Standing Strong to Right What's Wrong
After a night of brutal cold, the sun rose over Washington today, lighting up the national mall and the crowds of people who braved the snow to promote life. Even the frigid temperatures couldn't keep pro-lifers away, as hundreds of thousands spilled out into roads that could barely contain them for the 41st annual March for Life. "Unless Roe v. Wade is cancelled due to weather," one leader tweeted, "the March for Life won't be either."
In the four decades since Roe v. Wade, the March has led millions up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court -- where the decision of seven unelected judges has led to the largest loss of life in all of U.S. history. It's the kind of loss that can take the form of grisly abortion clinics in Philadelphia or multi-trillion dollar legislation in Washington, D.C. It's the loss that can exploit women and destroy families. Or it's the kind of loss that can raise up a generation to say "enough!"
As somber as the event was, you couldn't help but be encouraged to look across the vast crowd and recognize that our movement is thriving through thousands of young people. Although the teenagers at today's march weren't even born when Roe v. Wade was handed down, they are all witnesses to it. And they reaffirmed with each step that every person, no matter how small, is endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights. In the end, though, we're all pro-life because we can be. Fifty-six million children will never have that luxury. And until they do, we'll keep standing and fighting.
This month, that fight takes the form of H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. During the March for Life rally, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that his chamber would be pushing for a vote as early as next week. For this bill, which the House passed three years ago, the stakes have never been higher. Unfortunately, the health care law has only entangled taxpayers deeper in the web of abortion. With ObamaCare barreling down the track, FRC and our pro-life allies are racing to build a wall between taxpayers and the bloody business of abortion. From the government's abortion surcharge to the abortion-heavy D.C. plans (which FRC's own Anna Higgins exposed), Americans are more implicated than ever in the procedure that a majority oppose.
Liberals insist the country doesn't need H.R. 7 because it has the Hyde Amendment (which prevents taxpayer-funding of abortion in federal appropriations bills). But unlike H.R. 7, the Hyde Amendment has to be reauthorized every year to stay in effect. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would save Congress from that annual fight and political "horse-trading" that takes place just to keep taxpayers mostly out of the abortion business. H.R. 7 will create a permanent, government-wide ban on abortion funding -- not just for appropriations bills, but health care bills, overseas aid, and anything else that Congress subsidizes. And, as the National Right to Life report points out, that doesn't just save money -- it saves lives! They estimate that since 1976, the Hyde Amendment alone has saved well over one million unborn children. Just imagine the impact of an across-the-board ban: an entire generation, spared.
In the meantime, the pro-life movement continues to change and adapt its message to reach more people with the truth about the unborn. From mom-bloggers to public figures (and everyone in between), the internet has transformed the way we lift our voices for the cause of life. Today at ProLifeCon -- FRC's conference for online pro-life activists -- an all-star lineup of speakers showed us how to better engage in the battle for the unborn via our 21st-century tools. If you missed it, you can now watch the entire program on-demand for free. Click below to see speakers like Bethany Goodman, Jill Stanek, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.), Reince Priebus, Ryan Bomberger, and more.
Obama Takes Sexual Assault to Task
While the pro-life movement protested the violence against the unborn and women, President Obama focused on a different kind of assault. Turning a blind eye to the marchers outside, the White House tried to change the subject from abortion to college sexual assault. Insisting that the country doesn't pay enough attention to the problem, the President signed a special memorandum today, creating a task force to combat an epidemic that his own views have helped create! In the report from his White House Council on Women and Girls, the administration insists that the incidence of rape "is highest at college, fueled by drinking and drug use that can incapacitate victims."
But instead of putting the blame for this very real crisis where it belongs, the White House points the finger at "police bias" and a "lack of training to investigate and prosecute sex crimes." With all due respect, the people who need training are the leaders who head up this council. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand what's really driving the sexual abuse on college campuses. (And it isn't the failure local law enforcement).
Abuse is never okay. But America's kids are growing up in an oversexualized culture, fed in part by Hollywood -- but also by the radical Left. In the debate over contraception, it wasn't the police department that embraced the hook-up culture and crusaded for free birth control. It wasn't the police department that urged more than 50 universities to open their campuses to co-ed dorm rooms. It wasn't the police who blamed sexual assault on drinking and drug use -- and then proceeded to encourage ObamaCare Happy Hours and even endorse the decriminalization of marijuana. "I smoked pot as a kid," the President told reporters last weekend, "and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."
Then, to top it all off, the President appoints his three most controversial Cabinet members to head up the new anti-assault initiative: Attorney General Eric Holder (Mr. Lawlessness himself), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (whose military has its own sexual abuse problems), and Education Secretary Arne Duncan -- whose solution to sexual abuse is more sexual indoctrination.
You just can't make this stuff up! If it weren't so misguided, it might be funny. But unfortunately, this is the mentality of the Left. Its policies seed the ground for these crises, and when the problems become too serious to ignore, liberals refuse to engage in the kind of self-reflection necessary to find answers. If President Obama is committed to solving these issues -- not just as America's leader, but as a dad -- then it's time to take a stand against the sexual liberalism his party has championed.
** The pro-life movement has come a long way since the first March for Life. See how in Rob Schwarzwalder's new column for Religion Today, "Treating the Unborn in an Era of Abortion."
*** If you missed today's ProLifeCon at FRC headquarters, you can watch it on-demand! Click below for the link.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.