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Awkward for President Obama?


“It was fine to dwell at length on the Newtown, Conn., shootings, because those could be blamed on the evil NRA. But writing about these dead innocents might be a political liability instead of a political asset. It might have been awkward for President Obama,” Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today, as he applauds Kirsten Powers for helping encourage media coverage of the Gosnell trial.

Ed Henry helped expose that awkwardness yesterday.

Thank you, Ed Henry. 

The Fox News White House reporter asked Jay Carney about the Gosnell trial. Carney said the president is aware of it and the details being reported are “certainly” “unsettling.” Given it is an ongoing trial, Carney, said, the White House could not comment further.

Henry continued with Carney, bring up the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act President that Obama opposed when he was a state legislator in Illinois (a position of the president’s that has long been largely ignored by the media). Carney had no comment. When Henry asked if the president might support any “commonsense reform” to “save lives,” Carney assured Henry that “the president’s position on choice in clear” and tried to get a lifeline from Bill Clinton, citing him and his “safe, legal, and rare” slogan.

As I put it in my syndicated column on the Gosnell matter, though, we’re in a different place today than when Clinton was president. Those were the days when Dems talked about “rare,” and had to, as we were horrified by mainstream descriptions of partial-birth abortions. Today, though, as the governor of New York chants about more abortion access – more abortions – abortion seems more like a preference and expectation than a last resort in medical emergencies. “Let women have abortions for whatever reason they choose,” the mother of a child with Down Syndrome recently wrote for the New York Times.

Representative Marlin Stutzman of Illinois Indiana asked an excellent question last week: “Has our national conscience been irreversibly seared by the deaths of more than 1.2 million unborn children every year in this country?” This is a problem beyond politics, but politics could help. I wouldn’t mind my president being asked and reflecting on the question. As I said in the column, the existence of the Gosnell case insists on a national examination of conscience.

Our choice is to do nothing in the face of this horror or actually protect lives and help women. Does anyone really want to be complacent or indifferent in the face of such inhumanity? 


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