Abortion Supporter and Professing Conservative Tomi Lahren Doesn’t Understand Conservatism

Conservative firebrand and TheBlaze TV host Tomi Lahren appeared on ABC’s The View this past Friday, discussing Trump, terrorism, Russia, and other political issues. Most notably, however, Lahren admitted to The View’s audience that she is “pro-choice.”

Regarding abortion, Lahren said:

“I am pro-choice, and here’s why. I’m a constitutional [conservative], someone that loves the Constitution. I am someone that’s for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say that I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies… I’m for limited government. So stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”

Aside from the fact that “pro-choice” is a dishonest phrase to convey the pro-abortion position, Lahren displays an astounding ignorance of the Constitution and the philosophy of limited government.

Objectively speaking, the right to abortion does not exist in the constitution. The alleged right to abortion was invented by seven Supreme Court justices in Roe v. Wade (1973). The right to life, on the other hand, is declared in the Declaration of Independence and protected in the Constitution. Indeed, the right to life is the first inalienable right enshrined by the founders.

Lahren also grossly misunderstands the implications of the limited government philosophy. Limiting government does not require the abolition of government or provide the absolute freedom to do whatever we want with our bodies. In a society built upon the principles of limited government, the state still has an important role: upholding the inalienable rights of each of its citizens, beginning with the right to life.

As previously mentioned, the right to life is first among all rights. In fact, without the right to not be killed, the concept of inalienable rights ceases to exist. The right to speak freely, believe freely, bear arms, and all other fundamental rights depend on someone first being alive to exercise those rights. If the right to life can be taken from us, so can all the others.

For this reason, opposing abortion is foundational to limited government ideology. Legal abortion undermines the very principle of inalienable rights. Without inalienable rights, government growth is inevitable, effectively making limited government impossible. A government that strips human beings of the inalienable right to life is not a limited government. It is a tyrannical and violent government. Any constitutionalist would know that.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

It Doesn’t Matter Whether Margaret Sanger Was a Racist

It is accepted truth on the left that Margaret Sanger was a patron saint of feminism and all-things-good-in-the-world. It is accepted truth on the right that she was a vicious racist. There isn’t a more polarizing figure in all of politics, which in the era of Trump is saying something.

In this debate, there seems to be no middle ground between the two polar opposite positions, and neither side is willing to acknowledge any evidence that might moderate their view.

The quotes that are typically used to show Sanger’s possible racism are the following (although this is by no means an exhaustive list of her writings and speeches that seem to flirt with racism):

On page 108 of the April 1932 edition of Sanger’s magazine Birth Control Review, she wrote, “Birth control must ultimately lead to a cleaner race.” She often spoke of race, even naming one of her books Women and the New Race.

In a 1939 letter to fellow eugenics advocate Clarence Gamble, she wrote, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Here, Sanger is writing about what she called her “Negro Project,” through which Sanger and other eugenicists were attempting to implement population control in communities of color. As her comments indicate, Sanger and others realized needed the support of black clergymen to be effective.

In 1926, she spoke to members of the Ku Klux Klan about eugenics and population control.

In her 1932 speech for to the New History Society, Sanger said that America must “keep the doors of Immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feeble-minded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others.”

On the other hand, the progressive defenses of Sanger’s views may have some merit. When Sanger spoke of race, she may have been advocating the eradication of bad genes in general, not specifically some inferior race of people based on skin color. Sanger very well may have written that she didn’t “want word to get out that we want to exterminate the negro population,” because that’s not what she was trying to do. She may have gone to the KKK because they were an influential group and she wanted their backing, regardless of whether or not she agreed with their cause of racial supremacy. I actually have no idea how a progressive would defend her statements about immigrants, but I’m sure they’d find a way for that as well.

I think it’s safe to say that although she didn’t think highly of people of color, there does not seem to be enough strong evidence to claim that she was, or was not, racist. The evidence is ambiguous and to claim definitively either way is speculation.

