There's Snow Excuse for Planned Parenthood
Location, location, location. It's not just the mantra of real estate agents but of the pro-abortion movement. As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, where you're born ought to determine if you live. In a sickening testimony before the Florida legislature, a representative of Cecile Richards's group actually argued that a baby born alive on an abortion clinic table doesn't have the same rights as a baby born in a delivery room. Medical care is only for wanted children, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow argued to leaders. Helping a newborn who's survived a botched abortion "inserts politics where it doesn't belong," Snow insisted, before suggesting that infanticide is part of "a woman's ability to make her own personal medical decisions." (See the video for yourself, starting at the 39-minute mark, here.)
Snow's jaw-dropping statements were part of a Florida House debate over a state Infants Born Alive Act, which was introduced by a doctor specializing in emergency medicine. Snow, who is a lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, stunned state leaders when she argued for a right to "post-birth abortion."
"So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I'm almost in disbelief," said Rep. Jim Boyd. "If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child who is struggling for life?" Without even blinking, Snow replied, "We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician." "What happens," Boyd fired back, "in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?" "I do not have that information," Snow said. "I am not a physician. I am not an abortion provider."
When Rep. Jose Oliva asked her to restate Planned Parenthood's position, Snow repeated, "The decision should be between the patient and the health care provider." "I think at that point," Oliva pushed, "the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn't you agree?" Snow did not. Instead, she mumbled, "Uh, that's a very good question. I really don't know how to answer that."
State Rep. Mike Clelland, a Democrat, was astonished. "I've been pro-choice my whole life, and I can't think of a more sensible bill in this regard." "Does Planned Parenthood have an objection," he asked, "to a doctor being obligated to provide advanced life support in an abortion clinic setting to a child born alive? I mean, I guess you do or you wouldn't be here, right?"
Rep. Ross Spano, who said Planned Parenthood's policy "makes me sick to my stomach, frankly," just shook his head. "...[I]f we can't take a stand to protect the most vulnerable, God forbid who we are and where we're headed." Where we're headed, warns bioethicist Wesley Smith, is a world where "If a baby born during a botched abortion can be killed, why not also an unwanted baby...?"
Meanwhile, if you're wondering who could possibly oppose something like born-alive protections, try our current President. In the greatest of ironies, the man known for the largest expansion of health care fought to deny it from tiny children as a member of the Illinois state senate. Barack Obama (who once referred to babies as "punishment") voted three times against a similar bill to save children who survived abortions.
Unfortunately, this "they're only alive when we say they are" philosophy is not new for Planned Parenthood--and they're well compensated by taxpayers for their radicalism. According to Planned Parenthood's most recent IRS report, its President Cecile Richards rakes in a taxpayer-subsidized salary of over a half-million dollars per year. Keep that in mind the next time you hear Planned Parenthood advocating against parental involvement laws, opposing statutory rape reporting, begging for more government funding, or testifying that a baby born alive is still a "choice" women deserve to make.
Going to the Matt for Marriage: Rep. Salmon and Others Tall
New Yorkers can thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for their reigning title as the most oppressive state in America. As part of George Mason University's new "freedom index," New Yorkers have the least liberty of anyone, coming in 50th of all states in personal freedom. To arrive at its rankings, GMU's Mercatus Center used a libertarian definition of freedom (including support for same-sex "marriage" and medical marijuana) to assess states. But even using this fiscally conservative and socially irresponsible measure, states that have the most pro-family policies (like marriage amendments) are actually freer than those that have redefined marriage.
In this latest report, the freest state is North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma. Investors Business Daily analyzed the results and found that the more restrictive states are also losing people--as more Americans migrate to "red states" (which are +2.2% in population to "blue states" -.3%). As FRC has argued for years, the stronger our families, the less need there is for big intrusive government. Interestingly enough, Forbes helped validate that theory earlier this year when it released its "Best States for Business" report. Every state in the top 10 has protected natural marriage from redefinition except one (Iowa)--and its court ordered it. If you want to improve the local economy and preserve freedom, protect marriage.
Congressmen Tim Huelskamp (R-Kans.) obviously understands that. He wrote an excellent column in the Washington Times, "The War on Marriage and Motherhood," defending our timeless unions from "the high priests and priestesses of political correctness." In reference to the President's flip-flopping on marriage, Rep. Huelskamp writes, "Sen. Obama was right; President Obama is wrong. There is overwhelming social science evidence to corroborate the benefits of raising children in homes with both a mom and a dad. Who among us does not know there are differing parenting styles between men and women and children deserve both?"
Courage is breeding courage, as more conservatives speak out on behalf of natural marriage. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) also issued a statement making it clear that "Regardless of any ruling, referendum, or law, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Washingtoncannot redefine marriage any more than it can govern gravity."
Even Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), whose son identifies as a homosexual, proved that you can have unconditional love for your child and still hold fast to sound public policy. "I don't support gay marriage," he told a local TV station. "I'm just not there as far as believing in my heart that we should change 2,000 years of social policy in favor of a redefinition of the family," Salmon said. "I'm not there." For other members of Congress speaking out for marriage, check out: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Getting a Piece of the Peace Garden State
Thanks to some fearless state leaders,North Dakota has a lot more to celebrate than topping the "freedom" index. After a series of significant pro-life victories, the Peace Garden State is at the center of the nationwide conversation about abortion. Last week, Gov. Jack Dalrymple helped to make North Dakota the safest state in the country for babies by signing into law three pro-life bills on which FRC's experts testified.
As the attention comes North Dakota's way, so does the criticism, as more liberals complain that the state is too busy pushing its social agenda to finish other business. Based on the latest rankings from Forbes and GMU, North Dakota is more than capable of protecting its values and making the state a model of fiscal responsibility (thanks in large part to the great work of the North Dakota Family Alliance).
Of course, the irony of the Left's complaint is that no one has said the same about President Obama, whose radical social agenda has been the White House's sole focus for five years--even as America's economy and employment rates plummet. Unlike North Dakota, which happens to be the most prosperous state per capita, President Obama hasn't even produced his overdue budget--despite the law requiring him to! Yet no one in the media is bemoaning the fact that this administration is too busy lobbying for same-sex "marriage" and Planned Parenthood to pull together a plan to close the gap on the nation's $17 trillion debt. Apparently, the objections only go one way!
** The analysis of last week's historic Supreme Court arguments continued this weekend, as Ken Klukowski dissected the Defense of Marriage hearing in Breitbart, "DOMA's Fate in Kennedy's Hands." Also, Dr. Ben Carson, the rising conservative star, took a strong stance on marriage--and his friend, FRC's Ken Blackwell, had an opportunity to defend those statements Saturday on MSNBC. Click here to watch.
*** Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to join Fox's "The Tom Sullivan Show" to talk about the Supreme Court cases on marriage. If you missed the interview, click on the video below.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.