A condensed version of this article is available here.
In 1922, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Missouri Republican Representative Leonidas Dyer that would have made lynching a federal crime. Senate Democrats from southern states, however, filibustered the bill, thereby blocking its passage.1 Democrats filibustered it again in 1923 and 1924.2 Today we recognize these actions as egregious—although rarely is it acknowledged that Democrats, regardless of the geographical area or areas they represented, orchestrated and carried out the filibusters.
On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, Senate Democrats took an equally egregious action when they filibustered the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have prohibited “abortion on unborn babies after five months post-fertilization, since there is incontrovertible scientific evidence that, at this age, babies can feel pain.”3 The bill was sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina. Sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture, which would have moved the bill forward for a direct vote.
The YEAs—54—consisted of 51 Republicans and 3 Democrats (Casey of Pennsylvania, Donnelly of Indiana, and Manchin of West Virginia). The NAYs—42 in number—consisted of 38 Democrats, 2 Republicans (Collins of Maine and Kirk of Illinois), and 2 Independents (King of Maine and Sanders of Vermont).4 While the vote was not purely partisan, opposition to cloture had overwhelming support from Democrats, and support for cloture was overwhelmingly Republican.
Of the vote, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, said,
It is deeply troubling that we have Senators so ensnared in the deception of the abortion industry that they lack the ability to empathize with babies being literally torn apart, all the while feeling excruciating pain. Matters of life and death are worth debating, and it is telling that 42 Senators do not even want to debate this issue.
Recently, America has been horrified by revelations of Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting unborn children for their organs. Larger, more developed unborn babies seem to be targeted for their organs and tissues. These unborn children are the very ones who can feel excruciating pain.
We are grateful to Senator Lindsey Graham and the 53 other Senators who cast their vote to say that these issues are worth debating, and these children are worth protecting.5
Lila Rose is president of an organization called Live Action. She said,
Today’s failure of the Senate to pass a law preventing most abortions after babies are old enough to feel pain is beyond belief. It should sicken every American that our elected leaders refuse to protect the most vulnerable in our society, even when science has proven that at just 20 weeks old, children in the womb can feel the intense pain of the abortionists’ tools tearing their arms and legs from their bodies. Every senator who voted against this legislation is telling the public loud and clear that he supports the barbaric, horrific practice of tearing limb from torso and poisoning to death five month, seven month and even eight month old babies in the womb.…
We have all spent the last several months watching the evidence from videos from the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood officials admitting that abortions after 20 weeks are prevalent in today’s abortion clinics. While Planned Parenthood [PP] pursues profits in committing late-term abortions, it is shameful for our society and our elected leaders turn a blind eye to the injustice and inhumanity of these procedures and to continue to ignore science and ignore the dignity of the human person.6
Like Perkins and Rose, we also must see the Senate vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act against the backdrop of recently released videos that expose Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling the body parts of unborn children. In early August, the US Senate voted in similar numbers to preserve taxpayer funding for PP.7
Clearly, Democrats bear heavy responsibility for allowing barbaric practices and procedures against innocent children to continue. In the name of “choice,” “health care for women,” and other deceptions,8 unborn children are being slaughtered, dismembered, and their body parts sold illegally.9,10,11 Yet in light of the release of the videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded savagery12 as well as Republicans’ refusal to use this evidence to pass a defunding measure with teeth, we have to say the GOP also is to blame.13,14 Yes, we know President Obama will veto any bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. He and his Democrat allies therefore ought to be made to defend an actual veto!15,16 At some point, media bias and propaganda must be challenged. There is no better time for Republicans to challenge them than now. If they wait too long, it will be too late.
In his insightful book When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany, Erwin Lutzer warns,
I’ve observed, as I’m sure you have, the power of what I call “a cultural current.” That is, a dominant idea promoted by the media and willingly adopted by a critical mass of people who want to believe a myth so badly they will close their minds to all contrary evidence. When such a cultural movement gains momentum, people will stare at facts and filter out what they don’t want to believe. Contrary evidence will be ignored or reinterpreted to fit their deepest wishes. And the more people who believe the myth, the more difficult it is for those who wish to counter it. In a spirit of euphoria, all warning signs are brushed aside. Before we know it, we are in a world where facts do not matter.17
If the Republican leadership continues to miss the point, the people need to remind them why they now are in the majority—and why they may not remain there. Voters expect action that makes a difference. Accordingly, Lila Rose concluded her statement about the September 22 Senate vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act with these words.
As we move toward a budget deadline of September 30, I urge Congress, especially those influenced by the abortion lobby, to face the facts and realize that our country is at a turning point in our history. While the Senate has not voted to protect the lives of the preborn at 20 weeks and beyond today, we still must fight to redirect a half billion dollars of taxpayer money away from abortion giant Planned Parenthood to the over 13,500 federally qualified health centers that provide comprehensive health care to women and their children.18
Here’s the bottom line: If Obama loves Planned Parenthood’s barbarism so much, then Republicans should put him in the position of having to shut down the government to preserve it. This will do more to cut through media bias than almost anything else. Then the country will be given a chance to see this really isn’t about women’s health care; rather, it’s about butchering innocent children for profit.
Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.
17Erwin W. Lutzer, When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn From Nazi Germany, (2010-01-01, Kindle Locations 876-881). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.