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Tags: Abortion

The Coming Huge Fight Over Abortion — Among Democrats



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From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Get Ready for a Massive Fight Over Abortion — Among Democrats!

So at what point can we declare that there’s a civil war within the Democratic party over abortion? Because West Virginia Democrats in the state legislature just voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks. Are the Democrats elsewhere just going to avert their eyes? Will NARAL give them a pass because there’s a D after their name?

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat and perhaps the worst governor you’ve never heard of, is now going to be one of the most scrutinized governors in the country:

Another bill Tomblin said he would carefully scrutinize is House Bill 4588, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That bill bans abortions after 20 weeks except in the case of non-viable pregnancies. The law is similar to others that have passed state legislatures across the country, but some of those bills have faced legal challenges. The attorney for the Senate Judiciary Committee last week cautioned against passing the bill to the full Senate, saying it is unconstitutional.

“The abortion bill obviously is one that causes me some concern because the legislative attorneys and others have said the bill is unconstitutional,” Tomblin said. “So I’ll be looking at all those aspects of it once I receive the bill.”

Note that the legislative votes weren’t even close:

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, HB 4588, passed in the West Virginia Senate on the final day of the session, Saturday, March 8, by a vote of 29-5. The Senate approved an amended version of the bill, which had been passed earlier by the House of Delegates. The House had to concur with the Senate changes before final passage, 83-15.

Just in case there wasn’t enough pressure on Tomblin:

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is “supportive” of a West Virginia bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and is considering backing a similar federal ban in the Senate.

“I am pro-life and supportive of the principles in the bill that was just passed in the West Virginia Legislature,” Manchin said in a statement.

Tags: Abortion , West Virginia , Democrats

The ‘New American Center’ Actually Looks Pretty Right



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Also from today’s Morning Jolt, a new poll that helps explain why we’re seeing Democrats running on issues that basically don’t exist, such as a Republican effort to ban contraception, an effort to ban mothers from divorcing their husbands, or a “war on women”:

That New American Center, Looking Pretty Conservative

Esquire unveiled new polling, identifying, analyzing, and dissecting “the new American center” a few weeks ago. I had a chance to study their article on a couple of long plane rides recently.

I know what you’re thinking: Here’s another group of folks on the left insisting that they’re the new center.

Nope. It turns out the “New Center” Esquire spotlighted is pretty darn conservative, particularly on a lot of those hot-button issues where the overwhelming media narrative is that we’re a bunch of backward Neanderthals who should just die already so that hipster kid who’s still living with his parents can take over.

Esquire’s survey found:

  • 57 percent of folks in “the Center” support ending affirmative action in hiring decisions and college admissions. Only 19 percent oppose it.

  • 54 percent oppose a path to citizenship for those who have come to the country illegally. Only 32 percent support it. What’s all this pressure to get the House to take up the Senate bill?

  • 75 percent support requiring photo ID to cast a vote. Only 15 percent oppose.

  • Even abortion! The survey found 38 percent of “the center” support abortion for any reason . . . but only within the first three months of pregnancy, which would represent a giant step in the pro-life direction from our current laws. Another 29 percent support abortion only in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother — indicating that two-thirds of “the center” would support abortion laws significantly stricter than they are today. Most media coverage suggests the opposite, obviously. Only 12 percent believe a woman should be able to get an abortion for any reason at any point in her pregnancy.

  • Given only two options, 78 percent said the bigger problem for the United States is people aren’t accountable for their decisions and actions. Only 22 percent said that the bigger problem was “people aren’t compassionate toward one another.”

  • Finally, 77 percent support amending the Constitution requiring the federal government to balance its budget every year. Only 11 percent oppose. This is one of those ideas that sounds great in theory but is challenging in practice. For starters, we would need to make up the $670 billion current deficit in either spending cuts or tax hikes, and the public would loathe either of those options. (Some day, a Democratic president and Democratic Congress would use that constitutional amendment to justify gargantuan tax hikes.) A little deficit spending isn’t such a bad thing, but you have to keep it and your overall debt in proportion to your annual gross domestic product. Having said that, Republicans would be fools if they didn’t loudly embrace such a popular idea.

In light of this, it appears the public’s shift to the left has been vastly overstated. And perhaps we now see why Democrats emphasize birth control and Big Bird and other seemingly silly and frivolous issues, and use them to define Republicans. Democrats dare not get too close to the above issues, or else they’ll get burned.

Tags: Polling , Abortion , Politics , Ideology

Wendy Davis, the Ned Lamont of 2014



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Wendy Davis, the Texas Democratic state legislator who engaged in a filibuster to preserve late-term abortions, is reportedly running for governor.

