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One year ago today, Secretary of State John Kerry declared ISIS’ actions against Christians, Yezidis, and others in Iraq and Syria to be genocide. The declaration was widely hailed, and was a helpful step in the right direction, but has produced little positive change on the ground.In the year since, as veteran religious freedom advocate Nina Shea explains, those suffering genocide have continued to point out their dire situation. But it still has not been addressed in a manner corresponding to its gravity.This was part of the focus yesterday at an event hosted by the group In Defense of Christians at the U.S. Capitol, which featured commentary from many speakers honoring this important declaration one year out. Members of Congress Jeff Fortenberry and Anna Eshoo, who led the way in getting Congress to label this a genocide several days before the State Department’s declaration a year ago, were present and offered remarks. The event also featured the stories of genocide survivors and those directly working with them.One Yezidi woman told of her experience being held as a slave by ISIS. Another advocate told of the horrific trauma experienced by those even after they are liberated. One boy, suffering severely after his father had been killed by ISIS, tried to kill himself several times in a displaced persons camp. This latest time, the boy doused himself in gasoline, wrapped himself in blankets, and set himself on fire. His internal trauma was so severe he made no sound as he burned. His younger brother, standing nearby with his back turned, only became aware of what was going on once he smelled burning gas. He ran over and patted out the fire with his hands. By that time, both were badly burned, but alive.As testified to yesterday, masses of these traumatized children in the camps have already been brainwashed by ISIS to kill themselves in service of violent jihad. They are walking time-bombs, waiting to be taken advantage of and used to wreak future violence and mayhem, while senselessly taking their own lives in the process. They are in the camps now, but we must reach them before it is too late.These stories are only some of many which show a pattern of the horrific effects of ISIS’ genocide.As was also mentioned at yesterday’s event, there is hope that the new administration will turn its attention to the plight of these genocide survivors, which have already been neglected for far too long. It is not too late, but we must act now.
When we think of happening Christian groups, we typically imagine big church conferences, exciting worship concerts, and authentic community groups meeting in local coffee shops. Given this mindset, the following information will probably blow your mind and the minds of most people in your church. In fact, you may need to sit down for this.The fastest growing sector of the evangelical world right now is the Amish. That is correct—our beard sporting, bonnet wearing, and buggy driving brothers and sisters are expanding at a record pace. Over the past five years, the Amish have grown by 18 percent. Between 2015-2016, they started 66 new congregations. They have even reached out to South America, planting communities in both Bolivia and Argentina. During that same time, the number of people that attend Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches declined by 11 percent.Despite our well-trained SBC clergy, our smooth programming, and our billion dollar budgets, SBC churches are losing out to their brothers and sisters who churn their own butter. What’s more, the Amish have no major outreach campaigns. They typically struggle to reach out to people outside their villages, making their growth even more perplexing to SBC and other evangelical denominations. Yet since 1992, the Amish have been beating our church growth percentages left and right.When researchers began studying this phenomenon, they discovered that the growth of the Amish movement had little to do with cold calling evangelism and everything to do with birthrate and education.The latest birthrate statistics for the SBC estimate that each SBC couple has around 2.1 kids, a number that sits below the replacement level. Once death and other things are factored in, SBC churches would slowly die even if every kid born to SBC parents stayed in the church. And unfortunately, they do not. Almost 51 percent of all evangelical kids (including our SBC’ers) will leave the church. Most of those children will not return. For a church to maintain its size, every member (including the single ones) in the church must bring about 1.2 people into the church via birth or evangelism.The Amish do not have this problem. The average Amish couple has 6.8 kids per family. And 85 percent of their children will choose to remain in the Amish community. When given the chance to freely choose between the modern world and the Amish lifestyle, more than 8 out of 10 Amish children choose to stay. Every Amish couple will add about 5 kids to their local church’s congregation, while the average Baptist couple will add about 1. And when the couples die off, the Amish church will have grown by 150 percent, while the SBC church will have decreased by 50 percent if birthrate is the only factor.These numbers show that evangelism is not the major failing of our local SBC and evangelical churches. Our problem has everything to do with our view of children and the family. Churches that do not have members having children will not succeed.Now, every Christian does not have to embrace the Duggar family lifestyle. Christ is still our ultimate goal and not family size. But, we must begin to revive pro-family values in our churches. Being pro-family goes well past having a catchy kids’ program. We need to celebrate birth. We need to praise parents for having big families instead of chastising them with snide comments. We need to come to the point where we value kids more than traveling, nice homes, and our own tranquility. We need to live as if children are a blessing.And then, we need to commit to training our kids. We need to organize our families around the Gospel. We need to have intentional times of family worship. We must realize that going to church twice a week or twice a month will not provide our kids with an adequate religious framework. We must realize that the world evangelizes our kids 7 days a week. We must do the same. And we must intentionally find ways to protect our kids from the dangerous doctrines of the world and find ways to train them in righteousness. Commenting on Psalm 1, the pastor Voddie Bauchman says,We must not allow our children to stand, sit and walk with those who deny biblical truth and morality … We can no longer coast along and ignore biblical truth when deciding where and how to educate our children … Do everything in your power to place your child in an educational environment that supplements and facilitates their discipleship.The Amish have understood this truth and have applied it. As a result of their faithfulness, most of their children remain in their communities and churches. The Baptists and other evangelicals have not grasped this principles. And now, we are losing over half of our kids to the world around us. The realities cannot be denied.Now admittedly, the Amish have not gotten everything right. I do not think electricity leads to sin. I also think our churches should be more evangelistic than the typical Amish farmer. But the Amish have realized that family is key. They have functionally realized that children under the age of 18 are the population most open to being evangelized and have literally devoted a large portion of their life to reaching this next generation. If we want our SBC and evangelical Bible-believing churches to once again flourish, we too must be pro-family and do a better job of training our children in the faith. Are we willing to make the hard choices and to become a little more Amish?Peter Witkowski is the Associate Pastor of Preschool and Children at First Baptist Church in Eastman, Ga.
Dear Friends,By now, you have probably seen or heard about the viral video of a dad whose kids unexpectedly burst into his home office during a live BBC interview he is doing over Skype. It was a hilariously endearing moment, and not just because of the panicked yet heroic efforts of the man’s wife as she swooped in to grab the kids. For me, it was also a messily beautiful reminder of the intimate connection between work and the family.In today’s culture, work is often trumpeted as an end in itself. A high-paying career is frequently seen as something that can be pursued at all costs, without regard to the detrimental effects that this can have on one’s personal life. This attitude causes a tragic segmentation in life, which should be holistic in nature. A career should never be pursued at the expense of neglecting the relationships that sustain us and that we are called by God to nurture. A “career first” mentality has it exactly backward—work should always be in the service of our families and our communities.Another sad tendency in modern culture is to distort the definition of “work” itself. When studies come out showing that wives on average do more housework than husbands and husbands on average engage in more paid work than wives, cries of “inequality!” are yelped from the rooftops of mainstream media outlets. But let’s stop and think about this for a minute: one person works for the money to pay for the groceries; the other uses the groceries to prepare the meals. Both activities are different kinds of work that are equally important and intrinsically united—if either of the two are not done, nobody eats.I say all this to illustrate my central point: an increasingly secular culture tends to strictly divide “professional life” from “personal life.” But in a wonderfully unscripted moment during a live BBC newscast, this artificial edifice was briefly torn down with the help of an excited toddler and her sibling.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesI’m Grateful for the Restoration of the Mexico City Policy This International Women’s Day – Arina GrossuAnother Chance for President Trump to Make Sure Foreign Governments Play by the Rules – Ken BlackwellJudge Neil Gorsuch: The Case for Confirmation – Travis Weber and Chris GacekThe Refugee Implications of President Trump’s Executive Orders – Travis WeberJoseph Nicolosi, Father of “Reparative Therapy” for Homosexuality, Dies Suddenly – Peter SpriggA Biblical Perspective on Immigration – Travis WeberPresident Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration: Religious Freedom and Other Implications – Travis WeberThe U.S. No Longer Funds Overseas Abortions. Canada and Europe Grind Their Teeth – Dan HartVoiceless: Christians Must Engage the Culture to Fight Abortion – Dan Hart Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareThe Rioters Are Winning – David French, National ReviewOver 150 conservative leaders urge Trump to sign order protecting religious liberty – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsSchool: Trump Chant is Hate Speech – ToddStarnes.comJust Because Liberals Call Something ‘Discrimination’ Doesn’t Mean It Actually Is – Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily SignalInternational Religious FreedomChristians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, according to studies – Zoe Romanowsky, AleteiaUnited Nations Committee Demands Ireland Legalize Abortion – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsPro-Life Counseling Becomes Illegal in France – Marie Meaney, CrisisLiberal bill empowers gvmt to take kids from Ontario parents who don’t accept gender ideology: legal experts – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNewsChristian Group Compassion International Closes India Operations Amid Crackdown by Hindu Nationalists – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post2016 Annual Report: Chinese Government Persecution of Churches and Christians in Mainland China – China AidMilitary Religious FreedomAir Force Says Words Like ‘Boy’ & ‘Girl’ Could be Offensive – ToddStarnes.comReligious Freedom Group Defends Military Chaplains' Right to Pray at Official Events – Liberty McArtor, The Stream LifeAbortionCanadian gvmt pledges $650 million to increase abortion globally – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNewsHawaii considering bill to force church, pro-life centers to promote abortion – Bradford Richardson, The Washington TimesOne Planned Parenthood Clinic Has Injured Women in 64 Botched Abortions, Has 39 Health Violations – Cheryl Sullenger, Life NewsPro-Life, Pro-Truth – Alexi Sargeant, First ThingsIn Iceland 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Think about that. – Lauren Bell, LifeSiteNewsHuman Rights Activist: Forced Abortion Policy Leads to 23 Million Abortions a Year in China – Penny Starr, BreitbartAdoptionNew South Dakota law could protect religious adoption agencies – Catholic News AgencyHow 5 siblings pleading to stay together as a family became a ‘great crisis’ – Rick Montgomery, The Sacramento BeeNebraska's budget squeeze puts post-adoption help at risk – Martha Stoddard, Omaha World-HeraldBioethicsEmbryo Experiments Reveal Earliest Human Development, But Stir Ethical Debate – Rob Stein, NPRScience confirms that human life begins at fertilization – Luke Faulkner, Live Action NewsAlaska Legislature Will Hold Hearing on Dangerous Bill Legalizing Assisted Suicide – Steve Ertelt, LifeNewsDemocrats Push Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide in Wisconsin – Erin Parfet, LifeNewsMaryland Pro-Life Advocates Stop Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide – Dave Andrusko, LifeNewsObamacareRepealing Obamacare Will Create, Not Kill, Jobs – John R. Graham, Independent InstitutePro-Life Groups Sound Caution on Obamacare Replacement Bill – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal FamilyEconomics/EducationCan Declining Productivity Growth Be Reversed? – Bourree Lam, The AtlanticMarriageYour Marriage: You Have No Idea of the Good You Are Doing – Doug Mainwaring, Public DiscourseMarried Parenthood Remains the Best Path to a Stable Family – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesCouple with Down Syndrome Criticized over Engagement. But after Twenty-Two Years of Marriage, See Them Now – Noell Wolfgram Evans, LiftableIs Your Smartphone Coming Between You and Your Spouse? – Greg Smalley, Focus on the FamilySex in the Modern Marriage – Ashley McGuire, Family StudiesHow Faith Influences Divorce Decisions – Steven M. Harris, Family StudiesFaith/Character/CultureIdeology and the Corruption of Language – Randall Smith, Public DiscourseThrow Like a Girl: Why Feminism Insults Real Women – Rebekah Merkle, Desiring God‘Day Without Women’ Measures Women’s Value The Wrong Way – Gracy Olmstead, The FederalistOut of the Ashes: Anthony Esolen's Clarion Call to Restore Culture, Faith, and Sanity – Michael Bradley, Public DiscourseEmma Watson Explains Perfectly Why I’m A Woman Who Is Afraid Of Feminism – Monica Gabriel Marshall, VerilyHuman SexualityA Requiem for Friendship – Anthony Esolen, TouchstoneLife in a Foreign Country: Navigating Our Culture’s Change on Sexuality – Ed Shaw, The Gospel CoalitionBiology Isn't Bigotry: Christians, Lesbians, and Radical Feminists Unite to Fight Gender Ideology – Emily Zinos, Public DiscourseAmericans having less sex than they once did – Tara Bahrampour, The Washington PostPutting genies back into bottles: Sex before marriage – Katrina Fernandez, AleteiaHuman TraffickingFilm spotlights human trafficking as Trump promises action – AP NewsHuman trafficking growing problem in metro Atlanta – Nathalie Pozo, Fox 5PornographyThe High Cost of Free Porn – Owen Strachan, Desiring GodIs Life Better Without Porn? – Frank Honess, The Christian Post
