Tag archives: Abortion

Callous and Cruel: The Senate Fails to Uphold Human Dignity

by David Closson

February 26, 2020

Yesterday, the United States Senate voted on two significant pieces of legislation: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Although a majority of senators supported the bills, both fell short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture (i.e., end debate and move to a vote on the bill) and overcome a Democrat-led filibuster.

The Senate voted 53-44 on the Pain-Capable cloture vote and 56-41 on the Born-Alive cloture vote. The votes were largely along party lines. Two Democrats (Casey and Manchin) voted in favor of Pain-Capable, and three (Casey, Manchin, and Jones) voted in favor of Born-Alive. All Republicans voted for Born-Alive, while two Republicans (Collins and Murkowski) voted against Pain-Capable. The three Democratic senators currently running for president (Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren) were not present for the vote, though all have voted against both measures in the past.

From a Christian worldview perspective, the Senate’s inability to pass these pieces of common-sense legislation represents a massive moral failing. Unfortunately, opponents of the legislation—including the abortion lobby—launched a massive misinformation campaign to deny the need for these bills.

First, they denied scientific evidence that babies in utero can feel pain at 20 weeks. Doctors understand this scientific reality, which is why they administer pediatric anesthesia during fetal surgeries. This reflects an understanding that fetal surgeries have two patients: the mother and the child.

Moreover, the legal framework under Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to the moment of birth. Currently, unless individual states take legislative action to restrict abortion later in pregnancy, abortion on demand is legal through all nine months of pregnancy. According to FRC’s new pro-life map, 22 states allow abortion on demand right up until birth. The United States is one of only seven countries in the world (including North Korea and China) that allow abortion after 20 weeks.

Considering these facts, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a necessary bill, and the Senate’s failure to pass it reflects a callous and cruel disregard for the dignity and value of human life.

Second, opponents of Born-Alive denied that infants can be born alive following an abortion procedure and claimed the bill was a solution in search of a problem. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2014, at least 143 infants were born alive after an abortion procedure and later died. Moreover, only eight states require reporting data on infants who survive abortion, meaning the available data is almost certainly an underestimate. FRC has identified at least 170 additional born-alive abortion survivors, beyond the 143 abortion survivors reported in the CDC’s death statistics. This means there are, at an absolute minimum, over 300 cases of infants surviving an abortion.

Born-Alive explicitly requires health care practitioners to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to an infant who survives an abortion as they would for any other baby born at the same gestational age. To reiterate, children who have already been born are the focus of this legislation. Thus, this bill is not even about abortion; it’s about born-alive infants!

Moreover, the legislation would create criminal penalties for any health care provider who fails to render medical aid to infants born alive and for any health care facility that does not report a failure to provide care. Although a 2002 federal law defines born-alive infants as full persons, there are currently no provisions in the law to hold abortionists accountable for killing or denying medical care to infants who survive abortion.

The failure to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act amounts to a moral dereliction by every senator who voted against it. The fact that 41 senators could not take a stand on infanticide is horrifying.

A person’s worldview has consequences. In the political arena, this is certainly true; a legislator’s worldview provides the framework for his or her policies and political positions. Yesterday, a minority of United States senators disclosed a worldview with a deficient moral framework when it comes to caring for the most vulnerable members of society. The worldview divide in the Senate on this issue could not be starker, as evidenced by yesterday’s votes.

The Trump administration revealed its own worldview with the issuance of a statement of administrative policy shortly before the Senate’s vote. In part, the statement said: “Our most helpless Americans cannot protect themselves from pain or from those who would callously allow them to die. The government, therefore, has a compelling responsibility to defend the rights and interests of these babies, including to be free from excruciating or unnecessary pain. All babies have the same dignity. They should not have to endure pain, and they should receive critical life-saving care regardless of whether they are born in a hospital, at home, or in an abortion clinic.”

Christians should pray for every senator who voted yesterday. We should thank God that most senators voted to protect babies who feel pain and babies who are born alive following abortion procedures. We should also grieve that so many senators lack the compassion to stand up for children who need their help. We should lament their decision to vote “no,” and commit to praying that their hearts and minds will change.

Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of the Protect Life Rule, Again

by Patrina Mosley , Connor Semelsberger

February 25, 2020

After a months-long legal battle, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (9th Circuit) ruled 7-4 that the Protect Life Rule, which separates federal Title X Family Planning funding from abortion facilities, can go into full effect.

