NRL News

“Owed a dead baby”: Readings in Pro-Abortion Extremism

by | Apr 7, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. This post ran a couple of Aprils ago, but the arguments we summarize address issues of ever-green significance: intolerance of pro-life view on college campuses and unbounded pro-abortion extremism, the latter of which we have addressed multiple times just this week.

ProLifeYouthMarchAn opinion piece that seamlessly ties together at least two important issues—well, doing so is not as easy as it might look. But, of course, when the common denominator is the monomaniacal pro-abortion mind, it’s a lot easier to weave the threads together.

Which is to take nothing away from George Will’s latest column, “Johns Hopkins’s and Planned Parenthood’s troubling extremism.”  Will does an outstanding job of explaining the directions (all bad) that a limitless desire to protect (actually expand) “choice” can take you.

For example, someone (like me) who went to school more years than he cares to remember and who is deeply committed to 1st Amendment liberties will be deeply offended by blatant attacks on the freedom of speech of any group, but particularly pro-lifers — especially when this abridgement of rights is dressed up in the right not to be offended (strange fare on a college campus, wouldn’t you say?)

We’ve written about the pro-life group “Voice for Life” which was denied status as a recognized student group by John Hopkins University’s Student Government Association. As Will points out, the two-fold rationalization/cover story was

“VFL’s Web site links to other organizations that display graphic images of aborted babies. And it plans to engage in peaceful, quiet ‘sidewalk counseling’ outside a local abortion clinic, which the SGA considers ‘harassment.’”

It would not require someone of Will’s considerable intellectual prowess to dismantle that tripe. Just ask (as Will does) would the campus speech police—sorry, the Student Government Association (SGA) —apply the same disqualifying principle to a group it approves of? Of course not. (And, of course, in any event no one has to follow a link—a statement as obvious as it ought to be unnecessary to make).

As for peacefully walking in front of an abortion clinic—unapproved behavior– there are probably three dozen examples of voicing disapproval any of us could come up with that the SGA would not only gladly sanction but wildly approve of.

Then Will’s exquisite transition:

“Hopkins’s institutional intolerance would be boring were it simply redundant evidence of academia’s commitment to diversity in everything but thought. It is, however, indicative of the increasingly extreme ambitions and tactics of those operating under the anodyne rubric of ‘choice.’ In Florida recently, a legislative debate that reverberated in the U.S. Senate in the 1990s was revived concerning the right to choose infanticide.’

He is referring, of course, to the remarkable (okay, breath-taking) testimony of Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, before a Florida House subcommittee (see here). You have to watch her speak to get the full chilling flavor of her remarks which are can be summarized in thirteen words: we don’t want any law that requires treatment for babies that survive abortions. (See

The legislators on the Civil Justice subcommittee tried pinning her down, which was really hard to do; after all, Snow’s position was indefensible.

But the most telling was a back and forth between Snow and state Rep. Jose Oliva whose first question receives the talking points response from Snow.

“You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?”

Snow replies,

“That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”

Then Oliva asks,

“I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn’t you agree?”

Snow first laughs nervously and then responds

“That’s a very good question. I really don’t know how to answer that… I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.”

Will ends his piece with a bitingly sarcastic but spot-on conclusion:

“Planned Parenthood, which receives more than $500 million in government subsidies, is branching out, expanding its mission beyond the provision of abortions to the defense of consumers’ rights: If you pay for an abortion, you are owed a dead baby.”

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Categories: Abortion