Tag Archive for: abortion

The Left Wants Pro-Lifers to Despair after Tuesday’s Election. Don’t.

Unlike a lot of things in life, losing doesn’t get any easier the more you do it. If anything, the sting turns to despair, as pro-lifers, who’ve slogged through seven bitter defeats since June of 2022, know well. Over the last several months, the jubilation of seeing Roe fall has been replaced by a sinking feeling that the cause of the unborn is doomed in the very place the justices have entrusted it: the states. But is that true — or are we just experiencing the pains of a battle we only just started fighting?

There had been real hope that Ohio, the first conservative state to weigh in on a radical abortion measure, would reverse the string of losses since Dobbs. When that didn’t happen, and Buckeyes voted 56-43% to let parents take their child’s life right up to the moment of birth, the media’s taunts that life is a political loser felt truer. Maybe, as notorious squishes like Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) are already saying, the movement should just give up. Stop talking about abortion.

But, as the editors of National Review so powerfully write, “In the mind of anyone who knows the truth that abortion deliberately kills an innocent human being, giving up on the most important human-rights cause of our time is unthinkable. After five decades of Roe and less than two years from Dobbs, the fight for life in the democratic arena has barely begun.”

Remember, they told discouraged readers, “Advocates of same-sex marriage suffered a string of 32 losses at the ballot box before succeeding for the first time, in the bluest of states, in 2012. … Their success serves as a reminder that a string of defeats at the ballot box is no reason to believe a cause is lost.”

For a half-century, pro-lifers have marched, prayed, volunteered, voted, suffered blows, and stepped right back into the ring — not because the cause was politically advantageous, but because it was morally right. That cause didn’t end when the Supreme Court righted one wrong. It ends when every square inch of this nation is a safe place for children in the womb. Anyone who thought that would be easy has quickly forgotten the lessons of the last 50 years.

We have to do what we’ve done since the beginning — stand up, dust ourselves off, and, as the NRO editors urge, “Take the long view on the fight on life.” “Do not despair,” pro-life scholar Michael New insists. “We were never promised a smooth glide path to victory. This is an important lesson. Because history tells us, when we persist, we win!”

Does that mean we don’t have things to learn? Absolutely not. We’re in a new and volatile political environment that Dobbs created, and if we’re going to turn the tide, it’ll take time. And while we don’t need to rethink our principles, we do need to rethink how we talk about them — if, in some cases, we even are.

In one of the more astonishing statistics from Tuesday night, a whopping 24% of self-described “white evangelical or born-again Christians” supported Ohio’s Issue 1, which not only puts the Buckeyes on par with California’s abortion extremism but gives the green light to minor transgender surgery — without parental consent. We’re expecting voters to act with moral clarity when the church won’t even speak to it. Until that changes, pro-lifers will have a much steeper hill to climb. If Christians have been complacent after the Dobbs victory, we need to ensure they’re no longer complicit after defeat.

Why would Christians be voting for abortion anyway? Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm thinks the answer “could be the silence on these issues in many parts of the church. Many churches don’t want to be divisive, so they choose to say nothing, but when you say nothing you say something. Many Christians have been left with the impression that it doesn’t really matter what Christians think about abortion because the people they look to for guidance on these issues live and act like it doesn’t matter.”

Elsewhere, in Virginia, where abortion was the only messaging point Democrats had to run on, the media rushed to gloat that conservative agendas like Governor Glenn Youngkin’s had been rebuked. Among the more creative post-election name-calling was Fox Business’s Dagen McDowell, who labeled Youngkin a “damp Dorito” for putting so much emphasis on life.

But the reality is, NRO’s Jim Geraghty points out, “Virginia is shifting from narrow GOP control of the state House and narrow Democratic control of the state Senate, to narrow Democratic control of both chambers. Control of the state legislature is probably going to come down to a couple thousand votes in a handful of districts. It’s a frustrating result for the GOP, but not a sweeping rebuke.”

That step-away-from-the-ledge rationale was echoed by politicos like John McCormick, who noted that what happened Tuesday night isn’t all that different from what happened the year Youngkin won. “The House of Delegates went 52R-48D [to] 51D-49R house now.” And let’s not forget, he posted, Virginia is “a Biden +10 state,” and voters were still “evenly divided [46-47%] on a 15-week [abortion] limit.” Oh, and by the way, the damp Dorito has a 54-38% approval rating. Biden hasn’t sniffed a percentage like that since inauguration.

So losing the legislature by 1%, especially after Democrats banked their whole campaign on the outrageous lie that Republicans want to ban “all abortions without any exceptions” isn’t exactly a death knell for conservatism in the Commonwealth. And yet, McCormack shakes his head, “Twitter is treating it like a political earthquake.”

Even more encouraging, at least in the winning hearts and minds category, is that Americans believe the Democrats’ position on abortion is more extreme — by a two-to-one margin. Pro-lifers just have to figure out a way to continue driving that point home on the road to reasonable compromise.

In other words, Geraghty emphasizes, “The results last night are no reason to panic.” “The elections in the year before the presidential election are a little odd — much lower turnout, governors’ races in a trio of Southern states with their own quirky histories and dynamics, and intense waves of advertising in state legislative races that usually fly under the radar.”

But, he continues, “If you look back eight years to 2015, you see Republicans won two governors’ races (Kentucky, Mississippi) and lost one (Louisiana). This year, Republicans won two governors’ races (Louisiana, Mississippi) and lost one (Kentucky). (Jeff Landry won the Louisiana governor’s race in the first round in October, and everyone seems to have forgotten about that.)”

Tuesday night’s results were disappointing, to be sure, but they don’t negate all of 2023’s other victories. In a year that’s seen the beat-back of Pridea surge of anti-woke boycottsan education revolutionthe repudiation of ESG19 signed SAFE Actsa nationwide parents’ revolt, and the election of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), America is a long ways from writing social conservatives’ obituary. The cultural undercurrents continue to be strong on the Right, even if the electoral fruit doesn’t always bear that out.

The outcome in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, and other states may not have been what we hoped for, worked for, or anticipated, but even in the midst of it, we shouldn’t once question what we did or what we stood for. In days like these, we have to keep an eternal perspective, remembering that, as Christians, we go from victory to victory. That doesn’t mean every election ends with a parade, because our battle is not temporal; it’s spiritual. Voters may reject the values that have sustained this nation for more than 240 years — but an election is not going to change the sovereignty of God.

Our charge is to not lose heart, to stay faithfully engaged in the struggle, and to pray. “In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus warned. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“It took us 50 years to get here,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told TWS. “But the way forward is the same way we arrived at this point — continuing each and every day to win the hearts and minds of people by telling truth. Now, the volume has been ratcheted up where the lies are being fueled by millions of dollars, but that just means we need to speak the truth with more passion and more consistency to break through Left’s deception.” Even so, he insisted, “We’re not going to retreat. We’re not going anywhere.”


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Ohio’s Issue 1 Erases Parenthood

If Issue 1 passes in Ohio, it will effectively deny parents the ability to protect their minor daughters from predatory neighbors, family members, or industries favored by the Democratic Party. But perhaps its greatest offense comes in its attempt to legally dismantle parents’ rights to direct, guide, or even be aware of the most consequential decisions in their children’s lives.

Issue 1 would establish the right of an “individual” of any age to make “reproductive decisions,” including “but not limited to” abortion. Its sponsors tacitly acknowledge the real battleground in Ohio is the way the amendment affects parental consent. Their latest ad turns the concept on its head, irrationally claiming the amendment somehow protects young girls from child molesters.

In reality, Issue 1 empowers predators to victimize young girls twice, sexually exploiting them and then using abortion to dispose of the evidence. Sadly, Ohio has already proven this.

In 2003, John Haller, a 21-year-old soccer coach, began abusing a 13-year-old eighth grader, getting her pregnant shortly after she turned 14. He took her to a southwest Ohio Planned Parenthood for an abortion, posing as her father to authorize the abortion. Issue 1 would save him the trouble; Planned Parenthood, which has a history of covering up sexual abuse and human trafficking, would not have to go through the motions of asking about parental consent. Issue 1 transforms the child’s rapist into a crusading hero helping the girl exercise her “reproductive freedom” (which her parents might seek to deny). If Issue 1 passes, the Ohio-based pro-life group Created Equal accurately notes, “A sexual abuser could drive your daughter to an abortion, and you’d be left in the dark.”

But a cynic would be tempted to believe the abortion industry (which constitutes the heart of the coalition sponsoring the amendment) specifically designed Issue 1’s sloppily-worded amendment to stave off future legal issues. How did the abortionist react when they learned of their role in covering up the sexual molestation of a young teenage girl? Planned Parenthood sued all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court to deny her parents the right to see full medical records that could establish whether the facility engaged in a pattern of concealing minors’ sexual assaults. Issue 1 would allow the abuse-facilitating abortion industry to say parents have no standing to interfere in their children’s “reproductive decisions” and wash their hands clean of it.

Indeed, one of the sponsors’ ads says the quiet part out loud: Voting yes on Issue 1 “gets government out of the way” and gives the abortion industry free rein when it comes to your daughter.

Even when an underage pregnancy does not result from rape, Issue 1 renders loving parents incapable of shielding their daughters from the harmful mental and emotional impacts of abortion. A 2011 meta-analysis from Bowling Green State University’s Priscilla Coleman found “a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.” (The evidence of abortion’s harms is far from restricted to Coleman’s work.)

“There are physiological, psychological, emotional consequences of abortion, and the pro-abortion side doesn’t ever want to talk about that,” said Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation, on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Thursday. “That’s why when they say things like, ‘It’s no different than having a tooth pulled,’ well, there aren’t support groups for people who have their teeth pulled, but there are many hundreds, if not thousands of support groups across the United States for those who are post-abortive.”

That is why the abortion industry refers to its product only in “euphemistic” phrases “about ‘reproductive health and freedom’” — or, in the case of Issue 1, “reproductive decisions,” he said. “When they minimize this and they trivialize the impact of the violence of abortion, it shows which side actually cares about women, which side actually cares about the dignity of human life,” Bomberger insists.

One final point worth pondering: Each state legislates the age of statutory rape. Honest question: If Issue 1 establishes a constitutional right for “individuals” of all ages to make “reproductive decisions,” how would that affect Ohio’s age of consent laws? Isn’t having sex the ultimate “reproductive decision”? Even when statutory rape is illegal, left-leaning legal authorities often forbid parents from protecting their minor daughters on a mass scale. A human trafficking ring victimized more than 1,400 young girls under the nose of British authorities; records show police and social workers often told parents to accept that their 12-year-old daughters were “growing up.” The London Telegraph reported about “two separate cases where fathers who had tracked their daughters down and were trying to remove them from houses where they were being abused, were themselves arrested.” They watched helplessly as their daughters were abused, threatened, and trafficked around the United Kingdom, unable to defend them.

Issue 1 creates the legal environment in which all of this could occur. Every parent has a duty to vote no.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Tucker Carlson Declares Abortion a ‘Spiritual Battle’

Veteran reporter and cultural-cum-political commentator Tucker Carlson is declaring that the fight against abortion is in fact a matter of spiritual warfare. Speaking at a gala hosted by The Center for Christian Virtue last week in Cleveland, Carlson stated that abortion is not a “political debate” but a “spiritual battle.”

