The Democrat’s abortionfest

Washington Post columnist Melinda Henneberger marvels at how the Democratic National Convention turned into such a celebration of abortion.

Never have I heard as much talk about abortion as at this convention, where speech after speech highlights how wrong I’ve been to wince every time Barack Obama is referred to as “the abortion president.”

Supporters hoist signs as the President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards speaks to the audience at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 5, 2012 on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). With America so divided on this issue and most people somewhere in the middle, MSNBC’s First Read observed on Wednesday that “perhaps the most surprising part of last night was that it had more talk about abortion rights than in any Democratic convention since 1992, the first of many self-described “Year of the Woman” campaign years….Four years ago, it seemed the Democratic Party was going out of its way to feature pro-life officeholders, like Tim Kaine or Bob Casey Jr., as a way to set a different tone on culture. Fast forward four years later and it’s clear Democrats and the Obama campaign were sending the not-so-subtle message that they believe the secret formula [is] capitalizing on the gender gap: talk about women’s rights and women’s choices.’’ . . .

And it isn’t only abortion-rights lobbyists like Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, who’ve preached on it from the podium; Julian Castro, Deval Patrick and Michelle Obama all did, too.

For those still not sure where the party stands, a young mom named Libby Bruce told delegates how Planned Parenthood treated her endometriosis 12 years ago. One-time Republican Maria Ciano assured them that if voters give the president a second term, “our right to make our own most personal decisions will be safe for another generation.” Sandra Fluke claimed that if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are elected instead, we’ll wake up in “an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.”

After hours, delegates could attend their choice of parties hosted by pro-choice groups. And in the street in front of the convention center, women in pink Planned Parenthood t-shirts argued with protesters holding fetal photos I could have lived a long, happy life without ever glimpsing. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear this was the issue dividing the parties. . . .

Even the tribute to Teddy Kennedy, who for many years considered himself pro-life, was used to drive home the ubiquitous abortion rights theme, via footage of the ’94 senatorial debate in which Kennedy called Romney “multiple choice” on the issue. A tireless advocate for the dispossessed, Kennedy was so much more than that — and his party used to be, too.

via ‘Abortion-palooza’ in Charlotte: Did we mention we support a woman’s right to choose? – She The People – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jon

    Anything but the economy and their record.

  • Jon

    Anything but the economy and their record.

  • Steve Billingsley

    It is bad thing that abortion, an incredibly serious moral issue no matter how you look at it – is now a plaything of partisan politics. I have several Democrat friends who, although I disagree with their ultimate viewpoint that abortion should be legal in most (if not all) circumstances, view any abortion as a tragedy and believe that the fewer abortions, the better. But unfortunately, it seems that too many in the Democratic party seem to celebrate abortion as some sort of symbol of freedom, a secular sacrament that is a badge of female self-determination and empowerment. That is an attitude that I just can’t understand.

  • Steve Billingsley

    It is bad thing that abortion, an incredibly serious moral issue no matter how you look at it – is now a plaything of partisan politics. I have several Democrat friends who, although I disagree with their ultimate viewpoint that abortion should be legal in most (if not all) circumstances, view any abortion as a tragedy and believe that the fewer abortions, the better. But unfortunately, it seems that too many in the Democratic party seem to celebrate abortion as some sort of symbol of freedom, a secular sacrament that is a badge of female self-determination and empowerment. That is an attitude that I just can’t understand.

  • John C

    If the right to have an abortion promotes self determination and empowerment, then the Democrat’s position on abortion is not difficult to understand at all.

  • John C

    If the right to have an abortion promotes self determination and empowerment, then the Democrat’s position on abortion is not difficult to understand at all.

  • Steve Billingsley

    John C

    That’s a really big “if” – don’t you think? Have you ever spoken to a woman who had an abortion and years later lives with regret, wondering what the child who was aborted might be like today?

    I don’t know that empowered is a word that would describe them.

  • Steve Billingsley

    John C

    That’s a really big “if” – don’t you think? Have you ever spoken to a woman who had an abortion and years later lives with regret, wondering what the child who was aborted might be like today?

