Category archives: Abortion

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.

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.

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.

The Power of Pro-Life Citizen Involvement

by Anna Longbons

April 17, 2019

Does grassroots activism even work? Every time a controversial bill is considered, and every time election season comes around, Americans are encouraged to get involved at the grassroots level. We are told that every vote counts. We are told that every election has consequences. But does citizen participation make a difference, or can we only effect change from the top down?

Citizen Activism Produces Pro-Life Victories

Several pro-life victories show the power of ordinary Americans taking action for the issues they care about. Although she was only 15 years old, Lila Rose began standing against Planned Parenthood through investigative reporting. Due in part to her efforts, the government has cut $60 million in Planned Parenthood support, and 8 states have stopped funding from going to the abortion giant. Similarly, Abby Johnson quit her Planned Parenthood career and made it her mission to rescue other abortion workers from the industry. Thanks to her organization, And Then There Were None, 400 abortion workers have left. Another 1 percent of American abortion workers quit after seeing Johnson’s autobiographical film Unplanned.

Voting for Pro-Life Candidates Saves Lives

Voting for pro-life candidates also yields powerful pro-life victories. When Iowa voters elected pro-life officials who defunded Planned Parenthood, one third of the state’s Planned Parenthood locations closed. In Bettendorf, Iowa, the pro-life Women’s Choice Center moved into Planned Parenthood’s old building, redeeming a tragic location with compassion and care. Since pro-life legislators passed the Hyde amendment, the Charlotte Lozier Institute reveals that 2.13 million humans have been saved from abortion. On the flip side, after Illinois legalized taxpayer-funded abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients, the number of taxpayer-funded abortions rose by 274 percent.  

Every Vote Counts

For pro-life candidates to get into office, they need pro-life voters to turn out at the polling places. In the 2018 midterm elections, several right-leaning candidates won by less than 1 percent. During the Florida Senate race, Rick Scott (R) defeated Bill Nelson (D) by a 0.12 percent margin of victory. In Georgia’s 7th district, Rob Woodall (R) secured a victory with only 419 votes. Will Hurd (R) won in Texas’ 23rd district by 926 votes, while Chris Collins (R) defeated Nate McMurray by only 1,087 votes. In April 2019, conservative judge Brian Hagedorn won an upset Wisconsin Supreme Court seat by 5,960 votes, equaling 0.4 percent of the vote.

Communicating with Legislators Influences Policy

Like the pro-life activists, home school advocates have achieved critical grassroots victories. In California, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Colorado, so many homeschoolers protested and made phone calls that legislators changed their minds about considering anti-homeschool legislation.

Forging relationships and staying in contact with elected officials furthers family policy in powerful ways. The Congressional Management Foundation reported that only 9 percent of House staffers get “information about the impact the bill/issue would have on the district or state,” but 91 percent would appreciate the information. Another 79 percent value “personal story from a constituent related to the bill or issue.” A mere 18 percent of them hear such stories, though. 79 percent of them also recommended “meet or get to know the Legislative Assistant with jurisdiction over their issue area.” The vast majority reported that “in-person visits from constituents” can help to sway undecided congresspeople. Even if citizens cannot visit congressional offices in person, they can interact with staff online. “Thirty or fewer similar comments on a social media post are enough to get an office’s attention,” according to another study from the Congressional Management Foundation.

When citizens engage on the issues they are passionate about and become involved in the political process, change happens. Activists like Abby Johnson and Lila Rose prove that concerned citizens can make a critical difference. Calling our legislators, showing up for demonstrations, and voting our values will help to determine the course America takes in the years ahead.

Anna Longbons is an intern with FRC Action.

On the Fighting Side of Life

by Worth Loving

March 5, 2019

On January 22, 2019, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, one of the most radical late-term abortion laws in the nation. A few days later when asked about a similar bill proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates, Governor Ralph Northam went a step further by advocating for infanticide. The actions in New York and Virginia have since spawned a domino effect throughout the nation, with liberal politicians in several other states proposing their own radical abortion bills.

