By Dave Andrusko
On Tuesday NRL News Today posted “Five Takeaways from NRLC President Carol Tobias’ Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.” We offered it to complement Mrs. Tobias full testimony and a shortened version of her very fine remarks.
As we noted at the end, the five takeaways could have been 10 or 15. Why? Because Mrs. Tobias succinctly addressed a whole litany of illusory and outright phony assurances from the sponsors of the “Women’s Health Protection Act” [S.1696], which Tobias observed would be more accurately described as the “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act.”
A pro-abortion post that ran yesterday but which I first saw today gives us the opportunity to talk about another insight that Mrs. Tobias offered into the disingenuous tactics of the sponsors of S. 1696. The writer asserts that Tobias “mischaracterize[ed] both the bill’s intent and its contents.”
How so? “Certain restrictions could remain in place, and states would still be able to restrict abortion after fetal viability, as long as there are exceptions for rape, incest, and the life or health of the pregnant woman.”
(Ever since Day One, we’ve been assured that whatever pro-abortion initiative is coming down the pike it’s modest, at most merely “codifying Roe v. Wade.” This is dishonesty on a massive scale, but when you are attempting to mask how breathtakingly radical is your agenda, I suppose what choice do you have?)
Had the author of that post read Mrs. Tobias’ entire testimony, she obviously would still not have conceded that S. 1696 will (and is intended) to level virtually every protective law. But, perhaps, in her heart of hearts she would’ve had to admit that the explanation why this is so is airtight.
What about the assertion that certain “restrictions [on abortion] could remain in place”? As Tobias told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The bill would subject any law or government policy that affects the practice of abortion, even indirectly, to an array of sweeping legal tests, designed to guarantee that almost none will survive. The general rule would be that any law that specifically regulates abortion would be presumptively invalid. The same would be true of any law that is not abortion-specific but has the effect or claimed effect of reducing access to abortion.”
What are the odds any “restriction” could successfully run that gauntlet? Slim and none.
What about restricting abortions after viability? Again to quote Mrs. Tobias
“The bill contains a cosmetic provision that is intended to fool the uninitiated or inattentive into believing that it allows substantial limitations after ‘viability,’ but this is entirely illusory. Even after ‘viability,’ which would be defined and determined solely by the abortion practitioner, the bill prohibits any limitation on abortion that the abortionist believes is required to enhance ‘health,’ a term that the bill leaves entirely unconstrained, and that the states would therefore be powerless to narrow. We note that when a reporter pressed you, Mr. Chairman [Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Ct.], to say whether the bill is in fact intended to allow abortions after viability based on ‘psychological’ as well as physical health factors, your response was, ‘It doesn’t distinguish.’”
You’d expect pro-abortionists to pretend that a bill that would wipe out virtually any and all protections for the unborn and for those who refuse to participate in their extermination is modest, modest, modest.
But pro-abortionists are no less keenly sensitive to their connection to abortionist Kermit Gosnell. As NRL News Today readers know, Gosnell is in prison, having been convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.
His West Philadelphia “House of Horrors” abortion clinic is a particular sore point to an industry that likes to pretend he is a “rogue” and an “outlier.”
Thus, the author of that same post complains that “NRLC President Carol Tobias invoked the horrific case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell to suggest that abortion needs to be more strictly regulated.”
Well….yes! That’s exactly what Gosnell’s reign of terror suggests—and more. There were modest (there’s that word again) regulatory requirements on the books in Pennsylvania. But health authorities from the city of Philadelphia all the way up the Pennsylvania State Board of Health took a pass for 16 years. Why? Many reasons, but three in particular
- Because the women Gosnell aborted were almost all poor women of color, desperate women many of whom (one employee guessed as many as 40%) were at least 24 weeks along.
- Because the Abortion Establishment simply averted its gaze. The National Abortion Federation came in for an inspection when Gosnell asked to join NAF. Its investigator found his Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic “beyond redemption.” NAF turned down his membership request but told no one in authority. And
- Because pro-abortionists were in charge of state government for much of the time and they had a different agenda than protecting women. As the Grand Jury explained
[T]he Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety. Without regular inspections, providers like Gosnell continue to operate; unlawful and dangerous third-trimester abortions go undetected; and many women, especially poor women, suffer.”
The bedtime story that pro-abortionists tell themselves is that Gosnell is practically unique and therefore inspections are a waste of time. In truth, he is not one-of-a-kind, as we (and many other pro-lifers) have pointed out in many, many stories.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Joseph A. Slobodzian did the best reporting I read on the Gosnell murder trial. Here is what he said in a forthcoming 45-minute-long documentary sequel to “3801 Lancaster.”
“I have no doubt that there are people out there doing late term abortions and probably doing what he [Kermit Gosnell] was doing. The issue is whether someone will say something and they’ll be caught at some point.”