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Socialism, the Coronavirus, and Bernie Sanders’ America

by Worth Loving , Israel Lopez Ramirez

April 7, 2020

Over the last month, normal everyday life in the United States has come to a screeching halt as the government works to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Busy cities like New York, Los Angeles, and even Washington, D.C. have become ghost towns. Most businesses and restaurants are either shut down or open only on a very restricted basis. Grocery store shelves are empty as people scramble to grab essential items like toilet paper, water, and meat, not knowing when the lockdown will end. The stock market has plummeted and wiped out most of the Trump-era gains. Companies are being forced to lay off employees as events are canceled and revenue falls. For the first time, many in America are experiencing what food shortages and government-imposed mandates are really like.

A couple weeks ago, my roommate and I visited our local grocery store to stock up on some essential items. We weren’t planning to hoard all the toilet paper, meat, or bottled water, but we wanted to get enough in case the virus prevented us from getting out much over the coming weeks.

Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I’ve experienced my fair share of hurricanes. I’ve seen people board up their homes and stock up on generators and bottled water more times than I can count. I’ve also experienced many times how unaccustomed Southerners are to snow and ice in the winter. At the first sight of a snowflake or ice pellet, people rushed to the stores to stock up on bread and milk. To this day, I’ve never figured out why those two items seemed to fly off the shelves with the threat of winter weather. Milk sandwiches never appealed to me.

When my roommate and I visited the grocery store a couple weeks ago, I was shocked. It was relatively late in the evening and the store was still full of people. All the meat, produce, pasta, soup, milk, eggs, water, toilet paper—completely gone. As we tried to scrounge up a few essential goods, I looked at my roommate and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” To which he replied, “This is what it’s like in Venezuela—but always.”

My roommate, Israel Lopez Ramirez, has lived here in the United States in Washington, D.C. for nearly three years now. Before that, he spent his entire life in Venezuela. He owned a graphic design company and enjoyed many years of economic success. That is, until socialism overtook his beloved country.

Venezuela is one of the richest countries in South America in terms of natural resources, particularly oil. As the country became more industrialized in the 20th century, it borrowed money to develop those natural resources. When the world economy went into a recession in the 1970s and 80s, demand for oil decreased and its price plummeted. In Venezuela, this resulted in skyrocketing inflation, stagnant wages, and many people losing their jobs.

Capitalizing on the nation’s economic distress, Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1999 on a pledge to save working Venezuelans from the “evil capitalists and evil corporations.” Inspired by his hero Fidel Castro, he conducted a massive takeover of the country’s health care system and private sector industries and instituted sweeping social welfare reforms. As a result, many companies left Venezuela, leaving the country with few jobs and skyrocketing inflation. Chavez also pushed through a new constitution, which gave his government more central control and began restricting many fundamental liberties like freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech.

In 2013, Chavez died and Vice President Nicolas Maduro assumed the presidency. Maduro has continued the socialist policies of his predecessor. Many Venezuelans are out of work or severely underpaid. Inflation continues to skyrocket, and most Venezuelans cannot afford even the most basic of necessities. Grocery stores continue to experience shortages due to government controls and a lack of supply. Crime is now rampant in the country as people resort to desperate measures to find these basic necessities and as the Maduro-backed military hunts down its political opponents.

When my roommate compared the empty shelves at our local grocery store to what is happening every day in Venezuela, it really hit me. Many young Americans my age are embracing socialism at an alarming rate. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has capitalized on the enthusiasm of these millennials as well as the fury of the working class. He has normalized once radical proposals like Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, and free college.

But what’s more disturbing is Sanders’ praise for totalitarian regimes around the world. He has repeatedly refused to call Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a tyrant. Among other things, he praised the Soviet Union’s investment in culture and their mass transit system in the 1980s. In 1985, Sanders praised the media censorship of Nicaragua’s Sandinista-led government. And he has repeatedly praised the housing, education, and health care programs of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. In a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper in February, Sanders once again praised certain aspects of the Cuban dictator’s regime. Many Democratic leaders quickly condemned Sanders’ comments, and his remaining rivals for the nomination immediately capitalized on that anger. As a result, Sanders’ polling lead evaporated, all but ending his chances at the nomination.

My roommate was forced to leave Venezuela because the government seized his assets and took over his business. Because of statements he has made on social media against the brutal Maduro regime, he cannot return to the country for fear he might be thrown into prison or worse. His family remains in Venezuela and continues to experience critical food shortages and skyrocketing inflation.