The ex-Fox News host said that for most of his life and career “the debates that we had in the political sphere were over competing visions for how to improve people’s lives.” Referring to debates over issues like minimum wage, Carlson said, “I was on one side of it, but I could also sort of see the other side. Both sides were at least pretending to try to improve the lives of the people who voted for them.” The prevalence of abortion as a political issue is, argued Carlson, a departure from the sort of debate he and much of America has long been accustomed to.

Carlson pointed to two Ohio ballot initiatives — one enshrining abortion in the state constitution and the other decriminalizing recreational drug use — that he found especially distressing and disturbing. He asked, “When you wind up in an election where the two top ballot initiatives are 1) encouraging people to kill their own kids and 2) encourage their kids to do drugs, who’s benefitting here?” He then extolled the joys of being a parent and raising a family, saying, “I’m serious. The one unalloyed source of joy in your life is your children, the point of life is to have children, and to watch them have grandchildren. Nothing will bring you joy like that will — nothing comes close, nothing comes close.” Carlson continued:

“So anyone telling you, ‘Don’t have children, kill your children,’ is not your friend, it’s your enemy. And by the way, it’s a very recognizable promise that they’re making to you, because it’s as old as time and it’s chronicled in great detail throughout the Hebrew Bible — it’s human sacrifice, which rears its head about every four chapters, and which is singled out for approbation every time. Of all the sins the ancient committed, that sin, every single time it’s described, is called detestable… Detestable. God singled that out.”

“Why were people doing that?” he asked. “Because, of course, they believed that they were getting power and contentment and happiness in return.” Carlson explained that child sacrifice was not a practice relegated to the Mayans or Aztecs but was practiced by practically every major civilization or peoples from antiquity. “Human sacrifice, the sacrifice of children, the killing of children is the one constant in human civilization.”

He continued to note that all these various ancient civilizations, spread across different regions and continents across the globe, all reached the same conclusion: that child sacrifice might provide happiness or safety. Carlson said that conclusion couldn’t be reached “organically,” pointing out that it contradicts evolutionary biology and the instinct to preserve and continue not just the species but the family.

So where did human sacrifice come from? “That’s an idea, an impulse that was introduced,” Carlson explained. “Outside forces are acting on people at all times throughout history in every culture on the planet to convince people that if they sacrifice their children they will be happy and safe.” He continued:

“And that’s exactly what this is. This is a religious rite. This is not a policy debate, they’re not telling you that some girl got raped at 13 and she needs to go to college and therefore, unfortunately, we need to abort the child. No. That was 20 years ago. Now they’re saying, ‘Abortion is itself a pathway to joy.’ Really? So this is not a political debate, this is a spiritual battle. There is no other conclusion.”

Addressing the other ballot initiative promoting recreational drug use, Carlson quipped, “Take more drugs and be happy? Right, okay.” He expounded that the results of that initiative would essentially zombify the population. “Less conscious, less aware, give your soul over, dull yourself, become a robot. Really? Those are the promises they’re making?”

The bulk of Carlson’s speech last week is reminiscent of a speech he delivered earlier this year at The Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary gala. In that speech, Carlson said that American debate used to center on differing policy plans for achieving what was generally an agreed-upon good outcome. But now, he said, “people … decide that the goal is to destroy things — destruction for its own sake — ‘Hey, let’s tear it down’ — what you’re watching is not a political movement, it’s evil.”

Referring to abortion, he reiterated that abortion advocates have gone from claiming that abortion is “sometimes necessary” to foaming at the mouth for abortion on demand anywhere, any time, for any reason. “If you’re telling me that abortion is a positive good … you’re arguing for child sacrifice.… That’s like an Aztec principle, actually.” He argued that the era of policy paper debates is over and America is now in a period of “theological” war. Days after delivering that speech, Carlson was removed from Fox News, reportedly because then-Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch thought the speech was too Christian and was unsettled by its theological overtones.

Last week, though, Carlson did more than just highlight the reality of America’s present spiritual war. He asked, “So how do you respond to this?” The answer, he suggested, is to remain courageous. Citing St. Paul as a hero of his, Carlson said:

“This is like the bravest guy ever. There’s not a letter he wrote where he didn’t have a sword hanging over his neck, he expected at any moment to be murdered, and I think the consensus among historians is, in the end he was. He was murdered. … But he lived with the certainty that he was going to be killed for his beliefs every day. And he was totally unbothered by it, completely. … He was never afraid.”

“And by the way,” Carlson asked, “why would he be afraid? He believed his fate was sealed. He was going to join Jesus. He was going to Heaven.” Carlson proclaimed that courage is the “marker” of the Christian faith, adding that if a Christian is afraid, then “you’re kind of not doing it right, are you? There’s no excuse for being afraid.” Whether facing the threat of a worldwide “pandemic” with a 99% survival rate or facing a firing squad for being a Christian, Carlson’s exhortation was clear: be not afraid.


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

he Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Huge Victory’: 5th Circuit Rules Against Mailing Abortion Pills and Ignoring Women’s Injuries

The Biden administration suffered a major setback, as a federal appeals court has ruled the abortion industry cannot send the abortion pill through the mail, nor ignore the life-threatening harms suffered by the women who take it. The unanimous decision, which pro-life advocates say could save tens of thousands of lives, likely places the pro-life movement and the abortion lobby on another collision course for the Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, ruled against laxer safety standards placed on the abortion pill by the Obama and Biden administrations. In the case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a collection of doctors and OB-GYNs represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom argued the FDA had negligently abused its expedited approval of the chemical abortion drug mifepristone in 2000 for political purposes.

The panel believed the doctors waited too long to file a legal challenge, as the statute of limitations had likely expired. But it overturned abortion expansions made in 2021 by the Biden administration and in 2016 by the Obama-Biden administration. Wednesday’s ruling:

  • reduces the number of weeks mifepristone may be dispensed from 10 weeks to seven;
  • stipulates that only a physician may prescribe the pill, also known as RU-486;
  • ends telemed abortions by requiring an abortion-minded woman to have three in-person visits with a doctor: the first to confirm pregnancy and to take mifepristone, the second to take misoprostol, and a follow-up to check for adverse effects caused by the chemical abortion;
  • bars abortion pills from being sent through the mail; and
  • mandates that abortionists report all adverse events caused by mifepristone, not merely when the pill causes a woman’s death.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called the ruling a “significant victory for the health and safety of women.” Former Congressman Jody Hice said the judgment constitutes “a huge, huge victory for the pro-life movement as a whole and for protecting the health of women.”

The Biden administration “unlawfully allowed for mail-order abortions,” ADF senior counsel Erin Hawley told Hice on “Washington Watch” Thursday. “The Fifth Circuit’s decision puts an end to that.” The decision “makes good on the promise of Dobbs” by stopping abortion activists in Democrat-controlled states from shipping mifepristone into pro-life states, eviscerating state pro-life protections for the unborn.

The ruling reversed abortion-expanding executive actions taken by two Democratic administrations. Barack Obama and Joe Biden both moved to change the rules governing the distribution of mifepristone, known as Risk Evaluation and Mitigation System (REMS). In 2016, the Obama-Biden administration said abortionists no longer had to report serious side effects of the abortion pill to the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS), only deaths. In December 2021, Biden’s FDA allowed the abortion pills to be prescribed online, without a medical check-up to verify the woman does not have an ectopic pregnancy, or that she is pregnant at all. The impact weighed heavily on the panel.

“In loosening mifepristone’s safety restrictions, FDA failed to address several important concerns about whether the drug would be safe for the women who use it,” wrote Judge Jennifer Elrod in the majority opinion. “It failed to consider the cumulative effect of removing several important safeguards at the same time.”

One of the plaintiffs in the case, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologist (AAPLOG), told The Washington Stand the ruling is “a first step towards reprioritizing women’s health over the interests of the abortion industry and its allies within our profession.” FRC senior fellow Meg Kilgannon stressed that, although the abortion pill is “never safe for the baby” — “the baby is going to die” in any abortion — these terms constitute a “huge improvement over” existing practices. Giving abortion pills directly to the mother is “medically much safer for women” than shipping them via the mail, because it “ensures that no third party can have access to them and then further exploit women: a trafficker, a human trafficker, someone who would give these drugs to a woman unbeknownst to her.”

Pro-life advocates “should be cautiously optimistic” as the case moves forward, Rev. Jim Harden of CompassCare told TWS. “Pending the Supreme Court’s review, the drug remains available to women without medical oversight. Furthermore, the abortion industry continues to illegally ship the drug to women’s homes in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1461 and 1462,” conventionally known as the Comstock Act. Two days after Christmas 2022, Biden’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued an opinion that pharmacies may mail or ship abortion pills to pro-life states.

These measures will not take effect immediately, if at all. The Supreme Court issued a stay requiring the case to be fully adjudicated, possibly all the way to the High Court, before the appeals court ruling can take effect. Justices have not yet indicated if they plan to hear the case without a conflicting ruling from another court.

The panoply of possible harms has multiplied as U.S. chemical abortions in the U.S. doubled between 2011 and 2020. Mifepristone now accounts for 54% of all U.S. abortions, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. The current regimen of unsupervised “mail-order abortion pills put thousands of women and girls at risk of serious complications from abortion pills every year,” said Katie Daniel, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s state policy director.

Studies have documented that the two-drug abortion cocktail causes four times the level of harmful side effects for women than surgical abortions. The FDA documented 4,207 adverse events from mifepristone use — including 26 deaths, 1,045 hospitalizations, 603 events requiring a blood transfusion, and 413 infections between 2000 and 2021. One study found that as many as 35 of every 100 women who ingest both pills will end up in the emergency room. In a pending lawsuit in New York City, a 16-year-old girl swore that mifepristone left her permanently “sick, sore, lame and disabled” — and caused her child, who survived, to be born with “profound birth defects.”

“I’ve personally treated many women for complications from the abortion pill (mifepristone and misoprostol), including performing emergency surgery on a woman who bled for two months after receiving these drugs,” noted Dr. Ingrid Skop, an OB-GYN who serves as vice president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “Those promoting unsupervised DIY abortion pills clearly prioritize the deaths of unborn children over the health and safety of women.”

A majority (55%) of women who consider themselves “pro-choice” regret their decision to take mifepristone, according to a national survey from Support After Abortion. One-third of women subjected to a chemical abortion “reported an adverse change” in their lives, such as “depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide,” the group found.

Mail-order abortion “lacks any sort of meaningful medical oversight and places women in danger of serious, life-threatening complications, and ends the lives of unborn children,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, told TWS. “The FDA has a solemn duty to prioritize health and safety over politics and should be held accountable for failing to do so.”

The Fifth Circuit partially affirmed and partially vacated a stronger decision from U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, who ruled on April 7 that FDA wrongly approved mifepristone in 2000. They allowed the drug to be dispensed according to 2016 standards and allowed a 2019 motion for the name-brand Mifeprex to be dispensed as a generic drug.

Pro-life advocates hope if and when the case comes before the Supreme Court, justices will reconsider mifepristone’s controversial approval in 2000, which they contend took place under political pressure from the Clinton administration. In doing so, they state, the FDA violated the Administration Procedure Act.

“The FDA, just like any other agency, has to follow the rules. They didn’t do that for chemical abortion. They bowed to political pressure,” Hawley told Hice. The courts should view the litigation “not as an abortion case, but as a case in which an agency simply failed to follow the rules.” One of the panel’s judges — Judge James Ho, a Trump appointee — dissented that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone should be reversed, pulling mifepristone off all pharmaceutical shelves.

