Pres. Obama praises Planned Parenthood; slams pro-lifers

Concludes speech: "Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you."

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama dances with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball in Washington Jan. 21. (CNS photo)

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama dances with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball in Washington Jan. 21. (CNS photo)From USA Today:

President Obama told Planned Parenthood on Friday he will fight various efforts to restrict women’s access to abortion, contraceptives and other services.

Obama told delegates at a Planned Parenthood national conference in Washington. “The only person who should get to make decisions about your health is you.”

How that statement squares with ObamaCare is not clear, but let’s not be distracted from the main points here, which include the fact that Pres. Obama is apparently the first sitting POTUS to ever address Planned Parenthood. Not that anyone is surprised. Personally, I’m surprised it took this long, although I’m sure it was a politically sound decision to wait until Obama’s second term, if only to keep his actual stance on abortion under wraps (and, yes, that was a joke, Douglas Kmiec). Meanwhile, from

“No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there’s one thing that the past few years have shown,” said President Obama, “that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.”

He continued: “As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality affordable healthcare, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a women’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be with you fighting with you every step of the way.”

Obama was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd of some 1,000 Planned Parenthood supporters. “You’re making me blush,” he said in response to the protracted standing ovation.

The love affair between Obama and PP would be embarrassing if it weren’t so deeply disturbing. The constant talk of “women’s rights” and “health” is par for the course, as is the complete absence of the word “abortion”. For, as then Senator Obama said in 2008, he “doesn’t know anybody who is pro-abortion”—apparently even when he is sitting in a room with a thousand pro-abortion advocates. And, as usual, his “arguments” in support of PP are filled with plenty of avoidance of reality:

During his speech he aimed his sights directly at pro-life activists. “The fact is, after decades of progress, there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st Century,” Obama said. “And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.”

Because we all know that the 21st Century is the Magical, Utopian Century, in which discussions about life, death, personhood, and objective, moral truth have been blissfully swept away by endless talk of “rights”, “health”, and “access”, even while each year tens of thousands of unborn children are violently robbed of their right to life and stripped of any access to birth, love, and family. This use of chronological snobbery is, ironicallly, quite old, but it is apparently quite effective for those who think of the 1950s as the Dark Ages. 

“When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they’re not just talking about you,” he said. “They’re talking about the millions of women who you serve.”

He also recounted how Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, “describes Planned Parenthood as the only organization that she’s ever been at where there are opponents who, in her own words, ‘literally get up every day trying to figure out how to keep us from doing our work.’”

He then quipped, “If she had worked in the administration she would be more familiar with this phenomenon.”

By the way, just last month, Cecile Richards told the Washington Post the following:

I’d say that North Dakota is now the most unsafe state in the nation. Their governor has become the poster child for the most anti-woman [legislation] in the country. He has effectively banned access to safe and legal abortion. The bill is not only outrageous but unconstitutional. As a health-care provider, we know the impact it has on women to no longer have access to legal abortion. Lives are being put in jeopardy.

Does that mean Richards is pro-abortion? Or that she is merely in favor of “legal abortion”? Ah, semantics! Interesting how it is always babies and words that are treated with such disdain by the abortion industry. Meanwhile, Richards’ statement about PP being uniquely challenged because of committed opponents is obviously ridiculous, but provides a sense of just how self-absorbed she and her ilk are when it comes to the serious business of making money from the culture of death. Which makes Obama’s concluding remarks all the more disgusting: “Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

All of which brings to mind my 2009 interview with Dr. William Brennan, author of John Paul II: Confronting the Language Empowering the Culture of Death. Here is part of that conversation:

Ignatius Insight: Based on his public record and speeches, do you think President Obama engages in verbal duplicity when it comes to abortion and other life issues? What do you think of his recent call, at Notre Dame, for “common ground” to be found between those who are “pro-choice” and those who oppose abortion?

Dr. Brennan: Throughout his political career, President Obama has pushed a radical pro-abortion agenda. As an Illinois state senator, he voted against legislation that prohibited taxpayer funding of abortion and against a bill requiring parental notification before an abortion could be performed on a minor. On several occasions, he even opposed the passage of a law intended to provide medical care for infants who survived botched abortions.

As a U.S. senator, he opposed legislation banning partial-birth abortion and co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act, a far-reaching proposal that would wipe out virtually all state and federal limitations on abortion. Ever since occupying the Oval Office, Obama issued executive orders reversing a ban on financing international organizations that promote or perform abortions and lifting the prohibition on the funding of embryo-destructive research. He also revoked a 2007 executive order promoting governmental support for alternative non-destructive adult stem cell research. In addition, with the help of powerful Congressional allies, President Obama’s “health care reform” plan is being used as a vehicle to impose sweeping abortion mandates.

Obama resorts to verbal duplicity extensively in presenting such destructive measures as moderate, reasonable, and beneficent actions. The mainstreaming of abortion into a basic component of health-care reform is based on the portrayal of medicalized destruction as a legitimate “medical procedure” and “health-care service.” His issuance of executive orders increasing the funding of embryo-destructive research belies an attempt to get the public to embrace the view of human embryos as nothing more than “raw material” for bolstering biomedical research in the service of humanity. Some claim that he rescinded the Bush administrative order supportive of adult stem cell research because it contained a clause asserting the biological truth that “human embryos and fetuses, as members of the human species, are not raw material to be exploited or commodities to be bought and sold.”

Obama’s slavish conformity to pro-choice doublespeak is especially relentless. In a talk before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, he repeatedly parroted pro-choice slogans, characterizing the “right to choose” as “one of the most fundamental freedoms,” reminding his audience, “I’ve stood up for the freedom of choice in the United States Senate,” and reassuring them, “On the issue of choice . . . I will not yield.” He further vowed that the first thing he would do as president “is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” On January 22, 2008, the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Obama boasted about his “100 % pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America” and again stated he would continue defending “the woman’s right to choose” by “passing the Freedom of Choice Act.” Soon after becoming president, he released a statement asserting, “I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.” By the end of April 2009, he repeated his hardcore allegiance to the woman’s “right to choose,” but announced that the “Freedom of Choice Act” is no longer “my highest legislative priority.” Apparently, the limitless access to abortion so strikingly evident in FOCA has a better chance of success when its totalitarian provisions are enacted within the less transparent context of subtle, incremental, and step-by-step stealth strategies.

Read the entire interview at Ignatius Insight.

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About Carl E. Olson 1220 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.