'Choice' Words for Infanticide

'Choice' Words for Infanticide

February 04, 2019

She sat in the dirty utility room, rocking him back and forth. He was tiny, barely 10 inches long when the doctors delivered him. His parents didn't want to hold him, she was told. So for 45 minutes -- the only 45 minutes he would have on earth -- Jill cradled him, watching his chest rise and fall. Surrounded by the hospital's stained sheets and trash, his body fell quiet, another victim of live-birth abortion. The last, she decided, she would ever witness.

He would be almost 20 now. And there probably isn't a day that Jill Stanek doesn't think about him and the thousands of helpless babies left to die just like him. No one talked much about "induced labor abortions" back then. But nurses like Jill knew -- they were most hospitals' dirty little secret. Finding living, breathing babies alone in a room of medical waste was almost routine. So much so that one of Jill's coworkers accidentally threw a live aborted baby in the garbage, not even realizing it was there in a heap of messy linens. A tiny infant, wrapped in a towel -- every bit as disposable as our laws have made each person.

These are the true stories of a country that's hardened its heart to the value of life. Two decades after Jill carried that tiny body to the morgue, we are on the verge of making his end the norm. In the aftermath of New York, we have become a nation of politicians who would resuscitate babies "if that's what the mother and the family desired." And that's not an America anyone should tolerate.

Unfortunately, this "they're-only-worth-saving-when-we-decide-they-are" mentality isn't new for Democrats. Let's not forget -- Americans sent a man to the White House who voted not once, but three times, against a bill that would've spared little survivors like Jill's. Then, there are other liberals who argue that stories like his don't even exist. "This bill is a solution in search of a problem," said Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.). "It's unnecessary and redundant," she argued last year when Republicans introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Turns out, there's nothing redundant about it. As Alexandra Desanctis points out in NRO, leaving babies alone to die is legal in almost half of the country. "As of 2016, only 26 states have laws creating a specific affirmative duty for physicians to provide medical care to infants born in botched abortions, and only six states even required that abortion providers report instances of infants born alive under such circumstances."

Other extremists, like Representative Jan Schakowski (D-Ill.), claim to agree with the sentiment behind the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, only to turn around and vote against it. "Of course, if a baby is born alive then everything must be done to protect that life," she argued. "No one disagrees with that." Last year, "no one" turned out to be 183 House Democrats. All but five refused to stop what's happening in abortion clinics and hospital utility rooms around the country.

"We're talking about killing a baby that's been born," an indignant Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) told his colleagues last week. "We're not talking about some euphemism -- we're not talking about a clump of cells. We're talking about a little baby girl who's been born and is on a table in a hospital or a medical facility and then a decision or a debate would be had about whether or not you could kill that little baby. We're talking about the most vulnerable among us and we have a public official in America out there again and again defending a practice. This is infanticide that we're talking about. This should be so far beyond any political consideration. We're talking about a little baby. A baby with dignity. An image bearer.

"Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say that killing a little baby is wrong," Sasse insisted. And tonight, he plans on giving them that opportunity. He's decided to fast-track his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act after what's happened in New York and Virginia and try to pass the bill by unanimous consent. "...I'm going to ask all 100 senators to come to the floor and be against infanticide... This doesn't take any political courage. And... if there's a member of this body that can't say that -- there may be lots of work you can do in the world, but you shouldn't be here."

In the end, the only way that Congress will get the message is if you send one. If you haven't called or emailed your senators about the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, don't wait. Let them know: there aren't just lives on the line -- but jobs too.

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

Figures of (Free) Speech

February 04, 2019

Politics can do a lot to solve the world's problems -- but it can't do everything. When it comes to history's great moral dilemmas, hearts had to be changed before laws were. And that shift almost always started in the same place: the church.

The most powerful voices speaking into the crises of slavery, segregation, genocide, or abortion have usually come from the pulpit. So it's no surprise that when Christians' political influence increased, so did the Left's attacks. For almost 65 years, one of the most powerful weapons in their toolshed has been a piece of seemingly irrelevant tax policy called the Johnson amendment.

Instead of leaving pastors alone to preach on the issues of the day, the IRS (especially under administrations like Barack Obama's) tried to scare churches away from topics like life or marriage by threatening their tax exemption. Long before Donald Trump became president, he made it clear that one of his biggest priorities was doing away with the Johnson amendment. Too many church leaders are shrinking back from their call to provide moral clarity because they're afraid of the government's punishment. That has to stop.

