Roe v. Wade Is My Generation’s Dred Scott

Today, for the first time, I will join tens of thousands of my fellow Americans in the 2018 March for Life. Together, we will demand an end to one of the greatest injustices visited upon this country in its 240-year history: the legalized killing of unborn children.

I march for many reasons.

I march because one-third of my generation has been silenced, their voices snuffed out before their first opportunity to speak.

I march because we have lied to women, and continue to lie to women, in the name of furthering “women’s rights.”

I march because in lying to women, we have created a second class of victims in the mothers who, in destroying their unborn children, destroy a part of themselves.

I march because Roe v. Wade is my generation’s Dred Scott.

Understanding Roe and Dred Scott

The Supreme Court’s 1856 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford stands as one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of the United States’ judicial system.

Scott, a slave, sued for his freedom—and that of his wife and daughters—after his master took them with him into Illinois (a free state) and Wisconsin (a free territory).

The Court determined that Scott was not a “citizen” endowed with rights under the Constitution, but rather was nothing more than the property of his owner. His owner, as a citizen, had the right to take his property with him into any territory he chose, and no government could deprive him of his property simply because he chose to relocate.

In short, Scott was a living human being endowed by his Creator with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…but without any meaningful legal protection of those rights. He was not a person, but a thing.

A little over a century later, the Supreme Court made a decision regarding the unborn that is startlingly similar in its irrational denial to human beings of the rights and protections of legal personhood.

Roe v. Wade, distilled to its most basic holding, says that the unborn child is not a “person” within the meaning of the 14th Amendment, and is therefore not entitled to equal protection of the law.

The Court’s determination of non-personhood rested entirely on its hesitancy to, in its own words, “resolve the difficult question of when life begins.”

Because there is no legal “person” involved in the abortion procedure other than the mother, the government may not intrude on the mother’s right to privacy regarding her health decisions.

Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority, acknowledged the tenuous nature of this determination, noting that if “personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”

When Is a Human Being Not a Person?

Given the tremendous advancement of pre-natal medical knowledge in the last half century, it has become increasingly difficult—arguably, impossible—to deny the humanity of the unborn child.

The honest application of any generally accepted definition of “human being” and “alive” results in one, and only one, conclusion: The fetus is genetically human, and is alive.

I will not deign to assume that anyone in ignorance seriously denies that the unborn are genetically human—women do not, after all, occasionally give birth to zebras or dolphins. They give birth to human beings.

But is this human being “alive?”

Biologists generally adhere to four basic criteria for purposes of analyzing whether a thing constitutes a “life”:

(1) Does the thing have a functioning metabolic system?
(2) Is it capable of growth?
(3) Does it react to stimuli?
(4) Does it have a method of reproduction?

Using these four criteria, the embryo is “alive” in a way that is uniquely human and distinct from the mother’s sense of being “alive.”

Further, this living human being is not simply a “clump of cells.”

From the moment of fertilization, there exists within the woman a genetically distinct organism, with 46 chromosomes and an unalterable, complete genetic blueprint for the embryo’s development.

Within 22 days of conception, this unborn human being has its own circulatory system with its own beating heart pumping its own blood—blood sometimes of a completely different A/B type than the mother’s blood.

By six weeks, the embryo has eyes, eye lids, a nose, and a mouth complete with lips and tongue. It will often have detectable brain functioning by this time, as well.

A week later, the embryo has transformed, in medical terms, into a “fetus.” It has a complete set of organs. I cannot think of another life form with its own organs that we would degrade by calling it a mere “clump of cells.”

But is this living human being a “person?”

When considering the inherent rights of man in the context of American legal theory, one cannot help but start with an analysis of the bedrock document of this theory—the Declaration of Independence.

Addressed to King George III in particular and to the world in general, the document boldly asserts:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Although the writers and signers of this document did not necessarily live in harmony with it—a contradiction seized upon by the Court’s Dred Scott majority to deny the personhood of black men—the aftermath of the bloodiest struggle in American history saw the enshrinement of these principles into the Constitution.

The 14th Amendment, a clear override of Dred Scott’s assertions that some human beings are merely property, provides that “[No] State [shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This raises the ultimate question: When is a human being not a person protected by the 14th Amendment?

Those who would deny the unborn human the protections of legal personhood often argue that the mother’s right to privacy and autonomy should trump the interest of the state in protecting the life of that unborn human. Even if it is a “life,” they argue, it has no rights, because it is not a “person.”

It is, for all intents and purposes, the same argument proffered by slave masters—this other living human is nothing more than the mother’s property, theoretically endowed by its Creator with the unalienable right to life but without any legal protection from that life’s arbitrary extinguishment.

In other words, pro-abortion advocates would render the unalienable right to life as meaningless for the unborn human as the unalienable right to liberty was for the black human in the 1850s.

The stunning irony is that they hold firmly to this position even while legislatures and courts routinely acknowledge and safeguard other secondary rights of the unborn—rights that are thoroughly independent of those possessed by the mother.