Republicans should be elated at this development. The Cook Partisan Voting Index scores Texas as R+10, and Davis’s bid will inevitably be defined by her trademark stance. A University of Texas poll found 62 percent said they would support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks based on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at that point,” and that same percentage said they support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.”

Yet her status as a heroine to the pro-late-term-abortion Democratic-party grassroots will ensure that she will get a small fortune in donations, money that could otherwise have been spent in more competitive races. She’ll also probably get a lot of national press coverage.

She could be this cycle’s Ned Lamont — the liberal anti-war challenger to Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut in 2006. Lamont was a hero to the anti-war Democratic grassroots — Markos Moulitsas appeared in a commercial for him.

Markos Moulitsas, peering in the window of Ned Lamont’s house in one of the odder ads of the 2006 cycle.

Lamont won the Democratic primary . . . only to lose to Lieberman, running as an independent, in November. A loud but small minority of the electorate at large fell in love with him, only to find that the voters as a whole didn’t agree.

Of course, Ned Lamont spent $16 million of his own fortune on that Senate bid, and collected about $3 million from donations. Davis will require a lot more help from the DGA and Democratic 527s.

Lamont ran for govenror a few years later and lost in the Democratic primary; he is currently teaching at Central Connecticut State University.

Tags: Wendy Davis , Ned Lamont , Texas , Abortion

38% of Pro-Lifers Like Planned Parenthood



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As if the Obamacare polling result below isn’t jaw-dropping enough, now there’s this indicator of how ill-informed the public is: “Although 63 percent said that they had a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood, including 38 percent of those who identified themselves as pro-life, 55 percent of those polled did not know that Planned Parenthood performs abortions.”

I suppose we should be thankful that the public can still differentiate between Kermit Gosnell and Kermit the Frog.

Do we need to hold a seminar on “Basic Facts in Public Debates”? Maybe have everyone carry some 3×5 index cards saying, “Planned Parenthood is the pro-abortion group”?

 

Tags: Planned Parenthood , Abortion , Polling

Conservative Media Ignored Gosnell, As Long As You Don’t Search Too Hard



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The Monday edition of the Morning Jolt features John Kerry blaming the media for hyping the possibility of war on the Korean peninsula, the Right assessing Pat Toomey’s background check deal with Joe Manchin, and then this predictable turn in the discussion of the Kermit Gosnell late-term abortion “House of Horrors” scandal:

The Conservative Media Blackout That Wasn’t Really a Blackout At All

Here it comes: the mainstream media will claim that their critics on the Right are hypocrites, because conservative media outlets weren’t really covering the “house of horrors” of late-term abortionist/alleged mass murderer Kermit Gosnell, either.

This morning, the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi writes: “The Weekly Standard and the National Review, two leading conservative magazines, for example, hadn’t published anything on the trial, according to a search of the Nexis database.”

Notice the careful wording on that accusation. Of course, several of my colleagues wrote about the charges against Gosnell before the trial. (The opening statements in Gosnell’s trial began March 18.)

And if I’m reading Farhi correctly, he’s only looking at the print magazines, not the online versions – which, as we all know, generate a lot more material, day in and day out, than the print versions of our magazines.

Anyway, a quick look through NRO’s archives:

Michelle Malkin, back on January 21, 2011:

In the City of Brotherly Love, hundreds of babies were murdered by a scissors-wielding monster over four decades. Whistleblowers informed public officials at all levels of the wanton killings of innocent life. But a parade of government health bureaucrats and advocates protecting the abortion racket looked the other way — until, that is, a Philadelphia grand jury finally exposed the infanticide factory run by abortionist Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D., and a crew of unlicensed, untrained butchers masquerading as noble providers of women’s “choice.” 

Mark Steyn, February 10, 2011:

As I was leaving Fox News last night, I glanced up at the monitor and caught Juan Williams expressing mystification to Sean Hannity as to why Republicans in Congress were wasting the country’s time on a “little thing” like abortion.

Gee, I dunno. Maybe it’s something to do with a mass murderer in Pennsylvania, or Planned Parenthood clinics facilitating the sex trafficking of minors. From the Office of the District Attorney in Philadelphia:

Viable babies were born*. Gosnell killed them by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same.

This is a remarkable moment in American life: A man is killing actual living, gurgling, bouncing babies on an industrial scale – and it barely makes the papers.

