Opinion

Planned Parenthood loses it, calls pro-life gestures at SOTU “disrespect”

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Pro-lifers should celebrate one of the latest public statements from Planned Parenthood. Not because it’s any good, mind you; it’s completely horrid. No, this is a positive development because it shows they have lost all semblance of self-restraint or awareness of how they sound to anyone not on their mailing list, which can only help quicken their descent to the fringes.

In response to House Speaker Paul Ryan inviting two of the Little Sisters of the Poor to attend the State of the Union Address, Planned Parenthood tweeted the following:

Folks, we are officially so far through the looking glass that it’s not in the rearview mirror anymore.

Planned Parenthood is now officially willing to publicly declare that it considers inviting nuns to a speech offensive. Nuns whose work is purely charitable, who were dragged into the political realm against their wills by the President they were listening to going out of his way to force them to violate their faith, and who are fighting for nothing more than the right to continue serving the elderly poor in peace.

There sure is disrespect going on here, but it’s not on the Little Sisters’ part.

If we wanted to indulge them and consider the charge that it’s inappropriate to invite those involved in controversies with the President to his biggest speech of the year, we would remind Planned Parenthood that that ship already sailed thanks to Barack Obama himself. His own guest list was full of people chosen because publicizing their presence sent a variety of political messages—a Syrian refugee, a Muslim immigrant American soldier, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, and of course the empty seat for gun control.

And the signals sent by guests are nothing compared to the actual content of his remarks, which felt far more like a campaign speech than a sober assessment of the condition of the country, full of sniping and posturing on everything from Obamacare and immigration to global warming and food stamps. You can’t watch the main act take potshots at two of the other party’s candidates and then pretend there was any nonpartisan sanctity left for Ryan or the Little Sisters to violate.

Moreover, suppose President Obama had conducted himself in a more dignified, bipartisan manner. So what? A major fact about the state of our union today is that our constitutional right to peacefully exercise our religious convictions as we see fit is under attack. It’s not a campaign talking point; it’s an injustice. And he’s the one responsible. It is entirely appropriate to civilly protest it with this invitation, their presence a dignified, silent reminder to Obama that he’s supposed to be their President, too—and he’s failing them.

So by all means, Planned Parenthood, attack nuns for attending a presidential speech. Attack them for every imagined slight you can think of. Keep it up. It will work wonders in alienating ordinary Americans at a faster rate than pro-lifers could ever achieve on our own.

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