>>> Why the Pro-Life Movement Is a True Expression of America’s Founding Principles

Currently, 38 states attribute victimhood status to the unborn through criminal homicide statutes, which punish acts of violence against a fetus committed by someone other than the mother. Some states have also made it criminal for a pregnant mother to commit  certain acts that would endanger the life of her unborn child.

Indeed, even the federal government has acknowledged the humanity of the unborn child, and endowed it with legal protections. In 2004, Congress passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, making it a federal crime to injure or kill an unborn child—at any stage of development—through any of 60 different violent acts.

Here is the height of absurdity. There is near medical certainty that the child in utero is a live human being; Congress has granted this as a legal designation; the majority of jurisdictions attach to this designation the rights of bodily security and legal victimhood—and yet, despite protecting these 14th Amendment due process rights afforded only to persons, society will not protect the more basic right to life, without which no other right matters.

Worse still, if the fetus must be protected from harm in all situations except where the mother chooses its death through elective abortion, then its right to life is entirely dependent upon whether it is wanted by the mother.

This is a terrifying precedent. In most states, personhood (and its claim to equal protection under the laws, which defend its right to life) depends solely on whether the child is wanted by the mother.

This is little different than the basic premise of Dred Scott, where the slave’s unalienable right to freedom was made dependent on the goodwill of a master willing to free him from bondage.

Both arguments are similarly cruel and contrary to the most fundamental concepts of the Constitution. By refusing to fully defend the right to life of the most vulnerable and helpless among us, the United States remains shamefully under the shadow of Dred Scott.

Let me be clear: I do not regard women who have had abortions to be the moral equivalent of slaveholders. They, as much as their unborn children, are victims of the lies with which we have debased the collective conscience of this country.

Too often, we have treated single mothers with callous contempt, and have shown too little compassion for those who made regrettable decisions with devastating consequences.

But I will not leave unchallenged the clear connection of two repugnant lines of reasoning. I will not allow society to continue ignoring the disturbing repetition of an old lie retooled against a new class of humanity.

If the living unborn human being is not a person except by its mother’s good graces, I dare any pro-abortion advocate to explain how this is no less disgraceful than a pre-14th Amendment Supreme Court concluding a slave was not a person except by its owner’s good graces.

Today, I march for the 60 million human beings that we deemed unworthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I march for the mothers that we have lied to, and their millions of sons and daughters we have crushed under the guise of empowering women.

I march because I love this country far too much to sit in silence as it sits in shame.

The post Roe v. Wade Is My Generation’s Dred Scott appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Why the Pro-Life Movement Is a True Expression of America’s Founding Principles

The most successful social movements in American history have almost always channeled the philosophy of the founding generation, and in most cases, religion.

Religious conviction along with the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which defines rights as both God-given and equally applicable to everyone, drove both the anti-slavery and civil rights movements.

In many ways, the modern pro-life movement has followed in this tradition in defense of the individual right to life itself.

Public opinion on the issue of abortion has certainly shifted over the last half century, with an increasing number of Americans identifying as pro-life, and an even higher number of people calling themselves pro-choice while actually holding more pro-life views.

Undoubtedly, the work of a few dedicated organizations has contributed to this shift.

This year, the nation’s capital will host the 45th annual March for Life. The march initially began as a protest of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which defined abortion as essentially a constitutional right under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.

Many Americans opposed this decision on both moral and legal grounds, and used events like the March for Life as a sounding board for their views. The rally has continued and grown over the years, attracting people from all over the nation who believe that abortion is fundamentally wrong.

>>> Why I’m Traveling 710 Miles to Attend the March for Life

While the pro-life movement has sharpened in focus and increased its scope over the last 50 years, the pro-choice movement has drifted further away from its more limited public goal, once famously articulated by President Bill Clinton: that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

At one time, this argument held more sway. Its proponents said that abortion was simply going to happen regardless of legal restrictions, and that it should therefore be in a “safe” environment rather than in a back alley.

Hillary Clinton tried to revive this rhetoric in 2008, emphasizing that abortions should indeed be “rare,” but she then dropped that language in the 2016 election. She even advocated scrapping the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal dollars from directly funding abortions.

This must be pointed out, not to demonstrate the shiftiness of the Clintons, but to show how the pro-choice movement has become more strident and insistent on abortion being more than just a necessary evil, but a positive good for individuals and society.

As scholar David Grimes said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, “Abortion is good for you, your family, and society. … It’s a win-win-win.”

While pro-choice advocates would undoubtedly balk at this comparison, many have drawn similarities between the debate over abortion and the one over slavery in the 19th century.

The original terms of the debate, in both cases, mostly revolved around the utility and practicality of an institution’s existence.

Most of the Founding Fathers recognized slavery as an institution that was out of step with the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence, and sought its eventual extinction.

However, by 1860, a sizeable clique of Americans believed that slavery was actually a moral positive and needed to be preserved forever. This sharp moral division proved intractable and led to war.

