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Updated: 10 hours 14 min ago

Big News in Protecting Life & Religious Freedom!

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 1:35pm

Many hot issues are still being debated in Washington D.C., but one thing that’s clear is that President Trump’s administration is keeping his commitment to protect life!

On January 20th, President Trump will have been in office for one year. It’s stunning how much difference that year has made in the fight to protect life and end abortion. In just one year, our country’s leadership has shifted from President Obama who asked God to “bless Planned Parenthood”—an organization responsible for the deaths of 321,384 preborn children according to their latest report—to President Trump who today became the first sitting president to address the annual March for Life live via satellite.

Here’s a snapshot of the important actions protecting life & religious freedom that have been taken at the federal level in one year:

  • TODAY: President Trump became the first sitting president to address the annual March for Life live via satellite.
  • TODAY: The U.S. House passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by 241-183! This bill requires proper medical care be given to infants who survive an abortion–rather than abandoning them die excruciating deaths alone and then be thrown out as medical waste. Now the Senate needs to follow suit and send the bill onto President Trump.
  • President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a letter ending the Obama Administration’s attempt to force states to include abortion providers in taxpayer funded Medicaid programs.
  • TODAY: The Department of Health and Human Services also issued a new proposed rule to protect doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortions.
  • TODAY: President Trump called on the Senate to send him the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—banning abortions after 20 weeks, the point at which preborn children can feel pain—and promised to sign the bill when it reaches his desk. The U.S. is one of only 7 countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks—including North Korea and China.
  • YESTERDAY: President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services created a brand-new division on “Conscience and Religious Freedom,” charged with protecting doctors, nurses, and other medical professional from being forced to participate in abortions or assisted suicide.
  • The Trump Administration issued guidance to enforce the requirement that taxpayer dollars not support abortions in Obamacare exchange plans.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions distributed strong legal guidelines across the entire government, designed to protect people of faith.
  • The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor issued rules rules to protect Americans, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, from being forced to pay for health insurance that covers drugs that can cause early abortions.
  • On the National Day of Prayer 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order, directing his administration to make protecting religious freedom and conscience rights a priority—signaling that the hostility toward people of faith and ministries by the previous administration had ended.
  • On President Trump’s first week in office, he reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which protects $9 billion in taxpayer-funded foreign aid from being used to fund the global abortion industry.
“God bless Planned Parenthood – President Obama. 2013 “Under my administration, we will always defend the very firsts right…the right to life.” – President Trump, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a difference 1 year makes!

“We are grateful that President Trump is serious about protecting life in America. Family Policy Alliance cares about electing prolife leaders and helping pass strong prolife laws in D.C. and in every state of the country because we care about the lives saved—and because each of those lives is an individual loved by and made in the image of our God,” said Paul Weber, President & CEO for Family Policy Alliance on today’s 45th annual March for Life.

Roe v. Wade isn’t the final say on the life issue. Men and women of faith around our country who are committed to taking action will be the final say in protecting life and ending abortion,” Weber concluded.

Will you help keep the momentum going in the fight to protect life & freedom? Please share this email with friends who would like to know the good news about the protections for life and religious freedom happening NOW. Or, you can share this on  your Facebook page by sharing this story using the buttons below.

The post Big News in Protecting Life & Religious Freedom! appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Roe v. Wade Wasn’t the End…But So What?

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 9:54am

Part 3 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”

The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say in Roe v. Wade, as we talked about in Part 2 of our four-part series on “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion.” Since the Roe decision in 1973, states have been passing laws that protect the lives of both mothers and babies, chipping away at Roe, bit by bit.

It’s not surprising that the states needed to pass laws that recognize the humanity of the unborn and regulate the abortion industry. But what many probably didn’t expect in the wake of Roe was the need for laws to protect the right to give meaningful consent to abortion by being given accurate information about the procedure and its impact—or the need for laws to protect medical professionals from being forced to participate in an abortion.

In this Part 3 of our series, we’ll discuss the importance of these laws. Do you know whether doctors and nurses in your state are protected from being forced to participate in abortions?

Laws Protecting the Right to Know & Consent

After Roe, many women were choosing abortion because abortion facilities never provided the mother with information about what the procedure would entail, the reality of post-abortion depression for many women, or the option to see an ultrasound of their baby. Most states today have laws that require abortion facilities to provide this basic information to women.