Responding to the mad rush to legalize late-term abortion and infanticide, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill designed to protect babies born alive from botched abortions. Sadly, when this legislation came up for a vote in the Senate last week, 44 Democrats voted against it. Furthermore, Democrats have blocked 11 requests for unanimous consent on this legislation, 10 times in the House of Representatives and once in the Senate. The second vote in the Senate last week was to end debate on the bill and force a vote. That’s right, Democrats have voted against protecting babies born alive from botched abortions 12 times.

Despite these setbacks, we are fortunate to have many members of Congress willing to fight for life, no matter the political repercussions. Last week, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Ala.) stopped by our Washington, D.C. headquarters to discuss how she and her colleagues in the House and Senate are standing up to the radical abortion agenda. In addition to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, Congresswoman Roby has cosponsored several other pieces of pro-life legislation including the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Life at Conception Act, the Heartbeat Protection Act, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, and the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. Declaring her intent to fight for life, Congresswoman Roby stated unequivocally: “I will continue to use my platform in Congress to serve as a vocal advocate for the unborn.” In the midst of the rush to deny innocent babies the right to life, how refreshing it is to see so many members of Congress working hard to pass legislation to protect them.

To learn more about the congressional fight to protect the born and unborn, please take time to listen to Congresswoman Roby’s presentation. Then, contact your members of Congress and tell them to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act immediately so that it can be sent to President Trump’s desk for his signature. Lastly, please visit EndBirthDayAbortion.com to learn how you can send a clear and direct message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to protect babies now. Together, we will create a culture in which all human life is valued and equally protected.

Elections Have Consequences

by Worth Loving

February 15, 2019

Many Americans were understandably horrified when New York passed one of the most expansive late-term abortion laws in the country a few weeks ago. When asked about a similar bill proposed in his own state, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam not only defended the bill but also argued for infanticide. Now, states like Vermont and Rhode Island have been emboldened to pursue even more radical abortion bills.

The rush to lift restrictions on late-term abortions reveals a common theme—elections have consequences. For example, consider New York. While pro-choice Governor Andrew Cuomo was elected in 2011, Republicans regained control of the New York Senate. Since becoming Governor, one of Cuomo’s promises has been to legalize late-term abortion. However, the Republican-controlled Senate has continually stood in his way. But in the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans lost their majority in the state senate. This created a trifecta, with Democrats controlling the Assembly, Senate, and Governor’s Mansion. Once the new legislature convened on January 9, they wasted no time in fast-tracking the Reproductive Health Act to passage on January 22. Governor Cuomo signed it into law the same night. In New York, the 2018 elections had serious consequences for unborn babies.

Virginia also provides a prime example of why elections matter. While pro-life Republicans have not held the governorship since 2013, they have controlled the House of Delegates since 2000 and the Senate since 2013. In 2017, Republicans nearly lost control of both houses. The Senate remained in their control by one seat while control of the House of Delegates was decided by a name drawing. After Republican incumbent David Yancey and Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds each received 11,608 votes in District 94, the Virginia Board of Elections drew their names from a bowl. Yancey’s name was drawn first, allowing Republicans to retain a narrow 51-49 majority in the House of Delegates. If the outcome had only differed by one seat in each house, Delegate Kathy Tran’s New York look-a-like bill championed by pro-choice Governor Ralph Northam may very well have passed both houses and been signed into law. In Virginia, elections had serious consequences for babies, both born and unborn.

As we approach the 2020 elections, abortion will once again be a front-and-center issue. Even more so will be the issue of infanticide. An overwhelming 77 percent of voters support federal legislation known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act that would protect infants who survive a botched abortion. Despite this support, Democrats continue to block this bill in both the House and Senate.

So remember when you go to the polls on November 3, 2020—the lives of perfectly viable children are in your hands. Together, let’s send a message to the Democratic Party that the United States stands resolutely against infanticide and that their refusal to condemn it is grossly out of touch with mainstream America. Let’s remind them that elections have consequences. 

