Family Research Council

April 24, 2013 - Wednesday

Voice Therapy Says a Mouthful about Priorities

Taxpayers may be losing their voice in Washington, but transgenders are sure finding theirs! America may not be able to beef up defense, but apparently, it has more than enough money to fund "voice therapy" for cross-dressers. Based on the latest grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the President's priorities are as confused as some people's gender identities.

While the Obama administration claims it's too poor to staff airports or White House tours, it continues to fund projects that should have never been considered in the first place! For the next two years, the NIH is directing valuable resources away from treating mental illness--to enabling it in the name of political correctness. The long term goal of this "voice therapy," researchers explain, "is to inform and provide new directions for transgender voice care, thereby improving the lives of transgendered people who feel their voice is a great obstacle to living as their preferred gender." As part of the $152,000 program, men and women will submit speech samples for 100 listeners who will guess the sex of the speaker. "Those male-to-female transgenders who pass as a female voice will be placed in a separate group and then compared to those who still sound like men," CNS News explains.

How is this remotely relevant to public health, you ask? Well, as far as NIH is concerned, the study will help end the "discrimination" transgenders face when "their voice does not match their preferred gender presentation." And that, researchers insist, "limits their ability to contribute to society and live healthy, safe lives." No one seems to recognize that transgenders, by their very definition, will have trouble leading "healthy, safe lives" because of the emotional and physical tolls of their "lifestyle." And no amount of taxpayer-funded speech lessons can change that.

While $152,000 may not seem like a significant amount, it's just another outrageous example of the administration's hypocrisy on sequestration cuts. While travelers wait an extra four hours for flights and our military squeaks by on a bare-bones budget, this President is writing checks for extreme voiceovers and Star Trek parodies. "All of this deserves to backfire," the Wall Street Journal argues. "For all of its rough edges, the sequester is proving to be educational. [It's] showing Americans how broken so much of government is, and it is revealing how our politicians refuse to distinguish between essential services and needless waste."

Black in the Saddle Again...

Of course, if the government weren't burning through money with wasteful programs, America probably wouldn't be in the financial mess it's in. By May 19, our government will be bumping against the debt ceiling again, and Congress will be in the very familiar position of trying to raise America's credit limit to afford these ridiculous projects. As maddening as it is that our leaders keep adding to America's $17 trillion debt, the May debate does open the door to a very important conversation over conscience rights.

For the last four months, conservatives have been biding their time on Rep. Diane Black's (R-Tenn.) bill to protect men and women from the President's contraception-abortion pill mandate. With time ticking down to the August 1st deadline when all religious nonprofits will have to comply--including schools, colleges, health providers, charities, and organizations like FRC--it's vitally important that Congress takes this opportunity to attach Rep. Black's bill to a must-pass piece of legislation like the debt ceiling.

No issue is more urgent than protecting our First Freedom, which is being directly attacked by the ObamaCare mandate. At a time when the nation is justifiably horrified by Kermit Gosnell and his killings of born-alive babies, imagine being forced to participate in that violence as a nurse at a federally-funded hospital. Or imagine losing your business because you can't afford the government fines for not offering abortion drugs as "health coverage."

House leaders need to seize the moment of the debt debate to right this wrong--and they'll be much more inclined if they hear from voters like you! When we've talked with members on the Hill, many have said that aren't taking a lot of calls from their constituents on this issue. The only way to change that is to pick up the phone (202-224-3121) and urge them to make conscience rights priority number one!

Obama Stops Gala-venting, Cancels Keynote

Apparently, FRC wasn't the only one who thought speaking at a Planned Parenthood gala was a terrible idea for the President. This afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama has backed out of delivering the keynote address (which was not, as we reported yesterday, the Maryland "Right to Shoes" event, but a different Planned Parenthood fundraiser). Instead, he'll speak Friday morning, Jay Carney explained, at a "more low-key" portion of the program.

Given yesterday's revelations, it's surprising the President is participating at all. In a stunning admission, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania, near where Kermit Gosnell was operating, confessed to knowing about the clinic's horrors and doing nothing. For years, women and children suffered at the hands of this monster only to find out that Planned Parenthood could have stopped it--and didn't. When her branch heard the nightmarish stories from other patients, CEO Dayle Steinberg couldn't be bothered to contact authorities and instead left it up to the victims. "We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health," she said.

Meanwhile, the Gosnell trial goes on. Yesterday, his defense team scored a major victory when the judge threw out three of the seven murder charges, claiming that there wasn't sufficient scientific evidence that any of those children had been born alive. The news came as a major disappointment to pro-lifers, who know from witnesses that there were potentially "hundreds" of newborn victims that Gosnell will never have to answer for in this life. And while Gosnell may not be held fully accountable, many states are ensuring that clinics will be--through stronger abortion regulations and protections for women.

Liable in Libya?

In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, Americans probably have a renewed interest in getting to the bottom of the Benghazi attack--and what shortcomings it might have exposed in the President's security policy. Yesterday, House officials released a damning progress report on the terrorism in Libya and what the administration really knew before and after the attack. Among other things, the report accuses the senior State Department officials of knowing the embassy was vulnerable, yet continuing to downgrade security when the threat levels were highest. Repeatedly, U.S. officials in Libya asked for more security and were denied.

Even if then-Secretary Hillary Clinton wanted to respond, the report suggests that the administration was ill-equipped to. "...[T]he assets were not authorized in an alert posture to launch offensive operations," officials say, which they believe is a failure of President Obama's to recognize the dangers of the region. After the attack, evidence also shows what many people already suspected: that the administration deliberately lied to the American people about the motivation behind it. The report also includes evidence that, contrary to her testimony, Secretary Clinton was involved. From blaming an anti-Muslim video to refusing to call it terrorism, the GOP says the cover-up was intentionally designed to insulate the White House from criticism--mere weeks before the election!

For now, the 46 pages of documentation are prompting more questions than answers. That's unfortunate in a country that is understandably questioning its security after last week's terror. At a time when Americans are looking for more reassurance, this report will give them anything but.

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

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