Venezuela is an example to the United States and any other capitalist nations—socialism does not work. It is always best to let markets operate free of government intervention. More importantly, it is critical to protect our fundamental First Amendment rights, something all socialist regimes inevitably take away. And while Bernie Sanders will deny any perceived comparison to the human rights violations of authoritarian regimes, some of his past statements indicate otherwise. In 2017, Sanders suggested that then nominee for Assistant Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought was unfit to hold the office because of his Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the only Savior.

While Sen. Sanders no longer has a viable shot at the Democratic nomination, we came dangerously close to having a presidential nominee from a major political party who embraced communist ideas. And while likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden is quick to criticize Sanders for his praise of communist regimes, he still supports many of the same socialist policies. He plans a further government takeover of the economy, education, and the health care system. Even more concerning is that he has made passing the Equality Act a centerpiece of his campaign, a radical piece of legislation that will severely infringe on our First Amendment and privacy rights. To put it plainly, Joe Biden is just like Bernie Sanders, except with more charm and subtlety. If he is elected president in November, he will take us down the same socialist road.

Make no mistake. History has proven time and again that socialist leaders start out by promising to work for the people. But they always inevitably descend into total government control of the economy, health care system, and education, and end up taking away fundamental freedoms. In November, we must get out to the polls and resolutely reject this radical agenda, sending a clear message to the Democratic Party and to the world that socialism is not welcome in the United States. Not now and not ever.

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For the Unborn, a Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Be Very Dangerous

by Blake Elliott

February 26, 2020

While Bernie Sanders’ stances on most policies are troubling for most conservatives in America, his stance on abortion is one that all Americans should find particularly troubling. Sanders is a clear-cut, elderly socialist, which should be a huge red flag to all Americans. He is also completely pro-abortion and pro-Planned Parenthood. The fact that he is the frontrunner for the Democratic party should not shock any of us as the Democrats continue to push the limits of radical ideology; supporting abortions up until birth is just as radical as defending the dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

As the spotlight on Sanders continues to expand, his radical views on life have become harder to ignore. In April of 2019, Sanders was asked how he feels about late-term abortions. His answer was relatively short and simple as he acknowledged that he believes these situations are rare, but that he believes it should be the woman’s decision. This seems to be a common answer within the Democratic party, that the fate of the baby’s life should be determined by the woman up until birth (and even afterward). Sanders has dismissed abortion in the past as not an important issue, claiming that it is being made into a political issue. It is alarming that someone who has been in politics since 1981 does not understand that abortion is extremely divisive because the lives of the most vulnerable—unborn children—hang in the balance. 

In the past weeks, Sanders has promised to expand funding of Planned Parenthood if elected president. It is incredibly concerning that a candidate for president of the United States plans on using federal money to help support a company that has nearly $1.9 billion in net assets and has killed 345,672 unborn babies during the 2018 fiscal year. He also promised to only appoint judges that fully support Roe v. Wade and attempt to codify Roe into legislation. He has also claimed on Twitter that he will repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds from funding abortions. The threat that a Sanders presidency would pose to the pro-life movement and pro-life policies would be difficult to overstate.

This past year, Sanders managed to tie in his support for abortion to the climate change issue. In a CNN town hall, he was asked about human population growth and how it relates to the climate issue. Sanders emphatically described his opposition to the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the U.S. from providing aid to foreign countries to be used for abortions. Supporting abortion as a means of curbing population growth is disgusting, even in the name of “climate change,” but proposing to spend American tax dollars to kill babies in poor foreign countries is particularly egregious. It recently came out that Sanders spent $1.2 million on private jet travel in a three-month time span this past year. If climate change was so important to him, why would he burn this much fuel that is supposedly bad for the environment? The answer is simple. It’s not about climate change, it’s about protecting abortion. Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said it well when describing how this stance “takes Democratic abortion extremism to a new low [and] every Democratic candidate for president should immediately be asked where they stand on eugenic population control.”

Bernie Sanders’ radical Democratic Socialist extremism apparently knows no bounds, from advocating for free college to banning fracking to promising Medicare for All. No one can truly be surprised with how radical his views on abortion are, but we need to fully understand the importance of the upcoming election for the fate of babies in the United States and worldwide. It needs to be emphasized and plastered everywhere that Democrats appear more and more intent on electing a man who has promised to fully fund Planned Parenthood, historically voted against acts that would protect babies from infanticide, and advocated for unlimited access to abortion in the United States and the world.

