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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

The Democrats' Abortionfest

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Actually Hotair calls it "Abortionpalooza" noting that in the wake of the boneheaded comments by the GOP senate candidate from Missouri, the Dems have gone all-in, lining up a veritable all-star cast of pro-abortion celebrities as speakers. 

"Democrats said that they will feature Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, Nancy Keenan, president of the NARAL Pro-Choice America and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student whose plea for federal birth control funding drew the ire–and a subsequent apology–from Rush Limbaugh."

This is off for (at least) two reasons:

First, polls -- Gallup and the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac partnership -- consistently show that abortion is hardly at the top of voters' agendas, which means as Jennifer Rubin notes the result will a certain, shall we say, disconnect between the big issues of the day and the peculiar obsession of the Democrats.

"[A]verage Americans looking at over 8 percent unemployment, massive debt, entitlement program insolvency, war in the Middle East and rotten schools may wonder what clown show they tuned into while searching for a presidential candidate to tackle the big problems of the day."

The second problem is the president's own position on abortion. The voice of moderation, he is not.

As Rich Lowry notes, there are few American politicians whose views and records are more extreme than Obama's, and the decision to highlight abortion virtually guarantees that they will find their way into the spotlight (as hard as the MSM tries to ignore them.)

In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care. Obama’s stalwart opposition to the bill came up during the 2008 campaign, and his team responded with a farrago of obfuscation and distortions.

The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. (Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.

About a year after his final vote against the bill, Obama gave his famous 2004 Democratic convention speech extolling post-partisan moderation. But he couldn’t even bring himself to protect infants brutalized and utterly alone in some medical facility taking what might be only a few fragile breaths on this Earth. Some moderation. The federal version of the bill that he opposed in Illinois passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Some post-partisanship.

President Obama is an extremist on abortion. He has never supported any meaningful restriction on it, and never will.

He opposed a partial-birth abortion bill in Illinois, even as the federal version passed the House with 282 votes and the Senate with 64 votes and was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. He arrived in the U.S. Senate in time to denounce the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the ban.

In 2007, he told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that his first act as president would be signing the Freedom of Choice Act. The act would enshrine in federal law a right to abortion more far-reaching than in Roe v. Wade and eliminate basically all federal and state-level restrictions on abortion. This isn’t a point its supporters contest; it’s one they brag about.

 

**

The editors of National Review also weigh in the question of who the real extremist is on the abortion issue.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama was asked when he thought that a baby gained human rights. He said it was above his “pay grade.” From his record we can infer that his answer is: some time after birth.

 

Mitt Romney’s view — that we should allow abortion policy to be set democratically, and within democratic fora work toward the end of abortion with exceptions for rape and incest — is light years closer to the median voter than is Obama’s position. That’s a scoop no reporter is going to get a Pulitzer for.

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