Family Research Council

November 07, 2013 - Thursday

No Pain Gets Gain

Politico's headline for today's pro-life pain debate is "Abortion Fight Returns to the Hill." But when did it ever leave? The two sides have been duking it out in for months as part of ObamaCare, budget funding, judicial nominees, even the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The problem isn't that abortion is back -- the problem is that it never left!

Today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is doing what he can to give the country some relief from this constant battle by introducing some common sense limits on a procedure that's taking advantage of millions of women and unborn lives. If Sen. Graham and his 33 cosponsors are successful, the federal government would follow several states' lead and start banning abortion after five months of pregnancy -- a move that could save more than 15,000 lives every year. One of the conservatives in favor of the bill is Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who, in a nod to the latest polling, said, "You gotta work pretty hard to find anything but a huge majority" supporting this legislation.

Like the House's version, which passed earlier this summer, Graham's bill is based on the overwhelming scientific evidence that, even in the womb, children can feel excruciating pain. Most experts agree that the latest possible point of that sensory development is 20 weeks -- though many believe that babies suffer from abortion much earlier that that. During her House testimony, Dr. Maureen Condic, a pediatric expert who is also an Associate Professor of Neurobiology, explained that even at eight weeks, children begin establishing the spinal circuitry for pain. By nine weeks, when the baby is barely an inch long, their sensory nerves have already reached the skin.

At five months, these tiny children are completely vulnerable to the pain of their own abortions. While liberals rant and rave about the "extremism" of bills like Graham's, they're actually putting themselves at odds with modern medicine. As several people pointed out in the House debate, there's a reason doctors provide anesthesia when they perform surgery on "wanted" babies at the same stage. Anything less is inhumane. But the Left is so fiercely protective of America's culture of killing and sex without "consequences" that it's unwilling, even for a second, to consider the torture abortion inflicts on defenseless children.

When the bill was introduced, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) tried to accuse Republicans of distracting America away from "more important matters." "In election after election," she fumed, "people have said, 'Focus on jobs.'" As far as most people are concerned, Republicans are focused on the most important job of all! Motherhood. Murray went on to say the GOP would embrace this bill "at their own peril" -- a pretty ironic statement considering the latest polling data. Once they hear the facts on fetal pain, 64% of people throw their support behind the 20-week abortion ban. And that includes 63% of women, who seem to have a great deal more compassion than senators like Patty Murray -- or even the President, who's already threatened to veto the bill. That isn't deterring pro-life groups, including FRC, whose Anna Higgins spoke at a Capitol press conference earlier this afternoon on behalf of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This, Anna reminded everyone, "is the human rights issue of our time." And "efforts to protect women and innocent children from late-term abortion are worthy of our support no matter how fierce the opposition." Use your voice. Contact your senators and urge them to sign on to Sen. Lindsey Graham's bill -- for life.

Coats Stand: Indiana Senator Blasts ENDA

It's not Thanksgiving yet, but Senators already have a lot on their plates. With time ticking down before a long holiday recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is cracking the whip on a chamber that's hardly known for its work ethic. Indulging homosexual activists seems to be at the top of the Left's to-do list as senators race to meet their outrageous demands on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

"There is no need to eat up the whole 30 hours of debate," Reid said. "It may impinge on the holidays." Forget the holidays. What about impinging on employers' rights? Apparently, workplace freedom takes a backseat to Democrats' turkey dinner. Sen. Reid is more concerned about imposing a twisted sexual views on every business, charity, and school across America.

And a handful of Republicans seem all too eager to help. This afternoon, 10 of them crossed -- not just the aisle -- but U.S. businesses by embracing a policy that would make a person's sexuality the first consideration (over experience or performance) in every hiring, firing, and promotion decision. If you have religious objections or practical reasons for not hiring cross-dressers, too bad. If this legislation passes the House, the government will force you to be politically correct, no matter what it costs you and your bottom line.

Before the vote, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) tried one last time to impress on his colleagues the danger this poses to Americans in all walks off life. "The legislation before us raises very serious concerns regarding religious freedom," he warned. "...[T] he religious beliefs of faith-based child-care providers and small business owners would be disregarded under this legislation... Do we want to support policies that discriminate against an employer's religious beliefs and require employers to hire individuals who contradict their very most deeply held religious beliefs?"

He went on to say, "This bill will [open] the door to the silenc[ing] of employees to express their deeply held beliefs. This possibility runs counter to everything America stands for in the realm of free speech. Now I know there have been some efforts, including amendments offered by my colleagues, Senator Toomey from Pennsylvania and Senator Portman from Ohio, to clarify the existing religious protections in this bill. Some members believe that these amendments go too far. I frankly believe they don't go far enough..."

And neither will the American people, if the House takes up this outrageous attempt at forced conformity. Urge your congressman to stand up to the Senate's real agenda on ENDA -- gagging Christians and controlling businesses.

Military Freedom Sunday!

What better way to celebrate Veterans Day than going to the mat for our service members' rights? With our military in a politically correct pressure cooker, it's becoming more important for Americans to enlist in the fight for religious liberty. This Sunday, FRC is encouraging churches across America to celebrate Military Freedom Sunday by honoring and praying for our troops, who are risking all to defend our rights. More and more service members are facing harassment, demotion, and formal reprimands simply for being Bible-believing Christians. They've been silenced from sharing their faith, forbidden from praying publicly, and dismissed from duty for refusing to approve of same-sex "marriage."

Defending America's freedom shouldn't mean surrendering theirs. Ask your church to join the movement to protect our troops' rights. Download FRC's free resources, including special reports on the threat and bulletin. With the Senate set to consider the Defense Authorization bill, it's more important than ever for your congregations to contact Congress and encourage your leaders to support the amendments that protect conscience rights in the military. To show you what's at stake, click on FRC's powerful new video below, featuring the real-life stories of persecution in the military. Our hope is that you too are inspired to voice your concern of this very clear and present danger.


** Who could possibly be anti-mom? Try the President's radical nominee to the second most powerful court in America: Cornelia Pillard. FRC's Anna Higgins breaks down Pillard's record -- and her chances -- in a new column for The Hill, " Cornelia Pillard Is Unfit for the DC Circuit Court ."


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

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