For Senate, Life Begins at 50 Votes
Republicans certainly have a flair for the dramatic. With less than four working days to kill Obamacare, Senate hallways are already empty. With their repeal bill still hanging in the balance, members left town late Tuesday to mark the Jewish holidays — adding even more suspense to next week’s September 30th deadline. Even now, Republican leaders aren’t sure where their party will land on the plan from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). Although the push seems to be gaining steam, the results are anything but certain — as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reminded everyone the last time around.
One thing’s for sure: It will be an anxious few days for Planned Parenthood. Apart from Barack Obama, Cecile Richards’s group has the most to lose — almost $400 million a year, to be exact. Like the string of reconciliation bills before it, the Graham-Cassidy measure guts 86 percent of the organization’s Medicaid funding, putting a huge dent in the forced partnership between taxpayers and America’s biggest abortion business. That should be a major motivating factor for dozens of pro-life senators, who understand that this is conservatives’ best shot at ending the government’s direct deposit to a scandal-ridden organization.
Even Planned Parenthood admits it performs more abortions (328,348 in 2015 alone) than basic breast exams. That’s not difficult to believe since overall health screenings have dropped by half since 2011. Even contraception counseling, the group’s bread-and-butter, fell by 136,244. So what, exactly, are taxpayers funding? Certainly not the “comprehensive care” Richards advertises. Or even the volume of care, since Planned Parenthood saw 100,000 fewer patients in 2015 than the year before.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to change Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) mind. The Kentucky pro-lifer insists he won’t vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, despite the thousands of unborn lives it could save. That’s a frustrating position for plenty of conservatives to accept. Like a lot of pro-lifers, they think the GOP’s concern for these children should outweigh the repeal’s imperfections. Susan B. Anthony List blasted Paul for his “outright opposition to the bill, and his dismissiveness of the pro-life priorities within it is alarming and damaging.” It is, it argues, an “unacceptable position for a pro-life senator to have.”
On Twitter, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made the case for us, snapping a photo of all of the pro-life language in the bill. “These flags mark all the abortion restrictions in the Republican repeal of Obamacare,” he tweeted. That can only help the GOP’s cause, based on the support from both sides for more limits on Planned Parenthood’s biggest moneymaker.
In a New York Magazine piece this week, liberals try to set the record straight on the real driving force behind the Graham-Cassidy bill. The motivation, Ed Kilgore points out, is “generally assumed to be the potential fury of the GOP’s conservative base if Republicans break their promise to repeal Obamacare. But there’s another thing pushing them toward the abyss: One of the most powerful factions in the GOP and the conservative movement, the anti-abortion lobby, is backing Graham-Cassidy to the hilt. That’s because, like every other GOP repeal-and-replace bill, it temporarily defunds Planned Parenthood” and aims to prevent use of federal insurance-purchasing tax subsidies for polices that include abortion coverage.“
It’s funny. One minute the media says the social conservative movement is dead — the next, they’re complaining it’s too powerful. According to Democrats, it’s the latter. Republicans are "scared to death of a promise they may not keep to the Republican primary base,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said.
Let’s hope so. This is a make or break moment for the GOP, as pollster John McLaughlin’s report makes quite clear. Voters elected Republicans to keep their word on Obamacare — seven years’ worth of words, actually. This week, I am in Arizona speaking to supporters in Tucson and Phoenix, encouraging them to get their senators in line on the partial repeal of Obamacare. Join them by reaching out to yours — before it’s too late!
For more on the debate, check out Ken Blackwell’s interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Wednesday.
Originally published here.
Lib Teacher Tries to Mx up Kids on Gender
It’s hard enough to raise kids these days without worrying if their teachers are working against you! Unfortunately, that’s exactly what seems to be happening in public schools these days, as elementary schools become even more brazen in their liberal indoctrination. We talked about what’s happening in Rocklin, California, yesterday. Today’s threat is in Tallahassee, Florida, where a teacher was quite up front about her real agenda for the year.
In a letter to parents, Canopy Oaks Fifth Grade teacher Chloe Bressack warned homes that only politically correct pronouns would be tolerated.
