At the 1992 Democratic National Convention, the Democratic governor of the state of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, was prohibited from speaking. The Clintons and their associates had blacklisted Casey because he wanted to speak against legalized abortion — as a pro-lifer, Casey was an increasing oddity in the modern Democratic party. The governor, engaged in a simultaneous fight to preserve his own life from a rare and fatal disease, never stopped lamenting how his party, which claimed to champion the little guy, utterly refused to defend the most innocent and defenseless.
After the incident, Governor Casey sensed things would only get worse in his party, which was now totally beholden to a radical feminism. His worst nightmares materialized in 1993, when the new first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, sought to revolutionize the American health-care and abortion industries. In a televised forum discussing her national health-care plan that October, Mrs. Clinton said that abortion services “would be widely available.”
Pro-lifers like Casey were distraught; they could not fathom that their tax dollars might be used to fund abortions. They also feared the sudden availability of the abortion pill, RU-486, under the first lady’s health-care plan — one of Bill Clinton’s first acts in office was to push the pill to market through an expedited FDA approval process that, pro-lifers charged, did not take enough time to adequately consider women’s safety.
There were many counter-reactions to all of this. Republicans introduced the Coates Amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives, which sought to strip abortion funding from the first lady’s “health-care” plan. On the Democratic side, there was, of course, little objection — with a notable exception: Casey was so enraged that he considered a 1996 run for the presidency. This would prove impossible, principally because of Casey’s declining health. Casey died on May 30, 2000.
In 2006, another Bob Casey rose to national prominence: the late governor’s son, Robert P. Casey Jr., also a committed pro-life Irish Catholic. Casey had his eyes on a U.S. Senate seat, and challenged and defeated Senator Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) — ousting the Senate’s best defender of unborn human life. This thrilled abortion-rights supporters, but Casey himself was pro-life. The anti-abortion movement hoped Casey Jr. might pick up the torch from Santorum, and might even shake up his own party on the issue.
Thus far Casey has been a disappointment. And now, alas, Senator Casey has stepped up to endorse the most radical supporter of abortion to ever come close to a major-party presidential nomination: Barack Obama.
Sen. Barack Obama is so extreme on abortion that he has managed to achieve what I once thought impossible: He is to the left of Hillary Clinton on abortion. I say that as someone who has written a book on Hillary Clinton, with a special focus on her abortion fanaticism.
How extreme is Obama? His short U.S. Senate record is as Planned Parenthood-perfect as Senator Clinton’s and other abortion extremists’. Yet there is one area where he surpasses even the zealots: In the Illinois senate, Obama led the charge against legislation that would have ensured medical care to babies who survived abortions. Let me explain.
Most Americans have no clue that in their country since Roe v. Wade, countless babies have survived abortion attempts. An unknown number have been left to die alone on tables, in trash cans, in dark rooms — no medical care offered. Alas, mercifully, the U.S. Congress finally came along in 2002 and unanimously (both houses) passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. The legislation mandates that born-alive infants be given the full protection of federal laws.
Who could possibly oppose something like this? The answer is Barack Obama, who in Illinois sought to prevent the adoption of similar statewide legislation. In 2002 and 2003, he voted against such legislation twice, and then blocked the bill as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. He denounced the bill on the floor of the state senate. Keep in mind that this is a man who supports government intervention for everything under the sun, particularly in health care — with the exception of unborn babies, or in this case, born babies.
When it comes to abortion, Barack Obama is to the left of not just Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and Ted Kennedy, but even NARAL. Yes, not even NARAL opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
And this is in individual Sen. Casey chose to endorse last Friday before a cheering, roaring crowd of Pennsylvania Democrats.
Now he has joined Obama on a six-day bus tour through Pennsylvania in advance of the state’s crucial April 22 primary, where Obama has trailed Clinton.
Does Casey not understand the threshold upon which he and his nation now stand? Roe v. Wade is at last in peril, but if he achieves his dream of an Obama presidency, Obama can tip the Supreme Court’s balance in a pro-Roe direction for decades to come. There have been 40 million abortions since 1973.
Consequently, Senator Casey’s endorsement of Obama is an undeniable betrayal of his, his father’s, and his church’s pro-life work and commitment.
— Paul Kengor has most recently published God and Hillary Clinton and The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand. He is professor of political science at Grove City College.