Category archives: Abortion

Pro-Life Converts: Dr. Bernard Nathanson

by Lauren Kaylor

August 14, 2019

After coming to terms with the reality of abortion, the co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (which has since been renamed to NARAL Pro-Choice America) became fiercely pro-life only a few months after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

NARAL is one of the oldest and largest abortion activist groups in America. Founded in 1969, NARAL contributed rigorous pro-choice momentum to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Only a few months after the decision, NARAL’s co-founder and medical spokesperson, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, began a long and painful journey coming to terms with the fact that he had been incredibly wrong about abortion. Nathanson spent the rest of his life dedicated to exposing NARAL’s language distortion, lies, and deceptive strategies that have misled so many Americans into calling themselves “pro-choice.”

As an OB-GYN, Dr. Nathanson claimed responsibility for 60,000 abortions, including those performed by Planned Parenthood abortionists whom he trained. He began to grapple with the dark reality of killing children soon after he viewed a real-time ultrasound. In a 1974 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, he wrote, “I am deeply troubled by my own increasing certainty that I had in fact presided over 60,000 deaths.”

Dr. Nathanson was so troubled that he even attempted to take his own life. Thankfully, he befriended a Catholic priest who led him into a relationship with God. In 1996, he was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church. Nathanson wrote several books including The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor who Changed his Mind, and made documentaries including Eclipse of Reason and The Silent Scream. Until the time of his death at age 84, Dr. Nathanson tried to convince the world of the truth about abortion. On his deathbed, he instructed his friend Terry Beatley to tell Americans how and why he deceived the American Courts and public.

The Jargon of “Choice”

NARAL developed deceptive strategies in the 1960s that still loom large to this day in American colloquial discourse. Because referring to abortion as “the right to kill your unborn baby” is distasteful to the human heart, Dr. Nathanson admitted that NARAL intentionally crafted new language and slogans to make abortion sound more agreeable. NARAL framed the debate to be about the “choice” to stay pregnant. This same language of “choice” is used ubiquitously today. Interestingly, pregnant women used to always be referred to as “with child,” and it is telling that we have largely abandoned that preposition in the English language today.

Lie, Lie, Lie

Dr. Nathanson took advantage of his accolades, knowing that he could fabricate facts and figures because the public would trust him as a medical doctor. Over-calculated statistics today stem from Dr. Nathanson’s lies. In The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind, Nathanson exposes the fabricated statistics that bolstered Roe v. Wade. According to his confessions, in the 1960s, he claimed that there were one million illegal abortions being done annually and that 5,000-10,000 women died from them every year. Nathanson later admitted that the actual figures were 98,000 illegal abortions and around 250 women that died annually. To put this in perspective, he confessed to over-estimating by over 1,000 percent the number of illegal abortions, and by 4,000 percent the number of women who died.

Another false statistic that Dr. Nathanson propagated around the time of the Roe v. Wade decision was that 60 percent of Americans wanted abortion-on-demand to be legal. In reality, this number was around 50 percent. To this day, despite 50 years of pro-choice propaganda dominating the mainstream media and Hollywood, this figure has remained largely unchanged.  

Manipulate the Catholics 

The Catholic Church has always held that life begins at conception and therefore opposes abortion. Known as “The Catholic Strategy,” a deadly political maneuver to sustain the abortion industry, Dr. Nathanson admitted that NARAL specifically preyed on and deceived Catholic politicians into supporting legalized abortion, which made it easier to convince non-Catholics to stomach the idea.

NARAL convinced Catholic leaders that they could remain “personally pro-life,” but could still vote for politicians who were pro-choice. Dr. Nathanson called this “the most brilliant strategy of all time.” Any time a Catholic politician softened their stance on abortion, NARAL emphasized the fact and blamed the Catholic Church for any woman’s death from an illegal abortion.

Abortion is Not Love

On his deathbed, Dr. Nathanson begged Terry Beatley to deliver his personal parting message: “Tell America that the co-founder of NARAL says to love one another. Abortion is not love. Stop the killing. The world needs more love. I’m all about love now.”

Beatley has honored his request by launching an educational nonprofit called the Hosea Initiative, and writing What If We’ve Been Wrong? The book exposes the abortion industry for exploiting women, killing children, having racist roots, and being inextricably connected with the deception of women.

In Dr. Nathanson’s resignation letter from NARAL in 1975, he stated:

The annual dues to NARAL are ten dollars and the hubris of certainty. Regretfully, I can no longer meet those dues.”

Lauren Kaylor is an intern for Life, Culture, and Women’s Advocacy at Family Research Council.

Pregnant Women Aren’t Foolish. So Why Do Pro-Choicers Treat Them Like They Are?

by Bailey Zimmitti

August 12, 2019

Those dedicated to the pro-life movement understand that there are two people in need of defense in an unplanned pregnancy—the woman and her unborn child. The child’s undeniable right to life is an obvious subject of focus among pro-lifers, but the women carrying these children need attention too.