This is Part 3 of a 3-part series. Here are Parts 1 and 2.On March 6, President Trump signed a revised executive order restricting entry to the United States from certain countries, which followed heated controversy and legal battles arising from the initial executive order temporarily halting entry to the United States for certain groups of people. In light of the new order, and in the wake of the controversy surrounding the issue more broadly, it’s helpful to separate the multiple issues—often conflated with one another—playing a part in this discussion. One of these issues is the impact of the orders on refugees—who, though only one of the multiple groups affected—have occupied much of the discussion.Issue #3: On Refugees – Good Arguments Require PrecisionPutting aside the media hysterics and negligent or willful abuse of Scripture, there are many who are attempting to engage in well-meaning discussion of these orders and the immigration issue more broadly. Unfortunately, many people protesting President Trump’s actions do not really understand how the immigration system actually works, or what they would recommend if asked how to fix its security concerns. We all would benefit from learning before speaking into the haze and fog of this debate, and should go back to the actual sources. In this case, that is the initial executive order, and the new executive order.What do the orders say?Section 3 of the initial order covered the suspension of all visas to individuals from certain countries, and Section 5 covered the suspension of the refugee program. The other sections direct various actions to improve immigration security generally. Exactly what among these provisions is objectionable (and how) is often quickly lost in this discussion, and consequently, is often lost on many who seem to generally oppose the order.The new order removes Iraq from the list of countries, removes the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, and takes out language which prioritized those for admission who were persecuted for their faith. It also doesn’t ban lawful U.S. permanent residents, or prevent people from entering the United States traveling on valid visas already issued. The new order also lays out policy reasons for why this action has been taken.Aside from the removal of protections for religious minorities (which would have been helpful to leave in—for the United States already considers religion in refugee law, and these minorities are in dire need of our help), the refugee admissions provisions remain virtually unchanged between the two executive orders.Use of the term “refugee”Throughout this immigration debate, the term “refugee” is often used carelessly. But it has a precise meaning in U.S. law. Individuals entering the United States can do so under a number of visa programs or claim asylum. Entering as a refugee is covered by a specific program, and this program is covered only by Section 5 of the initial order and Section 6 of the new order (the other provisions of the orders cover other avenues of entry). When we speak of “refugees” legally, we refer to people entering through this program. This does not include immigrants entering through other programs, crossing the border illegally, or even showing up at our border to claim asylum.While many may agree that other elements of the orders and the immigration system overall (to include student and worker visas) certainly need scrutiny, there is a debate as to whether the refugee program alone can be improved, or whether we will achieve quite minimal gains from restricting access through this program while at the same time harming those who need our protection. There are arguments for and against the refugee restrictions in the orders.Arguments for the refugee restrictionsIt is clear that some Muslims with terrorist ties have entered the United States through our refugee program (and the new order notes that more than 300 people who entered the United States as refugees are currently under terrorism investigations by the FBI). Additionally, while vetting for refugees is already rigorous, the Obama administration accelerated the number of people who entered the country near the end of the term. In these circumstances, it’s a reasonable approach to ask how that was done. Some may claim that the vetting is already as strict as possible, and there is always the risk that terrorists slip through. New developments call for new assessments; we are aware, for instance, that Yezidi girls who have been rescued from ISIS captivity are still in touch with their captors due to Stockholm Syndrome. Have we accounted for the risk that one of them might maintain contact once given safe haven in the United States? It is a reasonable position for a U.S. citizen to want to continue to assess security risks until they are addressed.Moreover, we must be prudent and remain aware of the motivations of different actors. Some large refugee assistance groups may see funding cut under the orders, and it is understandable if they feel pressure to oppose them for that reason in addition to their convictions regarding refugees. At a minimum they have a conflict of interest on this point.Additionally, we should be careful of a mentality which assumes that large-scale immigration is most helpful to people. Many displaced persons overseas want to stay in their countries. Solutions which help create peace and stability where they live are just as helpful, if not more so, than uprooting them to bring them to a different culture in the United States. Those arguing for widespread and aggressive immigration on grounds of compassion should ensure they are not assuming it is the only compassionate solution.Arguments against the refugee restrictionsWhile the executive orders contain many provisions that will improve security overall in the visa-granting process, those halting the refugee program may do little to improve security, while stunting an important program for those fleeing persecution. The United States is currently vulnerable to terrorists seeking to exploit different avenues of entry: H1Bs, student visas, and claims to asylum, for instance. The refugee program, in which vetting occurs outside the country, is the last place terrorists would go if they were trying to enter the United States.While Europe has experienced difficulty due to increasing numbers of refugees, the situation is not analogous to that of the United States, as the way refugees enter the United States mitigates many of those risks Europe faces. The term “refugee” has been applied to those flooding into Europe but it is inaccurate to think of those same people as refugees to the United States—a point I discuss above. If these people flooded our shores like they’ve done to Europe’s, they would be asylum seekers, not refugees covered by the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). To enter the United States through the USRAP, a potential refugee first has to go to a country where he or she can apply through the United Nations, go through the UN process, then be chosen by the UN to be resettled in the United States (the UN picks their country of resettlement, not the refugee). This process often takes four years. Thus, if people are concerned about “refugees” arriving and “flooding” our shores, they are not really concerned about refugees as that term is used in law and policy (and the USRAP), but are concerned about other types of entrants—either asylum seekers, or those entering illegally.While the risk of a terrorist entering through the USRAP is not zero, compared to other avenues of entry, it’s much more difficult and terrorists are much less likely to use it. A significant area of risk is the database system used to assess refugees, which could be bolstered and improved; but fixing this may not require a pause in the USRAP program as the orders require. While we obtain a bare minimum of security gains by restricting the USRAP, the argument goes, we cause significant suffering to those who do need our help. In Lebanon, for instance, Christian Syrian women are prostituting themselves and selling their daughters into child marriages to survive. These people need our help, and we shouldn’t shut off their lifeline when the security risks of that lifeline are already minimal. We should address any security risk as soon as possible so we can get our refugee program back up and running so it can help those it is meant to help.ConclusionThe initial executive order was not without its problems. It seems that the roll out and implementation could have been accomplished more smoothly. There were reports of lawful permanent residents and U.S. military translators being held up; these matters should have been addressed before the order was issued to avoid confusion. By now, certain steps have been taken to smooth out some of these bumps, but they could have been addressed from the beginning. Thankfully, the new executive order does not bar holders of valid visas or lawful permanent residents from entering the United States, and the new order will take effect on March 16 (hopefully allowing for smooth roll out and implementation), as opposed to the initial order which took effect immediately.These changes in the new order go a long way toward fixing some of the problems in the initial one, though obviously many will still disagree about immigration policy more broadly. At the end of the day, we should acknowledge that reasonable people (including fellow Christians) may disagree about immigration policy and the executive orders (including their refugee provisions).Reaching that conclusion alone would go a long way toward promoting rational discourse and easing the emotional gridlock in the public debate on this and other issues.
This is Part 2 of a 3-part series.On March 6, President Trump signed a revised Executive Order restricting entry to the United States from certain countries, which followed heated controversy and legal battles arising from the initial Executive Order (EO) temporarily halting entry to the United States for certain groups of people. In light of the new order, and in the wake of the controversy surrounding the issue more broadly, it’s helpful to separate the multiple issues—often conflated with one another—playing a part in this discussion. The relationship of refugee and immigration policy to international religious freedom advocacy, in particular, has revealed some glaring hypocrisies and deficiencies over the course of the recent public debate. Another issue at play is the question of what a Christian should be saying on the question of immigration in general, and the Executive Order in particular.Issue #2: TheologyMany immigration advocates point to biblical commands to love the foreigner (Leviticus 19:34), and care for those different than us (Luke 10:25-37). They’re right. Those verses are in the Bible. What else is in there? Plenty of Old Testament law, which these same advocates are happy to overlook. For example, we see that God requires immigrants to assimilate or, in other words, live by the customs of the land they now call home in order to receive equal status (Exodus 12:48-49).The point here is not to arrive at the precise theological implications of these passages, but to point out the hypocrisy of those who wish to suddenly have the government cite the Bible as a basis for policy. Are these same individuals prepared to tell us what the Bible has to say about shutting down public school Bible studies because of supposed Establishment Clause violations? Many suddenly seem to have developed a zeal for the fusion of Christianity and State, and try to justify their arguments for opposing this executive order by simply attaching a Christian reference to them.The truth is, it is incumbent on Christians to open their hearts toward the foreigner—and all our neighbors. But living a Christian life is not so monolithic. The Bible also says government is to punish wrong and protect the good (Romans 13:1-7). Even the organization Sojourners believes this verse means “government is supposed to protect its people. That certainly means protecting its citizens’ safety and security.” Loving my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:31) means all neighbors. Allowing Christianity to inform public policy is a worthwhile endeavor, but it must be done prudently and carefully, not merely as a pretext.Primarily lost in this discussion is the question of how this controversy intersects with the larger issue of religious freedom around the world. Where has this energy and attention been when it comes to care for those suffering around the world for their religious beliefs? Where has the outcry been when the United States has stood by much of the time?Where have Christians in the United States been as their brothers and sisters have been tormented overseas? Are they prepared to cite Scripture in defense of their apathy?Those who are careless about their country’s borders while careful about locking their house at night are operating with a logical disconnect. This disconnect must be worked out. The policy implications of our theological sources are not always clear, and no one should be denigrated for reasonably disagreeing.The question of what Christianity has to say about this issue is a valid one, but the inquiry must be done properly, not recklessly and carelessly.Part 3 will examine arguments for and against refugee restrictions in President Trump’s executive orders.
