Category: Life

Instead of Defunding Planned Parenthood, Maine is Suing A Pro-Life Activist

This past year has seen a series of revelations about Planned Parenthood, as a number of videos showed its employees discussing the still-beating hearts of aborted children and joking about “wanting a Lamborghini” while selling the body parts of those same children.  The result has been a national conversation on America’s largest abortion provider and increased scrutiny of many of its activities.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills (D)
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills (D)

In some states, it has also led to a push to defund the organization.  The results have been mixed, as there are some surprisingly difficult legal obstacles to making defunding a reality, leaders have stepped up in places such as Louisiana and Texas to try and make something work.  Other states have conducted investigations into the organization, and in many places, those efforts are still continuing.

But in Maine, something else is happening – instead of limiting the actions of those conducting abortions, state leaders are limiting the right of ordinary citizens and Christians to protest it.  Brian Ingalls, a 26-year old man from the state, is facing a lawsuit from the state’s own Attorney General after he was removed from public property outside a Planned Parenthood location for expressing his pro-life views.  There is some dispute about how loud Ingalls was being, but no dispute about where he was standing or what he was standing for.

The Washington Post gets into the details:

Erin Kuenzig, trial counsel for Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Ingalls, said her client was with his wife and baby “preaching from the Bible.” She said when police told him to quiet down, he did — but that Planned Parenthood called in another complaint anyway.

“Planned Parenthood didn’t like what this young Christian was saying,” Kuenzig told The Post.

Fortunately, as the above quote shows Ingalls has legal representation and will be fighting this lawsuit.  Yet it is still disturbing to see a state more worried about the volume level of those defending life than stopping the people engaged in the abhorrent practice of ending it.

Where is the Popular Support for Defunding Planned Parenthood?

The head of Planned Parenthood spent yesterday justifying her organization’s providing of abortions to a skeptical House Oversight Committee.  Conservative members of Congress grilled her about subjects ranging from her $600,000-a-year salary to her determination to turn Planned Parenthood into a “kick-butt political organization.”

Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, MN

The hearing went on for almost five hours, but there is one particular claim she made which should anger conservatives across America: that Planned Parenthood is an organization people like.  How could somebody claim popular support for a group of people that deals in body parts from aborted babies?  She must be lying, right?

The shocking thing is that she isn’t.  Americans have not yet woken up to what is going on in their midst, and even these recent videos have not changed that.

The Wall Street Journal, a long-standing home of conservative thought, put it bluntly this week with this headline: “Planned Parenthood Emerges Unscathed From GOP Attacks“.  The article goes on to note that:

At a time when Republicans have been calling for cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and threatening to shut down the government to do so, the new poll found that a strong majority of Americans — 61% — oppose eliminating funding, while 35% support a funding cut off.

…even among people who want to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, only 27% favored forcing a government shutdown to accomplish the goal.

Conservatives have simply not made the case to the public at large that taxpayer money should not go to lavish salaries and organizations that provide abortions.  When we try to understand why political maneuvers to stop this funding constantly fail, we must reflect on this fact.  Much more work needs to be done to convince the American people on this issue, and only after this task is complete can we hope to convince their elected leaders to follow the path of valuing the dignity of all life.

The entire video of the House Oversight hearing can be found below:

Planned Parenthood to be Investigated by Special Committee

There was an important announcement lost among the headlines about Pope Francis completing his trip to America and John Boehner resigning from his job as speaker and his congressional seat at the end of October – a special House committee will be set up to investigate the Planned Parenthood videos.  This is a welcome step in finding out the truth behind the activities of the largest provider of abortions in America.

(Photo: Charlotte Cooper)

Boehner himself announced the investigation during an appearance yesterday on Face the Nation.  The interview started with a question about the possibility of a government shutdown, and Boehner responded by saying that it would not be happening.  But he also brought up the videos, announced the investigation, and gave us some idea of what it might focus on:

We’ll also take up a select committee to investigate these horrific videos we’ve seen from abortion clinics in several states that really raise questions about the use of federal funds and raise questions about aborted fetuses that were born alive.

Select committees have existed as long as Congress itself, and they are often used to carry out investigations.  These have ranged from whether Missouri should become a state to finding out what actually happened in Benghazi.

With a dozen different videos having been released so far, it is long past time for Congress to protect the sanctity of life and the dignity of this nation by discovering the entire truth behind the disturbing scenes America has witnessed over the past two months.

With Boehner Gone, Will Planned Parenthood be Defuned?

The fight to defund Planned Parenthood took a dramatic turn today as Speaker John Boehner announced he will resign from both his job as speaker and his congressional seat at the end of October.

Boehner had long been in a difficult position.  Ostensibly, Boehner believes in defunding Planned Parenthood.  Yet a government shutdown remains a very difficult tactic to use effectively, and as the media is keen to remind us, conservatives have been 0-for-everything when it comes to sticking to our guns in situations like these.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

The next step instead looks to be trying to defund Planned Parenthood through a special kind of budget bill that the Senate cannot filibuster.  That would not ultimately lead to defunding, though, as President Obama would veto any such budget bill and the Senate would be unable to override his veto.

In the medium and long term, whoever takes up the speaker’s gavel after Boehner will find the same set of difficult challenges.

The Planned Parenthood videos are indeed shocking, and the House is right to take action. The impending threat of a government shutdown remains the ace-in-the-hole for the political left, knowing that conservatives have always come out for the worst in such fights.

Yet there are interesting questions in the transition from Boehner to new leadership.  After all, if not on defunding Planned Parenthood, what should conservatives be willing to stand on principle for?  Certainly it was not for Israel and against the Iran deal, and certainly not to defund Obamacare.

Planned Parenthood has killed 61 million babies… set aside the religious arguments for one moment: should our federal government really be invested in killing off future taxpayers?  Bring faith back into the argument… at what time does the bill come due for a nation that is slowly exterminating the future?  What does it say about us when the most precious gift human beings can bestow upon one another — life — is so casually discarded?

It will be a fierce battle to replace Boehner, and the winner of that battle will dictate what happens with defunding Planned Parenthood and other similar priorities in the future.  Let’s hope that in Boehner’s last hurrah, he finds the moral and political strength to do what is necessary.

CNA: 5% Drop In Abortion Rates Could Signal Cultural Shift

This could be a great sign that the pro-life movement isn’t just holding fast, but winning the culture war:

“Overall I’m pleased to see the abortion numbers are coming down,” Michael J. New, a political science professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, told CNA Nov. 26. “We’ve seen a pretty consistent downward trend in abortion since 1990. The numbers have declined almost every year. The numbers are down almost 25 percent overall since the early nineties. Overall, that’s a good thing.”

New said it is “very hard to say” what caused the short-term decline. He suggested a combination of more pro-life laws, the lack of abortion clinics in many parts of the country, and the change of “hearts and minds” on abortion.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 21 released a report based on figures from 43 states and two cities. Although there are an estimated 1 million abortions in the U.S. each year, the report counted about 785,000 in 2009. The figures do not include statistics from California, which has the most abortion providers in the country.

Using the available figures, researchers found that abortions fell from 16 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age in 2008 to about 15 per 1,000 women in 2009, about 38,000 fewer abortions.

New noted that 2009 was the first year a majority of respondents to the Gallup Survey questions on abortion said they were pro-life.

One minor concern could be the shift from surgical abortions to chemical abortions, the latter being much more difficult to track.

Still, where there’s life… there’s hope.