Here’s Rich Lowry, Feb. 4, 2011:

The nightmarish case of the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell and the sting video of a counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic cooperating with a supposed pimp show the dignity of women is decidedly secondary. The 261-page grand-jury report in the Gosnell case could have been written by Stephen King. Gosnell’s gruesome operation was, on its own terms, highly efficient. During the day, his assistants administered labor-inducing drugs to pregnant women, overwhelmingly poor minorities. Then the good doctor showed up in the evening. On some women, he performed traditional abortions, occasionally butchering them in the process. Other women had delivered babies before he arrived. Here, he performed post-birth abortions–

-and I’m going to cut if off here, lest you lose your breakfast all over your keyboard. Yeah, it’s awful.

Finally, Michael Walsh, writing as his left-wing alter-ego David Kahane, quoted the indictment at length in a February 7, 2011 column.

Here’s Matthew Franck on February 3, 2011.  Here’s Tom McClusky on March 29, 2011. Here’s Mark Steyn, quoting the trial, in the Corner on March 20.

But none of that will be acknowledged by Fahri, because it interferes with the point he wants to make, that “media bias” isn’t to blame for the fact that Kermit Gosnell only became a household name last week.

Listen up, media. The existence of other factors – the fear of offending squeamish readers, limited budgets, the presence of other news events, the lack of television cameras in the courtroom – doesn’t disprove the factor of bias, the notion that at many allegedly “mainstream” publications and outlets, a political and ideological lens skews the perception of what is big news and what is, in the words of the Post’s health policy reporter, just a “local crime story.” As Jay Nordlinger lays out, there is always an editor’s decision of which events get “flood the zone” style coverage, and that decision inevitably reflects that editor’s worldview and perspective. News that damages key tenets of the Left – i.e.,the notion that late-term abortion is necessary, good, and moral objections to it are outdated, fringe, religious zealotry – rarely is deemed big news.

We’ve seen much more mundane matters get much bigger coverage than this man and his horror show garnered until last week. This is the same Washington Post Style section that had a front-page-of-the-section story about an Alabama high school football coach mocking Michelle Obama’s butt. (Obnoxious, of course, but why is this national news?)

If you’re not going to implement anything to mitigate that bias – i.e., diverse viewpoints in the newsroom, on the reporting staff, not just the column-writing staff – then just admit the bias and move on.

Tags: Abortion , Kermit Gosnell

The Horror the Media Can’t Bring Itself to Cover



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Finally, here’s a section of the Jolt that was heavily shaped by last night’s Twitter discussion of Kermit Gosnell coverage — or how rare that coverage is:

Why Is One of the Most Horrific Crimes in Recent Memory Getting Almost No Press Coverage?

If you need to get up to speed on the Kermit Gosnell story, here’s a good place to start.

A doctor whose abortion clinic was a filthy, foul-smelling “house of horrors” that was overlooked by regulators for years was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them.

Hundreds of other babies likely died in the squalid clinic that Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran from 1979 to 2010, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said at a news conference.

“My comprehension of the English language can’t adequately describe the barbaric nature of Dr. Gosnell,” he added.

It’s utterly, utterly horrible; I won’t blame you if you can’t read that story any further.

However, you may be surprised at how little you’ve heard  about this story so far. Seth Mandel lays out the utterly unforgivable decision-making on the part of the national media so far:

You may not have heard much about Gosnell’s case. That’s because the mainstream press has chosen by and large to ignore it. There is no area of American politics in which the press is more activist or biased or unethical than social issues, the so-called culture wars. And the culture of permissive abortion they favor has consequences, which they would rather not look squarely at, thank you very much. The liberal commentator Kirsten Powers has written a tremendous op-ed in USA Today on Gosnell and the media blackout. Powers writes of the gruesome admissions that Gosnell’s former employees are making in court, some of which amount to “literally a beheading” and other stomach-turning descriptions. On the media’s refusal to inform the public, Powers writes:

A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.

The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial’s first day. They’ve been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony . . .

You don’t have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” It’s about basic human rights.

The media should be ashamed beyond description for this behavior. The American left should come to terms with what it means to talk about a human life as if it were a parasite, or merely a clump of cells. And they should most certainly stop lecturing the rest of us on compassion, on pity, on social obligation, on morality.

The Washington Post health-policy reporter, Sarah Kliff explains to Mollie Hemingway, “I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.”

Except that a lot of “local crime” stories become national policy or politics issues, or at the very least get national coverage. Last night on Twitter I went on a tear: Trayvon Martin, the Cambridge police arresting Henry Louis Gates, O. J. Simpson, the Unabomber, Jeffrey Dahmer, Casey Anthony, D. B. Cooper, Bernie Madoff, Son of Sam, JonBenet Ramsey, Andrea Yates, David Koresh & the Waco compound, Amy Fisher . . . Heck, all of the gun massacres that drive our periodic discussions of gun laws are technically “local crime” stories.