In July 2019, an 11-judge panel sitting en banc in the 9th Circuit reinforced a decision that the Protect Life Rule could go into effect temporarily while the merits of the case against the rule filed by Planned Parenthood and several liberal states were argued. Since this July ruling, HHS has enforced this new rule which requires physical and financial separation between clinics that receive Title X funds for family planning services and facilities that perform abortions. It also prohibits physicians at Title X family planning clinics from referring patients for abortions.

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit finally ruled that the Protect Life Rule is constitutional and can go into full effect. This victory in the historically liberal 9th Circuit is a welcome sight and was made possible in part by the great work of President Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate to confirm 51 federal appeals court judges, including two 9th Circuit judges who took part in yesterday’s ruling. However, it would not be a surprise if Planned Parenthood and the other plaintiffs decided to appeal this ruling all the way to the Supreme Court, but even at the highest court in the land there is precedent for the Protect Life Rule to be upheld. In 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court upheld similar regulations governing Title X finalized under President Ronald Reagan. The decision in Rust was a crucial part of the opinion issued by the 9th Circuit yesterday, and suggests a similarly favorable outcome should this case reach the Supreme Court.

For far too long, the people’s tax dollars have been entangled with the abortion industry. Trump’s “gag rule” only gags the dishonesty and lack of integrity that has been taking place for decades, so ultimately the court’s decision to uphold the restrictions is a win for life and a win for women.

Under the Protect Life Rule, abortion is no longer considered to be “health care” or “family planning.” Abortion-performing entities like Planned Parenthood, who have decided not to comply with the new Title X restrictions, have by default opened up more opportunities for life-affirming health care centers like federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and Obria, which provide even more services to women than Planned Parenthood.

To see a list of the Grantees who voluntarily withdrew from Title X grant awards, see our blog here.

As a result of restoring integrity to the Title X regulations, there will be an increased diversity of health care providers available for women to choose from in the federal family planning program, and the taking of innocent life will no longer be accepted as “family planning” in America.

Is the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act Necessary?

by Ingrid Skop, M.D.

February 24, 2020

In today’s divisive society, legislation that places any limit on abortion is immediately protested by abortion providers and activists, usually followed by lawsuits, and sometimes judicial prohibition. This is true of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, even though this proposed legislation does not address abortion provision at all. It merely mandates medical care for an infant if he is born alive after a failed attempt at abortion.

Vocal abortion advocates state that this legislation is unnecessary because a liveborn infant after attempted abortion never occurs. There is substantial evidence, however, that this is not true. Some pro-life leaders, such as Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, are themselves survivors of failed abortions. In 2013, Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder for euthanizing three infants born alive after he failed to kill them in the abortion attempt. The CDC documented 143 instances of infants surviving abortion between 2003 and 2014. However, only eight states require the reporting of infants who survive abortions. It should be intuitive that when abortion suppliers are unsupervised and allowed to voluntarily report their own complications, they will not willingly confess that they have committed infanticide. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is necessary because it would ensure that medical care be given to infants who survive abortion.

In order to understand how a live birth after an attempted abortion could possibly occur, one needs to understand the abortion techniques that can be used to perform abortions after the first trimester. Survival is highly unlikely with a dilation and evacuation (dismemberment) abortion because the fetal parts are removed in a piece-meal fashion and the fetus dies from blood loss and trauma. Even so, Josiah Presley survived his dismemberment abortion but is missing an arm because of it. An intact dilation and extraction (partial-birth) abortion is illegal by federal law, but undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress suggest that this procedure may be secretly used in order to obtain more complete fetal bodies for research purposes. A hysterotomy abortion (C-section) is rarely performed. However, labor is often induced for very late abortions, because the larger, more developed fetus cannot be dismembered easily.

The CDC reports that 1.2% of abortions occur after 20 weeks gestation, which is near the gestational age where many babies can survive. Thus, in 2018 at least 11,500 fetuses were aborted who had the ability to live separated from their mothers (estimates range from 9,100 to 15,000). Likely, almost all of these extremely late abortions are performed by labor induction. A European study demonstrated that over half of 241 peri-viable fetuses (between 20-24 weeks gestation) survived labor induction despite having abnormalities for which they were being terminated.