This is Part 1 of a 3-part series.On Monday, President Trump signed a revised Executive Order restricting entry to the United States from certain countries, which followed heated controversy and legal battles arising from the initial Executive Order (EO) temporarily halting entry to the United States for certain groups of people. In light of the new order, and in the wake of the controversy surrounding the issue more broadly, it’s helpful to separate the multiple issues—often conflated with one another—playing a part in this discussion. The relationship of refugee and immigration policy to international religious freedom advocacy, in particular, has revealed some glaring hypocrisies and deficiencies over the course of the recent public debate.Issue #1: Media HysteriaPeople of good will can disagree on immigration policy. Christians may disagree among themselves on what to do. It’s not a simple topic, and those on various sides of different discussions should work out how their religious beliefs—if they hold any—apply to their position.But the absolute hysteria of the media on this issue doesn’t help rational discourse, and only further discredits an already-discredited institution. Do we really believe President Obama would have been subjected to similar treatment if he had issued anything close to what President Trump did? Everyone knows the hype purportedly about immigration is really just a political statement about President Trump—and this discredits the media and distracts from a worthwhile conversation in which people on both sides may wish to engage.It is worth observing that many of the same news organizations and advocacy groups getting worked into a tizzy about immigration are absent and silent on the issue of ongoing religious persecution around the world. Where were many of these suddenly zealous religious discrimination advocates when, year-after-year, those of various faiths were persecuted and even killed around the world? Where were they in calling for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran, and Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan? Where were they when others labored tirelessly to help fix troubled hotspots? Where were they in calling attention to the need for “safe zones” in the same areas from which many are fleeing to Western Europe and the United States (which by their inaction arguably helped create the horrible conditions in the Middle East)? Indeed, many refugees would prefer to stay where they are, but are forced to flee due to horrific circumstances (including a lack of religious freedom) where they live.Would immigration advocates work to stop the international religious freedom problems that are causing increasing refugee flows in the first place? Or could they care less about that as long as our borders remain open?Just this month, Open Doors USA hosted a press conference detailing what is happening to Christians around the world. Many of the same news outlets and advocacy groups claiming a responsibility to love the foreigner were absent from this press event where persecution of foreigners was discussed.A dose of humility and fair-mindedness, along with a more charitable and rational approach to this discussion, would go a long way toward solving whatever other issues are tangled up in this debate.Part 2 will discuss the Christian perspective on immigration.
I was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death, on March 9, of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. His passing came after a brief illness and hospitalization.Dr. Nicolosi was one of the most important leaders—historically, and right up until his death—of the “ex-gay therapy” movement (more on terminology in a moment).Joseph Nicolosi was one of the founders of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which was later re-named the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity.He was also the father of “reparative therapy” for men—a particular branch of the larger movement to provide assistance in seeking change to those who experience unwanted same-sex attractions.There is a great deal of confusion about the terminology used regarding this subject. LGBT activists who are critics of “sexual orientation change efforts,” or “SOCE” have begun referring to such efforts as “conversion therapy”—even though virtually no practitioner of such therapy refers to it that way. Nevertheless, the media have followed in lock-step behind the activist critics in using that term.“Sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) is a broad and legitimate term that can encompass both therapy conducted by licensed therapists and counseling provided by religious or pastoral counselors who seek to help clients with the same goal—that of overcoming same-sex attractions and/or resisting the temptation to engage in homosexual conduct.Among licensed therapists, the term “sexual reorientation therapy” is preferred—although recently, the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity has coined the term “Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy,” or “SAFE-T,” to better describe what actually happens in such efforts.Regardless of the terminology, what distinguishes sexual reorientation therapy or SAFE-T is not a particular therapeutic technique, but rather the goal that the client is pursuing. A range of different psychological or therapeutic techniques can be used toward that goal.For a period of time, after Dr. Nicolosi first came to prominence in the 1990’s, the term “reparative therapy” was widely used in the media to describe all SOCE. However, properly speaking, “reparative therapy” refers only to the particular technique in which Dr. Nicolosi specialized.Even when the term “reparative therapy” is being correctly used to refer to a specific psychotherapy technique, it is easily misunderstood. Most assume that the premise of such therapy is that homosexuality itself is a form of “brokenness,” and the task of the therapist is to “repair” the homosexual person.This is not, however, how Dr. Nicolosi used the term “reparative therapy.” I highly recommend his brief (about 2,000 words) essay, “What Is Reparative Therapy? Examining the Controversy,” which is available online.In brief, Dr. Nicolosi’s working theory was that homosexuality itself is a “reparative” drive—an effort to “repair” some other, underlying trauma. In his own words: . . . [H]omosexual behavior may be an unconscious attempt to “self-repair” feelings of masculine inferiority and . . . such feelings represent an attempt to meet normal, healthy, masculine emotional needs. . . .Reparative therapy views most same-sex attractions as reparations for childhood trauma. Such trauma may be explicit, such as sexual or emotional abuse, or implicit in the form of negative parental messages regarding one’s self and gender. Exploring, isolating and resolving these childhood emotional wounds will often result in reducing unwanted same-sex attractions.Dr. Nicolosi was the author of several books, including a guide to “reparative therapy” for clinicians (Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach, Jason Aronson Inc., 1991), and an important work for a more general audience (A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, with his wife Linda Ames Nicolosi; InterVarsity Press, 2002).The Joe Nicolosi I knew was compassionate toward his clients, persuasive and intellectually rigorous in his writing and speaking, and gregarious and entertaining in personal relationships. I will miss him personally, as will all who knew him and the movement he helped found.However, he leaves behind a tremendous legacy in defense of the right of those with unwanted same-sex attractions to seek their own path in life.
On January 23rd, President Trump signed an executive order that reinstated the “Mexico City Policy.” The policy, which was originally issued by President Reagan in 1984, halts federal funds from going to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that commit abortions or “actively promote” abortion.The order ensures U.S. aid will continue to go to health care, humanitarian relief, and even family planning in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.Prior to President Reagan’s actions, American policy on paper was to never promote abortion overseas, however in practice U.S. tax dollars directly supported organizations which advocated and performed abortion. It remained in effect until 1993 when President Clinton rescinded the Mexico City policy on January 22, 1993 for the entirety of his tenure in office. On January 22, 2001, President Bush issued an executive order restoring the Mexico City policy. President Bush had also determined that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was complicit in China's forced abortion and sterilization program, and withdrew its U.S. funding. President Obama ignored such facts and rescinded the policies.The principal behind the Mexico City Policy is simple: abortion is not health care. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason why the U.S. should fund the killing of babies in the womb by giving taxpayer money to NGOs that participate in or promote abortion.In response to the U.S. policy’s reinstatement, the Netherlands announced in February that it has launched a new fund to replace the money that the Mexico City Policy withholds from funding abortions overseas. Dubbed the “She Decides Global Fundraising Initiative,” the fund will solicit donations from other countries in order to bankroll “ongoing initiatives that improve access to lifesaving contraceptives, family planning, sexuality education and/or safe abortion,” according to the initiative’s website. So far, seven other countries (Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, and Cape Verde) have officially joined the fund.If there was ever proof of the extent to which the pro-abortion mentality has taken over in Canada and Europe, this is surely it. When no quarter is given to withholding taxpayer money from be used to directly fund the killing of unborn children, the true colors of those who tout their support of “family planning” are revealed. What was completely glossed over in the media furor over Trump’s Mexico City Policy reinstatement is the fact that it still fully funds all forms of family planning that does not involve the active promotion of abortion. “Active promotion” is defined as providing advice and information regarding the availability of abortion or encourage women to consider abortion; lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion more available; or conducting a public information campaign regarding the benefits and/or availability of abortion.In a country that is roughly 58 percent “pro-life” (according to a 2015 CNN poll), the Mexico City Policy is a common sense rule that establishes a solid middle ground regarding abortion and the rights of taxpayers in America. If other countries want to protest this by feigning “human rights” for women and girls in the form of abortion, as the “She Decides” initiative does, that is their inhuman prerogative. Meanwhile, the pro-life movement is thankful for President Trump’s pro-life action and will continue to fight for the human rights of unborn girls.
In the powerful new film Voiceless, a war veteran starts a new job in the inner city of Philadelphia as a community outreach leader for a church. He soon discovers that an abortion clinic is located directly across the street. As he wrestles with what to do about it, he has a tragic personal experience which convicts him to take action and start a pro-life ministry. When he asks for support from his pastor, the church community, and even his wife, he is met with resistance. Finally, he is faced with a choice between backing away, or fighting for what he believes is right and risking everything he has.In a panel discussion about the film, Executive Producer Stuart Migdon boiled down the point of Voiceless to this: to motivate Christians to engage the culture in the fight to end abortion. He cited a sobering statistic that found that over 90 percent of evangelical churches do not have a pro-life presence. Another study found that 90 percent of Christians want to hear their church speak on how to confront abortion. This displays a clear disconnect between what believers know is a grave evil and what their churches are doing about it.As Migdon pointed out, if more Christians were to “wrap their arms around these men and women who are in these situations where they have an unplanned pregnancy, and they were to help them emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, if they were to give their all to these people, then we would see a change in this country that we have not seen, even before Roe v. Wade.” Migdon continued: “Eighty-four percent of women that have had abortions … say that they never felt they had a choice. The church is designed to be that voice to give them that choice.”While Voiceless is a thoroughly pro-life film with a clear message, Pat Necerato, the Writer, Producer, and Director, noted that he wanted to make a “character-driven movie about a real person having these struggles and not make it about throwing pie in the pro-choice people’s face.” He also pointed out that he wanted the film to “inspire people to take a stand for what they believe is right.” Necerato believes that the message of Voiceless could really be applied to any cause that people feel passionate about: “If that [any cause] is what you truly believe, you can watch this film and say, ‘You know what? I need to do something about this. I need to get out there and put a stake in the ground.’”Stuart Migdon’s wish for Voiceless is that it may inspire Christians to act on their pro-life beliefs: “Be passionate, know that we can make a difference … We can have a pro-life ministry in every church in America, and make a huge difference; so much so, I believe, that it won’t be about making abortion illegal, it will be about making abortion unthinkable.”Resources For ChurchesCare Net’s Making Life Disciples is a 6-part DVD curriculum that trains churches on ministering to folks in the church facing unplanned pregnancies (20% Off Promotion Code: FRC20). The Human Coalition’s Church Toolkit provides pastors and churches with resources to address the issue of abortion with grace and compassion, clear biblical understanding, and concrete steps for the congregation. Voiceless is coming out on DVD on March 7 and it will help any church and pro-life member jumpstart a pro-life ministry. It can be pre-ordered here.