And many states are now taking those informed consent laws to the next level—requiring states to let women know that if they have a chemical abortion, there is the opportunity to reverse it without killing the baby if intervening medication is taken within a period of time. These types of laws clearly have the potential to save lives! So far, the following states have enacted laws requiring information about chemical-abortion reversal: Utah, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Arizona, though Arizona’s law was recently repealed.

Another critical aspect of real consent to an abortion are laws that require that a parent give consent when a minor goes in for an abortion. These laws are especially important because traffickers frequently take young girls to abortion clinics to “get rid of the evidence,” and adults have been caught taking minors across state lines to avoid parental notification or consent requirements. Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and North Dakota are some of the states with the best parental involvement laws when it comes to minors and abortion because they require both parents to give their consent or require notification and consent.

Laws Protecting Freedom of Religion & Conscience

Even after a heavy-handed ruling like Roe, it made sense to most people in America to allow for disagreement—in other words, even if a woman chose to have an abortion and had the right to abortion under Roe, that didn’t mean others would be forced to enable or facilitate her decision.

Now, 45 states protect the right of healthcare professionals to decline to participate in an abortion based on their religious or moral beliefs.

Why Does It Matter if the Court Didn’t Have the Final Say in Roe v. Wade?

Family Policy Alliance cares deeply about helping the Body of Christ engage with their own governments, both state and local. We believe that the people of God have an amazing privilege and responsibility to impact the laws of the country and states in which we live.

And, it’s been largely believers who indeed did build the grassroots pressure that persuaded state lawmakers to pass all these laws that chip away at Roe v. Wade.

But to what end? We don’t care about passing more laws to defeat Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. We don’t care about passing more laws just because we live in a country where we have the opportunity to be a part of the law-making process.

We care about passing these laws because of the lives saved—and because each of those lives is an individual loved by and made in the image of our God.

And indeed, the evidence is overwhelming that pro-life laws – particularly consent laws – save lives.  For example, a rigorous analysis of parental involvement laws (notification and/or consent) found that such laws generally reduced minors’ abortion rates by 15 to 20 percent!

We hope you’ll commit to partnering with Family Policy Alliance as we work together to make sure every state puts key laws into place that save lives & protect doctors and other medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortions.

Stay tuned next week for the final piece in our series “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion” where we’ll cover how we can see even more prolife progress in our country and states…even more quickly!

READ PART 1:  45 Years Since Roe v. Wade

READ PART 2:  The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say

The post Roe v. Wade Wasn’t the End…But So What? appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Ask Your Congressman to Vote For the Born Alive Bill!

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 8:21am

Today, the U.S. House is slated to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This common-sense bill would protect babies who survive an attempted abortion.

While it’s sad that such a bill is even necessary, unfortunately there have been hundreds of such deaths documented in recent years. Thankfully, this bill would protect such babies in the future and would hold abortionists accountable who violate it.

We’ve made it quick and easy to speak up to your member of Congress. Please send your message in our Action Center, and then share with your friends.

Thanks for making your voice heard!

The post Ask Your Congressman to Vote For the Born Alive Bill! appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Why 25 States Have Said “No” to the LGBT Lobby’s Top Priority

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 1:39pm

For years, LGBT activists have insisted that it is impossible to change so-called “sexual orientation.”  But now they are trying to make it illegal.

Faced with the testimonies of thousands of people who have made the journey out of homosexuality, the powerful LGBT lobby is now trying to demonize and outlaw counseling that facilitates such change—as well as counseling that helps children struggling with gender identity.

The first step is an effort to ban professional counseling for minors who have unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity issues.  Already, 34 states have been targeted with such legislation, and additional states are expected to be targeted in 2018.

But while the gay lobby has managed to pick off several states that might be considered “low-hanging fruit” – mainly West Coast and northeastern states – the vast majority of the targeted states (25) have rejected this top LGBT priority.  Why?

Here are some key reasons state lawmakers have rejected these counseling bans, and why families—including families who do not have children struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity issues—should join the fight to reject this top LGBT priority.