What we do know with absolute certainty about Sanger is that she advocated for horrible things. When she writes in a 1923 article for The Thinker that “[Birth control] means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks—those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization,” both sides of the debate get caught up arguing whether or not by “human weeds” she is referring to people of color. Let’s say she wasn’t. She’s still referring to the “poor”, the “dysgenic”, the “imbecile” and the “criminal” as human weeds to be eliminated. Regardless of whether or not she was talking about specific ethnic groups, this is a patently inhumane thing to say.

In her speech to the New History Society, Sanger said that America should establish a population congress that would “apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization, and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” Whether she was referring specific ethnic groups for segregation and sterilization is beside the point – she was advocating for the compulsory segregation and sterilization of American citizens. Her plans were carried out in some areas to devastating effect.

Sanger wrote in Women and the New Race that “the most compassionate thing a large family can do to a small child is to kill it.” Regardless of how her supporters may attempt to justify such comments, attitudes like this are indicative of the incredibly dark worldview from which Sanger was operating.

The pro-life movement would do well to refrain from making the claim that Sanger was a racist, even if the evidence indicates that she likely was. Doing so gives abortion supporters plausible deniability to our argument and distracts everyone from the universal horror of Sanger’s ideas, whether or not they were rooted in racism. There’s no need for pro-lifers to make uncertain assumptions about the existence of racist motives. Putting charges of racism aside, Margaret Sanger, as the face of the eugenics movement, is among the most nefarious characters in American history.

If pro-lifers can stay away from debatable charges of racism and stick to the fact that Sanger spoke of the poor, disabled, criminal and illiterate as “human weeds,” campaigned to exterminate the lower class, and advocated, with some success, for some of the worst human rights violations since slavery, then Sanger’s supporters can go nowhere to hide from the truth.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

#DefundPP Rallies in Washington State

On Saturday, February 11th, pro-life Americans across the nation gathered at local Planned Parenthood locations to show their support for defunding the abortion giant.

The #DefundPP rallies, which were organized by the #ProtestPP coalition, boasts backers like the Pro-Life Action League, 40 Days for Life, and over 60 other pro-life organizations.

According to the Pro-Life Action League, the rallies were initially going to be postponed until the fall of 2017, but the GOP’s announcement that they would work to defund Planned Parenthood caused the Coalition to push up the date to show public support for the congressional effort.

Those attending the rallies proposed redirecting federal funds for women’s health services to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FHQCs) instead of Planned Parenthood.

When reporting on the topic of defunding Planned Parenthood, news outlets conveniently forget to mention the thousands of Federally Qualified Health Centers that offer many women’s health services except for abortions. In fact, the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that these FQHCs served eight times more individuals than Planned Parenthood in fiscal years 2010-2012. The Institute also found that there are 9,170 FQHCs, compared to the 700 Planned Parenthood locations around the United States.  In reality, defunding Planned Parenthood would not restrict access or funding to true women’s health services.

Overall, the rallies were a resounding success. Over 228 rallies were held in 45 states. In Washington, rallies were held in Kennewick, Kent, Olympia, Pullman, Seattle, and Wenatchee (Spokane’s rally had to be pushed back due to inclement weather). The Wenatchee rally counted 125 people in attendance with approximately 10 who showed up in opposition to the rally.

Environmentalist: Support Abortion for Population Control

On his nightly news show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had an interesting exchange with a top environmental lobbyist. Carlson asked Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, what the organization’s abortion advocacy had to do with protecting the environment. Brune’s response:

“We believe in empowering women’s rights,” Brune said. “We believe that women who have rights and who have the ability to have choice about their reproductive—make their own reproductive choices—will help to produce strong families and will help to protect the environment at the same time. Sierra Club is pro-choice.”

Carlson, sensing that Brune was evading his question, pushed for a specific answer.

“It helps to address the number of people that we have on this planet,” Brune replied. “We feel that one of the ways that we can get to a sustainable population is to empower women to make choices about their own families.”