No sensible person would think that poverty and other adverse life circumstances render a person foolish or less dignified. So why does our society often treat women with unplanned pregnancies like they’re ignorant? Why do we treat these women like they need a savior to rescue them instead of like the dignified grown women that they are?

In 2017, while volunteering for a pregnancy resource center (PRC) called ABC Women’s Center in Middletown, Connecticut, I witnessed for myself the abhorrent savior complex of pro-abortion advocates. On an early Wednesday morning, our staff got word of a protest that was co-organized by NARAL Pro-Choice CT and Lady Parts Justice League as a part of the “#exposefakeclinics” campaign. What NARAL did not consider was that since we served many single mothers, and that since it was the summer when kids are not in school, the mothers always took their kids with them to come for parenting classes and other services at ABC. We didn’t want them or their children to be forcefully exposed to that kind of hurtful rhetoric. But when the mothers asked why we were asking them to reschedule, we told them the truth—and they were angry. Very angry.

And then something amazing happened: our clients asked to come and peacefully counter-protest the anti-pregnancy center protest. And we listened. We bought signs, markers, and water bottles, and our coalition of mothers and ministers were ready when NARAL arrived.

Oftentimes in the abortion debate, we talk about giving women with unplanned pregnancies a voice where they previously did not have one. That’s exactly what happened at the ABC Women’s Center in Middletown—these women spoke for themselves. But instead of listening, Connecticut’s pro-abortion activists are covering their ears. They targeted pregnancy centers again this past month with a dangerous piece of legislation aimed at undermining PRCs.

On June 6, HB7070, “An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers” thankfully failed in the Connecticut State Senate after it was not called on for a vote by midnight. One of the most frustrating aspects of this debate was that the proponents of the bill could not cite a single complaint filed against any pregnancy center in the state. This clearly shows that these kinds of actions from the Left do not concern the safety and flourishing of women; they are instead focused on advancing their own agendas at any cost, even if it means stifling the voices of real women with real unplanned pregnancies.

The Left’s narrative is that “deceptive advertising” is used by pregnancy resource centers and that low-income women of color must be protected from the wicked snares of white conservative Christians. This narrative is a lie. Women with unplanned pregnancies already have individual, dignified, worthy voices—and trust me, they have plenty to say. The problem is that we are not listening.

The mothers from ABC came on that scorching day in 2017 so that the liberal elitist voices wouldn’t drown out theirs. One pro-abortion woman dressed in a superhero outfit spoke into a microphone about giving voice to the voiceless—while the very women she claimed to defend stood in front of her expressing exactly what they need and want.

Women who are facing unplanned pregnancies are not stupid, so let’s not speak for them. Let’s listen to them and to the men and women who work with and for them.

Pro-choicers have created a narrative that says that a pregnant mother’s choice to accept help to carry her unplanned baby to term isn’t a worthy choice. This is not “pro-choice”—it’s pro-abortion.

Pro-choice activists cannot continue to berate pro-lifers for “not doing anything” when the work that pro-lifers are doing to help mothers to make an informed choice is being jeopardized by legislation and activism from the same group who claims that “choice” is everything.

Bailey Zimmitti was an intern at Family Research Council.

After 17 Years, Infants Born Alive Still Need Real Protection

by Patrina Mosley

August 5, 2019

Today (August 5th) marks the 17th anniversary of the passage of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002, which declared that infants born alive after having survived an abortion attempt deserve all the rights and care that would be given to any other infant. After the bill easily passed Congress, most Americans no doubt assumed there would never again be a debate over whether infants born alive after a failed abortion attempt should be offered life-saving care. Yet here we are again.

Democratic politicians have gone from “safe, legal, and rare” in the 1990’s, to the “my body, my choice” mantra, to now basically, “if you like your baby, you can keep your baby.” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam seemingly endorsed infanticide, and Virginia Rep. Kathy Tran awkwardly tried to advance legislation that would allow for abortion up till the day of birth. If you call something evil (abortion) “good” for long enough, it will eventually be taken to its furthest extreme.

We are witnessing the Left’s reaction to what is arguably the most pro-life administration in modern history.

Protecting the unborn has been one of President Trump’s greatest successes. President Trump has nominated constitutional originalist judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts, overseen the creation of a new pro-life conscience protection division at HHS, put a stop to American tax dollars funding international abortions more than any other president (the expanded Mexico City Policy), eliminated grants for research involving fetal tissue, decoupled Title X Family Planning Funds from abortion facilities, and more.

All this has made the abortion cult angry—even to the point where they are willing to ignore pro-choice voters

For the first time ever, New York legalized on-demand abortions up to the day of birth, even repealing born-alive protections for infants who survive an abortion. But two-thirds (66 percent) of New York voters say they oppose a law allowing late-term abortion. Also, Rhode Island’s legislature expanded abortion protections by declaring it a fundamental right and blocked a bill that would provide full protections for infants born-alive if they survive an abortion attempt. Yet, 77 percent of Rhode Island voters oppose allowing abortions up until birth. Specifically, 63 percent of Democrat voters (an almost two-thirds majority) and 56 percent of voters who self-identify as pro-choice oppose late-term abortions.