Dear Friends,In a recent interview with The Rubin Report, Bp. Robert Barron gave a concise answer to the question of why Christians don’t lower their moral standards on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage so that they can retain more members:“We’re calling people to a radical sanctity. It’s a high bar on purpose. We don’t dial down the ideals because people find them difficult or they’ll walk away because of them. Apply that back to sexual matters—it’s a similar situation. The church is extreme in its demand … because it wants its people to be saints, not mediocrities.”Keeping moral standards high is crucial in combatting current cultural trends that encourage mediocrity (or worse). As David French writes in National Review, leading a stress-free, problem-free life at any cost appears to be the goal of many in our culture instead of pursuing virtue. This “flight from pain” has become a disturbing pattern in American life. Stress and sadness are treated with prescription drugs. Marriage must have a trial run of cohabitation, and can be bailed on completely with divorce. Suicides have surged to a 30-year high, with drug overdoses increasing by 33 percent in the last five years. With the rise of assisted suicide, many apparently can’t even bear the thought of death itself happening without their permission.French goes on to make this observation: “I can’t help wonder how much of this change is connected to the loss of faith, to the absence of the eternal perspective. Everything that matters is here, on this earth, and given the fragility of life is it not entirely rational to do all you reasonably can to make it as comfortable as it can be?”Believers know that it is in the pursuit of virtue that human beings attain happiness. Leading a Christian life means setting the bar of moral behavior high. This means that our lives will be anything but stress-free; it will often mean a flight into pain rather than a flight from it. Christ made this quite clear in Matthew 7:14: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”May we always strive for that life that Christ has promised, and in so doing raise our culture out of mediocrity. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesTrump Returns Authority Over School Transgender Policies to States and Localities – Peter SpriggTrump: Please Stop Gov't Meat Inspectors' Threats to Religious Freedom – Tony PerkinsTrump Reverses Federal Bathroom Folly, Will Fairfax Follow? – Cathy RuseHow the market can fix health care – Ken BlackwellNeil Gorsuch’s Proven Track Record of Protecting Religious Liberty – Travis Weber40 Days for Life Speech in Front of D.C.’s Planned Parenthood – Arina Grossu“Big Abortion” Wants the Dangerous Pregnancy-Destroying Drug Mifepristone (RU-486) Sold in Local Pharmacies – Chris GacekOn School Bathrooms and Bullying – Dan HartD.C.’s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be Repealed – Dan HartHow did the Washington State Supreme Court Get Barronelle Stutzman’s Case So Wrong? – Travis WeberDon’t Be Misled By National Geographic and Katie Couric: Three Things to Know About “Gender Identity” – Peter Sprigg Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareLiberal Protestors Lose It When Town Hall Chaplain Prays in Jesus' Name – CBN NewsReligious intolerance at USDA latest example of need for religious freedom order – Alliance Defending FreedomWashington floral artist to ask US Supreme Court to protect her freedom – Alliance Defending FreedomInternational Religious FreedomFrance passes law imposing up to two years prison for running pro-life websites – Jeanne Smits, LifeSiteNewsChinese Christians Sentenced to Up to 7 Years in Prison Over Christian Devotionals – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostEgyptian Christians Warned to 'Leave or Die' as 40 Copts Killed in Last 3 Months – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post LifeAbortionDoes Abortion Really Prevent Child Abuse? – Mike Adams, TownhallPlanned Parenthood Kills 323,999 Babies in Abortions, Provides Only 17,419 Moms Prenatal Care – Randall O’Bannon, LifeNewsLeading Physician Confirms Unborn Children Feel Excruciating Pain During Abortions – LifeNews Magazines Like Teen Vogue Hard-Sell Abortion To Fill The Pockets Of Big Companies – Sue Ellen Browder, The FederalistFact Check: Abortion Is Not ‘The Most Safest Medical Procedure In America’ – Machaiah Bilger, LifeNewsThe Pro-Life Legacy of Norma McCorvey, the ‘Roe’ of Roe v. Wade – Katrina Trinko, The Daily SignalOklahoma Lawmaker Tarred For Saying Abortion Choice Should Include Fathers – Nicole Russell, The FederalistAdoptionAdoption agency's demise sheds light on troubled industry – Kate Gibson, CBS NewsMom's inspiring adoption story of 3-year-old girl born without arms or legs – Jennifer Earl, CBS NewsBioethicsWashington, D.C., now seventh place in U.S. to officially legalize assisted suicide – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsShould We Ban Donor Anonymity? – Alana Newman, Family StudiesOregon Assisted Suicide Deaths Hit Record High in 2016 as Abuses Continue – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNewsAssisted Suicide Deaths Can be Horrifyingly Slow and Painful – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNewsObamacareReplacing Obamacare and Insuring the Uninsured – John C. Goodman, Pete Sessions, Bill Cassidy, Independent InstituteOne Mom’s Fight for Her Special Needs Son in the Age of Obamacare – Melissa Quinn, The Daily SignalCongress Should Fix Obamacare By Giving Health Care Back To States – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist FamilyEconomics/EducationHow Arizona Is Using Licensure Laws to Punish Compassion – David Rosenthal, The Daily SignalProtectionism and a Universal Basic Income Won’t Solve Our Economic Problems – Dylan Pahman, Public DiscourseHow Trade With China Hurt Marriage Prospects for Low-Skilled Men – Robert VerBruggen, Family StudiesMarriageShould Couples in Unhappy Marriages Stay Together? – Harry Benson, Family StudiesHow to Raise Changing Children in a Changing Culture – Melissa Kruger, The Gospel CoalitionSecrets of Being a Happy Wife – Fawn Weaver, Focus on the FamilyFaith/Character/CultureIt’s a Wonderful Time to Be Christian – Garrett Kell, Desiring GodWhat is Wrong with Us? How Should Christians Respond? – Rachel Lu, CrisisEvangelizing Through the Good – Bp. Robert Barron, Word On FireYou Can’t Win the Neighbor You Fear – Collin Hansen, The Gospel CoalitionWhen the Pursuit of Happiness Becomes the Flight from Pain – David French, National ReviewHuman SexualityScarlett Johansson and the Great Adventure Of Monogamy – Jared Zimmerer, Word On FireMost Still Say Transgender Bathroom Policy Not A Federal Issue – Rasmussen ReportsHow Far Should Government Go to Encourage Couples to Reproduce? – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family StudiesWhat Happens When Men Have Sex with Teenage Boys – Chad Felix Greene, The Huffington PostIf Child Sex Is More Common Among Gay Men, Are We Okay With That? – Daniel Payne, The FederalistHuman TraffickingAshton Kutcher delivers emotional testimony in fight against sex-trafficking – Philip Kosloski, AleteiaAuthorities: Human traffickers using new tactics to capture victims – Melissa Howell, WSETPornography2017 Dirty Dozen List – National Center on Sexual ExploitationMy Big Sister, The Porn Star: How Her Career Damaged Her Life And Our Family – Fight the New DrugVirginia, South Dakota vote overwhelmingly to recognize porn as ‘public health crisis’ – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews
Note: The following is Arina Grossu’s speech for the February 28, 2017 40 Days for Life vigil in front of D.C.’s Planned Parenthood. Arina Grossu is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.Good evening. Thank you for being here today. I wish we did not have to be here and I hope that one day soon we will no longer have to be when abortions are no longer committed. Let’s make abortion unthinkable. Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women and children, and Planned Parenthood, America’s number one abortion chain is also the abortion lobby’s number one perpetrator.Planned Parenthood is in the business of lies. Here are some facts containing numbers from its own annual reports. Planned Parenthood commits 35 percent of U.S. abortions, close to 325,000 abortions annually. Planned Parenthood is a scandal-ridden organization that needs to be defunded. It was at the center of the controversy involving the sale and trafficking of baby body parts as revealed by the Center for Medical Progress videos. It has also been caught promoting abortion quotas, and it failed to report statutory rape at a number of its affiliates. It has shown support for race- and sex-selective abortions. It targets minority populations: 79 percent of its surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African-American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.While it advertises its non-abortion services, a closer look at its annual reports reveal a shocking reality. Abortion is on the rise, but their other services have dropped to over half in the past five years. From 2009 to 2014, cancer screening and prevention programs have consistently dropped by 63 percent. In those same years breast exams have consistently dropped by over half (56 percent). These do not include in-house mammograms because Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms, a fact that Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards admitted in a September 2015 House Oversight Committee meeting, contradicting her 2011 claims that it did.From 2009 to 2014, prenatal services have steadily dropped by more than half (57 percent). LiveAction’s January 2017 sting videos reveal that out of 97 Planned Parenthood facilities that they talked to, only five said they provided prenatal care. One abortion worker at the Merrillville, Ind. Planned Parenthood said, “No, we don’t do prenatal services. I mean, it’s called Planned Parenthood, I know it’s kind of deceiving.”Another LiveAction January 2017 video revealed that of 68 Planned Parenthood facilities that were asked if they do an ultrasound in order to check the health of the baby, only three Planned Parenthood facilities said they did.In 2014, if a pregnant woman walked into a Planned Parenthood facility, she was 160 times more likely to receive an abortion than an adoption referral.So here we are standing in front of this $20 million state of the art mega-center that opened in September 2016 and is dedicated to child-killing. It is tragically located next to and across the street from Two Rivers Public Charter School. While children are being taught in those buildings, other children are being killed in Planned Parenthood’s building.Here they do medication abortion up to about 9 weeks for $475 and surgical abortion up to 14 weeks for $525.This Planned Parenthood, like other Planned Parenthoods and abortion facilities in each town and city, stands as an enemy against human dignity, an enemy against women and children, an enemy against human decency. Folks, we are looking at the gas chamber of our generation. It is a blight on our nation.But you are here, and this gives me hope for the future. 40 Days for Life is a great opportunity to witness to vulnerable mothers and fathers and abortion workers the truth about human dignity and the lies of abortion.Our presence matters. Not only does it matter, but it is crucial. Between 2004 and 2016, some 675 cities in 40 nations have conducted 40 Days for Life campaigns with measurable, lifesaving results.Do you want to know what a difference prayer and witness makes? Through prayer and fasting, peaceful vigils and community outreach, 40 Days for Life has inspired 725,000 volunteers. With God’s help, during 19 coordinated campaigns:12,668 babies were saved from abortion143 abortion workers were converted83 abortion centers were closedMore than 19,000 church congregations were activated and united for life.Wow! Do you realize how powerful we are when we unite for life? Together we will bring about an end to abortion. From March 1 until April 9, our community will unite with many others from coast to coast—and internationally—for another major simultaneous pro-life mobilization.It is a very exciting time to be in the pro-life movement right now. Did you know that there have been a torrent of pro-life laws in the U.S.? In the last five years alone, 334 laws have been passed, which account for 30 percent of all pro-life laws enacted since 1973.In 2015 Planned Parenthood closed 33 centers in a total of 18 different states. Planned Parenthood currently operates around 625 centers in the United States. At its height in 1995, there were 938 Planned Parenthood facilities. Both the numbers of facilities and affiliates are at an all-time low.We are also going to witness the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The over $500 million in annual taxpayer funds that currently goes to Planned Parenthood annually should be redirected to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that actually provide comprehensive and true health care for women, men, and children. Abortion is not health care.But we need your continued presence here—we need boots on the ground—and an active voice in contacting your members of Congress for the passage of pro-life bills.Your physical, peaceful presence stands as a beacon of light in a very dark place. Whenever we stand at the foot of the abortion facility, at the precipice where unspeakable evil takes place, in whatever city we find ourselves, we are the conscience of the world, the last lifeline of support for a mother facing an unplanned pregnancy, and the first to embrace her if she goes through with an abortion. We are also there to help abortion workers leave this wretched business.I encourage you to be part of this sacred task and sign up to pray and witness outside of this Planned Parenthood by going to 40daysforlife.com or just show up at any of its locations. You don’t have to say a word. You can come here to just pray and witness with your presence. Or if the Spirit so moves you in gentleness and love, to reach out to the mothers and fathers in unplanned pregnancies and abortion volunteers and workers and show them another way—the life-giving way. Your mere presence and witness speaks more than you can imagine.One final word of encouragement. When you come here or any other abortion facility for peaceful witness, please remember that you are not alone. When you stand here, either by yourself or with a group, you are not alone. You are joining in solidarity with brothers and sisters in cities all around the world, helping to rescue other brothers and sisters from the grip of abortion. We are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness. God’s power and strength will carry us.Ephesians 6 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20).For more coverage of this event, see here.
