Family Research Council

May 14, 2013 - Tuesday

For Gosnell, a Declarative Sentence

Over the last two months, Kermit Gosnell did something that he hadn't managed in almost 40 years of practicing abortion: he brought something to life. It took eight weeks of harrowing testimony, but the debate over the inhumanity of abortion is reborn in America--the product of an excruciating trial that turned even the most hardened of abortion supporters into skeptics.

Yesterday, on the tenth day of deliberation, even a pro-choice jury couldn't look past a morally-calloused man who built an empire on the snipped necks of tiny newborns. After hours of exhausting discussion, seven women and five men found Gosnell guilty of three charges of first-degree murder. While he looked on almost expressionless, Gosnell was also found guilty of the manslaughter of Karnamaya Mongar, who died of a drug overdose in a filthy back room while emergency teams tried to cut through the clinic's barricaded door.

Of the 258 other charges leveled at him, Gosnell was convicted of racketeering and several counts of ignoring the 24-hour waiting period for abortions, violating Pennsylvania's informed consent law, and performing illegal abortions past the 24-week limit. After the conviction was read, Planned Parenthood--the same Planned Parenthood that lobbies for Gosnell-type violence against abortion survivors--cheered.

The irony wasn't lost on World magazine's Andree Seu Peterson, who pointed out, "They decry 'back alley' abortion while failing to note that Gosnell was not back alley. His was a legitimate, if poorly inspected, abortion facility. There are hundreds of others just like the Women's Medical Society. If Gosnell's actions were 'atrocities' as NARAL calls them, the abortions they themselves champion are not less atrocities for being conducted with a few legal technicalities." Imagine the difficult task the jury was given, "to turn a thumbs up or down over a man who, if he had sliced the same necks just inches away in the womb of their mothers, would have gotten a paycheck rather than a conviction..." This afternoon, Gosnell gave up his right to appeal and received two life sentences without parole.

For reporters who trekked to the courtroom day in and day out, they experienced a different kind of conviction. "You can't sit there day after day and week after week and listen to that testimony and not be changed, and not have a change of heart, or at least reconsider your position." J.D. Mullane says he talked to a liberal, pro-choice reporter who was so impacted by the horrors at the Philadelphia clinic that he became pro-life. "Gosnell pulls the curtain back from the inherent violence of abortion," Mullane told Mike Huckabee. "You can't sit in that courtroom and learn about what abortion does to the unborn child and to the woman in many cases."

In the states, the legislators who don't need a change of heart are certainly having a change of priorities. Almost 700 measures to protect women and tighten abortion laws have been proposed the first quarter of the year alone. Congress is the latest to step forward, as Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) tries to block the government from paying for abortion as part of any federal program. Most Americans are in favor of walling off taxpayer dollars from pro-abortion programs. Right now, that wall is called the Hyde Amendment--but unfortunately, it has to be reauthorized every year to stay in effect and covers too few of the main funding streams to abortionists The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would make a government-wide Hyde Amendment a permanent part of U.S. law.

Help us send the message that it's time for taxpayers to get out of the abortion business that protects monsters like Kermit Gosnell. Take a couple of minutes and contact your congressman. Ask him or her to protect America's women and children--and our dollars--by supporting H.R. 7.

In Good We Trust?

The Boy Scouts may not realize it yet, but they're voting on a lot more than just dropping the prohibition against open homosexuality next Thursday. When the National Council meets in Texas on May 23, homosexuality is just a preview of the broader strategy to redefine the Scouts. In USA Today, the drumbeat has already started to topple the BSA's religious foundation too. Tom Krattenmaker, a member of the paper's contributing board, confirms what FRC has said all along: opening their tents to homosexuality means chasing God out.

His column, "Good Boy Scouts Don't Need God," exposes the Left's agenda of uprooting traditional morality altogether. "Undergirding the Boy Scouts' ban [on the non-religious] is the dubious premise that people cannot be moral without religious beliefs... Margaret Downey, president of Freethought Society, is leveraging the new focus on Boy Scout inclusion policies to prompt a fresh look at its ban on atheists. 'There is no question that people can be good without a god belief,' Downey says. The Boy Scouts offer a great program, she adds, 'yet their bigoted membership policies are harmful.'"

Make no mistake. This isn't a war of "inclusion;" this is a struggle for the very soul of our nation--and the BSA is just the latest target. The Scouts have stood firm for God and country for over 100 years--now it's time for us to stand with them!

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An Eruption of Corruption

Most Americans never liked the IRS all that much--and now, they have plenty of reason to be suspicious of it too. After admitting that it intentionally harassed conservative groups, the agency is at the center of a nationwide firestorm that involves everyone from the President to mid-level IRS officials. The Washington Post reported last night that acting IRS chief, Steven Miller, knew for over a year that conservative groups were being inappropriately singled out for scrutiny--yet did nothing to stop it.

Today, Congress is moving on multiple tracks to respond to the outrageous revelations, including legislative action. Almost immediately, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) cleared the Committee schedule to plan a hearing this Friday, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is set to introduce a bill that would fire and hold criminally liable any IRS employee who violated taxpayers' rights. According to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Obama administration "finally messed with an agency everybody fully understands... This is just one example of an administration-wide effort to silence critics."

In some instances, the attack on conservative groups began as far back as 2010. Of the victims, a similar thread continues to emerge. These were organizations that educated Americans on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and limited government--a job that, until recently, belonged to our schools. And while President Obama insists that he has "no patience" for this kind of corruption, his record on Benghazi and Solyndra would certainly suggest otherwise.

** Secretary Kathleen Sebelius must be reading the Christian Post, because HHS seems to be heeding FRC's Anna Higgins and appealing the court's recent Plan B decision. Read why that was the right decision in Anna's new column, "HHS Should Appeal Plan B Decision."

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

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