1. It attacks free speech.

Banning this type of counseling censors the speech of licensed counselors by prohibiting them from offering acceptance, support and understanding of a patient’s own goals for change.  Many state lawmakers recognize that the Constitution prohibits the government from censoring speech based upon viewpoint.  Yet, these bills only allow speech that supports the viewpoint that all same-sex attraction or gender identity is healthy and good.

2. It strikes at the heart of parental rights.

These bills strip parents of comprehensive tools and resources to help protect their child from the psychological harm that comes from living with unwanted same-sex attraction – or the emotional distress that is caused by their child feeling alienated from their physical bodies (gender dysphoria).  Parents know their children best and are in the best position to decide the right course of treatment and spiritual help for their children.

3. It abandons victims of sexual abuse.

One of the most common – and tragic – causes of same-sex attraction in children is sexual abuse.  Opponents of these counseling bans recognize that it is wrong to compel a child to embrace an identity that was forced upon them by their abuser.

Jayson’s story is an example of a child who struggled with same-sex attraction after suffering from abuse—yet he received help.

4. The scare stories are being exposed.

With help from a largely complicit media, the LGBT lobbyists have trumpeted tales of abusive practices such as shock therapy.  But even some ban supporters now admit that it has been decades since such “aversive” practices have been employed, and in most states any new attempt to use such practices would violate counseling standards.  In fact, the LGBT lobby has opposed efforts to ban such practices, as it would make their scare stories moot and take away from their real target, which is basic “talk therapy” counseling.

Still, despite growing resistance to the counseling bans, they remain a serious threat, thanks to the power of the LGBT lobby and their allies in the media.  And reports indicate that such bans may be pushed in a majority of states in 2018.

Family Policy Alliance and our network of 41 state groups is engaged on your behalf on this issue.  In fact, since the initial 2013 surprise attacks in California and New Jersey, only one state with a Family Policy Alliance-allied group has passed a counseling ban.

What you can do:  Be on the lookout for counseling ban legislation in your state, and if you receive such alerts from Family Policy Alliance or one of our state allies, be sure to take action and forward the alert to friends in your state. We need your help as parents and believers to stop this attack on parental rights.

The post Why 25 States Have Said “No” to the LGBT Lobby’s Top Priority appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

20 Years of Protecting Family Values in Hawaii!

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 1:38pm

 

Congratulations, Hawaii Family Forum, on 20 years of protecting family values in your state!

January 15th marked the 20-year anniversary for Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Hawaii Family Forum.

In a state that tends to lean Left politically, Hawaii Family Forum, led by executive director Eva Andrade, has helped protect families in some incredible ways over the years.

Most recently, Family Policy Alliance worked with Hawaii Family Forum to help defeat assisted suicide in the state in 2017—despite a spend of over $1 Million by the leading advocates for doctor-assisted death. Hawaii Family Forum’s message that every life is worth fighting for—and that no one should be abandoned to hopelessness and death—resonated with Hawaii’s family-centered culture. And Hawaii Family Forum has defeated every effort to legalize assisted suicide since their founding in 1998.

Since 1998, Hawaii Family Forum has stood strong despite pressure to legalize gambling, which can prey on already hurting families. Hawaii remains one of only two states with no legalized commercial gambling!

And Hawaii Family Forum’s original executive director, Kelly Rosati (who later went on to serve as Focus on the Family’s Vice President, Advocacy for Children), drove the efforts to secure the first-ever legislative override of a governor’s veto in the state in 2001.

Kelly worked tirelessly with legislators to help pass a law to raise the state’s age of sexual consent from 14 to 16-years-old in order to provide greater protection for children. Hawaii’s then-governor vetoed the bill, and Kelly said at the time that the veto was “an affront to all the parents and concerned citizens of Hawaii who demanded action this legislative session to protect Hawaii’s minors from adult sexual predators.”

Kelly didn’t let the veto stop Hawaii Family Forum. She rallied Hawaii families to persuade legislators to ultimately override the governor’s veto for the first time ever!

Hawaii Family Forum has worked tirelessly to protect families—especially children and the elderly—for 20 years, and our Family Policy Alliance team is so proud to ally with this amazing ministry!

We asked Eva Andrade, Hawaii Family Forum’s executive director, about her ministry serving families in Hawaii:   “There is something invigorating and humbling about standing for the values that make this country (and our state) great.  In Hawaii, we have been able to promote righteousness because it is in our state motto, “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono” (The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness.)  For 2o years, we have stood firm for faith, family and religious freedom.  The excitement never ends because now we can look toward the next 20 years with hope and anticipation for what the Lord has yet to accomplish through all the men and women that continue to pray and stand with us.”

