The great Bill McGurn (another of the many alumni of The American Spectator) has a superb column today about the extremism of President Obama (and most congressional Democrats) on the subject of abortion. His main point is that Obama was determined to save funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion mills — the same way, McGurn might have added, that Obama in the Illinois Senate was determined (unsuccessfully) to preserve the ability of doctors to let die those unfortunate babies born alive even after attempted abortions.
In the end, President Barack Obama was the one who refused to blink on Planned Parenthood. Another way of saying it is this: The president was willing to shut down the entire federal government rather than see Planned Parenthood’s federal funding cut. According to press accounts leaked by Democratic aides, House Speaker John Boehner argued for the funding cut late into the evening. The president answered, “Nope, zero.” He then said, “John, this is it.” Mr. Boehner accepted the budget deal without that cut. A Republican aide confirmed more or less the same account to me. He said it was “chilling” to see how inflexible Mr. Obama was. You might call it ideological….
Most Americans, it is probably safe to say, have no idea that we are talking about an organization that performed 332,278 abortions in 2009—one abortion every 95 seconds. Planned Parenthood counters that no federal dollars go to abortion, but Americans are not stupid. They know money is fungible. As for serving pregnant women, that would be worth some congressional attention too. Planned Parenthood’s own numbers show that more than 97% of pregnant women it treated were given abortions—against fewer than 3% who received nonabortion services such as adoption or prenatal care.
Our colleague James Taranto has much the same take on things today, also at the WSJ.
There’s also a financial angle. Planned Parenthood receives millions in taxpayer subsidies and spends hundreds of thousands on lobbying and campaigning. In February, OpenSecrets.org reported that Planned Parenthood’s political action committee “donated more than $148,000 to federal candidates–almost all Democrats–during the 2010 election cycle” and “spent more than $443,000 overall.” Planned Parenthood made an additional $905,796 in “independent expenditures” during the 2010 cycle.
This is all true. Ramesh Ponnuru rightly (and carefully — his book is very fair and very clear about what he means by the term) called the left “The Party of Death.” These are people who don’t merely support the “right” to an abortion, but actually think of abortions as a societal good. (Of course, one of the original impetuses — or is that impeti? — for legalized abortion was to help keep bl-, er, minority populations down, but we won’t go there because we don’t want to remind the left of their policy’s racist origins, do we?) This view is, of course, in moral terms, a monstrosity. It is a monstrosity very much at home in today’s Oval Office.
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