A Painful Reality
It was painful to watch just how beholden the Left is to the abortion mentality as the Senate voted Monday evening 51-46 against sending the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36, S. 2311) to the floor for a vote (60 votes were needed for it to proceed). The Pain bill would ban abortions after five months, when research shows an unborn child is capable of feeling pain. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) broke rank with their Republican colleagues and voted against the motion. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) were the only three Democrats to cast affirmative votes.
The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC), includes exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and when the health of the mother is at risk, and passed the House last October by a vote of 237-189. The Senate’s failure to pass the bill keeps the United States in league with only seven other nations in the world, including China, North Korea, and Vietnam, that perform elective abortions after five months. This is the second time the bill has been killed in the Senate, having failed previously in 2015. At the state level, 18 states have passed their own versions of the pain-capable bill to protect unborn children after the fifth month of pregnancy.
President Trump, who addressed attendees of this year’s March for Life, expressed disappointment with the outcome of the Senate vote. “We must defend those who cannot defend themselves. I urge the Senate to reconsider its decision and pass legislation that will celebrate, cherish, and protect life,” he said in a statement released by the White House.
The vote followed several hours of tense debate, in which advocates of the bill urged their colleagues to vote in favor of protecting unborn children from a painful and inhumane death. “There’s a disconnect not only between science and law, but between what’s right and where we are at today,” said Sen. Graham.
In response, Democrats trotted out their familiar tired arguments that the Republicans are trying to drive women back to “back alley butchers” or bring “The Handmaid’s Tale” to life by protecting unborn children.
Sen. Patty Murray (R-WA) called the bill an “extreme ideological abortion ban” and claimed that it revealed how “out of touch” the Republican Party is with the American people. Sen. Murray’s cherry-picking of statistical support neglected to mention that 63% of Americans support banning abortions after 20 weeks, as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) noted.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), never one to shy away from statements of questionable veracity, attacked the bill as a nefarious effort made by “politicians who have never been pregnant.” She had apparently forgotten that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who had spoken in support of the bill moments before and was one of the bill’s original cosponsors, is herself a mother.
Amid the emotional hand-wringing from the other side of the aisle, the bill’s supporters again pointed to the science that supported the legislation. “As a doctor, I have to look at the scientific evidence,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). “At 20 weeks, studies have revealed that babies can feel pain… That is why fetal anesthesia is administered when unborn children require surgery in the womb.”
Not only do these unborn children feel pain, but as noted in FRC’s white paper on fetal pain, unborn children at this age feel pain even more acutely than children outside the womb because their pain receptors are not only fully developed but are far closer to the surface of the skin than they are at birth.
“Where will we draw the line?” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) challenged his colleagues. “Have our hearts in this body grown cold to the truth?”
For Senators Walsh and Warren, and the 44 other members who voted with them in allowing the deaths of innocent children, the answer appeared to be yes.
Originally published here.
Atheist Group Seeks Bible Study ‘Secrets’
The latest dust-up over the mention of religion in the public square involves Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, whose big crime is attending a Bible study with other members of President Trump’s Cabinet. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), whose feathers are ruffled over this, is purportedly concerned about staffers being “coerced” into the Bible study, or public funds being spent on it. Secretary Carson got that out of the way up front, writing on his Facebook page: “First of all, taxpayer funds are not used to support the ministry… And secondly, no staff are involved in the Bible study.”
He continued: “I refuse to be intimidated by anti-religious groups into relinquishing my spirituality or religious beliefs […] One of the principles of our nation’s founding is freedom of religion. I will not stop being a Christian while in service to this country […] In fact, it is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better.”
Secretary Carson also drew a lesson from the history of the Cold War between the U.S. and former Soviet Union: “Joseph Stalin, the Russian tyrant who said the United States could be destroyed from within by eroding three things: our patriotism, our morality, and our spirituality […] These things are currently under severe attack. We the people must decide who we are and what we stand for.” Amen.
Ralph Drollinger, who leads the Bible study with Cabinet members, responded to the suit by stating: “Rather than sue, the FFRF can simply go to www.capmin.org and check out copies of the Bible studies I write and teach the Cabinet, Senate and House Members every week.” Another amen.
But I suspect access to Bible study materials is not exactly why FFRF filed a FOIA request (and sued when HUD declined to waive the normal fees that apply to a FOIA request). Apparently, FFRF, along with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), have also filed FOIA requests seeking information about the amount of time Secretary Carson’s wife and son spend with him while he’s working. Aside from wasting everyone’s time, this request smells like an attempt to needlessly distract and bog down the normal functioning of government.
But the larger issue and more important issue at play here is that some people and groups simply can’t stand the idea of a visible Christian presence in our country. They oppose any public display of Christianity or prayer, offering various attempts to legally justify their opposition, most often that such displays “establish” a religion (they don’t). Their ultimate goal is to either drive Christians from government or at minimum force them to hide their faith so that the net result is the same — government devoid of godly men and women.
Think about that for a moment. Do we not pray for godly government? Doesn’t Scripture say that people rejoice when the godly rule? That happens when godly men and women serve in government — not in spite of their faith, but because of their faith.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council.