4 Ways Pro-Life Conversations Strengthen the Pro-Life Movement

by Anna Longbons

January 31, 2019

Pro-life individuals have a responsibility to communicate the pro-life message. Through civic participation, many pro-lifers put their beliefs into action, campaigning and voting for pro-life politicians and holding elected officials accountable for their positions on pro-life issues. However, when it comes to discussing pro-life issues with their friends and acquaintances, many pro-lifers hesitate.

On the one hand, because many conservatives ascribe to the pro-life position, pro-lifers may not see the need for intentional pro-life conversations with their conservative friends. Conversely, since abortion is a sensitive and often political issue, pro-lifers may avoid discussing it because they are unsure of an appropriate way to introduce the topic. By starting a conversation around pro-life issues, a pro-lifer risks an exchange that could be at best “preaching to the choir,” and at worst painful and alienating.

Although the risks of such conversations are real, pro-lifers must remember the great need for truth in America today. People who call themselves “pro-life” often do not know why they are pro-life, or what being pro-life even means. The Barna Group found that 59 percent of Mainline Protestant church leaders have never talked about the pro-life cause from the pulpit or mentioned it in a sermon. Engaging professed pro-lifers in conversation allows strong pro-lifers to share the reality of abortion and our opportunity to advocate for life in America.

Pro-lifers have several options available for beginning a pro-life conversation:

1. Inviting nominal pro-lifers to join pro-life initiatives can bolster their weaker pro-life convictions.

When nominal pro-lifers attend a pro-life conference, pray outside an abortion facility, or tour a Pregnancy Resource Center, they come face to face with the pro-life movement. Pro-lifers can enlist the support of friends and church members by asking them to volunteer at a Pregnancy Resource Center or attend a pro-life fundraiser. As these individuals become part of the pro-life movement, their eyes will be opened and their commitment strengthened.

Nominal pro-lifers also may not fully comprehend abortion, but they may have been personally impacted by it. Because abortion has been legal in America for 46 years, millions of Americans have been affected over the decades. People have lost siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends’ children. Talking about abortion allows these individuals to understand and process what happened to their family and friends.

2. Talking about pro-life issues can bring healing.

Abortion has impacted other individuals even more directly. Millions of American parents have lost their children to abortion. By bringing up pro-life issues, pro-lifers can point these parents to programs and resources for healing. Many local Pregnancy Resource Centers host post-abortive support groups, and organizations like Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More exist to come alongside post-abortive parents.

While such conversations open the door to healing from past abortion, they can also prevent future abortions. Josh Brahm from Equal Rights Institute observes that many women do not realize the support that is available to them if they become pregnant unexpectedly. By discussing pro-life issues, pro-lifers can ensure that their friends know about the alternatives to abortion and the support that is available to expectant parents.  

3. Asking questions can lead to changed minds.

Entering into a conversation about abortion allows pro-lifers to reach uniformed friends and acquaintances with the truth. Nonetheless, while some people are simply ignorant about abortion, others are hostile to the pro-life movement. Instead of replying with similar anger, pro-lifers can ask their pro-abortion friends why they are pro-abortion. Verbalizing their views forces pro-abortion individuals to consider the implications of their views.

4. Pro-lifers can also bring the message of life to their churches.

CareNet reported that 36 percent of women were attending a Christian church once a month or more at the time of their first abortion. David Bereit from 40 Days for Life reveals that post-abortive women can endure pain when they do not hear abortion addressed in their churches. Churches have an amazing opportunity to share the importance of life and forgiveness, encouraging expectant mothers not to abort and offering healing to those who have lost children to abortion.

Christians can involve their churches in a variety of ways, from coordinating activities for Sanctity of Life Sunday to recruiting church members to volunteer at Pregnancy Resource Centers. By asking church leaders for permission to pursue pro-life activities in their churches, pro-life members remind pastors of the importance of the pro-life message and support church leaders in spreading this message.

Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Engaging these four strategies in the pro-life movement will help to build a culture of life. Those who previously paid lip service to the pro-life movement will realize the tragedy of abortion and the sacredness of life, while those hurt by abortion will understand that healing is possible. Women who might consider abortion will learn about the pro-life resources available to them. Additionally, those who hold pro-abortion views will be prompted to reconsider their positions. Reaching out to friends with the pro-life message may be a leap of faith for pro-lifers, but through their faithfulness, our culture will experience the truth and healing of the pro-life message.

Anna Longbons is an intern at FRC Action.

Why We March: The Civil Rights Movement of 2019

by Worth Loving

January 23, 2019

Yesterday marked the 46th memorial of perhaps the deadliest decision in world history, Roe v. Wade. This Supreme Court decision legalized abortion-on-demand across America and has resulted in the deaths of some 61 million people, more than the Civil War, both world wars, and the Holocaust combined. Abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2018, killing an estimated 42 million and surpassing deadly diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.

Despite the deadly decision, the Supreme Court did leave room for Congress and the states to regulate abortion. In 1976, Congress enacted the Hyde Amendment, an annual legislative provision that bars federal funding of abortion and has been renewed every year since. President Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2004 after President Clinton had vetoed several previous efforts to outlaw the barbaric practice. The Supreme Court upheld the law in the 2007 case of Gonzalez v. Carhart. In 2017, President Trump signed the first federal pro-life law in 13 years that allowed states to withhold Title X funding from Planned Parenthood. President Trump has also appointed a record number of pro-life judges, reinstated the Mexico City policy, and barred U.S. funding of UN programs that promote abortion.

However, more progress seems to be happening at the state level. In the last decade, many states have passed laws requiring waiting periods, counseling, ultrasounds, or parental notification. Some are passing laws mandating that abortion facilities meet hospital standards, shutting down many of them as a result. Several states have enacted legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and to ban abortions after 6, 12, or 15 weeks.

One of the other few bright spots from Roe v. Wade was the vast pro-life movement that it spawned. From public policy organizations to crisis pregnancy centers to pro-life student groups, Roe v. Wade ironically “birthed” thousands of warriors for life across the entire country. One of the most visible proofs of this is the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Since the first March for Life on January 22, 1974, it has become the largest human rights gathering in the world; and we will continue to come back every year until Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Despite this progress, there is still so much more that must be done to eliminate abortion in America. For example, abortion is still legal in the U.S. after 20 weeks, putting us in a league with totalitarian regimes like China, North Korea, and Vietnam. New York just legalized abortion up until the point of birth. We cannot call ourselves the freest country in the world if we continue to allow the most innocent and vulnerable among us to be murdered while we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to their cries of pain. Despite all the progress since Roe v. Wade, hundreds of children will die just today in the U.S. because abortion is still legal.   

You may be wondering, “I’m just one person. How could I possibly make any difference?” There’s actually a lot you can do as one person. Here’s a few practical steps that you can take today:

  1. Pray. Pray that God would protect every unborn child from abortion and allow them to be born into loving homes. Pray for our leaders in all three branches of government that they would protect life and overturn Roe v. Wade once and for all. Pray for those that remain defiantly pro-choice or are indifferent to abortion that God would soften their hearts to the plight of the unborn. Pray for all abortion doctors, nurses, and clinic workers that their minds would be opened and that they will cease abortions today. And last, pray for those standing in the gap to eliminate abortion in America—legislators, public policy organizations, crisis pregnancy centers, student groups, and many more. The environment in which they work is more hostile than ever before, and they need our prayers for God’s protection and for them to have courage and boldness to press on.
  2. Contact your members of Congress. There are several pieces of legislation that have already been introduced that will further protect the unborn. Call, write, or email your member of Congress and ask them to support legislation such as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. These are common-sense bills that should pass with wide bipartisan support but haven’t yet done so because not enough people contact their members of Congress and voice their support. I have been told by several people who work on Capitol Hill daily that if a member receives at least 10 phone calls, letters, or emails on a particular bill or issue, he or she will give it more attention.
  3. Educate yourself and those around you. Start with our resources here at FRC, such as “Top 10 Myths About Abortion,” “Planned Parenthood is Not Pro-Woman,” “The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences,” and “Stem Cells, Cloning, and Human Embryos.” Visit our website to get copies for yourself and your friends and family.
  4. Support a pregnancy resource center in your area. These centers support women with counseling, supplies, and medical care completely free of charge. Above all, they lovingly urge the women who come to them to keep their babies. Thousands of lives have been saved as a result of pregnancy resource centers. Many need volunteers and are always in need of funds. Consider raising money for your local pregnancy resource center at your church through “The Baby Bottle Campaign.”
  5. Attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C. or one near you. Making your support for the unborn public sends a message to government leaders every year that we are serious about ending abortion.

