Right Opinion

Legal Infanticide: Biggest Mistake Ever

Tony Perkins · Apr. 30, 2019

It was a surreal segment of the Friday morning news. Just over the border in Columbia, Maryland, Fox 5 reporters were on the scene of a grisly homicide. “I want to remind viewers,” the anchor warned, “that some of the details in this story are very graphic.” There, in a quiet suburban neighborhood, police had stumbled on the body of a newborn baby — dead, the anchor shook his head, “just moments after being born.”

Fox 5’s Ike Ejiochi was as horrified as everyone else. This was “a healthy, full-term child who was alive at the time of birth,” he insisted. Investigators followed the trail of blood from a bathroom to the master bedroom and finally found the little newborn, “wrapped in a towel and zipped up in a plastic bag in a closet.” From the Howard County police to the Fox 5 team, people on camera were appalled that anyone would be capable of such a thing. And yet, if this mother had been in a hospital — and not her own home — Democrats would be the first to argue: this wasn’t a crime. It was a “choice.”

But what may be first-degree murder in Maryland is being championed as a “personal medical decision” in Wisconsin. There, Governor Tony Evers (D), like the rest of his ridiculously out-of-step party, is perfectly okay with this kind of infanticide as long as it’s done neatly and under the watchful eye of a health care professional. If your unwanted baby survives, Democrats would prefer that you kindly throw him away at a hospital — not your townhouse closet. At least then, as Governor Ralph Northam (D-Va.) pointed out in comments earlier this year, “the infant would be kept comfortable.”

After years of pro-life leadership in the state, the successor to Governor Scott Walker wants voters to know: there are far more important things to worry about than the brutal killing of newborn babies. “We have all sorts of issues to deal with in the state of Wisconsin,” he told reporters, “and to pass a bill [like born-alive] seems to be not a productive use of time.” Tell that to the hundreds of grown survivors like Melissa Ohden, Claire Culwell, Gianna Jessen, and Josiah Presley. Surely, their lives are worth the minute it would take Evers to sign on the dotted line?

Think again. The new governor says he can’t be bothered to deal with something so “redundant.” “I ran on the belief,” Evers insisted, “and I still believe — that women should be able to make choices about their health care,” he insisted. Republicans like state Senate President Roger Roth couldn’t believe his ears. Vetoing the measure, he argues, would mean Evers has “gone farther to the extreme than I imagined.”

President Donald Trump, at a political rally filled to the rafters in Green Bay, was just as astounded. “Your Democrat governor here in Wisconsin shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive,” he said with disbelief. “The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don’t think so. It’s incredible.”

Of course, the liberal media was out with its rebuttals in no time, arguing that the president was promoting an “incendiary falsehood.” (If you’re wondering how many “incendiary falsehoods” the CDC has tracked since 2002, try 143. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Even the government points out that those are just the documented incidents from six states.) CNN, meanwhile, took particular exception to the word “execute,” which they insist never happens. (Eyewitnesses from the clinics of Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpan would beg to differ. If snipping a newborn’s spinal cord or snapping her neck isn’t execution, what is?) The media can quibble on what to call it, but they can’t quibble on the fact that it happens.

As for Governor Evers, he may have passed the test of the extreme Left, but he’s failed the one on humanity. When it comes to the tragedy of infanticide, D.C.‘s Fox 5 was right. It is graphic and disturbing. But as much as they’d advise viewer discretion, it might be voter discretion that makes all the difference.

Originally published here.

Report: Worst Countries for Freedom Revealed

After years of watching faith ignite overseas civil wars and acts of terror, Americans are learning the hard way that no one is immune from religious hostility. Here in the U.S., as people gather in California to bury a woman killed at her synagogue during Passover services, the backdrop for a new report on International Religious Freedom is hitting particularly close to home.

With the Sri Lanka Easter attacks a grim reminder of what’s at stake, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) rolled out its 20th report on the most repressive countries for faith. At a special event Monday morning, I joined my fellow USCIRF commissioners in highlighting some of the worst abusers of freedom — and offering recommendations to the administration for the role the United States could play in ending that suffering.

“Innumerable believers and nonbelievers across the globe” continue to be persecuted for their beliefs, particularly, we point out, in these top 10 countries of particular concern (CPCs): Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. China, especially, with its concentration camps for Uyghur Muslims and its crackdown on Christians and Falun Gong, shows that the threat to men and women of faith is as severe as ever. But there are others, USCIRF points out, that should also be commanding the State Department’s attention, including Central African Republic, Nigeria, Russia, Syria, Uzbekistan and Vietnam — where religion is an excuse to isolate, marginalize, and punish innocent people.

“Although some foreign governments have joined the fight to promote freedom of religion or belief,” the report explains, “others brazenly suppress it.” In places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, we’ve watched the rise of blasphemy laws incite waves of hatred and violence — while places like India pose a threat for its increasing secularization of religion.

As we struggle with the aftermath of the tragedies in Sri Lanka and New Zealand, USCIRF is more committed than ever to protecting worshippers’ safety. Over the last few months, it’s become clear that the softest targets in the world being exploited by terrorists are churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship. As I mentioned Monday morning, there are wonderful men and women in our government trying to create safe places over vital installations like power plants or other facilities. But where we see a glaring need, especially in this age of ISIS, is in congregations all over the world.

One of our specific recommendations to the Departments of State and Defense is to partner with foreign governments to train and equip local officials to better protect places of worship. That’s especially important in countries that face such a high risk of attack. As someone with a background in law enforcement, I understand how important it is to work with leaders on the ground so that every person — regardless of their faith — can worship in safety and security.

Despite some bleak headlines for men and women of faith this past year, USCIRF also witnessed great progress in the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson and the efforts of this president to make international religious freedom a priority. As the report explains, “This is the story of people who wish to live their lives as their conscience leads, who dream of raising their children so that they can make their own choice about what to believe or not believe freely and openly.” And thanks to the leadership of the Trump White House, it’s a story this government takes seriously.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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