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The Rushmore Report – Can You Be Both Democrat and Pro-Life?

In Illinois a Democratic Representative is running for reelection. Normally, that would mean he would receive the full support of the Democratic Party. But there’s just one problem. Rep. Dan Lipinski is generally opposed to abortion. That raises the question – Can you be both a Democrat and pro-life?

Apparently, the answer is “no.”

A pro-abortion Democrat – Marie Newman – is running against Lipinski in a primary. The Democratic Party isn’t picking sides – officially. Chairman Tom Perez said, “One thing I’ve learned from primaries in the past, is that when the DNC gets involved in those races, then we sometimes get accused of trying to put the thumb on the scale.”

The problem with that argument is that Perez and party leadership have made it a tradition to always “put the thumb on the scale” in Democratic primaries – in support of the incumbent. The difference here, of course, is that the incumbent supports the right of the unborn – to be born.

Perez is attempting to sound inclusive, to keep the few pro-life Democrats that exist, in the fold. His past remarks make that difficult, of course. Last year, he stated that “every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable.”

So the answer is no, you can no longer be a Democrat and pro-life at the same time.

The Rushmore Report – A Sad Day for the U.S. Senate and the Lives of the Unborn

Monday was a sad day for America. Once again, in the U.S. Senate, the Democratic minority imposed its will on the majority out of its commitment to stand with countries such as North Korea and against the lives of the unborn. The measure would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, when fetuses feel pain. Here’s my question: Where’s the outrage?

The Senate voted for the bill, named the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 51-46. The vote fell short of 60, which is needed to cut off a filibuster. All Republicans voted for the measure, with the exception of Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. And all Democrats voted against the bill, except for the few pro-lifers still among the party: Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

In defense of her vote against life, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said, “Abortions are safer today than getting your tonsils out.” Well, that would be true, except when you get your tonsils out, nobody dies.

Thom Tillis of North Carolina has it right. “The life of the unborn is a precious life, and we as members of the United States Senate and the U.S. Congress are tasked with making sure we protect all lives in America.”

It is interesting that the same senators who defend their global warming positions on the grounds of “established science” ignore the science that confirms a fetus at 20 weeks can live outside the womb and feels pain.

Almost no civilized nations still allow this practice. But senators like Warren and nearly every other Democrat are beholden to the abortion lobby. To be “feminist” means “pro-abortion.” The terms have become synonymous. And that’s sad.

They don’t even pretend abortion is not the taking of a life. The procedure at 20 weeks “is safe.” That’s their argument. As long as the only thing “bad” that happens is the taking of the unborn life, it’s okay.

Still, Monday’s vote barely registered a blip on the conservative newscasts. We have grown so accustomed to the sickness called abortion that it somehow makes sense to some to call themselves “personally pro-life,” while voting for candidates who will continue to support the taking of the lives of the most vulnerable. That’s as irrational as telling your neighbor that you are personally against arson, but that if you see his house on fire, you will neither grab a fire extinguisher nor call the fire department. In fact, when given a chance, you will actually vote to bring more arsonists into the neighborhood. But you are personally against arson. Yeah, right. Makes a lot of sense.

Yes, this is a sad day for America, the U.S. Senate, and, mostly, for the lives of the unborn.

I repeat. Where’s the outrage?

The Rushmore Report – ‘Pro-life’ Must Encompass More than Opposition to Abortion

If being “pro-life” only means opposing abortion, we need a better conversation about the myriad ways human life is threatened today. On Friday, the March for Life brought together thousands of anti-abortion activists and conservative political leaders in Washington, as it does every year on the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The gathering offers an opportunity to reflect on what it means to defend life. It’s understandable that abortion remains a foundational issue for millions of Americans. Debates over when life begins, whether a fetus can feel pain and at what stage a pregnancy can be terminated raise profound moral and medical questions.

While interest groups on both sides of this contentious issue often use absolute claims and polarizing rhetoric to make their case, many Americans recognize the complexity of abortion should not be reduced to talking points or bumper stickers. In fact a poll from Public Religion Research Institute found that 43 percent of respondents identified as both “pro-choice” and “pro-life,” a sign that binary categories are insufficient.

A more productive national discussion could start with acknowledging that the way we talk about abortion can’t begin with a culture-war approach, and finally recognizing the limits of single-issue politics.

There is nothing “pro-life” about defending life in the womb while walking away from our collective obligations to care for the child once that baby is born.

Trump addressed the rally by live video from the Rose Garden.