It is more than clear that a Bernie Sanders’ presidency would be a catastrophe for the unborn.

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In the Democratic Party, Pro-Abortion Extremism Knows No Bounds

by Blake Elliott

February 17, 2020

It was no surprise to pro-lifers on February 11th when the pro-abortion, Democrat-controlled Colorado House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs voted to postpone and essentially kill CO HB 1068, which would have provided legal protection for infants born alive after a failed abortion attempt. It just so happens that this occurred on the same day that pro-abortion Democrats were fighting against a similar bill at the federal level at a hearing entitled “The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive.” Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) summarized it best when he said that these bills are not about “limiting access to abortion at all,” but rather about “making sure that every newborn has a fighting chance.”

Pro-abortion activists continue to make these hearings and debates on born-alive bills about abortion access and women’s rights. It is essential to understand that these born-alive bills do not prohibit abortion or limit access to abortion. They simply give babies that survive abortions the same access to potentially life-saving health care that any other newborn baby is given.

In Colorado, HB 1068 was killed based on party lines. Democrats controlled six of the nine seats in the Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs, and each Democrat voted to kill the act. The committee listened to testimony on this bill for several hours, mostly from advocates for the bill to be passed. However, the Democrats could not be swayed from their extremist pro-abortion stance. Representative Shane Sandridge (R-Colorado Springs), who sponsored HB 1068, described how the bill is about holding doctors accountable for failing to render aid to the live birth of a baby during an attempted abortion. Rep. Sandridge emphasized the fact that the baby is outside of the womb, making this bill “not an abortion bill,” but rather “a murder bill.”

But the Democrats still could not be swayed. Representative Chris Kennedy (D-Lakewood) spoke to the bill’s supposed “effect of limiting access to abortion.” At the federal level, Democrats seemed to have the same issue of not being able to comprehend the fact that these born-alive cases, the abortion attempt has already occurred and failed. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made the claim that the bill would punish the “needs of women as it relates to their health care.”

Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) pointed out that it “should be an easy moral decision to save the life of a child who is outside of the womb and is alive” and how tragic it was that her Democratic colleagues continue to “support the killing of a child after it is outside of the womb.” Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) made it clear that people should all agree that every baby born alive deserves care regardless of whether the parents wanted the baby. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) observed “how extreme and radical the pro-abortion side of this debate has gotten.”

Unfortunately, the Democratic presidential candidates are not backing down from this pro-abortion extremism—they have made it clear where they and their party stand on abortion. Just this past weekend at an MSNBC Town Hall event, Bernie Sanders was asked, “Is there such a thing as a pro-life Democrat in your vision of the party?” Sanders responded by saying, “I think being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat.” Another candidate vying for the nomination is Pete Buttigieg, who has taken an even more extreme pro-abortion stance. Buttigieg has unfortunately attempted to claim that the Bible can be interpreted to say that “life begins with breath” in order to defend his pro-abortion stance. Buttigieg has essentially been a proponent for late-term abortions all the way up until birth. He has defended this stance by arguing that he trusts women to be able to make the decision and does not believe the government should play any role in preventing the woman and her doctors from killing the baby. For pro-life Democrats, it should not be hard to realize that these candidates’ pro-abortion extremism knows no bounds.

It is indefensible that the Colorado House Democrats voted against HB 1068. The fact that Democrats now defend abortionists who leave babies that survive abortions to die should tell you all you need to know about the current state of the Democratic Party. There is no defense for leaving a baby to die, which is why Democrats at the federal level have built their case by framing the care for a born-alive baby as “limiting” access to abortion and “limiting” women’s rights. For pro-life Democrats, it should not be hard to see the red flags for what they are ultimately supporting when the faces of their party who are running for president have not only advocated for abortion up until birth, but have failed to support bills that would ban infanticide of babies born alive after failed abortion attempts.

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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.