In a provocative piece in the Public Discourse, Regent University professor Miles Smith IV wrote that the arguments for abortion on demand, couched in the language of individual autonomy, run parallel to the arguments of the more radical Southern slavery advocates.

Defenders of slavery saw government intrusion on their “property” as a violation of their sacred rights. As a result, they sought to make sure that slavery remained accepted and protected to a maximum extent under all conditions.

“In the same way,” wrote Smith, “modern abortion advocates have viewed any obstacle to abortion-on-demand—including waiting periods and parental consent for minors—as an entirely unwarranted invasion of women’s totalitarian authority over their unborn children.”

The terms of the abortion debate have shifted in the last 20 years from “safe, legal, and rare,” to no restrictions under any circumstances.

This shift is evident in the left’s opposition to any reasonable limits on abortion practices. For instance, the pain-capable abortion bill, which would prevent abortions after 20 weeks.

The 20-week limit was set because studies have shown this is around the time babies can feel pain. Even most European countries, which are generally more left-wing than the United States, place restrictions on abortions early in the second trimester.

Yet, many pro-choice proponents attacked this legislation as dangerous.

Abortion provider Planned Parenthood said of this measure on its website, “20-week bans are part of an agenda to ban all abortion. Anti-abortion politicians in Congress and in state legislatures are pushing their agenda, bit by bit, to ultimately outlaw abortion completely.”

There has also been hostility toward the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which would extend legal protections to babies born after a botched abortion.

It must be noted that killing a baby after birth stretches the limits of what could even be described as an abortion. Yet some, like former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., have been willing to at least theoretically cross that line.

Now, Democrats’ refusal to get behind the born-alive bill speaks even louder. The distinction between the pro-life and pro-choice camps is becoming more clear than ever.

Which raises the powerful question faced by many past generations of Americans: Do we really believe that all men are created equal? Or shall we cast that belief aside when it’s convenient?

Americans are quick to excoriate generations of the past for failing to uphold their convictions and for falling short of our founding ideals. It is worth noting that we, too, may be judged and found sorely wanting.

The post Why the Pro-Life Movement Is a True Expression of America’s Founding Principles appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Don’t Let Liberals End Opinion Diversity Under Cover of ‘Fake News’ Campaign

The issue of fake news is very much in the news, as it were, and President Donald Trump is being compared to Stalin for his dismissal of journalists who are purveyors of it as “enemies of the American people.”

It may be good to jog our memory back to how the term “fake news” arrived among us.

Only then do we remember that it first was intended to be used as a weapon in a sustained campaign by liberals to regain their former monopoly over news delivery, and end one of the most important and hard-won victories by conservatives—the information diversity that arrived with the internet.

Disinformation, of course, has been among us since man first began to use language, sought to conceal something, and lied about it. So a very long time.

But the present use of the term fake news is of much more recent vintage, as we can see in this chart:

 

Internet searches for “fake news” really kicked up in early November 2016. It is to then that we can trace this Nov. 6, 2016, article by The New York Times’ media critic, Jim Rutenberg, credited with the first use of the term.

“The internet-borne forces that are eating away at print advertising are enabling a host of faux-journalistic players to pollute the democracy with dangerously fake news items,” Rutenberg wrote.

The purpose of Rutenberg’s jeremiad was to draw attention to the secular demise of mainstream newspaper outlets and decry the success of conservative outlets.

Rutenberg’s evidence was comprised of outrageous examples of conspiracy mongering by alt-right sites—content, he complained, that can “live alongside that of The Times or The Boston Globe or The Washington Post on the Facebook newsfeed and be just as well read, if not more so.”

But it is clear from his piece that his real target was opinion diversity.

“If you have a society where people can’t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?” Rutenberg quoted The Washington Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, as asking.

We heard a very similar version in former President Barack Obama’s complaint to David Letterman this month:

One of the biggest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts. If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR.

We know which planet our 44th president inhabits, and which he thinks is in a galaxy far, far away.

We also know whose “basic facts” Rutenberg trusted: In his seminal 2016 column he mentions the hard-left and equally conspiracy-driven MSNBC as a normal, mainstream network.

The loss of the previous progressive monopoly on the dissemination of news and analysis has poisoned the liberal soul since the internet came on the scene.

The left’s “fake news” campaign began, then, as an attempt to smear all legitimate conservative news purveyors, from Fox News Channel to The Weekly Standard to the Washington Examiner and, of course, The Daily Signal, that provide an alternative news selection and interpretation.

This effort to delegitimize conservative outlets went horribly wrong, of course, when Trump appropriated the term and weaponized it. I must admit that when the president started doing it, I thought it wouldn’t fly. The current brouhaha proves that I was wrong.

As a former journalist, I don’t particularly like calling newsmen “the enemies of the American people.” It is indeed a term once used by Stalin. (Though it hardly makes Trump a Stalinist, a distinction that should be reserved for those who actually massacre millions and oppress those who survive.)

My friends in the media are not enemies of the American people. But they are mostly liberal.