“The FDA exists to protect Americans from dangerous drugs, yet numerous pro-abortion presidents used the agency as a political tool to promote elective abortion at the expense of pregnant women and their preborn children,” Texas Right to Life president John Seago told The Washington Stand. “We hope the court will take accusations against the FDA seriously and will fairly examine the agency’s negligent and politically-motivated approval of this deadly abortion drug over the last 23 years.”

Multiple levels of the Biden administration immediately registered their outrage at Wednesday’s ruling. A spokesperson for Biden’s Justice Department said the administration “strongly disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s decision” and “will be seeking Supreme Court review.” Vice President Kamala Harris deemed the decision “a threat to a woman’s freedom.” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra stated that banning the abortion pill would have “a devastating impact on women’s health” by denying them “the medications they need.”

The Biden administration has lost no chance to push back against the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned abortion to the democratic process for the first time in 49 years. Last July, the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a guidance to 60,000 pharmacies threatening to take legal “corrective action” against anyone who refuses to dispense the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone to “pregnant people” and explain “how to take” it. Others continually urge the administration to go further. Before the ruling even came down, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) advised the Biden administration to “ignore the ruling” and “keep this life-saving drug on the market,” likening lawlessness to Abraham Lincoln’s actions freeing the slaves.

Deep-blue states including CaliforniaIllinoisMarylandMassachusettsNew YorkOregon, and Washington state have begun stockpiling mifepristone (and in some cases, misoprostol). So-called “abortion sanctuaries” have promised not to prosecute abortionists who mail mifepristone across state lines, in violation of state or federal law. “Because of this, women are more at risk for chemical abortion injury now than ever before,” said CompassCare’s Jim Harden.

If justices agree to take up the decision, yet another Supreme Court ruling on abortion could impact the 2024 elections. Perkins noted that the three-judge panel — Judges James Ho, Cory Wilson, and Jennifer Walker Elrod — were all appointed by pro-life presidents, highlighting how Christians’ votes lead to concrete decisions that save lives. “With two of the justices on the Fifth Circuit appointed by President Trump” — and Elrod named to the court by George W. Bush — “this ruling also underscores the importance of presidential elections,” Perkins said.

Constitutional lawyers vow they will not relent until the abortion pill, which kills children and hurts women, is removed from all venues. “We won’t rest until the FDA and the profit-driven abortion industry are held accountable for the suffering they’ve inflicted on women and girls, as well as the deaths of countless unborn children,” said Daniels.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden: Already Declared Climate Emergency ‘Practically Speaking’

President Biden has “practically speaking” already declared a national emergency on climate change, the president said in an interview with The Weather Channel published Wednesday. “We’ve conserved more land. We rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, we passed a $368 billion climate control facility.” At first, he said he had declared an emergency, but when pressed he said he had done so “practically speaking.”

The point of an emergency declaration is so that executives can exercise special powers to respond to an emergency, which would be unlawful under normal circumstances. However, due to the enormous powers they unlock, federal emergency declarations are limited by three federal laws.

Under the Public Health Service Act, the Health and Human Services Secretary can declare a public health emergency that grants the secretary extensive powers to respond to the public health emergency.

Under the Stafford Act, a state governor or tribal area chief executive can request federal assistance, allowing the president to declare a disaster or emergency; such a declaration enables the federal government to disburse financial assistance and other relief, coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Under the National Emergencies Act, the president may declare a national emergency without a request from a specific state, which confers 123 powers granted in other laws, although the president must specify which authorities are activated.

The law does not recognize a method of declaring an emergency, “practically speaking,” without an official declaration. Thus, even CNN acknowledged, “President Joe Biden incorrectly claimed in an interview with The Weather Channel that he has already declared a national emergency on the climate crisis.”

Biden elaborated on what he meant regarding a climate change emergency. “It’s the existential threat to humanity,” he stated. A threat to humanity’s existence would logically involve a threat to American lives, and a natural event that threatens American lives would typically be an appropriate subject for an emergency declaration. In that sense, it’s possible to follow Biden’s logic.

But while the logic is certainly clear, the solution is not. To protect lives during a hurricane, tornado, or manhunt, a governor could order citizens to evacuate, shelter in place, or avoid a certain area, as well as stockpiling emergency resources. Then, once the emergency is past, citizens can resume their normal lives. These are not only inadequate but meaningless responses to something as ill-defined as “climate change.” Evacuate to where? For how long? The current climate change narrative identifies a global crisis extending for lifetimes.

In fact, the lack of workable solutions might explain why President Biden has so far declined to declare a climate emergency. Biden has labelled climate change an “emergency” in speeches and vowed to combat it through executive actions, but he has stopped short of declaring an official emergency. If he did declare an emergency, what powers would he invoke, precisely?

Another possible reason for Biden’s delay is the inevitable legal and constitutional challenges, which he might then lose. Under normal circumstances, emergency powers are as short-lived as the crisis. But a climate emergency would be practically endless, enabling a presidential administration to sweep away America’s normal operating procedure forever, “practically speaking.” The courts have already struck down a number of Biden administration executive actions on the climate — from stopping offshore drilling to redefining inland waters — and they might not look too kindly on what would amount to a massive power grab.

But climate change is not the only issue on which emergency powers allure Biden. Biden has been contemplating an abortion emergency declaration since last year. He contemplated declaring an emergency over monkeypox, which primarily affects a very specific subset of the population. And he kept extending the COVID-19 emergency until long after he declared the pandemic over, and Congress had forced him to let it end. Somehow, under the president who promised to restore normalcy to Washington, everything is an emergency.

But President Biden’s track record with emergency declarations — specifically, considering them but not declaring them — suggests they serve a purpose other than good governance. That purpose is politics. When the chief executive is constantly mulling an emergency declaration, that stokes fear and alarm in the public, who assume he has alarming information they don’t. Fear can be a powerful motivator, driving people to vote, protest, or answer polls in the desired way. And many politicians today traffic almost exclusively in the rhetoric of fear. Even 70% of churchgoers have a growing sense of fear, although the Bible repeatedly exhorts them to “fear not.”

Biden is not the only figure to misuse an emergency declaration to advance a political agenda. In May, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) officially declared a state of emergency because the legislature was considering a school choice bill. In June, the Human Rights Campaign — an activist organization with no governmental or emergency power — declared a state of emergency for people in Florida who identify as LGBT because the state government enacted measures to check the inroads of transgender ideology in education and medicine. These nakedly political emergency declarations cheapen the whole concept, so that people are tempted to take it less seriously in the event of an actual emergency.

Today’s progressives are apparently trying to improve on former Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel’s slogan, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” After lurching society to the Left, their worry is not that they might waste a crisis by failing to achieve their agenda, but that there aren’t enough crises to accommodate it all. Thus, they are proactively looking for crises to exploit or, if necessary, manufacture. “Is this a crisis?” they ask themselves. “Or rather, would people believe it is?”

Healthy representative governments don’t flit breathlessly from crisis to crisis, nor do they replace mature deliberation for fear-driven urgency. This is unacceptable, and it must not continue.


Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARITICLE: Two Princeton, MIT Scientists Say EPA Climate Regulations Based on a ‘Hoax’

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘The Democrat Socialist Party Is Throwing a Hissy Fit and I’m Looking Forward to the Fight’

The Biden team has spent an awful lot of time talking about Senator Tommy Tuberville — but barely any time talking to him. That changed briefly Tuesday when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin decided to carve out a few short minutes to address what Democrats would have you believe is the single greatest threat to military readiness: a few months’ delay in flag officer promotions.

Their brief conversation was hardly indicative of the hair-on-fire crisis the White House keeps insisting it is. Based on Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s comments Tuesday, you’d think the Alabama coach was a bigger threat to America than communist China. “I wanted to start today, once again, by calling out an unprecedented harm that Senator Tuberville’s actions have to our military readiness and military families — to every branch of our Armed Forces, disrespecting those who serve and the families who serve with them.”

Her Pentagon counterpart, John Kirby, took it a step further, blaming the Republican for everything from the DOD’s recruitment woes to a loss in military talent. At one point, he even accused Tuberville of “abusing” military families (as if somehow underwriting the slaughter of their unborn offspring isn’t).

Asked how his conversation went with Austin, the coach admitted they hadn’t made much progress. “No, not yet,” he told reporters. “None. … Just cordial [conversations]. Everybody gives their position and then, ‘Well, let’s talk again.’”

That talk may be unnecessary, depending on the progress Republicans make with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the Senate. Thanks to the House’s conservatives, the latest version of the military spending bill includes language that would roll back the Pentagon’s illegal taxpayer-funded abortion policy — the very lawlessness fueling Tuberville’s stand.

The sooner the better, Tuberville told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch.” “We’re looking forward to getting some closure to this. It’s been a pretty good fight for about six months now, but they’re really ramping up the pressure. I’ve got the IRS after me. I’ve got national TV going to Alabama interviewing people. You know, it’s just one thing after another. … They’re turning up the heat, but they don’t know what heat’s all about.” As for the battle heating up in the Senate, the coach said, “The Democrat socialist party is throwing a hissy fit. … Let them. I’m looking forward to the fight.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) inched closer to a compromise Wednesday, announcing that he wouldn’t stand in the way of a vote on the military’s policy. “The bottom line is that if he wants to have an affirmative vote, we would not object to it,” the New York Democrat said during a press conference. “Tuberville said he wanted a vote, we’ll see what happens.”

The offer seemed to surprise Tuberville, who was informed and replied, “Oh, really? Well, I’ll have to talk to him. … I’ve never talked to him in two and a half years.”

Meanwhile, Schumer ramped up the hyperbole, insisting that Republicans should do a better job keeping their senators in line. “They are risking our security, and it’s up to them to fix it.”

Give me a break, Tuberville told Perkins. “If I thought I was holding up readiness and national security [in] this country, I wouldn’t be doing this. But that’s not happening. What’s causing our readiness [problems] is the woke policies that this administration is pushing. It’s awful. … And I don’t think they really understand what they’re doing to — not just the military — but all of our other institutions. But it is a total mess right now.”

As Republicans have argued since the beginning, the military has never provided abortion on demand at taxpayers’ expense — not under conservative administrations and not under liberal ones. “You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game,” the coach insisted. “And that’s exactly what they’re doing. They could care less about the Constitution. They have stomped all over our Constitution in the last two and a half years, and the American people should be outraged.”

At the end of the day, the coaching legend explained to Perkins, “The only way I’m going to move these holds is if they move that policy back, and then we bring a vote to the floor. And it’s pretty simple and we get back to business.” In the meantime, he warned, “… I’m standing up for the unborn, and I’m standing up for the taxpayers of this country. That’s what I’m here for.”


Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

A Defiant GOP Smashes Woke Military Policies with Rock-Solid NDAA

The biggest story of this past week isn’t that the House passed the military spending bill — or even that they passed it with language that beats back President Biden’s woke policies. The biggest story is the one that won’t be told: of House conservatives refusing to give an inch.

Former Congressman Jody Hice, now a special advisor to the president at Family Research Council, was blown away by the sea change in how this new Republican majority is doing business. For the last couple of years, Hice watched his party buckle under Democratic pressure, especially where military policy is concerned. “Progressively,” he told The Washington Stand, “the NDAA bills were becoming more and more woke. And we, as a Republican conference, were compromising to the demands on the Left. To see what took place Thursday night, I was just blown away. This is a major shift — not only from the woke agenda push from this administration — but this is a major shift from the direction of our own conference over the last several years, as it pertains to the NDAA.”