According to an Americans United for Life/YouGov Survey, 77 percent of pro-choice Americans oppose removing medical care for a viable child.

Even pro-choice, Democratic voters are not so willing to say it’s okay to leave a child on the table and wait for them to die, while the doctor and mother discuss whether or not they want the child to live.

It has become clear that stronger protections are needed. Currently, there is no federal criminal statute against taking the lives of born-alive infants. This is why we need The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. It would require lifesaving medical care be given to babies born alive after failed abortion attempts and would add enforcement tools to prosecute doctors who deny life-saving medical care to infants who survive abortion. This act has been blocked more than 70 times by Congressional House Democrats. There has not been a single federal prosecution brought against an abortionist since this law was passed, even though the CDC admits that at least 143 infants died after surviving abortion.

Democratic governors have vetoed state versions of the bill in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Montana.

But on the bright side, in states like North Carolina, Illinois, New Mexico, and Nevada, Democrats of color crossed over to vote with Republicans for born-alive protections. After all, the African-American community is the primary target of the abortion industry, and many of color in positions of power are acknowledging that.

It’s been a bewildering time in the abortion debate between what voters say they want and what Democratic legislators are pushing down their throats, but moreover, it is exceptionally disturbing for those who have actually survived abortion attempts to essentially be told that their lives don’t matter as legislators continue to block born-alive protections.  

Abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden, Josiah Presley, and Claire Culwell are living today simply because someone acted with compassion to save their lives. These are living, breathing people whose lives matter to their adoptive families, the spouses they’ve married, the children they’ve raised, and the friendships they’ve developed.

This is why we need to secure a vote on The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by having members of Congress sign on to the discharge petition which would force a floor vote on the bill, regardless of Democratic leadership of the House. Perhaps by getting a vote on The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, we can start to rebuild the road back to human rights and human dignity.

In the meantime, please join FRC’s End Birth Day Abortion campaign to show your support for the life of all babies born alive by sending a baby hat to Congress. 

Helping Those in Need Should Not Be Political

by Bailey Zimmitti

August 5, 2019

On Wednesday, July 24, two FRC interns joined a group of pro-life interns in the office of Representative Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) for a briefing on current pro-life topics on the Hill. Students in attendance represented various colleges, organizations, and party affiliations, but all shared a common belief in the inherent dignity of all human life.

Rep. Lipinski gave the interns a synopsis of his political career in great humility, highlighting his desire to serve his constituents above any political agenda. He admitted that he is one of the very few Democrats who votes consistently and unwaveringly pro-life despite the increasing pressure among his fellow Democrats to oppose the Hyde Amendment and to support abortion expansion bills. He emphasized the importance of standing true to what is right even in the face of strong opposition: “If it costs me being a member of Congress, that’s a small price to pay.”

I had the honor of posing a question I have asked myself many times as a student caught in the midst of a political warzone known as the modern college campus:

How can we depoliticize abortion and come together for the sake of human rights?

Building a Coalition

The pro-life population consists mostly of conservatives, but that does not mean that being pro-life is an exclusively conservative position. Rather, pro-lifers from various creeds and parties should come together for the sake of human dignity and learn how to steer discourse about abortion away from politics and towards the truth of human dignity.

Rep. Lipinski agreed that there are a number of reasons to be pro-life—believing that every human is a child created in the image of God, believing in conservatism and the preservation and protection of the family under natural law, believing in science and the undeniable reality that life begins at conception, and even being a Democrat and believing that the government’s duty to protect the most innocent and vulnerable begins with the most innocent and vulnerable—children in the womb.

He explained that we have to dispel the myth that pro-life means “anti-woman.” We have to show that pro-life is pro-woman, and that it is a position that excludes no creed or group of people.

He cited a great example of what this coming together looks like: as a part of their Bottles to the Border campaign, New Wave Feminists, a secular pro-life group founded by Destiny Hernan de la Rosa, teamed up with Abby Johnson’s And Then There Were None (ATTWN) coalition along with other pro-life groups. They asked supporters for donations on two Amazon wishlists and were overwhelmed by pro-lifers’ eagerness to give.

The first list was completed within 48 hours. By the grace of God, a member of the ATTWN shared the mission with their church and ended up sharing with the owner of a trucking company who generously donated an 18-wheeler to deliver the supplies. In order to fill the rest of the truck, they launched another wishlist, which was also speedily bought out.

The two groups had delivered $120,000 worth of supplies and over $70,000 in aid funding to various different respite centers on the southern border.