Although it is often assumed that abortions after viability in the U.S. are only performed for severe fetal abnormalities or to save the mother’s life, the reality is that most are performed for elective reasons, just as early abortions are. Reasons frequently given for late abortions are: “not knowing about the pregnancy,” “trouble deciding about the abortion,” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.” It appears that indecision and partner abandonment and coercion are far more common reasons for the elective killing of pain-capable and viable fetal humans than truly heart-breaking situations.

Thus, it is likely that at least half of the estimated 11,500 viable fetuses who are intended to be aborted by induction may survive the labor process yearly, unless they are killed by the abortionist prior to labor. So, the question must be asked, do abortionists routinely perform feticide prior to induction abortion? They can certainly do that safely. There are at least 12 studies documenting the safety of at least six different feticide procedures.

There are drawbacks to feticide for the woman and the abortionist (though none for the fetus, who presumably would prefer to die quickly without excruciating pain). Feticide usually requires an injection of a cardiotoxic agent such as digoxin or potassium chloride into the amniotic fluid or directly into the fetal heart. The injection necessarily passes through the women’s abdominal wall into the uterus and can be uncomfortable for the woman. It requires extra time and skill on the part of the abortionist and adds an additional expense to the procedure. Again, because there is no mandatory reporting of abortion procedure details, there is a high likelihood that many abortionists performing later abortions will forego this step, which they may consider unnecessary.

As an OB/GYN in Texas, I have seen evidence of this personally, when a Texas law required feticide prior to a later abortion due to concerns about the potential for fetal pain. Abortionists argued against complying with this law by saying that feticide would be dangerous for a woman (despite the numerous studies they have published demonstrating its safety). The truth is, they did not want to take the extra time and effort to euthanize the fetus before the abortion. There are likely thousands of viable infants delivered alive after failed abortions yearly in our country, who are then killed by the abortionists. They can operate with impunity because they know no one is watching them.

Thus, it is clear that the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is necessary legislation. Thousands of elective abortions are performed yearly in the U.S. on healthy fetuses after the gestational age at which they can survive separated from their mothers. Induction of labor is commonly performed, and studies show that the labor process often fails to kill these babies. Abortionists have proven their resistance to euthanizing the fetus first, so although the abortionists are unwilling to voluntarily report this dreaded complication, it undoubtedly does occur in numbers far larger than most imagine.

We must prevent abortionists from crossing the line from killing a living fetus in utero, which is permissible by law, to killing an infant after birth, which our society has always considered morally reprehensible. The slippery slope so often warned against by pro-life advocates is in front of our eyes. Can we draw a line against infanticide? Or have the decades of dulling our consciences by allowing elective abortions eroded our moral sensibilities to the point where killing an infant capable of being resuscitated is no longer taboo?

Ingrid Skop, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. has been a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist for 22 years. Dr. Skop is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Board Member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), and a Charlotte Lozier Institute Associate Scholar. She is the author of Top 10 Myths About Abortion.

Ending Abortion One Pregnant Woman at a Time

by Daniel Hart

February 19, 2020

Why do women have abortions, and what can the pro-life movement do to help these women so that they don’t have them?

In terms of directly saving unborn lives, this question should be at the heart of pro-life activism.

Numerous studies have been conducted asking women who have had abortions what their reasons were for going through with the procedure. The primary reason that most women give is financial hardship—depending on the study, between 40 percent and 73 percent say they could not afford the baby.

Emily Berning and her husband founded Let Them Live in 2017 to help solve this problem. In an interview, Berning described how she wanted to start an organization dedicated to helping women with unplanned pregnancies financially after she realized that “there is an untapped market for financial aid and financial support for women who are on the edge, about to have an abortion, to help bring them back and choose life instead.”

According to Berning, the pro-life movement needs to “refocus on these moms because, ultimately, they’re the ones walking into that abortion clinic and they’re the ones who [are] ultimately deciding to [have the abortion].”

Let Them Live’s unique approach to helping women begins with posting a story about a pregnant woman in financial need on their website, with the estimated amount of money the woman will need to get back on her feet and carry her baby to term. By gathering donations through their website (often called “crowdfunding”), Let Them Live has been able to save 26 babies from abortion in the last year. To protect the donations from being misused, Berning says that Let Them Live pays the bills of women in need directly to the utility company or the landlord.