Abortion is the civil rights issue of our time and the greatest human rights violation in history. There is no greater cause for which to fight than the cause of life. I am reminded of two leaders who fought against the humanitarian evils of their day, William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. While fighting the slave trade of the British Empire, Wilberforce told those unsure of whether to support banning the practice that “you may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” And speaking of the evils of Nazi Germany, Bonhoeffer famously said “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

We know what abortion is, and we know how rampant it is in America. Now is not the time to be silent or indifferent. It’s time to pick a side and take action to stand for life. The future of the free world depends on it.

Three Pro-Life State Measures, One Massive Effect on the Country

by Alex Yun

November 5, 2018

Midterm elections have typically been regarded as a referendum on the incumbent president and congressional majorities. The nation usually looks to key Senate and House races to see who will attain the majority. However, state elections, especially ballot measures to amend Constitutions, are often overlooked. For me, growing up in the state of Oregon, midterms typically meant a fair amount of disappointment, as conservatives and pro-lifers normally have a tough time winning in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I can’t remember the last time that a conservative or a Republican won a major election in my home state. Both Senators from Oregon, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, are some of the most left-leaning Democrats in the Senate today—both have a 0 percent rating with FRC Action in Congress’ last session.

Similarly, my Republican congressional candidate has consistently been outvoted by the liberal cities in my district. While there may not be many choices for elected office for pro-lifers in the Pacific Northwest to get excited about, you might be surprised to hear that Oregon voters will have an opportunity to vote for a pro-life ballot initiative this election: Measure 106.

Oregon Measure 106 would amend the Oregon Constitution to prevent taxpayer funds from paying for abortions, with a few exceptions. The ballot language states: “The state shall not spend public funds for any abortion, except when medically necessary or as may be required by federal law.” If the measure attains a majority of votes, Oregon will become the 27th state to make state health care funded abortions illegal. This would be a massive victory for pro-life voters. Oregon is one of the most lenient states in the country when it comes to abortion. Unlike the majority of other states, Oregon allows partial birth abortions, has no waiting period, has no limit on how old the baby is at the time of the abortion, and allows minors to receive abortions without a parent’s consent. Oregon doesn’t even require that the person performing the abortion be a licensed physician. Thus, Measure 106 would be a potent tool in stemming the tide of one of the United State’s most radically pro-abortion states. 

Oregon isn’t the only state with a pro-life ballot measure before the voters. Two other states, Alabama and West Virginia, have measures of their own on the 2018 ballot. Alabama’s Amendment 2 makes it state policy to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life,” it “ensures the protection of the rights of the unborn child,” and states that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion.” Similarly, West Virginia’s Amendment 1 adds language to their Constitution stating that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” If either or both of these measures pass, it will send a strong signal to the rest of the nation that outlawing abortion is something that is possible—if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

In the event that Roe is overturned, Alabama and West Virginia’s proposed amendments would make it that much easier to make abortion illegal in those states. Similarly, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota all have laws which would make abortion illegal the second that Roe is overturned, and nine more states have bans on abortion that even predate Roe. Seven more states intend to ban abortion should the case be overturned. Even if these amendments have no affect for years to come on their own, they would become the highest laws in each state if or when Roe is overturned.