In response, many conservatives have asked Abby Johnson if her work on the border meant that she supported open border policies, to which she responded:

No, I don’t support lawlessness, I don’t support an open border, I support legal immigration, doing it the right way, but the bottom line is I don’t have the answer, I don’t know the answer, but I can deliver these wipes so that babies’ butts are clean and they’re not getting infections. And I know how to make sure that a baby can get fed, and that’s really what this is about. And that’s what it is to be the Church, to meet the needs that are right in front of us.

This Is Not Our True Country

It seems that one mistake many conservatives make is loyalty to the party over the kingdom. We belong to no one else more than we belong to our Creator. At the end of the day, no matter how much we love the United States of America—and trust me, I do—this is not our true country.

20th century writer Flannery O’Connor wrote in a famous essay entitled “The Fiction Writer and His Country” of this concept of “true country.” Her treatment of writers may well also be said of public figures as well as the average citizen invested in his country’s politics:

The writer’s value is lost, both to himself and to his country, as soon as he ceases to see that country as a part of himself, and to know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility, and this is not a virtue conspicuous in any national character.

Social issues like abortion and serving at the border are not about politics—they are about human beings. Where there are people suffering, the church has a duty to serve in humility and loving kindness no matter what political no-man’s-land we must cross to do so. Democrats can fight abortion and Republicans can serve at the border, that we might all enter our true country and be greeted with these words:

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ … ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25: 34-36, 40).

Bailey Zimmitti is an intern at Family Research Council.

Melissa Ohden and the “Right to Choose”

by Lauren Kaylor

July 29, 2019

When Melissa Ohden was in her mother’s womb, an attempt was made to abort her. The amniotic sac was injected with saline solution to poison her and to chemically burn her skin from the inside out. Instead of burning her to death in 48 hours or less as the saline abortion was intended to do, Melissa fought for her life while her tiny body soaked in the solution for five days. As it turned out, she was several weeks older than the doctor had estimated. Labor was induced and Melissa was born alive prematurely at 31 weeks.

Melissa is now a beautiful 41-year-old woman and is a wife and mother of two children. She has a master’s degree in Social Work, authored the book You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir, and founded The Abortion Survivors Network. She is one of the most passionate, motherly, and confident women I have ever met.

I recently read You Carried Me and I implore everyone to do the same. Melissa is one of hundreds of documented abortion survivors. Her testimony to having survived an attempted abortion at her maximum level of helplessness is heart-wrenching yet beautiful; her understandable feelings of anger and confusion were transformed into reconciliation, forgiveness, and love. She holds no anger in her heart towards her transgressors. Ohden uses her unique existence to fiercely fight for the children who, like her, are unwanted by at least one person with the power to take their lives away from them. Most babies who undergo abortion do not make it out alive like she did.

Only a couple of days after reading You Carried Me, I met Melissa Ohden. She was one of two pro-life witnesses testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on June 4, 2019 called “Threats to Reproductive Rights in America.” In response to many states’ recent bills restricting abortion, six pro-choice witnesses advocated for the so-called woman’s “right to choose” abortion. Melissa was one of the two women testifying for the unborn child’s right to life.

Observing this hearing and listening to Melissa’s visceral testimony, I was inundated with the hard reality that a woman’s so called “right to choose” is irreconcilable with the universal human right to life. This is the agonizing irony of the lack of pro-choice logic: anyone alive today who advocates for the “pro-choice” side was not aborted. Pro-choicers were given their right to life, but they advocate for a woman’s right to take away the life that they were all given. Ronald Reagan once said, “I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”

In the 2018 “Abortion Worldwide Report,” Thomas W. Jacobson wrote, “The first inalienable human right is the right to life, which includes the right of self-defense and the duty to protect innocent human life.” The duty to protect the innocent must always be undivided from the sanctity of life and our right to it. If the right to life of certain members of society is not protected, no one else’s right to life is secure. This is bolstered by the laws of logic; we must remain consistent in our thinking. Jacobson continues, “As clearly evident in the natural law and in Scripture, murdering another human being regardless of the motive or rationale, can never be a ‘human right.’”

If we do not intensely protect everyone’s right to life, there is no sense in exercising or fighting for literally any other right. No other right has meaning if we aren’t all first given the right to life. Melissa Ohden’s right to free speech is null and void if she had been aborted, like the pro-choice agenda would have it. As individuals and as a society, our allegiance must first go to protecting the right to life. This necessitates that we do not believe in a woman’s “right” to an abortion.

The question we must ask of those who identify as “pro-choice” is, “What exactly is being chosen?” To argue for a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is to argue for a woman’s right to take away an innocent, defenseless life. If Melissa’s mother really had the “right to choose,” then Melissa did not have the right to live and should not be here today. Melissa happened to survive because the attempt to kill her failed. The right to life cannot begin after a person is deemed “wanted.” The “right to choose” is irreconcilable with not only Melissa Ohden’s existence, but all our existence. It is a tragic irony that human beings who evaded the terrible fate of abortion are advocating for that very fate to be forced onto another innocent person.

