Life Is Not a 'Line Item'
It’s bound to be an uncomfortable day for 45 senators, now that another Planned Parenthood video is reminding voters who the politicians are standing with. Hours after they voted to protect the abortion giant’s half-billion dollars in taxpayer funding, the Center for Medical Services showed the world another instance of Cecile Richards’s group selling off intact babies like cattle at auction.
The cold-blooded exchange was the latest in a series of parts-for-profits meetings — only this time, the footage takes an unnerving turn. Asked what pieces Planned Parenthood could harvest, the group’s executive replies: “Everything. [Central nervous system], brain, kidney, thymus, liver, spleen, femur, bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells, from 14- to 22-weeks of gestation.” If a client wants a specific organ, she explains, Planned Parenthood will “bake that into our contract, and our protocol, that we follow is this, so we deviate from our standard in order to do that.”
Then, the conversation becomes more sinister. Proving nothing is off the table, Richards’s rep explains that she would be willing to deal in whole corpses — perfect, unharmed baby bodies. “If we alter our process,” she offers nonchalantly, “and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.”
Nothing could sum up Planned Parenthood’s business model better: these aren’t babies — they’re bottom lines. And in great detail, she explains how carefully she manipulates the procedure to protect theirs. “The organs come out really, really well,” she says with obvious satisfaction. In terms of a “revenue stream,” the woman explains, organ harvesting is a goldmine. “My department contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization.” But not as much as taxpayers do! And despite morbid admissions like this one, they continue to.
There is hope, however, as a solid bipartisan majority voted [Monday] to sever ties with Planned Parenthood and their trafficking in baby body parts. Even Democrats couldn’t stomach the revelations. As Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told reporters, “Like many West Virginians, I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in recently released videos. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization.”
He and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) must feel vindicated today, as Planned Parenthood writes another chapter in its long story of human exploitation. The same insensitivity that leads Richards’s group to prey on low-income women and minorities is coming back to haunt them in public opinion too. In just two weeks, Planned Parenthood’s credibility is on life support. New polling shows the group has taken an almost 20-point hit in favorability among U.S. voters, falling from 55% to 38%.
In Louisiana, Planned Parenthood is taking a blow in a lot more than popularity. Thanks to Governor Bobby Jindal (R), Planned Parenthood now has four less state Medicaid contracts. Late Friday, the Governor made the decision to cancel Louisiana’s partnership after the organization admitted that it refers for abortions — which is a clear violation of state law. Instead, Jindal announced, the money will flow to the Louisiana’s 163 health centers, which offer a broader array of medical services and aren’t under criminal investigation. Hopefully, other states will follow the Governor’s example and kick Planned Parenthood off the taxpayer gravy train.
As far as patients are concerned, it’s a win-win. Defunding Planned Parenthood frees up money for health centers that actually offer mammograms and about 1.4 million more pap tests. Not only would women still have access to “vital services” — but improved services! Instead of dirty clinics, medical manipulation, and gender and race targeting, Americans might finally get the compassionate help they deserve. Which begs the question: If liberals are so concerned about women, why are they determined to subject them to Planned Parenthood’s subpar care?
Plump up the Volume? Navy Eases Fitness Tests to Lure Recruits
The government may be tightening the military’s belt — but the Navy is loosening theirs! [Monday], the branch announced that it was relaxing yet another standard in order to try to boost sagging recruitment. This time, the Navy says it’s increasing the amount of body fat allowed for sailors, along with the number of times a service member can fail the “body composition” part of the fitness test. According to Vice Admiral Bill Moran, Chief of Navy Personnel, it’s time for the military to embrace a “more realistic” program.
But for people familiar with the military, the reason for these shifts is part of a much bigger problem: dwindling recruitment and retention. As many as 1,400 sailors were discharged for failing these tests last year, and based on the Pentagon’s new reports, the military can’t afford to lose anyone. In the Army, the situation is even more dire. For the first time in six years, the branch will miss its recruiting goal — this time, by a whopping 10,000. Experts blame the 14% drop on the job market, but that’s a convenient scapegoat for the real crisis in our nation’s ranks.
Desperate to attract more men and women, the Defense Department has lowered almost every possible standard — from education and immigration to drug and fitness criteria. What is sure to add to the military’s retreating enlistment, President Obama is advancing the next wave of his radical social policy, removing the military’s ban on transgenderism to match his move on homosexuality. For our brave men and women, who are fighting internal wars against military suicide and sexual assault, the bonds of unity and morality have been stretched to the breaking point.
And the war on religious liberty hasn’t helped matters. FRC’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin talks to active duty military on a regular basis who tell him that the crackdown on Christianity across the military is “much worse” than anything the media is reporting. Dissatisfied and disrespected, thousands of soldiers say their commitment is waning. The warning signs have been there all along, but only recently have the surveys started to confirm what most long suspected: that this administration’s radical policies are having a catastrophic effect on the troops.
Only 15 percent have confidence in the leadership of their Commander-in-Chief, who seems more concerned about waging a cultural war than a war to protect our freedoms. Add the disgust over social experimentation to the flailing morale, and it spells disaster for the future of our military. Despite what some suggest, the constant wear and tear of war isn’t the problem here; the President’s battle against the timeless traditions and standards of the military is. This isn’t what our brave young troops signed up for. And based on enlistment numbers, it isn’t what future soldiers will sign up for either.
Football’s James Fights Unnecessary Roughness on Faith
Craig James may not have had the shortest stint at Fox Sports, but it was close. After a single day on the air, the football analyst got a surprising bit of news: he’d been fired. The reason, executives said, wasn’t about his performance — but his politics. A year and a half earlier, Craig ran for office on a conservative platform that included his conviction that marriage is the union of a man and woman. Fox Sports said later that they asked themselves how those views would “play” in their HR department. “He couldn’t say those things here.”
And they made sure of it, sacking him after one day on the job. “For someone to call you and offer you a job, praise your talents … put you on the air…” Craig said, “and fire you the following day — that’s like a mean joke.” Hopefully, it’s a joke on Fox Sports. With the help of Liberty Institute, Craig is suing the network for religious discrimination. “This case is much bigger than me,” Craig explained. “It affects every person who holds religious beliefs. I will not let Fox Sports trample my religious liberty. Today, many people have lost their jobs because of their faith. Sadly, countless are afraid to let their bosses know they even have a faith. This is America, and I intend to make sure Fox Sports knows they aren’t above the law.”
And he’ll have a growing club of supporters cheering him on. Dr. Angela McCaskill, Jerry Buell, Julea Ward, Damian Goddard, Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, Crystal Dixon, and Air National Guardsman Layne Wilson, Brendan Eich, and Jay Love, were all suspended, fired, or sued by their employers for their views on marriage — whether or not they expressed them at work. It’s time to end this climate of Christian persecution, and Craig James’s case has incredible potential to do exactly that.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.