Often, a fanatic can be identified not only by what he wants and how he plans to get it, but also by his inability to recognize what he already has. Rarely is this more strikingly demonstrated than in a recent Washington Times report on pro-abortion activists upset over how little Barack Obama has done for them in his first term.
The article acknowledges many of the president’s pro-death decisions, including lifting the ban on foreign aid money going to abortion-related groups, stripping conscience protections from healthcare workers, supporting federal funding for abortion, and expanding embryo-destructive stem cell research.
But because of what Obama hasn’t done—lifting Plan B’s prescription requirement for minors, enacting a federal Freedom of Choice Act, defunding abstinence education, or granting over-the-counter status to “emergency contraception”—the hardest of the hardcore question his devotion to the cause:
- National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill: “Only the hopelessly clueless could believe that women will enthusiastically support a president or any politician who restricts access to birth control.”
- Catholics for Choice President Jon O’Brien: “What’s next, [O’Brien] asked, wondering aloud whether the White House would ‘bend the knee’ to the Catholic health care industry and allow it to refuse its employees no-co-payment contraceptive coverage in their health insurance.”
- RH Reality Check Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson: “Then-presidential contender and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right — he will not fight for us. Is Obama pro-choice? Not by my definition.”
- Center for American Progress Women’s Health Director Jessica Arons: “I think [the Plan B decision] has really shaken the faith of those who feel strongly about reproductive rights.”
These people doubt the pro-abortion commitment of a politician who, as an Illinois lawmaker, defended infanticide because he feared an imaginary threat to abortion more than he cared about the actual starvation of newborns in his state? Really?
The Times’ rundown of Obama’s abortion-related actions reveals an overwhelmingly anti-life record, tempered only by the most basic considerations of political necessity. Simply ask yourself: if Obama won a second term, with solid pro-abortion majorities in both chambers of Congress, and if they sent the Freedom of Choice Act to his desk, does anyone seriously doubt that he’d make good on his campaign plan to sign it?
More importantly, consider the current state of abortion in the United States. It’s legal in all fifty states, with the only real restrictions on the procedure [PDF link] founded on the mildest and most humane of considerations for the unborn, such as viability and fetal pain. No state prohibits abortion prior to 20 weeks, and even late-term abortion restrictions have lax, exploitable exceptions. Planned Parenthood receives nearly $500 million in taxpayer funds. The only other major pro-life laws on the books mandate that abortion patients be given information and protect third parties from forced personal or monetary participation in abortion. Under most circumstances, there is no punishment whatsoever for the act of pursuing or performing an abortion. Roe v. Wade still stands, preventing states from prohibiting abortion further.
In short, the abortion lobby has exactly what they claim to want: the “right to choose” is secure. Strategically speaking, all a pro-choice president really has to do to be successful is maintain the status quo. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
But that’s not good enough for these abortionistas, because their cause is rooted not in moral principle but selfish interest. As such, there’s no healthy sense of perspective or clear-cut destination in mind; just the conviction that they want more and want it now.
Fortunately, such extremists tend not to be much good at compromise, or understanding how they’re perceived. When all is said and done, the abortion movement’s overreaching will likely be a key component of their own undoing.