The president has won over many political and religious conservatives with his appointment of anti-abortion judges, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. His administration pushed for expanded conscience exemptions to contraception coverage requirements in the Affordable Care Act, and like every Republican president since Ronald Reagan, he reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, which forbids U.S. aid money going to any international group that funds or promotes abortion.

For some voters and political leaders, these checks on the scoreboard are a sign that Trump passes the test.

There are signs that a more expansive understanding of what constitutes a “life issue” is challenging that narrow vision. Pope Francis, the world’s most influential religious leader, is driving that conversation.

The pope strongly opposes abortion, but has also elevated what he calls an “economy of exclusion and inequality” that “kills,” the death penalty, climate change and the treatment of immigrants as central pro-life concerns.

When asked by reporters about President Trump’s decision to rescind an Obama-era program that protected some 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States as children, Francis didn’t equivocate. “The President of the United States presents himself as pro-life,” the pope said, “and if he is a good pro-lifer, he understands that family is the cradle of life and its unity must be protected.”

Climate change is “one of the principal challenges facing humanity,” according to the pope, a stark difference from a president who pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and who once called global warming a hoax invented by the Chinese.

Francis also helpfully rejects the kind of simple categorizations that limit American political debates. “Everything is connected,” he writes in “Laudato Si,” the first encyclical in the church’s history to address environmental themes and climate change. Francis understands that climate change caused by human activity is already killing people in the poorest countries, and it contributes to a migrant crisis also exacerbated by war and economic exclusion.

When Pope Francis visited the United States in 2015, he linked the need to protect life in the womb with “children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow . . . and the environment devastated by man’s predatory nature.”

Several U.S. Catholic bishops are taking the pope’s lead.

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, an influential adviser to the pope, calls immigration “another pro-life issue.” Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich views gun violence as an urgent pro-life concern, and is a leader who forges alliances with progressives and Democratic politicians who disagree with the church’s position on abortion. In a speech to the Chicago Federation of Labor, the cardinal spoke of “feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, protecting the unborn, caring for the sick and welcoming immigrants” as part of a “consistent ethic of solidarity.”

The language echoed the message of a previous Chicago cardinal, Joseph Bernardin, who in the 1980s became the most prominent American church leader. “Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us, must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker,” Bernardin said in a 1983 speech at Fordham University.

Debates over abortion shouldn’t stop. But let’s make sure the conversation about protecting life and human dignity doesn’t end there.

About the Author

John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, and author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church. 

The Rushmore Report – ‘Trump Is not a Racist’ Says MLK’s Niece

When President Trump made his disparaging remarks about certain foreign countries, the media did what they always do. They played the race card. If a minority bombed the Capitol Building and Trump criticized his actions, he would be tagged a racist. But guess who has come to his defense? That would be Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Trump has been hit with massive criticism following Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) claim that he used a profane description of minority countries. As an aside, the other two senators in the room both said they never heard Trump make this remark. But that hasn’t kept most media outlets from reporting on the story as though the accusation was caught on tape. Three of the four men in the room say Trump did not say “it,” but because the one accuser’s story fits their narrative, the media reported it as fact. Great journalistic standards, fellas!

But I digress.

Back to Ms. King. In an appearance on Fox News, she called Trump’s critics “outrageous.” King said, “Racism is just a word that is being bandied about and thrown at the president unjustly. President Trump is not a racist.”

King also defended Trump’s general remarks, saying they were aimed at the governments of those countries, not the people. “Some of their own leaders have taken advantage of them,” she said.

She went on to say that it is “outrageous to call a man a racist who continues to acknowledge the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King. He puts his money where his mouth is.”

Commenting on Dr. King, Alveda said that if he were alive today, he would be a “pro-life activist.” She added, “He said the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety. Abortion, of course, forces us to do exactly that.”

“I really believe that if my uncle were here today, he would encourage us to find solutions to the problems, even women’s problems, and all problems, without having to do violence to babies in the womb. I am just convinced that he would agree with that,” King said.

 

The Rushmore Report – Planned Parenthood – 82 Abortions for Every Adoption Referral

Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report reveals that for every adoption referral the organization made they performed 82 abortions, and the federal government is the group’s largest source of funding. The abortion giant received more than $543 million in federal dollars in the most recent fiscal year, despite seeing fewer patients.

The Catholic News Agency reported the organization received 61 percent more in government funding than in the previous year. In 2017, the group saw 2.4 million patients at its hundreds of locations nationwide.

Planned Parenthood’s excess revenue also increased by 27 percent from $77.5 million to $98.5 million. The group performed a total of 321,384 abortion procedures, approximately 878 per day, in fiscal year 2016-2017.

