President Obama and the Primitivism of Planned Parenthood

Speaking at a Planned Parenthood conference last week, President Obama celebrated the abortion provider as an icon of progress. Mocking the legislative efforts of pro-lifers within such states as North Dakota and Mississippi to curb abortion, Obama said to his chuckling audience, “When you read about some of these laws, you want to check the calendar; you want to make sure you’re still living in 2013.”

But what exactly is progressive about killing the vulnerable? The blood-splattered bins behind Planned Parenthood in 2013 AD don’t look that much different than the hilltops of 2013 BC where unwanted babies were left to die.

Abortion is not progressive but primitive. It is a measure of a society’s refusal to grow more civilized.

Of course, Obama went to great lengths to avoid using the word abortion in his speech. The word “health” served as its substitute: “And for nearly a century now, one core principle has guided everything all of you do—that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health.” A casual observer might have thought that he was addressing doctors at a cancer screening clinic.

Obama defined death as “health” and government control as “choice.” He said with a straight face, “Forty years after the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, including the right to choose, we shouldn’t have to remind people that when it comes to a woman’s health, no politician should get to decide what’s best for you.” Never mind that he is presiding over a system predicated on the power of politicians to control, design, and ration health care.

“So 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,” he continued. “And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.”

As Kermit Gosnell sits on trial for snipping the necks of infants, surely such rhetoric has lost its power to scare anyone. Is Obama really suggesting that the 21st century is a refuge from horrors? While he clings to his chronological snobbery, to use C.S. Lewis’s phrase, life grows more and more crude. It is more akin to the practices of pagan antiquity than to the progressive uplands of Obama’s imagination.

In the 1950s, children bought bubble gum at the corner store. Now they can buy abortifacients. “Obama administration allows over-the-counter sales for age 15 and up,” read a Washington Post headline this week. The paper called it “a historic liberalization of contraception rules—perhaps the most significant since the morning-after drug was approved 14 years ago.”

The FDA dishonestly calls these products, which can now be “sold next to painkillers and toothpaste” (as the Post puts it), “emergency contraceptives.” That sounds nicer than abortifacients. But the morbidly simple name of the product, “Plan B,” gives away its purpose.

In his first term, evidently worried that he would look too extreme, Obama opposed granting minors nonprescription access to abortifacients. In 2011, he said that as the “father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.”

Winning a second term has apparently dispelled this reservation. Now the administration’s position is that the search for a pesky prescription shouldn’t inhibit 15-year-olds in their shopping at CVS. “Research has shown that access to emergency contraceptive products has the potential to further decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies in the United States,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. “The data reviewed by the agency demonstrated that women 15 years of age and older were able to understand how Plan B One-Step works….”

Planned Parenthood applauded Obama for this decision, but in a grimly comic sign of the times demanded that he remove all barriers to nonprescription use. After all, don’t 12-year-olds have a right to over-the-counter abortifacients too? “While we fully support this expansion of access to birth control, we continue to believe that the administration should lift all unnecessary restrictions to emergency contraception,” said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.

This is the group that Obama holds up as one of America’s greatest claims to enlightenment. In his speech last week, he reassured the audience that Planned Parenthood is an immovable pillar of society.  “Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” he said. “It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.” And he vowed “to be right there with you fighting every step of the way.”

What makes him so sure it won’t topple? Perhaps a future president will one day look back and promise his audience “that he won’t turn the clock back to 2013 and the dark days of Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood.”

George Neumayr


George Neumayr is a contributing editor to The American Spectator, and a weekly columnist for Crisis Magazine. He is also co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.

  • Objectivetruth

    I live in the Philadelphia area. The “inside baseball” on Kermit Gosnell is that over 20 years, Gosnell might have actually snipped the necks of well over 100 babies that were born alive after a botched abortion. This would make him one of the biggest mass murderers in US history. It’s no small coincidence that Obama lavishes great support for Planned Parenthood the same time the Gosnell trial goes to the jury. My fear is Gosnell will be only convicted of third degree murder for the death of the woman at the abortion clinic, and not be found guilty for the deaths of the babies whose necks were snipped. This would send the detatched horrific message that the babies killed that were born alive after the botched abortions were just a continuation of the abortion procedure, and not human beings with full rights under the law. If Gosnell is found guilty of the babies deaths, this could hopefully cascade the argument and discussion towards abortion is truly the killing of innocent human life.

    Everybody please say an extra Ave Maria today for Gosnell to be convicted on all counts.

    • tom

      Evil is astride the Earth these days, stomping on humanity with cloven hoofs.

      In the U.S.A. it’s alias is Democratic Party.

      • Bono95

        Cloven hoofs? I always thought the devil had claws or talons.

        • tom

          Good observation. I’ll have a Dem ward heeler ask him when he goes to Hell and report back to us.

