It’s tempting to simply point out that abortifacients shouldn’t even be legal to begin with – they function by destroying newly created human beings, after all, and as such aren’t fundamentally different from surgical abortions – and that pro-aborts should thank their lucky stars that they’ve been successful enough to win their legal acceptance, carving out a glaring exception to America’s founding proposition that every person has an equal right to life.But our foes aren’t about to subject their ambition to any sort of commonsense boundaries, so we have to engage them wherever they pop up.
How well informed are abortion seekers? We may not be able to know their minds or experiences, but we can certainly know whether those doing the informing are being honest, fair, and candid with them (spoiler alert: they’re not).Live Action has caught at least three Planned Parenthood clinics giving their patients inaccurate medical information about their babies and pregnancies, misleading women on when heartbeats can be detected, abortion’s medical downside, whether eight-week-old fetuses had limbs and brains, and whether the name “baby” is applicable. “But wait,” you say, “you can’t judge an entire organization according to a few bad apples!”Very well. Let’s see if Planned Parenthood’s official material fares any better.The Q&A section on their website, written by obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Vanessa Cullins, is a treasure trove of pro-abortion talking points, but the biggest whopper is the way it absurdly and falsely pretends “baby” is an inaccurate term because “most medical authorities” don’t think it “becomes” a baby until “after birth when it takes its first breath.” Dr. Cullins apparently doesn’t think “most medical authorities” includes Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Johns Hopkins, or the federal Department of Health and Human Services, all of which refer to “babies” in the womb.
In a rather spectacular display of irony earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden blasted the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), which seeks to dramatically reduce federal spending, as a “contrary to the social doctrine” taught by the Catholic Church to which he belongs.That’s a gross oversimplification – you can see Ryan (who is also Catholic) defend his budget’s Catholic principles here, but the short version is that the faith’s call to care for the needy is not a mandate to support any specific government method of delivering aid. True Christian charity is giving your own time and money to a cause, not just casting a vote to have someone else handle it.But the real kicker, as Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes, is that this lecture on how to be a good Catholic politician is coming from someone who rejects his church’s call to recognize and protect life in the womb – an imperative which is far less ambiguous than Biden’s conception of social justice. Catholicism requires believers to support federal funding for specific government programs, but not legal protection for the most defenseless of God’s children?
In one breath, Forbes contributor Chitra Sundaram bemoans how “no real discussion occurs online or offline” when it comes to abortion policy. In the next, she unwittingly betrays her own culpability in the sad state of our national dialogue with a tirade about pro-lifers’ alleged heartlessness:
The silent masses, much as Margaret Sanger, a pioneer in Women’s reproductive rights and one of the founders of Planned Parenthood found during her travails, remain ignored. They live and die on the fringes of society, in pockets of dire poverty and inner city tenements, even in an ultra-rich country like ours. Yet they might as well not exist as far as politicians, and commentators are concerned. If poor women get pregnant, it must be because they are sluts. And the fact that they can’t afford to have a child simply means that they shouldn’t have sex! And the possibility that they might be living in overtly or covertly abusive situations matters little to the ideological pundit. Finally, if the unwanted child is to be forced upon a woman or family, the State of Arizona, facing similar budget deficits to other states has cut into the very programs that might help ease the financial strain on such families.Much could be said about how pro-choice states actually don’t do better than pro-life ones in reducing abortion rates or preventing unintended pregnancy, or which social programs actually help the needy and which ones simply waste money and foster dependence on government. Here, though, let’s focus on the author’s visceral aversion to frank discussion about sexual responsibility.Hyperbolic “slut” descriptor aside, the underlying point – that poor women (other than rape victims) get pregnant because they knowingly chose to do something that potentially results in pregnancy – is self-evidently true, as is the commonsense advice that not having sex is the only foolproof way to avoid pregnancy.
Pro-aborts may have declared victory in the wake of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Oklahoma Personhood Act, but according to Personhood USA President Keith Mason, pro-lifers are the ones who should be celebrating, since the decision puts personhood on the fast track to the highest court in the land:
The Oklahoma Court’s decision relied heavily on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and in moving to deny the people’s right to petition on behalf of the preborn, they have turned this case into a federal issue, deciding “the only recourse available to this Court is to follow…the United States Supreme Court.” The ruling has set us up for a direct challenge to Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The Oklahoma Court ruling has, inadvertently, propelled the Personhood movement several years forward!