Interestingly, one of the pro-choice panelists at the “Threats to Reproductive Rights” hearing choked up and could not answer the question when asked, “Didn’t Melissa have the right to live?” Perhaps it was because the panelist realized the truth: that Melissa does have the right to live, and that right began in the womb.

Lauren Kaylor is an intern for Life, Culture, and Women’s Advocacy at Family Research Council.

How to Talk About Abortion: 3 Ways to Frame the Debate

by Bailey Zimmitti

July 26, 2019

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of social media posts from both ends of the political spectrum about whether or not we should be friends with people on the “other side.” Because abortion is one of the most divisive issues of our generation, this question has particularly intrigued me as I have navigated both academic and personal relationships as a pro-life college student.

At one point, I started to scale back my visibility within the pro-life movement on campus because it clearly wasn’t a glamorous opinion to have. To my delight, avoiding hot topics like abortion made my life a lot easier. But as Christians, we are not called to shy away from the abortion debate. We are called to be witnesses to the truth of the gospel.

As I have begun to be more visible online and on campus within the pro-life movement, the biggest obstacle that I have encountered when discussing the issue is that more often than not, pro-lifers and pro-choicers are operating from completely different worldviews. This means we must frame the debate in an effective manner and carefully define our terms. This will help us to have real conversations with those we disagree with rather than having contests to see who can better regurgitate jargon from either side of the debate.

Here are three important ways for pro-lifers to frame the debate:

1. Judging actions and judging people are not the same thing.

You’ll often hear pro-choice rhetoric that claims that Christian pro-lifers are judgmental, when the Bible says not to judge. The passage they’re talking about comes from Matthew 7:1, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.” As with most pro-choicers who quote Scripture to make a point, this passage is taken out of context.

When Jesus says this famous line in Matthew 7:1, he does not prohibit people from judging the actions of others. If you keep reading, he says, “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” (Mt 7:5). The entire point of the passage is that Christians should not judge arrogantly, with sin in their hearts, but rather with pure hearts in order to compassionately and effectively bring others closer to a life of authentic joy in Christ Jesus.

Even though this is hard to swallow, it’s the truth: we are called to judge. The critical distinction is that we are called to judge actions, not people. There is a difference between judging the moral quality of an act and judging a person’s character (i.e. “killing an unborn child is wrong” versus “you are a bad person for thinking that abortion is permissible”).

What does this look like in the abortion debate? I know that abortion is evil, but I don’t think that women who have had abortions are evil. I know that the abortion industry’s rhetoric and agenda are manipulative and wrong, but I don’t have personal hatred for the people who work in the industry. I understand that having an abortion is never an easy decision. I understand that abortion is a physically and emotionally devastating thing to go through. I understand that abortion workers feel like they are helping women. But understanding these things does not cloud my ability to say with clear conviction that abortion takes the life of an innocent child, and that this should not be legal.

2. There is no “neutral” position in this debate.

Pro-choice advocates often respond to pro-lifers by saying, “You don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. But don’t impose your belief on someone else.” But this misses the point. We in the pro-life movement know that the deaths of millions of human persons are being incentivized in a for-profit industry, and this cannot remain legal. The point of having laws is to establish an ordinance of reason for the common good. If abortion is contrary to reason and the common good, then it should be illegal.

There is no such thing as a truly “neutral” position in the abortion debate. Either abortion takes the life of an innocent person, or it does not. This is one of the hardest pills to swallow about the abortion debate, but one of the most crucial.

3. Those on the other side are not our enemies.

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the scribe asks Jesus who our neighbor is (Luke 10:29), and Jesus demonstrates that we are called to reach out in love without condition to all men as our neighbors.

In light of Christ’s new definition of “neighbor,” it seems appropriate to give a new definition of “enemy.” Returning to the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the just and the unjust’” (Matthew 5:43-45).

So, who is our enemy? Typically, a pro-lifer might define their enemy as any pro-abortion advocate, and vice versa. While there is no doubt that the tension between those with battling ideologies is inevitable, we must always remember that the pro-lifer’s enemy is abortion itself, not pro-abortion advocates. So, when we talk to someone on the opposite side of the abortion debate or any other issue, we have to straddle our duty to deliver the gospel in truth and charity.

I once wrote an online homework assignment visible to the professor and students about Audre Lorde’s comments on abortion, and no one addressed me on it. I was fuming. A friend from that class said to me afterwards, “I’m glad you wrote your assignment about abortion. I’m pro-choice and I don’t believe that a fetus is a person, but if I did, and I thought that millions of people were being systematically killed, I would speak out too.”

Delivering the truth in charity is not easy when there are so many terms and worldviews to reconcile, but if we lack charity, policy debates will get us nowhere. It’s time to cast aside our fears about others not liking us and remember, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

Bailey Zimmitti is an intern at Family Research Council.

