The Issue with Tissue

The Issue with Tissue

May 10, 2019

If you think leaving newborns to die is horrible, imagine letting scientists pick through the bodies for parts. Based on this week's Labor-HHS vote, Democrats are perfectly fine with both. Planned Parenthood's gory organ trade was just one of the shocking things the House majority went to bat for in a hearing that ought to show every American just how far outside the mainstream the party of Pelosi is.

It's been four years since David Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress pulled the curtain back on the abortion industry's baby shop of horrors. In one undercover video after another, CMP caught staffers at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood casually haggling over baby organ prices like trinkets at a local bazaar. With amazing nonchalance, the group's leaders tamely describe how they coach clinics to perform abortions that minimize the damage on the baby's profitable parts.

At one point the ghoulish details were enough to give even Hillary Clinton second thoughts. "Disturbing," she said when the footage first came out. Now, one House select panel, 15 criminal referrals, and an FBI investigation later, Democrats have changed their tune. Experimenting on dead aborted babies is something the party no longer minds. When Congressman (and doctor) Andy Harris (R-Md.) asked his House committee to consider an amendment banning the sale of fetal tissue, Democrats tried turning it into an attack on women!

A pregnant Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) couldn't believe how low the other side would stoop to protect the barbaric practice. This isn't even about abortion, conservatives argue--it's about basic human dignity. Treating these tiny humans like a junkyard, where groups like Planned Parenthood can scavenge for parts, is hardly the retail business anyone should want to hang a shingle over. And yet Americans continue to be unwilling investors in the organization and their taxpayer-funded Frankenstein. "The [majority's] argument is, somehow, we don't like a woman, that's really insulting. We're just trying to make sure there are boundaries around how this research is done."

Rep. Harris, who has been crusading against this disgusting practice for years, wants to outlaw the sale of fetal tissue and help dry up the market of buyers. "This is [about] the ethics of using a human being...or the remains of a human being," he said, reminding his colleagues of the sickening undercover videos. "There were buckets of fetal body parts. There were brains...We saw the receipt! There were brains sold for $800 and, by the way, there was sales tax on it."

It would be one thing if the research were valuable -- but, as the House select panel pointed out, "Human fetal tissue research is an outdated and unproductive area of research that does not make a strong impact on the field. In over 100 years of unrestricted investigation, human fetal tissue research has had ample time to prove useful, yet it has failed to do so. Fetal tissue HAS NOT produced a single medical treatment."

So why is the Left defending it? Good question. Thursday night on "Washington Watch," my guest, Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.) said it almost feels like now that the "Democrats [have won] their newfound majority, they're doubling down on their most progressive, most liberal policies. And it just amazes me," he said, "because I just believe they're absolutely tone deaf -- not only to the Democratic Party -- but also to the American people at large." He and his GOP colleagues didn't just have to fend off this push for fetal tissue research, but fight for conscience rights, President Trump's Title X rule, and no taxpayer-funding of abortion. Their pro-life amendments lost every time on party lines.

"I mean, you know, when, when we asked for something as simple as, you know, the Hyde amendment where we don't want our taxpayer funds providing federal abortions, that should be a no brainer... It was a very disappointing day," he said.

Now, the fight moves to the whole floor, where conservatives will be trying to keep this practice out of the Senate and HHS research grants. Thanks to Secretary Alex Azar and Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the Trump administration is looking for alternatives to fetal research, but there's still work to be done. It's time to put a permanent wall between taxpayers and aborted baby parts -- and invest that money where it belongs: in research that's ethical and effective.

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

The Most Unequal of Them All

May 10, 2019

By Travis Weber, FRC Vice President of Policy

The Equality Act, by now quite familiar to all of us, will finally be voted on in the House next week. Its title sounds smooth and is designed to be attractive. But beneath the veneer, the faulty premises upon which it rests have poisoned the entire bill, which is irreparably tainted. If passed, its impact upon American life and culture can be summed up in one word: devastation.