Ask the more existential question, “Do liberals like America?” and that’s harder to answer. Many liberals don’t hide their contempt for the U.S. (there are many, many examples; find them yourself) and many others still proffer to like an America I don’t recognize.

Which is why we should all be present in the marketplace of ideas. After gaining this beachhead, conservatives must protect it against what will be sustained attempts to dislodge them.

In 2014, I had a celebrated exchange with Darrell West and Beth Stone at Brookings Institution over their frightening call in a paper for digital platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter to change their algorithms in a manner that would prioritize information from liberal sources.

But West and Stone won, and social networks are now “fact-checking” their content. As my colleague Katrina Trinko points out here, this is censoring the news.

Ending opinion diversity this way is the real threat to freedom of the press and the First Amendment, and what should keep those who worry about it awake at night.

The post Don’t Let Liberals End Opinion Diversity Under Cover of ‘Fake News’ Campaign appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Q&A: Russell Moore Weighs in on Abortion, Adoption, and the Compassion of the Pro-Life Movement

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention,  joined the Daily Signal’s Daniel Davis to debunk the myth that pro-lifers only care about children until they’re born and discussed the current issues facing adoption agencies in America. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the interview.

Daniel Davis: This year, 2018, marks 45 years since the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in this country. And this year, as every year, we have March for Life, which you will be at. This year’s theme is “Love Saves Lives.” What message does that send, and what message do you think those participating in the march or those observing should take from our cultural moment 40 years after?

Russell Moore: Well, I think one of the things I really would like all American cultures to see is the way that the pro-life movement is putting into action ground-level compassion, in ways I don’t think people really see or understand. Not only in terms of advocacy for the lives of the unborn, but also in terms of equipping women who are in crisis.

When I look around at pregnancy resource centers around the country and other ministries, they are dealing with every aspect of life, helping women with job training, with adoption services when that’s necessary, or a whole range of care. And so I think many people just don’t know that, don’t understand that really.

Davis: One of the things that always strikes me at the march is not just how many people are there, but the diversity of people who are representing the movement or are active. Particularly, the young people. Why do you think the pro-life movement is gaining such traction with young people?

Moore: Well, I sort of have mixed feelings every year at the March for Life because I always think I hope my future grandchildren will not have to come to a March for Life, and will look back and say, “Why did they have to March for something that is so obvious?”—in terms of protecting human life and human dignity.

On the other hand, though, I am thrilled and elated. Imagine if you went in a time machine back to 1973, 1974, and said, “What would the pro-life movement look like in 2018?” Probably most people said there won’t be a pro-life movement, this will be settled. And now 45 years later, the mall.

The Washington mall is filled with very young people they are advocating for human life, that’s really encouraging. I think there are a number of reasons, one of the reasons being young people understand human rights and human dignity. There’s just a sense of compassion there.

Also, they’re just accustomed to seeing life in the womb represented in so many ways. When someone gets pregnant now, usually they post on Facebook or social media their first ultrasound picture and that’s the first picture of their baby. So, science has come a long way since 1973, and to deny the person of the unborn child really requires an active will to look away from that.

Davis: Absolutely. You also mentioned adoption and adoption agencies. Something that is definitely an integral part of the life-affirming movement is adoption, but maybe it doesn’t get quite as much attention. You are an adopted father yourself, you’ve written and have spoken about adoption, and the role that it plays in this movement. Tell us a little bit about that, how does adoption factor into this life term?

Moore: Well, we understand that not only does every child have dignity and deserve life, but every child deserves a family. And so we have right now children who are in the foster care system all around the country who are desperately in need of parents. So you have people stepping up and moving into the lives of children—not just here in the United States but around the world—in a way that is growing and I am very encouraged by.

One of the things that some pro-choice people have said for years that just isn’t true is to say that pro-life people believe that life begins at conception, and ends at birth—so pro-life people are only concerned about unborn children. That is not the case, and you can see that with the way the pro-life community is ministering not only to women who are in crisis, up to the point of a decision, but after that. And in many instances that means stepping in to sometimes very, very difficult situations.

Just this morning I met with a woman who is an adopted mother who has three very, very severely special needs children she is pouring her life into. I see that all the time. And that is really a cheering thing.

Davis: In the adoption world, some of our viewers may be aware, that some adoption agencies feel in limbo right now because of the legal pressure that is being brought to bear on them because of their religious views. And there is some legislation in congress to help address that, as well as some other pro-life legislation. Can you talk a little bit about what those adoption providers are facing? What is at stake this year?

Moore: Well, it is crazy to me that there would be people who say that what we want to do is play culture wars with children’s lives. And to exclude an entire group of people who are on the ground actively working to help children. Instead, what we ought to be saying in American life is, “Let’s have as many people and groups as possible working to help children.”

So when you have, for instance, in Massachusetts, the Catholic Church not able to provide adoption services because they are required by law to violate their own religious convictions in order to do that. That’s not just hurting religious people, that is primarily hurting children. And so addressing that is necessary.

