Last Friday, Obama made “history” by being the first president to address Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest purveyor of abortions. Obama did this in spite of the terrible timing, during the Kermit Gosnell trial. But like the Gosnell trial, Obama’s speech drew a blackout: no story on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, or NPR.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes hailed it was a "history-making" speech, but complained that Obama never used the A-word, which he should never feel ashamed to use. Rachel Maddow praised Obama for “putting a new capstone” on bold proclamations for the “right to choose.” USA Today and the Los Angeles Times somehow missed it. The New York Times blogged it – with this amazing paragraph from reporter Peter Baker as he mentioned Gosnell:
Abortion opponents have also drawn attention lately to the trial of a Philadelphia doctor charged with killing viable fetuses [?!] during abortions. Three of seven murder charges against the doctor, Kermit Gosnell, were thrown out by a judge this week, but the grisly details of the case have, in the view of abortion opponents, highlighted the moral questions underlying abortion in the United States.
Grisly details of snipped spinal cords, and dismembered feet in jars, and babies being flushed down toilets highlight moral questions – “in the view of abortion opponents.” Wow, the people at the Times really know how to make themselves look heinously amoral.
The Times began its story by noting Obama "assailed conservatives who have sought to restrict access to abortion and contraception" -- opposing subsidized birth control somehow makes you a ban-the-pill voter -- while the president "promised women's activists he would stand with them." Later, Baker did not he came "so he could speak out on an issue that galvanizes his liberal political base."
Some might find it precious that the Times pictured a female minister in a Roman collar wearing a pink Planned Parenthood stole -- as if one of the Ten Commandments was "Thou shalt not kill -- unless a woman heroically asserts her right to choose."
The Washington Post covered the speech in the paper with this vague headline: “Obama defends abortion rights.”
Reporter Juliet Eilperin presented both sides, and the pro-lifers were quoted talking about Gosnell:
But abortion opponents sharply criticized Obama for his decision to speak to the group, saying it was particularly inappropriate given the ongoing controversy about a Philadelphia abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, who is on trial on charges of killing one adult patient and four infants in his care. Some women who had initially visited Gosnell’s clinic later complained to Planned Parenthood staff in Philadelphia about the unclean conditions there.
“It is outrageous that President Obama addressed the Planned Parenthood gathering this morning, at a time when Planned Parenthood has been exposed for having known about the Gosnell horrors, yet took no action to report this abuse of women and babies,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser for The Catholic Association, which opposes abortion.