Working the Knight Shift
January 17, 2013 - Thursday
President Obama might have some competition for the year's "biggest crowd" award. According to D.C. hotels, the inauguration is trailing the March for Life in hotel bookings--leading reporters to speculate that it might actually eclipse the attendance at the swearing-in. Local officials are expecting Monday's inauguration to draw just 600,000 people-down more than a million from the multitudes who descended on the city in 2009. Both events are expected to attract hundreds of thousands to the National Mall, with the March poised to shatter crowd records for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
The irony of the situation isn't lost on pro-lifers, whose movement hasn't collapsed--but flourished--under the most radically pro-abortion administration in history. Apparently, the last four years of President Obama's extreme abortion policy did more to change people's minds than anything could. Under this administration, Americans are finally realizing that this debate is not about making abortion "safe, legal, and rare," but taking innocent children's lives at the expense of taxpayers, freedom, and women's health. And next Friday, on the biggest stage in the nation, pro-lifers have the chance to make their loudest statement yet.
By then, the crowds will just be proving what polling has already shown: that America is more pro-life than ever. According a new survey from the Knights of Columbus, 83% of Americans favor significant restrictions on abortion--a four-point jump from 2012. Only one-in-10 Americans feel as President Obama does--that abortion should be allowed at any time for any reason. Most people--six in 10--still believe abortion is "morally wrong."
And, to the delight of leading pro-life groups like FRC, these major shifts in public opinion are fueling a powerful revival in state legislation. In 2012, 43 pro-life provisions on everything from clinic safety standards to parents' rights went into effect, "the second highest number after states enacted 92 pro-life laws in 2011." Of all 50, my home state of Louisiana topped the list as the most pro-life in 2012, followed by Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Arizona (which moved up from 14th in 2011). Americans United for Life crunched the numbers, taking into account legislative accomplishments (on issues from conception to natural death) and the states' cumulative records on the issues. The hall of shame included Washington (which, at 50th, was the most anti-life state in America), California, New York, Vermont, and New Jersey. See where your state ranks here.
But even the most hostile states are feeling the impact of the next generation of pro-lifers. More young people than ever are taking up the cause of the unborn--a trend embodied in one of FRC's own, new March for Life President Jeanne Monahan. At the March's new face, she's leading a revolution for a culture of life in America--with an army of passionate young people at her side. You can read more about Jeanne's journey in a special profile piece by the Washington Post.
In the meantime, if you're planning a trip to D.C., you can hear from Jeanne as part of FRC's 8th Annual ProLifeCon. Join us at FRC headquarters (801 G Street, NW) on the morning of the March at 8:00 a.m. to hear about the cutting-edge of the pro-life movement with Congressmen Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Dr. Russell Moore, Jill Stanek, Roland Warren, Dean Nelson, Jason Jones and more. Click here for more information or to register.
Obama Doctors up His Gun Proposal
Health care is this administration's answer to everything--including, we found out yesterday, the gun control debate. As part of yesterday's 23 measure gun manifesto, the President is raising some eyebrows with his plan to enlist doctors in the fight. The language that's attracting some attention is administration's clarification that ObamaCare "does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes."
The reaction from some conservatives on Capitol Hill was shock. "The President has no business interjecting himself in the doctor-patient relationship by pressing medical professionals to ask their patients what kind of guns they own in their homes," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) "President Obama's executive [actions] give new meaning to the term 'house call.'" Doctors are supposed to take inventory of patients' health--not their guns. Senator Rand Paul, who joined us on yesterday's "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" radio show, thinks the President is developing a "king-like complex."
"The whole idea that the government is going to be between you and your doctor... I'm very much opposed to this kind of information going into government databanks," Paul told me yesterday. FRC's own legal expert, Ken Klukowski, analyzed the plan for himself and agreed that tasking doctors with asking Americans about gun ownership is "a backdoor attempt for the federal government to build a database of law-abiding gun owners," which, in his opinion (and ours) smacks of tyranny. And "why only ask about gun ownership?" Ken asks in his column. "More children die of drowning at home each year than from a gun in the home... [I]f doctors aren't asking if you have a swimming poll with a locked fence surrounding it, they shouldn't be asking you about [guns]."
Conservatives Go Missing in the Amazon
Shoppers who were already frustrated with Amazon.com's same-sex "marriage" campaign have another beef with the online retailer. This week, fans of Fox News's Todd Starnes were shocked to learn that the reporter's book had been banned from the site because of its conservative themes. In a screen shot of the page, the "buy" button was replaced with a suspension warning: "[This item] is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item." The "customers" (a.k.a. liberal activists) had flooded Todd's page with fake reviews of the book until the company pulled the plug.
It was a stunning display of liberal censorship from Amazon.com--which sells far more objectionable and obscene material than a book by a mainstream radio host! Dispatches from Bitter America has been endorsed by Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin--all of whom are credible conservative commentators. Yet this tiny protest from an intolerant fringe was all it took to strip the book from the shelves and expose the company's true agenda. Although Amazon finally lifted the suspension (three days later), employees offered no reason for the blackout.
Unfortunately, this is just part of the dangerous trend of online censorship that is skyrocketing in the face of political debates like marriage. Facebook, iTunes, Google, and YouTube have all been guilty of silencing users who have moral convictions on issues like life and sexuality. They've tried to censor Lila Rose's Planned Parenthood videos, Mike Huckabee's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, the Manhattan Declaration app, and other conservative themes the politically correct crowd deems "controversial" or "offensive."
And it's time, says Craig Parshall, to fight back. As the head of National Religious Broadcasters' John Milton Project for Free Speech, Parshall is hoping to strike a balance between free speech and free enterprise. You can help by supporting Todd and the owners of Hobby Lobby at the same time! Most people don't realize that the Green family also owns Mardell Christian books--and guess what? His book isn't censored there! So click over to Mardell, order the book, and support two great causes in the process!
** Tune in at 5:00 p.m. (ET) for another great line-up on our new live radio show, "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins." At the top of the show, new Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will kick us off with a discussion on the budget and debt ceiling. He'll be followed by our good friend and ally, Rev. Derek McCoy, on Gallaudet University's decision to reinstate Dr. Angela McCaskill. Also, Father Frank Pavone will be on the program to give us a preview of the March for Life and the events leading up to this year's demonstration.
*** For more perspective on last week's Supreme Court announcement, check out Dr. David Prentice's piece with Samuel Casey in today's Washington Times, "Flouting the Law Barring Embryo Research." FRC's Cathy Ruse has also co-written a column with her husband, Austin, in the Human Life Review, "On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade."
**** As part of our campaign leading up to the March for Life, we'll be highlighting videos about how you can make a difference for life. Check out the first installment below and help spread the word!