Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review is in for Jim today. Join her and Greg as they discuss Planned Parenthood finally admitting that founder Margaret Sanger was an advocate of eugenics and that it is taking her name off its Manhattan facility. They also unload on Portland “leaders” for allowing seven weeks of violence and property destruction to go on without consequences but denouncing the federal government for stepping in to deal with the problem. And Alexandra wonders why Joe Biden is trying to win over religious conservatives after endorsing taxpayer-funded abortions and suing nuns over birth control coverage.
On Friday, a federal jury in California ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood and against David Daleiden, Sandra Merritt and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in a civil case stemming from the group’s 2015 undercover videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials and others casually discussing the crushing of unborn babies and the selling of fetal body parts for profit.
However, it’s the Center for Medical Progress facing civil and criminal charges for exposing Planned Parenthood’s activities. The jury ordered CMP to pay Planned Parenthood more than $2 million in compensation and punitive damages. The verdict is being appealed at the same time both sides are preparing for the criminal trial of Daleiden and Merritt.
Merritt is represented by Liberty Counsel. Chairman Mathew Staver says he is not at all surprised by Friday’s verdict one he saw the jury instructions from Judge William Orrick.
Listen to the podcast to hear why Staver believes the judge left no other option for the jury but to punish CMP and why he is appalled that Orrick did not recuse himself from the case. Staver also explains the legal road ahead and what he believes the consequences will be for free speech and a free press if Planned Parenthood ultimately wins these cases.
Jim Geraghty of National Review unleashes an epic rant about the re-emergence of Anthony Scaramucci – this time as an anti-Trump figure suddenly loved and respected by the press – and the Trump culture that created the Mooch. But first, he and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate Planned Parenthood withdrawing as an applicant for Title X funding for refusing to stop advocating for patients to get abortions – and saving taxpayers $60 million. And they unload on sanctuary counties in North Carolina and Maryland for letting illegal immigrants go despite them being accused of heinous sexual offenses.
The abortion debate is intensifying on multiple fronts, as pro-life lawmakers make Georgia the latest state to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected and a Pennsylvania lawmaker comes under fire for harassing pro-life activists outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, Georgia became the latest in a string of states to outlaw abortion once the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Americans United for Life Chief Engagement Officer Tom Shakely says these debates highlight those who understand the science of pregnancy and those who don’t.
“This Georgia bill illustrates the divide that exists between folks who, on the one hand, increasingly want to deny scientific and medical reality and other folks who want to recognize it,” said Shakely.
Shakely admits that the state laws do not actually change anything in the U.S. – at least not yet. He says the federal abortion law framework established in Roe v. Wade still supersedes state laws, but he’s hopeful that they set a precedent that will be embraced by the courts.
In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Brian Sims is under fire from pro-life groups after livestreaming himself harassing a senior citizen and three teenage girls who were praying outside a Planned Parenthood facility. Sims berated the women for several minutes, told them they ought to be ashamed, and even offered his viewers $100 to identify the pro-life activists so he could lead protests at their homes.
“He didn’t engage any of these folks to understand why they were out there, where they were coming from, whether they may have had abortions themselves, which could have led them to that place of offering alternatives. It’s just an unfortunate case of egregious political ideology trumping a human concern for a neighbor,” said Shakely.
Listen to the full podcast as Shakely responds to Sims and explains why demonstrating outside of abortion clinics is laudable.
Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America unload on the media for running with the Buzzfeed story on the Mueller investigation that the Mueller team itself has now debunked, and for piling on a group of high school students over the incident at the Lincoln Memorial before almost any of the facts were in. Alexandra also explains how Planned Parenthood’s own report for fiscal year 2017-2018 debunks four of it’s most oft-parroted talking points. And they shake their heads as Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono questions whether a member of the Knights of Columbus can be trusted to hold public office and then suggests a resolution condemning religious tests for nominees addresses a problem that does not exist.
The 46th annual March for Life unfolded Friday in Washington, with tens of thousands of pro-life activists demanding an end to legalized abortion in the United States and the pro-life movement examining the political landscape with a Congress that is once again divided.
On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled there was a constitutional right to an abortion. Each year since, pro-life demonstrators have flocked to Washington demand constitutional protections for unborn lives.
This year, the theme of the march is “Pro-Life is Pro-Science: Unique from Day One.” While liberals like to describe themselves as the party of science, Susan B. Anthony List Vice President of Communications Mallory Quigley says the facts are clear on when life begins and her side is right.
