Barack Obama, pro-abortion extremist — and why the news media avoid tough scrutiny of Obama’s abortion history




This is an update from the National Right to Life Committee in Washington, D.C., issued Thursday, August 23, 2012.

“The new obsession is the platform of the Republican Party on abortion, which is an obsession,” [Republican National Committee Chairman Reince] Priebus said Wednesday on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on Fox News. “What about the obsession about a guy who believes in partial-birth abortion? I mean, what about that obsession? I mean, why aren’t we talking about that very, that minority view of abortion in our country that this president holds dear to his heart? We’re not talking about that.”
(“Reince Priebus attacks Obama on abortion,” by Kevin Robillard, Politico, August 23, 2012.)

In the opinion piece below, “Obama the abortion extremist,” published today by Politico, National Review Editor Rich Lowry asserts, “The Democrats and the press habitually travel in a pack, but never more so than when a social or cultural issue is involved, especially one touching on sexual morality. Then, it’s not a matter of mere partisanship or a rooting interest. It’s personal.” Lowry goes on to discuss how this hostility to the pro-life position manifests as a proclivity for subjecting pro-life Republican candidates to intense scrutiny on abortion-related issues, while ignoring or glossing over the extreme positions that Barack Obama has taken throughout his political career on abortion-related issues.

As the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) observed in an August 20 release, “The mainstream news media is again busy ginning up stories exploring the outer parameters of the abortion-related policy positions of pro-life Republican candidates, even where this involves remote, theoretical scenarios — while demonstrating a near-total disinterest in putting the spotlight on the outer parameters of the ‘abortion rights’ positions embraced by President Obama, even on matters under current legislative consideration.”

The August 20 NRLC release is here.

In October, 2008, NRLC published a detailed article examining the news media’s collaboration in allowing Obama, during the post-nomination phase of the 2008 campaign, to rewrite his history on various abortion-related issues, including legislation dealing with infants born alive during abortions. The article, which is here, also explores the news media’s near-total disinterest in examining the implications of Obama’s endorsement of the most extreme pro-abortion measure ever proposed in Congress, the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act,” which would invalidate virtually all state and federal limits on abortion, and re-legalize partial-birth abortion.

An NRLC “white paper” documenting Obama’s actual history on the born-alive infants legislation is here.

An NRLC statement on President Obama’s recently announced (but virtually unreported) opposition to the pending legislation to ban the use of abortion for sex selection is here.

To view “Video: Obama Says He’s ‘Pro-Choice’ on Third-Trimester Abortions,” by John McCormack, The Weekly Standard blog, August 22, 2012, click here.

For further information, contact the NRLC Federal Legislation Department at 202-626-8820 or

[the Rich Lowry essay follows:]

Obama the abortion extremist
By: Rich Lowry
August 23, 2012 04:33 AM EDT

If NARAL has a man of the year award, it should go to Todd Akin.

Not only did the newly minted Missouri Senate candidate express his position on abortion in the most discrediting way possible, he threatens Republican hopes to take the Senate. By throwing away a winnable seat, he could preserve a Democratic majority that will sooner desecrate the American flag on the Senate floor than restrict abortion in any manner.

Predictably, the Akin flap has created a feeding frenzy. In recent days, the national political debate has seemingly telescoped down to the question of whether abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest. The Republican platform is silent on these exceptions, while Paul Ryan opposes them, stoking Democratic attacks and media analysis about the renewal of the fabled “war on women.”

The Democrats and the press habitually travel in a pack, but never more so than when a social or cultural issue is involved, especially one touching on sexual morality. Then, it’s not a matter of mere partisanship or a rooting interest. It’s personal.

From a strictly down-the-middle, neutral perspective, if one side of a debate is “extreme,” the opposite and countervailing side is equally “extreme.” It would never even occur to the media to apply this standard to abortion. Under the guise of upholding abortion rights, Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In fact—he did.

In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care. Obama’s stalwart opposition to the bill came up during the 2008 campaign, and his team responded with a farrago of obfuscation and distortions.

The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. (Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.

About a year after his final vote against the bill, Obama gave his famous 2004 Democratic convention speech extolling post-partisan moderation. But he couldn’t even bring himself to protect infants brutalized and utterly alone in some medical facility taking what might be only a few fragile breaths on this Earth. Some moderation. The federal version of the bill that he opposed in Illinois passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Some post-partisanship.

President Obama is an extremist on abortion. He has never supported any meaningful restriction on it, and never will.

He opposed a partial-birth abortion bill in Illinois, even as the federal version passed the House with 282 votes and the Senate with 64 votes and was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. He arrived in the U.S. Senate in time to denounce the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the ban.

[to read the rest of the Lowry essay on the Politico site, click here.]

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.