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In a shocking last minute decision, President Obama backed out of his engagement to be the keynote speaker at this week’s Planned Parenthood “Time to Care” annual gala.

Instead of canceling the event completely, however, Obama will still demonstrate his unwavering support for Planned Parenthood by speaking at a smaller, lower-profile event on Friday.

The nation continues to reel from five weeks of testimony given at the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, which detailed the gruesome murder of babies born alive following botched abortions. In light of these horrors coming out of the City of Brotherly Love, many believe the last thing Obama wants is to be photographed fundraising for the nation’s largest abortion provider.

That theory may hold water if he was still a first-term president. But let’s get real. Obama is cruising through his second term without any concern for iconography. He’s evolved on the controversial gay marriage issue, he threw a petulant temper tantrum in the Rose Garden when things didn’t go his way on gun control, and he’s blatantly governing against the will of the people in an effort to pass amnesty. So why should we buy into this foolish theory that he’s suddenly concerned about appearances?

Obama is unequivocally loyal to Planned Parenthood in general, and its President and CEO, Cecile Richards, specifically, who donated over $13 million to his re-election campaign. Obama and Richards are chummy allies who together carefully calibrated the manufactured “war on woman” and fed each other talking points to navigate through the messy Komen- Planned Parenthood fiasco of 2012.

Obama would never just carelessly leave Planned Parenthood in a lurch, nor would Richards allow him to.

If there’s one thing that Planned Parenthood excels at (besides killing babies), it’s evading bad publicity. Whether it’s being exposed for allowing sex-selection abortion to take place at their facilities or having their employees turn a blind eye to sex trafficking, Planned Parenthood knows how to play the PR game and manipulate the media. This recent turn of events is no exception.

Obama stepping down from the Planned Parenthood gala was thought-out and calculated. To think otherwise is a fool’s errand.

As the defense rests their case in the Gosnell trial, and the news media awaits the imminent verdict, Planned Parenthood is purposefully keeping a low-profile to avoid any association with the squalid Philadelphia abortion clinic. Richards and her team know full well that if Obama graced them with his presence at the annual gala just when the jury reaches a verdict in the Gosnell case, the risk of Planned Parenthood being affiliated with the evils of abortion are all too likely.

Planned Parenthood walks a thin line already, garnishing just 30% support from the public for taxpayer-funded abortions. They cannot afford to allow their annual gala to be tarnished by the breaking news story that the jury has reached a decision in the Gosnell case, regardless of the verdict.

So, Planned Parenthood quietly and cleverly asked Obama to remove himself from their gala, taking the media fanfare with him.

No president…no press…no bad PR. And once again, Planned Parenthood, with its 330,000 annual abortions and $350 million in taxpayer funding, manages to stay out of the public spotlight and carry on for another day of slaughter. And Obama, with a wink and a nod to Planned Parenthood, suddenly appears to care about the murder of babies that survived a botched abortion, despite his years in the Illinois Senate that would suggest otherwise.

And the media will predictably praise both the president and Planned Parenthood for their selfless sacrifice…and tacitly ignore the real sacrifice of precious babies’ lives.

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