|How the Family Research Council and its president Tony Perkins is exploiting the COVID pandemic raises questions about their claims to be 'pro life.'|
In early September, the Supreme Court refused to stop a Texas law which restricted women from having abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. It contains no exemptions for rape or incest and creates a multitude of problems for women with regards to the actual date and knowledge of their pregnancy. Naturally many people and groups have spoken against it.
On the other hand hate group the Family Research Council has spoken out for the law via tweets and postings:
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Texas law can remain in effect. Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Barrett, and Kavanaugh have allowed the Texas law to remain enforceable, while Justices Roberts, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor would have stayed the law. The majority did not rule on the substance of the law but rather sided with what Texas had argued: it’s unclear whether the named defendants can or will seek to enforce the Texas statute.
For example, Planned Parenthood named a pro-life advocate as a defendant because they believe he is likely to enforce the statute. The Court rightly rejected this argument. The minority would have blocked the law while litigation took place below. Thankfully, they fell one vote short of a majority.
This means that while litigation continues regarding the Texas heartbeat ban on the merits, Texas will remain essentially abortion-free. A brilliant litigation strategy has led to many abortion appointments being canceled and lives saved. It’s a beautiful opportunity to show the country how valuing and supporting life should become the norm in every state. The unborn in Texas live another day, and that is a historic and beautiful victory. - Explainer: What Is Happening with Texas’ New Pro-Life Law?, September 2, 2021
We could argue about FRC's point of view in relation to the Texas law, but I would rather do it while contrasting the position the group has taken on the COVID pandemic. Due to certain conservative groups, 'news' organizations, and anti-vaxxers, the pandemic continues. It is now causing havoc to children as these recent headlines show:
Pediatric COVID Cases Surging To All-Time Highs As Children Head Back To School, September 8
FRC has taken a very interesting stance on it all. From day one the group exploited the situation to attack public schools and while shilling for homeschooling, which is a position it held long before the pandemic:
. . . COVID opened the eyes of many families to the fact that public schools aren’t the only option. When schools closed, families were forced to adjust. Some families began homeschooling and discovered, despite doubts, that they could do it. They also discovered homeschool co-ops, churches, and other groups that provide support for parents and community for families who reclaimed control of their children’s education.
. . . the ongoing response to the coronavirus from their local public school continues to be untenable for many families. From the beginning, public and private schools responded in radically different ways to the coronavirus. During the fall and winter of 2020, 60% of private school students received in-person instruction while only 24% of public school students were. That disparity likely would have been even greater but for jurisdictions that made it illegal for private schools to hold in-person classes. This also reflects the difference between systems that are responsible primarily to parents and systems that are responsible primarily to politicians. While teachers’ unions fought to keep schools closed, parents were desperate to keep their children from falling behind. Many of those who found options outside the public school system now have no intention of returning. Many public schools that parents relied on and trusted all but abandoned students and families during a crisis – a fact parents aren’t likely to forget. - Back to School is Different This Year, August 6
Also, FRC has applauded the efforts of GOP governors to undermine the fight against the pandemic. Last week President Biden announced
a new policy which would require business with over 100 people to mandate either vaccines or weekly testing. FRC president Tony Perkins came out against the policy on Friday
, claiming that it is anti-freedom. He even compared it to the 9/11 terrorist attack:
Twenty years ago today, Americans went to sleep never imagining the next morning would change our lives forever. We woke up to a once-in-a-generation nightmare carried out by extremists who despised our way of life, our liberties, and our God. Their hatred killed 3,000 innocents that day, but it did not kill America. Unfortunately for the terrorists, the people of this country were resilient -- even in unspeakable tragedy. We mourned, flew bigger flags, and rebuilt. It would have never occurred to us then that two decades later one of the greatest assaults on our sovereignty would come from our government itself. That the man we'd elect as president would one day tell us that confronting a deadly threat is "no longer about freedom and personal choice."
When Joe Biden looked into the camera and told us that we had lost the right to make our own health care decisions, no buildings exploded, no lives were lost. But it was still an attack on America and our core values. In many ways, it has the very real potential to do what 9/11 didn't: destroy the free foundations of our country. The White House will say that its vaccine mandate is about public safety and common sense -- and that to beat the pandemic, we all have to give up some liberties. As John Daniel Davidson writes so insightfully for the Federalist, that's a lie. This is about government coercion and raw power -- and nothing, Biden made clear Thursday, will stand in their way of either.
And in the midst of it all, FRC seems to be playing political games by making sure that every move it makes benefits positions already held while detrimenting its opponents. Some would call the group smooth, others would call the group intelligent, and still some others would call it predatory. But no one should call it pro-life. If FRC actually cared about valuing life, the group would be helping to end the pandemic, or at least protect children from its ravages, instead of benefitting from the chaos.
But who are we kidding? The Family Research Council obviously thinks of the "pro-life" designation in the same manner it thinks of children both born and 'unborn' - nothing more than props to be used for its pleasure.