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Pete Buttigieg’s “Different Way” Is Not Biblical Christianity

by David Closson

January 15, 2020

Yesterday, six candidates participated in the final Democratic debate before the Iowa caucus. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer each made their pitch for why they should be their party’s nominee to take on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Buttigieg’s repeated emphasis of his religious background is unique for his party: Democrats have been reluctant to speak about their faith on the campaign trail. While last night’s debate focused on foreign policy and the recent tensions with Iran, Buttigieg made a point (as he has throughout the election) to highlight the role of religion in politics. Responding to a question about his electability, Buttigieg highlighted his Midwestern roots, military service, and Christian faith. He said, “If a guy like Donald Trump keeps trying to use religion to somehow recruit Christianity into the GOP, I will be standing there not afraid to talk about a different way to answer the call of faith and insist that God does not belong to a political party.”

The comment received little public attention following the debate, but Christians should pay close attention to what Buttigieg is suggesting. He is arguing that President Trump’s relationship with the faith community is transactional and utilitarian. In Buttigieg’s view, President Trump is using religion to advance his political agenda, and Christians who support him are allowing their faith to be co-opted. This is the same argument Mark Galli made last month in his widely shared Christianity Today editorial. In Galli’s words, if Christians don’t oppose President Trump, the “reputation of evangelical religion” and “the world’s understanding of the gospel” will be harmed. Buttigieg evidentially agrees with this assessment, which is why he is proposing a “different way to answer the call of faith.”

Buttigieg’s (and Galli’s) allegation deserves a response. How should Christian voters think about Buttigieg’s call for a “different way to answer the call of faith?” Is it true that Christian leaders have sacrificed their moral witness for a seat at the table of political power?

First, when it comes to evaluating the theological claims made by Buttigieg, it is important to remember that he is a member of the Episcopal Church, a theologically liberal denomination that has taken public stands against the historic teachings of Christianity on a host of social issues. For example, the Episcopal Church ordained its first clergy member who openly identified as gay in 1977 and continues to actively support LGBT causes. Also, since 1967 the Episcopal Church has opposed national or state legislation that would restrict abortion and, in 2018, called for “women’s reproductive health and reproductive health procedures to be treated as all other medical procedures.”

Buttigieg’s liberal politics align nicely with the liberal politics of the Episcopal Church, so it is not surprising that he finds himself at home there. Thus, when Buttigieg argues that the “Christian faith is going to point you in a progressive direction,” it is important to realize that by “Christian faith,” Buttigieg means something very different than what Christians have taught and believed for two millennia—not only about the nature of marriage and life but also about the role of Scripture.

Buttigieg’s understanding of the Bible came up in an interview with Rolling Stone last November. When asked to respond to the charge that his progressive faith disregards the Bible’s teaching on social issues, Buttigieg said: “There’s so many things in Scripture that are inconsistent internally, and you’ve got to decide what sense to make of it. Jesus speaks so often in hyperbole and parable, in mysterious code, that in my experience, there’s simply no way that a literal understanding of the Scripture can fit into the Bible that I find in my hands.” 

A shocking admission, Buttigieg’s comments shed light on the candidate’s flawed understanding of Christianity. They also explain what he likely had in mind during last night’s debate when he referred to a “different way to answer the call of faith.” By calling the Bible “inconsistent” and insisting that Jesus spoke in “mysterious code,” Buttigieg is rejecting what theologians refer to as the perspicuity of Scripture, which says the Bible communicates the doctrines of the faith clearly.

It is worth noting that some passages in Scripture are more difficult to understand than others. In fact, when referring to the Apostle Paul’s epistles, the Apostle Peter said, “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16b). But even as he acknowledges the fact that Paul’s writings could be hard to understand, Peter underscores the fact that Scripture is objective and that failure to attend to the meaning of the text is harmful. The Bible teaches elsewhere that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While there may be portions of Scripture that require extra study and attention, the Bible is clear on the doctrines of God, man, the way of salvation, and many issues with social and political implications.

However, by rejecting the clarity of Scripture, Buttigieg is conveniently able to remake and reinterpret the Christian faith to suit his preferences and beliefs, advancing proposals and policies in the garb of Christianity that either bear little resemblance or directly contradict “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

A clear example of this is Buttigieg’s argument that “there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath.” This despite the Bible’s repeated affirmation of the personhood of the unborn (see Psalm 139:13-16, Psalm 51:5-6, Luke 1:39-45, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Job 10:8, Genesis 25:22-23, and many others). By doubling down on this demonstrably false claim, Buttigieg is showing that political talking points, not Scripture, informs his view on life. 

