Tony Perkins / March 16, 2015

Stop and Go Trafficking

Apparently, Senate Democrats would rather yield to human trafficking than put a stop to taxpayer-funded abortion! Two weeks after passing a unanimously out of committee, Democrats are suddenly picking a fight on language that’s been in the measure since day one. This time, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) party didn’t pass the bill to find out what’s in it – but they got close. Obviously, a number of Democrats still think reading legislation is overrated, even at a manageable 68 pages. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who like a growing number of leaders, wants to end one of the greatest human rights crises of our time, was stunned earlier [last] week when his colleagues on the other side of the aisle suddenly – and vehemently – objected to the proposal’s text.

Apparently, Senate Democrats would rather yield to human trafficking than put a stop to taxpayer-funded abortion! Two weeks after passing a unanimously out of committee, Democrats are suddenly picking a fight on language that’s been in the measure since day one.

This time, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) party didn’t pass the bill to find out what’s in it – but they got close. Obviously, a number of Democrats still think reading legislation is overrated, even at a manageable 68 pages. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who like a growing number of leaders, wants to end one of the greatest human rights crises of our time, was stunned earlier [last] week when his colleagues on the other side of the aisle suddenly – and vehemently – objected to the proposal’s text.

Like most spending bills, Cornyn’s Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act included routine language that bans taxpayer-funded abortions. For almost four decades, it’s been standard U.S. policy, through the Hyde Amendment, that taxpayer dollars not be used to kill innocent unborn children.

That must be news to Democrats, who exploded in outrage a full two weeks after they voted the bill out of committee. “The idea that there’s been some sort of ambush is just preposterous, it’s just not credible,” Sen. Cornyn said from the Senate floor. “They object to language that has been the law of the land for 39 years… You think (Democrats) didn’t read the bill before they put their name on it?” Cornyn asked. “Our friends across the aisle have some outstanding staff. … I don’t believe that they would have missed a reference in this legislation.”

On Monday, the Left’s Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) fired off an angry letter expressing her shock that conservatives had “snuck” the provision onto the bill. By Wednesday, she had apologized. As Republicans said, it had been there all along. And it isn’t as if Democrats didn’t notice it. In the Judiciary Committee, they tried to amend the same pages the Hyde Amendment was on! “What do you want me to tell you?” Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters. “We missed it!”

Still, liberal members insist, banning abortion funding is “antithetical” to human trafficking. Hardly. This bill was created to rescue victims – not create more. If Planned Parenthood and other groups are so determined to give women access to abortion, why don’t they donate them? Simple. Because they want to be paid – by you. Now, instead of rallying around a common goal, the Left has taken a consensus issue and turned it into a political hot potato.

Unfortunately for thousands of suffering girls, the President’s party is willing to sacrifice any support on the altar of radical abortion policy. A measure that was supposed to free women from bondage is itself being taken hostage by a party too obsessed with abortion to care about the hurting. For now, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still determined to find 60 “yeas” by [tomorrow’s] cloture vote. Help nudge your senators in the right direction. Contact your leaders and ask them to keep the Hyde status quo!

The Road Bless Traveled

Remember that story [Thursday] about the Air Force telling guards they couldn’t tell visitors to have a “blessed day,” the AF Times asked? Well, nevermind. Thanks to the common sense of base brass, the ban was lifted faster than you can say “military religious freedom.” According to our good friend Todd Starnes at Fox News, a handful of atheists had complained to Robins Air Force Base about the guards’ cordiality, fuming that “On no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks, I have been greeted by the military personnel at the gate with the phrase…”

Furious that someone might wish them well, the airmen – with the help of the killjoys at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation – vented that he “found the greeting to be a notion that I, as a non-religious member of the military community should believe a higher power has an influence on how my day should go.”

Base officials caved to the pressure – temporarily. “Someone took offense at the statement,” said spokesman Roland Leach. “As a professional courtesy we had it changed to ‘have a great day.’” After Todd’s story made headlines, it didn’t take long for complaints to start rolling in. In less than 24 hours, the Air Force reconsidered. “Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase ‘have a blessed day’ as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force Instructions.”

And those instructions include a recent memo ordering branch commanders to respect the religious rights of Air Force personnel (if you can even claim “blessed” is religious in the first place!). As far as Robins’ leaders are concerned, the security team “portray a professional image that represents a base all of Middle Georgia can be proud of.” Thank goodness for a little Air Force pushback to this parade of P.C. Let’s hope there are more blessed days to come in this debate!

Tickets to the Arina

Conservatives usually bristle at the term “United Nations” – and rightly so. For decades, the U.N. has been a source of aggravation for those of us who resent giving an international platform to rogue countries and the thugs who run them. And if that weren’t bad enough, we have to watch as billions of the world’s dollars are wasted by the U.N.‘s big and inefficient bureaucracy. But FRC is registered as a non-governmental organization with the U.N. because we want to bear witness to the importance of faith, family, and freedom in the world’s premier international forum.

That’s why the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, [Friday] hosted a panel at a parallel event for the U.N.’s 59th Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. The event is on “Coerced Sterilizations, Abortions, and Reproductive Rights,” where she and other speakers explored the worldwide human rights abuses of coerced and forced sterilizations and abortions, how to end these barbarities and why the essential rights of women demand respect – not manipulation or oppression.

Joining Arina were Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, the leading advocacy organization fighting China’s horrific “one-child” policy; Anne Roback Morse of the Population Research Institute, which works to dispel the myth of overpopulation and how that myth is used to justify “population control” efforts, especially in the developing world; and Rebecca Oas of C-Fam, the Center for Family and Human Rights, which monitors and works to change the U.N.’s anti-woman, anti-child policies.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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