One thing you that you should know about me is that I use gender neutral terms. My prefix is Mx. (pronounced Mix). Additionally, my pronouns are “they, them, their,” instead of “he, his, she, hers.” I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural, but in my experience, students catch on pretty quickly. We’re not going for perfection, just making an effort! … My priority is for all of my students to be comfortable in my classroom and have a space where they can be themselves while learning.
What if a student is most comfortable being their actual gender (which, I assume in the fifth grade, would be the majority)? What if embracing this radical ideology (one the American College of Pediatricians calls “child abuse”) is uncomfortable and scary — as the kids in Rocklin expressed? Don’t their feelings matter? Local parents certainly think it should. Moms and dads are fuming about the policy, which they made quite clear on a Facebook group.
Unfortunately, Canopy Oaks Principal Paul Lambert has no intention of heeding families’ concerns — or common sense. “We support her preference in how she’s addressed, we certainly do. I think a lot of times, it might be decided that there’s an agenda there, because of her preference — I can tell you her only agenda is teaching math and science at the greatest level she can.”
How can a person teach science at the “greatest level” if she doesn’t understand basic biology? Or the English language? Apart from being outrageous, the plural pronouns “they, them, and theirs” are incorrect for addressing a single child. When pressed, Lambert did admit to reporters that the school had fielded a lot of calls from concerned parents who object to the reeducation of their kids. But even Superintendent Rocky Hanna refuses to intervene. In a tone-deaf statement to the Tallahassee Democrat, he insisted that “teachers in our district will not be allowed to use their influence in the classroom to advance any personal belief or political agenda. At this time, I do not believe that is the case in this instance.” Then what, exactly, is this — apart from a gross misunderstanding of a teachers’ role, scientific law, and the rules of grammar? How would they respond if a teacher in Mr. Hanna’s district sent a letter home saying they would only use the proper biologically correct pronouns in a classroom? Would they support that teacher as not promoting an agenda?
Stories like this one are cropping up in every corner of the country — and the only way to stop them is for parents to get involved before bad decisions are made! It’s time for more moms and dads to run for seats on the school board, where they can take back control of our classrooms. As my good friend Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) says, “We need to push back our vision as Christians to not just vote — but run for office or recruit other Christians to run. We should be just as focused on Filing Day as we are Election Day! Rather than being reactionary (as is often portrayed in article after article of Christians flooding school board meetings AFTER a bad policy decision and trying to convince school board members to change their minds), we should be proactive and purposeful in recruiting Christians to run for school boards in the first place and avoid the problem to begin with.”
She has a book that will help you do exactly that called Running God’s Way. Pick up a copy and learn how you can start taking back your community!
Originally published here.
On Adoption, Left Attacks Mich. Again
Here’s something both sides should agree on: the importance of adoption. But these days, even finding loving homes for kids is an explosive topic in the bigger clash over religious liberty. Michigan is the latest ground zero in that brawl, now that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing to force faith-based agencies to place kids in same-sex homes.
According to the ACLU, the state’s law leads to “fewer options for children” — which is ironic, since without religious social services, children would have almost no options! Still, the ACLU’s Leslie Cooper says, the idea that Michigan is allowing churches and faith-based groups to operate on their convictions is discriminatory. No, what’s discriminatory is strong-arming Christians to abandon their beliefs or get out of the public square!
As we’ve seen in places like Massachusetts and Indiana, the Left will stop at nothing to squeeze groups like Catholic Charities out of the adoption business. In a huge blow to the kids of those states, the organization made the sad decision to close its doors rather than compromise its beliefs. In too many places, Christian groups are being driven out of the adoption business, leaving children and prospective parents with even fewer options for building families. Adoption is not — and should never be — about adults. This is about giving children the best chance to succeed in life. If LGBT activists truly cared about kids, they’d stop using them as leverage to force society — through the government — to embrace a view of parenting that denies a child a mother or a father. A view, social science tells us, that poses serious risks to children.
“We want to send a message to legislatures,” the ACLU insisted. “We have to make it clear that these kinds of laws are unconstitutional.” On what grounds? Certainly not the First Amendment, which gives Americans the right to exercise their faith in all walks of life. Clearly, this is just another coordinated attack on religious liberty — which, like so many before it, would never withstand a true legal test.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.