Right Opinion

Under the Knife of Cultural Blindness

Tony Perkins · Jan. 23, 2020

Fred Deutsch didn’t set out to be a trailblazer. He just wanted to protect kids. But if his South Dakota bill stops children from being mutilated, then all of the nasty emails will have been worth it. At least in one state, hurting teens will have a chance at a normal life — not the suffering so many activists are pushing them toward.

When legislators bundled up for work yesterday in Pierre, some of them were on their way to make history. For the first time in America, a state was holding a hearing on whether minors under 16 should be allowed to surgically or chemically alter their sex. Rep. Deutsch (R) says he didn’t really plan on authoring a bill like the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, but at some point, you just can’t turn away from the suffering these “treatments” are causing.

“You know, my involvement with this was… accidental,” he told me on “Washington Watch” Tuesday. “I just ran across stories of pain and suffering from young people on the internet and Twitter. And then I was led to a couple of sites on Reddit. I’d never been on there before… but it’s where a lot of these children who are hurting go, and they share their stories of pain and misery. And many of them didn’t understand what they were getting themselves into. So that moved me. You know, it’s not hard to be compassionate when you care about kids. And it [drove] me to research if any of this was being done in South Dakota — and I found out it was.”

He remembers that he was astonished to learn that children are being pushed into puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that most of medicine hasn’t even studied for long-term consequences. And yet, Deutsch explains, doctors are prescribing testosterone to girls and estrogen to boys in “ultra-high mega-doses, as well as, [encouraging] mastectomies and what they call the bottom surgery. [All of which,]” he warns, are “irreversible.”

As Rep. Deutsch looked more and more into this fad, he was horrified by the number of young adults, who’d gone through this and said it was a mistake. “You know,” Deutsch explained, “the folks on the other side of the argument talk about puberty blockers as being a ‘pause button.’ And I’m saying, you know what? A much better possibility is just don’t give them the drugs or surgeries. Let them wait! Because according to the literature and all the studies over some 40 years, on average, about 85 percent of these kids will just come to acknowledge their normal natural [sex] that they’re born with if you don’t mess with them with drugs or surgery. So isn’t that a much better, ‘pause button?’ I think so.”

So does his South Dakota committee, which just voted 8-5 yesterday to move his bill to the statehouse floor. And while critics say he’s intolerant, Deutsch explained that nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s “no contradiction,” he pointed out, between his respect for people who identify as transgender and his conviction “that irreversible and experimental surgical and chemical interference with a child’s sexual development is morally indefensible.”

Look, he told me, there may be opposition to this bill, but “if you care about kids, I think you have to prioritize them. And in South Dakota, we don’t allow mutilation of our children. I don’t care if it’s doctors. I don’t care if it’s parents. You know, these kids on the Internet, they share pictures of themselves that just blow you away — of all these surgical scars, and it’s terrible. That should not ever be allowed. To me, that’s a crime against humanity when these procedures are done by these so-called doctors… that dance on the edge of medicine… You know, I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve had family members killed in Auschwitz. And I’ve seen the pictures of the bizarre medical experiments. I don’t want that to happen to our kids. And that’s what’s going on right now.”

A measure like this one, that protects children from making the mistake of their lives, is one of the most important things state leaders can do. We applaud South Dakota and urge others to step forward and do the same!

Originally published here.

47 Years of Wading through Roe

If you flipped through newspapers from that day, January 22, 1973, it may surprise people to know that the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade wasn’t the biggest headline. President Lyndon Johnson had died, forcing the story about America’s darkest verdict into smaller font, below tributes to the “Great Society.” Looking back, the parallel was probably fitting — a nation in mourning, any which way it turned.

Forty-seven years later, there’s no telling how many other presidents the country has buried — how many future doctors, inventors, or artists we lost because of that day. How much music we never heard, how many cures we might have found, how many teachers might have inspired children to rise above. They are the missing, the 60 million, the children who became “privacy rights” and “choices” and “women’s health.” A half-century ago, seven men in black robes stole their dignity. But today, a nation of pro-lifers — led by a fearless president — is here to take it back.

It doesn’t matter what the courts say or what society tells us, “every person,” the president declared, “the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value. Although each journey may be different, no life is without worth or inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended.” It’s the third time Donald Trump has turned this date of American disgrace into a moment of unity for the unborn. In his proclamation for this National Sanctity of Human Life Day, he wanted the country to know that his entire administration “proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.”

Not that most Americans needed persuading. This is, after all, a commitment that Donald Trump has taken very seriously — passing more pro-life policy, everyone agrees, than any president in U.S. history. But for as much as he’s accomplished, the president is clear: he still isn’t satisfied. Even after listing the dozens of promises kept — from Title X funding and to international human rights — he argues, “Still, there is more to be done, and, as president, I will continue to fight…”

Elsewhere, other leaders are seeing his boldness and following Trump’s lead. Governor Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.) wasted no time declaring January 22 a statewide Day of Prayer for the Unborn. He encouraged Nebraskans to pray for the end of abortion. But more than that, he explained on “Washington Watch,” that Americans look upon this day as a reminder to help others — “mothers, fathers, and families in need, especially,” he pointed out, “those expecting a child who cannot provide for themselves.”

