Star Struck by Abortion Laws

Star Struck by Abortion Laws

June 05, 2019

E! may have canceled her show, but actress Busy Philipps isn't complaining. Maybe now she'll have more time for her real passion: lobbying Congress for infanticide. Tuesday morning, the former "Dawson's Creek" star was on Capitol Hill explaining why abortion survivors -- like the one sitting three seats away -- had no business being born.

While the states pass wave after wave of pro-life legislation, House Democrats have been desperate to do something (since blocking born-alive protections 52 times apparently isn't extreme enough). They decided on a hearing, "Threats to Reproductive Rights in America" in Rep. Jerry Nadler's (D-N.Y.) Judiciary committee. They invited an NYU law professor, a liberal doctor, an ACLU attorney, and Philipps -- who'd come forward last month about an abortion she'd had at 15.

"If I were that teenage girl in Arizona today," she complained, "legally, I would have to get parental consent. I would be forced to undergo a medically-unnecessary ultrasound, to go to state-mandated in-person counseling... then take a state-mandated 24-hour timeout to make sure I really knew what I wanted. And finally, I would be forced to give the state a reason WHY. Well, here is mine: my body belongs to me."

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) listened to her story, and when it was time to question the witnesses, he turned to Philipps and forced her to think about the woman barely six feet away. "Would you agree that somebody who has survived an abortion, like Melissa Ohden, has a right once she's born to life, to control over her body where someone else doesn't take her life?" Philipps fired back glibly, "Although I played a doctor on television, sir, I am actually not a physician."

Obviously, Louie replied. "But you've given very compelling testimony and you've obviously given these issues a lot of thought." Philipps paused, "I don't believe that a politician's place is to decide what's best for a woman. It's a choice between a woman and her doctor." What about the choice between a baby and her doctor, he asked? "I'm not speaking about birth, sir, I'm speaking about abortion," she answered. And that's exactly the problem. Liberals like Busy Philipps and the rest of the chamber's Democrats think infanticide is abortion. Another "choice" that, as far as Philipps is concerned, "should not be legislated by strangers..."

"I am so sad," the actress said at one point, "that we have to sit here in front of a row of politicians and give deeply personal [stories], because the 'why' doesn't matter." That's incredible. What she should be sad about is that there are 60 million people who can't sit there because of "deeply personal stories" that cost them their future. Melissa Ohden would have been one of them, if it weren't for the grace of God. "It's easy to talk about reproductive rights," she said when it was her turn, "until you recognize that without first the right to life, there are no other rights. How do you reconcile my rights as a woman who survived a failed abortion with what's being discussed here today?"

"I'm alive today," Melissa told everyone in that room, "because someone else's 'reproductive right' failed to end my life." But, as Busy posted on social media, tragedies like that don't make her sad. "... [B]abies dying from separation at our own border make me very sad. ALSO! Babies being viciously murdered by guns in their own classrooms makes me so F***ING SAD." But a newborn child, thrown into a bucket of burning solution to die, doesn't.

"There's something very wrong when one person's right results in another person's death," Melissa insisted. "There's something deeply disturbing about the reality in our world that I have a right to an abortion, but I never had the simple right to live."

If you agree, join our End Birth Day Abortion Campaign and send Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a newborn baby hat. Help us remind House Democrats that there are thousands of children just like Melissa, who all deserve the chance we had -- to live.

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

The Most Dangerous Place in Illinois: The Womb

June 05, 2019

Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker (Ill.) swore he would make Illinois the most extreme state in the country on abortion. And right now, he's one signature away from succeeding.

No one thought an abortion law more radical than New York's was possible, but the Land of Lincoln is proving everyone wrong. In an astonishing move that sweeps away every possible barrier, Governor Pritzker is about to make history by allowing any kind of abortion, at any time, for any reason. Gone is the state's partial-birth abortion ban, its protection for newborn survivors, its conscience rights, and parental consent. Of all the similarities to the New York law, though, one stood out -- and that's how elated liberals were to pass it.

To most people, that's astounding. According to a new Harvard Center for American Studies poll, only six percent of the country sides with the Pritzker and the 2020 Democratic candidates on infanticide. And the number who agree with third-trimester abortions is just as miniscule at eight percent. Officials like Pritzker who think this barbaric new crusade is a winning strategy are kidding themselves. Even local Democrats -- more than 140 of whom have voted with pro-lifers on state bills -- can't stomach the extremism seeping out of places like Washington. In Illinois, one of the bluest states in America, six Democrats voted against their own party. Four others voted "present."

