George Washington once wrote, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.” Pain is what it takes these days to get a straight answer out of political figures encased behind walls erected by media and public-relations professionals.
When a persistent reporter recently broke through the barriers protecting the head of the nation’s largest chain of abortion providers, what little truth could be gleaned became news, with implications for the 2014 midterm elections.
The award for “the audacity of hope” goes to Fusion TV’s America with Jorge Ramos, who refused to allow Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to dodge the question: “For you, when does life begin?”
Just hearing the question, Ms. Cecile found herself between the proverbial rock and hard place. As head of an organization claiming to be the expert on all things related to women’s health, she could not revert to the standard copout answer, “It’s above my pay grade.” Nor could she admit that life begins at some point in the womb, lest she complicate Planned Parenthood’s financial decision to offer abortion up until birth.
Instead, Ms. Cecile admitted a truth that the abortion industry strains to conceal: For them, when life begins doesn’t matter. Ms. Cecile’s exact words: “I don’t know that it’s really relevant to the, relevant to the conversation.”
It is certainly relevant to many Americans, some embroiled in lawsuits pending before the Supreme Court. Through Obamacare mandates, they are forced to subsidize life-ending drugs and devices, and sometimes abortions themselves, in pursuit of a federal policy that steamrolls personal objections to ending life. In this instance, the question of when life begins is at the heart and soul of the objections of many to the anti-life mandates in the health care law.
But in her answer, Ms. Cecile reveals Big Abortions’ callous disinterest in the science of unborn life and growth, and her contempt for those who do believe life counts. Instead, she reinforces a politically correct take on situational ethics — that whether an unborn child should continue living should be arbitrarily left in the hands of another. To reinforce her position, she went on to state that she did not consider her own three children “alive” until after she delivered them at birth.
It would seem that in Ms. Cecile’s definition of life, the scientific view — that life can be observed in response to stimuli or by growth, for example — is discarded, replaced by an implausible position that life is defined by location. She seems to assert that people’s humanity is not their own, but rather a construct of the people around them.
Ms. Cecile’s view is at odds with those of every mother who sees her child in an ultrasound, a seminal event and one of many quandaries for abortion advocates as science exposes the faulty reasoning in Roe v. Wade. It is indisputable that at conception a zygote, with unique human DNA, forms and begins to grow, within weeks taking on all the characteristics attributable to fully formed humans.
That Ms. Cecile and other abortion-industry champions have fought so hard against laws that would protect children who are five-months along, moving and experiencing life in their mothers’ wombs, shows a breathtaking disregard of the obvious unique humanity of a young human being.
Alarmingly, America’s own pro-abortion policies support such an extreme position. In fact, the United States remains only one in four nations that allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason and sometimes with taxpayer subsidies. Only Canada, China and North Korea share this distinction. Under Ms. Cecile’s watch, Planned Parenthood ended the lives of 327,166 unborn children through abortion from Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012, the last year covered under Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report.
That one person can arbitrarily decide the fate of another without due process smacks of the antiquated and radical ideologies of the pro-slavery lobby that conspired to profit off human misery, and is certainly contrary to American principles of equality, justice and opportunity.
The good news is that pro-life Americans are gaining ground. As just one example, more pro-life laws have been enacted in the past three years than in the entire previous decade. As early election events unfold, it is clear that a backlash is building against politicians who forced the anti-life policies of Obamacare on the nation.
Abortion ends life; life exists in the womb; women suffer at the hands of abortion industry profiteers; and anti-life Obamacare mandates violate the First Amendment conscience rights of many Americans. These are relevant topics, with political consequences. Regardless of Ms. Cecile’s extreme stance, issues involving life will remain relevant as we respond to our own personal beliefs about life at the ballot box.
Jeanneane Maxon is vice president of external affairs at Americans United for Life.