By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This first appeared in 2009 here. I’m reposting it in light of “Reporter muses about ‘Watching my first abortion’” which is based on a story a sympathetic reporter wrote about late abortionist LeRoy Carhart.
In compiling the daily email clips that are sent around the office, our communications department works under the fundamentally sound principle that it makes no sense to distribute only, or even largely, stories that support our point of view. If we are going to do our jobs well, it’s essential that we know what the general public is exposed to and be able to glean insights from what the opposition is saying (at least publicly).
As a result sometimes much of what we read ranges from bad, through worse, ending up with the worst-to-date. An example of the latter is a piece that will appear in the Newsweek issue dated August 31 but which is available online now.
The article, written by Sarah Kliff, takes abortionist hero worship to new heights/depths.
You can read “The Abortion Evangelist” (Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart), at newsweek.com.
The hook for the story is the friendship Carhart had with the late George Tiller, the Kansas abortionist who was killed several months ago. Carhart worked part-time in Tiller’s abortion clinic which specialized in abortions of babies so advanced virtually nobody else will perform them.
According to Kliff, in his own “practice,” Carhart is now aborting babies later than ever (“before, he’d done so only at Tiller’s Wichita clinic”) and has “started planning a new late-term clinic to replace Tiller’s, where he could see women in the late second and early third trimesters.” He has also fielded calls from physicians who want to become abortionists.
“I think the only thing I can do…is just train as many doctors as I can to go out on their own and provide abortions and get enough people providing them,” says Carhart. “That makes [the anti-abortion activist’s] job 10 times harder because there are now 10 times more of us.”
Kliff can attempt to make a hero out of anyone she wants, but making a visionary out of a man who does what Carhart does for a living takes a willful suspension of disbelief and a cast-iron stomach. You read her story and when she talks about the mechanics of tearing babies apart she limits her description to abortions performed earlier in pregnancy. This allows her to casually mention removing the “contents of the uterus” and the like.
Federal Judge Richard Conway Casey must be rolling over in his grave.
Judge Casey ruled against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (which was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court), which Carhart had challenged. But the wording of Judge Casey’s opinion was no less candid than his blunt, call-a-spade-a-spade questions:
“The Court finds that the testimony at trial and before Congress establishes that D&X [partial-birth abortion] is a gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure,” he wrote, “[and finds] credible evidence that D&X abortions subject fetuses to severe pain.”
Truth and abortion rarely appear in news accounts, no matter how many times the record’s been set straight. In a mere two-sentences, Kliff repeats the core canards of the enduring pro-abortion mythology. [The first sentence completely represented what a partial-birth abortion is. The second minimized the number of partial-birth abortions performed.]
Then there are the finishing touches on Carhart the tireless humanitarian.
According to Kliff, while Carhart is “proud of his practice” he “seems equally burdened by it.” Nobly, he sees killing babies–whoops, “being an abortion doctor”–a “job he had to take since few others would.”
He tells Kliff, “It’s like that quotation: ‘If not you, who? If not now, when?’ That whole thing.”
Kliff interprets this as a modified version of a quote from the great first century BC Jewish religious leader Hillel, one of the two for which is most famous.
Too bad Carhart didn’t use the other as his moral compass–what is known as Hillel’s ethic of reciprocity:
“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”