March 2, 2022

Infant Messaging: Dems’ Abortion Bill Shows First Priorities

Fortunately, the outrageous maneuver failed. And we can only hope it has devastating consequences for Joe Biden’s party.

For the men and women milling about the Senate floor, it was a surreal moment. They’d been back in session barely two hours — the first time, many will point out, since Vladimir Putin unleashed his war against the West. But instead of joining the rest of the world in racing to stop the threat against Europe, Democrats had other priorities: the spilling of innocent blood here at home. For the president’s party, the timing of their unlimited abortion bill vote will be another thing Americans won’t forget this November. It was a disturbing snapshot of the Left’s leadership team, who made one of the first orders of business after Russia invaded Ukraine advancing their own war on the unborn.

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), who’s delivered more than 5,000 babies in his Kansas practice, couldn’t talk about it without getting emotional. “I can’t believe it myself, but at a time when Vladimir Putin is murdering Ukrainians, my Democrat colleagues want to murder more unborn Americans for any reason up until the baby takes its first breath. Can you imagine that — up until the baby takes its first breath? … It’s just unthinkable. You know, I just walked off the Senate floor, and it’s just so emotional right now. I can hardly even… I just communicate how upset we are about this.”

Fortunately for him, the states, and millions of unborn children, the Democrats’ outrageous maneuver failed. And, more importantly, we can only hope it has devastating consequences for Joe Biden’s party. By forcing their members to take a difficult vote like this — on a truly fringe bill that would have legalized unlimited, taxpayer-funded abortion right until the moment of birth — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aren’t just dealing with bad optics. They’ll also be managing the fallout for putting their most vulnerable incumbents on the spot for an extreme measure most Americans don’t support and they knew wouldn’t pass.

It was a high-stakes gamble that revealed a lot about the majority party, including a) how beholden they are to their radical base; b) how little they care about representing true voter sentiment on abortion (or any issue); c) what an unconvincing lie Biden’s “moderate” candidacy was; and, d) the number of senators and congressmen they’re willing to sacrifice on the altar of NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

As Marshall points out, this bill — the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act — goes “way beyond” Roe v. Wade. Frankly, he said, it’s “way, way beyond” anything we “could have ever dreamed up.” Apart from giving the green light to free abortions on demand for any reason right up to the moment of birth, it also brings the hammer down on rights of conscience, abortion safety, and common medical sense. A faith-based hospital would be sued if they didn’t do abortions, he explained. “A person like myself — a pro-lifer — would have had to quit medical school over this issue.” So would a lot of medical and nursing students today if they knew they’d be forced to participate in abortion.

“This law gets rid of informed consent and parental consent… Mostly it wipes out [hundreds] of state laws that you and I have worked so hard [on] — whether it’s the partial-birth abortion laws or just protecting a mom’s health.” Even more ironically, considering the bill’s name, “This legislation would allow these abortions to be done in a garage [or a] back room apartment… States would [not be able to] say, ‘Look, if you’re doing abortions, you have to at least have it at the same level as a surgery center that’s certified by the health department… And no longer would they require physicians to do this procedure. They would allow nurse midwives, physician’s assistants to do the procedure.”

To Marshall, that’s downright terrifying. “I’m telling you, I’m trained as an obstetrician myself — and I would never even dream of letting an intern do this procedure… This will cost women their lives. It’s going to cost their future fertility. We’ll have women bleeding to death, infected, and infertile because of these procedures being done by novices… You think about these late-term abortions that they would be performing. They’re so complicated [and] hard to perform. It scares me to death.”

In the end, the idea was so radical that Democrats couldn’t even keep their own party in line. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) crossed over to vote against the bill, helping it fail 46-48. In a country where only eight percent of voters think abortion should be legal in the third trimester, even abortion sympathizers like Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters that the language was too “extreme.”

For now, the bill is effectively dead — and so, too, may be the reelection campaigns of Democrats in swing states like Senator Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (Nev.). As John McCormack points out in NRO, “While this vote might demonstrate to hardcore pro-abortion voters that the Democrats are in their corner, especially in a post-Roe America, the electoral risks to Democrats in an already dismal midterms outlook far outweigh the possible benefits.”

This was a messaging bill, and the message is: Democrats are obsessed with brutal, inhumane, late-term abortion. And they won’t stop pursuing this culture of killing until we stop them at the polls.

Originally published here.

'Prove You Are With Us’

With temperatures plunging below zero, the Ukrainians have a new enemy: the cold. Huddled in unheated subway stations, carparks, and bomb shelters, their allies in the U.S. watch the missiles hit their targets with fresh concern. “[The Russians] are destroying critical infrastructure,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned, “which provides millions of people across Ukraine with… gas to keep them from freezing to death.” For now, Kyiv’s electricity, water, and heat are holding up, but no one is quite sure for how long.

In a somber video Tuesday, Kyiv’s mayor had a dire message. “The enemy is on the outskirts of the capital,” he announced. “I ask everyone to keep calm… and stay in shelters.” As the massive 40-mile long Russian military convoy closed in on the capital — bringing armored vehicles, tanks, and artillery closer to the city borders — President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately worked to have Ukraine admitted into the European Union. In a video message that made the translator choke up with emotion, Zelensky said, “We are fighting for our land and freedom. We desire to see our children alive… We have proven that, at a minimum, we are exactly the same as you. So prove you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go… Then, life will win over death and light will win over darkness.”