Congratulations again to Eva and Hawaii Family Forum!

Want to know if you have a Family Policy Alliance state ally in your state? Check here.

The post 20 Years of Protecting Family Values in Hawaii! appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

NEBRASKA: Why Talk Therapy Bans Harm Families

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 1:37pm

Did you know that one of the big-ticket goals for LGBT activist groups is to ban basic talk therapy for minors struggling with gender identity issues or unwanted same-sex attraction in as many states as possible? Thankfully, the majority of states rejected these bans in 2017, but some, like New Mexico and Illinois, caved to the pressure.

Karen Bowling, Executive Director of Nebraska Family Alliance, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies, hosts an outstanding radio program. She recently welcomed Autumn Leva, Family Policy Alliance’s Director of Policy and Communication, to talk about the harmful consequences of these therapy bans for families & why your state should reject any efforts to pass therapy bans.

Check out Karen’s 2-minute radio segments to learn more!

The post NEBRASKA: Why Talk Therapy Bans Harm Families appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:14am

Part 2 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”

In the bleak of winter, on January 22, 1973, it looked like the issue of abortion had been decided. The Supreme Court had ruled in Roe v. Wade, so what more was there to say?

And, what’s worse, Christians remained largely silent—at first.

But then, state legislatures slowly started to do what seemed impossible—they started chipping away at the infamous “right to abortion” ruling, proving that courts don’t get the final say. The people, families like yours across our country, get the final say through their elected leaders. As pressure mounted from the grassroots when believers of all denominations started calling on their government leaders to protect the sanctity of human life, laws in states began to change more quickly and more significantly.

Now, in 2018 as we approach the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, our nation looks dramatically different than it did in 1973, with the youngest generation now the most prolife generation yet. And, the variety of laws states have passed to protect life demonstrates more than anything else that all hope was not lost with that Court ruling 45 years ago.

We put together a snapshot of the primary types of laws states passed to save lives and chip away at the Roe v. Wade ruling. In this second part of our 4-part series on “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion,” we focus on laws clearly aimed toward recognizing the humanity of an unborn child and regulating abortion procedures, and those that directly impact abortionists and abortion facilities.

In Part 3 of our series, we’ll look at laws that protect mothers’ and parents’ right to know, as well as those that protect the religious freedom of healthcare providers who don’t want to be forced to provide an abortion.

Do you know whether your state has enacted any of these important laws?

Laws Recognizing the Humanity of the Unborn

In 2010, Nebraska became the first state to pass a law banning abortions after 20 weeks, following the legalization of abortion. Today, 21 states have passed late-term abortion laws and Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Representative Trent Franks (Arizona, ) have introduced similar legislation on the federal level with a promise from President Trump to sign the bills if passed. These laws recognize the truth  that at 20 weeks in utero,  a baby is capable of feeling pain.

States and Congress have also considered banning abortions based on the sex or disability of the baby—recognizing that aborting a child for reasons based on genetics is a wrong and dangerous practice. In fact, Ohio just passed a new law that bans abortions if the decision is based on a test result that indicates the pre-born child has down syndrome.

Recently, states have also started working to end the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion, where an unborn child is torn apart and then removed from the uterus. So far, eight states ban this practice.

Most states also have laws criminalizing the acts of others that result in killing an unborn child—further recognizing that both mothers and their unborn children can be victims of violent crimes.

Though it’s hard to believe laws like this are needed, about 30 states also have laws that require proper medical treatment and care be given to any infant who survives a botched abortion. Legislators worked to enact these laws after horrific stories surfaced of babies born alive after a failed abortion were left to suffer and die alone or even thrown out as medical waste.

Laws Regulating Abortion Facilities and Abortionists

The most well-known and best law regulating abortion clinics in order to protect both unborn babies and their mothers was passed in Texas in 2013. The law simply required that abortion facilities be required to operate under the same standards as other out-patient medical facilities, including a requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby facility in case of complications during an abortion. Of course, the Left strongly opposed this law because they want abortion-on-demand readily available and challenged the law in Court.

