Crime and Punishment
The IRS waged a secret war against conservatives, the White House covered up an attack on a consulate, and the Left wants to crack down on our "dishonesty?" Considering the administration's vulnerability, now is hardly the time for liberals to wage a truth campaign. But then, common sense has never been a hallmark of the abortion lobby. Desperate to shift the attention away from the horrors of Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen, elected officials like Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) are leading a witch hunt against pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) to take the focus off America's real problem: unregulated and unethical abortion clinics. It's a defense mechanism--pure and simple.
While the rest of the country looks with shock on the inhumanity of born-alive abortion, Democrats in Congress are trying to crack down on a movement helping women to meet basic needs and make a safe and informed decision: pregnancy care centers. Rep. Maloney insists that their offices are the real threat and has introduced a piece of legislation that would punish PRCs that imply they perform or refer for abortion. She calls it, ironically, the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act (H.R. 2030)--which, if you didn't know any better, would seem to address the conspiracy of abortion clinics that hide the truth about unborn children, abortion, and its lifelong effects.
Instead, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and other liberals are so intent on discrediting the centers that they're exposing their own hypocrisy. If anyone's in favor of full disclosure, it's the pro-life movement! Unlike the 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! If Congress is going to scrutinize anyone, shouldn't it be the groups actually profiting from their agenda?
In the meantime, Rep. Maloney has far bigger things to worry about than PRCs. After all, the worst thing that can happen in a pregnancy resource center is that a woman decides to keep her baby (unlike an abortion clinic, where that child could end up in a freezer while her mom dies in the waiting room). While liberals complain about caring and persuasive pro-lifers, the real violence is going on right under their noses. It's happening in places like Delaware, where the local Planned Parenthood is so focused on turning a profit that it can't be bothered to clean its equipment; or at a clinic in downtown D.C., where the doctor promises to kill babies born-alive. "No one," said Sen. Menendez, "should ever be subjected to misleading information when they're seeking medical care."
We agree. So who will amend this bill to ensure that abortion groups explain what actually goes on inside their walls? Why aren't its clinics required to admit, "We'll encourage your underage daughters to have an abortion without your knowledge or consent"? Or, "Our employees willingly cover-up sexual abuse, defraud taxpayers, and never perform in-house mammograms?" If anyone needs truth in advertising, it's the industry telling mothers their baby is just "a blob of tissue" or that late-term abortions are only performed in "life-threatening emergencies." If Rep. Maloney and pals want to bring some accountability to the process, then it's time to look in the mirror--not at pro-lifers.
Military Deploys New Team to Fight Assault
President Obama is finally admitting that sexual assault is a serious problem in the military--but what he hasn't conceded is that his policy on homosexuality helped create it. According to a new Pentagon survey, most of the victims were not female (12,000 incidents), but male (14,000)--highlighting a growing trend of same-sex assault in our ranks. Although the Defense Department says it "recognizes the challenges male survivors face," one of the biggest problems is their silence in reporting it. The Washington Times, one of the first to highlight the discrepancy, explains that the Pentagon's attention is largely focused on the females experiencing abuse "overlooking the far greater numbers of men, who, according to the survey, are being victimized but not reporting it."
How could this happen? Well, for starters, the Obama administration ordered military leaders to embrace homosexuality--completely dismissing the concerns that it could be a problem to have people attracted to the same sex, living in close quarters. What's more, explains Marine Capt. Lindsay Rodman, the statistics aren't reliable and may be hiding thousands more cases of service-based abuse. "The truth is," she writes in the Wall Street Journal, "that the 26,000 figure [of victims] is such bad math--derived from an unscientific sample set and extrapolated military-wide--that no conclusions can be drawn from it." Except one, perhaps, which is that groups like FRC were right to be concerned about the overturning of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
ADF: Prayers Heard on High!
Ever since Justice Samuel Alito took Sandra Day O'Connor's place on the Supreme Court, FRC's Ken Klukowski writes, people have wondered if the Court would be friendlier to people of faith. Thanks to a legislative prayer case, they're about to find out. Yesterday, the Justices agreed to hear Town of Greece v. Galloway, which many experts believe could become the most significant religious liberty case in a half century. For years, the town of Greece had opened its meetings with prayer--allowing any citizen of any religion (or lack thereof) to offer the blessing if they wished.
Predictably, a group of secular extremists filed suit, saying that these public prayers somehow violated the Constitution's Establishment Clause. FRC had urged the Court to take the case in an amicus brief on behalf of 49 members of Congress (which you can read here). In it, Ken compared the prayer before thisNew York council to the legislative prayers before the House of Representatives, a tradition that still exists to this day. "The Court looked approvingly to legislative prayer dating to the Founding, in the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, and First Congress that drafted the Establishment Clause... If the [lower court's] rule were correct, then Congress would have been violating the Constitution for more than two centuries."
Given the long tradition of legislative prayer in America, there's plenty of reason to be optimistic about the case. If our friends at ADF prevail, there's a strong possibility that the Court will not only affirm public prayer but significantly strengthen the religious freedom rights of all Americans. In the meantime, I encourage you to pray--publicly!--that the Supreme Court sides with America's First Freedom!
More Pleas for Moore Healing
Speaking of prayers, the nation is offering countless ones on behalf of Moore, Oklahoma, where a two-mile wide tornado carved through the town, bringing destruction to everything--and everyone--in its path. While rescue workers dig through the wreckage, our hearts go out to the grieving families and other parents waiting for news on their missing children and loved ones. The storm, which leveled a hospital, two schools, and hundreds of houses, went on a 20-mile tear through the state, killing dozens and leaving many more injured. We send our deepest prayers and sympathies to the community of Moore, and ask God's hand of peace and healing to comfort the community. "Oklahoma people are very strong, and they will make it through this," Governor Mary Fallin reassured everyone, "but we're going to need a lot of prayer and a lot of support to get back on our feet."
If you'd like to help with the recovery efforts, click over to our friends at Samaritan's Purse and the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, who are already on the ground in Oklahoma ministering to victims' needs. Both organizations are asking for donations and volunteers to help the local response teams.
** If you missed it, check out the special webcast edition of today's "Washington Watch" with co-host Lila Rose. Together with Congressmen Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), we explored the underground world of late-term abortions in America. To learn more about this crisis and what you can do to turn the tide, check out the video.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.