April 23, 2008


Denial Is a Senator from California: Life in the Senate. (Paul Kengor, 4/23/08, National Review)

Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Penn.), at the time the leading defender of the unborn in the Senate, paused to ask Senator Boxer a “what if.” What if, asked Santorum almost facetiously, in the course of the partial-birth abortion, the baby’s foot was inside the mother but the rest of the baby was outside. “Could that baby be killed?”

Santorum was trying to illustrate the absurdity of the point. He was taken aback, however, as Boxer struggled for an answer. Santorum pressed on, reiterating the question with different body parts, prompting Boxer — caught in the ridiculousness of her position — to snap, “I am not answering these questions.” Boxer informed Santorum that he (not she) was “losing his temper.”

Santorum did, however, get an answer from Boxer on this one: “Do you agree, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed?” Boxer replied: “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born . . . the baby belongs to your family and has rights.” The gentle-lady from California had developed her own definition of a baby.

This surreal scenario was repeated during another debate over partial-birth abortion in October 2003, this time with Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.). Brownback presented the now-famous photograph of tiny, pre-born Samuel Alexander Armas squeezing his doctor’s finger from his mother’s womb during a delicate emergency surgery. Brownback posed to Boxer the same kind of ludicrously simple and (one would think) unnecessary questions Santorum had tried. He asked the senator if the picture represented a piece of property or “the hand of a child.” Boxer fired back: “I am not a doctor, and I am not God.” [...]

[S]enator Brownback, a devout Catholic who has replaced the departed Santorum as the Senate’s most stalwart defender of the unborn, sponsored a resolution welcoming the pontiff.

It turns out, though, that Brownback was guilty of an egregious affront in his draft resolution: He had dared to thank the pope for valuing “each and every human life.” This was an apt acknowledgment for the man in Rome, given his remarkable consistency on life issues across the board, from abortion to AIDS to embryos to war. Nonetheless, Brownback’s statement of the obvious raised the ire of pro-choice Democrats in the Senate, particularly Barbara Boxer, who feared “human life” might extend to the unborn — a group that, by her definition, not only has no human rights but is not even human life.

This, of course, could not stand. Boxer immediately demanded that the “objectionable language” (the words of one senior Democratic Senate aide) be dropped from the resolution.

And they wonder that they're losing Catholics?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 23, 2008 8:52 AM

I have discussed Obama's tacit support for infanticide with a few co-workers who back him. They seem to believe that public opinion on abortion has moved to the left since 1973, and that Obama's position is not 'radical'.

Now, these are not radical guys themselves, but they believe what they hear from their Democratic friends because they don't like Bush, Cheney, and the whole Republican 'machine'. I do shudder a bit at the indifference, although I have told them that one rough ad on Obama's position will probably keep him at no more than 42% come November.

If there is to be a fight over abortion during this election, the Left knows that it starts on the defensive, and its most strident soldiers (like Boxer) have no arrows in their quivers.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 23, 2008 10:42 PM