An Abortion Chief's Legacy of Death and Taxes
Days after the nation solemnly marked the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the woman at the helm of the nation’s abortion giant has announced her retirement.
For over a decade, Cecile Richards has been President of Planned Parenthood — an organization that has aborted more babies in the United States than any other entity.
Last year nearly one million babies lost their lives to abortion. One-third of them died in one of Richards’ centers. She has made no public announcement about her future, though many on the Left are calling for her to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the former governor of Texas, Ann Richards.
Politics was Cecile Richards’ specialty at Planned Parenthood. News outlets sympathetic to her goals, like Buzzfeed, go so far as to give her personal credit for tightening the Democratic Party platform’s embrace of abortion without apology.
Remember when Democrats used to call for abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare”? That’s apostasy for today’s Democratic Party. Party leaders have now made it crystal clear that if you hold pro-life views, you are not welcome.
Richards goes out with a bang. According to Planned Parenthood’s recently released 2016-2017 report, the abortion leader brought in almost 1.5 billion dollars in revenue last year — an increase of more than $100 million from the year before.
Compare the number of babies Planned Parenthood helped take out of the world to the number it helped come in: Last year it claims 321,384 abortions compared to just under 8,000 prenatal services.
Taxpayers are still Planned Parenthood’s primary funding source. Taxpayers were forced to give the nation’s abortion leader over $500 million tax dollars last year, according to its report. Most of that money comes from federal funding that Congress could stop.
Revenues were not the only thing rising at Planned Parenthood. The heat has been steadily rising on this organization due to the video-supported allegations that Planned Parenthood traffics in body parts from the babies it aborts. Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced a forthcoming investigation into Planned Parenthood’s alleged involvement in selling fetal tissue for profit.
As Richards changes her occupation, pray that she might have a change of heart as well.
There have been spectacular conversions in the pro-life movement: Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, and former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson were both abortion crusaders-turned-pro-life activists. After peddling terrible lies in the name of abortion, they brought many, many more people to the light.
Imagine what a conversion of this abortion titan would do.
Originally published here.
Destination Slovakia: In Protection of Religious Freedom
As I prepared to depart for Guatemala last week, FRC’s own religious liberty advocate, Travis Weber, was in Slovakia advancing FRC’s issues in Central Europe. Travis was invited there to speak by Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational church with affiliates all around Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He addressed pastors and representatives of those churches from around the two countries, discussing trends like the religious freedom troubles developing in the U.S. due to the advancement of the LGBT movement — and how such trends could come to Central and Eastern Europe soon. Travis encouraged the pastors to be informed and engaged — the very things we are encouraging pastors to do here! It is heartening to see so many fellow Christians from diverse backgrounds engaged in similar work around the world. Though our cultural upbringing may be different, we are united in our worldview and in the body of Christ.
Along with Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary make up what are known as the Visegrad Four, an alliance which took the name of the Hungarian town in which these nations met shortly after the fall of Communism to discuss their shared values and how to work together moving forward. In contrast to Western Europe, which in many ways has wholesale bought into secular liberalism and progressivism (and the freewheeling sexual ethics that come with it), the Visegrad nations still hold more strongly to family values rooted in a historically Christian culture. It is these values that are now being threatened by elitist forces within international institutions like the European Union and United Nations, along with governments from Western Europe and (under the Obama administration) the United States.
The Obama administration saw to it that these nations would have no help — indeed they would be opposed — in trying to hold onto their historic cultures and pro-family values. Abusing the offices of foreign ambassadors to export a radical sexual ethic hardly representative of the American people as a whole, Barack Obama offended the sensibilities of not only some of the Visigrad Four but many nations around the world. His ambassadors and diplomats in Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary pushed and prodded their local hosts to accept the Americans’ LGBT agenda.
Yet this simply confused the people of these countries. Under communism, President Reagan had been their champion and defender, which had given them a high view of the United States. Yet when President Obama began pushing offensive ideas at odds with their countries, they wondered whose side the U.S. was on. At the same time, Vladimir Putin began to woo the Visigrad countries as the “protector” of family values, portraying the U.S. as betraying that role. This is the context in which we find ourselves, and made it all the more important that Travis communicated to these Central European Christians that contrary to how it may seem in some of the news, there are many Christians in the United States who share their values and their faith. We now hope that President Trump will swiftly appoint ambassadors to these countries who reflect the new administration’s values instead of foisting upon them the radical ideology of political elitists.
While in Slovakia, Travis also spoke before a gathering at the Slovakian Parliament, communicating what FRC has done to advance its issues under the Trump administration. A number of members of parliament who share our values were present, and several media outlets conducted interviews with Travis. Much of the focus of this presentation was on advances in the pro-life cause (which many in Slovakia are eager to champion) and the new administration’s focus on religious freedom.
Speaking of religious freedom, we should note that the Christian Fellowship church in Slovakia has as of yet to receive full recognition from the Slovakian government (the relationship between church and state is a bit different over there and churches have to be recognized by the government to be considered proper churches). While other Christian churches have received recognition, the Christian Fellowship church has not.
We urge the Slovakian government to examine this issue and respect religious freedom for all by fully recognizing this church. With the recent confirmation of Gov. Brownback as the new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, this situation should now receive the proper attention. Slovakia and the United States share many of the same social values and now have an opportunity to work together to advance them. In respecting the Christian Fellowship’s ability to believe and live out its beliefs, government recognition of the church will assist, not hinder, that work.
Originally published here.
For Firefighter, Where There’s Smoke, There’s Courage
According to the Barna group, 88 percent of Americans own a Bible and 75 percent believe “the Bible teaches moral principles that are badly needed in society.” The vast majority of Americans recognize that the Bible offers wisdom and comfort for those shouldering life’s trials. You only need to take a trip to DC’s newest museum — the Museum of the Bible — to learn about how the good book has been a source of wisdom throughout our nation’s history.
But in Spokane Valley, Washington, the Bible is viewed as a fire to be put out and faith is seen as something to be hidden rather than a light to be shined. Yet for Fire Captain Jon Sprague, a Bible-believing Christian, his faith can’t be turned on and off like a light switch, especially in places like his department’s online bulletin board that was created as a forum to dispense advice on life struggles such as “family conflict, suicide, compulsive gambling, and eating disorders.” What better source to turn to for wisdom, hope and comfort than the best-selling book of all time?
Captain Sprague used the forum to share his faith that the department insisted on censoring. When Sprauge declined to submit to viewpoint discrimination, he was fired. The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) came to his legal aid, taking his case all the way to the Washington state Supreme Court, which last week ruled that he is entitled to a court trial. “Sprague has met his initial burden to show that the restrictions on his speech violated the First Amendment.” PJI President Brad Dacus responded, “This is a terrific victory for Capt. Sprague, and an important reminder of First Amendment principle. No employee should be terminated for speaking on otherwise-permissible topics at work, just because he has a religious perspective.”
Amen! Captain Sprauge’s boldness to stand up both for his faith and constitutional rights is an example for us all. He knew of the possible consequences, but I have no doubt he joined the department to help people, not stand idly by as his fellow firefighters struggle with life-and-death decisions. He could have submitted to the censorship and seen the online forum turn into a faith-free zone, but his love for God and people were greater than the fear of what the department might do to him.
If the Spokane Valley Fire Department once again becomes a place where religious expression is protected, not banned, it will be because Captain Sprague had the courage to stand. Please join me in praying for and standing with Captain Sprague.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council.