Finally, in response to Galli’s charge that Christian leaders have sacrificed their moral witness and are no better than Buttigieg and his supporters on the religious left, it should be conceded that some on the right are willing to trade their credibility for influence. However, to allege, as Buttigieg has, that the “credibility of Christianity” is at stake because many Christians have supported President Trump and his party after measured consideration of their voting options is both unfair and inaccurate. Far from sacrificing their values and credibility, it is largely due to Christian encouragement that President Trump has taken significant action on issues of concern for social conservatives—issues such as life, religious liberty, Israel, and a return of faith in the public square.

As the 2020 election gets underway, it will be important for Christians to submit everything to the Lord, including their political engagement. As I argue in my recent publication, Christians ought to engage, but we must engage biblically. And as Christians, this requires prayerful consideration of candidates, party platforms, and most importantly, the Bible’s teaching on moral issues. On one level, Buttigieg is right when he insists, “God does not belong to a political party.” However, God does care deeply about many issues in our politics. And if Christians are going to be faithful in a time fraught with political turmoil and confusion, it will require more, not less, commitment to God’s Word.

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2020 Democrats Want Unsafe, Unregulated, Do-It-Yourself Abortions

by Patrina Mosley

December 20, 2019

In today’s Democratic Party, anything goes—from applauding parents who encourage their children to reject their God-given identity and mutilate their young bodies, to bizarrely championing “abortion rights for trans-females,” to now happily supporting the dangerous do-it-yourself abortion method known as the abortion pill.

When the New York Times surveyed the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, all of them (unsurprisingly) vowed to defend abortion. However, when asked if they were in favor of lifting the restrictions on abortion pills and making them available over-the-counter (OTC), many of the candidates were unwilling to take a public position. Nevertheless, a few candidates are willing partners in the abortion industry’s strategy to deregulate the abortion pill.

The candidates who answered “Yes” to OTC abortion pills were: Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang. Those who answered “unclear” or “unsure” who are still in the race were: Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, and Amy Klobuchar. The two candidates who provided no answer were Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. (The New York Times survey was taken before Michael R. Bloomberg and Deval Patrick entered the race.)

Another left-leaning outlet, Vice, conducted its own survey, focusing solely on support for OTC abortion pills. They asked every Democrat who qualified for the December 19th debate about “expanding access to medication abortion.” Out of the seven candidates who qualified, four responded. Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer all said they support making abortion pills available OTC, while Andrew Yang only went so far as to say he supports “expanding access” to telemedicine. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar did not respond to Vice’s survey.

Chemical abortions, which are carried out by abortion pills, are fast becoming the new abortion battleground. The rate of chemical abortions is at an all-time high; currently, almost 40 percent of abortions are done with abortion pills. This rapid increase is part of the abortion industry’s long-term strategy to make abortions “self-managed” and unrestricted—despite the profound dangers chemical abortions pose to women’s health.

The abortion industry regards drug-based, do-it-yourself abortions as the best way to get around the many state-level pro-life laws being enacted around our country. Consequently, they want to remove the FDA’s drug safety program, known as the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS), so that abortion pills are available through the pharmacy and the mail, making do-it-yourself abortions the future of the industry. The abortion industry is not shy about this goal. They have strategically discussed how the absence of the REMS would significantly expand abortion locations and providers, broaden remote prescriptions (in which a woman is never even examined by the prescriber), and eventually achieve OTC status for the abortion pill.

The risks that come with taking the abortion pill are eerily similar to those of a self-induced abortion. Placing the burden on women to “self-manage” their abortions is not very different from the “back-alley coat-hanger abortions” that abortion activists have once said they wanted to avoid with legal abortion.

The abortion industry likes to make the abortion pill regimen of mifepristone (marketed under the brand name Mifeprex) and misoprostol sound safe and straightforward. In reality, chemical abortions are a multi-day, traumatic process that has four times the rate of complications and over 4,000 documented life-threatening and health-endangering risks.

Between 2000 and 2018, a total of 4,195 adverse events related to chemical abortions were reported to the FDA. These events include 24 maternal deaths, 97 undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies, 1,042 hospitalizations, 599 blood transfusions, and 412 infections (including 69 severe infections). It is important to note that these numbers only represent the adverse events reported to the FDA, so we do not have a full picture of the data.

The REMS provide a way to monitor and mitigate the risks of the abortion pill regimen. They are the lone safety barrier in preventing the sale and provision of mifepristone tablets outside a clinical setting. How would removing the REMS and making abortion pills an OTC product make abortion safer for women, when 24 women have died and thousands of women have been traumatized, even with the REMS currently in place?