When I asked him about this — why he used the Roe v. Wade anniversary as a calling to help others — his answer was telling. The term “pro-life,” Ricketts explained, “is not just a slogan. And it’s not just about abortion. It’s an important part of what we do… but it’s also remembering that we’ve got people in our communities who need our help. That’s a pro-life message. So whether it’s helping families who need food assistance, women who have been trafficked — anybody — that’s what [being] pro-life is really about: recognizing th[e] dignity that’s innate in each and every one of us. And we just had Martin Luther King Day [and the] most urgent, persistent question of life [to him] was: What are we doing for others?”

It’s a powerful message, the pro-life ethic, because it doesn’t end in the womb. It’s a persistent, nagging drive to see people as people — with value and needs and purpose. But that takes a compassion that not everyone has. So today, Governor Ricketts explained, “we’re talking about changing hearts and minds — and we need God’s help to be able to do that. We wanted to bring people together in that cause of praying for the end of abortion, to be able to continue to work toward making this a country that respects life again.” Maybe then, we’ll start respecting each other again.

For more on the significance of this day, check out David Closson’s op-ed in the Christian Post, “47th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade: Increasing Opposition to Abortion Nationwide.”

Originally published here.

Dems Try Rewriting Rules of Enragement

If there’s someone to pity in this impeachment sham, it’s the early risers. Tuesday, after a Senate session stretched well past 2 a.m., it was obvious that the “deliberative body” was going to have to be deliberate about one thing: caffeine. Operating on no sleep, Senate Republicans plowed through a grueling 13 hours just to approve the impeachment rules. But even they — it turns out — were a victory.

Unlike Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) secret circus, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has set up what he calls "a structure that is fair, evenhanded, and tracks closely with past precedents that were established unanimously.“ In other words, this isn’t going to be another Capitol basement witch hunt that fails to meet any of the founders’ criteria. This trial, like Bill Clinton’s, will follow the rules.

Of course, Senator McConnell, many would argue, has had a lot of time to think about how an impeachment case would go in his chamber — since, as the Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm has pointed out, he’s had three years to think about it. "On Jan. 20, 2017," Malcolm wrote, "the day Trump was sworn in as president, a Washington Post headline read: ‘The campaign to impeach Trump has begun.’” Ten days later, Malcolm went on, “Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the so-called "whistleblower,” tweeted: “#coup has started. First of many steps.” A handful of months later, on May 17, Democrats like Rep. Al Green (Texas) were already on the House floor, demanding impeachment.

Now, there may still be surprises in McConnell’s trial, but the president’s acquittal shouldn’t be one of them. “There is absolutely no way,” John told me on “Washington Watch” Tuesday, “that there are going to be 67 senators who’ll vote to remove President Trump on either of these articles of impeachment.” They aren’t buying it — and more importantly, the American people aren’t buying it. As a matter of fact, Donald Trump is heading into this trial with the highest approval rating yet of his presidency.

“Both sides,” John explains, “are playing to the electorate.” But remember, he warned, “that didn’t work out so well for the Republicans during the Clinton impeachment trial.” When all is said and done, this may be one of those occasions when Democrats wished they’d learned from history, instead of trying to rewrite it. They’re trying to remove the president — not because he’s done something wrong, but because of his policies, which, as John points out, are an “anathema to their progressive agenda.”

And they may claim, as Pelosi did, to have scored a big win. “This president is impeached for life,” the speaker declared. And in this case, Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) argues, “she is 100% correct. This president was impeached for ‘life’ — or, to put it more clearly, he was impeached because he is pro-life.” His efforts on the unborn alone, Banks points out, “are reason enough for the pro-abortionists in the Democratic Party to look for ways to remove him from office.”

“While other presidents have promised they would stop organizations such as abortion giant Planned Parenthood from getting tax dollars to subsidize their abortion activities, this president actually did it… Trump has also gone out of his way to protect conscience rights… protecting religious orders, pro-life organizations, and others that have religious or moral objections to providing coverage for contraceptives that cause early abortions in their health insurance plans. [That’s] a welcome change from President Barack Obama’s efforts to bankrupt nuns or have them thrown in jail… Trump has also championed ending inhumane human fetal tissue research, supported pro-life legislation in Congress, highlighted dangers to the unborn in Obamacare, and fought pro-abortion forces at the United Nations.”

“So, yes, Pelosi is correct that Trump was impeached for life because his pro-life credentials so inflamed Democrats that they would grasp at anything they could to impeach him. Trump is likely proud of it. If that is a badge he must carry, I am happy to carry it as well. Consider me also impeached for life!”

Originally published here.

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

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