Family Research Council


Bodies of Evidence Point to Planned Parenthood

November 14, 2017

Cecile Richards was practically giddy when Republicans stumbled on their Obamacare repeal. After a string of attempts, the chance to defund Planned Parenthood had slipped through the GOP's grasp. And the country's largest abortion business made a quick escape. Or so it thought.

Thanks to David Daleiden and other pro-life leaders, the accusations that have dogged Richards's group aren't going away. And now, with a Trump Justice Department in place, the FBI is ready to do something about it. Disgusted by the group's grisly side business of selling baby body parts, the House and Senate both conducted their own investigations into Richards's secret money making scheme. What they found was enough evidence to refer the group for criminal prosecution.

Daleiden was the first one to pull the curtain back on Planned Parenthood's shop of horrors. In a series of videos, he showed staffers at the highest levels of the organization casually haggling over baby organ prices like trinkets at a local bazaar. Richards insisted the group didn't profit from the sales -- a claim completely debunked by the thread of invoices from StemExpress, one of its biggest buyers of unborn baby organs. "There are shipping costs," Dawn Laguens, the Planned Parenthood executive vice president told CNN. "It's not a fee. It's actually just the cost of transmitting this material to research institutions," Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards echoed to ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

A pile of evidence shows otherwise -- including invoices like this one from StemExpress, proving that it, not Richards's group, was paying to transfer the body parts. The bad news for Planned Parenthood got worse when StemExpress's Holly O'Donnell came forward. The former employee told Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that "Planned Parenthood never shipped anything, we did all the shipping." In this stunning video testimony, she insists, "Planned Parenthood's executive team repeatedly lied to the public and to the news media when they promised StemExpress was only paying them for 'shipping costs.'"

Experts like Brian Lennon, former assistant U.S. attorney, was adamant in his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last year that something was fishy. "We're talking about a price-per-tissue payment. That informs me that we're talking about the sale of a part -- and not some reasonable cost." Turns out, he was right. Grassley's committee followed the paper trail, the Hill newspaper points out. And it led straight where Holly O'Donnell said it would.

"In one example cited by the Senate report, a firm's own records show it paid $60 for an aborted fetus from a Planned Parenthood clinic, then transferred the various parts for $2,275 -- including the brain for $325, two eyes for $650, and a part of a liver for $325. The firm also charged additional fees for shipping and disease screening." On a regular basis, Grassley's team found, Planned Parenthood had "transferred tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses to firms for use in research by charging dollar amounts above their actual costs." The abortion group "involved in transferring fetal tissue have been free to receive substantial payment with impunity..." he concluded.

This week, the FBI, hot on Planned Parenthood's trail, asked the Senate for the documents it gathered from abortion providers, hinting that the tough times for Richards's group may be just beginning. While it braces for a possible criminal probe, states across the country are systematically doing what Congress fell just short of: defunding Planned Parenthood. One of those states, Arkansas, just won a monumental victory in the effort to end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood, when the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals refused Richards's plea to rehear the case. Instead, it let the panel's ruling stand, giving Arkansas the right to block Planned Parenthood's access to the state's pool of Medicaid money. Like several Republican governors, Asa Hutchinson (R) ended Arkansas's forced partnership with the group in 2015, when CMP released its first string of undercover videos.

While the FBI chases down the truth, maybe Congress will find new energy to act. Planned Parenthood keeps insisting, "We're not in it for the money." If that's true, then it doesn't need ours.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Reinventing Reality, One Democrat at a Time

November 14, 2017

Most of us didn't need a poll to show us that liberals have lost their grip on reality. But Pew Research Center is providing one anyway. In a survey that will probably leave you speechless about the radical bent of Barack Obama's party, Pew asked Americans what they really think about gender identity. If the results don't surprise you, check your pulse.

First, the good news. A majority of Americans (though far less than one might guess, 54 percent) still believe that a person's gender is "determined at birth." Fewer, 44 percent, think someone "can be a man or woman even if that is different than the sex they were assigned at birth." That's right. Only a 10-percent gap separates Americans on what, a decade ago, would have been a consensus issue. Now, after eight years of chipping away at the country's moral sensibilities with bathroom mandates, Caitlin Jenner homages, and Chelsea Manning pardons, the activist Left's quiet war on gender is having its effect.

But so far, it's a one-sided victory. An overwhelming number of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (80 percent) aren't playing these liberals' game of make believe. They think that a person is born whatever gender they truly are. Amazingly, an enormous number of Democrats and Democratic leaners disagree: 64 percent, to be exact. That's a jaw-dropping population of political misled and scientifically-misguided people. No wonder we're having to debate common-sense bathroom guidelines, driver's licenses, classroom pronouns, and military policy. With the exception of black Democrats and Hispanic Democrats, (55 percent and 41 percent, respectively), Obama's reality-optional politics have had a major effect on his party's agenda.

