Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg:
South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is being hailed in some quarters as an honest man who would make a good president. Picking up on this image, he is now selling himself as a committed Christian, one who is much more broad minded than Christian conservatives.
When asked by Kirsten Powers this week about his favorite Bible verses, his first response was to cite a passage from Matthew: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these…you did for me.”
Who would qualify as being among “the least of these?” Surely those who are unable to defend themselves. Not to Buttigieg—unborn babies fail to make the cut. When asked about late-term abortions on MSNBC, he defended them, citing his objections to “involvement of a male government.”
That was a dishonest answer. Buttigieg knows very well that whether the government is run by males or females, or a combination of both, such characteristics have absolutely nothing to do with judging the morality of late-term abortions. On another occasion he said, “I don’t think we need more restrictions [on abortion] right now.” A more honest answer would have been to say “not now, not ever.”
Buttigieg’s slipperiness was on display last year when he was faced with making a decision to allow a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) to locate next to an abortion clinic in South Bend. Lawmakers approved rezoning, thereby allowing for the CPC, but Buttigieg vetoed the bill. He feigned distress over his decision, offering two reasons why he had to say no. Both were dishonest.
“Issues on the legality or morality of abortion are dramatically beyond my paygrade as a mayor,” he said. Then he should resign. Public figures are expected to make moral judgments about contemporary issues. More important, Buttigieg has no business running for president. If an issue such as abortion is beyond his paygrade, then he is not suited for the job.
Buttigieg, of course, was being dishonest. He has an opinion—he is solidly in the pro-abortion camp.
It was his other reason for banning a CPC that was not only dishonest, it was demagogic. Buttigieg cited potential clashes between the abortion clinic and the CPC. Thus, by sleight of hand he secured the right of the abortion clinic to operate, without allowing women an alternative voice.
Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades saw right through Buttigieg’s ploy. “I share the mayor’s concern about the neighborhood,” he said, “but for a different reason: a group from outside our community and state may open that not only discards innocent human life, but purports to give women a choice, when in fact it has vigorously opposed the Women’s Care Center [the CPC] that provides loving support for women and the choice to say yes to life.”
Buttigieg offered another dishonest reason for not allowing the CPC to locate next to the abortion clinic. “I saw data that there was about triple the rate of violence or harassment issues when a clinic is located next to a crisis pregnancy center,” he said. The implication is that it is the CPC, not the abortion clinic, that is the occasion for trouble.
“Where I practice in Tuscaloosa, Alabama,” an abortionist said last year, “the crisis pregnancy center is right next door to the abortion clinic and I’ve had patients who have eventually made it to me to receive abortion services who said their care was delayed because they were not told that they were next door to the facility they were seeking to enter.” He said nothing about harassment or violence being a problem, only that his customers were delayed in finding him.
If there were problems of true harassment or violence accompanying the location of a CPC near an abortion clinic, such stories should not be hard to find, especially from abortion-friendly sources.
The Guttmacher Institute is the nation’s foremost pro-abortion research entity; it was once affiliated with Planned Parenthood. “The Public Health Risks of Crisis Pregnancy Centers” was published by Guttmacher in 2012 by Joanne D. Rosen. There is no mention of harassment or violence.
In 2015, NARAL, the pro-abortion giant, published “Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie: The Insidious Threat to Reproductive Freedom.” It listed 107 citations covering a lot of ground. There is no mention of harassment or violence.
In 2017, NARAL published a 16-page article, “The Truth about Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” There is no mention of harassment or violence.
In 2017, Beth Holtzman published a 34-page article, “Have Crisis Pregnancy Centers Finally Met Their Match: California’s Reproductive FACT Act,”; it appeared in the Northwestern Journal of Law & Public Policy. There was no mention of harassment or violence.
In 2018, multiple authors published an article, “Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers Are Legal but Unethical,” in the AMA Journal of Ethics. There is no mention of harassment or violence.
So where are the data that Buttigieg claims he “saw”? “The 2015 Violence and Disruption Statistics” published by the National Abortion Federation lists instances of harassment (e.g., picketing) and some violence, but it attributes none to CPCs.
The one source that appears to back his claim is the “2018 National Clinic Violence Survey,” published by the Feminist Majority Foundation. It claims that when a CPC is located near an abortion clinic, the latter is seven times more likely to experience harassment or violence than one located further away.
There are several problems with this study. First, this pro-abortion organization did not simply publish this survey, it conducted it. In other words, it violated a central tenet of survey research: it did not outsource the survey to an independent research institute.
Also, researchers look to see the framing of the questions that respondents are asked. This survey offers none, just capsule summaries.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of all is the failure to consider whether CPCs are more likely to experience harassment or violence when situated near an abortion clinic. There is ample evidence that this is not uncommon. Consider the following underreported news story.
“An 85-year-old pro-life man was assaulted as he prayed outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in San Francisco last Thursday and it was captured on camera. In the 22-second clip, an alleged Planned Parenthood supporter knocks the pro-life advocate, identified as Ron, to the ground, tells him to stay on the ground, then repeatedly kicks him as he tries to take away the ’40 Days for Life’ banner for which Ron was peacefully protesting.”
This didn’t happen years ago—it happened at the end of last month.
“Clash Outside Planned Parenthood in Naples Sends One Man to Hospital for Injuries.” This was the headline of a story from October, 2018. A 65-year-old man, Joe Alger, was saying the rosary near a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic when he was assaulted.
“The unidentified man got close to Alger’s face and punched him, and Alger was knocked to the ground and punched a second time.” A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman told reporters that “a fight broke out.” Not true. A senior citizen was assaulted by a pro-abortion thug because he was saying the rosary.
Many other examples could be given. Pro-life offices have been torched, and many pro-life leaders have received death threats. Moreover, pro-life supporters on college campuses, especially women, are harassed and intimidated with regularity. It is therefore dishonest for Buttigieg to hold CPCs responsible for harassment or violence against abortion clinics.
Most Americans have never heard of Pete Buttigieg. The media, having found a young homosexual presidential candidate they like, are offering a sympathetic portrait of him. On closer inspection, however, he appears coy and dishonest, and not the least bit interested in serving “the least among us.”