GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is taking a beating from the press over his flip-flops on abortion. But the leading Democrat candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, has escaped serious scrutiny over her extreme position that would seem to prohibit any restrictions on the procedure.
Trump regularly compares his flip-flops to how Ronald Reagan changed on the issue. Of course, Reagan changed in a much more dramatic and thoughtful way. He actually authored a major essay, 3,600 words in length, which was made into a small book, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.”
Trump has posted an eloquent 600-word statement that notes that he did not always hold the pro-life position, “but I had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me.” He had previously said that “what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child.”
Reagan’s essay, which was published 10 years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand, drew upon moral considerations but also medical and scientific evidence. He noted that 1981 Senate hearings on the beginning of human life brought out the basic issue more clearly than ever before. “The many medical and scientific witnesses who testified disagreed on many things, but not on the scientific evidence that the unborn child is alive, is a distinct individual, or is a member of the human species,” he said.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has exploited Trump’s flip-flop on abortion. Christina Reynolds, Deputy Communications Director for Hillary for America, sent out an email asking for financial support to protest Trump’s position on “the health care decisions” of women, neglecting the rights of the unborn child.
It’s Mrs. Clinton who should be subjected to tough questioning over the issue to see whether her pro-abortion advocacy can hold up under pressure. Some of the pressure is coming from fellow Democrats who object to the cult-like devotion to abortion on demand.
The group Democrats for Life of America says, “We, as Democrats, can no longer advocate for a radical abortion agenda.” The group is drawing attention to a former abortionist who is using medical animations to depict the violent reality of what actually happens to a baby and her mother during an abortion. The video features Dr. Anthony Levatino, a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist with 40 years of medical experience who performed over 1,200 abortions in the first and second trimesters.
Democrats for Life is sponsoring an “Open the Big Tent” rally at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in July. The title of the event is an attempt to draw attention to the Democratic Party’s embrace of the pro-abortion mentality and exclusion of pro-lifers. “Over 23 million Democrats in the United States are pro-life. Nonetheless, their voices are not being heard inside our own party. Those voices are being shut out of party discussions and inadequately represented in our party,” the group says.
So while Donald Trump is being castigated by the media for being inarticulate on the issue of abortion, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are being given a free ride by the press for a policy that suppresses the scientific and medical evidence of the humanity of the unborn child.
But the media’s pro-abortion bias goes far beyond ignoring the activities of pro-life Democrats.
Kirsten Powers, a liberal Fox News political analyst, complained publicly about the scant coverage given by the so-called “mainstream media” to the 2013 murder trial of millionaire abortionist doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was subsequently convicted on murder charges and sentenced to life in prison. He is called America’s biggest serial killer in a forthcoming movie about the case. He slit the spinal cords of babies he deliberately aborted, and killed them outside the womb.
At the time, Mollie Hemingway quoted Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post as saying she didn’t cover the trial because it was a “local crime.” Eventually, the paper did cover it. Kliff apologized, saying that when she described the Gosnell case as a local crime story, she was wrong. “The egregious and horrifying crimes committed in the physician’s West Philadelphia abortion clinic have become a matter of national attention,” she said.
Indeed, Gosnell operated his “clinic” in Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party convention is taking place.
Another film, “3801 Lancaster: An American Tragedy,” has already been released. It tells the story of “violence, greed, and a cover-up that shook the nation” in the Gosnell case. The title refers to the specific address of his Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic. During an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mrs. Clinton, who is a grandmother, was asked, “Are there reasonable restrictions that you would ever support on abortion?” She seemed to reply that she supported no limits to abortion up until the moment of birth. She replied, “I’ve said that there were. And that’s under, that’s under Roe v. Wade, that there can be, uh, restrictions in the very end, uh, of, uh, you know, the third trimester.”
The “very end” of the third trimester is, of course, birth.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the other Democratic presidential candidate, shares the view of no restrictions or regulations of abortion on demand. “Can you name a single circumstance at any point in a pregnancy in which you would be okay with abortion being illegal?” Bret Baier of Fox News asked. Sanders replied, “It is wrong for the government to be telling a woman what to do with her own body.”
Mrs. Clinton’s response was, “I have been on record in favor of a late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother.” But a late pregnancy regulation with these exceptions would also seem like justification of abortion on demand.
The exchanges with Clinton and Sanders at a Fox News-sponsored Town Hall meant that seven Democratic debates or forums had passed without a single question on abortion. The media want to protect the Democrats from being exposed for their extreme positions and lucrative funding from Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby.
It’s also clear the liberal media are using the issue to bash Republicans for being “anti-woman.”
Reagan turned the tables on the pro-abortionists in his famous essay, quoting the American founders and the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves,” Reagan said. “Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.”
In this context, pro-life groups are vigorously opposing Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. “A Justice Garland replacing Justice Scalia would move the Court dramatically to the pro-abortion position,” they said in a statement. “How do we know? Because President Obama and the abortion lobby wouldn’t have it any other way. Anyone he nominates will join the voting bloc on the Court that consistently upholds abortion on demand.”
They back this statement up by quoting the liberal New York Times as saying that “A Supreme Court with Merrick Garland Would Be the Most Liberal in Decades.”
© Cliff Kincaid is a veteran journalist and media critic.