    • G. Reaper

      Don’t hold your breath. Today, we have a nation of kings, not laws. Dr. Gosnell will get off with a couple of misdemeanors on not following proper protocol in keeping his butcher shop clean. The Board of “Health” will cite him a time or two, but Gosnell will be back in business by the end of the year.

      Look for the federal Dept. of “Health and Human Services” to assist him in getting back to killing.

      This country is doomed! The Almighty will allow the superbugs to get loose, causing a Biblical plague that will kill off this disgusting, putrid excuse for a civilization.

  • Reets46

    G.K. Chesterton says, “A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice.”

    But what exactly is progressive about killing the vulnerable? The blood-splattered bins behind Planned Parenthood in 2013 AD don’t look that much different than the hilltops of 2013 BC where unwanted babies were left to die.

    Abortion is no different from the sacrificing of children to the gods… How dare we look with disdain on the ancients when we do the same thing to the god of convenience, the god of personal freedom, the god of modern progressivism?

    There are no new sins, just language that tries to repackage sin. And what modern likes to talk about “sin” anyway? However we cannot escape the ripple effect of sin, especially sin on the grand scale of the murder of over 55 million innocent, pre-born babies. I doubt the ancients could have been so efficient. It even makes Hitler, Stalin, and Mao look like amateurs.

    • Bono95

      Don’t forget the supreme earth-goddess Gaia. She and her favorite children won’t let us peons who had the audacity to be born and overpopulate her eat meat, but she can gorge herself on as many unborn human parasites as she wants.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Depends on what you consider progress. To the Malthusian Eugenicists- progress is anything that slows or reverses population growth, at any cost.

      • tom

        Then Hitler and Mao must be the Men of the Month with “Doctor” Grenell getting a dishonorable mention!

        • msmischief

          No, no, no — Hitler only takes runner up. It’s Mao and Stalin.

  • AcceptingReality

    The Culture of Life flows from The Culture of Truth. The more that those among us, who are devoted to Truth, spread the American legacy of respect for human dignity, the closer we edge toward the day that your closing paragraph becomes a reality.

  • Alecto

    Since the Supreme Court is so fond of balancing tests, I wonder why the other half of the scales is so consistently ignored in the abortion debate? If we accept that the pro-abortion crew believes a woman’s choice outweighs the other side of the scales, what is the something else? It’s a baby, dammit! It’s a human being. Even the language selected for discussion of Gosnell’s case is preposterous. “Born” alive? What the heck is that? The kid was born, period. The kid isn’t stillborn. It’s born! End of discussion. Is there some magic window during which it is acceptable to terminate a life outside the womb? The abortion language Kabuki dance is crazy, sheer lunatic Orwellian-speak.

    The most startling utterance from this poseur in the White House at the Planned Parenthood speech was his closing “benediction”, ending with “God bless you.” When I heard that, I thought the audio had been altered. Instead, I believe we’re living in an alternate universe!

    • tom

      His benediction turned my stomach.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      The term “born alive” is commonly used in contradistinction to “still-born”

      • musicacre

        Even so, is still sounds a lot like a double-positive.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    That’s ok, because Obama is as racist as Margaret Sanger was in 1939.

    • Adam__Baum

      He’s a typical white person.. no wait, that was his grandmother.

  • Alecto

    One more thing, no public funding for these butchers!

  • Kathy

    Excellent column! I truly hope and pray for the day that PP is out of business. Obama should be ashamed of himself!

  • cestusdei

    Obama loves the culture of death and is its foremost promoter. He is the Nero of our times.

    • Alecto

      Which makes me wonder…if we all started a campaign to send him miniature violins, do you think he understand the historical reference? 🙂

  • hombre111

    Go get ’em George. Good article.

  • G.R. Mead

    Am I the only one that noticed the parallel ?


    “Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere,” he said.
    “It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow.””


    ” and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

    Is this kind of rhetoric the sign of a high-water mark of a abusive social system entering its progressive decline?

    • tom

      We can hope.

    • Tom_ATK

      Good point, famous quotes:

      “At the risk of appearing to talk nonsense I tell you that the National Socialist movement will go on for 1,000 years!” Adolf Hitler, June 1934

      “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” George Wallace, November 1962

      “Let me say it again. I don’t believe in black majority rule ever in Rhodesia, not in a thousand years.” Ian Smith, March 1976.

      “Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere…It’s not going anywhere today, it’s not going anywhere tomorrow.” Barack Obama, April 2013

  • Billy Bean

    Obama. President Obama. President Barak Hussein Obama. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    • Adam__Baum

      Just because it has thorns doesn’t mean it is a rose.

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  • Padrecito

    The war of attrition continues as I baptized 11 more Hispanic children yesterday. I can’t define irony, but when a black president blesses and adores PP, whose founder desired the eradication of non-whites, I see it.