From Townhall Magazine's November feature, "Democrats: Out of Touch with America on Abortion" by Katie Pavlich:
Standing in downtown Charlotte, N.C., during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September, Planned Parenthood volunteers yelled on street corners about how to protect women’s rights. Their hot pink t-shirts read “I’m Voting for Barack Obama” on the back and “2012” on the front—with a birth-control wheel in place of the zero.
Inside the forum, the DNC felt more like a giant pro-choice rally than a political convention. First, Democrats adopted a platform embracing both taxpayer-funded abortion and partial-birth abortion and completely set aside the idea that abortion should be rare. The platform language mentions no restrictions on abortion, thereby seeming to promote it anytime, in any place, for any reason:
“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way,” the platform reads.
Next, speakers at the DNC, including NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan and Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards, made it clear where the DNC stood as they threw their weight, money and pro-abortion language behind President Obama’s re-election campaign.
“I am honored to be here to talk to you about what is at stake for women in 2012. I am proud to say that the Democratic Party believes that women have the right to choose a safe, legal abortion with dignity and with privacy,” Keenan said. “We are so proud to have a president who stands with women and who trusts women.”
Since when did having an abortion ever become an act of dignity?
Richards, meanwhile, delivered a similar message of support.
“The good news is, we already have a president who’s on our side. President Obama understands women. He trusts women. And on every issue that matters to us, he stands with women. President Obama ensured women’s preventive care—including birth control, too—will be covered by all health care plans, with no co-pay, no matter where we work,” Richards said.
Before the 2012 DNC started, Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter went on the “TODAY Show” and claimed the convention would speak to all Americans, rather than issues only tailored to Obama’s far-Left base.
“I think you’re going to hear a lot of things that are different this week than you heard last week. First of all, this week will not be about personal attacks or gauzy platitudes or trying to rally our base. We’ll be speaking to all Americans,” Cutter said.
But when it comes to the issue of abortion, extreme pro-choice Democrats are not only out of touch with the rest of America, they’re controlling the direction of the party—and their radical views were on full display at the 2012 DNC. Despite Cutter’s claims the convention would be about speaking to America, the opposite happened.
Obama's Radical Abortion Record
One aspect of President Obama’s record that pro-life America, in particular pro-life Democrats, don’t seem familiar with is how radical his abortion agenda really is.
“One of the biggest scandals of the Obama presidency, and even Obama as a candidate before he became president, was his extreme support of abortion, even to the point of infanticide. We saw that in his record as a state senator, where he voted four times against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would protect children that survived abortion,” says Live Action President Lila Rose, whose pro-life activism group conducts undercover stings at abortion clinics. “His first promise as president to Planned Parenthood, he claimed the first thing he would do was to sign the Freedom of Choice Act in order to basically repeal any restrictions to abortion to make abortion completely accessible with no limitations and restrictions. People don’t realize how extreme his position is on abortion and how he supported it to the point of infanticide.”
“He doesn’t see a pre-born child as valuable,” she continued. “He doesn’t see abortion restrictions as valuable. He doesn’t see sexual abuse coverup of minors as really a problem—which is one of Planned Parenthood’s biggest scandals. Instead, his number one priority as president when it comes to human dignity and the abortion issue is to fund the biggest abortion provider and fight against any restrictions on abortion.”
During a 2001 debate in the Illinois state Senate about the Born Alive Infant Bill, known as SB 1663, Obama called a baby temporarily alive outside the womb a “fetus or child, as—as some might describe it.” Throughout his state Senate career, Obama repeatedly voted against or “present” on different incarnations of the legislation, which protects babies who survive abortions by requiring doctors give them adequate medical care.
There was this quote from another debate in 2002, where he again seemed unsure of how to describe an unborn child.
“If that fetus, or child, however you want to describe it, is now outside of the mother’s womb, and the doctor continues to think that it’s non-viable, but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that in fact they would then have to call in a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved, is that correct?” Obama said in clarifying what the legislation would accomplish and require.
Obama also voiced opposition to banning sex-selective abortion. A White House statement on behalf of the president said, “The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way,” in response to questions about where Obama stood on legislation banning abortion based on gender.
“In the last couple of months, President Obama made it very clear he would veto a ban on sex-selective abortions and on late-child abortion where there is a restriction after the baby feels pain, which is about 20 weeks. That’s extreme, and even more extreme than that is a commitment to abortion even [when the abortion fails],” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, tells Townhall. “In terms of extremes, right now they have everything. They have abortion for all nine months, and they want to keep it that way. They will not cede any ground.
But for Obama, it pays to be extreme. He’s tied at the hip to Planned Parenthood, an enterprise worth $1 billion—don’t forget, it in part benefits from taxpayer dollars—and one that has essentially donated millions to Obama’s re-election campaign through ad buys and dedicated volunteers and resources to promoting his positions on women’s health. In fact, Richards played a heavy role in pushing Obama to require companies, including religious institutions morally opposed, to cover contraception through ObamaCare.
Read more of Pavlich's in-depth analysis by ordering the November issue of Townhall Magazine.