So what I would say to people who say they don’t like Catholic, or evangelical, or other groups that are ministering to kids and working for kids is, “Well, okay, provide alternative ways of serving kids from your own point of view, rather than silencing everyone else.”

Davis: Right. Well, there is the child welfare provider protection bill in Congress to address this, right?

Moore: Yeah. And to really free up a lot of those, not only adoption and foster care services that are, as you put it, in limbo legally right now, but also the sort of chilling effect of people who are setting out to serve children who are wondering, “Will we be able to do this?” Or, “Why would we invest so much time, money, and energy if we are going to be shut down in a year or two?” So I think that this sort of legislation would free up a great deal of energy across the country.

Davis: You have to just hope that most Americans, when they hear about adoption providers that just want to serve children, that they will be sympathetic to that.

Moore: Yeah.

The post Q&A: Russell Moore Weighs in on Abortion, Adoption, and the Compassion of the Pro-Life Movement appeared first on The Daily Signal.

‘We Were Crying:’ One Woman Shares Why She Left Planned Parenthood

For Myra Neyer, a mom and former Planned Parenthood employee, there was one defining moment that influenced her to leave the abortion giant.

“There was this one girl, young girl–maybe 19, maybe 20, young–she came in, [and] her boyfriend didn’t want any children,” Neyer, who used to work at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Baltimore, told The Daily Signal in an interview Thursday. “He was an older man.

“She came in and we signed her in, did the ultrasound and found out, well, she found out that instead of one [baby], there was four. And it wasn’t just four, they were all identical,” she recounted.

Neyer, a mom of five children, said this particular girl did not want to have an abortion, but her older boyfriend was forcing her to have the procedure.

“Her boyfriend was flipping out, and we just decided…I didn’t sign off on it,” Neyer said. “So she left, and what he ended up doing was taking her to what I call a butcher clinic, somewhere else, and they gave her the Misoprostol and then the next day … she came in … in a lot of pain and bleeding.”

The Planned Parenthood clinic Neyer worked for ended up finishing the abortion procedure, and she said she will never forget it:

She had to have been at least like 15, almost 16 weeks [along in her pregnancy], the babies were big…these two babies were holding each other… they were all boys, and they were just holding each other, and the last one was the one that we have to make sure we had all the pieces [of his body]. It was just horrible.

And then the look on her face when this was all over, she just looked lost…I just remember looking at her, putting her in…her friend’s truck, and just her face was like this blank stare.

This experience was a turning point for Neyer.

“That did it for me, I have never seen anything like that,” she said. “I hit the wall with my co-worker and we were crying. We stayed in there and cried over these kids…I remember saying, that’s a baby, that’s a baby, that looks exactly like a baby…we just stood in that room [storing the discarded baby parts] and cried,” Neyer said.

It was the witness of a participant in 40 Days for Life, a campaign of fasting, prayer, and outreach to bring an end to abortion, that was instrumental in Neyer’s pro-life conversion.

“What did it for me was just 40 Days for Life,” Neyer said, “There was this lady, her name was Mary, I am actually trying to reconnect with her, she was just out there every day…a smile, just kind words, ‘I’m praying for you.’”

Neyer said she took the job at Planned Parenthood to support her children and provide women with health care. But before leaving the clinic, she realized that Planned Parenthood was about making money.

“I would tell them my story about my five kids and how I was a widow, and how I could do it, and she ended up choosing life,”  Neyer said, referring to an instance she talked with a patient who was considering an abortion. “And then the doctor was angry at me…[that] she changed her mind.

“That’s when I realized it wasn’t about choice, it was about a quota …the higher in the weeks, the more money it costs for the abortion,” Neyer added.

After leaving the Planned Parenthood clinic, Neyer connected with a ministry called And Then There Were None, which does outreach to abortion clinic workers who want to leave the industry and also offers financial help to clinic workers who leave the industry, help in job searches, and emotional and spiritual support.

Neyer said it is important for those who do outreach to abortion clinic workers to remember the humanity of those who work in the clinics.

“We go in there every day with this gut-wrenching feeling inside like, ‘I really don’t want to go in here,’” Neyer said.

The post ‘We Were Crying:’ One Woman Shares Why She Left Planned Parenthood appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Problematic Women: Aziz Ansari Raises New Questions for the #MeToo Movement


In this week’s edition of “Problematic Women,” co-hosted with Bre Payton of The Federalist, we cover the fallout from the Aziz Ansari story published on Babe.net, the USA Gymnastics scandal and the bravery of the women coming forward to share their stories, a Hollywood celebrity doing something good, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., “mansplaining” to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Watch in the video above, or listen in the podcast below.

The post Problematic Women: Aziz Ansari Raises New Questions for the #MeToo Movement appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Ignore the Scam: Planned Parenthood No Supporter of African-Americans

Plenty of movements have tried to hitch their wagon to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. For years, people across the political spectrum have claimed him as one of their own—in part because it’s convenient and in part because he isn’t here to dispute it.