Late Thursday night, Republicans finally went to sleep after accomplishing what seemed impossible only hours before: adding a slew of pro-life, pro-military, anti-gender transition amendments to the bill. Democrats and the media spent the wee hours of the morning blasting the conservative changes, vowing it would never pass with such “poison pills.”

They were wrong.

Barely nine hours later, the entire NDAA — anti-woke language included — had squeaked by in a 219-210 vote, thanks to an even swap of Republicans and Democrats (four) trading sides. Reps. Jared Golden (D-Maine), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.), Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.), and Don Davis (D-N.C.) all threw their support behind the GOP-led bill.

Of course, the most jubilant celebration came Thursday afternoon when Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) managed to include language rolling back the Pentagon’s taxpayer funding of abortion — an absolute defiance of the law. In one of the most powerful moments of that debate, mom-to-be Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) stood on the House floor and made it clear: “I am a United States veteran and a woman elected to Congress while pregnant. Advocating for a service member to have a child ripped from her womb completely destroys everything this military stands for.”

As Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) explained on “Washington Watch” moments before that vote, what the Department of Defense did with this sudden policy was nothing but an unconstitutional “end run around many of the pro-life states’ laws and all the hard work that’s been done after Dobbs overturned Roe.”

“This has become a really important issue in the country,” Johnson insisted. And what they’ve done, he explained, is used “executive fiat” through the Department of Defense. Secretary Lloyd Austin “[has] said that they will pay for or reimburse expenses relating to abortion services. So in other words, if a service member or a woman serving is pregnant, and she’s on a base somewhere in a [red state] … then she can travel to a state that provides abortion — and taxpayers will reimburse her for that. That’s a violation of the Hyde Amendment,” Johnson fumed.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made sure to emphasize, “Just to be very clear here, we’re talking about elective abortions. So this is new territory [President Biden is staking out]. For decades, [there] has been a bipartisan position that taxpayers would not be forced to facilitate abortion.”

Obviously, this has been a huge flash point in the Senate, where Coach Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has taken months of heat for holding up certain military promotions until the DOD drops its reckless abortion advocacy. And while Democrats — the president included — blame the senator for everything from recruitment problems to retention, they refuse to even meet with Tuberville. If this delay was really so devastating to military readiness, the coach has said, you’d think Biden would pick up the phone and try to negotiate.

“That’s what this place is about,” he added. “It’s about working with each other, talking it out, getting in situations where you can maybe compromise to a point. I mean, here’s a guy that doesn’t even want to talk.”

He may be forced to, now that Republicans have teed up a 1,200-page rebuke of the last two years of Defense Department radicalism. If Biden wants to blame someone for America’s shrinking force, he ought to look in the mirror.

After all, it’s “the president and his administration [who’ve] injected into the military all of this woke social policy nonsense. … We have ESG and DEI and anything else you can imagine —the funding of drag queen shows on military bases, [the] violation of parental rights. We were able to get amendments … to take care of all of that,” Johnson said. But frankly, “it’s far more contentious than it should be. You know, our military has a very important job,” he insisted. “They’re trained to be a powerful force that wins wars and defends our nation, not experimentation with social policy. And so it’s just completely disingenuous for the president to [blame Republicans or blame Tuberville for these problems]. … [I]t’s not Republicans and conservatives that are inserting this. It was him. We’re undoing the damage that has been done.”

Along with crushing the Biden abortion policy, Republicans also held the line on the avalanche of diversity training and wildly inappropriate mission creep like taxpayer-funded gender transitions. Amendments to:

  • Outlaw the flying of Pride flags on military property (Norman Amendment #34) passed 218-213;
  • End the indoctrination of children in Defense Department schools by banning pornographic and dangerous gender ideology books (Boebert Amendment #35) passed 222-209;
  • Ban taxpayer-funding of gender transition procedures (Rosendale Amendment #10) passed 222-211;
  • Strip the funding for Chief Diversity Officers or Senior Advisors for Diversity and Inclusion from the ranks (Roy Amendment #30) passed 217-212; and
  • Outright block the DOD from creating new DEI administrator positions or taking action to fill existing DEI jobs (Burlison Amendment #62) passed 218-213.

One lone Democrat — Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) — voted with conservatives to stop the president’s out-of-control extremism on abortion and transgenderism. And while he refused to comment about the decision, he probably heard from the same constituents that his neighbor Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) did. “The American people I’ve talked to back home don’t want a weak military; they don’t want a woke military; they don’t want rainbow propaganda on bases; they don’t want to pay for troops’ sex changes.”

And yet, as Perkins pointed out, Biden blames Republicans for injecting social issues into the military. “You know, it’s like they poke the bear, and the bear pushes back — and they accuse the bear of being aggressive. The Left has been pushing this stuff for years.” And finally, conservatives pushed back.

“I do want to point out,” Perkins said, “that there’s something unique here under this Republican Congress. … I don’t want people to miss that … a year ago, we couldn’t even have a debate under the Democratic rules. There was no debate. It’s just that you were steamrolled in the Left’s process of getting their agenda through. … [This open dialogue] is something that hasn’t happened in a very long time.

“Yeah, what a concept,” Johnson joked. “We were able to get some real process reforms in that long, drawn-out battle for the speakership in January. And as painful as that process was for everyone, the result was really good. We got transparency again. We eliminated—forever, we hope—the possibility of omnibus spending bills and giant pieces of legislation that no one has read. … It takes a lot more time and effort, but this is what is demanded, and it’s what the American people deserve. And I’m really glad we’ve gotten back to some regular order here.”

In the meantime, Republicans are crossing their fingers that the heavy lifting they’ve done on the NDAA survives the Democrat-led Senate. One thing’s for sure, Perkins said. Biden doesn’t have Tuberville to kick around anymore. If he wants to end the freeze on military promotions, there’s a simple solution now: support this bill. “The remedy’s right here in front of him.”


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: House State and Foreign Ops Funding Bill Contains First-of-Its-Kind Pro-Life, Pro-Family Protections

EDITOR NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Beyond Dobbs: Trump, GOP Rivals Back National Pro-Life Protections

President Donald Trump has been called many names, but he would like to add one more: abortion terminator.

“We terminated Roe v. Wade,” declared the 45th president on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision on Saturday. He and other GOP presidential hopefuls also advocated expanding protections to unborn children at all levels of government while addressing the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority policy conference.

“There of course remains a vital role for the federal government in protecting unborn life” in a post-Dobbs America. “Every child, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God, and that is why I have asked Congress to prohibit late term abortion of babies,” he said. “We will defeat the radical Democrat policy of extreme, late-term abortion.”

The former president told the fired-up crowd, during his four years in office, “I got it done.” His record of life-protecting executive actions includes:

  • Trump appointed three of the six justices who handed down the Dobbs ruling, clarifying that the Constitution never contained the unalienable “right” to abortion liberal justices claimed to discover in 1973;
  • Trump introduced the HHS Protect Life Rule, which prevented Title X funds from going to offices that carry out abortions, such as Planned Parenthood — a policy supported by 60% of Americans;
  • He expanded President Reagan’s Mexico City Policy into the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy, which protected U.S. taxpayers from funding abortion or entities that promote abortion overseas — a policy supported by 78% of Americans;
  • Trump’s Justice Department sued the University of Vermont Medical Center in 2020 for forcing a woman to participate in an abortion — a policy supported by 77% of Americans; and
  • President Trump promised to “veto any legislation that weakens existing Federal protections for human life” and sign federal legislation safeguarding unborn children capable of experiencing pain from abortion.

Trump’s forward-looking agenda followed a May 8 meeting with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) after media outlets reported the president believed all future pro-life legislation should be left at the state level. “The purpose of the meeting was simply to encourage the president to stay strong on the issue of the sanctity of human life,” including the federal level, Perkins told his “Washington Watch” audience two days after the meeting. “I’m pleased to say that the president understood.”

Congress and the next president must take action at the federal level to protect life, Trump’s erstwhile partner-turned-rival Mike Pence told the conference. “Some will come up to this podium and say that the Supreme Court returned the decision back to the states, and nothing more should be done at the federal level,” said Pence during a speech on Friday. “The cause of life is the calling of our time, and we must not rest or relent until we restore the sanctity of life to the center of law in every state in this country.”

“Every Republican candidate for president should support a ban on abortion before 15 weeks as a minimum nationwide standard,” said Pence — a sentiment shared by fellow presidential candidate Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

“A minimum ban of 15 weeks on the federal level will help us get to a place where there are fewer late-term abortions, and fewer and fewer abortions,” said Scott. “The radical Left has lost so much faith in America that they’ve lost faith in life itself, but we are here to tell them that life is good — and we are proud to be Americans.”

National pro-life leaders have encouraged presidential hopefuls to embrace the issue of life and expose Democratic candidates who cannot name a single pro-life policy they would enact. “Any candidate who wants to qualify from our perspective of being a candidate has to at least be for the 15-week limit [on abortion]. Otherwise, we will not support you,” Dannenfelser told the Townhall for Life, organized by FRC, last Wednesday night. “You tell me: Can you win the presidency without the pro-life movement?”

Her co-panelist, Senator Graham, introduced a bill protecting children conceived after 15 weeks — the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act (H.R. 8814) — with Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) last fall. Nearly three out of four Americans (72%) believe abortion should not be allowed after 15 weeks — including 60% of Democrats, 70% of registered independents, and 75% of women — according to a Harvard/Harris poll supervised by former Clinton strategist Mark Penn.

Trump’s most significant opponent for the Republican Party presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, told the audience on Friday that he has spent his tenure in the governor’s mansion “promoting a culture of life. That means signing the heartbeat bill into law. That protects unborn children when there’s a detectable heartbeat,” a process that science notes begins by six weeks gestation.

Polls taken in 20172019, and 2022 found a majority of all Americans support heartbeat bills.

“A 15-week ban still includes [94%] of all abortions, so it may be a starting point, but it’s not an end point,” noted Ryan Bomberger, the founder and chief creative officer of The Radiance Foundation, at the opening panel of the Pray Vote Stand Summit in Atlanta last September.

This weekend’s conference also heard from Republican presidential hopefuls such as talk show host Larry Elder, Ohio-based businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, businessman Perry Johnson, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Christie, who once advocated a national ban on the abortion of pain-capable babies, now says he “would not be for the federal government being involved in the issue of abortion in any way.”

After the conference, Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison slammed Trump for allegedly endorsing “a national abortion ban” during his speech. But the Democratic Party has also promised to nationalize the abortion issue.

“We are not going to stop until Roe v. Wade is the law of the land once again,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) last week to commemorate the Dobbs anniversary. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) added, “Democrats will never, never stop fighting to protect” abortion-on-demand.

The pair have advanced or voted for sweeping, top-down legislation such as H.R. 8296, the so-called “Women’s Health Protection” Act, which passed the House of Representatives by a near party-line vote last July. The bill would strike down nearly all 1,381 pro-life protections enacted by state legislatures in the 50 years since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, including:

  • prohibiting sex-selective abortions;
  • barring many abortions after viability;
  • preventing abortions on babies 20 weeks or older, who are capable of feeling pain;
  • disallowing abortions undertaken without parental consent or notification;
  • prohibiting telemedicine abortion drug prescriptions, which involve no in-person medical examination;
  • banning unlicensed individuals from carrying out abortions;
  • allowing pregnant mothers to receive scientifically accurate information about their babies’ development, or to see an ultrasound or hear the child’s fetal heartbeat; and
  • allowing pro-life medical professionals the right to refuse to participate in an abortion.

