For many Americans, the crucial moment of last year’s elections came during the last debate in which Hillary Clinton clarified her support for radical abortion policies such as partial-birth abortion, and Donald Trump stood for protecting Life. Now, almost a year later, voters can see the results of their investment in the president. Recently, the Trump Administration has made great strides to protect the innocent through proposed conscience protections, support of the House of Representatives’ Pain-Capable bill, and a statement of support for the Down syndrome community.
Last week, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor announced two interim rules which, if finalized, give conscience protections to organizations and businesses who object to paying for health insurance which covers contraceptive/abortifacient services.
In addition to Obamacare’s exponential costs, medical devices taxes, and its inability to keep the promise that “You can keep your doctor,” stands its deep failure to protect the conscience rights of people with moral and religious objections to contraception pills, devices and abortion-inducing drugs. Law suits over the past several years have revealed the unconstitutionality of Obamacare’s mandate which forces people to purchase plans against their moral or religious convictions.
The rules released last week provide a moral or religion exemption for schools, businesses and organizations, so that they will not be forced to purchase morally questionable healthcare plans. According to the HHS Press Office, “these exemptions may impact only about 200 entities, the number that filed lawsuits based on religious or moral objections.” Some of the more famous cases include Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. These exemptions protect the ability for people to live out their constitutional right to practice their faith, while also protecting human life.
Another pro-life advancement has occurred in the House of Representatives which recently passed H.R. 36: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, this law would make it a felony for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion on an unborn child 20 weeks after fertilization, with limited exceptions. The bill stands with science, which reveals that an unborn child can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks. Currently, the U.S. abortion policy stands with only 7 out of 198 nations which allow abortions after 20 weeks. This bill would bring the United States into the moral norm of nations. The president issued a statement last week which states his administration’s strong support of H.R. 36 and his willingness to sign it into law.
President Trump issued a statement on October 1 (which commenced Down Syndrome Awareness Month) speaking in support of not only Down syndrome people, but also the dignity of human life. He lauded the “significant contributions” made by people with Down syndrome and saluted the “family members, caregivers, medical professionals, and advocates who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that these extraordinary people enjoy lives filled with love and increasing opportunity.” The president also noted,
“Sadly, there remain too many people—both in the United States and throughout the world—that still see Down syndrome as an excuse to ignore or discard human life. This sentiment is and will always be tragically misguided. We must always be vigilant in defending and promoting the unique and special gifts of all citizens in need. We should not tolerate any discrimination against them, as all people have inherent dignity…We will always endeavor to make sure that their precious gifts are never maligned or taken for granted.”
President Trump’s statement illustrates his care and compassion for the 250, 000 U.S. citizens living with Down syndrome, and his willingness to stand with and for them.
These recent pro-life advancements reveal the Trump administration’s commitment to honor the dignity of the human person. The fundamental root of the systemic violence in our culture did not emerge from nothing, but rather lies in our disregard for human life in its most innocent form, a baby. Turning that tide and transforming a culture of death into a culture of life begins with protecting the rights of all people, from the unborn child to the elderly. The Trump Administration’s recent actions reveal a commitment to stand for constitutional conscience rights, the preservation of the unborn and a future for those with disabilities, such as Down syndrome. Insofar as our laws continue to protect all people, we will witness a transformation into a culture of life, of love and of honoring the inherent dignity of our brothers and sisters.
Image credit: prometeus/BigStock
Originally published on Patriot Post, October 12, 2017
Even a casual observer can notice that something is deeply wrong in Congress. For eight years conservatives trudged through vetoes and blocks by President Obama and his administration. Then things changed. Big time. Republicans won the House, the Senate and the Presidency, a miracle so unbelievable that the opposition is still trying to figure out “what happened.”
This was our moment. We were going to take the hill…literally. But while Hillary is still wondering “what happened” to her campaign failure, conservatives are also asking “what happened” to our campaign victory. We wonder why we can’t get health care done, and why tax policy is such a struggle. Why everything is such a struggle.
First, many of us assumed that an R by a person’s name meant “conservative.” That assumption has proven to be wrong. The big reveal this year has been the fault lines within the GOP, not the “deep divisions” of red versus blue. On the republican side of the aisle, we have a blend of types spanning from the principled conservatives, to the establishment types to the libertarian-leaning types.
On the other side of the aisle, the Democrats vote as a block, and as a team, mainly because they tend to be less ideologically grounded and more focused on the end-game: winning.
We could learn something from this method, where winning is the goal. Conservatives vote for their principles while establishment types cling to their power. This fault line within the GOP has proven to be the greatest barrier to winning. So how do we win when a minority establishment group, continue to block the good things the rest of Congress supports? Is it too much to ask that all Republicans be conservative, or at least try to work together?
To begin our audit, we need to evaluate the team as a whole. Evoking a sports analogy, we have some players on our team who refuse to catch a pass. We throw the ball and they stand around with their hands in their pockets. Or they dodge the ball. In a real football game, the coach would pull them off the field and put them on the bench. We can’t win the game with players who refuse to play…or even worse, play so that the other team wins. Rather than snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, these players manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We have some really great players, and a president who will support them, but a handful of do-nothings continue to sabotage our ability to win.
Another issue within Congress is the incentive structure. Regular business incentivizes people to take risks so that they can make a profit. In business the goal is the end game: selling your product. The congressional system motivates elected officials to play it safe. One wrong move and the media slam you with labels, followed by your election loss. One high risk move can mean “out of a job” to a politician. Thus, the system motivates some members of Congress to do just enough to tell the constituents they did something, but not enough to really make any major changes. To return to the football analogy, success for some members of Congress means returning home with a clean uniform. “Look” they brag, “I didn’t even get a scratch!” This is unacceptable. We sent them there to play the game, not to come home with a clean uniform.
In real life, we have no problem letting hotel managers know when the service they promised and failed to deliver was unacceptable. And we don’t wait two years to say something, hoping that the management will change.
We should have the same resolve to change unacceptable service from Congress. If this is a government by the people and for the people, then the people need to say something. Remember the old saying about crime? See something, say something. This should be the same way we deal with Congress. If we see something…something that inadequately represents our interests, then we should say something. The trick is that we need to be watching what is going on in order to “see something” so that we can “say something.”
The final issue with Congress is how they are shielded from the laws they make. Case in point, Obamacare. If members of Congress actually saw their healthcare options change from a reasonable price with reasonable care to ridiculously expensive and covering nothing, then maybe they would be more motivated to pass something.
In the end, “we the people” can pull the people off the field who just stand around and deliberately miss a pass. It’s called elections. And in the meantime, we need to call their office and let them know when we see a poor performance, and encourage them when they do something right.
To find the contact information of your elected officials, click here.
Image credit: sborisov/BigStock
Originally published on Patriot Post, October 5, 2017