The responses by the 2020 Democratic candidates are telling. Gone are the days when Democrats declared abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Now, the party trips over itself to lay out a welcome mat for unsafe, unregulated, do-it-yourself abortion.

Once something is legal, it will not become rare. When asked if they still hold to the trio mantra, Democrats slyly agree that abortion should be “safe and legal” but stop short of “rare.” It’s easy to figure out why. Abortions that are rare don’t make money. If they don’t make money, that money doesn’t go to campaigns whose candidates want to stay in power. Rare abortions don’t eliminate the kinds of people the elite Left doesn’t want over-populating; hence, when defending “abortion access,” proponents will consistently dog-whistle about how any pro-life protections will hurt “low-income” women, “rural” women, and “women of color.”

Now, with their support of do-it-yourself abortions, abortion advocates have shown their hand. They never truly cared about women at all. With all the documented dangers, it is increasingly evident that the abortion industry’s priority is not “abortion safety” but “abortion access”—which means profit. The abortion industry knows that they can expand their access by distributing abortion pills OTC or via telemedicine, as opposed to having to deal with the overhead costs of facilities and surgeons. But those pesky REMS stand in their way. Women’s safety is in their way.

Abortionist Daniel Grossman, who has significant ties to the abortion pill, actively encourages policy makers and the FDA to lift the REMS and restrictions on telemed abortion all in the name of “abortion access.” The aggressive push for OTC Mifeprex at the expense of women’s health and safety says loud and clear that abortion is a business—not care for women. 

Allowing abortion pills as OTC drugs has radical implications for women especially as it pertains to intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and accurate patient assessment. There are numerous documented incidents of women being unknowingly slipped abortion pills by partners who were unwilling to become fathers or by family members who were unsupportive of the pregnancy. Just this week, a California man faces a first-degree murder charge after allegedly holding his girlfriend at gunpoint and forcing her to take pills, effectively aborting her own child.

Clearing a pathway for OTC abortion pills is going in the opposite direction of safe, legal, and rare. Any candidate that ignores the documented dangers of chemical abortions is sold out to an abortion ideology where anything goes. But we shouldn’t be surprised: this same party refuses to pass legislation that would protect babies born alive after botched abortions and applauds legislation that allows the termination of a child up to the day of birth!

At least we know where the candidates stand on this issue. Evidently, we have a lot of work to do to make sure human dignity and women’s safety becomes the new standard in this country.

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Pornography: America’s Hidden Public Health Crisis

by Worth Loving

October 30, 2019

Many public health crises are clear and easy to detect, manifesting themselves in the form of disease, food contamination, or biological warfare. At one time or another, the United States has faced similar crises head on and overcome them with swift action. However, for several decades, there has been a growing health crisis that is far more subtle but with devastating effects. It begins within the privacy of one’s home, but its effects reach across the nation. 

Not too many years ago, pornography was often difficult and costly to obtain. In fact, pornography use was so frowned upon that people went to great lengths to conceal it. Laws strictly controlled the sale and display of pornography. People would have to go to XXX stores or order through the mail to obtain it. Today, however, we face a far different scenario. With the advent of the internet, pornography is available for free to anyone at the click of a button. Untold millions have been enslaved by addiction to pornography, and many others have been indirect victims of its effects. The negative effects of pornography have reached a point where legislative and prosecutorial action is needed. It’s time for Congress and the DOJ to step up, acknowledge the obvious effects of pornography, and enforce the obscenity laws that were put in place years ago to protect the American public.

The statistics are overwhelming. A recent study found that in the United States, approximately 98 percent of men and 73 percent of women between the ages of 18-35 have viewed pornography in the last six months, for a total of 85 percent. In 2018, porn videos were watched over 109 billion times on one porn site alone. These statistics are just a sampling of the growing pornography epidemic in the United States.

Proponents of pornography often argue that it should be protected on the grounds that it harms no one, but research proves otherwise. One study found that “when men consume violent pornography (i.e. depicting rape or torture), they are more likely to commit acts of sexual aggression.” And as FRC has written about previously, there is a strong link between porn, sex trafficking, and abortion. In addition, porn “fuels child sexual abuse, compulsive sexual behavior, sexual dysfunction,” and more.