There are a couple things to notice. First, it is a bit of a shock hearing an abortion-supporter so candidly speak of abortion as population control. Many are of the opinion that this kind of thinking died out with the eugenicists, but alas, here it is, indicating that the grisly ideas of the eugenicists are still influencing Americans.

Second, it doesn’t take a logician to see the horror in what Brune is saying. He’s not prescribing population control through contraception or other means of preventing human life from coming into existence, but the taking of existent human life. If ending human lives is a moral good because it’s good for the environment, mass human suicide or euthanasia would seem to be a moral good as well. That may seem like a stretch, but that is Brune’s ideas taken to their logical conclusion.

Unfortunately, this save-the-trees-but-kill-the-babies reasoning is not outside of mainstream progressivism. This is a worldview that puts an extremely low value on human life, especially in comparison with the Judeo-Christian worldview. As Dennis Prager (who will be the special guest at our 2017 Annual Dinner) puts it, “As ironic as it may sound, the God-based Judeo-Christian value system renders humans infinitely more valuable than any humanistic value system.

This is because without God, humans, born and unborn, are quite literally just clumps of cells, ultimately worth nothing more than the matter they are composed of. On the other hand, the Judeo-Christian worldview acknowledges the special place human life occupies within creation.

Both the Judeo-Christian worldview and the intersectional environmentalist worldview hold that the beauty of nature is not to be squandered. However, the Judeo-Christian worldview also posits the value of protecting human life as society’s greatest good. The earth and its resources were created to serve human life—not the other way around.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

House Committee Debates Bringing Obamacare Mandates to Washington

Should controversial mandates from Obamacare—which many believe are on the way out in Washington, D.C.—be made a permanent part of Washington State law?

That is the question the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee considered this morning.  The committee heard public testimony on HB 1523, which would require all health insurance plans to cover all preventative services required under federal law as of December 31, 2016.  It also bans plans that would share the cost of any of those services with employees.

Even before public testimony was heard, members of the committee expressed concern about the details of the bill.  The one-page bill is remarkably short.  However, it incorporates hundreds of pages of federal law and an untold volume of “guidance” into Washington State law.  No one seemed to have an understanding of exactly what the mandates do and do not cover.

Some of those who came to Olympia today to express concerns about HB 1523. From left to right: Brett Kinney, Electric Mirror; Michael Pauley, Human Life of Washington, Arina Grossu, Family Research Council, Luke Esser, Washington State Catholic Conference

Proponents of the bill argued that mandatory coverage for “preventative care” would make it easier to detect diseases like cancer at a time when it was most treatable.

But concerns about the legislation focused on very different issues.

Arina Grossu, from the Family Research Council, testified that the mandate to cover “preventative services” includes requirements to pay for abortifacients like Plan B and Ella, which destroy human embryos and are therefore objected to as a matter of conscience by many.

Brett Kinney, Director of Business Operations for Everett-based manufacturer Electric Mirror, explained the concerns of businesses owners in being forced to pay for a product that violates the beliefs of business owners:

“We offer a comprehensive affordable medical plan to our nearly 400 employees that does not include abortifacients. Not once have we heard complaints that our medical plan or the prescriptive drug plan was not adequate to serve the needs of our employees which includes over 100 women ages 18 to 70.  This bill is trying to solve a problem that is not a problem and forcing us the employer to add cost which reduces our ability to grow our business and put more people to work.”

The Washington State Catholic Conference also offered testimony stating that they will not comply with legislation that forces them to pay for abortifacients, regardless of what the law says.

In addition to concerns about conscience rights, insurance industry representatives expressed concern that the bill appears to be an attempt to preempt a change in federal law before those changes actually take place.  They expressed a preference for waiting to see what happens in Washington, D.C., before reacting to it.

Obamacare mandates involving abortifacients led businesses like Hobby Lobby to sue the federal government, claiming that such mandates violate their religious beliefs.  In the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court held that the mandates were invalid because they violated the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  However, Washington State does not have a state RFRA, which means the protections for conscience rights in Washington State are less robust than those that restrain actions of the federal government.