CNS columnist Terence P. Jeffrey ran the numbers further, calculating that if Planned Parenthood had done its abortion procedures around the clock for the entire year, they would have had to abort about 37 babies per hour, one every 98 seconds, to make their yearly total.

About the Author

Brandon Showalter writes for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – Why You Can’t Embrace Climate Change and Still Be Pro-Choice

I am going to present the one scientific argument for which the climate change crowd has no answer. By the end of this column, I will have shown why it is impossible to embrace the scientific case for climate change (global warming) and still support abortion rights. You can believe in climate change or you can be pro-choice. But you can’t legitimately be both. Let me explain.

The case for climate change is summarized in one word – science. Just ask anyone who makes the case for climate change. The argument goes like this: “Over 90 percent of scientists agree that man-induced climate change is real and it is dangerous to our planet and our way of life.” Then they will point to studies they don’t understand produced by scientists they don’t know in languages they can’t read. “Science proves climate change is real, and anyone who doesn’t believe it is ignoring scientific facts.” Science, science, science. That is the argument for climate change.

Whether the climate change alarmists are right is not the point of this column. Let’s assume they are right for the moment. Therein lies the deep hole the climate change alarmists have just dug for themselves, and out of which they cannot climb.

Here’s why, in a word – fetus.

Sure, there is a biblical argument against abortion. There is a moral argument, a spiritual argument, and a physiological argument – none of which will impress the climate change alarmist. They live in the world of science. If science – as they understand it – supports climate change, the case is closed. Sealed. Done. Never to be opened again.

Here’s the problem for the climate change doomsayer. The same science on which he hangs his hat tells us that the victim of an abortion is a real human life.

Life in the womb for a child is as well documented as anything in science. With ultrasound and Doppler machines, as well as other technology, one can monitor the life of a baby in the womb from very near the beginning until birth. Moments after conception, the resulting single cell contains all 46 chromosomes necessary to grow into an adult human being. Within 48 hours of conception, the mother’s body starts producing a hormone to let her know she is pregnant. In the beginning of the third week, the baby’s heart begins to beat, with a blood type that is often different from his mother’s.

During week five, eyes, legs, and hands have begun to develop. By week six, brain waves are detectable. Week eight has every organ in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and the baby can begin to hear. By week twelve, the baby is nearing the end of the first trimester. He has all the necessary parts to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus. He can grasp objects placed in his hand and has fingerprints, a skeletal structure, and circulation.

By week fifteen, he has an adult’s taste buds. At week twenty, the earliest stage at which liberals used to conduct partial-birth abortions, the child can recognize his mother’s voice. He is within one or two weeks of the stage where babies can routinely be saved outside the womb.

In spite of all this, to justify the slaughter of tens of millions of unborn children, abortion apologists have regularly ignored the indisputable science of life in the womb.

Let’s summarize. The same climate change apologist carries his message on the back of science. But when that same science makes clear the fact of life within the mother’s womb, he turns the other way.

The vast majority of climate change alarmists are rooted in leftist ideology – the same ideology that defends abortion. But you can’t have it both ways. If you support climate change on scientific grounds, you must oppose abortion for the same reason. Unless, of course, you support the taking of innocent life.

So if you want to be intellectually honest, you can be a believer in climate change. But only if you stand just as strongly for the life of the unborn.

 

The Rushmore Report: Pro-Life Group Shows Abortion on Jumbotron Outside Kentucky’s Last Abortion Clinic

A pair of pro-life activist groups held a demonstration outside Kentucky’s last abortion clinic to announce plans to put up images of actual abortions on the giant Jumbotron next to the clinic. Operation Save America and Created Equal decided to use the 8-by-16 foot screen to show what actually happens to a baby during an abortion in front of the Louisville EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

Created Equal National Director Mark Harrington explained that Kentucky “is ground zero in the abortion wars.” He continued, “The pro-life movement needs to focus on making Kentucky the first abortion-free state in America.” He also said the Jumbotron video is “the most effective use of our resources because it bypasses the fake news media with an uncensored message that goes directly to the people.”

When asked if such displays inflame more than they inform, Harrington said that “while anger is sometimes a response to our images, it is in no way the only reaction we see. Some are shocked into silence, others express horror that these images are real, and others are struck by deep sadness. Many confess that they had ‘no idea abortion looked like that.'”

Harrington also argued that the images merely bring to the surface preexisting tensions, drawing a parallel to how the Civil Rights Movement’s nonviolent tactics did not cause racist violence, but simply brought it to light. The tension present at Dr. King’s demonstrations was a result of racism, not the tactic of nonviolent disobedience,” he added.