But no cause is more antithetical to King’s than Planned Parenthood’s. And yesterday, when the group founded by an open racist tried to suggest otherwise, we weren’t the only ones who noticed.

People across the social media spectrum lashed out at Cecile Richards’ group for daring to suggest that it is carrying on King’s vision. The idea that King would have stood by—let alone embraced—Margaret Sanger’s legacy is outrageous.

Yet still, Planned Parenthood had the audacity to tweet: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to the idea that racial and economic justice are foundational to our democracy. Today we honor his courageous vision and radical action—and commit to furthering his dream by continuing the fight for justice.”

If you know anything about Planned Parenthood, you know that it was built on the back of Sanger’s eugenics. Years later, her legacy lives on in the group’s business model, which intentionally preys on minority women. How do we know that? Simple: The majority of Planned Parenthood’s facilities have been built in urban areas within walking distance of African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. And that’s no coincidence.

Richards knows better than anyone that black babies are aborted at a rate five times higher than white babies. So while she likes to say “black lives matter,” she’s not telling the whole story. They matter because it’s a part of her business model.

Despite making up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 report points out, black babies made up a whopping 35 percent of the total abortions reported in 2013. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, the group that profits most from that statistic, continues its scam as a defender of African-Americans.

“Please tell us more about how you’re honoring his courageous vision,” one of many pro-lifers fired back. “Are you going to plant yet [another] abortion clinic in a black neighborhood or something?” Alexandra DeSanctis piled on. “Your group was founded by a eugenics enthusiast who peddled birth control in black and impoverished neighborhoods. Today, more black babies are aborted than born alive in NYC, your headquarters. You have no business coopting MLK to push your propaganda.”

DeSanctis is right. With just a 40 percent survival rate, the womb is one of the most dangerous places for New York City’s African-Americans. Yet Planned Parenthood will cover up that statistic with the same proficiency that it’s covered up years of abuse, organ trafficking, partial-birth abortions, fraud, and countless other crimes against humanity.

The only connection Richards’ group has to MLK is its butchering of the basic civil rights for which King died. “It’s not so much about labels—liberal, conservative, and all of that,” his niece Alveda King has said. “But he was someone who lived and gave his life to help all humanity. And so that definitely would include conception until natural death.”

As she told reporters last December, “Martin Luther King Jr. never accepted the agenda of Planned Parenthood. They lie … They put their abortion mills on or near streets that are named after Martin Luther King, and they want to attach that to the civil rights movement of the 20th century—but it doesn’t belong.”

This was originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.

The post Ignore the Scam: Planned Parenthood No Supporter of African-Americans appeared first on The Daily Signal.

3 Reasons Why Pro-Life Young Adults Like Me Are Dangerous

In general, Christian teenagers are pretty far down on the list of things considered dangerous.

But in the case of teenagers who are actively pro-life, society has made a serious underestimation. Pro-life teenagers are, without a doubt, an existential threat to the cause of abortion. Here are three reasons why.

1. They come as a surprise.

While the old Southern couples, middle-aged women, and amiable young priests are always greatly appreciated by the pro-life movement, let’s face it: Leftists expect them to be pro-life, and so they are easily roasted by the liberal media.

But what the left doesn’t expect, and what they don’t know how to fight, is the sudden surge in pro-life youth.

Helped along by David Daleiden, Lila Rose, Ben Shapiro, and other people the liberal media ignore, the pro-life movement is steadily gaining followers—particularly teenagers.

These pro-life teens stun the media, not only because of their age, but also because of their attitude. They emit an overpowering joy, and the world is left bewildered.

Why are these young pro-lifers so obviously happy, when so much of the world ardently despises them?

The simple answer is that they genuinely love what they do, and they are grateful for the opportunity to do it.

For a stark contrast, look to the “women’s rights” activists. They emit raw unhappiness to the point of being repulsive. Who wouldn’t be unhappy, given what they stand for?

Pro-life youth are the exact opposite—they are energetic, confident, and convincing. That makes them dangerous.

2. They know their opponents. 

I’ll bet you’ve never heard a single pro-life college student request a “safe space.” Well, me neither.

That’s because those kids learned to deal with incessant opposition a long time ago. Pro-life people of any demographic live in a world where everyone from their boss to their favorite Hollywood star blatantly abhors them and their beliefs.

And when these young people aren’t getting mocked by the likes of Amy Schumer on late-night television, they are being completely ignored by the national media.

For instance, CNN routinely ignores the annual march of hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall to protest Roe v. Wade. The image of a massive pro-life march clashes with CNN’s liberal narrative— but of course, the Women’s March made the cut, even with their “vagina” hats.

In order to survive all that liberal bias and mockery, the pro-life youth study their enemies. They quiz, debate, and harass one another until everyone knows the pro-abortion arguments, as well as their own pro-life apologetics, inside and out.

They’re not afraid to debate you. In fact, they welcome the opportunity to prove their case. Meanwhile, pro-choice propagandists have no idea how to properly debate pro-life activists, because they have been denouncing and ignoring them for years.