    I don’t know that empowered is a word that would describe them.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 1: +1

    This is kind of the last hurrah for a bunch of old feminist biddies who are entering their twilight years still enraged at the world. They have led pathetically sad and pointless lives, and it probably makes them more angry that younger generations are rapidly turning away from their feminist dogma and lies as they view living, moving human beings from the earliest points of their pregnancy on their practitioner’s ultrasound screen.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 1: +1

    This is kind of the last hurrah for a bunch of old feminist biddies who are entering their twilight years still enraged at the world. They have led pathetically sad and pointless lives, and it probably makes them more angry that younger generations are rapidly turning away from their feminist dogma and lies as they view living, moving human beings from the earliest points of their pregnancy on their practitioner’s ultrasound screen.

  • fjsteve

    Perhaps they could have featured quotes from Lothrop Stoddard, a man Margaret Sanger appointed to the Board of Directors to the American Birth Control League, or read passages from his book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.

  • fjsteve

    Perhaps they could have featured quotes from Lothrop Stoddard, a man Margaret Sanger appointed to the Board of Directors to the American Birth Control League, or read passages from his book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.

  • helen

    Dr. Veith
    If you didn’t know better, you’d swear this was the issue dividing the parties. . . .

    It isn’t?
    Abortion/euthanasia keeps me from voting Democratic.
    GREED turns me off the Republican party.

    What saddens me is that whoever wins, neither of those will lose.

  • helen

    Dr. Veith
    If you didn’t know better, you’d swear this was the issue dividing the parties. . . .

    It isn’t?
    Abortion/euthanasia keeps me from voting Democratic.
    GREED turns me off the Republican party.

    What saddens me is that whoever wins, neither of those will lose.

  • Jon

    And there was a lot of anger and bitterness apparent behind all the SCREAMING going on about abortion, too.

    I mean, it was not a discourse, or sophisticated rhetoric, or grand oration. It was a whole lot of loud yelling into the camera about abortion.

    Like Brick Tamland from The Anchorman said,
    LOUD NOISES!

    Seriously goes to show they’ve got nothing to offer on the issues that matter, the economy and their record.

  • Jon

    And there was a lot of anger and bitterness apparent behind all the SCREAMING going on about abortion, too.

    I mean, it was not a discourse, or sophisticated rhetoric, or grand oration. It was a whole lot of loud yelling into the camera about abortion.

    Like Brick Tamland from The Anchorman said,
    LOUD NOISES!

    Seriously goes to show they’ve got nothing to offer on the issues that matter, the economy and their record.

  • John C

    Steve, I was talking to a dear friend about the Rebublican position on abortion just last week. She was a student doing a nursing degree at a Catholic hospital and decided to have an abortion. You can imagine her predicament. She had no regrets: none what so ever.

    “Pathetically sad and pointless lives”.
    Honestly Don, how would you bloody know?

  • John C

    Steve, I was talking to a dear friend about the Rebublican position on abortion just last week. She was a student doing a nursing degree at a Catholic hospital and decided to have an abortion. You can imagine her predicament. She had no regrets: none what so ever.

    “Pathetically sad and pointless lives”.
    Honestly Don, how would you bloody know?

  • P.C.

    My wife volunteers as a counselor and mentor at a pregnancy resourse center a couple of times a week. She says that the very best counselors at the center are those women who have had an abortion. Their regret is overwhelming and they never want to see another women go through the painful poor choice they made and the lifelong heartbreak that follows.

  • P.C.

    My wife volunteers as a counselor and mentor at a pregnancy resourse center a couple of times a week. She says that the very best counselors at the center are those women who have had an abortion. Their regret is overwhelming and they never want to see another women go through the painful poor choice they made and the lifelong heartbreak that follows.

  • Michael B.

    @DonS@5
    “This is kind of the last hurrah for a bunch of old feminist biddies who are entering their twilight years still enraged at the world. ”

    A lot of things that were considered radically feminist 60 years ago are now considered mainstream by all but a few fringe elements. Examples are: “women can do most jobs just as well as men”, “it’s fine if a woman wants to have a career outside out the home”, and “women have just as much a right to go to college as men”. On an interesting note, a while back I was reading arguments by many Ivy League professors on why women shouldn’t be admitted. (Many of these universities which you consider very liberal didn’t admit women until relatively recently in history.) If you read some of these ivy league faculty members writings, you would have thought they came from some backwoods fundamentalist church. They said things like “women don’t have the proper mental capacities for such studies”, “a woman’s role is at home”, and “why waste education on someone who is just going to have babies”.