Berning has also emphasized that paying for the short-term financial obligations of pregnant women in need cannot be where their help ends. “We never want to leave the moms we help high and dry so we also connect them with local resources, jobs, and financial literacy classes to ensure their future success.”

Let Them Live is an inspiring example of a startup pro-life organization that is meeting the needs of women with unplanned pregnancies where they are at in order to prevent them from aborting their babies. What is especially encouraging is that a similar strategy for saving unborn lives is being put into practice in a big way by Human Coalition, which has been in operation since 2009.

What makes Human Coalition so innovative is that they are able to provide a whole host of different services all within their organization. First, through the use of online marketing outreach on Google and other popular search services, they reach thousands of people who are looking for abortion facilities.

Once a contact is made, Human Coalition is able to direct the abortion-minded person to their own contact center which is staffed with trained counselors who give encouragement and guidance so that the woman (or boyfriend, husband, or family member) can be directed to services that can assist with helping the woman carry her unplanned pregnancy to term.

After Human Coalition has established this vital connection through their contact center, they can direct the person to one of over 45 pro-life pregnancy centers spread across the country in which they serve and support directly. In addition, Human Coalition owns and operates their women’s care clinics which are “specifically tailored to the abortion-determined client and their families, and offers a range of services designed to support women in crisis” and are now available in six major metropolitan areas. To date, Human Coalition has been able to save 4,483 babies.

But as discussed earlier, the care for women with unplanned pregnancies cannot end once their child is born. That’s why Human Coalition has a “Continuum of Care” program that “coordinates long-term assistance through a network of support services already in place.” These services include “financial, job-training, job placement, maternity housing, health care, etc.”

Let Them Live and Human Coalition are filling a gap in the pro-life movement that is overlooked but highly needed—to specifically target the needs of pregnant women who are seeking out abortion so that they carry their babies to term and are given the resources to thrive post-birth. Let us support organizations like these and pray that their ministries may continue to grow so that our culture will truly and authentically become one where every life is lovingly welcomed, every mother is supported, and abortion becomes unthinkable.

Margaret Sanger and the Racist Roots of Planned Parenthood

by Worth Loving

February 10, 2020

Recently, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (R-N.C.) came under fire for comments he made regarding Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger. Speaking to an MLK Day breakfast at Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, Forest said this: “There is no doubt that when Planned Parenthood was created, it was created to destroy the entire black race. That was the purpose of Planned Parenthood. That’s the truth.” Forest later defended his comments to McClatchy News: “The facts speak for themselves. Since 1973, 19 million black babies have been aborted, mostly by Planned Parenthood. I care too much about the lives of these babies to debate the intent of Sanger’s views when the devastation she brought into this world is obvious.”

Margaret Sanger, her sister, Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York on October 16, 1916. The clinic was later raided by the NYPD, and all three women were arrested and charged with violating the Comstock Act for distributing obscene materials. After laws governing birth control were relaxed, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which was renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942.

While Lieutenant Governor Forest was attacked by many on the Left for pushing an uneducated, insensitive agenda, history backs him up. The fact is that Margaret Sanger strongly believed the Aryan race to be superior and that it must be purified, a view that finds its roots from Charles Darwin’s defense of evolution in The Origin of Species. Darwin argued that a process of “natural selection” favored the white race over all other “lesser races.” Sanger advocated for eugenics by calling for abortion and birth control among the “unfit” to produce a master race, a race consisting solely of wealthy, educated whites. Sanger said she believed blacks were “human weeds” that needed to be exterminated. She also referred to immigrants, African Americans, and poor people as “reckless breeders” and “spawning…human beings who never should have been born.”

Sanger once wrote “that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.” In an effort to sell her birth control and abortion proposals to the black community, Sanger said: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” In 1926, Sanger was also the featured speaker at a women’s auxiliary meeting of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey.

Sanger opened her clinics in largely minority neighborhoods because she believed immigrants and the working class were inferior and needed their population controlled so as to purify the human race. That trend continues today where almost 80 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. In fact, although only 13 percent of American women are black, over 35 percent of all black babies are aborted in the United States every year. Abortion is the leading cause of death for blacks in the United States. According to Students for Life of America, “more African-Americans have died from abortion than from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined.” Black babies are about five times more likely to be aborted than whites. On Halloween in 2017, Planned Parenthood’s “Black Community” Twitter account tweeted: “If you’re a Black woman in America, it’s statistically safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to term or give birth.”

