Abortion Clinics Lose License, Obama Loses Baby Girl Vote
By Cathy Cleaver Ruse
Cathy Cleaver Ruse is Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in Human Events on June 16, 2012.
There's a good reason why abortion clinics across America post a photograph of Lila Rose on their walls.
Lila and her group Live Action, famous for exposing outrageous practices inside Planned Parenthood clinics, have done so again. In their latest series of undercover videos, Planned Parenthood employees in Texas and New York are shown advising clients on how late they can abort their babies if they find out they are girls.
Just last week Live Action released a video of clinic workers in Arizona scheduling sex-selective abortions in knowing violation of Arizona law. The videos show employees at Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix and Tucson Women's Center in Tucson agreeing to schedule an abortion after being told the abortion was sought because the baby was a girl. The tapes even show the employees acknowledging that sex-selective abortions are illegal in Arizona and offering advice on how to conceal the crime.
Congressman Chris Smith has framed the issue perfectly: "Sex-selection abortion is cruel, it's discriminatory and it's legal." If ever there was a war on women, this is it.
Only three states outlaw sex-selective abortion. Last week the House of Representatives voted on a federal bill to ban the practice. The bill got a majority of votes, but not enough to pass under the fast-track schedule, and not enough to overcome an Obama veto. On the eve of the vote, the White House communicated President Obama's opposition to the bill.
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 3541) is simple. It tells abortion doctors: if you know the abortion is being sought because of the gender of the child, you may not perform it or get paid for doing it. There is also a non-coercion provision to protect a mother from being forced to abort her child because of its gender.
In the past, the "pro-choice" lobby has tried to avoid the issue by denying that sex-selective abortions happen in the United States. But that argument has been destroyed by the new videos showing abortion clinic workers cheerfully scheduling them.
Abortion rights supporters have worked hard to brand abortion as positive and pro-woman, an indispensable part of women's health care. This is Barack Obama's view. For him, elective abortion is "essential" health care that should be paid for by the government. That was his promise to Planned Parenthood on the campaign trail and he has done everything in his power to deliver on it.
Yet there is no way to spin sex-selective abortion as health care. There is no way to spin it as pro-woman, when it is baby girls who are aborted just because they're girls. Sex-selective abortion throws asunder all the rhetorical hiding places of the "pro-choice" movement.
Before he became president, Barack Obama faced criticism for his numerous votes as an Illinois State Senator against a bill requiring care for babies who survive abortion. The legislation was prompted by ghastly reports of babies found left to die in soiled utility rooms or on metal counters, naked, exposed, breathing and moving. Despite Obama's No votes, the law ultimately passed and babies who survive abortion in Illinois are treated with dignity and respect, not like trash.
Claims that Obama had voted to "protect infanticide" were brushed aside as fanatical. Many simply found it hard to believe that Barack Obama was so extreme in his abortion-rights views.
Now he has come out against a ban on the practice of aborting babies because of their sex. Is he an extremist yet?