“From the moment of sperm-egg fusion and those cells begin to divide that we have a person there. It’s a very small one but it’s a person nonetheless and (the) DNA is separate from his or her mom. The baby can have a separate blood type. If it’s a little boy, it’s a completely separate gender.
“So the unborn child is completely different from your appendix that’s rupturing that needs to be removed. It’s a separate person that just needs time, nourishment, and a safe place to grow. That’s just a scientific reality,” said Quigley.
Pro-choice activists have a different standard for when life begins. Most will point to the moment of birth, but pro-choice groups have also backed legislation punishing criminals for harming an unborn child when the mother is attacked.
Quigley says that disconnect forces the pro-choice movement into a decidedly unscientific position: that the unborn child is a life only if it is wanted by his or her mother.
“Wantedness is the determining factor for the abortion lobby,” said Quigley.
But sometimes is goes even farther. Quigley cited a recent New York Times story revealing that Planned Parenthood pressures its own employees to abort their unborn children even if they are wanted and make it very difficult for working mothers to stay on the job.
Listen to the full podcast as Quigley also explains why a Republican Congress failed to stop taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and what, if anything, can be accomplished with Democrats now running the House of Representatives.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Kansas and Louisiana, which are trying to stop Medicaid funds from going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
Four justices must endorse hearing a case for it to come before the high court. In this case, only Justices Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, and Neil Gorsuch voted to hear the appeal. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the four more liberal justices in rejecting the case.
The news triggered intense debate within the pro-life movement about what this decision means. Some believe this is a huge win for Planned Parenthood and its allies and a sign that the court isn’t as socially conservative as they hoped. Others point out that the rejection of the appeal was based on standing and procedure and was not the merits of the case, so the battle will be postponed to another day.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver sees both sides of the debate.
“They’re both right. On the one hand it is a win for Planned Parenthood,” said Staver. “On the other hand, it is a procedural, statutory issue that doesn’t rule on the merits. It doesn’t give us any indication where this majority court stands on the issue of abortion or Planned Parenthood in particular.”
While the Supreme Court issues majority and dissenting options on cases it handles, the justices are not required to give reasons for accepting or rejecting a case. And while the six justices refusing to hear the case aren’t offering an explanation, Justice Thomas was very forceful in denouncing their ruling.
Thomas points out that different appellate courts have rendered conflicting opinions in this debate over Medicaid funding being used for abortions. That’s usually when the Supreme Court will intervene, but not this time. And Thomas believes the court is looking the other way because they know what an explosive issue this could be.
“Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty. If anything, neutrally applying the law is all the more important when political issues are in the background,” wrote Thomas, noting that the Constitution grants justices lifetime appointments precisely so they cannot be swayed by the politics of the day.
The reaction from Thomas is one of the reasons many pro-life advocates are worried. Staver understands their concerns, but he urges his friends not to overreact.
“It’s not a ruling in favor of abortion. It’s not indicating where the Supreme Court is heading on abortion or Planned Parenthood. It is only a procedural ruling. At the end of the day, it benefits Planned Parenthood no doubt but I still think there’s a lot more down the line,” said Staver.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Staver’s reaction to some pro-life activists comparing Justice Kavanaugh to former liberal Justice David Souter. He also explains why the court could be making critically important abortion rulings in this term.
Live Action President Lila Rose says President Trump is off to a “promising” start on pro-life issues but she says the president and Congress must do what it takes to defund Planned Parenthood at a time when Democrats are voting in favor of “infanticide.”
Still in her twenties, Rose has been a leading pro-life activist for a decade, starting when she was 15. She gained notoriety for videotaping her experiences posing as a pregnant teenager at various Planned Parenthood facilities.
One year into the Trump presidency and 45 years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide, Rose gives the administration a decent grade on pro-life issues.
“I think the last year has been promising. I would use that word, especially the folks that he’s surrounded himself with, and the appointments he’s made, and the confirming of Justice Gorsuch. These are good signs,” said Rose.
“I think it’s good that he showed up to speak from the Rose Garden at the March for Life. I think his appointments are good on [Health and Human Services]. The head of the Department of Justice is now investigating Planned Parenthood. These are good things, but we really have to achieve the biggest thing, which is stopping the government forcing of taxpayers to fund abortion chains,” said Rose.
“We are urging to administration to really lean on Congress to make sure they get that bill to ensure that we’re not funding the biggest abortion chain (Planned Parenthood) $1.5 million every day,” added Rose.