The dueling approaches to abortion grow out of the two parties’ contrasting platforms. The most recent Republican Party platform endorses “state and federal efforts against the cruelest forms of abortion,” including discrimination-based abortions, due to the child’s sex or disability status, and dismemberment abortions. It also calls on Congress to adopt a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clarifying that “the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”

The Democratic Party platform promotes taxpayer-funded abortion until the moment of birth, vowing to “codify the right to” abortion, which it euphemistically calls “reproductive freedom.”

Abortion motivates voters in both parties’ bases, and reclaiming the White House in 2024 will take the entire Republican Party constituency, said Trump. “Together, we’re warriors in a righteous crusade to stop the arsonists, the atheists, globalists, and the Marxists — and that’s what they are — and we will restore our republic as one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

GOP Rep Calls Abortion the Fruit of the ‘Church of Satan,’ Loses His Leadership Position

A pro-life Republican state representative lost his leadership position for saying that abortion is the fruit of the “Church of Satan.”

North Carolina State Representative Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) responded to a Democratic representative who tried to justify her decision to have an elective abortion by citing her church membership and belief in the “power of God.”

The exchange came during the General Assembly’s debate over whether to override the veto by Governor Roy Cooper (D) of a bill to protect most unborn babies from abortion beginning at 12 weeks.

State Rep. Diamond Staton-Williams (D-Cabarrus) said she and her husband decided to abort their third child “after much consideration, thought, and, of course, prayer.”

She did not say whether she had an abortion before or after 12 weeks. Yet she said the bill would remove a “God-given right.”

She then implied her Christian faith endorsed her decision to have an abortion. “I am someone who has grown up in the church and believes in the power of God. I know that I go through trials and tribulations. I know we all will,” said Staton-Williams. “And I know that, ultimately, I have been given the freedom of mind to make decisions for myself.”

Rep. Kidwell reportedly said privately to another Republican on the floor that any church that supports abortion sounds like the “Church of Satan.”

The Satanic Temple does, in fact, teach that “The Satanic Abortion Ritual” is “a sacrament which surrounds and includes the abortive act.” The rival Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey, eschews the term “sacrament” but declares that abortion “should be within the rights of the pregnant person.”

“I think it’s using the Lord’s Name in vain to say you would make a decision to have an abortion as a result of prayer,” North Carolina Values Coalition Executive Director Tammi Fitzgerald — who was in the chamber when the exchange took place — told The Washington Stand. Lawmakers should only present their stand as biblical “if it conforms with Scripture.”

The Bible proclaims a life-affirming message and has been consistently interpreted to prohibit abortion for 2,000 years by both traditional Christianity and Judaism.

Invoking her childhood church membership seems “an apparent attempt to shield herself from criticism” for embracing harmful policies, David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. He noted that Staton-Williams has also “touted her progressive views on LGBTQ issues,” such as membership in an LGBT pressure group’s “Electeds for Equality,” a group of politicians “who publicly align themselves with the larger movement for LGBTQ” political power.

“Let’s be clear what is happening here: The representative is cloaking anti-biblical views, positions that directly contradict the Bible’s clear teaching, into religious-sounding language in an attempt to find a middle way. But there is no middle way when it comes to these issues. You are either on the side of Scripture or against it,” Closson told TWS.

Democrats have increasingly attempted to shroud their support for abortion-on-demand and LGBTQ issues in religious rhetoric. U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who calls himself a “pro-choice pastor,” has said, “I think that human agency and freedom is consistent with my views as a minister.” The Bible tells Christians, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (I Peter 2:16).

Other Democrats regularly speak of abortion-on-demand only in religious language. “The right to have an abortion is sacred,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) last June. “The right to an abortion is non-negotiable. Reproductive freedom is sacred,” said the Twitter account of Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa.).

But “the Bible’s teaching on life, marriage, and sexuality is straightforward, and no attempt to find a middle way on these issues will ultimately prove successful,” Closson told TWS.

House leaders proved more successful in leveraging outrage over Kidwell’s comments to wrench him out of House leadership. “To challenge a person’s religion when they share a deeply personal story … that is beneath the dignity of this House, and that is beneath the dignity of any elected office,” fumed House Minority Leader Robert Reives (D).

House Majority Leader John Bell (R) asked Kidwell to resign his leadership position as deputy majority whip, and Kidwell complied.

Yet Bell’s decision did not mollify local Democrats, who demanded Kidwell step down from office altogether. Dare County Democratic Party Chair Susan Sawin said Kidwell’s belief that Christianity does not endorse abortion renders him “unfit to serve.” Kidwell, one of the founders of the state’s House Freedom Caucus, has regularly drubbed his Democratic opponents at the polls, carrying more than 60% of his district in both of his elections.

After Staton-Williams’s comments, the Republican-controlled legislature voted to overturn Cooper’s veto of the life-protecting bill, which the Democrat vetoed at a massive outdoor rally on May 13, the day before Mother’s Day. Republicans needed exactly 60% of the total vote to uphold the Care for Women, Children and Families Act (S.B. 20). The GOP held exactly that margin — 72 out of 120 members of the General Assembly and 30 out of 50 senators — after Rep. Tricia Cotham (R-Charlotte) switched parties in April. Both chambers enacted the pro-life protections by overriding Cooper’s veto on May 16 in separate, party-line votes.

“I’d just like to thank the heroic efforts of Republicans in the House and Senate of finding common ground and passing historic legislation that will save thousands of unborn babies. It was no less than a miracle that they were able to pass a bill,” Fitzgerald told TWS.

Yet the dueling narratives and continuing fallout over the debate “reminds us that worldview is always just beneath the surface of the day’s headlines,” Closson concluded.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.


Expert: ‘The Pro-Abortion Industry Is Centered on Violence Against the Defenseless’

Christians in a World of Sexual Sin

Gen Z and The Unappealing ‘I Do’

‘What Is a Woman?’ Free Speech, and Parental Rights

Former Atlanta Fire Chief: ‘There Are Kingdom Consequences for Standing on God’s Word’

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council. 

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Black Marxist’ Professor Fired after Vandalizing Pro-Life Display, Chasing Reporter with Machete

The art professor fired for holding a machete to a reporter’s throat and throwing a pro-life campus display on the ground is a self-described “black Marxist” who posted violent poetry on her personal website and said she identified with “real drag queens, real street dykes” and “risk-taking, sexually free nihilistic utopians.”

Shellyne Rodriguez, a 46-year-old adjunct art professor at New York’s Hunter College, “has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately, and will not be returning to teach at the school,” said Hunter College spokesman Vince DiMiceli on Tuesday.

Two videos of Rodriguez’s escalating aggression went viral. On May 2, she accosted a Students for Life display portraying the effects of the abortion pill on an unborn child. On Tuesday, a New York Post reporter posted a video of Rodriguez holding a machete to his neck, then chasing him down the block while wielding the deadly weapon.

The twin videos vividly illustrate the violence and hostility pro-life young people are “dealing with on a daily basis … unhinged, unreasonable, and aggressive opposition to pro-life free speech including from those in leadership at schools across the country,” said Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins.

YouTube footage of the May 2 encounter shows Rodriguez launching into a profanity-laden rant against young adults presenting the effects of abortion on the unborn at Hunter College, a part of the City University of New York (CUNY). “This is bull—t. This is violent,” she said of the scientifically accurate, life-affirming display. “You can’t even have a f—ing baby,” she told pro-life student Patrick Rubi, assuming the gender of a male student.

“Get this s–t the f–k out of here! F–k this s–t!” she said as she twice threw fetal models and topic cards to the ground with her hands. Hunter College administrators reportedly called Rodriguez into an administrative hearing on May 12, pending an “investigation.”

“This is clearly unacceptable behavior for a professional in any field, but particularly stunning for someone who is meant to educate students in a professional and unbiased manner,” said SFLA Northeast Regional Coordinator Taylor McGee.

But CUNY for Abortion Rights and Palestine Solidarity Alliance praised the professor for her “fully justified” and “courageous action” on May 2. “This kind of disinformation should never be allowed to take root at our college.” “We refuse to allow CUNY to welcome Students for Life and other far-right groups onto our campuses.”

“Anti-abortion propaganda actually endangers people’s lives, and incites other far-right views and actions to emerge,” the group said in an Instagram post. “In solidarity with Shellyne, we commit to disrupting, dismantling, and uprooting any of these far-right groups when they attempt to plant seeds of harm.”

When New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton came to her door Tuesday morning, she first threatened and then assaulted him, according to published accounts. When he knocked, she yelled, “Get the f–k away from my door, or I’m gonna chop you up with this machete!” from inside her apartment, the reporter states. Video taken moments later shows Rodriguez open the door and hold the machete to his neck.

Footage then captures Rodriguez following the reporter downstairs onto the street, wielding a machete and making unspecified threats, including, “If I see you on this block one more f—ing time.” She then chased him down the street, with machete in hand, before kicking him in the shins.

By “attacking a pro-life student group — and holding a machete to the neck of a New York Post reporter — Ms. Rodriguez is demonstrating just how deranged and ideologically strident some on the academic Left have become,” said Gerard Kassar, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State, a potent, pro-life force in Empire State politics. “In academia today, any dissension of progressive orthodoxy comes at a price. Sadly, many moderate to conservative students now hold their tongues rather than risk the wrath of professors and administrators.”

Hunter College announced her firing shortly afterwards.

Rodriguez has long walked the line of revolutionary socialist rhetoric and incitement of violence, according to reports. In 2019, the combination artist and community organizer led Decolonize This Place, which led a targeted campaign of vandalism against the New York City transit system on January 31 to demand “free” subway fares.

The group urged its members to get out and “f–k s–t up,” culminating in $100,000 damage and 13 arrests, including two for harming police officers.

Rodriguez’s personal website posts a handful of texts, including June Jordan’s poem, “I Must Become a Menace to My Enemies,” which an LGBTQ analyst describes as envisioning “a new, unknowable world made possible by black feminist vengeance.”

“I plan to blossom bloody on an afternoon surrounded by my comrades singing terrible revenge in merciless accelerating rhythms,” it says. “I will not walk politely on the pavements anymore.”

Rodriguez described herself as “a black Marxist” in a 2019 article, adding that she hopes a world revolution will ensue following the ideology of a radicalanti-Semitic poet born LeRoi Jones who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka. “I, too, like Baraka, believe that the black proletariat is the vanguard of the world revolution.” (Baraka is also a favorite of Biden administration Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, who has pursued dozens of charges against pro-life advocates while claiming transgender procedures may be a minor’s constitutional right.)

Her essay goes on to denounce the United States as “Amerikkka” and to cite the “Draft Theses on National and Colonial Questions” by Communist Party founder Vladimir Lenin.

Several colleges have hired Rodriguez to share her insights on art and socialist intersectional politics. She gave a visiting lecture on “Insurgent Practices against Neoliberalism” at the School of Visual Arts in 2022.