What Harper Lee and John Donne Can Teach Us About Protecting All Life

by Mary Jayne Caum

July 25, 2019

Almost sixty years ago, Harper Lee taught us that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because of their innocence. However, more than 600,000 “mockingbirds” are killed each year. These mockingbirds are infants in the womb; infants who are devalued, targeted, and exterminated. Sadly, this is not the first time in American history human life has been devalued.

In 1857, the United States Supreme Court erroneously declared, “[T]he negro race [is]… a separate class of persons… not regarded as a portion of the people or citizens of the Government…” In the Dred Scot decision, the Supreme Court essentially proclaimed that African Americans were only partially human. Later, with the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the American people rejected this false opinion and recognized the inalienable rights of newly freed slaves. Over one hundred years later, in 1973, the Supreme Court would once again declare a class of people only partially human. However, as with Dred Scot, the American people should discard the tenants of Roe v. Wade and recognize the inherent dignity of infants developing in the womb.

When a life is devalued, it is easy to destroy. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court devalued the life of infants in the womb by saying the state only has an interest in protecting children once they reach “viability” (which is an elastic term that changes with every advancement in neonatal intensive care technology). Roe explained that a child can be protected after viability because, “the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb.” However, the Court failed to explain what meaningful life means. Self-sufficiency? Wealth? Excellent health? Mental capacity? Even outside the womb, no child can survive without being fed, clothed, nurtured, and loved. Having to rely on someone does not devalue your life. Arguing that babies should be aborted simply because they cannot have a “meaningful life” is the same argument slave owners perpetuated.

Slave owners argued that African Americans were inherently inferior and “benefited” from the heinous institution of slavery. Masters contended that no slave could lead a meaningful life absent of slavery. Furthermore, pro-slavery advocates such as Stephen Douglas argued that slave owners had as much right to control their slave’s destiny as if the slave was a pig. Douglas wrongly contended that slaves had the same right, dignity, and freedom as pigs.

Today, children in the womb are labeled an inconvenience, not a person; a burden, not a soul. With the Supreme Court’s endorsement, the right to kill infants in the womb was created. Now, children are torn apart limb from limb through “dilation and evacuation” (D&E) dismemberment abortions. Shockingly, the disdain that some in our society have for life does not cease even when a child enters the world.

If a child survives a late-term abortion procedure, abortionists in some states now have the option to ignore the child gasping for life on the table and deny the struggling infant medical care. (Please join FRC’s End Birth Day Abortion campaign to fight this grave evil.) Abandoning a vulnerable infant is the logical outgrowth of the pro-abortion argument. As ethicist Peter Singer disturbingly explained in his well-known work Practical Ethics:

A week-old baby is not a rational and self-conscious being, and there are many nonhuman animals whose rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel, and so on, exceed that of a human baby a week or a month old. If the fetus does not have the same claim to life as a person, it appears that the newborn baby does not either, and the life of a newborn baby is of less value to it than the life of a pig…

Harkening back to the advocates of slavery, Singer compares infants with pigs. Pro-abortion advocates argue that women should be able to control the destiny of their unborn child as if that baby were a pig. We must reject this modern form of rationalizing slavery and once again recognize the inherent worth and dignity found in each person no matter their race, socio-economic status, or stage of development.

Like the abolitionists of old, we must promote the dignity of all people, realizing that, as poet John Donne observed, “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” Our hearts should ache for every dismembered, partially born, and abandoned baby whose life was declared meaningless. Pro-life advocates cannot stop proclaiming the truth and fighting for the rights of the vulnerable. As we fight for babies in the womb, let us be encouraged by the truth that one day our Heavenly Father “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

We must protect children in the womb from abortion’s pain and death, remembering that it is a sin to kill the mockingbirds in our midst.

Mary Jayne Caum is a Policy intern at Family Research Council.

Pro-Choice” Planned Parenthood Discourages Choosing Life

by Abigail Ross

July 24, 2019

Planned Parenthood’s vision is a “pro-choice” America. The nation’s largest abortion supplier claims to support a woman’s right to make her own health decisions, which, in their opinion, should always include abortion. However, they do the exact opposite of supporting all women’s health decisions.

Planned Parenthood’s agenda is not focused on women, but on profit. The abortion supplier does not support the life-ending abortion procedure as one option among many, but as the only viable option. Planned Parenthood honors a woman’s choice for her baby’s life as long as she chooses to abort her unborn child, therefore increasing Planned Parenthood’s profits.

Former Planned Parenthood employees have revealed that the organization’s boasts about supporting a woman’s choice are inaccurate. Choice is often unwelcome in the doors of their clinics. Their employees have coerced women into getting an abortion over adoption or raising their child. They have ignored the pleas of women who chose life for their baby.

