Right Opinion

Discharge of the Life Brigade

Tony Perkins · Jan. 9, 2020

Actress Michelle Williams thinks abortion helped advance her career. In Jeff Van Drew’s district, it could’ve ended his. Fortunately, after months of disgust over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) agenda, the New Jersey congressman walked away — leaving behind, not just a radical party, but an inhumane platform. And while the defection only became official a few days ago, the new Republican is already making his mark.

As a Democrat, Jeff Van Drew never cast a single pro-life vote. After one year of voting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) it only took one day to change his tune. And while most people will take a wait-and-see approach to the rest of the issues, at least on the most important question of human dignity, Americans have their answer. “New year," Politico reported, "new Jeff Van Drew.” The House freshman, who jumped Pelosi’s sinking ship over the recess, made it one of his first acts as a member of the minority to sign the discharge petition for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act — inching Republicans even closer to forcing a vote.

Tuesday, on “Washington Watch,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told listeners how significant it is that Jeff would make this a priority. He knows a lot of people followed Van Drew and his disgust with the Democratic Party over impeachment. But it’s not just the Left’s treatment of the president that puts the new Republican at odds with his old caucus — it’s their treatment of innocent human life. This idea that slaughtering living, breathing newborns is just another “reproductive right” is lunacy in most people’s view. Everyday Democrats (like Van Drew) and Republicans recoil at the thought of destroying healthy, adoptable, full-term infants. So much so that Pelosi can only find eight percent of Americans in the whole country who agree with her position — that infanticide is the new abortion.

“I talked with Van Drew over the weekend,” Scalise said, “and [told him] about what we’re doing with the discharge petition — and he agreed to sign it.” Thanks to Van Drew, Republicans are just 14 signatures away from breaking this logjam on Rep. Ann Wagner’s (R-Mo.) legislation. “It would be critical to get that vote on the House floor,” Scalise explained, “because I think [there] wouldn’t be 218 votes for it. I think there’d be over 300 votes for it. But Pelosi’s standing in the way, and a lot of Democrats that claim to be pro-life are hiding behind her and letting her do the dirty work.”

This discharge petition, he insisted, is the one way Republicans can get around Pelosi and the House’s abortion zealots. “And we [are] one step closer to getting this done. Everybody should be calling their member of Congress and asking a very simple question: Have you signed the discharge petition on Ann Wagner’s Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act? If the answer is yes, we appreciate what they’ve done. If the answer is no, then they can’t claim to be pro-life and not sign [something that would] get this bill on the floor, [allow us to have] a true debate, and ultimately a vote on whether or not we should protect innocent lives.”

Steve’s right. As the minority whip, he’s counted the votes. And if this gets to the floor, so many Democrats in districts that are conservative-leaning or pro-life would be forced to support it. Because here’s the reality: this isn’t about abortion. This is about infanticide. We’re talking about babies who are born alive and then denied medical care — or as the president has said, been executed. This is the thin line between civility and incivility.

“It’s that severe…” Scalise agreed, “because if you ask people — [even] most people who are pro-choice… [they] think it’s wrong. [This] is a baby that’s born alive outside the womb. That’s not abortion — it’s murder. Most people recognize that it’s murder. But the law in a number of states allow for that baby to be killed and called abortion. So that’s why the Born Alive act is so important [because it gives] federal protection across the board, no matter what state you’re in — whether your state already has a law protecting that life outside the womb. Or whether you’re in New York or other states that are trying to move [radical] legislation.”

To the people who wonder if this bill is necessary, take a long hard look at the Abortion Survivors Network. This isn’t just a hypothetical to people like Melissa Ohden, who “was a victim of an attempted saline abortion in which she was burned alive for five days, born, and later saved by the grace of a nurse who ‘couldn’t just leave me there to die’ and rushed her to a neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital for treatment.” Imagine how many thousands of other nameless babies go unreported, victims of this myth that infanticide isn’t a real issue — or worse, a personal “choice” for moms and doctors to decide. That must stop. And you can help.