The pro-life youth know their enemies all too well, and yet remain strangers to their enemies, and that makes them dangerous.

3. These kids will live and die for their cause. 

They know that no matter the cost, the battle to end abortion will always be worth it.

So, they throw all they have into their cause without reservation. Heckling, jeering, spitting, cursing, and unfair arrests have no effect whatsoever on their resolve to fight.

Those displays of mean-spirited opposition only knit them closer together, harden their conviction that they are fighting against true evil, and give them a sense of heroism. (A little secret: Teenagers love to feel like heroes.)

In any event, opposition just strokes their egos and gives them something to rant about on social media. But it does not by any means discourage them. It never will.

The post 3 Reasons Why Pro-Life Young Adults Like Me Are Dangerous appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Why I’m Traveling 710 Miles to Attend the March for Life

Can you imagine a society in which abortion is a foreign concept? Can you picture a time in which this grisly practice is an oddity from a distant past that has no place among us?

If you’re like me and millions of other Americans born after Roe v. Wade, this is difficult to envision.

In the recent hit TV series “Victoria,” produced by Masterpiece, Prince Albert, the husband of the young Queen Victoria, takes up cause with abolitionists to end slavery. Using his clout and influence, he delivers a speech to an abolitionist society about the blight of slavery.

The scene is obviously foreign to us on many levels. Abolitionist societies for slavery do not exist like this today. Bringing forth escaped slaves to give witness to the cruelties of slavery in North America is a notion of yester-year.

Abolitionist societies were institutions that fulfilled their purpose. As such, they are an artifact of a troubling past in the history of Western civilization.

As difficult as it would have been for an abolitionist society in the 19th century to imagine a day when slavery was no more, it is hard to envision an America where babies are not killed in their mothers’ wombs.

This is one of the four reasons I am traveling from St. Louis to attend Evangelicals for Life and to participate in the March for Life. I’m traveling, first, to do something the pro-life movement should continue to do: imagine.

1. To imagine a day when abortion is no more.

I want to stand with thousands of others and imagine a nation where abortion is as foreign a concept as chattel slavery. A scar in the history of our nation, no doubt, but one we will one day be healing from and no longer afflicted by.

Like others, I want to be reminded that this practice is not the way things are supposed to be.

Abortion should feel alien. It should feel so wholly other that when we look back on the day when abortion was finally abolished, we will see with crystal clarity how much we took it for granted as a wrongful status quo.

2. To be encouraged.

Second, I want to catch a broader vision of the forces at work in this movement—forces that are mobilizing and enacting changes that will bring about an end to the practice of abortion.

I have never been to a March for Life rally. I want to come, see, and be encouraged that we in the pro-life movement are not a mere minority, not a radical fringe group, but that there are voices who represent a majority in our nation who yearn and ache to remove this blot upon our society and be healed.

3. To connect with others.

Common cause leads us to make friends with those we would otherwise never know, connect with, or become allies with.

Last week, I spent time training some activists affiliated with my organization, Churches for Life. In our small room were life-affirming Christians across a diverse spectrum of denominations.

Current and future pro-life leaders were present among the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Southern Baptist Convention, an independent non-denominational church, and the Presbyterian Church in America. Ending abortion was one of the common, unifying goals held among us all.

Traveling to D.C. this week, I likewise expect to meet with others who, though sometimes divided across denominational or political boundaries, are choosing to affirm the value and dignity of human life.

4. Because I’ve been rescued.

If there is any trait that defines me as a Christian, any attribute that is most compelling me to attend the March for Life, it is that I have been rescued by Christ.

The good news of Christ’s own death, burial, and resurrection now compels me out of a changed heart to rescue others—especially those being led to death. I’m traveling to D.C. to meet with other rescued rescuers who have likewise been impacted by the message of the gospel.

I’m traveling to see and taste of a coming victory that this nation can have over abortion, resting in the confidence that if I have been saved, many others can and will be, too.

The post Why I’m Traveling 710 Miles to Attend the March for Life appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Public School Assembly Tells Kids That Sex Changes Are Perfectly Normal

A Northern Virginia public school held a school-wide assembly before Christmas break featuring transgender crusader Amy Ellis Nutt.

George Mason High School in the city of Falls Church brought in Nutt, a Washington Post reporter, to lecture students on her book “Becoming Nicole,” about a boy who “identified” as a girl as a toddler, had his puberty suppressed as a child, and was castrated as a teenager.

Nutt’s lecture hit all the usual notes. Your gender is “assigned at birth” by people who might get it wrong. Toddlers can be transgender. Moray eels change sex and female reef fish produce sperm when there are no males.

“Gender is a spectrum,” everyone must get “comfortable” with new gender language that is “changing every day.” Asking a biological boy to use the teachers’ rather than the girls’ restroom is “bullying.”

>>> Watch the full assembly on YouTube.

Did the school make plain to the students that they could decline to attend? That’s not clear. In her presentation, Nutt quipped: “Thank you for coming, although I know you’re probably required to be here.”