Breitbart broke down Pew's numbers and uncovered this stunner: "The survey," Neil Munro points out, "finds that Democrats with a bachelor's degree or more education are more likely than other Democrats to say a person's gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. About three-quarters (77 percent ) of Democrats with a bachelor's degree or more say this, compared with 60 percent of Democrats with some college and 57 percent of those with a high school diploma or less. No such [education] divide exists among Republicans." In other words, the supposedly "more educated" class of Democrats are the ones denying science and basic biology. Republicans, by contrast, stand steadfastly behind a person's DNA as the defining factor of a person's gender -- regardless of their age, race, or education.

Asked if America has done enough to accommodate people who identify as transgender, only 32 percent say the country has gone "too far." Thirty-nine percent think we haven't gone far enough. They're the ones willing to sacrifice women and children's safety, national security, and religious liberty on the altar of liberal deception. They're the ones eager to discard reality as a means to a political end. But regardless of what they say, truth is not up for self-determination! And a nation that thinks otherwise not only deceives itself, but dooms itself as well.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


A Tough FACT to Follow

November 14, 2017

Groups like NARAL say that all they want from pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) is "disclosure." But let's be honest. The real goal is just closure. And you have to hand it to abortion activists -- they've gotten pretty creative in their strategies to beat back those who give women the true choice of choosing life. With the help of local leaders across the country, the anti-life Left has managed to pass a handful of laws putting the squeeze on PRCs and their right to operate by their beliefs. First, they tried to force the centers to post signs about the services they don't offer, in hopes of deterring more women from visiting. When courts struck down those ordinances in places like Baltimore, the abortion movement took a more aggressive approach.

In California, they managed to persuade lawmakers to pass a bill -- the Reproductive FACT Act -- ordering PRCs to provide referrals to abortion centers where, they argue, moms will get the "full range of care." Pro-lifers opposed the idea -- not only because it detracts from the positive alternatives to abortion, but because it violates these centers' freedoms of speech and religion!

"It's bad enough if the government tells you what you can't say," said Alliance Defending Freedom, who's representing the pro-life centers in court, "but a law that tells you what you must say -- under threat of severe punishment -- is even more unjust and dangerous. In this case, political allies of abortionists are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real hope and help to women. Forcing these centers to promote abortion and recite the government's preferred views is a clear violation of their constitutionally protected First Amendment freedoms. That's why other courts around the country have halted these kinds of measures and why we will be discussing the possibility of appeal with our clients."

Unfortunately, those courts didn't include the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld California's stranglehold on PRCs' freedom. It's important to "[ensure] that its citizens have access to and adequate information about constitutionally-protected medical services like abortion," wrote Judge Dorothy Nelson. If "adequate information" is important, then what about the truth of abortion?

It's ironic. If anyone's in favor of full disclosure, it's the pro-life movement! Unlike the pro-abortion Left, these centers tell moms what Planned Parenthood won't: that there are ways of coping with unexpected pregnancies other than abortion. And unlike their competition, they don't have a financial stake in the outcome. Groups like Planned Parenthood are inventing "wars on women" to extort more money from taxpayers, while pregnancy resource centers are actually helping more than two million people every year. And unlike Planned Parenthood, they don't do it with billions of government dollars but charitable donations and the support of tens of thousands of volunteers.

The Second and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals tended to agree, siding with conservatives to strike down similar laws. Now, thanks to the split in decisions, the Supreme Court has decided to make the final call -- to the relief of pro-lifers. Conservatives have a lot riding on the case, but then, Slate argues, so do liberals. "If the justices vote to strike down the statute," worry Leftists, "abortion foes will celebrate the decision as a resounding victory for their cause. An eventual ruling against California, though, could also lead to the invalidation of anti-abortion counseling laws across the country on similar First Amendment grounds."

FRC's Travis Weber is anxious for the justices to vindicate PRCs. "The California FACT Act explicitly and overtly discriminates against pro-life views, placing onerous requirements (including posting multiple notices in up to thirteen different languages) on crisis pregnancy centers while excluding all sorts of other healthcare entities as long as they participate in the state's pro-abortion programs... The fact that the Ninth Circuit permitted this statute to stand further highlights the existence of the "abortion distortion" in our federal courts, which routinely twist the law to find ways to advance abortion and hamper pro-life views." No one should be compelled to speak a message against their beliefs -- not cake bakers and not pregnancy resource centers. Let's hope the Supreme Court agrees on both counts!


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.



Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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