Tony Perkins / Dec. 15, 2016

Planned Parenthood Gets Criminal Referral

Twice this month, Planned Parenthood has been referred for prosecution in the baby body parts scandal that has engulfed the nation’s largest abortion provider. On December 2nd, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for prosecution after concluding the committee had ample evidence of “potential criminal activity.”

Twice this month, Planned Parenthood has been referred for prosecution in the baby body parts scandal that has engulfed the nation’s largest abortion provider. On December 2nd, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for prosecution after concluding the committee had ample evidence of “potential criminal activity.” And then [Tuesday], Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that his office is referring Planned Parenthood of America and a few of its local affiliates for investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department. In making the criminal referral, Senator Grassley said his staff reviewed more than 20,000 pages of documents and concluded that Planned Parenthood of America had “turned a blind eye to the affiliates’ violations.”

The senator’s disturbing report concludes that the Justice Department’s failure to enforce the law helped create an environment in which baby parts could be sold unimpeded. “I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral,” said Grassley. “But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” Grassley said. “And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.” The report didn’t even address other possible violations of federal law outside of the scope of Judiciary, and the Select Panel hasn’t completed its investigation either.

Within hours of the criminal referral, the Obama administration announced a rule that effectively prevents states from defunding Planned Parenthood. Congressman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), a registered nurse and member of the Select Panel on Infant Lives, immediately dismissed the new rule, saying, “President Obama knows that hope is rising for the innocent victims of Planned Parenthood’s brutality and the big abortion industry’s days of taxpayer-funded windfalls are numbered. We should not be surprised that his administration would lash out with this eleventh hour power grab on the way out the door, but I am certain this rule will not stand for long.” It won’t stand for long because of what happened on Election Day.

Planned Parenthood spent millions of dollars on political activities in this election expecting a return on its investment — but voters had the final say at the ballot box and resoundingly rejected its abortion agenda. With the criminal referrals piling up on Cecile Richard’s group, the newly elected, unified pro-life government can now deliver on its promises and redirect tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood to community health centers who operate under the law. Many of you called your senators yesterday urging them to defund Planned Parenthood by voting for the budget when Congress returns on January 3rd. Please keep up the pressure by calling both your senators at (202) 224-3121. After you’ve called, you can also email them by following this link. Change is in the air in Washington!

Originally published here.

Panel Weighs Trump’s First 100

What can social conservatives expect for the first 100 days of a Trump administration? [Tuesday], Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, along with FRC’s David Christensen and Mandi Ancalle hosted a panel discussion regarding pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious liberty priorities for the incoming Congress and President-elect Trump.

Jeanne began by highlighting the importance of the Supreme Court in the election. She said when people asked her who she voted for, she responded, “I voted for the Supreme Court.” Jeanne highlighted a number of important Supreme Court cases that were closely decided, underscoring the importance of filling Justice Scalia’s seat with an originalist who Mandi said “thinks like Justice Thomas and writes like Justice Scalia.”

The panel also discussed legislative and regulatory priorities for the Congress and the new administration, such as the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, the importance of defunding atrocious organizations like Planned Parenthood, and redirecting the funding to Community Health Centers that provide women with real care. Also highlighted was the importance of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prevent the barbaric abortions of unborn children who have the ability to feel pain in the womb. The legislative fix to the Johnson Amendment, called the Free Speech Fairness Act (H.R. 6195), should also be on the docket.

There are a number of regulations, executive orders, and guidance that a Trump administration can issue immediately. One example is that President Trump could immediately reinstate the Mexico City Policy and healthcare conscience protections that were issued by Presidents Reagan and Bush, respectively, and were later rescinded by President Obama. President Obama’s administration also issued a number of regulations and guidance letters that Trump should rescind.

For example, the Obama administration redefined sex to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” through a number of different departments. Significantly, in May 2016, the Departments of Justice and Education issued a letter conditioning schools’ funding on their willingness to accept that new definition of sex and allow biological and anatomical boys to use the girls’ shower rooms, changing facilities, and bathrooms, simply because they’re experiencing gender confusion. As Mandi highlighted during the panel, around 90% of children who experience gender confusion, or identify as transgender, actually grow out of that confusion and eventually identify with their biological sex. Of course, the Obama administration ignored these facts — and instead promulgated regulation after regulation.

The Department of Defense decision to allow transgender persons to serve in the military was also a topic of discussion. Because of this decision, Tricare issued regulations providing for the coverage of sex reassignment surgery for active duty personnel, as well as for hormone therapy for active duty military and their dependents. Mandi called this decision “disconcerting” because of the young ages at which Tricare is willing to provide drugs for children to stop puberty and ultimately attempt to transition to another gender. Ultimately, these decisions will have a detrimental effect on military readiness, recruitment, and retention.

The panel highlighted the weighty responsibility of both the 115th Congress and President-elect Trump as they return to Washington, DC, to drain the swamp and restore pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious liberty values in American government. Watch the whole thing on demand below.

Originally published here.

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

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