"We're going to get rid of the Johnson Amendment," Trump said as a candidate, "because they're stopping you [the pastors] and our great people from talking. And... these are the people we have to hear from -- and we want to hear from. They're stopping you from speaking, and yet your opposing views can speak, because they don't have to worry about tax exempt things. So I think it's very unfair. One of the things I will do very early in my administration is get rid of the Johnson Amendment so that our great pastors and ministers and rabbis and everybody can... participate in the political process."

For four years, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), and Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) have tried to put an end to the Left's culture of intimidation. "Every American should be able to speak freely about their conscience and convictions -- no matter what their job is... Critics who say this blurs the line between church and state misunderstand the principle. Thomas Jefferson's ‘separation' coinage doesn't mean that there is a wall of separation between the two; it just means that the state should not have control over the church, nor shall the church maintain control over the state."

This week, the same congressional trio (and new House cosponsor Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.) is back at it, reintroducing the Free Speech Fairness Act in hopes that the IRS will stop breathing down the necks of America's churches. Especially now, after the horror of New York's late-term abortion law, we need more pastors speaking out than ever. Where would America be without the church leaders from the Revolution or the wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr.? We can wait for Washington to transform the culture -- or we can free up the spiritual conscience of America to make the lasting change our country needs.

If you, like me, pick the latter, contact your senators and congressman and ask them to finish the job Republicans started -- and pass the Free Speech Fairness Act.

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

CCCU Deal Doesn't Fair Well

February 04, 2019

They had good intentions, some said. But when the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities decided to back a lopsided LGBT bill, a well-intended mistake -- others warned -- is still a mistake.

It's been a month and a half since CCCU threw its support behind the Fairness for All Act, a misguided piece of legislation that would capitulate to those who want to redefine human sexuality -- and sacrifice religious freedom to accomplish it. Most of the evangelical community was horrified. After all, no one that's fought the hard battle for truth in this culture would sacrifice their religious liberty for the promises of a movement that has no intentions of keeping them.

Yet that's what CCCU proposed, signaling that it would back special LGBT rights if the Left would agree to leave some of their institutions alone. "They're trying to find a way to encourage the federal government to adopt sexual orientation and gender identity protections that would not come at the violation of religious liberty," Al Mohler writes in a lengthy response. "Now that sounds like the perfect deal politically, if it were possible... [But] it is not possible." If there's one thing liberals don't understand, it's co-existence.

"Let's just remember what we learned as little children," Mohler went on. "If you compromise, you are giving something. Now what in the world would these Christian evangelical organizations give? They are giving to those who are demanding sexual orientation and gender identity legislation. They are giving them support -- at least some level of public support for the federal adoption of that kind of legislation. What do they think they're getting in return? They think that they are getting a recognition of the inviolable nature of religious liberty when it comes to some people, some entities, some organizations, particularly churches, Christian colleges and universities, closely held Christian ministries. But as for the rest, there is no particular agreed upon protection at all."

Now, seven weeks into the backlash, CCCU leaders are for the first time publicly acknowledging what a gamble their arrangement would be. In my view, it's now evident that there's a danger in negotiating with a movement that isn't operating in good faith. In a meeting with reporters last Friday, CCCU Vice Chair Shirley Mullen acknowledged, "There is a risk to Fairness for All. Then, what I would say is that there is also a huge risk to not being in this dialogue. It's not just the risk of losing legal protection for our freedom of beliefs. It is also, I would say, losing that capacity to have the Christian community viewed as people who are respectful and who want to treat [with respect] human beings who differ from them in fundamental ways."

Mullen did seem to push back against the idea that the organization had caved on marriage by supporting the idea. "CCCU is absolutely committed to the protection of the traditional view of marriage," she tried to explain. "In fact, that is like the No. 1 advocacy position." Unfortunately, it's tough for most people to square how a group could be pro-marriage, while supporting a proposal that would make it more difficult for Christians to express those beliefs. "Right now, the way our society is polarized, [religious liberty and LGBT rights] are not on a level playing field," she told the press. "The sense [in society now] is that one side has to win and one side has to lose."

Fairness for All is a nice name for what it really is: persecution for many. It ensures that one side wins all right -- and it's not Bible-believing Christians. The worst mistake anyone can make is to think that the only way to stop LGBT activists is to submit to them. And in the name of "compromise," that's what these Christian institutions are doing.

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

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

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