Liberals are, understandably, appalled at this idea. Vox reports that they are “quite confident that Kavanaugh is a vote to overturn Roe” and that “[a]fter that point, all bets are off.” Similarly, Hillary Clinton tweeted the following:

If Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice, will he help gut or overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America? Yes, of course he will. 

The Left is scared to death that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. That’s because they know that keeping the Supreme Court is the only way they can ensure abortion remains legal. Should Roe be overturned, the question will then become a state issue. Imagine the message it would send to the nation if voters in Alabama, Oregon, and West Virginia were able to pass pro-life amendments to their state constitutions. How many states would then be emboldened to pass similar measures themselves? How many lives would be saved? In the end, every vote for pro-life legislation is a step toward an America in which all life is cherished and loved as it was intended to be.

Alex Yun is an intern at FRC Action.

Defending the Free Speech Rights of Pregnancy Centers

by Worth Loving

May 22, 2018

Pregnancy can be one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life, especially when the pregnancy is unexpected. It’s extremely important that a woman have a strong support group during such a time. For many women facing unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy resource centers provide the support needed for the woman to carry her baby to term and equip her to raise the child in a loving home.

There are two types of crisis pregnancy centers, licensed and unlicensed. Unlicensed pregnancy centers are authorized to provide any type of non-medical support including pregnancy kits, education, support groups, clothing, and so on. Licensed pregnancy centers provide all these services as well but are also authorized to provide limited medical services. Unlike Planned Parenthood, pregnancy resource centers charge nothing for their services. Oftentimes, pregnancy centers are strategically located in poor communities where medical care is hard to find. No one seeking their services is turned away.

Now, the very mission of these pregnancy centers is under attack in California through a law known as the California FACT Act. Passed in 2015, the law requires pregnancy centers to promote a message directly contrary to their mission. For licensed facilities, the law requires a state-approved message regarding abortion referrals to be posted in the pregnancy centers. Interestingly, the law doesn’t require licensed pregnancy centers to promote wellness and nutrition programs for women, infants, and children or anything of the sort. For non-licensed facilities, the law requires that the pregnancy center post a message explaining that they are not a licensed medical facility and therefore cannot provide any related services, something these pregnancy centers have never claimed to do.

Shortly after the passage of the California FACT Act, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, arguing that the law violated the free speech rights of pregnancy centers. After working its way through the lower courts, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of NIFLA v. Becerra in November 2017. Oral arguments were heard on March 20, and a decision is expected to be announced at the end of the Court’s term next month.

It certainly appears that precedent is on the side of pregnancy centers. Several cases have been decided in favor of private individuals and institutions who were being compelled to promote or participate in a message or action contrary to their beliefs or mission. It also appears that the current justices have serious reservations about the constitutionality of the California FACT Act. During oral arguments for NIFLA v. Becerra, several of the more liberal justices voiced concerns that the law was not only burdensome but specifically targeted pregnancy centers, something Justice Elena Kagan called a “serious issue.”

Defendants in the case, including the state of California, argue that pregnancy centers are willfully deceiving women into believing that abortion is not an option and that they must disclose abortion services. In the end, though, Attorney General Becerra’s legal team conceded that no charges have ever been filed against a single pregnancy center in the state of California; and they have yet to bring forward a woman who has been harmed by a pregnancy center.

Pregnancy centers have never claimed to be full service. Their goal is to provide services to a mother in need so that her baby may develop fully and that she may love and nurture the child. What’s at stake in this case is the First Amendment right of pregnancy centers to refuse to promote a message directly contrary to their mission. Last week, Congressman Andy Harris, a medical doctor from Maryland, spoke on the importance of this case at FRC. As he said, “The First Amendment gives you the right to say things. It also gives you the right not to say things, and that’s what this case is about.” To find out more about this critical case and how you can support pregnancy centers in your area, watch Rep. Harris’ full lecture.

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