Dr. Thomas Price, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, please take note. Your U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon be cooperating (conspiring) with abortion activists to relax important health regulations so that America’s only approved abortion regimen can be sold by local drug stores. In fact, the process may well be underway as I write.Big Abortion’s aggressive push for evermore abortion, despite great health concerns for the mother (not to mention the baby), appears to know few bounds. Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is incontrovertibly an embryo and fetal-destructive chemical. Mifepristone (also, Mifeprex®) blocks the chemical action of progesterone, the key hormone that drives pregnancy forward. Mifepristone is taken with a second drug, misoprostol (Cytotec), which causes uterine-emptying contractions when taken by a pregnant woman. This two-drug abortion regimen was first approved by the FDA in 2000.There are many details related to the distribution of this regimen, but the key points to note are that access to the mifepristone itself is still pretty tightly controlled. The current 2016 regulations for the mifepristone regimen do not allow it to be sold in pharmacies. Rather, mifepristone may be distributed only by certified healthcare providers (originally, it had to be a physician). Such providers must have the ability to assess the duration of the pregnancy accurately, be able to diagnose ectopic pregnancies, be able to get the patient to surgical intervention in case of an incomplete abortion or severe bleeding, and, finally, must have read the prescribing information about the regimen. Clearly this sort of patient assessment cannot take place at pharmacies. The regimen may not be prescribed after the 70th day of pregnancy (LMP).On February 23rd, a group of ten abortion activists calling themselves the “Mifeprex REMS Study Group,” most of whom are physicians, argued that the Mifeprex regulatory scheme is obsolete and that the regimen should be sold in pharmacies. This piece of abortion advocacy appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.“REMS” is an FDA acronym that stands for “Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy.” The REMS for the Mifeprex regimen—the use requirements put in place to mitigate dangers to patients from a drug’s use—were already weakened by the Obama administration less than a year ago as it was going out the door. It was at that time that the FDA allowed for the amount of mifepristone in the regimen to be cut by two-thirds, and for the regimen’s use to be extended from 56 to 70 days when the failure rate at the earlier marker was already significant. Furthermore, a second office visit was also eliminated from the requirements—which was simply shocking given the complications that can occur, including incomplete abortion and ongoing pregnancy.My colleague Arina Grossu and I also called on the FDA to release the study citations and data that was used to justify the 2016 changes. (See pp. 2-3 of “The FDA Adopts the Abortion Industry Standards for the Mifeprex® (RU-486) Abortion Regimen.”) To the best of our knowledge, the FDA still has not produced a list of citations for twenty-two studies used to justify the relaxation of the regimen’s requirements less than one year ago.As our paper indicated, serious health complications from the Mifeprex regimen can arise. We know that from May 2000-2011, there have been 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies (suggesting inadequate screening), 339 cases of blood loss requiring transfusions, and 256 cases of infection (48 of which were considered severe).Dr. Price’s team at HHS and FDA needs to stop any effort that Big Abortion is attempting to slip through the agency before the Trump team is in place. Major articles like this one in the NEJM do not appear by accident, so the chances are that an application to effect this change has already been filed or is about to be filed.Furthermore, an independent medical and statistical review of the 2016 label change needs to be conducted for the purposes of determining whether that previous set of changes was politically and not scientifically motivated. As a gesture of good faith and transparency, FDA should release the most recent summary of Mifeprex regimen adverse events that it produces internally every quarter, so we can see the trend lines since the last data became available to the public.
In a White House press conference last Thursday, a reporter stated that “82 percent of transgender children report feeling unsafe at school.” She then asserted that by rolling back Obama’s May 2016 school transgender bathroom guidance, the Trump administration was leaving transgender children “open to being bullied at school.” She followed this up by saying: “Transgender children say that their experiences [of] not being able to use the bathroom that they feel comfortable using makes them vulnerable to bullying.”Just to be clear: It is tragic to know that such a high percentage of students who identify as transgendered feel unsafe at school. It goes without saying that bullying must be fought by any and every reasonable means at educators’ disposal. Anti-bullying policies and laws that are currently in place in all 50 states play an important part in this. But even more important is the education of children at home, where parents need to instill in their kids Christ’s golden rule from Matthew 7:12: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” This underscores the Christian principle that every human being, no matter what sexual identity they present, is a precious creation of God that deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.With that being said, do single-sex bathroom policies contribute to an “unsafe” environment for students who identify as transgendered, as the reporter asserts? The Obama administration’s solution to this perceived problem was to require schools to implement the following policy for restrooms and locker rooms: “A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity.”It remains unclear how this policy would have achieved its goal of mitigating bullying. For example, if a biological male who identifies as a female felt uncomfortable going into the boy’s restroom because of the potential bullying he would receive from other boys, how could he reasonably expect to feel safer if he were instead to go into the girl’s restroom? In the latter situation, the girls already in the restroom may feel (at the very least) uncomfortable or possibly threatened, which would lead to a less safe situation for everyone involved. How is this in any way a desirable outcome?A common-sense solution to this situation is for schools to provide a third gender-neutral bathroom option. This solution is endorsed by the National Association of School Psychologists in a study entitled “Safe School Environments for Transgender Students.” In the study, students at a school near Chicago who identified as transgendered gave positive feedback on gender-neutral facilities: “Students revealed that having more gender-neutral facilities eliminated tardiness and having to go to an opposite area of the building to use the bathroom during classes. Students also said that the private locker room felt safer than having to share it with nontransgender students…”To be clear, all schools were free to implement the bathroom policies that they deemed appropriate for the needs of their students, including gender-neutral options, before the Obama bathroom directive was handed down last year. There was never a need for this kind of “top-down” approach that infringes on the effectiveness of solving problems at the local level. By rolling back this misguided policy, the Trump administration is leaving states and school districts free to craft the policies that best protect their particular students’ needs.
With barely a murmur from the major news media, Washington, D.C. became just the sixth jurisdiction in America to legalize assisted suicide this past Saturday.As discussed previously, assisted suicide is an abhorrent illustration of how far we have fallen as a culture, where death can now be chosen as if it were a legitimate choice among a variety of medical options.It is therefore extremely disappointing, to say the least, that Congress did not use its Constitutional authority to block the D.C. assisted suicide legislation from becoming law through a joint resolution of disapproval.Congress can and must exert its constitutional authority to nullify this harmful and deeply flawed D.C. legislation, which undermines the dignity of human life, lacks commonsense safeguards against abuse, and endangers poor, sick, disabled, and elderly people.Although the D.C. law has already taken effect, doctors will not be able to prescribe lethal drugs for several months, possibly not until October, while D.C. creates the administrative forms, oversight, and studies for assisted suicide under their law.Congress’ latest spending bill funds the government until April 28 of this year. This gives Congress another chance to act to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide law by attaching a repeal provision to must-pass spending legislation, before patients begin to end their lives in our nation’s capital. We support Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD)’s efforts to that end.Assisted suicide is an inhuman act, pure and simple. It short-circuits the universal experience of death that every human being deserves at the natural end of their life. Further, anyone who has sat at the bedside of a dying person will tell you that death gives new meaning and insight into our humanity.One of the most beautiful recent illustrations of this was written for The New Yorker, of all places (a publication whose editorial board is almost certainly in favor of assisted suicide). Kathryn Schulz’s piece is a stunningly poetic and perceptive account of her experience of witnessing her father’s death. Here is an excerpt:Even so, for a while longer, he endured—I mean his him-ness, his Isaac-ness, that inexplicable, assertive bit of self in each of us. A few days before his death, having ignored every request made of him by a constant stream of medical professionals (“Mr. Schulz, can you wiggle your toes?” “Mr. Schulz, can you squeeze my hand?”), my father chose to respond to one final command: Mr. Schulz, we learned, could still stick out his tongue. His last voluntary movement, which he retained almost until the end, was the ability to kiss my mother. Whenever she leaned in close to brush his lips, he puckered up and returned the same brief, adoring gesture that I had seen all my days. In front of my sister and me, at least, it was my parents’ hello and goodbye, their “Sweet dreams” and “I’m only teasing,” their “I’m sorry” and “You’re beautiful” and “I love you”—the basic punctuation mark of their common language, the sign and seal of fifty years of happiness.One night, while that essence still persisted, we gathered around, my father’s loved ones, and filled his silence with talk. I had always regarded my family as close, so it was startling to realize how much closer we could get, how near we drew around his dying flame. The room we were in was a cube of white, lit up like the aisle of a grocery store, yet in my memory that night is as dark and vibrant as a Rembrandt painting. We talked only of love; there was nothing else to say. My father, mute but alert, looked from one face to the next as we spoke, eyes shining with tears. I had always dreaded seeing him cry, and rarely did, but for once I was grateful. It told me what I needed to know: for what may have been the last time in his life, and perhaps the most important, he understood.It is easy for those who have never experienced the death of a loved one to say that people should have a “right to die.” When real-life accounts of death come to light, assisted suicide quickly becomes unthinkable. Here is one final excerpt:Eventually, we decided that my father would not recover, and so, instead of continuing to try to stave off death, we unbarred the door and began to wait. To my surprise, I found it comforting to be with him during that time, to sit by his side and hold his hand and watch his chest rise and fall with a familiar little riffle of snore. It was not, as they say, unbearably sad; on the contrary, it was bearably sad—a tranquil, contemplative, lapping kind of sorrow. I thought, as it turns out mistakenly, that what I was doing during those days was making my peace with his death. I have learned since then that even one’s unresponsive and dying father is, in some extremely salient way, still alive.
Today the Washington Supreme Court ruled against Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who for years happily served her customer and friend Rob Ingersoll (who she clearly knew identified as gay), but could not in good conscience assist him in celebrating his same-sex marriage because it involved her creative talents and energies in furthering an activity she believed to be wrong. In response to this desire to honor her conscience, the Washington State government organs of “justice” teamed up with the ACLU to sue her for purported violations of nondiscrimination laws, putting her personal assets and home at risk as a result. Barronelle never asked for this controversy, but it was brought to her doorstep by activists who simply couldn’t live and let live, and she has stood strong through it. In its ruling today, the Washington Supreme Court first exposed its bias by spending a page and a half detailing the emotional toll on the same-sex couple, while spending a total of one sentence acknowledging similar harm to Barronelle (Hint: that toll is much more than one line’s worth). In addition to this discrepancy, there are major problems with the ruling. I want to focus on three of them. 1. The court got it wrong by concluding Barronelle engaged in discrimination The state high court clearly erred by rejecting Barronelle’s claim that she did not engage in sexual orientation discrimination but rather objected to a certain activity (participation in the same-sex wedding). In rejecting her argument, the court heavily relied on cases minimizing any status/conduct distinction (the idea being that limiting the behavior of a certain class is discriminating against that class—a “tax on wearing yarmulkes is a tax on Jews”). Minimizing that distinction is a big error in this case, however. What makes the tax on yarmulkes reprehensible is the fact that it really is a back-door way of targeting Jews. Barronelle is not trying to “sneak in” discrimination against LGBT people by declining to participate in their marriages. She’s happily served these same people for years!The court recognized she had no problem with “selling bulk flowers and “raw materials,’” for use in a same-sex wedding, and acknowledged “she would be happy to do” that in this case. The court seemed to miss how this shows her actions do not turn on whether the customer identifies as LGBT or not, but rather upon the specific activity she is asked to participate in, noting at one point it believes “[t]his case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases in the 1960s were about access to sandwiches.” But the court already acknowledged Barronelle was not turning away customers because they identified as gay, as a sandwich counter would turn away any African-American who walked in. Barronelle only wanted to not be involved in their weddings. Is the court not willing to accept this? There actually is a status/conduct distinction that’s important to this case, and the Washington Supreme Court errs in minimizing it and relying on dissimilar situations and precedents. While the court acknowledges that cases highlighting the status/conduct distinction exist (see footnote 6 at the bottom of page 16 of the opinion), it does not discuss or address them. Barronelle honestly and simply has a conscience objection to facilitating certain marriages, and nothing else. Courts, activists, and everyone