Political Hay

John Sanger Kerry

Finally an issue Kerry never flip-flops on.

By 4.1.04

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Few politicians can beat past John Kerry on the radical social left. Often accused of flip-flopping, Kerry never flip-flops on one issue -- abortion.

Like Bill Clinton, the womanizer who would waffle on everything except "women's issues," Kerry is a reliable vote for NARAL. He marched with militant feminists on the streets of New York in the 1970s. During the primaries, Kerry tried to wow NARAL activists by claiming that his maiden speech as a senator was a ringing endorsement of Roe v. Wade. He had to abandon the assertion after reporters discovered it was bogus, but The Congressional Record shows plenty of later speeches. In 1986 he rose to defend the right of federal prisoners to abort their unborn children. He applauded a court decision which held that "inmates not only have the constitutional right to an abortion for medical reasons, but that abortions must be paid for by the Government."

This week Kerry again defended the right of criminals to kill unborn children -- criminals in this case assaulting women and their unborn children. He voted with the minority bloc in the Senate against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The bill stated that if an assailant attacks a pregnant woman the assailant can be charged for offenses against both the woman and the unborn child. Kerry "interrupted" his campaign, the press reported, to vote against the bill.

Kerry would rather protect abortion than prosecute criminals. Unborn children in his view don't even deserve the rights of criminals. Where criminals possess some rights, in his view, unborn children possess none at all.

There is a tendency even in the thought of pro-abortion Democrats to treat the unborn child as the criminal -- an unwelcome intruder on sacred personal space. Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote an Op-Ed this week with the headline, "Will fetus gain more rights than the mother?" The headline hints at the hostility the pro-abortion crowd feels toward unborn children, treating them as challengers in some sort of competition for rights. The headline makes as much sense as: "Will slaves gain more rights than slaveholders?"

Feinstein, who scrambled to craft a face-saving, red-herring amendment to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Kerry voted for it), casts the unborn child as a worthless "fertilized egg." She expressed dismay that under the act a "perpetrator can be charged with two separate crimes, one against the woman and one against the fertilized egg thereby giving legal rights to the fertilized egg."

Resorting to outright lying, Feinstein wrote that "We are on a slippery slope that is heading toward granting fetuses greater rights than the mothers who carry them." Greater rights? They don't have any rights at all, according to Feinstein. Nevertheless, she is quite upset with them for crowding her agenda. "It may not be long before common forms of contraception, in-vitro fertilization and stem-cell research are banned in the name of the unborn. Will we end up monitoring every pregnant woman?" she says.

John Kerry has promised abortion advocates that as president he will select judges according to their commitment to abortion. Unless they support it, he won't appoint them. It looks like he can take Judge Richard C. Casey off his list. According to the Associated Press, Casey, a U.S. District Court judge, questioned abortionist Timothy Johnson on Wednesday, asking him, "Does the fetus feel pain?" The abortionist ducked the question, so Casey persisted, "Simple question, doctor. Does it cross your mind?" Casey also asked him if he informed women that abortions involve the dismemberment of the child, "So you tell her the arms and legs are pulled off?" and that it may involve "sucking the brain out of the skull?" Johnson replied, "I don't think we would use those terms…I think we would probably use a term like 'decompression of the skull' or 'reducing the contents of the skull.'"

Such reliance on euphemism to fend off questions about abortion is wearing thin. But euphemism is all the supporters of abortion have got. They can't be specific about what they are doing. Too many people wouldn't support it. So they conceal violence as "choice" and permit criminals to kill the unborn children of the Laci Petersons lest society take, to borrow Kerry's words, "a step backwards for women."

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.