The Rushmore Report: Can a Democrat Be Pro-Life?

The Democratic Party is now willing to lend support to any pro-life candidates among their ranks, according to a party leader. Earlier this year Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez stated that the party was withholding any support from candidates who did not consider themselves pro-choice. But now, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) says the Democrats will no longer have a litmus test on abortion.

“As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America,” said Lujan, who serves as Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman. “To pick up 24 seats in Congress and get to 218, that is the job. We’ll need a broad coalition to get that done. We are going to need all of that, we have to be a big family in order to win the House back.”

In April, DNC Chair Perez stated that the Party would no longer support any Democratic candidates who were pro-life.

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” stated Perez, as reported by The Huffington Post. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

“At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country – we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”

The declaration garnered criticism from many within the party, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California.

In an interview reported by The Washington Post in May, the pro-choice Pelosi warned against alienating pro-life Democrats, noting that many of her family fit that classification.

“I grew up Nancy D’Alesandro, in Baltimore, Maryland, in Little Italy, in a very devout Catholic family, fiercely patriotic proud of our town and heritage, and staunchly Democratic,” said Pelosi.

“Most of those people – my family, extended family – are not pro-choice. You think I’m kicking them out of the Democratic Party?”

Lujan’s statements about welcoming pro-life candidates into the party have brought swift criticism from pro-choice groups, including Mitchell Stille of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

“Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy,” stated Stille. “The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data.”

About the Author

Michael Gryboski is a writer for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: Tony Dungy Agrees – Abortion Is ‘Ultimate Form of Racism’

NFL Hall-of-Famer Tony Dungy has “applauded” Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson, an outspoken Christian, for his widely read comments opposing abortion and Planned Parenthood. “I applaud my brother for speaking the truth on a controversial issue. Thank you,” Dungy tweeted.  Dungy was responding to a tweet posted by the pro-life activist group Live Action.

Live Action published an article last week summarizing comments that Watson made last summer in an interview with the pro-life Turning Point Pregnancy Resource center. In the interview, Watson did not hold back in communicating what he thinks of Planned Parenthood, the nations largest abortion provider, which kills over 300,000 unborn babies each year.

Watson asserted, “I do know that blacks kind of represent a large portion of the abortions, and I do know that honestly the whole idea with Planned Parenthood in the past was to exterminate blacks, and it’s kind of ironic that it’s working. We [as minorities] support candidates, and overwhelmingly support the idea of having Planned Parenthood and the like, and yet, that’s why Planned Parenthood was created.”

Watson continued, “It’s just amazing to me and abortion saddens me, period. But it seems to be something that is really pushed on minorities and provided to minorities especially as something that they should do. In the public, it seems to be painted that when minorities get pregnant they need to get abortions, especially when it comes to teen pregnancy.”

Tony Dungy agrees that “Abortion is the leading cause of death among black Americans and the ultimate form of racism.”

Earlier this year, Dungy participated in the “Under Our Skin” forum hosted by Watson in Florida that brought former NFL players, coaches, and pastors together to discuss the racial issues facing the nation and the role that faith can play in healing the divide.”

About the Author

Samuel Smith writes for The Christian Post.

19th Amendment

It’s hard to believe that for most of American history, women could not vote. That all changed with the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution on this day in history – August 18, 1920. This was the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States which fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote. It effectively overruled Minor v. Happersett, in which a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not give women the right to vote.

The 19th Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent. Forty-one years later, in 1919, Congress approved the amendment and submitted it to the states for ratification. It was ratified by the requisite number of states a year later, with Tennessee’s ratification being the final vote needed to add the amendment to the Constitution. In Leser v. Garnett (1922), the Supreme Court rejected claims that the amendment was unconstitutionally adopted.

When America cried out for women’s right to vote, it would have been easy for traditionalists to say, “But this [women not being able to vote] has been established law since the foundation of our country – 144 years ago.”

Likewise, every time a pro-life person calls for a Constitutional amendment to ban abortions, we hear this – “But the right to choose is established law.” And that’s true. It’s been “established” law for 41 years, less than 100 years as long as it was “established law” that women could not vote.

In fact, if not for overturning “established law,” there would be no amendments to the Constitution. That’s what amendments do – they overturn “established law.”

Today, it’s interesting. Many of the very people who would fight the battle all over again, for the right of women to have their voices heard (all of us, I would hope), seek to deny the rights of the unborn to be heard. For them, it’s okay to kill the unborn, as long as it is “established law.”

I’m guessing the unborn would be okay with us passing an amendment so they can live, even if we are overturning “established law,” just as we did on this day in history – 97 years ago.