To advance, this bill needs the support of a majority of the members of the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee.

If that happens, it would need to receive passage from the entire House of Representatives before moving to the Senate for consideration.

Please contact your legislators and share your thoughts about this and any other issue through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here. 

As always, be respectful but be heard.  If you don’t speak for yourself, someone will speak for you.

 

 

FPIW Signs Letter Asking Congress to Adopt Pro-life Healthcare Reforms

Recognizing the potential for unprecedented action on healthcare reform during the 115th US Congress, several pro-life organizations have delivered a letter to legislators, calling on them to ensure that any healthcare reforms prohibit federal taxpayer dollars from being used for abortion.

Joseph Backholm, President of Family Policy Institute of Washington, signed on to the letter, joining representatives from Family Research Council, Priests for Life, American Center for Law and Justice, National Right to Life, Christian Medical Association, Students for Life of America, and dozens of other pro-life organizations.

Congress is currently considering several legislative proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The letter, which was delivered to Republican Members of Congress today, reminds them that “any bill funding healthcare must carry restrictions on abortion funding or it will end up funding the brutal practice of abortion.”

“We are greatly encouraged by the many Republican healthcare proposals that embrace the principle that abortion is not healthcare and should not be incentivized through federal healthcare programs including tax credits for health insurance,” the letter says.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

 

 

“Pro-Choice” Should Be “Pro-Abortion”

In a recent discussion with an abortion supporter, I apparently made the mistake of calling her “pro-abortion.” She gasped and emphatically made me aware that she was not pro-abortion, just “pro-choice.”

This begs the question: what choice was she talking about? Was she talking about school choice? Health care choice? Where-to-go-for-dinner choice?

I support the Second Amendment. I think the right of an individual to choose whether they want to own a firearm for self-defense is crucial to the prevention of an abusive government. It would be reasonable to label my position pro-second amendment or pro-gun rights or simply pro-gun. Likewise, it would be very unreasonable and rather pointless to label my position “pro-choice.” That doesn’t explain what choice I am advocating.

The same goes for abortion. The phrase “I am pro-choice” is an incomplete sentence. To be intellectually honest, the speaker must specify what choice they are advocating. Just as I am pro-gun, pro-abortion is the appropriate term to describe the position of the abortion supporter.

When considering the nature of the debate, it’s easy to understand why abortion advocates so fervently demand to be called “pro-choice” rather than something which accurately defines their position: they do this because their position is ghastly.

In a legislative hearing in Florida in 2013, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. It is Planned Parenthood’s position that children born as a result of botched abortions should be left alone on the table to die if still unwanted. When asked to defend this position, Snow’s response was, “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, the family, and the physician.”

Snow redirects the discussion to the issue of “choice” because no one can win a debate from a platform of “pro-leaving the baby to die on the table.” This goes for the killing of an unborn child as well. Pre-birth abortions entail the use of clamps to remove the child from the womb one limb at a time. Several other violent techniques are also used, including saline solution, which is used to dissolve away his or her skin. “Pro-human dismemberment” and “pro-burning the skin of a baby until his or her internal organs fall out” are not winning slogans.

It will be ‘game over’ for the abortion industry if the debate over abortion becomes focused on what abortion actually entails. That’s why they work so hard to make the debate revolve around euphemisms like “choice” without regard for the choice being discussed.

So, the next time someone tells you they’re pro-choice, ask them, “What choice?”

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

House Votes to Make Hyde Amendment Permanent

In the second major move this week to stop taxpayer funding from being used to fund abortions, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to make the Hyde Amendment Permanent.

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy. 

The Hyde Amendment has prohibited taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions since 1976.  However, it became a hotly debated issue during the Obama Administration.

The Hyde Amendment was never permanent law but has been routinely attached as a “rider” to various appropriations bills.