  • Michael B.

    @DonS@5
    “This is kind of the last hurrah for a bunch of old feminist biddies who are entering their twilight years still enraged at the world. ”

    A lot of things that were considered radically feminist 60 years ago are now considered mainstream by all but a few fringe elements. Examples are: “women can do most jobs just as well as men”, “it’s fine if a woman wants to have a career outside out the home”, and “women have just as much a right to go to college as men”. On an interesting note, a while back I was reading arguments by many Ivy League professors on why women shouldn’t be admitted. (Many of these universities which you consider very liberal didn’t admit women until relatively recently in history.) If you read some of these ivy league faculty members writings, you would have thought they came from some backwoods fundamentalist church. They said things like “women don’t have the proper mental capacities for such studies”, “a woman’s role is at home”, and “why waste education on someone who is just going to have babies”.

  • Steve

    A celebration of abortion & the culture of death which is the secularists sacrament.

  • Steve

    A celebration of abortion & the culture of death which is the secularists sacrament.

  • John C

    One can be a christian and still believe in the secular state, Steve.
    And one can be a christian and still believe in abortion.

    You do realise Don, that raising doubts about the worthiness of the lives of others, raises questions about the worthiness of your own.

  • John C

    One can be a christian and still believe in the secular state, Steve.
    And one can be a christian and still believe in abortion.

    You do realise Don, that raising doubts about the worthiness of the lives of others, raises questions about the worthiness of your own.

  • P.C.

    John C,

    “And one can be a christian and still believe in abortion.” Chapter and verse, please, proving your point.

    P.S. Don’t waste too much time trying to find it because it isn’t there.

  • P.C.

    John C,

    “And one can be a christian and still believe in abortion.” Chapter and verse, please, proving your point.

    P.S. Don’t waste too much time trying to find it because it isn’t there.

  • John C

    Briefly, I have seen one poll that states 40% of catholics support the right to have an abortion. Catholics are Christian are they not?

  • John C

    Briefly, I have seen one poll that states 40% of catholics support the right to have an abortion. Catholics are Christian are they not?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    John C. (@13) said:

    One can be a christian and still believe in abortion.

    Indeed, one can be a Christian and commit mass homicide.

    Doesn’t make it right. But it does suggest you’ve missed the point about Christianity.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    John C. (@13) said:

    One can be a christian and still believe in abortion.

    Indeed, one can be a Christian and commit mass homicide.

    Doesn’t make it right. But it does suggest you’ve missed the point about Christianity.

  • DonS

    John C @ 9 and 11: We are talking about people who have spent a lifetime advocating, with every ounce of their being, the unrestricted Constitutional right to murder unborn children.

    Pathetically sad and pointless.

    I am, by the way, under no delusion as to the worthiness of my own life. My sinful life has value only to the extent to which it has been redeemed by the selfless sacrifice Christ made on our behalf on the cross. It is only through Christ that we are truly empowered (your comment @ 3).

  • DonS

    John C @ 9 and 11: We are talking about people who have spent a lifetime advocating, with every ounce of their being, the unrestricted Constitutional right to murder unborn children.

    Pathetically sad and pointless.

    I am, by the way, under no delusion as to the worthiness of my own life. My sinful life has value only to the extent to which it has been redeemed by the selfless sacrifice Christ made on our behalf on the cross. It is only through Christ that we are truly empowered (your comment @ 3).

  • DonS

    Michael B. @ 11: Even if all of those alleged achievements you list are true, at what cost? Some 55 million pre-born babies have been killed in the womb since 1973, just in the U.S., in the name of feminist empowerment.

    What a price to pay.

  • DonS

    Michael B. @ 11: Even if all of those alleged achievements you list are true, at what cost? Some 55 million pre-born babies have been killed in the womb since 1973, just in the U.S., in the name of feminist empowerment.

    What a price to pay.

  • Steve Billingsley

    John C.

    “She had no regrets: none what so ever.”

    That may be what she tells you and even herself now. But wait a few years and see. And I wonder what thoughts run through her mind when no one else is around and there is no noise to drown out her heart. Abortion isn’t freeing. Like all sin, it leads to bondage. I know many women who have had abortions. There isn’t one of them who doesn’t live with regret. For some the pain has been so profound that it has damaged them physically, emotionally and relationally. Only the love, grace and mercy of God can set one free from that burden.