While Margaret Sanger tried to portray Planned Parenthood as a merciful organization that helps needy families, the facts speak for themselves. In her testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in September 2015, former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards openly admitted that over 80 percent of her organization’s annual revenue comes from performing abortions and not basic health care for poor or disadvantaged women. When you dive deeper, well over 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s annual revenue comes from performing abortions.

Despite this sordid history, Margaret Sanger is almost universally recognized as a pioneer for women’s rights rather than the racist she actually was. When accepting Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that she “admired Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…I am really in awe of her.” Those like Hillary Clinton are ignoring the explicitly racist statements that Margaret Sanger made throughout her life. The fact is that Sanger normalized birth control and abortion in the United States as a means to accomplish eugenics. Her ultimate goal was to eliminate non-white races, people with sickness or disabilities, children born to felons, the poor, and immigrants, to name a few.

Margaret Sanger is no heroine, and Planned Parenthood is not some merciful health care provider as the Left paints it to be. Margaret Sanger repeatedly stated her racist intentions for the whole world to see and hear, and Planned Parenthood was and still is the manifestation of those racist ideologies. America was founded on the idea that no matter your race, creed, national origin, disability, or station in life, everyone who comes here or is born here has the opportunity to live a successful, fulfilling life. Margaret Sanger didn’t believe that.

As pro-life activists, we must do our part to expose Margaret Sanger for who she really was. We must also expose the racist history of Planned Parenthood and how that history is still relevant today. For more information on Margaret Sanger and the racist roots of Planned Parenthood, check out these FRC resources: Planned Parenthood Is Not Pro-Woman and The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death.

Virginia Is Trying to Make Abortion Less Safe and Keep Women in the Dark

by Blake Elliott

February 6, 2020

The Virginia General Assembly is considering legislation to expand abortion access and repeal life-saving pro-life laws. Radical pro-abortion legislators have been advocating for expanded access to abortion in the fear that Roe v. Wade will soon be overturned. After pro-abortion Democrats gained control of the Virginia General Assembly, they wasted little time in targeting the state’s pro-life laws.

On January 28, 2020, Virginia’s House of Delegates passed House Bill 980, a bill which expands the list of medical professionals who can commit abortions during the first trimester to include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified midwives. This bill also removes the 24-hour waiting period requirement, a requirement that women seeking abortions be given an opportunity to view an ultrasound, and a requirement that medically accurate information regarding the procedure be provided to the woman seeking an abortion.

Not to be outdone by the Virginia House of Delegates last week, the Virginia State Senate passed a companion bill, Senate Bill 733. State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) described the urgency of passing these bills by arguing that existing pro-life laws somehow inhibit women from controlling their bodies and easily ending the baby’s life.

The sad reality is that these bills will do more than expand abortion—they will actually make the procedure even more dangerous. By eliminating the ultrasound requirement, abortions will become more unsafe by removing the crucial step of allowing the physician to clearly see the unborn child in the womb. Furthermore, repealing the requirement that the woman be given medically accurate information opens the door to women being denied critical information about their pregnancies.

In addition, the dangers that come with these bills allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certified midwives the ability to commit abortions that they have not been trained to do cannot be ignored. One would think that the Democratic party, who claims to be “pro-woman” and is promoting these bills in the name of “women’s health,” would want certified physicians with training to be the ones committing the abortion, but that is not the case. Instead, they treat abortion as if it were a minor procedure. State Senator Stephen Newman (R-Bedford) emphasized this when he pointed out how “there is no other procedure we deal with that ends the life of another person.” It is crucial that we remember that these procedures don’t just simply kill the baby—they can also be dangerous for the woman.

For pro-lifers, these bills amount to an egregious effort to repeal major pro-life laws on the books in Virginia which have saved countless lives. Delegate Margaret Ransone (R-Westmoreland) gave a powerful testimony in the House as she described the need for these pro-life laws and the dangers of repealing them. She pointed out that no matter what the circumstance is around the pregnancy, a woman seeking abortion deserves information about what will happen during an abortion. Abortions are incredibly traumatic procedures, and women deserve to be given access to as much information as possible about them.