Planned Parenthood furthers the irony of “choice” as the pro-abortion mantra by aiding those who force women to get abortions. Parents, the fathers, abusers, or even pimps often force girls and women to end the life of their unborn baby regardless of her wishes. Planned Parenthood has assisted these people by honoring their wishes to abort the baby, sometimes against the woman’s desire to let the baby live.

Planned Parenthood has assisted sex traffickers and abusers by supplying the abortions they request and then returning the victims back to their pimp or abuser. In a report from the Annals of Health Law, more than half of sex trafficking victims in the United States visit a clinic, most commonly Planned Parenthood. The organization has adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude, even though employees are mandated reporters, which requires them by law to report even suspected instances of abuse or trafficking.

Lauren, a human trafficking survivor, says, “No one ever asked me anything when I went to a [Planned Parenthood] clinic.” Lauren was so young that a Planned Parenthood doctor had to sign a waiver for her to receive medication. Planned Parenthood does not fulfil their legal and moral obligation to report instances of abuse and human trafficking. They allow these abusers to force their victims into abortions, regardless of if the mother wanted to let her baby live, and then allow the women to be returned back into these abusive situations. This has happened time and time again within the clinics’ doors, such as in the instances below.

  • In 2017 a report was filed against George Savanah documenting the abuse of his 13-year-old daughter. Savanah raped his daughter over many years. When she became pregnant at 14, 16, and 17 years old, he took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Planned Parenthood did not report the crime and returned the daughter back to her abusive father. Many cases like Savanah’s have come to light with the same heartbreaking outcome—girls were placed back into abusive situations as a result of Planned Parenthood’s failure to report.
  • Live Action released an undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood. In this investigation, actors posed as a pimp and one of his sex workers. Multiple Planned Parenthood employees, who were made fully aware that the customers were involved in a sex ring, failed to report the crime. Additionally, they even aided the pimp and gave him advice to get birth control and abortions for his sex workers, many of whom he claimed were minors.
  • After Live Action released their investigation, Planned Parenthood responded by calling a mandatory training on how to spot and report sex trafficking for their employees. However, they yet again failed to right the dangerous problem within their walls. The training simply taught employees how to identify if they were being recorded and how to avoid saying anything incriminating on camera. Lila Rose, president of Live Action, responded, “When confronted with child sex traffickers, Planned Parenthood cared more about protecting its image than protecting children.”

Planned Parenthood boasts about how they help women make their own health decisions. They have not done this. They have allowed parents, boyfriends, and even pimps and abusers to coerce mothers to abort their unborn babies. Planned Parenthood has allowed women to stay trapped in abusive situations.

This issue has not gone unrecognized by the Trump administration. The administration took action by publishing the “Protect Life Rule” which prohibits family planning clinics that receive Title X funding from referring women for abortions. The Trump administration has taken action to protect the lives of innocent babies, thereby helping to reduce the amount of federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives, an organization which cunningly manipulates women into abortions.

In reality, Planned Parenthood does not comply with the pro-abortion mantra “pro-choice.” The nation’s foremost abortion supplier cannot see past dollar signs and deceives women into “choosing” what is best for their organization, ending the life of a baby.

Abigail Ross is an intern at Family Research Council.

Planned Parenthood Rejects Title X and Proves Their Bottom Line Is Abortions

by Patrina Mosley , Connor Semelsberger

July 22, 2019

As a result of the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lifting a preliminary injunction on the Protect Life Rule, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced they will begin enforcing new regulations governing the Title X Family Planning Program. In response Planned Parenthood, as well as several states and other abortion providers, have decided to withdraw from the program rather than comply with the new regulations.

This marks the first time that Congress has ever been able to successfully shift domestic federal family planning funds away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The response from Planned Parenthood and others shows that they have only one thing on their mind—abortion. Even though these new regulations mandate that clinics provide non-directive counseling for women on all options when faced with a pregnancy—including abortion—they still refuse to comply.

The refusal of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to abide by federal laws regarding the separation between federal tax dollars and abortion is nothing new. This withdrawal is very similar to when in the early days of his presidency, President Donald Trump instituted the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (PLGHA) which ensures taxpayer dollars are not used for abortions overseas. Instead of abiding by the requirement that grantees are not allowed to promote or perform abortions, the International Planned Parenthood Federation became one of only four grantees that perform abortions to back out of the program over the policy change.

In 2017, President Trump even made an offer to then Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards that her organization could continue to receive federal funds as long as they committed to no longer performing abortions, and she responded with this: “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion—a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.”

If Planned Parenthood truly cared about offering women the other “care” services they claim to provide, they would have had no problem complying. But their refusal to receive grant money to “care” for women by providing other services besides abortion only goes to show that abortion is their bottom line—not the “3 percent” like they claim.