Republicans did try to include defunding of Planned Parenthood in various forms of Obamacare repeal or reform legislation, only to be thwarted by the likes of Republican Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Rose does worry that congressional leaders and members may be more eager to promise defunding Planned Parenthood than to actually do it.
“I am concerned about lip service and I think others in the movement are concerned. This is a really hard thing to do. You basically have to break 50 votes. Depending on how the rules are changed or amended, you could get the vice president to weigh in and be the tiebreaker in the Senate.
“There is a path to do it. It’s a matter of is this going to be the most important thing for the administration when it comes to upholding the first human right and protecting human life in this country,” said Rose.
While Rose and other pro-life activists pressure lawmakers to make defunding Planned Parenthood a priority, she is appalled by how Democrats approached Friday’s House vote on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
The legislation would require medical personnel to do whatever possible to save the life of a baby if he or she emerges alive from the mother’s womb following an attempted abortion. It reinforces existing policy on this front but also adds criminal penalties, including up to five years in prison for failing to pursue life-saving measures.
The bill passed, with all Republicans voting for it, but 183 of 189 Democrats opposed it.
Planned Parenthood denounced the bill.
“Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond. Doctors and clinicians oppose this law because it prevents them from giving the best care to their patients. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly opposes this legislation, calling it a “gross interference in the practice of medicine,'” said a PLanned Parenthood statement.
Planned Parenthood official Dana Singiser took it even further.
“The political agenda here is clear: to take away access to safe, legal abortion,” said Singiser in the same statement.
But Rose says this vote just shows how radical Democrats are on abortion now.
“I think it just shows the insanity of the Democratic Party today, which is really going to hurt them in elections the more word gets out. This bill, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, wasn’t even about abortion. It was about infanticide. It was about protecting children who have been born and who deserve to be protected,” said Rose.
“The fact that Democrats in a huge voting bloc, tried to reject a bill that would protect against infanticide is extremely troubling. Look, most of the electorate – including in the Democratic Party – want at least some restrictions on abortion. That’s the majority of Democrats, including Democrat women,” said Rose.
Rose says Democrats are increasingly marching to whatever tune Planned Parenthood is playing.
“They help elect these people so even though these folks try to mislead voters to say that they were more moderate or they cared about human rights or do what was best once in office, their elections are being funded by Planned Parenthood.
“They’re going to march to the beat of their drum, even if that beat ultimately includes shooting down protections against infanticide,” said Rose.
One of the major themes at Friday’s March for Life was how science is on the side of the pro-life movement, most especially with the advancements in ultrasound technology, but in other ways as well. Rose says the arguments that life begins at birth or viability should determine personhood are relics from years past.
“If you create an arbitrary line at birth, then you are killing children who are viable before birth, children that are separated by inches of a birth canal from human rights protections. It’s arbitrary. It doesn’t make sense,” said Rose.
And she says science is winning the viability debate as well.
“Viability is being increasingly moved backwards. Children can now survive outside the womb with medical assistance a little past 21 weeks. That’s incredible. The more we develop our medical technology, the more and more that viability line will change. People are realizing it’s an arbitrary line and that life, as science reveals, begins at the moment of conception,” said Rose.
Rose says the pro-life movement has a lot of momentum right now both politically and to some extent in the courts. However, she does contend Congress needs to seize that momentum and end taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood for this Congress to be a true success.
She also claims cultural momentum, pointing out that more Americans are pro-life and young people a major reason why. Rose also says the personal stories of mothers who carry difficult pregnancies to term and the testimonies of former abortion clinic workers are making a big difference in changing minds around the nation.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America give credit to the mainstream media for calling Democrats to account for their silence over the sexual assault and harassment allegations lodged against Hollywood mogul and prolific Democratic Party donor Harvey Weinstein. They also fire back at Twitter after the social media service censors a video from Tennessee GOP Senate hopeful Marsha Blackburn because her efforts to stop the sale of aborted baby body parts were considered inflammatory and likely to elicit negative reactions. And Jim and Greg sigh as the latest NFL protest chaos includes ESPN host Jemele Hill getting suspended for encouraging Dallas Cowboy fans to boycott team sponsors, Al Sharpton vowing to boycott the NFL unless Hill is reinstated, and President Trump gloating over the Hill suspension.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate with the pro-life community over the news that a California court is dropping 14 of 15 charges against activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, whose undercover videos show Planned Parenthood illegally selling aborted baby body parts. They also express concern over the FBI’s reluctance to state that the Alexandria shooter was politically motivated. And they discuss reports that German police are raiding homes and interrogating people over controversial social media posts.