June 05, 2018
By Travis Weber, FRC's Director for the Center of Religious Liberty
Of the two rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, Azar v. Garza didn't garner nearly as many headlines as Jack Phillips's Masterpiece Cakes. But that's doesn't mean it wasn't significant. At the heart of this case is a dispute between the Trump administration and the ACLU, which is suing HHS because the president's team wants to protect protect unborn lives and their vulnerable mothers crossing the U.S. border.
As underage immigrants present themselves at the U.S. border and attempt to enter the country illegally, they are taken into the custody of HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which will temporarily look after them until they either ask to return to their home countries or are released into the custody of an adult in the United States. While in its custody, ORR will care properly for them, promoting life (unborn and otherwise) as a government policy, and keep its distance from being forced to facilitate any abortions these girls (or more likely, the activists -- ACLU or otherwise -- latching on to their plight) want to obtain.
The ACLU, which has sued the government on behalf of multiple minor girls in this vulnerable situation who supposedly want to obtain abortions, claims it knows best for them. The ACLU has pursued the completion of these abortions with a bizarre (almost spiritual) energy.
At the height of its zeal, ACLU attorneys led Department of Justice attorneys (representing HHS) to believe that one of the girls wouldn't obtain an abortion yet, and on this representation the DOJ waited to file its response in court. Yet the ACLU then helped the girl obtain the abortion before the DOJ filed, in effect mooting the issue. In response to this duplicity, the DOJ asked the Supreme Court to reverse the order of relief the ACLU had received from the lower court, in addition to sanctions on its attorneys for unethical behavior. Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted the former but not the latter. Yet this is a big win for these young girls and their unborn babies, and a check on the almost insane pro-abortion advocacy we see from some of these groups.
At one point, when ORR explored whether attempted abortions should be halted and reversed for girls in its custody, the ACLU vigorously objected, claiming "The Trump administration's cruel and unconstitutional treatment of young immigrant women knows no bounds. The administration forced a minor to go to an emergency room for an ultrasound in the middle of a medication abortion, and contemplated trying to 'reverse' the abortion through an unproven method, against the young woman's will."
The ACLU and its anti-life cronies are the ones who lack "bounds" here. All ORR is trying to avoid is being forced to help end the lives of unborn immigrant children. Who could be more vulnerable, more unprotected, and more in need of a true caretaker than such babies? Yet the pro-abortion lobby, with clear, vested interests in perpetrating the so-called legality of the entire unjust abortion regime, names as "cruel" any actions to protect the unborn baby in a vulnerable, immigrant mother's womb. In light of this, we may understand why some would at times feel as if all the forces of darkness are intent at taking as many baby lives as they can.
While incredibly distressing and seemingly hopeless, we must remember that there will be a final judgment. Jesus is coming back to judge, and his judgment is complete and righteous. All will have to give account for their actions, including those at the ACLU and elsewhere who perpetrate this type of violence against helpless babies.
We shouldn't be vindictive in this, but rather tremble ourselves. Without the mercy of God in the sacrifice of his son Jesus for our sins, we will all fall under judgment. Because we have all offended God in some way, we all tremble before him. Thank God he has sent Jesus to receive the judgment for our sins if we turn away from sin and turn toward Jesus.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.