There is more than enough evidence to warrant action. In fact, pornography and its destructive effects have become so widespread that many states are moving to declare it a public health crisis. In fact, 16 states have passed resolutions declaring pornography a public health crisis. While these resolutions are non-binding, they do serve to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of pornography. Furthermore, the goal of such resolutions is to curb the pervasiveness of pornography and provide resources to those who are struggling.

Contrary to popular opinion, the First Amendment does not automatically protect all pornography. In fact, federal obscenity laws passed by Congress prohibit the distribution of hardcore pornography in print and digital form. However, since the Clinton administration, the Department of Justice has failed to enforce these laws and prosecute those guilty of distributing hardcore pornography.

With enough evidence now available to the public, it’s time for Congress and the DOJ to take action. Pornography is not a free speech issue. In fact, it takes away the voices of so many who are silently screaming for freedom. It is harming individuals by fueling addiction, destroying families by increasing sexual dysfunction and aggression, and ruining countless lives by exploiting victims of sex trafficking. It’s time that we demand President Trump direct Attorney General Barr to enforce existing obscenity laws and that Congress pass stricter penalties for those who illegally distribute or produce pornography.

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville brilliantly describes the secret to America’s greatness with this simple statement: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” There is nothing good or wholesome about pornography. Granting so-called “freedom” to one group, knowing that it could lead to the violation of other’s rights, isn’t freedom at all. Let’s work together to protect our homes, our local communities, and our great nation from this scourge. 

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California’s AB 493: The Very Definition of Indoctrination

by Matt Carpenter

August 6, 2019

The dictionary defines “indoctrination” as “the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.” The California legislature is considering a piece of legislation that fits that description exactly: AB 493, or the “teacher indoctrination bill.”

Under the guise of creating a “safer environment” for students, AB 493 would require every junior high and high school teacher in the state to undergo training written by LGBT activist groups. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. This bill requires California teachers to perform “sustained input and participation,” affirmation of LGBT identities, and requires teachers to refer their students to LGBT activist groups in the community.

Anytime a person’s “sustained input and participation” is required, it can aptly be described as indoctrination, even more so when someone’s job is on the line. The changes AB 493 would make to teacher training in California clearly amounts to state-sponsored indoctrination.

Earlier this year, concerned parents and students in California rallied in opposition to the state’s new sexually explicit health curriculum, but now the legislature is taking it a step further by considering the teacher indoctrination bill.

Many parents today are rightfully concerned about school curriculums that seek to indoctrinate their children with leftist agendas rife with sexual anarchy that run counter to biblical values. Children, after all, are impressionable and parents are right to question school curriculum especially when what their children are being taught directly contradicts what they teach their children in their homes.

AB 493 would force Christian junior high and high school teachers to affirm LGBT identities despite a lack of beneficial medical evidence and which are counter to their personal beliefs about sex and sexuality. This bill presents a real religious liberty threat to people of faith who simply want to teach children, not become activists for LGBT organizations.

Unfortunately, this training has already been implemented in one California school district. Teachers in the state are already being shamed for their belief about sex and sexuality. One teacher described her experience:

Many times we were asked harsh questions and asked to raise our hands,” the first-grade teacher explained. Questions included, “Were you raised to only believe there are two genders? Did your parents ever discuss choices to you of gender?”

Teachers who admitted their parents had a binary/biblical view of gender were told how wrong and backward those views were. “I was truly offended knowing my parents raised me in a solid Christian home,” the teacher wrote. “I know my parents were outstanding parents. I was also blessed to attend a wonderful church.”

Teachers also received instructions on keeping secrets from parents. “It was shared with us that when a child tells us they are transgender, gay, or want to be the opposite sex we are not allowed to share it with their parents,” the teacher explained. The preferred name and pronoun of the student should be used, but “it should be kept private until the child is ready to share it with the parents.”

To be sure, everyone is an image-bearer of God and should be treated with dignity and respect, including junior high and high school students who identify as LGBT. Everyone should have access to a learning environment free of harassment, including teachers who hold a biblical view of sex, sexuality, and marriage.

If the California legislature implements this change to teacher training, they will find themselves harming the dignity of teachers with sincerely-held religious beliefs to pay for the LGBT activism in junior high and high schools. Ultimately, AB 493 amounts to nothing more than a displacement of harassment—not the eradication of it.

Fortunately, there is still time. Soon the California Senate Appropriations committee will meet to discuss AB 493. Take a stand for California teachers. Click here to email the California Senate Committee on Appropriations and tell them you oppose the indoctrination of California’s teachers!