Abortions from Planned Parenthood have increased while their “other services” have consistently decreased. From 2009 to 2014, breast exams at Planned Parenthood dropped by over half (56 percent), cancer screening and prevention programs at Planned Parenthood consistently decreased and dropped by close to two-thirds (63 percent), and prenatal services steadily decreased and dropped by more than half (57 percent). Planned Parenthood performs 18 times more abortions than the prenatal services it provides. Moreover, according to Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 report, out of total services for pregnant women (adoption referrals, prenatal services, abortion), abortion made up over 97 percent.

As of late, newly fired Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen alluded to the fact that her and the Planned Parenthood Board of Director’s philosophy dissected at abortion versus being a robust healthcare entity. The Board wanted abortions and abortion advocacy to be what drives the organization.

This goal is reflected in the fact that Planned Parenthood currently operates over half of all abortion facilitates in the U.S.

For far too long, Title X funds have been entangled with the abortion industry—particularly with Planned Parenthood who received nearly $60 million, all while the authorizing statutory language made it clear that the Title X family planning program must be separate from abortion.

Planned Parenthood has proven itself to be unfaithful with Title X anyways. In order to receive these annual grants, Planned Parenthood and other organizations are expected to comply with state mandatory reporting laws. Planned Parenthood has repeatedly been caught failing to report statutory rape and sex abuse, aiding and abetting sex trafficking, and performing services that it knows are dangerous and low-quality, killing young women such as Tonya Reaves and Cree Erwin.

The new Title X regulations not only enforces the physical separation of Title X activities and abortion centers but it also strengthens the enforcement of Title X recipients’ to be in compliance with mandatory reporting requirements and parental notification laws.

We are thankful Planned Parenthood has decided not to comply with the Protect Life Rule. This disentangles taxpayer dollars with the abortion business, keeps the integrity of the Title X program in place, and frees up resources to go to the other federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and pregnancy resource centers that both outnumber abortion facilities and provide true comprehensive care for women.

It is high time for Planned Parenthood to get out of the family planning business anyway.

Abortion is not healthcare, nor is it family planning.

Abby Johnson Reminds Us What the Pro-Life Movement Has Always Been About

by Matt Carpenter

July 18, 2019

If you haven’t already heard, the nation’s largest provider of abortion just unceremoniously cut ties with its president, Dr. Leana Wen. Dr. Wen served as president of Planned Parenthood for eight months and cited “philosophical differences” regarding how the organization should prioritize political activities as the irreconcilable difference that led to her employment being terminated.

In an open letter to Planned Parenthood affiliates and staffers, Dr. Wen explained that her vision for the organization was for it to be a “national health care organization” first, and an advocate second. Planned Parenthood’s board of directors held a different vision. According to Wen, the board believes the organization ought to focus on advocacy (read: politics) first.

Many people were exuberant once news of Wen’s firing was announced. One pro-life advocate had an entirely different take, however. Abby Johnson wrote the following in a post on Facebook:

I’m not an emotional person. I don’t cry easily or find myself overcome with emotions very often. But yesterday, I cried when I read Dr. Leana’s tweet stating that she had been fired from Planned Parenthood…

When I saw Dr Leana Wen’s salty tweet about Planned Parenthood firing her after management held “secret meetings,” I was overwhelmed with emotion. I know what that betrayal feels like. I know what this new transition in her life feels like. And guys, it sucks. BUT, she’s out. Maybe she didn’t leave because of a profound conversion, but she made it clear in her statement that she left because Planned Parenthood has too many problems that she can’t ignore. AND THAT IS AMAZING. She was in negotiations to leave her job because she couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t take their unabashed support of abortion, no matter the cost to women’s health. As a doctor, I’m sure the rose colored glasses were ripped off pretty quickly once she was inside. And now she’s out.

I don’t expect that she is prolife or even anything that resembles prolife. I wasn’t either when I first walked away from Planned Parenthood. But the chance for real conversion is so much greater now that she is away from that organization. And when that moment does come, I am ready. I am ready to chat with her for hours, to hear her story, to grieve with her, and to mourn the loss of her own child. I am here, arms open.

Let us all pray that her moment of clarity comes quickly. And when it does, she will need a safe place to land. Let’s make sure that the prolife movement is that place.

Johnson makes an important point the pro-life movement would do well to consider. We ought to stand ready to accept those coming out of the abortion industry/advocacy movement with open arms. Johnson herself knows this first hand (if you’re not familiar with her amazing story, you should go see the movie Unplanned).

Leana Wen hasn’t renounced the practice of abortion, but her abrupt departure reminds us that there are people at organizations like Planned Parenthood—people who may someday see the devastating toll of abortion. People like Abby Johnson.

For the pro-life movement to succeed in making abortion a thing of the past, it needs to change hearts and minds—especially of those in the abortion industry itself. For us to do that we need to pray. Changing the law and providing resources to women facing unplanned pregnancies are necessary to prevent abortion from happening today. However, lasting success for the movement depends on winning a spiritual war. As Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Ephesus: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). And that’s something we can’t do without prayer.

Matt Carpenter is the Deputy Director of State and Local Affairs at Family Research Council.

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