Significantly, the Affordable Care Act was passed without Hyde Amendment language, a fact that nearly prevented it from getting enough support to pass. However, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting the use of federal tax dollars for abortions to secure the final votes necessary for passage.

Still, critics have pointed out numerous ways in which the Obama administration violated that executive order without any apparent concern from the executive branch.

Today’s action by the House of Representatives would eliminate the need to debate the Hyde Amendment in every appropriations bill by permanently prohibiting taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortion.

It would apply to all Obamacare health plans starting the next plan year.

This bill also protects conscience rights by requiring the full disclosure of abortion coverage in Obamacare plans.  This is in response to numerous complaints from members of the public who preferred plans that did not include abortion coverage but found it difficult to determine which plans provided abortion coverage and which ones did not.

The House passed HR 7 by a vote of 238-183. Three Democratic Members voted in support of HR 7 (Lipinski-IL, Peterson-MN, and Cuellar-TX ), no Republicans voted against the bill.

It now moves to the Senate for consideration.

During his campaign, President Trump promised to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law if it made it to his desk.

 

President Trump Issues Executive Order to Reinstate Mexico City Policy; Prohibits Funding for Abortions Overseas

On his first Monday in office, President Trump signaled that the pro-life commitments he made during the campaign was more than campaign rhetoric.

He signed an Executive Memorandum to reinstate the Mexico City Policy.  The policy prohibits taxpayer funding of groups that perform and promote abortions overseas.  It does not, however, stop non-abortion international assistance. The order ensures U.S. foreign aid will continue to go to health care and humanitarian relief in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.

The policy is known as the Mexico City policy because President Reagan first announced the policy in Mexico City.

President Obama, however, had suspended the Mexico City policy shortly after taking office, making federal dollars available abortion providers overseas.  At the time, a Gallup poll indicated that 58 percent of Americans opposed President Obama’s decision to end the Mexico City Policy.

The Mexico City policy is the international equivalent to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions domestically. (Though the Mexico City policy is more broad than the Hyde Amendment). President Trump also pledged to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law.

With the Mexico City policy reinstated and the potential of the Hyde Amendment being made permanent law, one of the primary grievances the pro-life community had against the Obama administration (being forced to pay for other people’s abortions) would be addressed in significant ways.

It is also reassuring to those in the pro-life community who may have questioned how serious President Trump was about his pro-life positions during the campaign.

An encouraging start to be sure.

 

Should Women Be Able to Sue Doctors for the Emotional Damage from Abortion?

It’s no secret that abortion can cause significant emotional damage to women who choose it.  But should women be able to sue their doctors if they experience emotional damage from an abortion?

Iowa State Senator Mark Chelgren thinks so and has introduced legislation that would do just that.

In an interview with Fox News, Sen. Chelgren explained the purpose of the bill.

“What we’re asking for is that individuals, doctors and clinics that make money off of women by giving them abortions are simply held accountable. That’s all this does. It protects women from people who would normally be trying to sell them something in a time when they are under the most stress that is kind of imaginable.”

The legislation allows a lawsuit regardless of how much time has passed since the abortion.

Despite the fact that emotional risks associated with abortion are well documented, no state currently has a law that specifically permits lawsuits for those harms.

Known side effects from abortion include regret, anger, guilt, shame, a sense of loneliness or isolation, loss of self confidence, insomnia or nightmares, relationship issues, suicidal thoughts and feelings, eating disordersdepression, and anxiety.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, AmericanPregnancy.org describes that the risk of side effects has a lot to do with the the mother’s beliefs about the baby.

“Those who believe it is not a baby until it is born have less of a chance of experiencing negative emotional consequences. However, those who believe it is a baby are more likely to experience negative emotional side effects.”

If passed, the legislation would likely create a deterrent to doctors performing abortions.

As a result, abortion industry advocates are describing the legislation as “anti-woman.”

Is this an appropriate way to limit the number of doctors willing to provide abortions? Comment below.