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Prostitution and Abortion: The Exploitation of Women and Children

by Abigail Moreno-Riano

June 26, 2019

                                                                    

Earlier this year, the state of New York legalized abortion up until birth, and the governor and abortion activists then proceeded to celebrate this loss of life as a joyous occasion. Now, another crisis of human dignity was narrowly averted after New York came close to passing the first ever complete decriminalization of prostitution.

While Nevada is the only other state to legalize forms of prostitution, New York’s bill is the most extensive bill that has ever been introduced, and as these authors noted, “would only turn mostly women and girls into ‘commodities to be bought and sold.’” Thankfully, this bill has been tabled for now, but there is no doubt that pro-prostitution activists will continue to push for more decriminalization legislation in the future.

The Dignity of Every Life

We are pro-life because we believe each person is made in the image of God and therefore, whether man, woman, or unborn child, each person is worthy of dignity and respect. It is not what one does that allows a person to earn the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but rather, who a person is that endows them with these dignities. This belief is founded on the truth that God created male and female in his own image, as stated in Genesis 1:27.

It is here that we see human dignity does not just apply to men, but to women as well. This seems like an obvious statement, but in a world where the businesses of porn, prostitution, and sex trafficking increasingly degrade and destroy a woman’s perception of herself (not to mention a man’s perception of women) until she no longer sees herself as human but as an object, the dignity of women must be called out and fought for. As we fight for babies to be treated with dignity, so should we for women.

Women advocating for this bill, like sponsor Sen. Julia Salazar, argued it is because of their concern for the “rights” of women entrapped in prostitution and their desire for these women “to be treated with dignity and to be treated like human beings” that they support this bill. It is here that we see that the core of their advocacy is a misconstrued understanding of human dignity. The abortion and prostitution industries survive by encouraging and empowering this misconstrued understanding of human dignity, masking exploitation under the guise of “freedom.”

The Cycle of Degredation

As the cycles of pornography, sex trafficking, prostitution, and abortion continue, they are only fed by laws that seek to legalize their exploitative behavior. For too long, men who seek their own advantage have shown through their actions and attitudes towards women that their version of “liberty” comes from selfishness and “sheer self-will.”

This distorted understanding of freedom has been taken up by the Feminist movement, through which women seek to remedy exploitation by fighting for equal rights, as they should, but with the wrong tactics. Their view of freedom makes room for the belief that women are empowered by their ability to receive an abortion, but these avenues only allow exploitation to continue in the degradation of the unborn.

As Edmund Burke wrote, true freedom “is not solitary, unconnected, individual, selfish liberty, as if every man was to regulate the whole of his conduct by his own will.” True freedom exists not by selfish indulgence, but by “equality of restraint,” in which no person can “find means to trespass on the liberty” of any other person but every person is respected and respects others because of their inherent worth and value.

The cycle of degrading human dignity must end, and it starts with the woman understanding that her inherent value and worth is not dependent on the usefulness of her body. If women continue to allow themselves to be exploited, they allow men to degrade their worth and see abuse as the norm. The pro-life movement rightly seeks to help women value their babies as people, not as objects. But until women see themselves as inherently valuable and not as objects, they’ll never see their babies as more than the same.

Attorneys from Sanctuary for Families spoke out against decriminalizing prostitution, calling out prostitution as “an industry of abuse and violence which profits from the commodification of human beings,” adding, “The answer is not making it legal to pimp or buy sex. The answer is ensuring that we respect the full equality and dignity of every human.”

Ending the Industries of Exploitation

A woman is not valuable because of the desirability of her body, she is valuable because she is made in the image of God. Period. Until women start seeing themselves as dignified and worthy of more, they will only allow exploitation to continue. When women understand the inherent dignity that they possess, they are empowered to view their unborn children with the same dignity.

Laws that restrain abortion and prostitution do not imply that women are subservient to men. Rather, they demonstrate that women and unborn babies are equal and possess inherent dignity, and are therefore deserving of respect, while forcibly suppressing the industries of exploitation. Therefore, we must continue to fight for the dignity and protection of all, particularly women and unborn children, by upholding both anti-prostitution and pro-life laws.

Abigail Moreno-Riano is an intern at Family Research Council.

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Do Candidates' Family Structures Affect Voters?
by Peter Sprigg (Oct. 26, 2020)

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