It starts by being built upon a lie—that one's sexual conduct is substantially the same as an immutable characteristic like one's skin color. Once cemented into law, this lie is ready to be forced into educational curricula around the country as activists use the courts in their shameless attempt to piggyback on the legacy of the civil rights movement. As women are steamrolled by the LGBT ideology enshrined in the Equality Act, feminists realize who their true friends are: conservatives.

This emerging alliance is built on truth: biology, not ideology, dictates that we are men and women. Though physically different, we are equal in worth, and deserving of protection. Indeed, the very sex discrimination protections for men and women which we have had for decades are being steamrolled by the Equality Act's notion of "gender identity," which dismisses the concerns of women being forced to violate their privacy or compete against biological men in sporting competitions.

Women powerlifters competing with one another understand this. Why is it so hard for everyone else? Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing many years ago about sex distinctions in the context of the Equal Rights Amendment, defended privacy for men and women in the context of bathrooms. Yet now all this is being willfully ignored.

I actually do think there is a silent majority out there; many Americans agree that women shouldn't be forced to violate their privacy or compete against men -- but they need to find their voice; many are just too cowed and scared of those pushing the LGBT ideology right now to say anything. For the good of our children and our families, we need our fellow Americans know the truth and agree with us to find their voice and speak up.

As if this embedded inequality for women was not enough, the Equality Act would expand abortion throughout our healthcare system, and put in jeopardy the long-standing conscience laws protecting those opposed to abortion, and even the Hyde Amendment which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion. There are no protections for those that object to abortion under the Equality Act—just a right to abortion.

Finally, the Equality Act would gut religious freedom. Even some houses of worship would be barred from ensuring their leaders and other employees abide by their own beliefs. Under the Equality Act, women who identify as men would have to be accepted as men and therefore potentially eligible to serve in positions reserved for men (such as a Catholic Priest or Jewish Rabbi). Under such restrictions, the gospel would slowly be choked off in American life.

The vote in the House next week on this anti-family, anti-faith, anti-freedom, and pro-abortion legislation is a moment in our national life. It will not measure just who favors the ideology in the Equality Act, but who is in favor of forcing it on the neighbors, friends, co-workers, and fellow citizens. It is that coercive. It must be stopped.

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

Here's One Way You Can Honor Your Mother...

May 10, 2019

Protection. It's the first thing our mothers provide for us. From the moment of conception, they surround us, nourish us, and carry us. They give us room to grow and provide a safe environment for us to prepare to meet the world for the first nine months of our lives.

Today, the abortion industry preys upon pregnant mothers to a level that's seldom been seen before. For years they've told mothers all manner of lies, taken our taxpayer money to build their own abortion facilities, and said it's all in the mother's best interest. Now, along with many of their puppets in Congress, the abortion industry has now gone as far as backing infanticide with its refusal to ensure in law that doctors provide basic lifesaving care for babies born alive.

This is not what supporting a mother looks like. We need to speak out in support for motherhood and for the children who cannot speak -- or even cry -- for themselves. We at FRC are committed to making sure our government knows that this practice cannot continue.

We plan to deliver 90,000 newborn baby hats (that's 10,000 hats for every month a baby is in the womb) to Congress to send them a message that all babies born alive should be protected. A baby hat is the first item of clothing a baby is given after birth -- if they're given the chance to live.

We're almost halfway to our goal. If you haven't yet donated $9 to send one baby hat to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, please join this nationwide campaign. We're using the proceeds from this campaign to make sure Congress doesn't continue to dismiss this issue. Send a hat in honor of your own mother.

If you've already contributed, you can still send additional hats, or tell your friends, family, and fellow church members to join you in this campaign.

Let's send a message together to the abortion industry and to Congress that babies -- and their mothers, should not be put in peril, but protected with love and warmth.

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.

Previous Washington Update Articles »