Brooks: Planned Parenthood Video Gives GOP a Chance to Not De-Emphasize Abortion

New York Times columnist David Brooks said that while Republicans have been “de-emphasizing” abortion, the Planned Parenthood video “gives them a chance to talk about it” on Friday’s “PBS NewsHour.”

Brooks argued, “Republicans have been sort of de-emphasizing this issue [abortion]. So, I guess when you go to the Iowa primaries you — or caucuses, you increase discussion of it. But they’ve been de-emphasizing this issue, because it just hasn’t been a great general election issue. But this particular video gives them a chance to talk about it in a way that is not going to be offending to a lot of people in the middle, because I think the idea of selling parts is not very delectable to anybody. And, I — frankly, the part of the video that offended me, I guess, was, whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, the state of the fetus at late term is a mystery. And to talk about the body parts in such a cavalier way, showed to me a corrosiveness of this issue, and the way this — the polarization of this issue tends to corrode people. And so this is a good and easy shot for the Republicans, because it’s not really engaging the issue where they’re sort of unpopular, and it allows them to defend the rights of the unborn, or attack Planned Parenthood in a way that’s politically more or less cost-free.”

Fellow columnist Mark Shields agreed, adding, “I think abortion remains a painful and difficult issue in this country. America, I think it’s fair to say Judy, is pro-choice. They don’t want to criminalize a woman who, in consultation with her conscience or confessor, her physician, decides on the very painful process of ending a pregnancy. At the same time, America’s anti-abortion. The idea that this is somehow a virtuous act is objectionable and unacceptable to Americans. And I think what you have here is — and, admittedly, I give Lisa Desjardins great credit for going through the three hours of it — but in an edited version. But, still, you have the woman, the doctor from Planned Parenthood, in a very cavalier and callous fashion, talking about, we’re going to go in, in a way — not that this is some surgical procedure being performed on a woman and ending a life, or potential life, but in a way that we’re going to preserve the organs for use. I mean, it was — I think Cecile Richards had no alternative, the president of Planned Parenthood, except to apologize for that tone and the way it was done.”

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