else involved in this discussion need to recognize this. 2. The court hugely erred in rejecting Barronelle’s Free Speech claim Additionally, the Washington Supreme Court simply got it wrong in rejecting Barronelle’s Free Speech claim. Though beginning with soaring language probably meant to show its high regard for free speech, the court quickly puts a damper on the party, concluding her artistic creations are not “inherently expressive” protected speech. The court’s analysis has some gaping holes, however, as it heavily relies on Rumsfeld v. FAIR despite significant legal and factual differences with the present case. FAIR was an unconstitutional conditions case dealing with government funding—in the military, moreover—an area Congress has significant constitutional power to regulate. The Court in FAIR also noted the recruiting law does not force schools to accept members they did not desire, while nondiscrimination laws force complete compliance in admissions or service. FAIR is also distinguished because the case hinged on a funding conditions issue, while here, as in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale and Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston, the primary issue is constitutional rights being pitted against nondiscrimination laws. The Washington Supreme Court gave inadequate attention to perhaps the most relevant case—Hurley—concluding it was “unavailing” to Barronelle simply because the Supreme Court in that case had recognized the parade organizing council was not a traditional public accommodation. But that was not the issue in Hurley; rather, it was whether there were constitutional rights in play that trumped any application of that state nondiscrimination law. On this point, the Hurley Court observed: “[w]hen the [public accommodations] law is applied to expressive activity in the way it was done here, its apparent object is simply to require speakers to modify the content of their expression to whatever extent beneficiaries of the law choose to alter it with messages of their own.” Thus, the Court concluded the application of the public accommodations law infringed on the parade organizers’ free speech, specifically the right to control the content of their message and be free from being compelled to speak a certain message. But the Washington Supreme Court skips all this analysis (indeed, the court mentions Hurley and Dale in Footnote 11 on the bottom of page 28, but sidesteps any discussion of how the federal constitutional rights in those cases trumped state law). The issue here is not, as the court believes, whether Barronelle’s business is the type that has “traditionally been subject” to nondiscrimination laws, but whether the First Amendment protects her as it did the parade organizer in Hurley. Barronelle’s expression should have been so protected, and the Washington Supreme Court erred in concluding it was not (oddly, it did so while spending several pages listing myriad examples of a variety of expressive activity which is protected—not all of which was more clearly “speech” than Barronelle’s activity). How it does this while at the same time quoting another Supreme Court case for the proposition that “[t]he government may not prohibit the dissemination of ideas that it disfavors, nor compel endorsement of ideas that it approves” is quite baffling. No same-sex marriage supporting florists are being threatened here. The state government is using the WLAD to go after those who disapprove of this “idea,” and the court goes along with this, while quoting a Supreme Court case which requires the opposite. The state high court concludes that the average observer of Barronelle’s action would not think it is meant to send any message and thus is not protected as “inherently expressive” activity. Yet one wonders how that same court would view the many who recently have protested President Trump in a variety of ways—most notably those refusing to design dresses for his family. I suspect they would most certainly believe that their actions were expressing a message. Would the Washington Supreme Court disagree with them if the issue arose as a legal question? 3. The ruling validated concerns that same-sex marriage and SOGI laws will be used to suppress religious liberty First, in its analysis which concluded that Barronelle engaged in impermissible sexual orientation discrimination, the court cites the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The state court claimed that denying marriage licenses is equal to sexual orientation discrimination, a conclusion it now foists upon Barronelle in her religious liberty case. With more of these wedding-related religious liberty cases likely to come, this part of the ruling should be noted by those who said Obergefell would not be used against such dissenters, and would not affect religious liberty. Indeed, the Supreme Court itself said in Obergefell: “[f]inally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths . . . .” Apparently, that may not be true after all, if more courts and advocates adopt the reasoning of the Washington Supreme Court. Second, on the bottom of page 52, the court’s reasoning validates the concerns of those who have long been claiming that SOGI laws are incompatible with religious liberty. Even when it comes to the most heartwarming religious liberty claimant around (an elderly grandmother who served her LGBT-identifying friend for years but didn’t want to be involved in his wedding), her rights are no match for state SOGI laws—which, the state high court concludes, are backed by a compelling government interest accomplished through the least restrictive means. Those putting much faith in compromise solutions between religious liberty and SOGI advocates should reexamine their assumptions in light of this portion of the opinion. Despite this ruling, Barronelle may yet be able to obtain relief from the United States Supreme Court. Hopefully, that Court will take up her case and uphold her federal constitutional rights in the face of the Washington State government’s oppressive action and its state courts’ acquiescence in this injustice. In thinking about how the U.S. Supreme Court will treat this case, it is a reminder of how important it is to have Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is good on religious liberty, confirmed as a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Meanwhile, we must not let what has happened to Barronelle at the state level happen to others at the federal level. This ruling is all the more reason for President Trump to protect religious liberty through executive action. Please join our petition effort calling for such protections.
National Geographic—both the magazine and the cable TV channel—have taken the plunge into the warm, politically correct waters of “gender identity.”First, the January 2017 issue of the magazine featured a set of cover stories on “The Shifting Landscape of Gender,” also dubbed the “Gender Revolution.” News of this “Special Issue” broke with the announcement that the cover model would be a child who identifies as “transgender”—a nine-year-old boy who claims to be a girl. It turns out, though, that the cover with the boy in pink was only for the “subscriber’s edition” of the magazine. Perhaps they realized that this image would not sell well at the newsstand. For that market, the cover featured a posed assortment of young people in trendy clothing styles, identified (in small print) as everything from “male” to “androgynous” to “bi-gender.”Then this month, a new special premiered on the National Geographic Channel: “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric.” Full disclosure—I have watched most, but not all, of it. However, I have watched all of the video clips on the website for the show, and read most of the articles in the print edition of the magazine.Here are three key facts to help the viewer or reader avoid being confused by National Geographic’s take on this “revolution.”1) “Transgender” has nothing to do with “intersex.”This is actually made clear in a glossary found in the magazine. Adapted from a publication called The Teaching Transgender Toolkit by Eli R. Green of Widener University and Luca Maurer of Ithaca College, the glossary features this definition of “Intersex”:A category that describes a person with a disorder of sexual development (DSD), a reproductive, genetic, genital, or hormonal configuration that results in a body that often can’t be easily categorized as male or female. Intersex is frequently confused with transgender, but the two are completely distinct [emphasis added]. A more familiar term, hermaphrodite, is considered outdated and offensive.This fact could not be any clearer. Yet often, people speaking in defense of the transgender movement will say something like, “Well, some people are born with ambiguous genitalia,” in an effort to persuade the listener that some people are “born” transgender—but “the two are completely distinct.” Couric falls prey to this in the NatGeo special, devoting nearly the entire first half hour (of a two-hour special) to the subject of “intersex” individuals—and then moving seamlessly into a discussion of transgender persons without clearly explaining that “the two are completely distinct.” Writer Robin Marantz Henig makes a similar error in the magazine’s article on “Rethinking Gender.”The fact is, the vast majority of “transgender” people—people who psychologically do not wish to identify with their biological sex at birth—are not “intersex.” Their biological sex characteristics are 100% normal and of only one sex—their “gender dysphoria” is entirely a psychological condition, not a biological one.2) Left to themselves, most children with gender non-conforming feelings and behavior will not grow up to be “transgender” adults.The cultural trendiness of the transgender movement is leading increasing numbers of people to assume that if a boy declares at age 3, 4, or 5 that he wants to be a girl, he must “really” have a female gender identity and should immediately be given a new name, a new wardrobe, and new mandate that all teachers and peers must address him by feminine pronouns.To suggest that gender non-conforming children are “going through a phase” is now considered offensive—yet many of them are in fact going through a phase. The magazine’s article on “Rethinking Gender” cites a 17-year-old biological female now called “Charlie” whowent through a process of trial and error similar to that described by other gender-questioning teens. First he [sic] tried “butch lesbian,” then “genderfluid,” before settling on his [sic] current identity, “nonbinary trans guy.”In addition to this anecdote, the magazine includes “guidance” from the American Academy of Pediatrics. It includes this caution: “For some young children, identifying as another gender may be temporary; for others, it isn’t . . . There is no way to predict how children will identify later in life.”The magazine article also cites an academic expert:Eric Vilain, a geneticist and pediatrician who directs the UCLA Center for Gender-Based Biology, says that children express many desires and fantasies in passing. What if saying “I wish I were a girl” is a feeling just as fleeting as wishing to be an astronaut, a monkey, a bird? When we spoke by phone last spring, he told me that most studies investigating young children who express discomfort with their birth gender suggest they are more likely to turn out to be cisgender (aligned with their birth-assigned gender) than trans—and relative to the general population, more of these kids will eventually identify as gay or bisexual.“If a boy is doing things that are girl-like—he wants long hair, wants to try his mother’s shoes on, wants to wear a dress and play with dolls—then he’s saying to himself, ‘I’m doing girl things; therefore I must be a girl,’ ” Vilain said. But these preferences are gender expression, not gender identity. Vilain said he’d like parents to take a step back and remind the boy that he can do all sorts of things that girls do, but that doesn’t mean he is a girl.It is ironic—and tragic—that in a society which is already extending much greater latitude to young people in terms of “gender expression” (breaking gender stereotypes in preferred activities, for example), we should be locking them into a permanently changed “gender identity” at an early age. I would hope that even those who support “transgender” identities could agree—this is a decision to be made in adulthood.3) There is no evidence that undergoing “gender transition” can be generally expected to improve someone’s long-term well-being.This is perhaps the crucial issue. Some of us who are conservative may find a change in one’s public “gender identity” to that of the opposite biological sex to be morally problematic as a violation of natural law. But if there is clear scientific evidence proving that people who make such a change are physically and mentally healthier and enjoy a longer lifespan than people with gender dysphoria who do not publicly “transition” (or who seek therapy to help them feel comfortable with their biological sex), then that would provide an argument for supporting (or at least legally permitting) such “transitions.”Such evidence, however, does not exist. There is certainly anecdotal evidence of individuals who will testify that they are happier after transitioning, receiving hormones, or undergoing gender reassignment surgery than they were before. But subjective testimonies of greater happiness in the short run are not the same as tangible evidence of greater physical and mental well-being in the long run.For one thing, there are physical risks associated with transition-related medical procedures. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) has warned of some:Estrogen has the potential to increase the risk of blood clotting, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and water retention. Anti-androgens such as spironolactone can produce dehydration, low blood pressure, and electrolyte disturbances. Testosterone, especially when given orally or in high doses, carries the risk of liver damage.And:Some trans women want physical feminization without having to wait for the effects of estrogen. They expect injectable silicone to give them “instant curves.” The silicone, often administered at “pumping parties” by non-medical persons, may migrate in the tissues and cause disfigurement years later. It is usually not medical grade, may contain many contaminants, and is often injected using a shared needle. Hepatitis may be spread through use of such needles.The inherent risks of substance use and abuse may be even higher in transgender people:Alcohol combined with sex hormone administration increases the risk of liver damage. Tobacco use is high among all trans persons, especially those who use tobacco to maintain weight loss. Risks of heart attack and stroke are increased in persons who smoke tobacco and take estrogen or testosterone.The GLMA also acknowledges that “trans people are particularly prone to depression and anxiety”—although it attributes this to a lack of social acceptance. LGBT activists often argue that transgender people may become suicidal if not supported in their efforts to transition—yet GLMA admits, “Suicide is a risk, both prior to transition and afterward” (emphasis added).In fact, one of the most dramatic findings on transgender health after transition was found in a rigorous study—conducted on every single person in Sweden (324 in total) who had surgical sex reassignment in that country between 1973 and 2003. It found, “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.” In fact, it found the risk of suicide—after sex reassignment surgery—was 19 times higher than among the general population.It is certainly important to have compassion for people who experience gender dysphoria. But it is hardly compassionate to encourage them to follow a course of action that not only requires denying biological realities, but also gives no realistic chance of improving their lives in the long run.
