Planned Parenthood and NARAL hail Barack Obama as "100 percent" pro-choice. But perhaps they should create a special new category for pols who go above and beyond the call of duty to vote for abortion rights even when they are not in legislative play.
Barack Obama would deserve a place of honor amongst these 110 percent pro-choicers, as he sees abortion rights threatened almost everywhere, including in anti-infanticide bills.
It has now been established that his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act rested on an excess of pro-choice zeal, as evident in the fact that 100 percent pro-choicers such as Hillary Clinton voted for the Senate bill. That's the sort of enthusiasm which should earn Obama the Margaret Sanger Award.
Obama feared that the legislation could cause Roe v. Wade to unravel, though no such threat existed, since the legislation didn't pertain to unborn children.
But no matter: his pro-choice heart was in the right place. Abortion rights can never be safe enough.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY has long made abortion its organizing principle and came close four years ago to naming an actual Planned Parenthood doctor (early in his career Howard Dean worked there for a time and served on its board) its nominee.
Obama is its ideal standard bearer. He's a candidate who won't apologize for voting against an anti-infanticide bill even on fictitious reasons while apologizing for not doing more to support activists who wanted Terri Schiavo dead.
Remember that statesman-like moment in one of the Democratic primary debates? Asked about his biggest mistake in the Senate, he grandly abased himself by saying: "When I first arrived in the Senate that first year, we had a situation surrounding Terri Schiavo. And I remember how we adjourned with a unanimous agreement that eventually allowed Congress to interject itself into that decision making process of the families.
"It wasn't something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped. And I think that was a mistake..."
The Democrats are the party of socialized medicine -- a system which assumes the right of the state to meddle in the health care decisions of families -- but they would never dream of "interjecting themselves" into such minor health care matters as abortion and euthanasia.
Obama's Schiavo apology is worth recalling in light of this current controversy. Even if one were to put the most generous possible construction on his maneuverings around the Born Alive Infants Protection Act -- he now claims he would have supported it and favors health care for babies that survive abortion -- his support for euthanasia establishes that he accepts the principle of denying care to those outside the womb.
What does it matter if the human is nine months old or 90 years old? If there are "good" reasons to deny care to the disabled or elderly, similarly good reasons can be concocted to deny care to babies that survive abortion.
EXTENDING THE LOGIC of abortion and euthanasia to infanticide is not very hard, and explains why the Democrats drag their feet on bills banning it except when immediate political reasons necessitate their support.
Obama's casual comment at the Saddleback forum -- he dismissed a question about the beginning of human life as "above his pay grade" -- suggests he doesn't like to exert himself on the abortion issue. But he does.
Obama more than earns his pay as a Democrat by advancing pro-abortion certitudes, based on what he now admits is a doubt that he can't bother himself to study up on, and by treating abortion as his first legislative priority.
"The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," he assured the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2007. That Act would impose an abortion-on-demand regime on every state in the country, sweeping away all existing regulations.
Nor was coming up with sophistical reasons for opposing the Born Alive Infants Protection Act -- reasons which pro-lifers note Barbara Boxer couldn't even bring herself to fake up -- above his pay grade.
Should that outlier category for 110 percent pro-choicers ever be created, a President Obama will no doubt occupy it.
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