Americans Cheer the Lifelines in SOTU

Americans Cheer the Lifelines in SOTU

February 06, 2019

The liberal media doesn't get much right these days -- including, it turns out, their review of last night's State of the Union. It was "cookies and dog poop" to CNN's Van Jones. "Psychotically incoherent." MSNBC beat everyone to the punch, calling it "absurdist theater" before the president even opened his mouth. But, as usual, nothing the Fake News critics said actually reflected the opinion of most Americans -- who, President Trump will be pleased to know, were overwhelmingly supportive of what he had to say.

Pollster Frank Luntz explained just how successful the speech was when he broke down the responses by party. Ninety-seven percent of Republicans gave the president rave reviews, followed by Independents, who were surprisingly complimentary at 80 percent. Even a respectable number of Democrats -- 30 percent -- approved of the president's remarks.

Of course, a lot of that consensus shows just how far outside the mainstream Democratic leaders seem to be on issues like life and immigration -- two themes the president hit hard Tuesday night. Some people wondered if President Trump would even bring up the abortion controversies in New York and Virginia since it wasn't included in any of the White House's messaging previews. When he did fire back, some of the media seemed caught off guard by just how personally President Trump takes the issue. But to anyone who saw it, his passionate rebuke of late-term abortion will probably go down as the most powerful defense of human life in State of the Union history.

"There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth."

"To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children -- born and unborn -- are made in the holy image of God."

Like a lot of reporters, NBC's Brian Williams seemed taken aback by the vivid realities of a procedure that's taken 54 million innocent lives. It was "graphic language on abortion," he said somewhat startled, "a first for a national speech in my time." And hopefully, not the last. Too many people want to talk about abortion in euphemisms and broad strokes -- instead of what it really is: a gruesome and barbaric form of killing children. Liberals don't mind saying that abortion is health care, so long as no one knows what that "health care" entails. Thanks to President Trump, maybe more Americans will look on the practice with the horror and disgust it deserves.

In a country where even "pro-choice" voters want to ban abortion after the first trimester, last night proved just how alone Democrats are in their sickening push -- not just to protect abortion, but expand it to full-blown infanticide. In fact, there was no starker contrast during the speech than the men and women of the Republican party, jumping to their feet to applaud the president's pro-life call -- and the stony faces of every Democrat but two, sitting on their hands in silent admission that there is no longer any common ground on the dignity of the human person.

Like a lot of abortion extremists, Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen was beside herself with the suggestion that we should limit abortion at all. "I just came back from President Trump's State of the Union," she fumed, "and I am extremely angry. As a doctor, I know that what he is trying to do is cut access to health care for women by using lies. Abortion is a safe, legal, medical procedure that one in four women will have in our lifetimes. It is part of the full spectrum of reproductive health care, which is health care." Interestingly enough, women -- the same ones Planned Parenthood claims to represent -- couldn't disagree more. By margins so wide the Washington Post noticed, they side with President Trump: it's time to end abortions for babies who feel pain.

And the House and Senate GOP are doing everything in their power to make that happen. Just this morning, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) announced that he and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) are echoing the Senate's bill with their own Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. "The Democrats' silence is shameful. They must go on record against infanticide. Americans deserve to know where their reps stand on this issue. I started the process to force [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi to bring a bill to the floor to protect babies born-alive during abortion."

When they do, Americans are grateful to know -- they have this president's support. Because Donald Trump hasn't been just the most passionate president in talking about the humanity of the unborn, he's been the most persistent in protecting them. Choosing greatness, he knows, is impossible without choosing life.

For more on the State of the Union reaction, check out our Facebook Live from the National Mall. Also, don't miss this video on the Democrat-Republican divide on late-term abortion.

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

For Pastor Brunson, a Week to Remember

February 06, 2019

Steps from where the president delivered his State of the Union address last night, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom hosted a reception this morning on Capitol Hill in honor of Pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine. It was an opportunity for many of the U.S. senators, representatives, and their staffs -- on both sides of the aisle -- who had worked toward Andrew's release to hear directly from the Brunsons and share in the joy that they are home.

I shared about my experience of accompanying them home from Turkey last October, and -- in their hallmark humility -- Andrew and Norine expressed their desire to see other American citizens freed, who remain unjustly held by the Turkish government. In my remarks, I pointed to the power and remarkable good that can come through a genuine bipartisan effort. We can all agree that religious freedom -- the freedom to believe, or not believe --is not only an American right, but also a universal human right.

While I was on the Hill, I had the privilege of sharing a devotion and opening prayer at the Republican Study Committee, chaired by my fellow Louisianan, Congressman Mike Johnson (R-La.). With the president's challenge in his State of the Union Address to choose greatness as the backdrop, I read Jesus's parable in Matthew 13 about the wheat and the tares. No question challenges we face as a nation have multiplied; evil seems to lurk on every side. But, in the midst of this, we have unparalleled opportunities. Evil is lurking, but good is on the march! Bottom line, Jesus encouraged His disciples to be aware of the evil, but to focus on advancing the good.

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

At SCOTUS, State Talk on Abortion

February 06, 2019

If anything good has come of New York celebrating late-term abortion like a ticker-tape parade, it's the number of states now moving to stop that extremism from coming to their hometowns. In places like Iowa, Delaware, Missouri, and New Jersey, legislators aren't taking the debate lying down. And in the case of Alabama's dismemberment abortion ban, that enthusiasm couldn't come at a better time.

Like a lot of states, Alabama went to the mat to stop one of the worst forms of second-trimester abortion: "dilation and evacuation," more commonly referred to as "dismemberment." After hard work by pro-lifers, a ban on the procedure went into effect in 2016 -- but only temporarily. Abortion activists, as they have in so many other places, took the state to court to stop it.

Just so everyone knows, a dismemberment abortion is like something out of a horror movie. It is, as John Daniel Davidson writes, "exactly what it sounds like: a doctor uses forceps to tear apart a live fetus, limb by limb, and remove it from the mother's uterus. This is usually done in the second trimester, when the fetus is too large to be suctioned out." And, from what scientists know now, at a time when most babies feel pain. About seven percent of Alabama abortions are done this way, which is why so many people rose up to say: enough!

Fortunately, those people don't just include the leaders of Alabama -- but leaders from states across the country. Now that Alabama's case has wound its way through the appeals process, the Supreme Court is the last and final stop. As of this week, the justices haven't decided whether to weigh in or not. In a new amicus brief, 21 states are joining forces to encourage the high court to take the case -- and, hopefully, create a pro-life precedent for other leaders to model.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has been thrilled with the amount of support the law is getting from his counterparts in other areas. "The support of these states underscores how significant the national interest is in resolving this issue," he said. "At least nine states have enacted similar laws, and litigation is pending in the Fifth Circuit, the Eighth Circuit, and multiple state courts." As far as he's concerned, "There is no 'meaningful difference' between death-by-dismemberment abortion in the womb and partial birth abortion outside it," his own brief pointed out. It's time, he and the others argued, for the Supreme Court to resolve the inconsistences in how the two are treated.

In the meantime, the case may be doing pro-lifers a favor, since it shows just how extreme our abortion laws already are without radical expansions like New York's. Even second-trimester abortions are brutal and excruciating procedures that no civilized country should condone. Let's hope that Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia and are helping the Supreme Court come to that same conclusion.

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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