The implications of this case are enormous! Not only will the Personhood movement receive more exposure, which results in an unmatched opportunity for education and saving babies’ lives, but there is a very real chance for victory. The Oklahoma case could be the first to directly and successfully challenge Planned Parenthood v. Casey, dismantling the abortion stronghold in America, and demanding basic human rights for every single human being. This is cause for celebration!The Oklahoma high court called the measure “clearly unconstitutional,” claiming the Supremes’ prior rulings on abortion have settled the issue. If the Supreme Court were to hear the case, they’d be taking the explosive step of reconsidering Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s central proposition: that the Constitution protects the “right to choose” abortion. That’s a high-risk/high-reward proposition, to put it mildly.
Every now and then, pro-lifers need to step back and reassess the effectiveness of their tactics. Laura Ingraham Show associate producer Dustin Siggins offers just such a critique at leading conservative blog Hot Air. His advice is well worth considering, though not every point hits home.First, he suggests eschewing mandatory ultrasound laws in favor of restrictive medical standards like Mississippi recently passed:
[U]ltrasound legislation can be deemed as guilting mothers into not aborting their children or invading personal privacy. However, it is more difficult to argue against raising the standards of medical clinics so that women have a more sterile, more professional environment in which to be treated. Yes, the left will still attack these standards, as the owner of the abortion clinic in Mississippi has, but the inherent controversy will be far less.Clinic standards may very well have more strategic potential than ultrasound laws, but we should be careful not to fall into the habit of letting our foes define the terms of the debate. Conceding by silence that mandatory ultrasounds are demeaning to women or any more invasive of privacy than the abortion itself will only embolden the pro-aborts. If you give ‘em an inch…
Courtesy of PJ Media, here’s a revelation that’s somehow nowhere near as shocking as it ought to be. Yesterday on Capitol Hill, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn’t bother to check the Constitution or judicial precedent before going ahead with the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.Asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) what tests of legal interpretation she used to determine that the mandate struck the right balance with religious liberty, Sebelius answered:
Congressman, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t pretend to understand the nuances of the constitutional balancing tests […] I am not going to wade into constitutional law, I’m talking about the fact that we are implementing a law that was passed by the Congress, signed by the President, which directed our department to develop a package of preventive health services for women. We have done just that with the advice of the Institute of Medicine, and promulgated that rule.Note well that the combination of congressional votes, presidential signatures, and the opinion of the Institute of Medicine amount to somewhere between nada and zilch when it comes to constitutional law.
When pro-aborts can’t win the argument with biological shell games and character assassination, they usually resort to disqualifying pro-life opinions from consideration by labeling them violations of America’s separation of church and state. So it’s worth spending some time on a broader look at the way abortion politics intertwine with religion.Contrary to the insistence of abortion defenders, the case against abortion is not exclusively theological. It has two core factors: the empirical observation that individual human life begins at fertilization, and the moral/philosophical proposition that all human beings have an equal claim to live.Clearly, the former point has nothing to do with religion. Admitting that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are live human beings is simple biology. If protecting the right to life after birth isn’t “imposing religion,” then neither is concluding that such shared humanity entitles the pre-born to be included in that same protection. Indeed, pro-lifers are just advocating for a broader, more consistent application of the general right-to-life principle the rest of society already accepts, albeit selectively.
As if we didn’t have enough on our plate with the battle over forced contraception coverage, the Obama administration is currently embroiled in another religious fight, this time with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over federal aid money for sex-trafficking victims.The Trafficking Victims Protection Act provides money to fund medical and mental health services for victims of sex trafficking, and since 2006, the bishops have been allowed to limit the money they receive to contractors who are uninvolved in abortion. But in its infinite wisdom and compassion, the current administration has decided to revoke the bishops’ grant money entirely rather than keep funding their charitable work. Now a federal judge has ruled against the bishops:
Although the nation’s Catholic bishops said the ACLU lawsuit is “without merit and an affront to religious liberty,” U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns ruled on March 23 that the government’s accommodation of the decision not to make abortion referrals is unconstitutional. Stearns, a Massachusetts judge, said the government violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment “insofar as they delegated authority to a religious organization to impose religiously based restrictions on the expenditure of taxpayer funds, and thereby impliedly endorsed the religious beliefs of the USCCB and the Catholic Church.”
Stearns also said is not about forcing the bishops to violate their pro-life views but about “the limits of the government’s ability to delegate to a religious institution the right to use taxpayer money to impose its beliefs on others (who may or may not share them).”As a matter of policy, HHS’s decision is indefensible. It’s disgusting enough when the government funds abortion directly, but to throw out all of an organization’s charitable work, which is achieving the stated goal of helping sex-trafficking victims, simply because that organization’s members don’t want to be complicit in abortion?