Nor is it clear whether parents were fully informed about the assembly in advance. At least one shocked George Mason teacher, who remains anonymous, says parents were not.

What does seem clear is that this public school will not hold another school-wide assembly featuring other views on the issue—such as first-person accounts of the negative consequences of “transitioning,” health warnings from pediatricians and other medical experts, or condemnation from the feminist community, from which the term “female erasure” has sprung to describe the transgender program.

Transgender ideology in children is extremely controversial, not least because so many children who experience gender dysphoria later desist and accept their natal biology.

According to the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” 5th edition, as many as 98 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls will “grow out of” their gender dysphoria and accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.

There is no medical or psychological test to show which 2 percent of those boys will persist in their gender dysphoria as young adults. Protocols that encourage school-wide affirmation of every case of gender dysphoria could impede the overwhelming majority of children from accepting their natal biology, as well as sow confusion in other vulnerable children.


There has been a spate of articles in recent weeks on the phenomenon of “rapid onset” gender dysphoria in teen girls, thought to be a “social contagion” like anorexia 30 years ago. Details of these cases reported by therapists are heartbreaking.

At the end of the talk, Nutt was asked two student questions, written on index cards.

“What is gender dysphoria and how does the transgender community respond to the idea that they are glorifying the mental health condition known as gender dysphoria?”

That was a good question, and evidence that at least one student at George Mason has held on to his critical thinking skills.

Nutt’s answer was not good: “Gender dysphoria is not a mental health condition,” she said, continuing:

It is included in the [“Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”], which is the bible of mental illnesses, of psychiatrists, but only because gender dysphoria isn’t the inability or confusion of a transgender child to understand why they are the way they are, it’s the failure for [sic] other people to understand that. It’s the confusion that comes because of the cultural misconceptions and not being able to fit into that.

So a person is diagnosed because other people are confused? It’s in “the bible of mental illnesses” because it’s a healthy condition that the culture doesn’t understand? Now I am confused.

The manual defines gender dysphoria in children as “clinically significant distress” from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” manifested by, among other things, “a strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy.”

The International Classification of Diseases calls it a “childhood disorder” characterized by “persistent and intense distress.” Diagnosis requires “a profound disturbance of the normal gender identity.”

If Nutt is trying to dismiss their distress as a cultural condition, she’s freelancing.

>>> For more on how to understand transgender issues, get a copy of Ryan Anderson’s new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”

The final question was also a good one: “Did Nicole undergo reassignment surgery and if so, was there any risk to it?”

Nutt’s answer was bad, and sort of creepy. “Yes. She was 17 at the time … I was there.”

“It was not the most important thing … but it was the last thing that she needed to do,” said Nutt. “What was important for her early on was to have her puberty suppressed as a child, so that she knew what she really wanted.”

Puberty blockers are serious business. Puberty suppression and cross-sex hormones can stunt a person’s growth and render him completely infertile, never able to have genetically-related children, even by artificial means. You cannot walk back up this road.

What’s more, there are no scientific studies on their use by growing children. None. Nutt’s cavalier treatment of puberty blockers was awfully reckless.

And isn’t her logic backward? How does blocking your natural development tell you what you really want? Isn’t it, rather, tipping the scales toward an ideologically pre-determined outcome?

Did Nicole even have the capacity to consent to this untested, irreversible medical treatment in the first place? “There is a serious ethical problem with allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young to give valid consent themselves,” cautions the American College of Pediatricians.

>>> I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.

Nutt went on: “When the time for puberty came, she took estrogen, and she made the puberty that all girls do at the right time.”

Making the puberty that all girls do is strange phraseology. But of course this teen could not make the puberty that all girls do without ovaries and a uterus. Were the teen girls in the audience misled? Were the boys?

As to risk, Nutt brushed it aside: “You know, there’s always a risk to surgery, it’s actually not that complicated.”

“She will be, for all purposes, physically and biologically a girl. A woman.”

Wrong. Biologically, Nicole will never be a girl. Every cell in Nicole’s body contains male sex chromosomes. A lifetime of male-suppressing hormones will never change that fact.

At one point in her lecture, Nutt said: “I’m not trying to be funny, I’m trying to be factual.”

She should have tried harder.

>>> I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.

Children suffering from gender dysphoria deserve our compassion. Surely their suffering is genuine, and profound.

But they also deserve an adult response: first and foremost, our recognition that the distress and confusion they are experiencing will give way to acceptance of their natal biology in the vast majority of cases.

The person with persistent dysphoria who ultimately chooses radical surgery and a lifetime of hormones deserves compassion, too—as well as great sympathy, in my opinion, for treating a healthy body as sick and a troubled mind as healthy.

Nutt obviously disagrees. There is great disagreement on this issue, especially among medical experts.

When a public school takes sides, nobody wins. But students, and taxpayers, lose.

Originally published by the Family Research Council.

The post Public School Assembly Tells Kids That Sex Changes Are Perfectly Normal appeared first on The Daily Signal.