Finally, someone on the left did the right thing, and spoke up against the killing of humans and harvesting their organs and sending them to market. Troubles arise, President Obama said, when “you are not able to see someone else as a human being.” Indeed. This surely mortified the folks at Planned Parenthood.
Well, not necessarily. He wasn’t talking about the killing of those humans, but about other humans.
The president was talking about the grisly ritual killing of albino men and women for their body parts in Africa, where they are sometimes killed for native rituals. A member of Young African Leaders Initiative told Mr. Obama about it at a White House session: “Persons with albinism in Africa are being killed and their body parts harvested for ritual purposes. My request to you is to raise this issue with heads of state of African countries to bring these atrocities to an end.”
Killing albino men and women for their body parts is an atrocity we all, no doubt including Planned Parenthood, condemn. Casual observers might have thought that the president’s comments this week was a welcome if belated condemnation of the work of Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills. But after the pro-life Center for Medical Progress released five videos of Planned Parenthood officials talking about the harvesting and marketing of organs taken from aborted babies, Mr. Obama offers only silence.
The president’s condemnation of killing albinos for their organs is both welcome and to the point: “The idea that a society would visit violence on someone because of pigmentation is not a tradition worth preserving.” But the president’s curiously worded condemnation — “visiting violence” on someone is not quite the same as savage murder — is not the link he could and should have made between a lethal African tribal ritual and the equally lethal American abortion procedure. Juxtaposition can be revealing.
The phenomenon of the albino in Africa — the rare pale-skinned person among a predominantly black population — has led to superstitious beliefs that such persons have magical powers, which can be extracted from their organs. Such organs bring $75,000 on the black market. Thousands of Africans fear for their lives, particularly in Tanzania, where albinos account for more than 1 in 1,500 births.
The president was right to condemn the African albino practice, but sending his press secretary to discuss Planned Parenthood’s organ-selling business was not exactly an exercise in courage. “I think Planned Parenthood has been quite specific about the policies and procedures that they have in place,” Josh Earnest said, not so earnestly. “I know they have described those policies and procedures as living up to the highest ethical standards.”
Others live up to higher standards. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican candidate for president, broke a Louisiana contract with Planned Parenthood this week, and so did New Hampshire. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, also seeking the presidency, did that four years ago. Disgust and action grows.
Mr. Obama, who voted against a ban on late-term abortions as an Illinois state senator, has a moral blind spot toward abortion that not even Planned Parenthood’s marketing of baby parts has touched. The color of human skin should never disqualify a human’s right to life. Neither should tender and helpless age.