Dear Friends,Before his beautiful treatise of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning:“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”In the current political and cultural climate, these words pose a particular challenge for believers. Marco Rubio recently characterized our times this way: “We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody.” While there are many reasons why we have gotten to this place in our culture, I think an underlying cause can be traced back to what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians: when people with good intentions fail to act with love, whether it be in speech or in action, their efforts backfire. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a large percentage of news stories and commentary these days seem to be primarily concerned with scoring points against perceived enemies rather than to charitably inform, engage, and persuade. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of this.This is a failure to love. For believers, the temptation here can be to beat the opposition over the head with the Truth, and when that fails, to fight fire with more fire. After all, many argue, what else can be done when the other side refuses to even engage in a debate and instead resorts to name calling and straw man tantrums? This may be true, but believers must not succumb to tactics that society has deemed acceptable. Rather, we must present the Truth in charity and love. Hearts and minds are changed through patient forbearance, genuine empathy, and truthful proposals, as difficult and frustrating as this is to do.With the knowledge that Christ, who is Truth Incarnate, will ultimately triumph, let us always argue and debate in charity and love. This will often mean that we will “lose” in the court of public opinion, and our pride will be humbled. But Christ experienced no less. Let us pray that everyone, believers and non-believers alike, whether they be in public office, public policy, or the media, will come to know this truth.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesFree pastors from the Johnson Amendment – Tony PerkinsShulkin Poised to Address Concerns at the VA – Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry BoykinEverything The Women’s March Movement Wants You To Believe About It Is A Lie – Sarah PerryJudge Gorsuch Is A Mainstream Constitutionalist – Ken BlackwellMarriage: The Abundant Life – Dan HartUN: Religious Persecution of Rohingyas Reaches Horrific Levels – Travis WeberWhat You May Not Know President Trump Said at the National Prayer Breakfast – Travis Weber Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareHow to Think About Discrimination: Race, Sex, and SOGI – Ryan T. Anderson, Public DiscourseHomeschool Family Sues NYC After Being Subjected to 60-Day Investigation – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostTony Perkins Hails 'Victory' in $225K Settlement for Fired Pastor; Georgia Says He Wasn't Fired for Faith – Leonardo Blair, The Christian PostInternational Religious FreedomNew UN LGBT Expert Doubles Down Against Religious Freedom – Stefano Gennarini, C-FamU.K.: Preacher jailed for sharing Bible teaching with homosexual teen – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsAsia Bibi: Putting Seven Years Imprisonment Into Perspective – David Curry, The Christian PostRubio urges Trump to uphold religious freedom and human rights in China – China AidMilitary Religious FreedomNavy’s ‘diversity road map’ lays foundation for multiethnic force protected against discrimination – Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times LifeAbortionHow Women Can Help Abortion-Proof Their Communities – Kat Talalas, The FederalistMore Pregnant Women Choose Life Over Abortion Than Ever Before – Macaiah Bilger, LifeNewsAbortion Widens the Gender Gap and Exploits Women – Brian E. Fisher, Public DiscoursePlanned Parenthood offered incentives, ‘pizza parties’ for meeting quotas – Kate Scanlon, TheBlazePost-abortive woman: Seeing my aborted baby was “the worst moment of my life” – Nancy Flanders, Live Action NewsFact Check: Abortion Is Not ‘The Most Safest Medical Procedure In America’ – Jay Hobbs, The FederalistAdoptionFoster Care as the Way of Christ – Darren Carlson, Desiring GodFirefighter adopts baby he delivered on emergency call – Zoe Romanowsky, AleteiaBioethicsOregon bill would let doctors starve, dehydrate mentally ill patients – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsHouse Committee Votes to Strike Down D.C. Law Legalizing Assisted Suicide – Steve Ertelt, LifeNewsD.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill Could Cut Costs — and Compassion – Brad Wenstrup and Phil Roe, National ReviewNew Mexico Assisted Suicide Bill Moves Toward Death on Demand – Wesley Smith, LifeNewsObamacareWhy Delaying Obamacare Repeal Is Hurting the American People – Sondra Clark, The Daily SignalWe Hear You: From Obamacare to Affordability and Choice for Consumers – Ken McIntyre, The Daily SignalFamilyEconomics/EducationWorkplace Flexibility for Moms and the Gender Gap – Ashley McGuire, Family StudiesThese Small Business Owners Fret Over ‘Devastating’ Import Tax Pitched by House GOP Leaders – Josh Siegel, The StreamToday’s Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America’s Cult-Like Education System – Stella Morabito, The FederalistGood Money – Samuel Gregg, Public DiscourseState Lawmakers Need To Dramatically Increase School Choice Now Or America Is Over – Inez Feltscher, The FederalistIdentity Studies in Service of a Classical Education – Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., Public DiscourseMarriageDebunking the Ball and Chain Myth of Marriage for Men – Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family StudiesHow Should a Christian View Marriage and Divorce? – Amy Desai, Focus on the Family6 Habits that will destroy your marriage, and how to avoid them – Aleteia Faith/Character/CultureWhen the One You Love Is Wayward – Dave Harvey & Paul Gilbert, The Gospel CoalitionHero In Blue – William Doino, Jr., First ThingsHuman SexualityCohabitation Contributes to Family Instability Across the Globe – Laurie DeRose, Family StudiesSix Essential Facts About Senate Bill 6 (Texas Privacy Act) – Texas ValuesThe Data Suggests Unisex Bathrooms Are A Bonanza To Male Perverts – Paul Dirks, The FederalistOther Reasons to Wait Until Marriage – Boundless Transforming Hookup Culture: A Review of American Hookup – Amber Lapp, Family StudiesHuman TraffickingSex Trafficking Spikes Around the Super Bowl, But It’s a Year-Round Scourge – Mary Rose Somarriba, VerilyHuman Trafficking and Slavery: How Flight Attendants are Saving Lives Miles in the Air – Nancy Flory, The StreamPornographyWhy We All Need Millennials To Start Trying To Have More Sex – Hans Fiene, The Federalist
It’s National Marriage Week, so it’s a good time to put in a good word for marriage: I got married last April, and my previously miserable life has been perfect ever since.I’m kidding, of course, but what is true is that the nature of day to day life does change as a married man. When I was single, day to day decisions about life were usually about me: “What do I feel like eating?” “What do I want to do this weekend?” “What do I want to watch tonight?”What’s different about marriage is that my day to day decisions are now primarily based on the question “What does my wife need?” rather than “What do I need?” In a sense, being married is a shift away from one’s self and toward another person. What I have found, paradoxically, is that this can be very freeing. Instead of constantly agonizing about what my true purpose in life is and what I should really be doing with my life (which I did incessantly when I was single), it is now very clear to me what I need to do every day: I need to love my wife. Everything that I now do (going to work, doing chores, going on errands, or even playing the guitar) is a means by which I can accomplish that goal.In this sense, the married life is a full life. I don’t mean to say that those who are single are somehow living inferior, less fulfilled lives. I just mean that marriage, in essence, is a total and complete gift of self. Within the vow of “forever”/ “unto death do us part” lies the freedom of giving one’s whole self, whole life, and whole future to another person. Indeed, my life feels more full than it did when I was single. I don’t think this is an accident. As Christ said in Mark 10: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” In a sense, then, marriage is a way of becoming more fully human because we are supernaturally joined to another person.When I was single, I would often try to imagine what it would be like to be married. I would often try to imagine myself as a husband and think “How could I ever do that? I know nothing about how to be a good husband or father.” I would often think that in order to be married, I would need to change my personality and natural temperament in order to fit in to what an acceptable “husband” should be, otherwise I would completely fail at it. What I have found is that we can never really change who we are. Once you become a husband, you naturally make this new role your own. In other words, marriage isn’t about attaining a status, it’s about growing into a more loving human being. God has given us marriage as a means by which we can become more holy.I say this in order to encourage anyone out there (men especially) to not be afraid of marriage. You don’t have to worry about being a perfect husband, there will never be a perfect time in your life to get married, and you will never find a woman who is perfect. If you think you have found the right woman (which should be prayerfully discerned), don’t be afraid to propose!
In January, it was a march. In February, it’s become a movement: a developing, inelegant phenomenon quivering with the latent energy of a post-march high. The covers of Time and the New Yorker recently featured a certain cat-eared pink hat. Organizers have developed 10 action steps for the first 100 days.At USA Today, author Heidi M. Przybyla argued that “The march’s biggest asset — that it was completely organic and grass-roots — is now its challenge going forward.” Nascent march group organizers in New Jersey are hoping their collective acts as a clearinghouse on reproductive rights, climate change, and a free press.READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
Many in the West may not know about it, but the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has been occurring for some time at the hands of their own government, which wants them forced out of the country. A new report by the United Nations reviews recent developments and documents the cruelty to the group, which includes horrific killings of children and gang-rapes of women—often perpetrated by security forces.While the facts on the ground are almost always more complex that what we can capture in reports and news stories, it is certainly true that religious persecution is a major element of what is occurring here. Religious freedom is a human right held by all, wherever they live and whatever they believe. All are entitled to be free to choose their faith and manifest it in their lives free from government interference, as articulated in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This goes for Muslims in Myanmar as much as it does for Christians in the Middle East.Just because we don’t hear much about this situation in the Western press doesn’t make it any less horrible, or mean religious freedom violations are not occurring.
The coverage of President Trump’s remarks yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast was dominated by reference to his comments about Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you didn’t watch his speech or read the transcript, you may not realize what else was said.Commenting on the denial of religious freedom in the Middle East, President Trump stated:“We have seen unimaginable violence carried out in the name of religion. Acts of wanton slaughter against religious minorities.”And:“We have seen peace-loving Muslims brutalized, victimized, murdered and oppressed by ISIS killers. We have seen threats of extermination against the Jewish people.”Yes, President Trump recognized the fact that Muslims are being killed in the Middle East. This, however, is an inconvenient truth for biased mass media bent on portraying him as “anti-Muslim,” so it’s perfectly logical that the mass media don’t report it.President Trump’s other reference—to minorities suffering violence—would include Yezidis, Christians, Baha’is, Shabak, Kaka’is, certain Muslims, and others. I enjoyed meeting many people from these groups when I conducted religious freedom training for civil society participants in Kurdistan, Iraq several years ago. They are fascinating people, and unknown to many outside that region. President Trump recognized their plight in his comments at the Prayer Breakfast, yet this has gone unreported, with the “mainstream” press choosing to focus on Arnold Schwarzenegger instead.True religious freedom advocates support religious freedom for all people, both here in the United States and overseas. Indeed, U.S. and international law protect religious freedom for all people, in all contexts, within the bounds of an orderly, free society. In this sense, not only “justice is blind,” but “religious freedom law is blind.” Thus we can determine the true religious freedom advocates based on who values and supports these religious freedom laws, as opposed to those who try to limit them to certain contexts.We have yet to see what the Trump administration will do to protect religious freedom overseas. Recognizing the problem, however, is a start.At the Prayer Breakfast, it was also heartening to see President Trump recognize the source of religious freedom rights:“Our Republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.”Indeed. Government does not create and grant human rights; it only recognizes them. Such human rights include the right of all people to choose their faith, and the freedom to live it out. This is a hopeful note on which we can proceed.
Last Friday, the annual March for Life took place here in Washington, D.C. It was a successful, peaceful, non-vulgar event as it has been for over forty years. This year, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the event, making him the highest ranked government official to ever address the March. Hundreds of thousands of people participated—this time-lapse video of the attendees processing toward the Supreme Court gives some idea of the crowd’s significant size.Crowds of this size have been typical at the March for Life for many years, but the establishment news media has pretty much ignored the March because they support abortion on demand as a policy and have little regard for the pro-life movement. Typical of this disregard and disdain was a short announcement in the New York Times by Jeremy Peters the day before the March indicating that Mr. Pence would speak there the next day.Peters begins his description of the news in the first paragraph by saying “Vice President Mike Pence will speak on Friday to a gathering of anti-abortion activists on the National Mall…” The description reeks of an attempt to diminish the March.The largest annual event for those who hold to a range of values about defending life is described merely as a “gathering.” This is technically true—but in the same way that the Rose Bowl game is a “gathering” of football fans near a playing field in Pasadena.Next we see the annual March described as a meet-up for “anti-abortion activists on the National Mall,” a description that is inadequate, to say the least. There may be a large number “activists” at the March, but, unless you are going to employ the tautology that any attendee who wants abortion ended is an activist, there were tens of thousands of participants who come merely to express concern and sorrow about the loss of lives abortion has caused. They are not political or social activists—they may be priests, pastors, and everyday Americans who “act” by praying tirelessly for abortion’s demise.Were all those who marched with Dr. King in 1963 “activists”? I think that would be an inaccurate characterization of that group as well. Does standing in public against injustice make you an “activist”? I don’t think so. Christians are exhorted “to stand” and reject the perception that something is accepted by the church when it is not in actuality (see Ephesians 6:13 and Daniel 3). Many of those who attend the March for Life do so merely to leave their normal walks of life for a day “to stand” with the unborn. Many men and women also come to stand as acts of contrition for abortions in which they have participated.Finally, the usage of the terms “anti-abortion” and “anti-abortion activist” by the media is a characterization that allows for the easiest stereotyping and dismissal of those marchers. This phrasing might be acceptable if those who support abortion, like many who attended the Women’s March held here on January 21st, were always referred to as “pro-abortion,” but they are not. Euphemisms like “pro-choice” have been used for decades to misdirect from the reality of abortion.At the very least, the people at last Friday’s event were concerned with many bioethical issues beyond abortion like euthanasia, fetal tissue harvesting, cloning, and the creation of human-animal hybrids. “Anti-abortion” is an easy but incomplete way to characterize the depth and breadth of the pro-life movement.The March for Life is a beautiful thing that deserves better treatment. I don’t mean to batter Mr. Peters—he seems like an able journalist who was probably working on a deadline and a word-count. But with that said, the time is long overdue when America’s “paper of record” should be able to write ably and fairly about a critical component of the pro-life movement, a social movement that is winning the argument.
