Pompeo Offers Export Analysis on Abortion
Most people’s idea of humanitarianism isn’t killing. And yet, there’s an entire group of liberals in this country who think the most neighborly thing the United States can do is show up in other countries armed with free abortions. Under Barack Obama, “global aid” wasn’t about feeding families or helping the sick. It was about funding an international war on children in the womb. Now, thanks to Donald Trump, America’s days of exporting abortion are over. Unfortunately, the fight to circumvent that policy is not.
When President Trump expanded the Mexico City Policy — excluding abortion from almost $9 billion of aid — groups like International Planned Parenthood panicked. After all, they’d spent eight years lapping up the pool of taxpayer money that Barack Obama made available. They’d gotten used to Congress paying for organizations like theirs to take the culture of death on the road. Desperate to keep their international killing machine afloat, the abortion industry got an idea. They’d sign the government certification promising not to promote overseas abortion, only to turn around and pass that money onto subcontractors or other groups who weren’t bound by the same rules.
Yesterday, Secretary Mike Pompeo had a message for those groups: nice try. Shortly after a meeting with a small group of pro-life leaders, which I attended, Secretary Pompeo held a press conference to announce that the days of cheating the president’s system are over. From now on, everyone is subject to the same rules. The loophole that the abortion industry has been exploiting is officially closed. “Two years into our administration,” Pompeo told reporters, “the vast majority of partners have agreed to comply with the policy, and they continue to work with us. This administration has shown that we can continue to meet our critical global health goals — including providing health care for women while refusing to subsidize the killing of unborn babies.”
As before, he explained, “We’ll continue to refuse to provide assistance to foreign [non-governmental organizations] NGOs who perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. Now, as a result of my decision today, we are also making clear: we will refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry. We will enforce a strict prohibition on backdoor funding schemes and end-runs around our policy.” What’s more, he went on, the State Department has a warning for NGOs trying to advocate for abortion behind the administration’s back: it won’t work. “We are fully enforcing federal law prohibiting U.S. funds — including foreign assistance — to lobby for or against abortion.”
This was a much bigger problem under Barack Obama, who wired U.S. dollars to places like Kenya, where American officials were trying to influence the drafting of a new pro-abortion constitution. “The Obama administration basically hired surrogates to do its dirty work of abortion promotion in Kenya” Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said, “… with the result being a new Kenyan constitution that vastly expands access to abortion… courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.” And it wasn’t just abortion, but an eight-year State Department bullying campaign on every radical social agenda under the sun.
Of course, Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen claims the administration is somehow wreaking havoc on global health by redirecting funds. But that’s just not true. President Trump didn’t cut a single dollar of foreign aid. He’s simply saying that when the United States shows up on another country’s doorstep, it’s to help — not destroy. “When the United States provides taxpayer-funded aid to help the poorest of the poor… it is critical that the message associated with our country is our warm recognition of the dignity, worth, and potential of each life we touch,” DOS has said. “This is decent, this is right, and I’m proud to serve in an administration that protects the least amongst us,” Pompeo told reporters.
Along with being decent and right, it’s also overwhelmingly popular. Only 19 percent of the country agrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the U.S. should be using foreign aid as a front for Planned Parenthood. The abortion industry has relentlessly pursued taxpayer dollars, exploiting any opportunity to grab taxpayer funds. Fortunately, President Trump and his team are just as relentless in ensuring that Americans aren’t forced into a partnership with the abortion industry overseas.
Originally published here.
House Libs Gunning for Trump’s Military Policy
The far-Left has never really understood the military culture. What works in a routine office environment doesn’t necessarily translate to the battlefield. That doesn’t seem to matter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who thinks Barack Obama was right to force a bunch of politically-correct policies on a group of men and women fighting for their lives. Well, that may have been fine under an administration who cared more about “tolerance” than national security. But it’s not fine under this one.
President Trump never served in the military, but unlike Nancy Pelosi, he has a healthy respect for the people who do. When they said open transgenderism is a distraction, he believed them. And more importantly, he did something about it. This administration has fought for two years to restore the military after the mess Barack Obama’s social experimentation left behind. Now that he’s finally on the verge of putting some of these distractions behind us, House Democrats want to take a pound of flesh.
As early as Wednesday, the far-Left is planning to put a resolution on the House floor to condemn the president’s transgender policy in the military. The sponsor, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), doesn’t care that military leaders support the partial ban — or that a year’s worth of research went into proving its necessity. He only cares that it’s “unfair.” Our president, he argues, is “injecting intolerance into our military” and he “strongly urges the Department of Defense to not reinstate President Trump’s [policy]” on gender dysphoria. Instead, he and his extremist friends would rather taxpayers continued spending millions of dollars on hormones, sex reassignment surgery, and psychotherapy for service members who aren’t even deployable.