    I understand why some make the choice that they do – but it doesn’t make it right and it isn’t a sign of freedom, only the reality of a fallen world.

  • Steve Billingsley

    John C.

    “She had no regrets: none what so ever.”

    That may be what she tells you and even herself now. But wait a few years and see. And I wonder what thoughts run through her mind when no one else is around and there is no noise to drown out her heart. Abortion isn’t freeing. Like all sin, it leads to bondage. I know many women who have had abortions. There isn’t one of them who doesn’t live with regret. For some the pain has been so profound that it has damaged them physically, emotionally and relationally. Only the love, grace and mercy of God can set one free from that burden.

    I understand why some make the choice that they do – but it doesn’t make it right and it isn’t a sign of freedom, only the reality of a fallen world.

  • John C

    Todd, the fact that some Christians support euthanasia, homosexual marriage and yes, abortion, indicates that there is a diversity of views and Christianity does not speak with a singular voice.

  • John C

    Todd, the fact that some Christians support euthanasia, homosexual marriage and yes, abortion, indicates that there is a diversity of views and Christianity does not speak with a singular voice.

  • John C

    Don, a zygote is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. An embryo is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. You seem to think that most abortions occur in the third trimester.

    Gee, you are a worthless wretch Don. I hope you still get on with the wife and kids.

  • John C

    Don, a zygote is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. An embryo is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. You seem to think that most abortions occur in the third trimester.

    Gee, you are a worthless wretch Don. I hope you still get on with the wife and kids.

  • DonS

    John C @ 21: “Don, a zygote is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. An embryo is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby.”

    To paraphrase a famous commenter @ 9: Honestly John, how would you bloody know?

  • DonS

    John C @ 21: “Don, a zygote is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. An embryo is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby.”

    To paraphrase a famous commenter @ 9: Honestly John, how would you bloody know?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John (@20), again, the fact that some Christians think this or that is okay doesn’t affect whether it’s sinful or not. And it still appears that you don’t know what Christianity is, having confused it with a system of popular opinion on moral matters.

    And then you said to Don (@21):

    a zygote is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. An embryo is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby.

    You appear to commit a category mistake here. You are mixing and matching scientific terms with other ones. And, it goes without saying, you’re not exactly backing up your claims.

    Why is an embryo not a person? When does it become a person? When does it become a “preborn baby”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John (@20), again, the fact that some Christians think this or that is okay doesn’t affect whether it’s sinful or not. And it still appears that you don’t know what Christianity is, having confused it with a system of popular opinion on moral matters.

    And then you said to Don (@21):

    a zygote is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby. An embryo is not a person, a baby or a preborn baby.

    You appear to commit a category mistake here. You are mixing and matching scientific terms with other ones. And, it goes without saying, you’re not exactly backing up your claims.

    Why is an embryo not a person? When does it become a person? When does it become a “preborn baby”?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Stay classy, John C.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Stay classy, John C.

  • John C

    ” And it still appears that you don’t know what Christianity is, having confused it with a system of popular opinion on moral matters.”

    Popular opinion matters, Todd. When the numbers change, so does church doctrine. Adultery anyone? What about apartheid in South Africa? Whether you like it or not, doctrine evolves and the Church survives.

  • John C

    ” And it still appears that you don’t know what Christianity is, having confused it with a system of popular opinion on moral matters.”

    Popular opinion matters, Todd. When the numbers change, so does church doctrine. Adultery anyone? What about apartheid in South Africa? Whether you like it or not, doctrine evolves and the Church survives.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John C (@25), once again, Christianity is not a system of popular opinion on moral matters. You seem to keep missing that.

    And again I ask you, why is an embryo not a person? When does it become a person? When does it become a “preborn baby”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John C (@25), once again, Christianity is not a system of popular opinion on moral matters. You seem to keep missing that.

    And again I ask you, why is an embryo not a person? When does it become a person? When does it become a “preborn baby”?

  • Michael B.