Dear Friends,For over thirty years, FRC has worked tirelessly to end legal abortion in American public policy. Our commitment to this cause is rooted in the belief that no nation that legally allows the God-given gift of future generations to be killed in the womb can last.But the pro-life movement to end abortion can and should be fought on all fronts, not just the legal and political side. Efforts to stem the demand for abortion in the first place are equally important. A recent article in Family Studies astutely explores this issue by pointing out that “three-fourths of all abortions are performed on women living at or below the poverty line,” and most of these women are single. What researchers have found is that “rarely do[es] a young woman and her community find abortion justifiable … It is often the pressure of the father that introduces abortion.”This clearly points to the fact that a cultural change must occur in America in order to help reduce the number of abortions. That is why FRC has funded the compilation of empirical evidence to point out the value of marriage and why it is so important for the flourishing of families, which are the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. As the evidence shows, when men do not marry, they earn less money. One reason for this is obvious: single men have less incentive to work toward getting higher-paying jobs because they don’t have a wife and child to support. In today’s self-centered culture, many single men still want the sexual benefits of marriage in a relationship without the perceived “restrictions” on their bachelor lifestyle that marriage would cause. So when a single man’s girlfriend becomes pregnant, it’s cheaper for him to pay for an abortion than it is to support the mother of his child and the child for the rest of their lives. As the Family Studies article illustrates, this scenario plays out mostly in low-income unmarried relationships.A goal for believers should now become crystal clear: In order to help reduce abortion, we must do all we can to help low-income men and women in particular see the value of God’s design for marriage and sexuality. Our modern culture scoffs at such “antiquated morality,” but God’s design for sexuality is beautifully simple because He knows it will bring about our happiness. When one saves sex for marriage and then marries, a vow is taken to love and stay true to the spouse until death. This means that adequate means of financial support must be worked hard for to accomplish this goal. This will most likely lead not only to a stable financial setting for any future children to be born into, but also a loving relationship that fosters virtue in the child, who then pass this tradition on to their children, and so on. When we follow God’s plan for marriage and sexuality, abortion not only becomes morally unthinkable, it becomes culturally and economically irrelevant.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research CouncilFRC ArticlesDonald Trump Won the Respect Vote – Ken BlackwellWhat Americans Want In Their Next Supreme Court Justice – FRC ActionThe Condescension of the Establishment Media Regarding Life – Chris GacekThe Pro-Life Movement Cares About All Babies, Born and Unborn – Dan HartPro-Life Bills You Should Know About in 2017Was Manning’s Sentence Too Long - Or Too Short? – Peter SpriggWomen’s March is Out of Touch with Today’s Feminists – Brynne KrispinPlanned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape Reality – Dan HartObama’s Farewell Praised “Democracy” — But His Support for Judicial Tyranny On Marriage Shows He Doesn’t Mean It – Peter Sprigg Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareNFL columnist believes faith in God is biggest under-covered story in football – Philip Kosloski, AleteiaAtheist Group Sues West Virginia School District Over 'Bible in the Schools' Classes – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostReligious freedom fight returns to Colorado; opponents line up – Brian Eason, The Denver PostFake News on Religion: Pew Continues to Confuse – Tom Trinko, American ThinkerInternational Religious FreedomChristians Not Welcome in India – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post LifeAbortionIn the Debate Over Abortion, Let’s Talk to the Poor – Meg T. McDonnell, Family StudiesWe Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us Know – John Piper, Desiring God3 Ways the Pro-Life Movement Can Help End Abortion – Scott Klusendorf, The Gospel CoalitionTrump bans foreign aid to groups that provide abortions – Robert King and Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington ExaminerI Thought Planned Parenthood Protected Family Values – Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Coalition‘Greatest genocide in history’: Groundbreaking report finds 1 billion abortions in past 100 years – Pete Baklinski, LifeSiteNewsNew Poll: Majority of Americans Want Bans on Late-Term Abortions and Abortion Funding – Casey Fiano, LifeSiteNewsAdoptionShe’s One of the Rare Pregnant Moms to Go Into Planned Parenthood and Come Out With a Baby. Here’s How – Jay Hobbs, LifeNewsMeet 4 Pro-Life Lawmakers Who Chose to Adopt – Philip Wegmann, The Daily SignalBioethicsAwful Study Says Euthanizing More Patients Will Save the Government Money – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNewsPanel clears Dutch doctor who asked family to hold patient down as she carried out euthanasia procedure – The TelegraphDisabled Lawmaker: “People Like Me Are Facing Extinction From Abortion” – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsCongressmen introduce bill to block DC assisted suicide – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsPsychiatrist Euthanized Six Mentally Ill Patients Who Had Dementia – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsObamacareHow We Can Repeal the ACA and Still Insure the Uninsured – John C. Goodman, Pete Sessions, Bill Cassidy, Independent InstituteRepublicans roll out their Obamacare replacements – Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington ExaminerCovered California Misery Still Getting Worse – K. Lloyd Billingsley, Independent InstituteNew Data Show Obamacare Insures Less Than 20 Million, Most on Medicaid – Alyene Senger, The Daily Signal FamilyEconomics/EducationCould a Renewal of Thrift Education Help Young Americans Save More? – Amber Lapp, Family StudiesThe Unintended Consequences of Minimum Wage Hikes – Abigail R. Hall Blanco, Independent InstituteOur Economy Is Barely Growing. Here’s 4 Steps We Can Take to Change That. – Timothy Doescher, The Daily SignalAmerica’s Great Divergence – Alana Semuels, The AtlanticWomen, We’re Co-Workers, Not Competitors – Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel CoalitionMarriageThe art of patience in a marriage – Zyta Rudzka, AleteiaMarital Fidelity and God’s Fidelity – Fr. Timothy Vaverek, The Catholic ThingMaking the Case for Married Parenthood to Millennials – Jennifer Murff, Family StudiesFaith/Character/CultureFamilies, Schools, and Churches: The Building Blocks of a Healthy Social Ecology – Erika Bachiochi, Public DiscourseHow a hungry boy taught me the ugly truth about myself – Simone Lorenzo, AleteiaAffirming Life and Family in Hollywood – Ashley McGuire, Family StudiesHuman SexualityTime For Parents To Resist Transgender Activism – Emily Zinos, First ThingsIs There an ‘Unmet Need’ for Family Planning? – Rebecca Oas, The New AtlantisHuman TraffickingIn-N-Out Burger Matches Donations To Fight Human Sex Trafficking – Fight the New DrugPornographySouth Dakota’s Senate Just Declared Pornography a Public Health Crisis – The National Center on Sexual ExploitationHow Shame Made My Struggle With Porn Worse, Not Better – Fight the New Drug
As we approach the March for Life tomorrow, we have an unprecedented opportunity before us to advance the culture of life with a unified pro-life House, Senate, and president. Here are some bills you should know about for 2017 that will defend the innocent and protect the consciences of the American people. This year, like never before, let your representatives know of your support for these crucial measures that will save lives.1. S.184/H.R.7 - No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure ActThe No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would permanently codify the Hyde Amendment and apply it across all federal government programs, preventing federal funds from paying for elective abortion and health care plans that include elective abortion coverage. This bill (H.R.7) passed the House on January 24, 2017, and its Senate companion bill (S.184) is currently pending a vote in the Senate.2. H.R.37/S.220 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection ActThis bill requires health care practitioners to treat babies born alive after failed abortion attempts with the same care they would provide to a baby born at the same gestational age. Additionally, it includes penalties for the intentional killing of infants born alive. The bill also gives the mother of a child born alive a private right of action to seek relief in case an abortionist were to kill her born-alive infant.3. H.R.36 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection ActThis bill will ban abortions after 20 weeks’ post-fertilization, the point at which science tells us a child can feel excruciating pain.4. Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (pending introduction)With this budget reconciliation bill, a special legislative vehicle that can pass the Senate with just 51 votes, pro-lifers can see Obamacare gutted, stopping subsidies for health care plans that cover abortion and see over $400 million rescinded in annual mandatory spending that currently funds Planned Parenthood. These taxpayer dollars would then be reallocated to other federally-qualified health centers that do not provide abortion. This bill passed the House and Senate in 2016, but unfortunately former President Obama vetoed it. President Trump has indicated that he would sign this legislation.5. Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act (pending introduction)This bill would ban dismemberment abortions in which unborn children are brutally torn apart limb from limb (also known as dilation and evacuation abortion).6. Conscience Protection Act (pending introduction)This bill would stop discrimination against pro-lifer Americans, by the government and entities it funds, who object to being forced to participate in abortion (such as doctors). This bill would codify abortion conscience laws like the Weldon Amendment that have to be re-added to annual spending bills, and the bill would give pro-life victims of discrimination the right to sue in court.
With the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past Sunday and the youthful energy of the March for Life that will happen today, we as a nation are rightly confronted once again with what many would prefer not to think about: In America, one’s unborn offspring can legally be killed.With abortion front and center this week, it seems like the perfect time to once and for all quash a lie that has been continually regurgitated year after year by those who are in favor of abortion. The falsehood goes something like this: “Pro-lifers only care about the baby when it’s in the womb. Once it’s born, you no longer care about it, even when that child is born into poverty” yada, yada, yada.Dr. Brian Clowes of Human Life International recently gave a succinct rebuttal of this falsehood at an FRC Policy Lecture: “My wife runs one of the 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers [there are actually over 4,000] all around the country. She and her volunteer counselors do everything, including driv[ing] them [women with unplanned pregnancies] to ultrasound appointments, finding them clothes, finding them jobs, finding them housing, and all the rest. No pro-abortion group does that. So I like to ask people, go ahead and pretend that you’re pregnant outside of marriage and can’t deal with this child; call up a pro-abortion group, any pro-abortion group, and say ‘I need help with baby food, with formula, I need help finding a job,’ and they’ll either laugh at you or refer you to a social service agency. Then try any pro-life CPC (crisis pregnancy center) and look at the contrast there. Who really cares about the women?”To illustrate this point, Live Action recently released a video detailing how abortion groups like Planned Parenthood are the ones that don’t provide care for women if they choose to give birth to their babies—not only do they not provide services for women after birth, the vast majority don’t even provide basic prenatal care.So next time you run into the baseless “pro-lifers only care about unborn babies” line, be sure to set the record straight: the pro-life movement cares about women and their babies, period—whether born or unborn. The facts speak for themselves.

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