Barack Obama has made history in two unprecedentedly dramatic ways: He is the first black American president, but, in a chillingly grim breakthrough, also the most pro-abortion president in our history. In his unbroken record of voting against saving the lives of babies born alive after an ineffective abortion, Obama, who proudly reminds us he used to teach constitutional law, has given us his constitutional analysis of the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
On the Illinois State Senate floor on March 30, 2001, Obama said: “If we’re placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive even a pre-viable child . . . then we’re probably crossing the line in terms of unconstitutionality.” The abortionist, then, has a constitutional right not to be held accountable for that murder?
I cite that coldly revealing statement in the context of a speech Senator Obama made to one of his most cherished causes, Planned Parenthood, on July 17, 2007: “With one more vacancy on the [Supreme] Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a woman’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe vs. Wade—and that is what is at stake in this election.”
Well, as he likes to say to his critics on various issues, “I won!”—and there are very likely to be vacancies on the Supreme Court. During that speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Obama provided a key criterion for his nominations to the court: “The issues that come before the Court are not sport, they’re life and death. And we need somebody who’s got the heart—the empathy—to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African American.”
Although the pro-life movement has been gaining, especially among the young, how can we confront this president with a sufficiently imposing percentage of the voters repelled by a leader of the free world advocating “black genocide”? That’s what Jesse Jackson called abortion before, scanning the polls, he decided to run for president. I once asked him if he had any regrets about his change of commitment. He sort of frowned, paused, and said, “I’ll get back to you on that.” He hasn’t.
But the facts of “black genocide” are indisputable when the research source is the Guttmacher Institute, decidedly not a pro-life organization (it used to have ties to Planned Parenthood). Said Susan Cohen, Director of Government Affairs at the institute, last summer (in her article, “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture,” Guttmacher Policy Review, Vol. 3, No. 3) “In the United States, the abortion rate (number of abortions per 1, 000 women of child-bearing age) for black women is almost five times that of white women.” From another Guttmacher study comes a further alarming fact: “Black women are 70 per cent more likely to have had at least one abortion preceding the current one.”
President Obama has been, and will be, raising those percentages through executive orders and such legislation as the Freedom of Choice Act, which he vigorously supports—increasing his notoriety as the “black genocide” president.
We pro-lifers should take note of how Canada’s Campaign Life Committee (the political division of that nation’s pro-life movement) prepared for President Obama’s visit in February to Ottawa, his first visit to another nation’s leader. Addressing Obama in a public message, the president of CLC told the prominent visitor: “Every day, Mr. President, people with your ethnic background die in astounding numbers—4,000 African-American babies by abortion every day in the United States.” He added, as reported by LifeSiteNews.com, “Abortion is the number one killer of African Americans in the United States.”
In this country, the National Right to Life Committee, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and many other pro-life organizations and individuals are—in direct messages to the White House and Congress, newspaper and television advertisements; public meetings, et al.—keeping the heat on what could become our leading terminator of black children.
Focusing, as all of us pro-lifers should, on Obama’s insistent campaign vow that he would “bring people together,” Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the following in a full-page ad in the February 13 New York Times:
The recent election was principally decided out of concern for the economy, for the loss of jobs and homes and financial security for families, here and around the world. If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion, the unity desired by president-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve. . . . Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.” [Emphasis added.]
Also adding to Obama’s creation of disunity is his clear record of opposing all bans (including the Supreme Court’s) on partial-birth abortion, which Henry Hyde (whom I was privileged to have as a friend) accurately described as “an unspeakable horror.” He also spread the unspeakable truth—which I had discovered in my reporting—that, contrary to the assertions of the ACLU and other mythmakers on abortion, the horrors are “mostly done in the fifth and sixth month to healthy women and healthy fetuses.”
This speaking truth—to a president dedicated to loosening all restrictions on abortion—should be a key part of pro-lifers’ strategy to prove to him that if he persists, he will alienate tens of millions of Americans, or maybe more, from much of the rest of his program as well. Every survey I’ve seen, for example, demonstrates that many “pro-choice” (how I hate that lethal term) Americans are disgusted by the realities described in Henry Hyde’s unsparing account: “Four-fifths born, the baby’s tiny arms and legs squirm and struggle to survive. Then its skull is punctured, and the wound deliberately widened; its brains are sucked out; the remains of the deceased are extracted. In the words of the abortion lobby, the baby ‘undergoes demise.’”
That description, alongside President Obama’s factual record of serially trying to thwart every attempt to end this barbarism, should be widely available in open letters to him signed by a challenging diversity of Americans—in newspapers, on broadcast and cable television, and on the Internet. The signers would include leaders of every religious faith, and even some atheists. (I volunteer.)
All of this confrontation with the man I have undiplomatically called “a baby killer” in my columns is based on the ever-contemporary strategy of the wisest Supreme Court Justice in our history, Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Extending that truth-liberating force in our challenging of President Obama, there are, as I’ve noted, many Americans cringing at the practice of puncturing a live baby’s skull who are not pro-life. They include sizable numbers in the Obama base who are liberals, as I can attest from my own reporting—and indeed within my own family and friends to whom I am a puzzling pro-lifer. Increasingly added to that section of the Obama political base are many black Americans who campaigned and voted for him, as a growing number of black preachers speak urgently of “black genocide” in their sermons, and elsewhere. Moreover, black pro-life groups emphasize that a large percentage of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are located in black neighborhoods, hardly accidentally.
The most complete, thoroughly documented record of the acts and intentions of the Abortion President is the 197-page Barack Obama on Abortion, published by the National Right to Life Committee, 512 Tenth St. N.W., Washington, DC 20004 (www.nrlchapters.org/obamabook). Included is testimony from Jill Stanek, a registered nurse who worked in the Labor & Delivery Department at Christ Hospital in Oaklawn, Illinois. I first heard details of the murders of born-alive babies when I interviewed her years ago. In a September 2000 committee report of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, she told of one of those babies “left to die on the counter of the Soiled Utility Room wrapped in a disposable towel. The baby was accidentally thrown in the garbage, and when they were later going through the trash to find the baby, the baby fell out of the towel and on to the floor.”
Another nurse in the hospital at the time added that she had “happened to walk into a Soiled Utility Room and saw, lying on the metal counter, a fetus, naked, exposed and breathing moving its arms and legs.” Similar testimony through the years has not changed President Obama’s dissent against the view that “you have to keep alive even a previable child.”
But in this nation, the life force continues. A one-paragraph story in the February 20, 2009 New York Times reports that “the Arkansas senate completed action on a bill banning what abortion opponents call partial-birth abortion and establishing criminal penalties for physicians who perform it.
“Three senators of the 35-member chamber voted against the bill, and a fourth abstained; all are Democrats. The House of Representatives has already approved the legislation, 84 to 6. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, has said he will sign the measure. The abortion procedure would be a felony and would expose the doctor to civil liability as well.”
At this year’s March for Life in Washington, three days after President Obama was inaugurated, Pastor Luke Robinson, who is black, said to our first black president:
“Please, Mr. President, be that agent of change that can commute the sentence of over 1,400 African American children and over 3,000 children from other ethnic groups sentenced to die every day in this country by abortion. . . . At the conclusion of your term in office, may it never be said that you presided over the largest slaughter of innocent children in the history of the country—and that African Americans became an ever increasing minority under your hand.”
This question should be asked of the “change” President by more Americans of all ethnic groups—and all ages.
Nat Hentoff has authored many books, including The War on the Bill of Rights and The Gathering Resistance (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Later in 2009, a sequel to this book, entitled Is This America? will appear in bookstores.