The House's Born Ultimatum
Like a lot of pregnant women, the young mom who visited Planned Parenthood in St. Paul last summer wasn’t sure she wanted to have the abortion. Already well into her second trimester, she was starting to have second thoughts about whether this was the right decision for her or her baby. But, pressured by doctors to go through with it, she agreed — giving her permission for them to start the painful, two-day procedure. When the time came, she watched in shock as the male abortionist started “jamming that needle in and out” of her stomach. Finally, she was told: He couldn’t reach the baby’s heart to inject it with the fatal drug that would kill it. Panicked that her child might survive the abortion, she asked, “What if the baby was to come out alive?” The female doctor paused and said, “Most likely, we would break the baby’s neck.”
Horrified, she asked them to stop the dilation and went home. Her baby survived. But dozens of unborn children who cross that same threshold every day aren’t so lucky. As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, the killing of a tiny child — whether she’s in the womb or breathing on her own — is what “choice” is all about. The decision of destroying a life, they’ve argued, even one who’s lived through the worst our world had to offer, “should be between the patient and the health care provider.” Even if it’s murder. They’ll deliver a baby alive to harvest its organs or they’ll cover up a botched abortion by leaving the little survivor to die. Either way, they’re breaking the law. And Republicans in Congress have had enough.
For more than two years, they’ve held hearings, launched investigations, and turned over reams of damning evidence to the FBI. Now, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says it’s time to act. “Next week — the week of the annual March for Life, when tens of thousands of Americans come to Washington to give voice to the voiceless unborn — the House will vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act,” he announced. The bill, which easily passed the same House in 2015, never got a vote in the Senate. This time, leaders vow, it will. Although a similar measure was signed into law by President Bush in 2003, it never had the teeth pro-lifers needed to hold the abortion industry accountable. Under this version, the law would not only criminalize people who let newborns die (or actively kill them) but gives moms a private right of action to sue.
“If a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way,” McCarthy explained. “There is absolutely no ambiguity here. This is about protecting babies who are born and alive, and nobody should be against that.” Tell that to Planned Parenthood. It’s argued that the bill would have a “chilling” effect on the “provision of abortion services.” “I cannot think of a more chilling effect,” Arina Grossu fired back, “than continuing to let abortionists get away with infanticide, the intentional killing of born-alive, breathing babies after an attempted abortion.”
But how often does that happen? According to David Daleiden’s videos, a lot more than we think. Yet even on the stand, under oath, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards denied it. “There was one specific video,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) reminded Richards, “… describing harvesting the brain of a late-term boy. She said she wasn’t sure if the baby was alive since its heart was still beating and she harvested its brain by cutting his head open starting with the chin. Do you recall that?” She said she didn’t. “There is nothing she has ever described,” Richards claimed, “that I could attest to has ever happened.” Based on hours of footage, the findings of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives, and the testimony of this one (out of who-knows-how-many) young Minnesota mother, it does happen. And obviously, the practice is far more widespread than Planned Parenthood, its president, or our former president will ever admit.
Murdering an innocent human being is not, and never has been, a constitutional right. That’s true whether the person is nine seconds old or 90 years old. Join Leader McCarthy, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and 60 of her co-sponsors by calling your House member and supporting the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act. Even one lost baby is too many.
Originally published here.
Open Doors Shows Others Are Closing on Christians
As if North Korea weren’t taking up enough headlines, Open Doors USA just added another one: Kim Jung Un’s country is topping the list of the world’s “Most Dangerous Places to Be a Christian.” Of course, the distinction is nothing new for the regime, which has owned the No. 1 spot for the last 15 years. “Nearly one of every 12 Christians in the world today lives in an area, or in a culture, in which Christianity is illegal, forbidden, or punished,” Open Doors President David Curry explained. In North Korea, where 50,000 people are suffering in prison or labor camps for their faith, few are surprised.
What is surprising, experts say, is the alarming new trend in places like Afghanistan. The struggling country, which is a routine offender on the list, climbed into the second worst spot — a frustrating development for nations like America that continue to pour resources and troops into the area. Even in the Bush years, religious liberty was a problem in the area. As Open Doors points out, Islamic extremism is the biggest driver of persecution, “initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list.” Now, with reports that Pakistan has been aiding Muslim radicals in Afghanistan, we’re starting to see the effects. President Trump, to his credit, cut off aid to Pakistan, one of our supposed “allies” in the region, hoping he could persuade it to stop giving “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”
Amazingly, “Afghanistan and North Korea are nearly tied. Never before,” Curry told reporters, “have the top two countries been so close in incidents. Both countries are extreme in intolerance and outright persecution of Christians in every area Open Doors monitors. Afghanistan now meets the same level of persecution as North Korea in five out of six areas. This is a tragedy considering the efforts being made by the international community to help rebuild Afghanistan are failing to ensure freedom of religion.” Radical Islamists continue their march of savagery through most of the Middle East and Africa, burning schools and villages to the ground in their war against non-Muslims.
Pakistan, meanwhile, the accomplice to Afghanistan’s rise to infamy, scored the highest in “churches or church building attacks, abductions, and forced marriages.” For the Trump administration, which has done an admirable job cleaning up Iraq and driving ISIS out of the country, has another hill to climb in the surrounding nations. The problems of violence and extremism, which have mushroomed in the last decade, point back to President Obama’s failures as an international leader — not only on terrorism but religious liberty.
As we’ve said before, America’s silence under the last administration led to a rise in the global threat that Donald Trump is now working furiously to control. Conservative leaders like retired Rep. Frank Wolf spent the better part of Obama’s two terms begging him to get off the sidelines and defend the persecuted church. But if the president wouldn’t recognize the First Freedom of Americans here at home, how could he fight for the world’s? Fortunately, the new White House has no interest in tip-toeing around the issue of persecution. President Trump has been a staunch advocate for freedom, even going so far as to nominate Gov. Sam Brownback to take over as Ambassador at Large for Religious Liberty. In the coming weeks, Vice President Mike Pence will build on the new administration’s agenda, visiting the Middle East and asking for other leaders’ cooperation in the fight.
For now, FRC’s Travis Weber says, the Open Doors Watch List should serve as “a reminder to all of us in the United States to never take our freedom for granted. Indeed, we must use our freedom to advocate for freedom of religion for all around the world, even as we guard against its infringement here at home.”
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.