Sadly, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ law in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, but fifteen other states have laws similar to Texas, protecting women in their states. And, the Court’s ruling doesn’t mean that states can’t continue to regulate abortion facilities.

Many abortion clinics throughout the nation have closed as a result of failing to meet basic health standards such as cleanliness.  The most infamous example was the “house of horrors” – a Philadelphia clinic operated by abortionist Kermit Gosnell – where two female patients died.

All of these efforts are working to gradually limit the lethal effects of abortions. Indeed, studies show that pro-life legislation has significantly reduced the incidence of abortion, particularly among minors.

Each child in the womb has intrinsic value that ought to be recognized not only by the government but by every individual. Putting basic health restrictions on abortionists and their facilities protects not only the baby, should there be a failed abortion, but the regulations also protect the life of the woman as well.

As we head into the 2018 legislative session and Sanctity of Human Life month this January, we invite you to stand with us in support of legislation that will value the humanity of all those involved in this horrific industry. And, please be sure to sign up with us if you’d like to learn more about what prolife laws or pending bills your state has!

READ PART 1 – 45 Years Since Roe v. Wade

The post The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Nebraska: The Truth About Separation of Church & State

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:12am

Family Policy Alliance is proud to be allied with Nebraska Family Policy Alliance.

Keep up the “wall of separation between church and state”—ever wonder what that phrase really means? And is it in the Constitution? Check out the latest video from our allies at Nebraska Family Alliance!

The post Nebraska: The Truth About Separation of Church & State appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

January Kicks Off Huge Month for Family Policy

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:42am

This month sets off an avalanche of important legislation, as state legislatures begin their sessions in 41 states in January. Already, Family Policy Alliance is tracking hundreds of bills that could have big impact on life, families and freedom.

• Life. At this writing, state legislators have already introduced 241 abortion-related bills. Many of those bills would protect life in a variety of ways, from restricting taxpayer funding of abortions to requiring parental consent or notification before an abortion. But other bills would pave the way for even more abortions by providing public funding or repealing common-sense restrictions.

• LGBT. Meanwhile, the push for the LGBT agenda continues in many states, as 139 such bills have been introduced so far. Many of these bills seek to erase distinctions between men and women. They also seek to make people, companies, churches and schools civilly liable if they continue to honor the biological differences of men and women in their locker rooms and bathrooms, insurance policies, terms of employment, or services they provide.

• Religious Freedom/Pro-Family. Thankfully, 32 bills have been introduced to protect religious freedom, and another 57 bills could be classified as pro-family based on their proposed protections for adoption, safe-haven policies, parental rights and prenatal care.

• Education. And 140 family-related education bills are currently pending. Many of these bills advance school choice through programs such as vouchers, tax credits, scholarships and savings accounts. Others protect homeschooling rights, including “Tim Tebow bills” to allow homeschooled students to participate in public-school athletic programs. Others are very problematic, including bills to allow intrusive student surveys, liberal sex-education programs, and more.

Check out our heat map! The darker the color, the more bills that impact families that we’re tracking in a state so far.

How Family Policy Alliance Helps You: Obviously, tracking all of these bills – and the hundreds more still to be introduced – is a daunting task. Family Policy Alliance keeps tabs on them in two ways. First, we subscribe to computerized services that allow us to stay on top of every bill and every vote. Second, we utilize our close relationships with pro-family groups in nearly every state to get the inside scoop on what’s happening and where action is most needed.

Then, based on good information, we alert concerned citizens like you about key upcoming votes in which you could make a difference by speaking up to your elected official. And we make it as quick and easy as possible for you to take action through our handy Action Center. Usually just a click or two is all it takes to make your voice heard.

How You Can Make a Difference on These Bills: Besides taking action yourself, please share this article (and other action alerts) with friends, encouraging them to join the growing army of concerned citizens who are making an impact on values issues.

The post January Kicks Off Huge Month for Family Policy appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

FEMA to Church: Ready, Set, Rebuild.

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:14am

By Brittany Jones, Policy Manager

Imagine a world where the facilities that were the staging ground for relief to others were not rebuilt following a natural disaster. The world you just imagined was actually the world we lived in until recently. Texas Governor Greg Abbott & Texas Attorney General Paxton pled with FEMA to allow churches to receive help rebuilding, and now FEMA agrees with them.