You can argue about the importance of all of the crime stories listed above, but the point is that a lot of “local crime stories” become big national stories. You’d think Doctor Baby-in-a-Blender would make the cut.

Josh Greenman, editorial-page editor of the New York Daily News:

I humbly suggest: Whether you support abortion rights or oppose them, read the Kermit Gosnell coverage with clear eyes. It is wrenching.

Ace shouts what we all know is really going on here:

This story exposes fault lines between Democrats, who are by political necessity abortion absolutists, and Independents, who may lean somewhat pro-choice but sure the hell aren’t on board for infanticide. But to report this story at all would put the Democrats in the difficult position of angering its an element of its hardcore single-issue leftist coalition, or alienating independents.

Thus, the media — which just “wants to report the facts” and “takes no positions on policy questions” and which has no partisan leaning at all — simply doesn’t report the story at all.

After all, if the public hears of it, they may make The Wrong Decisions.

You don’t trust children with matches and you don’t trust the American public with information. It’s that simple.

Tags: Abortion , Media

Middle Cheese: Internals Show Latinos in Florida, Colorado Shifting to Romney



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My source Middle Cheese checks in, with the latest he’s hearing from the Big Cheeses over at the Romney campaign:

Abortion: The liberal media is hoping Mitt’s comment to the Des Moines Register that the pro-life legislation isn’t “part of my agenda” will cause an uproar in the pro-life community. Believe me, it won’t because we pro-lifers (I am a card-carrying member of the National Right to Life) know that Romney was referring to his legislative agenda for jobs and the economy in the first 100 days. And as Romney said himself, one of his first acts as president will be to issue an Executive Order reinstating Reagan’s “Mexico City Policy” banning U.S. funding of international family planning groups that provide abortion services. Romney will also repeal Obamacare, which mandates coverage of contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs by religious organizations. Sorry liberals, but the pro-life community remains energized for Romney.

Hispanics: Mitt’s strong debate performance is having the same positive impact on Hispanic voters that it has had with the general electorate. My sources on Team Romney say their post-debate internal polling shows improvement for Romney among Hispanics nationally, and growing support in Florida and Colorado. In Florida, Mitt is moving up and Obama is polling below what he got in 2008 among Hispanics (57 percent).

Benghazi: Look for Team Romney to turn up the heat on Obama for his actions (or lack thereof) to secure our consulate in Libya prior to the 9/11 murders of our Ambassador and three Americans, and his Administration’s conflicting and confusing explanations of what happened in the aftermath of what we now know was a terrorist attack.

VP debate: I won’t play the expectations game, but the fact is that Joe Biden has done 18 Presidential or Vice Presidential debates and Paul Ryan has done zero. Unlike Obama, Joe Biden is going to throw the kitchen sink at the Romney-Ryan ticket — “Big Bird,” “47 percent,” “tax returns,” “$5 trillion tax cut,” and of course “voucherizing Medicare.” Expect Ryan to counter Biden’s negative attacks with the facts, but then to quickly return to overarching theme of the “big choice” in this election and how a Romney-Ryan Administration would solve the big problems.

Tags: Abortion , Joe Biden , Middle Cheese , Paul Ryan , Polling

How Often Do You See the Term ‘Nutzies’ in an Editorial?



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Tomorrow Virginia votes in its state legislative elections. Our friends at Bearing Drift notice the editors of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star characterizing those who oppose abortion as “government-hating nutzies”:

social conservatives have good reason to want [state Sen. Edd Houck] gone. As chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee he has buried anti-abortion legislation, earning 100 percent ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. But it is hard to see how many others share that sentiment, apart from government-hating nutzies.

Ah. They’re nuts and like Nazis! Glad to see they got the memo about the new tone.

Of course, the “Nutzy” population may be a bit larger than the editors think:

By an overwhelming 55 – 22 percent, Virginians support a new law requiring abortion clinics to be regulated like hospitals, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  State health regulators are to vote Thursday on regulations implementing tougher abortion clinic standards that are popular even though by 50 – 41 percent Virginians say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The Virginia Legislature, which gets a 48 – 34 percent approval rating, passed the law that abortion rights groups say is a back-door attempt to stop abortions in the state because most of the existing clinics cannot meet the structural requirements of the new law. But 50 percent of registered voters see the new law as a way to safeguard women’s health, while 33 percent see the law as unnecessary and an effort to put abortion clinics out of business. There is only a small gender gap on this question. 

“There is strong support for the new abortion law among men and women. Opponents apparently have been unable to convince the electorate that this is an unwarranted back-door way to stop abortions,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Even Democrats, by a plurality, support the measure.”

Houck opposed that measure.

Tags: Abortion , Virginia

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