In a profanity-laden discussion, Rodriguez quoted Sarah Schulman, who deplored the wealthier people who displaced her “artist” neighbors: “freaky, faggy, community-based people who took drugs” and included “real drag queens, real street dykes … and really inappropriate, risk-taking sexually free nihilistic utopians.”

“That sounds like my crowd. I don’t know about y’all,” commented Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was the inaugural artist-in-residence for The Latinx Project, housed at New York University in February 2019. She curated an art exhibit focused on “displacement and the ways it affects the Latinx community in New York” through gentrification.

She also wrote about “The Unbridgeable Chasm Between the Bronx and the Police” in 2017.

Professors who blend radical ideology with violent activism have no place in academia, say her critics.

“Demanding that students agree with progressive positions is not education, it’s indoctrination,” said Kassar. “Hunter Professor Shellyne Rodriguez has no business teaching young minds, and CUNY is right to dismiss her. New York City and State must ensure that Ms. Rodriguez is not rehired by any other public college or university in the state.”

Rodriguez’s fate, and her previous acts of intimidation, will never silence pro-life students, said Hawkins.

“Free speech rights students are afraid to use don’t exist, which is why we have to keep fighting for our constitutional freedoms.”


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

EXCLUSIVE: Biden Admin Tells Adults How to Discuss Sex with Teens Behind Parents’ Backs

As part of its month-long focus on adolescent health, the Biden administration is promoting a document that tells Planned Parenthood and other taxpayer-funded family planning offices how to talk to minors about sex without their parents overhearing, and how to secretly deliver birth control to adolescents without parental knowledge or consent.

Federally-funded guidelines instruct adults to pause before discussing sex with minors and to ask, “Are you alone in the room?” These instructions specify tactics to follow “if you’re really having a hard time getting a parent” to leave the room during the sex talk. They suggest children as young as 13 discuss sex with groups like Planned Parenthood in a parked car or communicate in writing, so their parents cannot hear the adults’ side of the conversation. And they encourage offices to have vans roam neighborhoods giving minors federally funded contraceptives; to mail birth control to adolescents in “plain, unmarked packaging;” and/or to have teenagers receive contraceptives at public meet-up places.

A federal grant recipient admitted the cloak-and-dagger sex discussion is necessary, because “parents might not agree with some of the things that we’re talking about.”

The emphasis on shutting out adults comes as the Biden administration and 24 states are fighting against a lawsuit to recognize parents’ right to know if the government is enabling underage sexual activity by giving teens birth control.

Biden Admin: ‘It Takes a Village’ to Teach Teens about Sex

The Biden administration revealed that it aimed to “expand sexual and reproductive health information and services” for teens during National Adolescent Health Month (NAHM), which runs during the month of May. The announcement made it clear government-funded strangers would take a leading role in forming teens’ views of sexuality.

“The adage ‘It takes a village’ has been proven time and again,” said Jessica Marcella, deputy assistant secretary for Population Affairs and director of the Office of Adolescent Health in the official press release. “[T]his year,” the Biden administration is “amplifying the important role of youth-serving professionals and other caring adults in their interactions with young people.”

The Biden administration’s official Resources for National Adolescent Health Month™ 2023 links to a document titled “Providing Family Planning Services to Adolescents During Uncertain Times,” produced by the Reproductive Health National Training Center (RHNTC), a group that trains Title X providers at taxpayers’ expense. Its instructions detail how Title X recipients, who distribute federally funded contraception to children in the name of “family planning,” can and should bypass parents during sex-related telehealth meetings.

‘Why Are You Talking to My Young Person in the Bathroom with the Door Locked?’

The plan to speak about sex one-on-one with impressionable youth begins during scheduling. “Confirm with youth clients that you have their phone number/contact information rather than their parents’ contact information,” the document tells federal grant recipients. “At the beginning of the visit, do a privacy screen. Ask ‘Are you alone in the room?’ or ‘Can other people hear what you are saying?’”

The document links to a webinar which fleshes out these ideas in greater detail. A slide on “Ensuring Adolescent Privacy” tells Title X grantees to ask:

1. Are they alone in the room? Always ask first! If a parent is present, ask to provide alone time during the appointment.

2. Can people hear them outside the room? Can they relocate? Use headphones? Use yes/no questions or chat feature?” (Emphases in original.)

The written document tells teens who want to “protect their privacy” from their parents “during a virtual visit” to:

  • “Take the call in the bathroom, outside, or in a parked car.”
  • “Use headphones.”
  • “Schedule the call at a time when there are fewer people at home.”

“[P]arents might not agree with some of the things that we’re talking about and some of the services that our patients are looking for,” Safiya Yearwood, a nurse at Baltimore’s Star Track Clinic, told the webinar. Title X grantees must “mak[e] sure that patients are, number one, safe to even have these conversations, and determine[e] where they can do it.”

The easiest method is to assure teens know how to call without their parent or guardian’s input. “[A]re we letting all of our adolescent patients know what their protections are?” asked webinar host Kaleigh Cornelison, MSW, who was then lead program specialist at the University of Michigan’s Adolescent Health Initiative, and who now works at ETR, which specialized in “health equity” advancement. “[A]re we informing everyone of what their rights are?”

“Are we ensuring that everyone knows what their rights are and what they have access to without a parent or caregiver’s consent?”

If parents are present, Title X grantees should make every effort to get them to leave the room. “Standardize time alone for all adolescent clients with the provider,” Cornelison instructed Title X offices. Have a “system in place so it’s standard practice; it’s not out of the ordinary. It comes to be expected every time.”

“We had to create scripts” for telehealth visits, explained Chinwe Efuribe, MD, MPH, who founded the Centered Youth Clinic and Consulting clinic and medical director of Every Body Texas, on the webinar. Employees told parents their absence “is our practice” and, “we usually have one-on-one time with our young people, and we would like to continue that.”

It is important to normalize the practice to evade parents’ suspicion, she said. “If the parent was there in the visit, also let them know that this is something that we’ve always been doing that we want to continue doing, so they don’t think that, you know, ‘Why are you talking to my young person in the bathroom with the door locked?’” said Efuribe.

If parents refuse to leave, Cornelison told Title X recipient offices, they should tell teens they “can maybe get a little creative about moving rooms, putting on headphones, maybe some questions are asked in a chat instead of verbally just to sort of deal with that privacy issue if you’re really having a hard time getting a parent or caregiver outside of the space.”

To maintain silence after the visit, Cornelison told providers to assure all emails are sent to the teens’ private email account, so no “parent is going to get a red flag.”

Two sexually active minors testified the Biden administration-promoted guidelines helped them hide their sexual activity from others, including parents.

“It had been an ongoing battle for me” to keep her parents uninformed of her sexual activity, said Kacie, an underage teenager. “I did not think I needed to hear or experience the repercussions from my family.” Her efforts included talking to her Title X office “on the phone behind the shed” and lying to her parents to get the use of the family car. “I’d be like, ‘Hey, I’m going here, and I’m doing this.’ It’s not like, ‘I’m going to my doctor to get help with Title X services,’” she said. Bianca, a teen who uses they/them pronouns, added that she particularly appreciated online events, where “you can tell someone, ‘Hey, I’m going to this event!’ and you don’t have to say, ‘I’m going to the clinic.’”

Contraceptive Vans and Unmarked Boxes of Condoms

After the consultation, adult Title X grantees must deliver contraceptives to minors without the parents’ knowledge. “With more virtual visits happening, clinics have come up with creative ways to deliver the prescriptions and supplies that they previously gave youth on-site at the clinic,” says the document, which encourages offices to begin:

  • “Mail delivery of supplies in plain, unmarked packaging”
  • “Curbside pickup of supplies at the clinic or other community locations frequented by youth”
  • “Use of a mobile van to bring supplies to people in their neighborhoods”

Yearwood told the webinar she mailed teens “That Box,” a box full of condoms, “little toys,” and other sex items. “There’s no sort of markings on there that would say, ‘There’s HIV [testing kit] and condoms in here,’” she said.

“When I go to the clinic, Safiya and them [sic] always give me like a ‘goodie bag.’ And it’s so cute. It’s like a bag but it has condoms and all these things that I need,” said Bianca — with her parents none the wiser.

Eroding Parents’ Rights Did Not Begin with Gender

“These guidelines encourage health care providers to keep the parents of teens in the dark about their potentially life-altering decisions surrounding sexual activity,” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the founder and president of the Ruth Institute and author of “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and How the Church was Right All Along,” told The Washington Stand.

“It has long been federal policy that minors past the age of puberty have a right to contraception without their parents’ knowledge or consent,” Morse told TWS. “This latest effort by the federal government to actively encourage health care providers to help teens deceive their parents is part of a longstanding pattern of the Sexual State to spread the ideology of the Sexual Revolution — whether people know it or not, whether people want it or not.”

Title X became law when President Richard Nixon signed the Family Planning Services and Public Research Act of 1970 (now Public Law 91-572). In 1978, Congress amended the law specifically to include adolescents. A series of courts ruled that the law forbids parental consent or notification laws. In 2021, the Biden administration codified these rulings in regulation to federal law 42 C.F.R. § 59.10(b), which states that “Title X projects may not require consent of parents or guardians for the provision of services to minors, nor can any Title X project staff notify a parent or guardian before or after a minor has requested and/or received Title X family planning services.”

Family advocates have tried to remove the government-imposed barrier between parents and unemancipated minors for more than a quarter of a century. In 1997, then-Rep. Ernest Istook attempted to require parental consent before federally funded facilities could give birth control to minors. But the House Appropriations Committee defeated the Istook amendment, substituting a watered-down alternative that asked Title X participants to encourage family involvement “to the extent practical.”

More recently, parents earned a victory in a federal courtroom — a breakthrough the Biden administration is trying to reverse.

Biden Takes Parents to Court

A concerned parent sued HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Deanda v. Becerra, last December, arguing that Title X confidentiality guidelines violate parents’ rights — and won.

The secretive “administration of the Title X program violates the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children,” ruled U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, who also recently found the FDA had wrongly approved the abortion pill (mifepristone). “[P]arental rights … do not completely disappear with respect to a minor child’s sexual activity.”

The Biden administration appealed the decision in February. The attorneys general of 24 states and the District of Columbia signed an amicus brief siding with Biden and against parents/guardians.

They are supported by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded contraceptive providers who oppose parental “involvement” — starkly framing the legal battle as a struggle between their business and parents’ rights.

“Forced parental notification and involvement undercuts the integrity of the Title X program and creates barriers to care and decision-making,” said Clare Coleman, president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA). Establishing parental oversight of their minor children’s sex life would “eviscerate longstanding Title X program protections that ensure young people can access the care they need from providers they trust.”

The Deanda lawsuit is “shameful,” said Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. “Young people deserve access to the health care they need to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures.”

Planned Parenthood said it is “grateful” to the president and “fortunate that the U.S. Justice Department and the Biden administration [is] dedicated to fighting back,” said Johnson, adding that Planned Parenthood will “look forward to our ongoing work with them.”

Sexually Active Teens Have Worse Mental Health: Biden Administration

The Biden administration’s anti-parental rights legal efforts seem at odds with its own advice on how to improve poor teen mental health. The CDC website states multiple times, “Parent engagement also makes it more likely that children and adolescents will avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as sexual risk behaviors and tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.” Sexually active teens are more likely to suffer from depression, addiction, and suicidal ideation than their abstinent heterosexual peers, according to a report the CDC released in February. Teens who have sex with members of the opposite sex are twice as likely to self-report attempting suicide, more than twice as likely to use marijuana, and 45% more likely to report overall poor mental health.

