Dave Andrusko

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Obama won because we 'kept Independent women scared': Pro-abortion PACs

Dave Andrusko
By Dave Andrusko

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2012, (National Right to Life News)—You can’t know what percentage is truth (if any), exaggeration, gloss, or hyperbole, but Planned Parenthood is not shy about taking credit for the re-election of pro-abortion President Barack Obama. But I confess not until I read a piece by Paul Bedard in his “Washington Secrets” yesterday did I understand how they made their case.

According to Bedard of the Washington Examiner, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, told an EMILY’s List post-election analysis panel (in Bedard’s words) that it “kep[t] Independent women scared long enough about Romney’s agenda for Obama to win them over.” (EMILY’s List is a high-powered PAC that funnels money exclusively to female Democrats who are the pro-est of pro-abortionists.)

Planned Parenthood’s strategy was to ignore women who had made their decision. Instead, beginning in June, they targeted “a whole group [of women] that, what it looked like we could do, is expand the amount of time they were willing to give the president and the economy to recover,” Laguens said. “So we could kind of hold them in ‘undecided’ by, in particularly in the presidency, by making Mitt Romney questionable in their mind on our set of issues.”

How did they keep the minds of independent women open to voting for Obama? “By warning how Romney would rob them of birth control and abortion,” according to Bedard’s paraphrase. In other words, “The effort had a simple strategy: Just get women, [who were] frustrated with the economy, to hold off deciding for Romney. ‘Don’t. Wait. Gotta learn more about this stuff,’ was the theme, said Laguens.”

Laguens likened this to keeping the elevator door open “until we could see the economy start to come up and the president’s campaign do that closing argument that really did finally tip them over. And I really think that was the role that we played in there with a lot of independent women.”

Whew, think about that one. PPFA completely distorted Mitt Romney’s position on “birth control” (what he opposed what federal funding for PPFA) and abortion (he included exceptions for rape, incest, and life of mother, although you’d never know it by PPFA or Obama’s re-election team) until there was the slightest uptick in the economy which gave them these women an excuse to vote for Obama. Put another way, they shoved Romney down the elevator shaft and shafted the American people, all in one fell swoop.

Beyond the Abortion Establishment crowing about its supposed role, there are as many explanations for Obama’s victory as there are pundits. We’ve talked about a number of them in this space over the last week. Most are either short-sighted, panicky, or are in service of the agenda of separating the Republican Party from its pro-life base.

Here are a few additional thoughts, courtesy of Pew’s Andrew Kohut, which in some ways dovetails with what Laguens said and we have observed.

Although Romney lost, Kohut writes, “Republicans increased their share of the presidential vote among many major demographic groups. Compared with 2008, they made significant gains among men (four percentage points), whites (four points), younger voters (six points), white Catholics (seven points) and Jews (nine points). Mr. Romney also carried the independent vote 50 percent to 45 percent. Four years ago, independents voted for Mr. Obama 52 percent to 44 percent.” In addition, “49 percent continued to disapprove of Mr. Obama’s health-care law (compared with 44 percent approving).”

How did Romney lose? It wasn’t because of a gender gap among women—women went in comparable numbers for Obama in 2008—but because Romney’s personal image was battered by countless millions of dollars of negative ads. Obama’s team unfairly but brilliantly portrayed Romney as out of touch of the average voter.

As we discussed yesterday, Republican strategist Karl Rove was unfairly attacked for making an absolutely valid point: that Obama’s team had succeeded by deliberately “suppressing the vote.” How so? Columnist Michael Medved put it this way: “He [Obama] and his supporters succeeded in discouraging and disillusioning the Republican and independent voters whom Romney needed for victory.”

Obama sullied Romney, slinging mud by the ton.  “A report from a monitoring agency at Wesleyan University suggests that an astonishing 85 percent of all campaign commercials by the Obama campaign and allied groups featured negative messages about Romney,” Medved wrote. “These attack ads aren’t supposed to inspire your people to go to the polls; they’re meant to dissuade the other guy’s supporters from going to the polls. The purpose of negative advertising is to discourage, not encourage, voting…

In this election, the lower overall turnout clearly helped Obama. The president got a smaller share of the vote in 48 of 50 states, everywhere except Hawaii and Mississippi, but he retained enough support in the diminished electorate to hang on to the White House. Lacking any confidence that they could reinspire cynical, disillusioned citizens about the glories of hope and change or the president’s heroic first-term achievements, the Obama high command settled for producing a general distaste for both candidates and even for the political process itself.

Pro-lifers, led by National Right to Life PAC, were active throughout the election and especially in key swing states. You did everything possible to carry Romney over the finish line. But the barrage of negative ads, magnified by a sympathetic and compliant media, put Mr. Romney in a huge hole from which he never fully recovered.

Reprinted from National Right to Life News.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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