Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..
White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that President Obama has backed out of his commitment to deliver the keynote address at the April 25 Planned Parenthood gala, according to the Washington Times.
The Times reported that Carney said the president would instead spend more time at a memorial service in Waco, Texas, for family members of the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion.
The Times noted that the president will
address Planned Parenthood and its supporters Friday morning. Still, the shift to a lower-profile address at a more low-key morning event, rather than an evening gala fundraiser, is significant.
The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser welcomed the news.
Planned Parenthood last week admitted to knowing about the horrors going on inside Kermit Gosnell’s squalid Philadelphia clinic, but chose not to exercise its position as the leader in the abortion industry to put an end to the butchering of women and children. No matter the reason for his backing out, it is certainly a good time to distance oneself from Planned Parenthood. Now is also a good time for President Obama to reconsider his position of forcing taxpayers to fork over more than $542 million each year to this abortion-centered, profit-driven business. Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider which in a single year ended the lives of more than 333,000 children.
Last week, media reports suggested that the local Planned Parenthood clinic was aware of the problems at the Gosnell clinic.
Dayle Steinberg, the organization’s president and chief executive condemned Gosnell’s actions as “criminal, horrendous ... acts and should be appropriately punished, during the Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania's annual Spring Gathering.
Steinberg said, “When Gosnell was in practice, women would sometimes come to Planned Parenthood for services after first visiting Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, and would complain to staff about the conditions there. ... We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health.”
But the trial disclosed that many of Gosnell’s patients were poor, with limited means to register such concerns. If the clinic staff viewed Gosnell’s handiwork as “criminal,” why didn’t they report him to state authorities?
Predictably, few commentators outside of the pro-life community have taken the time to ask that question. But the Media Research Center just released a video that includes clips from the stories the media did find time to cover during the Gosnell trial.
It would be good to think that President Obama was also troubled by the Planned Parenthood affiliate's record on this issue, and took steps to publicly criticize a political ally that played a critical role in the 2012 election. But no evidence of that thus far.