The rates are higher for teens who have sex with members of the same sex.

Independent studies have found parental involvement is particularly important for vulnerable populations the Biden administration uplifts as the center of its policies. Black female teens living in low-income urban areas and “at increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases” found high levels of “perceived parental supervision” resulted in lower rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia, concluded one such study. “[P]arental supervision can result in lower sexually transmitted disease rates in urban high-prevalence populations.”

“Given the mental health crisis among American teens, deliberately putting a communication barrier between children and their parents is a really bad idea,” Morse told TWS.

Any sexual activity increases the possibility of physical health impacts, as well. While abstinence prevents all pregnancies and disease, the oral contraceptives distributed by Title X fail to prevent pregnancy at least 7% of the time, and condoms have a “typical use failure rate [of] 13%,” according to the CDC. The NAHM’s resources page admits that “condom use with every sexual act can greatly reduce — though not eliminate — the risk of” sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs). People between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for half of the 26 million new STDs/STIs in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Many of the hormonal contraceptives and long-acting reversible contraceptives Title X offers teens also constitute potential abortifacients. And many are now distributed by Planned Parenthood, which may now refer visitors for abortions.

‘It Takes a Family,’ Not a Village

Perhaps knowing how incendiary its materials are, the RHNTC guide carries a disclaimer that, although “[t]his publication was supported by the Office of Population Affairs (Grant FPTPA006030),” the “views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services.” It does, however, reflect a training document intended to teach Title X providers how to use the taxpayer dollars furnished by the HHS.

Pro-family advocates say these prescriptions align with the Biden administration’s attempt to have minors guided on sexual issues by unrelated adults at the government’s direction, instead of loving parents.

Marcella’s reference that “it takes a village to raise a child” is “simply an attempt to replace parents. It takes a family to raise a child — not a village. It takes a loving mother and father who work together to teach their child to strive for the good, true, and beautiful,” Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand.

“Since day one, the Biden administration has worked to replace mothers and fathers with a village — and not just any village, but one that is only made up of people intent on leading teenagers down the path of self-destruction and death.”

Resources: You can read the document here. You can view the webinar here.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden’s Abortion Obsession Could Crater Space Command’s HQ

“Does not compute.” That catchphrase from the 1960s show “Lost in Space” certainly captures the Biden administration’s decision-making of late. After a years-long process to find the perfect spot for America’s Space Command, the most radical president in history seems to be hanging his final choice on a completely unrelated policy: abortion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the two issues have nothing to do with each other — unless you’re a part of the new Left-driven Democratic Party, where social extremism eclipses everything.

The controversy kicked off at the end of the Trump administration, when the president announced that he was reviving the Department of Defense’s Space Command and moving its headquarters from Colorado to Alabama. Democrats were furious, claiming that he’d only awarded the spot to the Yellowhammer State because of its conservativism. (It also happens to be home to one of the largest aerospace industry presences in the country, and a storied history in the space race, not that the Left is interested in the facts.)

Even after the Defense Department’s Inspector General cleared Trump of any wrongdoing — the administration “complied with law and policy,” it found — Democrats have continued to urge Biden to maintain the Colorado status quo. As recently as this month, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) went to the floor and complained that sending the Space Command from “a blue state to a red one” hurts service members. How? Because according to Bennet and other Democrats, pro-life laws are a detriment to “our readiness and our national security.” “Reproductive health,” Bennet argued, should be first and foremost in the president’s mind.

In other words, he’s insisting that Biden do the very thing Democrats accused Trump of: politicizing a military decision. And the White House has been quite content to play along, kicking the 2022 decision well into 2023. Of course, the Biden administration claims that postponing the move has nothing to do with Alabama’s strong new pro-life law — or the fact that one of its U.S. senators, Tommy Tuberville (R), is blocking military promotions until the Pentagon reverses its unconstitutional policy on taxpayer-funded abortions. But insiders say otherwise.

“The belief,” one U.S. official told NBC News, “is they are delaying any move because of the abortion issue.” Another confirmed that report, saying, “This is all about abortion politics.”

To Tuberville and other Alabama leaders, the idea that this president would base his decision on a radical social agenda over Space Command’s best interest is astounding. “Multiple independent, nonpartisan government reviews have found Space Command headquarters would be best served in Huntsville,” the coach explained. “… Two independent studies from the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office nonetheless affirmed the process that ranked Alabama as the best choice for the Space Command. Colorado didn’t make the top three.”

Even Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who stands to lose the program from his district, hopes the White House is “professional enough to make national security the focus of how they make their decision.”

That’s optimistic considering the Democrats’ track record of ideological retaliation. In the last several years, we’ve witnessed the weaponization of government against pro-lifersparents, and Christiansstatewide travel bans against red states for democratically-enacted laws, and even the defection of major league sports from conservative regions — all at the Left’s prompting.

If Joe Biden continues his party’s tradition of punishing states he disagrees with, then, in the words of the iconic robot, “Danger, Will Robinson!”

Do we really want to go down this path as a nation where we allocate resources based on which party’s values are in control? If this president starts basing his decisions about government facilities on the extreme ideology of his base, it will open the door for Republican leaders to be pressured to do likewise. As we’ve seen with the debt ceiling debate, conservative voters are no longer satisfied with promises and platitudes; they are demanding the GOP confront the dangerous policies of the Left. In a nation that’s already hyper-politicized, this would mark a devastating shift in how an already-dysfunctional Washington operates.

Letting the abortion lobby preempt logic and reason is no way to run a country. If we allow this president — or any president — to elevate politics above our national security, then we might as well hand over the country’s keys to China. When access to abortion is more important than fighting and winning wars, this Space Command debate proves that we are light years away from creating the strong defensive posture we need to confront America’s present and future threats.


Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

3,000 Military Veterans Reject Pentagon’s ‘Left-Wing Social Agenda,’ Support Tuberville’s Fight

The cavalry is coming to help Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). For months, the Alabama Republican has waged a fight against the Defense Department’s woke agenda by blocking the Senate’s approval of nearly 200 promotions for military generals and flag officers.

The military establishment, Senate Democrats, and the Biden administration have resorted to name-calling and unfounded warnings — even though Tuberville insists he won’t budge until the Pentagon reverses its policy subsidizing abortions.

Two weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), touted a letter from seven former secretaries of defense to make his case. Today, a significantly larger number of current and retired service members announced they’re backing Tuberville.

In a new letter shared first with The Daily Signal, more than 3,000 veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces are expressing their support for Tuberville and calling on the Pentagon to rescind its politically motivated abortion policy. Four members of Congress joined state lawmakers, national leaders and thousands of everyday Americans who have served their country in the military.

“The undersigned stand united in condemning this policy,” they write in the letter to Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “This policy is not just illegal, it shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense.”

The letter includes 593 individual names — including Reps. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) — plus 32 endorsers and partners with the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, which represents the position of over 2,500 military chaplains.

The Defense Department issued its policy Feb. 16, providing three weeks of taxpayer-funded paid leave and reimbursement of travel expenses for military personnel and dependents who are seeking an abortion. An estimate from Rand Corporation predicts the number of abortions would skyrocket from 20 to more than 4,000 each year.

Using his leverage as a U.S. senator, Tuberville is holding the nearly 200 military promotions. He’s earned the support of Republican colleagues, including influential Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) who said this week, “I regret that it’s necessary, but I think it is.”

Last week, a group of House conservatives stood with Tuberville on the Senate floor. Previously, CatholicVote organized pro-life and conservative leaders to enlist their grassroots organizations to aid his effort. And now a diverse group of service members and veterans are speaking out in support.

Their letter directly refutes the claim by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his seven predecessors that Tuberville’s actions are affecting military readiness. Democrat senators, led by Schumer, have repeatedly made this assertion — without factual evidence — to attack Tuberville.

“Over the past few months, the senior senator from Alabama has singlehandedly hindered our national security by blocking hundreds of critical military appointments,” Schumer alleged Monday. “Those holds are hamstringing our military. According to former secretaries of defense who served presidents of both parties, this blanket hold ‘is harming military readiness and risks damaging U.S. national security.’”

Beyond broad warnings about military readiness, however, Democrats are unable to point to specific examples proving their case.

The letter from service members suggests the real readiness problem is a result of Austin’s actions as secretary and the “politicized agenda” of the Biden administration.

“The American people, including its service members, are disappointed by President [Joe] Biden and Secretary Austin’s recent decisions to mandate receipt of the COVID-19 vaccines, promote the radical LGBT agenda, and now subsidize abortion,” they write. “Because of these policies, the military now faces an unprecedented crisis of recruitment — missing its recruitment goal for the first time ever last year. The focus of our military must be on keeping the American people safe, not advancing the left-wing social agenda.”

Even when Democrats have pressed military leaders for evidence, they’ve come up empty.

At an April 20 hearing, Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Cmdr. John Aquilino about the consequences of Tuberville’s hold on readiness in the region. Aquilino responded, “Operationally … no impact, because Seventh Fleet commanders are not going anywhere until the proper replacement is in place.”

Retired three-star Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president at the Family Research Council, flatly rejected the idea when FRC President Tony Perkins asked him if Tuberville’s effort was endangering the U.S. military. Boykin responded, “No, it is not.”

“In the military,” Boykin added, “you don’t replace somebody until you have a replacement for them, which means the person holding that slot stays there until he has a replacement. This whole thing is more propaganda than anything else.”

And last week, three Heritage Foundation vice presidents — including retired Lt. Colonel James Jay Carafano, vice president of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy — pointed to greater threats to military readiness than the failure to promote flag officers.

“America’s military readiness is of vital importance and one The Heritage Foundation takes seriously,” they wrote to Tuberville. “Each year, we publish an Index of U.S. Military Strength to gauge the U.S. military’s ability to perform its missions. This year, for the first time, we assess the military as weak and at growing risk of not being able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests. While the reasons for this are many, your holds are not among them.”

Carafano was joined by two others from Heritage: John Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government, and Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy.

Democrats could circumvent Tuberville’s hold by voting on each nominee individually. Doing so, however, would be a laborious process for senators who would rather approve the promotions as a group.

Just as he’s done several times already, Tuberville is prepared to continue his fight until the Pentagon changes course. Now, he has the backing of more than 3,000 service members and veterans.

“There is no truth more profound than the fact that all human life is sacred,” their letter concludes. “The mission of the United States Military is to defend and protect all American lives — not subsidize the practice of destroying innocent and vulnerable American children via abortion with taxpayer dollars. By pledging to hold these nominations to the Department of Defense until administration officials reverse course, Senator Tuberville is doing a great service for the American people — including its service members.”

This article was originally published in The Daily Signal.


Rob Bluey

Rob Bluey is executive editor of The Daily Signal.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

4 More Companies Go ‘Full Bud Light,’ Daring Consumers to Boycott

While major banks downgrade Anheuser-Busch’s stock and Bud Light becomes a corporate punch line, a quartet of CEOs seem all too happy to join them. As the beer company implodes under the weight of a national boycott, their cautionary tale seems lost on four companies, who’ve decided to follow transgender advocacy straight to financial insolvency. Who are the brands foolish enough to ride Bud Light’s tattered coattails?

