June 21, 2019
If you're wondering why the candidates won't shut up about their abortion extremism, there are about 192,000 reasons why. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, that's how many dollars the 2020 Democrats have raked in from Planned Parenthood over the last 29 years. Now, with the White House up for grabs, Leana Wen's group is about to get a lot more generous -- leaving a lot of taxpayers to wonder: just where do federal funds end and campaign checks begin?
For groups like Planned Parenthood, it's always been a delicate dance. As everyone knows, it's illegal for Wen to spend even a penny of federal funds on the group's political activities -- but a full bank account certainly gives them flexibility to. And that's what at least 12 Democrats are banking on, including the PAC's biggest beneficiaries: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), $53,058; Senator Amy Klocuchar (D-Minn.), $43,400; Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), $22,572; Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), $16,700; and others.
But even with Planned Parenthood's deep pockets, the abortion industry can't do all of the heavy lifting. That's where their corporate lackeys come in. Over the past several months, we've seen just how many CEOs have sold their souls to the Left, taking to social media, the op-ed pages, Capitol Hill, and even advertising to shame the overwhelming majority of Americans who want to protect life. And Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), for one, is tired of it.
"I know there are decent people on both sides of this sensitive issue," he writes. "...What should never happen, though, is billion-dollar corporations trying to dictate these moral questions to us. Politically correct CEOs shouldn't be in the business of threatening normal Americans. But that's exactly what we've seen lately. The loudest objections to these pro-life laws haven't come from the 'bottom up' -- from normal citizens who happen to disagree with one another -- but from the 'top down:' from cultural elites, and increasingly from giant corporations who wield their economic power as a weapon to punish the American people for daring to challenge their pro-abortion extremism."
He calls out giant media companies like Disney, Netflix, and Warner for threatening "to cripple Georgia's film industry if its residents don't bend the knee and betray their pro-life convictions." Then, he explains, there was the full-page ad in the New York times from the CEOs of 100 companies who insisted that protecting unborn babies is "bad for business." "How disgusting is that?" he exclaims. "Caring for a little baby is 'bad for business.'"
While Senator Cotton filled the editorial page, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) took his debate to the chamber's floor. A day after Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ripped into Democrats for their out-of-step positions, Sasse directed his fire at the "candidate forum" Planned Parenthood is hosting for Democrats this weekend. "Let's be clear: These candidates are wildly and spectacularly out of the mainstream in American life." Not only do they support the killing of perfectly healthy newborn babies, but they want abortion "anytime, anywhere -- for free."
Even a "a majority of self-identifying pro-choice voters in America is opposed to abortion in the third trimester," Sasse points out. "Sadly though, the most radical Left-wing voices are winning in their party's echo-chamber, and Democratic candidates have now decided that they must prostrate themselves before the flushed-with-cash abortion industry."
"That has consequences beyond policy. As Democrats' abortion positions have become more extreme, they have not sought to even persuade fellow citizens with whom they disagree. Rather, they have become openly hostile to Americans who disagree on this great moral challenge." He pointed to Senator Gillibrand, who this month compared pro-lifers to "racists." "Perhaps in the senator's next interview, my colleague will suggest that pro-life Americans belong in a basket of deplorables," he jabbed.
"In their leftward lurch to become the Planned Parenthood candidate, it's not just that Democrats seeking this office are losing touch with where Americans actually are on the question of abortion, or with our fundamental American convictions. It's that, as my colleague from New York shows, they're losing touch even with how to do politics like Americans..."
Recent history is littered with candidates who took the path of incivility and failed. That may be a way to win Planned Parenthood's support -- but it's no way to win an election.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.