As revealing as David Daleiden's undercover videos are, they're exposing a lot more than Planned Parenthood. The summer scandal is also pulling back the curtain on where several politicians stand. As the first House hearing proved, a number of Democrats seem perfectly content -- if not proud -- to support a group nonchalantly carving up tiny humans for dollars.
Yesterday, their allegiance was on full display, as they doggedly defended an organization whose grisly side business has yet to affect its lucrative relationship with American taxpayers. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) desperately hopes to change that, inviting women who survived the excruciating procedure Planned Parenthood profits from, to testify. "Do not tell me these are not children," pleaded Gianna Jessen. "A heartbeat proves that. So do I."
As she shared, Jessen's mother tried to abort her seven months into pregnancy -- and failed. Gianna was told later that "a bucket of formaldehyde in a utility closet" was meant to be her fate until two nurses intervened and saved her life. "Planned Parenthood is not ashamed of what they have done or continue to do," Gianna said. "But we will have to give an account, as a nation, before God, for our apathy and for the murder of over 50 million children in the womb. Every time we falter in courage as individuals and fail to confront this evil, I wonder how many lives have been lost in our silence... How many children have died and been dismembered, and their parts sold, for our ego, our convenience, and our promiscuity? How many Lamborghinis were purchased with the blood of innocent children?"
While the rest of the room was taken aback by her emotional testimony, Democrats sat almost passively -- until it was time to defend Planned Parenthood. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee was one of the most militant, insisting that the idea that life has value is old-fashioned. "It's a new America," he insisted after a heated exchange. "We are not going back to [Dwight Eisenhower's] America." Then, as liberals are wont to do, he tried to twist the discussion into something it wasn't: a hearing to overturn Roe v. Wade. "It's about abortion, period. For me, Planned Parenthood is part of my DNA. It's one of the finest organizations in this country. It helps women, women of color, poor women, and it gives them a choice."
Organizations that brag about the butchery of innocent children are not "fine" -- nor are they helping women. And while Democrats want desperately for Americans to believe that Planned Parenthood is the only option for women's health care, the reality is (as ADF's maps show) far different. As Goodlatte himself pointed out, there are more than 13,000 health clinics in the country that aren't under investigation for criminal activity -- and more importantly, provide compassionate, honest, and proficient care to women in need. The idea that Republicans are fighting to take those services away is a prime example of how the liberals lie and distort the truth.
"The dollar amount [for women's health care] will be exactly the same..." Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) explained. "It will go to other organizations that are not involved with what looks like criminal activity." No one is advocating that women lose care -- they're advocating that they get better care. And that doesn't include risky procedures, manipulated to produce a better "harvest."
An example of those procedures was at the center of an extremely eye-opening exchange between Goodlatte and the Democrats' witness, Priscilla Smith, who was asked if she thought the "dilation and evacuation" abortion is "humane." She responded that, yes, "for a fetus, a pre-viable fetus, a D&E procedure is a very humane procedure." A stunned Goodlatte replied, "...Your view of humanity and mine are very different." And that, on a very fundamental level, is the problem. This debate is about a lot more than Planned Parenthood or even a half-billion taxpayer dollars. It's about the inherent dignity and worth of each God-created life. A dignity, many Americans believe, is worth fighting for.
The courage of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis isn't just changing the conversation -- it's changing the political landscape. In places like Missouri, where state officials watched with horror as Davis was hauled off to jail for her Christian beliefs, leaders are moving quickly to protect their people from the same fate. Already, the Show Me State is showing their sincerity on the issue by finding sponsors for legislation to ensure religious liberty protections. At the next session, State Senator Kurt Schaefer has already indicated his intent to introduce a measure that "will protect individuals, corporations, religious organizations, and others who hold religious beliefs that do not comport with same-sex marriage proponents."
The Supreme Court created this mess -- now it's incumbent on states to protect the victims mired in it. At least two of the GOP presidential hopefuls are lobbying for better conscience protections, including Senator Rick Santorum and Dr. Ben Carson. "There should be some accommodation made for people of faith," Santorum told Fox News. "I mean, this is a very serious religious matter." Kim Davis's case, he pointed out, "isn't going to be the only time we run into this situation."
On the same network, Dr. Carson took things a step further and called on Congress to act on the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), saying that members "now [have] a responsibility to step up to the plate and enact legislation that will protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans." It's an unfortunate reality, considering that the Bill of Rights should be enough to protect anyone -- including Kim Davis. But in the current political climate -- one increasingly hostile to America's first freedom -- the courts seem to have lost their grasp on the long history of religious accommodation in this country.
Far from the media's portrayal, Kim isn't trying to defy a federal judge. She's simply asking for the ability to do her job without also violating her beliefs. It's a simple request -- one that smacks with irony when you consider this White House's proclivity for other "exemptions." The President doesn't seem to mind making bypassing Congress to make accommodations for his radical abortion, immigration, or transgender agenda. But when it comes to Christians, who have a constitutional right to accommodation, his party is suddenly opposed.
In this intense effort to subdue religious liberty, the Left is demanding complete and utter subservience to homosexuality. And while the Court redefined marriage, it did not redefine the First Amendment. Thank goodness for heroes like Kim Davis, who refuses to let them insinuate as much. We applaud her. In the face of intense pressure, she's shown more courage than most men in elected office! Hear more about her case in my interview with her attorney, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, from yesterday's "Washington Watch."
** For more on my new book, No Fear, don't miss this great Breitbart review, "The Dry Martyrdom of Young Christians in America." Also, if you missed my interview on Fox with our good friend Todd Starnes, click below!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.