Delegate Ransone described one abortion provider’s description of a chemical abortion, which read similarly to Planned Parenthood’s website. Planned Parenthood describes chemical abortions and how the woman will cramp and bleed tremendously and release “large clumps of tissue.” Not surprisingly, they fail to mention that these large clumps of tissue are actually the unborn child. Wouldn’t one think that a woman would want to be fully informed about a chemical abortion (which is in reality an in-home, do-it-yourself abortion) and the trauma that will come with it? Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Bedford) described House Bill 980 as being “so lax, so casual, that anyone, at any time, almost anywhere can have an abortion performed by just about anybody.” If pro-abortion Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly cared about “reproductive health,” then why do they support deregulating an industry that has hurt women?

Only one Democrat, Delegate Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), spoke on the House floor in favor of House Bill 980. Delegate Hope said that the issue was personal for him because he has three daughters, and he wants his daughters to be able to make their own reproductive health decisions—without all the information necessary to make that decision, apparently. He demanded that his colleagues support this legislation to roll back “medically unnecessary” restrictions on their health care. Delegate Hope apparently believes allowing women access to medical information regarding an abortion somehow “restricts” their health care. What was missing from his comments was any sort of awareness that his daughters, and women in Virginia, will not be able to make the best decision for themselves if they are not given the best possible information.

It is incredibly sad that the Virginia General Assembly decided to pass HB 980 and SB 733. Pro-abortion Democrats value the bottom line of the abortion industry over women’s health. Denying women the ability to access information regarding abortion doesn’t advance women’s health, it hurts it—and it will inevitably lead to more aborted children. It is important that Virginians wake up and see what is happening in their state. Democrats are doing the bidding of the abortion industry, which is further cheapening life and keeping women in the dark.

Fetal Dignity Laws: Respecting the Life That Was Lost

by Blake Elliott

January 29, 2020

There is an urgent need in the United States to institute laws that protect fetal remains in order to protect the dignity of unborn children. This should not be a controversial issue. Yet abortion suppliers such as Planned Parenthood oppose efforts to protect fetal dignity because it would impact their money-making fetal body parts trade.

Abortions, miscarriages, and stillbirths are tragic in their own right, but it is also a tragedy that abortion suppliers are able to sell or dispose of the fetal remains like a piece of trash in certain states while making a profit off of the fetal remains in others. This state of affairs has undoubtedly contributed to an environment where people like Dr. Kermit Gosnell stored fetuses in bags and bottles throughout his office or the disturbing case of the deceased Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who had 2,246 fetal remains stored in a garage at his home.

In response, FRC has compiled a fetal dignity map which highlights each state’s fetal dignity laws, allowing individuals throughout the country to see just how much work needs to be done in their state in order to respect fetal remains.

Pennsylvania’s House Bill 1890 is a prime example of a fetal dignity bill that should be supported by all, but pro-abortion politicians still find a way to oppose it. This bill requires abortionists to cremate or bury the remains of babies they abort, unless the mother decides they want the remains buried in a place other than the customary health care provider’s location. In this case, the mother would be responsible for the burial or cremation and the cost associated with it. This bill offers a humane response to aborted fetal remains by requiring the burial or cremation of the remains instead of allowing them to be sold, harvested, or used for research.

However, state representatives such as Mary Isaacson, a Democrat representing Philadelphia, oppose this bill by claiming it “harasses abortion providers.” It is evident that Democrats are more concerned with the ability of abortion suppliers to make a profit than they are with women’s health care and the life that was lost.

There is a solid case for Republicans to make in support of fetal dignity laws. For one, the fetal remains would not be allowed to be sold for profit by abortion facilities to make money and continue to grow their business and would instead be required to be buried with dignity.

It also allows for families to grieve properly through the devastation that comes with losing a child to miscarriage. FRC’s Katherine Johnson put it perfectly in her latest analysis: “Women who have miscarriages should be able to receive death certificates that provide validation and dignity to the loss of their children.” Women receiving a death certificate after a miscarriage is an aspect that is often forgotten when discussing fetal dignity laws. It is important that states acknowledge that when a miscarriage happens, a woman and her family has indeed lost a child. Perhaps because of this, not all Democrats are against fetal dignity laws. In fact, 15 Democratic Pennsylvania representatives joined Republicans in supporting the recent PA HB 1890. In a polarized political environment like the one that exists now, this points towards how sensible these fetal dignity laws are. This recent bill is a positive step in the right direction in ensuring that all fetal remains are treated with the respect that every person deserves.

