Boxer Beats Pro-Lifers to the Punch
Senator Mike Lee's resolution should have been a no-brainer. Who could possibly object to a non-binding measure condemning the mass murder of newborns? Senate Democrats, that's who. Yesterday, they spent the better part of a floor debate explaining why Kermit Gosnell's crimes against humanity were no different than getting a root canal in a dirty dentist's office.
Senator Lee, who had hoped to find some common ground after Gosnell's atrocities, learned first-hand how absolutely militant the President's party can be on abortion. Together with 10 cosponsors (Senators Toomey, Rubio, Cruz, Inhofe, Scott, Blunt, Burr, Vitter, Johanns, and Boozman), Lee's resolution would have simply acknowledged that Congress has a "responsibility" to investigate "abortions... [that] involve... infants who are born alive or are capable of being born alive, and therefore are entitled to equal protection under the law." Among other things, Senator Lee called for hearings into the gruesome (and growing) trend of infanticide and greater oversight of abortion clinics across the country.
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) vehemently disagreed, even going so far as to introduce a counter-resolution that would take the spotlight off the real issue (murder) and put it on a convenient subplot: sanitation. "Whatever the setting is," Boxer argued, "if it's a reproductive health care clinic, if it's a dentist, if it's any type of doctor, any kind of clinic, where there are willful violations of the law and violations of human dignity and violations of standard of care, we should call them out."
Under Blumenthal's measure, the Senate wouldn't single out the abortion industry but instead condemn all health care violations. And while the Democrats would be all too happy to turn this into a debate about general medical safety, the reality is this: as horrific as the conditions were in Gosnell's clinic, the biggest health violation there was the taking of innocent human life.
Senators Boxer and Blumenthal, meanwhile are only interested in helping abortion clinics perform more hygienic killings. But as anyone who's followed the Gosnell trial knows, this is about more than sanitizing murder--it's about protecting living, breathing children. The idea that these cold-blooded killings are on par with a routine teeth-cleaning is outrageous. How many times have you gone to the dentist and worried about the doctor snipping your spinal cord? As wince-inducing as the descriptions of Gosnell's office are, liberals want to distract Americans from the real issue here, which is the systematic killing of born-alive and nearly-born babies.
Unfortunately, the pain of abortion is just as excruciating whether those children are inside the womb or out. That's why Congressmen like Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) are fighting to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks. Rather than put children through the agony of a late-term abortion procedure, Franks is setting out to ban the brutal practice in an area under Congress's direct control: the nation's capital. Just last week, Lila Rose released the shocking footage of a local D.C. abortionist, who is willing to deliver babies at the latest stages of development before killing them. Under Rep. Franks's D.C. Pain bill, Congress would refuse to let the District's clinics torture children the way Gosnell did.
In the meantime, other House leaders are laser-focused on cleaning up the country's abortion clinic filth. The Chairmen of both the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. Bob Goodlatte) and House Energy and Commerce Committee (Rep. Fred Upton) are doing everything in their power to ensure that no run-down clinics go unpunished. Regardless of the work it's creating for their offices, Congressmen Goodlatte and Upton are launching nationwide investigations to see what state officials are doing to prevent another "regulatory collapse" like we witnessed in Gosnell's Philadelphia. Both gentlemen sent letters--one to all 50 state attorneys general and another to public health officials--about their efforts to monitor and license clinics, as well as inquiring about what had been done to protect the rights of newborns and their mothers.
Join me in thanking Reps. Goodlatte and Upton for dedicating their time to stopping one of the greatest human tragedies in America. What a contrast it is to the Barbara Boxers and Richard Blumenthals of the Left!
Judge Blows the Whistle on Football P.C.
In Kountze, Texas, fans really have something to cheer about! After several months of back-and-forth, State District Judge Steven Thomas sided with a Houston-area high school and agreed that cheerleaders can paint Bible verses on their football signs. The initial complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that the messages were distinctly Christian, and thus, unconstitutional.
Thomas disagreed, ruling that it was well within these students' First Amendment rights to use religious-themed banners. Congratulations to our friends at Liberty Institute, who successfully beat back another attempt by FFRF to intimidate and harass a small town. Thanks to legal defense groups like Liberty, secularists may finally be getting the message that Christians aren't just putting up a fight--they're winning them!
Board Games: BSA Leaders Play Politics with Scouts
With just two weeks to go until the Boy Scouts' historic vote, news continues to trickle out from local councils across America. For now, parents and Scout families are trying to send off their delegates with a firm grasp on where their troops stand. The Middle Tennessee Council was the latest to announce its vote "no" position on the new membership policy, telling reporters Tuesday that its 37-county network would vote against approving the pro-homosexual resolution.
Undecided councils will have plenty to think about as groups like FRC and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) work down to the wire to educate America on what's at stake--which is namely, as World magazine's Warren Smith points out, the future of Scouting as we know it. Dr. Frank Page, the head of the SBC, left no doubts as to where the largest Protestant denomination in the country stands, as he called for troops to hold the current Board accountable. "The Boy Scout family did not demand a reexamination of the policies, only a select few did. Those few seem to have superimposed their own personal values on the entirety--values not embraced in the tradition of the organization or by the grassroots currently involved. Therefore, maybe a vote on the resolution is not the only vote that should be taken. A vote to change leadership seems appropriate also."
Speaking of leadership, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has shown plenty of it during the Scouting controversy. He joined us for "Stand for Scouts Sunday" to explain why he's so committed to keeping the current policy in place. If you missed it, check out the video below.
To Life! Patients First Act Filed
Pro-life stalwarts Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) have reintroduced the Patients First Act in the House of Representatives. The bill, HR 1740, promotes ethical stem cell research. It specifically directs the National Institutes of Health to prioritize funding of federal stem cell research efforts that do not harm human embryos, putting the patients first by giving top priority to projects with the greatest potential for near-term benefits in the clinic. Adult stem cells are the clear choice here, with over 60,000 people around the globe receiving such transplants each year, and all without destroying human life.
Much more could be done, however, to increase the possibilities of someone getting a transplant, and to expand beyond the dozens of different conditions already being treated with adult stem cells. Kansasrecently took the lead in this area, creating a first-of-its-kind adult stem cell therapy center. Reps. Forbes and Lipinski urge the federal government to catch up to the states and put patients first, by prioritizing life-saving, life-extending adult stem cells.
** How far back does the relationship between Mikey Weinstein and the U.S. Air Force go? Try 2009. To read more about the ties between this anti-Christian extremist and our military, check out Ken Kluskowski's latest Breitbart column here.
*** Speaking of the current threats to our troops, don't miss FRC's Bob Maginnis's newest piece in USA Today, "Military Can Learn from Sexual Assaults."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.