Join us in sending 90,000 newborn baby hats to Nancy Pelosi’s office before the March for Life. Together, through the End Birth Day Abortion campaign, we can remind her of the cost of the Democrats’ extremism.

Originally published here.

The Land of Disappearing Christians…

There were no champagne corks popping, no crystal balls dropping in Wang Yi’s new year. The pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church was in prison, spending his second January 1st in a dark cell, charged with a crime Americans commit every day: worshipping Jesus.

The actual allegations were much more subtle — things like “illegal business activities” or “inciting subversion of state power.” But in China, government officials need no excuse. Christians, like Uyghurs, Falun Gong, and any other men and women of faith, are fair game. “Where are you taking my husband?” a woman pleads on a cell phone video of the round-up that took 100 Christians, including Yi. “Please tell me!” The pictures of bloody kneecaps, torn clothing, broken toes, and bruises followed.

Yi, like most Chinese Christians, was part of the underground. But, as the world has come to realize, there is no such thing under the watchful eyes of the communist regime. Late last month, after the pastor’s official sentencing, his family, Helen Raleigh writes, was strangely relieved. For hundreds of days, they had no idea where he was being held — or if he’d survived. The news of his nine-year prison term, however grim, “at least… signaled that he was alive.”

While his church members continue to be tortured, Yi writes in a picture of defiance, “Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they file at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.”

But the landscape is only growing more dangerous. On December 30, news of another crackdown — this time a nationwide mandate — hit the homes of believers in hiding. With 41 articles, the government warns that the new year brings new threats to people who refuse to put communist above Christ. “Religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, observe the constitution, laws, regulations, ordinances and policies, adhere to the principle of independence and self-government, adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values of socialism.”

Meanwhile, men like Tashpolat Tiyip waste away in concentration camps, banished to the high walls of barbed wire and guard towers that hold as many as a million Uyghurs. “No one outside the Chinese government knows where Tashpolat Tiyip is. No one knows exactly what charges have been filed against him. The only thing that anyone really knows is that in April 2017, as the geographer and former president of Xinjiang University in Ürümqi prepared to fly from Beijing to Berlin for a scientific conference and the launch of a research center, he disappeared without even a phone call to colleagues or family.”

Six months later, China’s propaganda machine produced a video, announcing that Tiyip was one of 88 scholars who had “deeply poisoned the minds” of students by approving textbooks with too much content from Uyghur sources. He has never been seen or heard from again. “If they took [him]," a fellow scientist said, ”… there’s no hope for the rest of us.“

Because of this — and other stories so horrifying they defy the imagination — the U.S. Congressional Commission on China believes President Xi Jinping’s country may be guilty of "crimes against humanity.” In a grueling 323-page report, House and Senate members lay out their case, listing four acts committed by Chinese authorities that would qualify:

  • The arbitrary detention of Uighur, Kazakh, and other ethnic minorities in China in well-documented mass internment camps;

  • The torture of detainees in those camps;

  • The detention of people and suppression of religious and cultural traditions in ways clearly targeted against specific minority groups;

  • The forced disappearances of hundreds of intellectuals in the region.

The conclusions are especially significant now, with the growing chorus of world leaders demanding action to stop the systematic surveillance, oppression, and torture of people of faith. Drawing more attention to the “beatings; electric shocks; waterboarding; medical neglect; forced ingestion of medication; sleep deprivation; extended solitary confinement,” and other atrocities taking place in China should help to turn up the heat globally — not just on the regime, but on American and international companies doing business with it.

“I will never accept the notion that somehow, in order to be able to sell them more things, we have to look the other way on some of the grotesque human rights violations that we’re seeing systemized on their part,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on CBS this past weekend. Let’s hope the world’s CEOs — and their governments — agree.

Originally published here.

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

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