Every deceased human deserves to be treated with respect, including unborn children who unfortunately never had the opportunity to take their first breath. It is truly saddening that abortion suppliers like Planned Parenthood can get away with claiming to help women when in reality they are using women and their babies to make a profit. There is no reason that abortion suppliers should be allowed to dispose of fetal remains like normal people dispose of their trash.

Hopefully, states will follow the Pennsylvania legislature’s lead to ensure that all fetal remains are treated with dignity and all families are given this right to properly bury or cremate their child. Make sure to check out our new fetal dignity map to see if your state protects the dignity of all fetal remains.

For Every Christian, Being Pro-Life Must Become a Way of Life

by Adelaide Holmes

January 27, 2020

Many Christians today are missing from the fight to end abortion, and the pro-life movement needs their help.

Instead of joining the political or cultural efforts to fight abortion, many pro-life Christians leave the work for the pro-life leaders in these arenas. There are two primary fronts in the battle, and Christians are needed in both. Abortion will continue to be legal and culturally acceptable as long as Christians fail to do their part and leave the bulk of the work to larger, interest-based organizations. 

There are many pro-life organizations in D.C. and around the country that are dedicated to making abortion illegal and socially unacceptable. Family Research Council, as well as other pro-life political action groups such as Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life Committee, and Americans United for Life are effective and passionate about changing the political landscape.  

But this won’t be enough to end legal abortion in America.

While the political fight is crucially important to ensuring justice for the preborn, there’s work to be done in the culture as well. Countless groups exist with this focus. Life Training Institute and Equal Rights Institute have top-notch speakers and apologists who train pro-lifers all over the country in conversational apologetics. National groups like Students for Life of America or state groups like Protect Life Michigan exist to equip high school and college pro-life clubs to host effective outreach and start dialogues with young minds who might be open to the pro-life argument. And groups like Live Action and The Radiance Foundation educate the public through digital media on the reality of what abortion does to its victims. 

But this still isn’t enough to make abortion culturally appalling.   

Sixty-two percent of Americans between the ages of 18-29 still identify as pro-choice. About one million abortions are committed every year. It’s not for a lack of groups dedicated to bringing a legal end to abortion. It’s not for a lack of organizations devoted to informing the culture about the inhumane injustice of abortion. The problem is that too many Christians are leaving them all the work. If more Christians don’t join in the fight, we won’t see an end to this injustice. 

Pursuing justice for the unborn is not simply a job for special interest groups. Pursuing justice is a duty that God has placed on all of us as Christians. The prophet Micah reminds us that acting justly is a requirement of God for mankind. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Not only that, but we are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

The unborn are our youngest and most vulnerable neighbors. Christians have a God-given duty to love their neighbor and to act justly by them. We cannot ignore this duty by leaving the work of advocating for the unborn to pro-life organizations. We must join them in the fight, and we can do this by simply living out our faith.  

Christians need to start acting like being pro-life is more than a check you write in the mail to your favorite organization or more than a vote for the pro-life candidate. Being truly pro-life must be a way of life. Not everyone’s contribution will look the same, but abortion won’t become illegal, much less unthinkable, until every Christian starts loving their preborn neighbor in practical ways.

Here are several possibilities:

  • Offering sidewalk counseling at abortion facilities
  • Praying in front of abortion facilities
  • Contacting your representatives and senators
  • Signing and circulating pro-life petitions
  • Volunteering your time and resources to help pregnancy care centers
  • Consider opening your home up to pregnant women who need support
  • Consider adopting a baby in need
  • Marching for life in D.C.
  • Reading a pro-life apologetics book and learning to articulate why you’re pro-life
  • Sharing that training with your fellow church members, friends at school, or your own family
  • Sharing why you believe the preborn are valuable human persons with someone who disagrees with you

These are some of the ways we can love our preborn neighbor and seek justice on their behalf. Until every Christian starts to live out his call to love his preborn neighbor, the political and cultural pro-life organizations won’t be enough to turn the tide on abortion. They can’t do it on their own. They need our help.

Pastors and churches play a central role in this mission. We need pastors to teach on how every human being, regardless of size, is made in the image of God. We need youth groups to host apologetics trainings and do outreach in the community. We need churches to equip their congregation to dialogue with their pro-choice friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.

