Is Obama using the Crimea crisis to punish a prominent pro-life and pro-family leader in Russia?
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) - There is one name on President Obama’s original executive order sanctioning Russian leaders that stands out above all others: Yelena Mizulina.
Ms. Mizulina chairs the Russian Duma’s Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs. Ms. Mizulina’s legislative duties have absolutely nothing to do with Crimea, the Russian military, Russian diplomacy, or anything remotely connected to the current international crisis.
To get an idea of how odd the inclusion of this Russian legislator is, consider that Ms. Mizulina’s American counterpart might be Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana, Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Early Childhood Education.
The official White House press release, titled “Fact Sheet: Ukraine-Related Sanctions,” states that the sanctions are a “response to the Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine.” Yet in the description of the alleged crimes of the sanctioned Russian individuals, Ms. Mizulina is simply described as being sanctioned “for her status as a State Duma Deputy."
Imagine poor Rep. Todd Rokita being sanctioned by Russia, because of what the United States military did in Abu Ghraib.
Of course, President Obama’s White House did not randomly pick Ms. Mizulina’s name out of a hat among the names of all 450 members of the Russian Duma anymore than the IRS randomly happened to aggressively investigate and deny non-profit status to pro-life and pro-liberty groups.
There is one thing that Ms. Mizulina is known for, and that is her Christian views on marriage, adoption, the family, and the right to life. A search on her Wikipedia page lists Ms. Mizulina’s legislative projects as: bills in 2010 and 2012 seeking to protect children from inappropriate information on the internet, a 2013 law denying United States citizens from adopting Russian children because of the harm that the children might suffer from being adopted by homosexual partners, laws limiting taxpayer funded abortion and imposing waiting periods and other restrictions on abortion, as well as several other proposed measures to encourage the strengthening of Russian families from a Christian perspective.
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"President Obama is using the economic sanctions against Yelena Mizulina to send a very clear message to Russian Christians," Fr. Maxim Obukhov, the father of the Russian pro-life movement, told LifeSiteNews. "There is much talk about a cold war, but President Obama has openly declared war upon Christians who oppose the culture of death both at home and abroad."
The Washington Blade, a publication that advocates for the homosexual agenda in Washington, D.C., noted that homosexual journalist “Jamie Kirchick and András Simonyi, the former Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. who is the managing director of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Transatlantic Relations in D.C., and Spectrum Human Rights are among those who have urged the Obama administration to use a 2012 law to freeze the assets of Mizulina and others directly responsible for Russia’s anti-LGBT crackdown.”
The 2012 law referred to by the Washington Blade is the Magnitsky Act, a bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in 2012, used to punish Russian officials considered to be responsible for the death of a Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, in a Moscow prison in 2009 after he investigated allegations of massive fraud among Russian tax officials.
The Obama administration’s involvement in its own recent tax scandals (in which the Internal Revenue Service repeatedly targeted pro-life and pro-liberty groups, and top IRS official Lois Lerner pleaded the fifth amendment to avoid self-incrimination) might have prevented the imposition of harsh economic and travel sanctions upon Russian legislators because of their pro-family, pro-life stance using the Magnitsky Act, but it did not stop President Obama in the end.
With the crisis in Crimea, it appears that the homosexual lobby has finally been able to get the Obama administration to punish Ms. Mizulina, and by association all Russian social conservatives, for their stance on the family and life.
In a January 27 press release from the World Congress of Families, Ms. Mizulina along with other Russian pro-family leaders were described as “‘slowly but steadily’ winning victories in Russia.” The World Congress of Families press release in turn references an article in the leftist American publication, The Nation, entitled “How US Evangelicals Fueled the Rise of Russia’s ‘Pro-Family’ Right: An alliance is born between anti-gay, anti-abortion American groups and the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Could President Obama be using his executive powers to punish social conservatives in Russia? Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s first chief of staff, famously said that you “never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and what I mean by that is that it is an opportunity to do things that you thought you could not do before.”
Attempts to reach the White House for an explanation of how the imposition of economic sanctions upon Ms. Mizulina were related to the crisis in Crimea were not answered.