As the European Parliament rose to their feet in a standing ovation, President Joe Biden was racing to adapt his own speech to America. In a candid moment during their 30-minute phone call today, Zelensky urged him to make it strong and “useful” on the war in Ukraine. In the meantime, Russian and Ukrainian forces have agreed to a second round of talks — even after Vladimir Putin refused to consider a ceasefire. Before that happens, Zelensky told reporters, “I really wanted — and I urged them — you have to, first of all, everybody has to stop fighting and go to that point from where it began five, six days ago… If you’ll do these and if those side is ready, it means that they are ready for the peace. If they don’t, it means that you’re just, you know, just… wasting time,” he said.

But FRC’s Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin isn’t so sure Putin is interested in peace. “What people need to understand is that the Ukrainians have had one enemy since they became a sovereign nation… and that was Russia… They knew that ultimately this could happen, and they have done great preparation.” But it’s not Ukraine’s preparation that has impressed the world. It’s their resolve.

As Russian morale “flags,” Ukrainians are more determined than ever to protect their soil. The great equalizer on the battlefield, Boykin explains, “is two things. It’s unity or unit cohesion and a purpose. The Ukrainians have both. The Russians, it’s very questionable because they’ve got a conscripted military. They have a lot of young men out there that are not unlike American men — they have never been tested. This is their first combat.” Other than a small incursion in Chechnya, the last combat Russia saw was in 1989 when they pulled out of Afghanistan. Frankly, he said, this is a military that is “totally incapable” of pulling off a complex operation like Putin has called for in Ukraine. “So yeah, I think he bit off more than he can chew.”

That said, Kyiv is bracing for a very fierce and very imminent battle. Earlier today, soldiers moved mountains of sand to block main roads. In other squares, there were rows of massive concrete panels staggered to stop tanks and troops. Other barriers were more primitive — stacks of metal, wood, old tires, anything that would get in the way. Everywhere else, there are flags — blue and yellow symbols of defiance posted on windows, above doorways, at checkpoints.

A lot of the young men holding rifles aren’t in uniforms but tracksuits, tennis shoes, gloves, and coats. “I’m not a professional soldier at all,” one says, “but I can try and I can do my best and I will do it if Russian forces enter Kyiv.” Incredibly, CNN points out, “Most of the men at the checkpoints are smiling. When a car passes through, they greet its passengers, wave, and wish them a safe journey, wherever they are going.” Others give a “V” sign for the victory they hope will come.

Until then, they — like the rest of the world — wait and pray, believing with all of their might that courage will carry the day.

Originally published here.

Oh No, Canada: Locking up Pastors in the New Trudeau Regime

Three weeks — that’s how long Pastor Artur Pawlowski has spent behind bars without a trial. He was denied bail in mid-February, although “he doesn’t have a court date pending until March 10th or 11th,” explained reporter Adam Soos. Pawlowski isn’t in North Korea or China. No, he was targeted by Justin Trudeau’s totalitarian regime of Canada. You would think a man jailed three times since COVID began, and arrested five times, would have to be some sort of criminal, hardened through long habit and a well-seared conscience. In reality, Canadian officials can’t tell the difference between a criminal and a Christian.

Pastor Pawlowski is the first person ever charged under the Great North’s “Critical Infrastructure Defense Act,” which authorizes “extraordinary measures… largely intended for blockades of pipeline constructions or railways,” Soos explained. Pawlowski didn’t block anything. All he did was go down to the Cootes border crossing to preach. “He prayed with them (Freedom Convoy), and then he left,” said Soos. Strangely, Soos added, “the people who were physically blockading the border, the people who were there for weeks on end, [have] not been charged under this act.” Pawlowski was arrested later as he left his home.

It’s clear to Soos that Pawlowski is “targeted as a pastor for daring to publicly decry the government.” His previous offenses have been for such scandalous crimes as preaching the word of God and feeding the homeless, even while the temporal sovereign ordered all places of worship to close. Infuriated by his refusal to obey men rather than God, the Canadian government intends to make an example out of him.

“Plainclothes officers and what amounts to basically a SWAT team stormed the house as he was walking down the steps and dragged him away,” Soos described. “Every time, they do these dramatic, SWAT-style arrests.” It’s complete intimidation. “The man has never not shown up for court. The man has never been violent whatsoever.” The episode bears a striking resemblance to another meek preacher arrested by overwhelming force. Jesus asked the mob in Gethsemane, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?” (Matthew 26:55). And they dragged him off without a fair trial.

While striking, Canada’s suppression of pastors shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus himself predicted, “‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Of course, we shouldn’t invite persecution by willfully committing crimes. “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17). As sinners persecuted Jesus without cause (John 15:25), so they will persecute those who follow in his footsteps. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Given our long history of religious freedom, Americans often expect immunity from persecution. In fact, we keep a list of the bad countries who violate religious freedom (which Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., suggests should now include Canada).

Pastor Andrew Brunson was imprisoned in Turkey for years on false charges. Now, as FRC’s Special Advisor for Religious Freedom, he warns persecution is coming. Last month, Brunson delivered prayer pledges to a Finnish politician on trial for the Bible. “This is a preview of what we could face in the United States in the future,” he said. Already Canadian and Finnish rulers have “set themselves… against the Lord” (Psalm 2:2); soon American Christians may be forced to decide whether they will “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). When that time comes, how will you answer?

Originally published here.

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

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