It’s time for every pro-lifer to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s time for all of us to love the preborn as we love ourselves. It’s time for us to defend and protect the rights of these tiny humans the way that we would want our rights defended. It’s time that we become willing to love them as we would our own children. Until we do, there won’t be lasting change toward a culture of life in America. 

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

The Plea

by Judy Lamberson Smith

January 22, 2020

*Editor’s note: This poem was written by Judy Lamberson Smith of Lakeland, Florida. It is reprinted here with permission.

All I want is a chance
To see what I might become.
To run barefoot in the grass
Feeling the warmth of the sun.

All I want is a chance
To learn to read and write,
Gaze at a starry sky,
And try to fly a kite.

All I want is a chance
To see how tall I will grow,
Pet a pup, pick a flower,
Play in newly fallen snow.

All I want is a chance
To see how far I can go in school,
Make friends, sing a song,
And learn the Golden Rule.

But I didn’t get that chance.
It all ended one day.
Don’t know why or how,
PAIN
And then I went away.

You see, I died before I was born.
Did anybody cry for me or mourn?
There were so many things to see and do.
Above all…
To know your love,
And to show my love for you.

All I wanted was a chance!

California’s Newsom Prioritizes Animal’s Lives Over Babies

by Blake Elliott

January 17, 2020

CC Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr, cropped

Recently, The Sacramento Bee reported that California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced his plan to end animal euthanasia in California, making California a “no-kill state.” The governor’s plan calls for the allocation of $50 million dollars to “achieve the state’s policy goal that no adoptable or treatable dog or cat should be euthanized.”

While ending the practice of euthanizing unwanted or stray animals is indeed a laudable goal, for pro-lifers the hypocrisy of Governor Newsom is hard to miss. While claiming California will become a “no-kill” state for stray or unwanted dogs and cats, Governor Newsom has done nothing to alleviate the elimination of the most innocent and vulnerable Californians: the unborn.

Governor Newsom campaigned on legislation to convert student health clinics on California public university campuses into dispensaries for chemical abortion drugs. The legislature obliged, and he signed into law California Senate Bill 24. This legislation will only add to the tragically high number of abortions in the state. Last year, there were 132,680 abortions in California alone, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Rather than being concerned with human life, Governor Newsom is more concerned with expanding abortion rights.

California is undoubtedly one of the more progressive states when it comes to the abortion issue. In fact, there are virtually no restrictions on abortions in California. The state currently adheres to a “viability” standard (the point at which it is generally understood a child can survive outside of the womb with or without the assistance of life support systems) which allows limitless abortion prior to a physician deeming a child in the womb is “viable.” After viability, the state restricts abortion to those instances in which a woman’s life or “health” are threatened. This “health” exception is vague and undefined in state law. In fact, courts have determined that “health” can mean anything. It can mean “familial,” “emotional,” or “mental” health. For all intents and purposes, it means a woman can obtain an abortion up to birth in California.

Newsom has openly boasted about how few restrictions there are on abortion in his state. He even boasted about how proud he was of his state for expanding access and “removing barriers to reproductive health,” as if there were extreme barriers in place to begin with. Newsom makes it no secret that he is pro-abortion and is proud that California leads the United States in the number of abortions performed per year. In May of 2019, he even invited women from across the country and globe to come to California to have their abortion procedure.

Governor Newsom’s hypocrisy continues to be evident as he wants to spend $50 million dollars on an initiative to protect animals while also advocating for and promoting the destruction of the most defenseless and delicate humans in his state: unborn children. Governor Newsom even doubled the investment into reproductive health in his most recent budget proposal, hitting a record $100 million dollars of matching federal funding, which according to Newsom will provide millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Newsom is a prime example of just how blind the pro-abortion Left is to the simple logic of the pro-life movement. If Newsom doesn’t see the hypocrisy of his support for eliminating animal euthanasia while also expanding abortion rights, then it makes you wonder just how far the pro-abortion Left can go in furthering their radical ideas while turning a blind eye to the atrocity of abortion that is happening right in front of them.

Since 2000, 3,429,978 babies have lost their lives in abortion facilities in California. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that while California might soon become the newest “no-kill state,” they continue to cement themselves as a “kill-state” of unborn children.

Blake Elliott is a Government Affairs intern at Family Research Council.

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