    @John C “a zygote is a human being”

    Statements like these are great examples of deepities. A deepity is a statement that can be interpreted 2 ways, and in one way, the statement is true, but trivial. In the second way, the statement if false, but would be monumental if true. So in one sense, the statement is true and trivial, by stating that a zygote is human. The second interpretation says that a zygote is an actual person, which is false, but would be profound and earth shattering if true. For one, just consider that a large percentage of zygotes that die of natural causes. If they’re people, why wouldn’t this be considered more serious than say childhood leukemia, which affects far fewer people. The NIH would really need to adjust it’s priorities on spending. Also consider that a large percentage of our female population are first degree child murderers if this is true.

  • Michael B.

    @John C “a zygote is a human being”

    Statements like these are great examples of deepities. A deepity is a statement that can be interpreted 2 ways, and in one way, the statement is true, but trivial. In the second way, the statement if false, but would be monumental if true. So in one sense, the statement is true and trivial, by stating that a zygote is human. The second interpretation says that a zygote is an actual person, which is false, but would be profound and earth shattering if true. For one, just consider that a large percentage of zygotes that die of natural causes. If they’re people, why wouldn’t this be considered more serious than say childhood leukemia, which affects far fewer people. The NIH would really need to adjust it’s priorities on spending. Also consider that a large percentage of our female population are first degree child murderers if this is true.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@27), actually, statements like that are a great example of misquotation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@27), actually, statements like that are a great example of misquotation.

  • John C

    What is a preborn baby?
    There does not seem to be a definition although I can see how rhetorically useful the term can be in framing the debate. Is an ovum half a preborn baby?

    To begin at the beginning
    Personhood legislation ascribes rights at fertilization. Fertilization begins with the creation of the single cell zygote – the union of sperm and ovum. This is the start of embryonic development and under person hood legislation, a dubious legal status.
    The zygote and embryo has a 50/50 chance of expulsion. It is not recognizably human but zygote and embryo have legal rights that over-ride those of the mother and this includes the possibility of criminal sanction.
    An indication towards the way in which women feel about this stage of development is their attitude towards miscarriage. In general, when women miscarry, they do not feel that they are expelling a person or a preborn baby.
    Zygote and embryo are not sentient beings. They are living entities that certainly have potential.
    Clearly, I believe a woman’s rights supersede those of a zygote, embryo and early foetus.
    In brief, making abortion illegal undermines a woman’s ability to determine her own destiny. It has the potential to jeopardise her health and well being and it raises the prospect of criminal prosecution.
    Inevitably, there will be a return to the days of self mutilation, backyard abortions and corrupt law enforcement agencies.
    As always, the poor will have fewer options than the middle class.
    Finally, one should always be wary of the collusion between Big Government and Religion.

  • John C

    What is a preborn baby?
    There does not seem to be a definition although I can see how rhetorically useful the term can be in framing the debate. Is an ovum half a preborn baby?

    To begin at the beginning
    Personhood legislation ascribes rights at fertilization. Fertilization begins with the creation of the single cell zygote – the union of sperm and ovum. This is the start of embryonic development and under person hood legislation, a dubious legal status.
    The zygote and embryo has a 50/50 chance of expulsion. It is not recognizably human but zygote and embryo have legal rights that over-ride those of the mother and this includes the possibility of criminal sanction.
    An indication towards the way in which women feel about this stage of development is their attitude towards miscarriage. In general, when women miscarry, they do not feel that they are expelling a person or a preborn baby.
    Zygote and embryo are not sentient beings. They are living entities that certainly have potential.
    Clearly, I believe a woman’s rights supersede those of a zygote, embryo and early foetus.
    In brief, making abortion illegal undermines a woman’s ability to determine her own destiny. It has the potential to jeopardise her health and well being and it raises the prospect of criminal prosecution.
    Inevitably, there will be a return to the days of self mutilation, backyard abortions and corrupt law enforcement agencies.
    As always, the poor will have fewer options than the middle class.
    Finally, one should always be wary of the collusion between Big Government and Religion.

  • Sweet Marmot

    I used to be a Democrat, but no more. Never again, unless they go back to the way they were in the 60′s, making room for pro-life people and support Israel. They are just too weird today.

  • Sweet Marmot

    I used to be a Democrat, but no more. Never again, unless they go back to the way they were in the 60′s, making room for pro-life people and support Israel. They are just too weird today.


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