1. Target

One of the first companies to stick out their necks for the LGBT agenda, Target was woke before woke was a word. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the chain who introduced a controversial line of “Love Is Love” shirts way back in 2012 was ready to board the transgender train. Back then, retail analyst Britt Beemer warned that the Target strategy isn’t “very smart,” especially in conservative states, where it does the biggest business. “Anytime a retailer gets away from doing what they should be doing by being involved in a social cause, [they lose].”

Target got a taste of that last year, when the mega-retailer — who helped launch the war on gender six years ago with its mixed-gender bathrooms and fitting rooms — decided to fill its racks with merchandise to help young people reject the biological sex God gave them. From chest binders that strap down breasts to compression underwear to hide bulges for boys, Target is taking direct aim at America’s children.

Now, the soulless company is inviting new outrage with a trans line of clothes and books. With colorful messages like “Trans people will always exist!” “Queer! Queer! Queer! Queer!” “Cure transphobia, not trans people,” and “Ask me about my pronouns,” Target is putting itself in the bullseye. There are baby bodysuits, rompers, mugs, and a collection of books that would put most moms on the warpath. “My Sister Daisy,” which is about a boy learning to how to treat his younger brother’s “gender [transition] with compassion,” is recommended for 5 to 7-year-olds, while “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” clocks in even younger (4-8).

The activist group Gays Against Groomers didn’t hold back their fury. “We hope there are enough parents out there that understand how wrong this is and show them that this garbage will not sell,” they urged their hundreds of thousands of followers. “The only thing these people understand is money. Target deserves the Bud Light treatment. We will work to put the pressure on them.”

2. Levi Strauss

Last fall, Jennifer Sey, a longtime Levi’s executive, wrote a blockbuster book about the radical undercurrent at America’s oldest jeans company called, “Levi’s Unbuttoned: The Woke Mob Took My Job But Gave Me My Voice.” Sey’s candid, behind-the-scenes tell-all made quite a splash, especially her frank assessment of upper management’s radical politics.

“Today’s executives reared these kids with an ‘I’m not your Dad, I’m your friend’ parenting philosophy, and they chase their children’s approval,” she writes. “They want to impress their woke kids with their own progressive bona fides.”

Their latest idea? A gender-neutral clothing line. CEO Chip Bergh announced the idea this month, dismissing any fears about “a Bud Light-type backlash” against the 170-year-old company. Unisex clothing, he argued, is the wave of the future in a supposedly trans-accepting society.

“We are building out slowly,” he explained to Axios. “It started with a small collection of gender-neutral or gender-fluid line, and there’s definitely consumer appetite for that,” Bergh claimed. “And we are here for that.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Levi’s has rolled the dice on sexual politics. Its first foray into the trans market was 2017 with a collection called Line 8. Since then, they’ve only leaned harder into the fad, posting a guide to unisex shopping in 2019. (Like every other company on this list, their extremism also extends to abortion politics.)

As Sey warned, the tentacles of radicalism run deep at Levi’s — thanks in part to the younger generation of workers there, who she calls “ideological terrorists” who are “policing their peers and elders relentlessly.” Company leaders, she insists, “are unwilling to stand up to them.” “Most CEOs lack the moral courage to hold their ground,” Sey wrote. “Because they know, deep down, that they aren’t do-gooders, and they don’t want that curtain lifted.”

3. Starbucks

Anyone who’s ordered a cup from the iconic green mermaid has been fueling more than their caffeine fix — they’ve been financing the movement to trans our sons and daughters. After a divisive pronoun campaign in 2019 called #WhatsYourName, the mega-retailer one-upped America’s other woke CEOs last year by offering to ship employees’ children out of state to change their sex.

A statement from the company’s Sara Kelly announced that Starbucks is committed to the most outrageous forms of corporate activism — including paid travel for transgender surgery. “Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home.”

Now, a year later, Starbucks, whose philanthropic partners include an advocate for child sex-changes, is taking its campaign to mutilate children to the world.

On May 9, Starbucks India ignited a global firestorm after releasing an ad openly celebrating gender reassignment surgery. In the commercial, which has more than a million views, a mom and dad meet with their son, who now identifies as a girl, at the coffee shop. They all listen as the barista calls out a drink for “Arpita,” their son’s new name — meant to be a sign that his parents, who placed the order, accept his new female identity. “For me, you are still my kid,” the father says. “Only a letter has been added to your name,” he said, reaching out for his son’s hand.

Underneath, the Indian caption reads, “Your name defines who you are — whether it’s Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us. #ItStartsWithYourName.”

An Australian-based pundit, who’s watched Bud Light’s fall from grace, couldn’t believe Starbucks would be crazy enough to jump on the burning bandwagon. They’re going “full Bud Light,” he warned. “If saturating the market with a mediocre U.S. coffee brand wasn’t bad enough,” Rukshan Fernando tweeted, “now they are bringing their woke corporate culture to the Sub-Continent.”

Others pointed out the coffee company’s hypocrisy, since “Starbucks in Saudi [Arabia], UAE, and Qatar have been around much longer than India. Yet you will never see them place such ads there.” Then there was Indian celebrity Nuance Bro, who urged locals to walk away. “Alright India here’s your chance to resist properly. … Do not let this programming gain a foothold.”

But it’s not as if Starbucks’ agenda is a surprise. The liberal business has never truly cared about kids — not after spending thousands of dollars helping Planned Parenthood abort them — or working to deprive them of a married mom and dad. Still, if the wave of opposition to the trans agenda on both sides is any indication, something’s brewing at Starbucks — and that’s trouble.

4. Sports Illustrated

Men who pick up a copy of the 2023 swimsuit edition hoping to see actual women at the beach are in for quite a surprise with this year’s edition. Instead of a biological female on the cover, the woke magazine opted for Kim Petras, a busty man who underwent gender-transition surgery at age 16.

“I was so excited when I got the call to be in Sports Illustrated,” Petras, a German-born singer, told SI. “It’s very iconic, and a lot of very iconic people have done it before, so [it was a] big dream come true for me.” Asked about the pushback he might get, 30-year-old Petras replied, “It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side.”

Back in 2006, the singer was considered “the world’s youngest transsexual” after he appeared on a television show describing his transition, which started with hormones at just 12 years old.

For Sports Illustrated, who’s no stranger to controversy, this isn’t the first time the magazine has pushed the envelope with a trans model. Leyna Bloom landed the cover job in 2021. Readers were irate — but the criticism obviously fell on deaf ears. “There is no theme [to this year’s issue],” Editor-in-Chief MJ Day explained this time around, “rather, there is a vision, a sentiment, a hope that women can live in a world where they feel no limitations, internally or externally.” These women share “certain common traits,” she insisted. “They’re constantly evolving.”

Evolving is one way to put it, critics lashed out. Is no space that’s historically been reserved for women — no traditions, jobs, sports, or products — sacred anymore? “The 2023 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model is a biological man with fake boobs,” Wisconsin activist Scarlett Johnson posted. “I really hope men are #Done with Sports Illustrated.” Over at Rebel News, Ezra Levant joked, “I guess the Bud Light ad wizards had to land somewhere.”

Meanwhile, consumers can’t help but wonder: who in their right mind would follow Bud Light down this fatal road? A single can with the wrong partner sent Anheuser-Busch into a nationwide tailspin — with no relief in sight. As other brands watch that five-alarm fire destroy the brand’s reputation, others are reaching for the same hot stove.

Why? Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm believes it’s because “progressives are true believers.” “They don’t just say the key to happiness is a world in which truth is personal and everyone gets to be who they want to be. They really believe it,” he told The Washington Stand. “They believe it so strongly they’re even willing to temporarily lose money along the way.”

“There’s actually a lot for Christians to learn here,” he insisted. “Do we believe the truth as much as they believe lies?”

For conservative, freedom-loving alternatives to every leftist coffee, denim, retail, and beer company, download the Public Sq. app and reward the businesses who share your values.


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Bud Light Fiasco Proved Conservatives Already Have The Secret Weapon To Win

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Trump Townhall Underscores Life as a 2024 Issue

The Trump administration was, decidedly, the most pro-life in our history. During his debate with Hillary Clinton in 2016, former President Trump graphically described the brutality of the abortion procedure. A signal achievement was his appointment of three Supreme Court justices who support the Constitution as it was written, underscoring the sanctity of unborn life.

So, when President Trump’s spokesman recently said that “President Donald J. Trump believes … [abortion] is an issue that should be decided at the state level,” I was deeply concerned. That’s why, earlier this week, I joined Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, for a meeting in Florida to discuss the important topic directly with the former president.

Our sense of alarm has been growing. After last summer’s Supreme Court decision returned the power to defend life to the people, a number of Republicans heaved a sigh of relief. Many of them were glad to see the end of the fictional constitutional right to abortion, but some seemed more glad to kick the life issue back to the states than take any further action. More concerned with political consequences than protecting the unborn, their eagerness to abandon the pro-life cause was striking.

That’s not what they were saying before the Dobbs decision, which returned to them the power to defend life. Since the mid-1980s, the GOP has called for the right of the unborn to live to be recognized as the most fundamental of human rights. Overwhelmingly, Republican lawmakers have supported a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution and called upon legislators and judges in the states to respect human personhood in the womb, where life begins. Science tells us that personhood begins in the womb. For years, Republicans at the federal level have taken a stance in defense of life, and presidential administrations have defended it. So what has changed now?

None of these proposals would prevent states from enacting pro-life legislation, whether protecting the unborn after they can feel pain, after a certain point in gestation, protecting American taxpayers from funding abortion, or anything else. I was a state legislator in Louisiana for many years and authored a number of pro-life measures. And no one is more committed to a constitutional understanding of the limits of the federal government and the broad authority of the states than me. Yet personhood in the womb is not just a state issue — it is the most profound of all human rights issues. It merits federal consideration — and protection.

During our meeting in Miami, Mr. Trump reaffirmed his commitment to protecting children who can feel pain and are actually sucking their thumb in their mother’s womb. His horror at late-term abortion and the incredible idea that some so-called “unwanted” children could be left to die after birth remains unchanged. That’s why we met with him: To encourage the former president to stay strong on the issue of the sanctity of human life. And I can report that Mr. Trump has not changed his position. He remains committed to his strong presidential track record of defending the unborn to the fullest extent of the executive branch’s authority.

During his Wednesday town hall in New Hampshire, he said of his pro-life record, “I am honored to have done what I did.” President Trump noted several times during the event that pro-abortion activists are radical. And radicals are unreasonable and never satisfied. This is why, in last November’s elections, Democrats spent at least $320 million in advertising to attack the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The Biden administration has authorized nearly half a billion dollars of taxpayer funds that can be used to subsidize abortions and abortion businesses. Republicans spend only a fraction of this amount celebrating unborn life.

I deeply appreciate the pro-life, pro-family policies that President Trump’s administration advanced. As we move into the 2024 presidential election cycle, my role will not be to endorse in the primary election but to work with the candidates, like President Trump, to ensure the issues impacting faith, family, and freedom are understood and advanced. My focus will be ensuring that the sanctity of human life, upholding the true, God-given purpose of human sexuality, and the myriad policies that affect the family — ranging from religious freedom to tax policy — remain front and center.

It is encouraging to see that Mr. Trump remains committed to defending the little ones in the womb. But how much more heartening it is to know the God Who gives us the privilege of protecting them and their mother from the abortion industry. That’s a high calling, and we’ll never retreat from it.


Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.