Analysis

Presidential silence on Gosnell actions: inconsistent but unsurprising

If it saves even one life…

baby-question choice choose

Abortion: Obama loves to comment on it when there’s something to say in favor of abortion rights. But at a recent White House press conference at which the president’s position on the actions of Kermit Gosnell was explicitly requested, the issue was waved aside as irrelevant. Obama is quick to voice his opinion on other injustices such as the Sandy Hook tragedy and the Boston Marathon explosions, but he is silent in the face of the injustice of abortion time and again.

In the video below, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney can be seen passively dismissing persistent requests from a well-informed reporter who minced no words in introducing the subject:

There is a murder trial in Pennsylvania, that I know you now is getting a lot of attention… Kermit Gosnell, this doctor who is accused of having delivering some babies who were literally screaming and then beheading them.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FArcxa2PGus]

Rather than address Gosnell’s actual actions – which are clearly enumerated in the current Grand Jury report – Carney took the opportunity to tout the yawn-inducing tagline that President Obama’s position on “choice” is that it should be “safe, legal, and rare,” and he cited President Clinton as having been in agreement with the current leader on the matter.

But the journalist did not let the White House off the hook so easily, rejoining the conversation by pointing out the little-discussed and embarrassing fact that Obama voted against Illinois legislation as a senator in 2003 that would have mandated that infants who were born alive – like the infants whose spinal cords were snipped by Gosnell and his employees – should not receive compulsory medical attention after their birth. The journalist also pointed out that Carney had just finished pontificating that innocent lives must be saved from gun violence and drew a clear contrast between that and Carney’s unwillingness to provide any specific response to the actions of Kermit Gosnell: “…on guns you were just saying that we need commonsense reform, [that] we need to save lives.”

But Carney gave nothing more than repackaged talking points on abortion in general and insisted that he could not comment on hypothetical legislation, which is not at all what the journalist was asking for. But let’s not be surprised – this is a president whose campaign was personally assisted by the president of Planned Parenthood. We don’t expect to see him being consistent in the lives he defends anytime soon. Victims of gun violence? Absolutely worth defending, according to the president. Victims of forceps, scissors, and saline violence? Not so much.

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