 'ethicists' have advocated post-birth abortions, feminist activists have rhapsodized about how much they "love abortion," and most Democrats regularly vote against even broadly-supported attempts to limit the so-called "right to choose" -- including measures that give women access to more medical information prior to making an abortion decision. The Left also fights tenaciously to maintain federal funding for America's largest abortion provider, even though the organization has been caught on tape covering up statutory rape, accommodating explicitly racist donors, and agreeing to perform gender-selective, late term abortions. Again, though, no one is pro-abortion. Which brings us to Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of hardcore liberals, put on by Daily Kos. This year's keynote speaker was Darcy Burner, a former Microsoft executive who's running for Congress in Washington State. Conservative blogger Melissa Clouthier attended Burner's address and filed this account:
The War on Women panel featuring Elizabeth Warren revealed much about the leftist perspective on abortion. In an act of public bullying, one of the three speakers, Darcy Burner of Washington (the others being Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii), asked women who had had an abortion to stand up in front of other attendees. It was difficult to estimate the number of women as they were sprinkled through out the audience. They stood alone while Burner admonished the attendees to hold their applause. Then Burner asked the others seated in the audience to stand and give these women a standing ovation. The audience complied enthusiastically. I sat during this spectacle.
Burner said, "If you are a woman in this room, and statistically this is true of about 1/3 of the women in this room, if you’re a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up." She continued, "Now, if you are willing to stand with every woman who is willing to come out about having had an abortion, please stand up." Nearly everyone stood. Burner said, "This is how we change the stories in people’s [heads]. We need to make it okay for women to come out about the choices they make."
Here's video of the session. The moment Clouthier describes comes around the 10:00 mark. Note how Burner twice has to admonish conference attendees to hold their approbation until the end, interrupting them when they prove too eager to applaud the standing women. "Don't, please...wait, wait," she scolds them, after some premature organic applause breaks out:
The explicitly expressed goal of this exercise is to remove any stigma from the decision to end the life of an unborn child, at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason. The audience gives abortion a standing ovation; not "choice." Abortion. Fortunately, more Americans now consider themselves "pro-life" on this issue than "pro-choice," and a majority considers the practice immoral. An even larger percentage favors at least some legal restrictions on abortion. Nevertheless, it's instructive (not to mention appalling) to listen to a room full of so-called progressives heartily support the concept of normalizing widespread abortion by publicly congratulating women who've availed themselves of "reproductive health services." Who are the extremists in this debate, again?
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography