Boxer’s Rebellion

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In my previous commentary, I noted that pro-lifer Carly Fiorina has won California’s Republican primary, and will challenge Democratic incumbent, Senator Barbara Boxer, this November. I described Boxer as an abortion extremist without parallel in the U.S. Senate. Isn’t that a bit harsh?

I’ll answer by pointing to an episode from October 1999, when Boxer squared off with her Senate colleague, Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum.

At issue was a form of legal infanticide known as “partial-birth abortion,” by which the unborn child is only partially delivered from the mother: Enough of the body is left inside to ensure a surgical instrument can be rammed into the base of the skull.

Naturally, people wanted the “procedure” banned. Barbara Boxer was against a ban.

And so, in October 1999, Senator Santorum took Boxer to task. He asked her a “what if.” What if, posed 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?”

Perhaps, Santorum figured, he might trigger something, prompting the gentle-lady from California to revisit her position. As Boxer groped for a semi-suitable defense, Santorum adjusted his question from the vantage of varying body parts. Alas, Boxer snapped, “I am not answering these questions,” and instructed Santorum that he was “losing his temper.”

Reaching for some common ground, Santorum asked Boxer if she agreed with him that “once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed?”

Boxer’s response? “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born, the baby belongs to your family and has rights.”

Hmmm. How’s that for a definition of human rights and protecting the unborn? Now that’s harsh.

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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