It’s sad that this even has to be said, but it does have to be said: Standing up and cheering on a mob, derailing the legislative process in order to defend late-term abortion (or anything else) on behalf of a powerful corporation, is not a heroic act. It is not “special,” to quote Barack Obama. It is sick.
That’s not just my opinion, by the way, it’s the opinion of a Democrat who worked in the Clinton White House. More about her later.
After state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) derailed the legislative process in order to defend Planned Parenthood from sensible regulation Tuesday night, the Texas Democrats think they have a new champion and gifts are flowing Davis’ way from all over the country.
The first objection to this post from Davis’ defenders will be my gender. I’m a man, therefore I’m not allowed to have an opinion on abortion. Because I’m a Republican and a Christian, my thoughts are void as well. Three strikes, I’m out.
Let’s hear what a woman and Democrat has to say about Davis. Kirsten Powers, a former Clinton administration official who worked directly for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, posted about Davis Thursday night on Facebook:
Something is deeply wrong w/a country where a person fighting for abortions of 20+ wk old babies is a ‘hero.’
Earlier in the day on Fox, Powers described President Obama’s public support for Davis as “sick.” In her Facebook post, Powers linked to this story, in which the Washington Post filters through some of the positive things that many are saying about Davis after Tuesday’s action thrust her into the spotlight.
What the Post isn’t telling its readers: the bill Davis aborted, Senate Bill 5, not only enjoys strong majority support in Texas (62%) among both men and women, it was written to protect women from unscrupulous butchers like Kermit Gosnell.
Since the mainstream media declined to cover Gosnell’s trial in any detail, it’s not surprising if most people don’t know about him. The short version of his case: for about 17 years, the state of Pennsylvania refused to inspect his Philadelphia abortion clinic. That absence of oversight allowed heinous abuse to go unchecked for years. Gosnell and his staff, which included some who had no medical training at all, killed babies born alive after he botched their abortions. One baby was so large that Gosnell joked that it could walk home. Women were mutilated and died at his bloody hands in his filthy clinic, in which he kept body parts of aborted babies as souvenirs.
Gosnell was convicted and is now spending the rest of his life in prison. The world only learned of Gosnell because a courageous woman, Marcella Stanley Cheung, outed him. If not for her, Gosnell would still be running his charnel house today. In fact, Pennsylvania took no action for years even after Cheung came forward. Politics got in way of sensible regulation, and cost some women their lives.
Planned Parenthood has distanced itself from him, but during those 17 years, it referred late-term abortion patients to him from all over the eastern seaboard. Planned Parenthood knew of the rumors about his practice and chose to turn a blind eye to them.
Some may object by saying Gosnell was an aberration. He wouldn’t get away with that in Texas.
Three informants, all women, say that Dr. Douglas Karpen is Texas’ version of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. The mainstream media is every bit as interested in that case as it was in Gosnell. Which is to say they’re not interested at all.
When the Gosnell trial was underway, most of the mainstream media ignored it. The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff tweeted that she was not covering it because it was not on her beat:
@MZHemingway Hi Molly – I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 11, 2013
No bias by omission to see here. But Kliff does cover some local stories. During Davis’ “heroic” filibuster, Kliff published numerous tweets about it including this one.
Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Stop Talking.
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) June 26, 2013
So how is Davis and her filibuster on Kliff’s beat, but Gosnell is not?
Right, I know — I’m a man, therefore my opinion on this issue is invalid.
So let’s hear from another woman.
Abby Johnson was director at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas. So appalled by the lax and often dishonest practices that she witnessed over her eight years there, she quit the company and has spoken out against it. According to Johnson, Planned Parenthood allows and even encourages staff with no medical training to assist in performing abortions. If your dentist did that, her license would be revoked. Planned Parenthood pressures staff to increase the number of abortions performed to improve the company’s cash flow, despite its public statements that it wants to decrease the number of abortions. Johnson quit in 2009 and publicly criticized the politically powerful Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood’s response: threaten Johnson to shut her up.
On June 13, Johnson testified at the Texas legislature in favor of Senate Bill 5, arguing that it would improve standards at Texas abortion clinics and make women safer. It would bring abortion clinic standards in line with other medical clinics in Texas. Johnson stood up and spoke out against abuse and dishonesty, and went up against the politically powerful.
Why isn’t Abby Johnson a hero?
In my book, though I’m a man and therefore my opinion is invalid, she is. Johnson could have taken the easy road by sticking with her job at Planned Parenthood and keeping quiet. Sarah Kliff would evidently have approved. But Johnson made the difficult choice to speak out against Planned Parenthood’s treatment of women, and to speak up for the unborn, about half of whom would be the women of the future were they given the chance to live.
What Wendy Davis and her supporters did Tuesday night was not only not heroic, it was dangerous. Setting the particular legislation aside, the legislative process is there to protect us all from each other. It channels our energies, our anger both righteous and not, into a peaceful process by which we make choices and govern ourselves. No one always gets everything they want, but in theory at least, everyone has a fair shot to be heard. The system isn’t perfect but it has served us pretty well for quite a while now. Disrupting that process rips the social contract. It mocks the rule of law. It may unleash lawlessness that can get out of control. No one, least of all the president of the United States, should encourage such action or call it “something special.”
Obama and Davis and their supporters are aborting the very system by which voters have entrusted them with power. Unchecked, the consequences of disrupting that process can be dire.
Not only are Davis and her supporters not heroic, they are rank hypocrites. Those who support late-term abortion and Planned Parenthood on this bill are usually among the first to criticize big corporations and to call for more government regulation of them. Yet when it comes to Planned Parenthood, a nationwide billion-dollar corporation, the only acceptable regulation is practically no regulation. Under current regulations and in the absence of Senate Bill 5, Planned Parenthood is allowed to do things that would get dentists thrown out of medicine. Corporations are evil, except for the largest abortion-providing corporation in America, a corporation that has been exposed time and again by the courageous Lila Rose (a woman, by the way) as abusive, dishonest, and lawless. Among the things that Planned Parenthood systematically lies about are breast cancer screenings and abortion revenue. Planned Parenthood claims that without its clinics, many women would not have access to breast cancer screenings. Problem: Planned Parenthood does not offer breast cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood routinely tells Americans that only about 3% of its revenue comes from abortions. The real figure is above 30% and may be as high as 51%.
Why? Why is it “heroic” to champion them?
Why are the powerful Wendy Davis and the powerful Planned Parenthood heroes, but women who stand up to them are not?