And it isn’t just the cost the Pentagon panned. It’s the effect on military readiness.
“Persons with gender dysphoria experience significant distress and impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Gender dysphoria is also accompanied by extremely high rates of suicidal ideation and other comorbidities. Therefore, to ensure unit safety and mission readiness, which is essential to military effectiveness and lethality, persons who are diagnosed with, or have a history of, gender dysphoria are generally disqualified from accession or retention in the Armed Forces,” the Defense Department report pointed out.
It’s easy to stand on the House floor and talk about injustice when you’re not the one in combat, putting your life in another person’s hands. America’s recruiting policy is stringent for a reason. Distractions are deadly. Lack of fitness is deadly. Medical conditions can be deadly. For every person who’s barred for identifying as transgender, there are thousands more disqualified for other reasons. As former Secretary James Mattis himself wrote in the memo, 71 percent of Americans are ineligible right out of the gate for “medical, mental, or behavioral reasons.”
If House Democrats truly cared about our troops, they’d listen to them. These are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day for their country. And when President Trump announced that he was slamming the breaks on Obama’s policy, they cheered. Of the 1,031 current and former service members the Smithsonian asked, 61 percent sided with Trump in rejecting open transgenderism. Another 60 percent said they believe the military is in better shape now than it was under President Obama.
The military isn’t about fairness. It’s about what makes the most effective fighting force. Maybe that’s offensive to some people, but FRC — like our commander-in-chief — will always put readiness first. That’s why we’ll score against this resolution. It’s time for House Republicans to stand with the president and give our troops the environment they need to succeed. Take the time to contact your House member today — especially if you live in a Republican district — and urge them to vote no on H. Res. 124.
Originally published here.
A New School of Thought on Students
Most parents can’t open a newspaper or log onto Facebook without reading an article about something horrifying unfolding in the public schools. In just a few days, social media was full of reports on everything from transgender story hour to LGBT carnivals that never required the parents’ permission. There’s the pornographic sex ed, the bathroom debate, or the genderless sports controversy. And what do they all have in common? They’re all part of what most kids are hearing in today’s public-school classroom.
It’s really no wonder, then, that when you talk to pastors or other church leaders about the most negative influence on children today, 65 percent of protestants and 50 percent of Catholics say education. The Barna Group wasn’t exactly surprised to poll spiritual leaders and see that only parents and peers had as much influence on this generation as the schools. But what does that mean for families? On Monday night’s “Washington Watch,” I talked with the group’s Senior Vice President for Research, Brooke Hempell, to find out.
“Kids spend the majority of their waking hours in a school context. And… the time they spend in a church setting, is remarkably unbalanced. So we were trying to understand what pastors think about that and the nature of their recommendations to parents — many of whom are really wrestling with, ‘Where do I need to be educating my child if I want them to grow in their faith?’”
As we know from the culture today, a lot of what the public schools teach runs counter to what moms and dads are trying to instill at home. “[These spiritual leaders],” Brooke explains, “don’t believe schools are necessarily responsible for spiritual formation, but they do have an impact … There are certainly places where the teaching is very clearly focused on a secular worldview. And parents see this and know their kids are going to be learning something very different than what they hear at church.”
But as much as this is an indictment of the liberal school system, it’s also an opportunity for the church. Parents, Brooke points out, are really looking for more guidance. The world is changing rapidly, and moms and dads are “having to answer some difficult questions about scriptures and the reason for faith — and [they’re] not always equipped to have these conversations.” A lot of church leaders make the mistake of thinking that they’ve address kids’ needs by having Sunday school or a weekly youth group or Vacation Bible School. But the reality is, parents want their pastors and leaders to engage more directly in the spiritual formation of their kids. Maybe that means preaching on more timely moral issues or facilitating more conversations between parents and kids. Whatever it looks like, families are desperate for a more deliberate counter-balance to what their sons and daughters are getting from the culture.
“Just given the fast-changing nature of the world around us, parents are really hungry for equipping. And they know it has to be something different than what they had when they grew up, because we’re operating in another context now. The questions their kids have are really different than the questions they had at the same age.” In this day and age, I know some pastors are tempted to stay silent. They’re worried about stepping on people’s toes or creating controversy. But for the sake of the next generation, we need to encourage — and take part in — a more active community of church-led spiritual engagement. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the public schools informing my teenagers’ values!
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.