Maybe they were as upset as the Republicans about how low Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy had to stoop just to get the chamber to consider her proposal. Believe it or not, Illinois's bill was so controversial that she had to take a completely irrelevant measure, gut it, and add this abortion language at the last minute. Everyone knew: Cassidy's bill was in limbo for a reason -- it didn't have enough support to push it through the regular process.

Ironically, the day after liberals proclaimed victory on their "Reproductive Health Act," a local pastor was asked to open the legislative in prayer. It was with that tragic backdrop that Cory Musgrave from New Beginnings Church in Fairfield offered a passionate plea for God's forgiveness. "God, none of our evil actions have been hidden from You. You see everything," he prayed. "Lord, You have told us those things which You hate, and among them are hands that shed innocent blood. I stand here in this House, in this high place in Illinois, and ask You, O God, creator of Heaven and Earth, if there is anything more innocent than a baby that is being created in the womb."

Musgrave quoted Psalm 139 and then explained that pro-lifers have tried to be "a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves as You have commanded us," Musgrave went on. "Those appeals were denied, but we have one final appeal left and that is to the courts of Heaven... I ask you to rise up, God, and judge Illinois for the sanctioned destruction of the innocent unborn. In this House, I pray for justice to roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty river."

When FRC's Sarah Perry talked to Pastor Musgrave about the prayer on "Washington Watch," he explained that he'd been invited back in February, long before the abortion debate exploded. He'd gotten instructions a week before from the clerk not to proselytize, but when he saw what the chambers had done, Pastor Musgrave knew: he couldn't let the moment pass by.

"I don't know if you're aware of this, but Sunday night in the last week of the legislative session, they pulled this bill back out. It had been shoved back in subcommittee. They had a rigged committee hearing where they had very limited debate. They give the Republican side one hour's notice, [and] they call it on a Sunday evening. And they decided to push that bill through. And as I sat there and watched that and heard what they were doing, it broke my heart that we are allowing this in my state."

During the prayer, he found out later, five liberals walked out of the room. Others turned their backs to him. How did he take that, Sarah asked? "Well, I was focused on praying... I was unaware of it until after it was over. Also, someone who was standing up there with me, they said there was a discernible hiss from the crowd. But I was just focused on praying to God. My prayer was not to them it was to God."

What an exercise in courage! Let's hope there are other pastors and Christians out there who hear Cory's story and are encouraged to be just as bold as he has been.

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

Religious Tolerance Translates in Egypt

June 05, 2019

Ramadan may seem like an interesting time to talk about the persecution of Christians, but Egyptian president Abdel Fatah el-Sisi is not your typical Muslim leader. His desire to advance religious tolerance in the Middle East is a unique agenda among his peers. And Sunday, after World Coptic Day, he took time out to talk about the plight of the dwindling population.

"Strong religion could be weakened by its believers' behaviors," el-Sisi said during a ceremony for Laylat al-Qadr. "When we wish our Christian brothers a happy feast or [congratulate them] on building new churches, we represent our religion," Egypt Today quotes him as saying. "There is a big difference between practicing and understanding the religion," he pointed out.

His country's goal, el-Sisi insisted, should be to "preserve the essence of religion, to raise the moderate religious awareness, and combat the extremist threats among the youth." Open dialogue, he persisted, is the best way to fight extremism. That's good news for Egypt's Coptics, National Review's Marlo Safi explains, since they face "daily discrimination; their churches often face attacks from mobs, or they are not permitted to participate in government or even soccer teams due to their conspicuously Christian names."

Twice now, I've had the opportunity to travel to Egypt and witness el-Sisi's sincerity on the issue in my role on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom. As part of a delegation of evangelical leaders, we attended the inauguration of the Cathedral of the Nativity (the largest in the Middle East) outside of Cairo and the inauguration of the Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque just five miles away. That's just one sign that conditions have improved significantly under the current government. Sunday's speech is another.

Although Egypt's understanding may fall short of the West's on issues like religious freedom, there's optimism among Christians that the country can take even greater strides under the el-Sisi administration. I'm hopeful with encouragement from the Trump administration that we'll see even more reasons for Egyptian Christians and other religious minorities to celebrate in the future. Let's be diligent to pray for them and others in this part of the world who suffer for their faith.

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 »