During the Obama administration, private nonprofits that were exclusively religious were not allowed to receive government assistance for disaster relief. Churches are sacred spaces that provide refuge and comfort to thousands effected by tragedies such as natural disasters. Churches were hit just as hard as other nonprofits in the recent storms, yet they were not able to access the same government resources to rebuild because of their religious nature—even though they were leading the way in providing relief to their communities. Check out our video briefing on this topic from last year.

Our friends at Becket, a public interest law firm, have been working tirelessly to ensure that churches are treated equally in many arenas. They filed several lawsuits in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. They argued that the government was discriminating against religion by denying access to generally available resources. FEMA finally saw reason and is now allowing churches to be reimbursed for their rebuilding expenses.

Churches are motivated by their faith to help those around them, especially in times of intense need like we saw this past summer. Receiving these benefits allows the church to continue to run its normal operations while helping those in its community. Across the nation, 80% of disaster relief comes from faith-based organizations. Churches should not be penalized because of their inherent religious nature, but rather should be encouraged to support hurting people.

Thankfully, in this situation, FEMA saw the importance of protecting the freedom of churches to serve those in need and access the same help generally available to the public. However, this is not always the outcome. As legislative sessions begin in state capitols across the nation this month, lawmakers in each state have the power to pass laws to protect the church from being discriminated against by the government or to punish churches and ministries who live out their faith. Will you join Family Policy Alliance and our state-based family policy allies as we continue to fight for good laws that protect religious freedom in every state?

The post FEMA to Church: Ready, Set, Rebuild. appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

45 Years Since Roe v. Wade

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:23am

Part 1 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”

By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Over 200 years ago, our Founding Fathers acknowledged and declared life to be our first and greatest right. One that belongs to all. One that is inalienable, absolute, and unable to be taken away without violating the very source of our humanity. Yet, just 45 years ago, the Supreme Court delivered the seminal Roe v. Wade opinion that would contradict what many Americans have believed to be true since our founding: unborn children do not have a right to life, nor are they entitled to the full protection of the Constitution or the State from their own mothers. As you will see in our four-part series, “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion,” Roe v. Wade has become a disastrous example of why it is not the place of courts to decide issues of morality, set national policy, or invent constitutional rights to fit a political agenda.

In 1973, seven justices declared the right to privacy somehow included a mother’s right to have an abortion. The mother’s “right” doesn’t have to be balanced against the life of the child nor the interests of the father, and the Court restricted state interference based upon the unprecedented concept of trimesters. While Roe v. Wade alone was an astonishing departure from the Constitution and the moral perspective of the American people, the Court still couldn’t possibly have anticipated the waves of moral and political debate that would flood the courts and legislatures for decades afterwards.

For over 40 years the pro-life movement has evolved, becoming strategic in standing for the truth that all life is precious. Our people have come to understand elections matter at the local and state levels, and we all win when we place legislators in office who are not afraid to voice the truth that life is God-given, and therefore priceless and worth saving across all political parties, cultures, classes, and ages. Our elected legislators, not the courts, have been the ones on the frontlines, passing laws protecting pregnant mothers from coercion, deception, and unconscionable medical practices that became the results of Roe. Our legislators have protected pregnant minors, pregnant victims of crimes, and helped fund pregnancy centers that offer life-giving solutions to women in difficult circumstances. We will discuss the magnitude of what our movement has accomplished over the past 40 years in this four-part series and why we need the support of voices like yours now more than ever.

Family Policy Alliance, in partnership with you and your families, will continue to advance pro-life bills, support the election of pro-life candidates, and educate future leaders on the biblical truth that life is an inalienable right that belongs to all.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 in “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”:  The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say

 

The post 45 Years Since Roe v. Wade appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Saying Goodbye to a Man of Steel

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 4:08pm

By Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy

In 2016, we shared with you the story of JJ Hanson, the “man of steel,” who served as President of one of Family Policy Alliance’s national allied organizations, Patients Rights Action Fund, fighting against assisted suicide.


Produced by Patients Rights Action Fund

JJ was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014. Rather than choosing the path of assisted suicide that was highly sensationalized by 29-year-old Brittany Maynard who had the same kind of cancer, JJ chose to move past his depression and live every moment with his family.

Through his position with Patients Rights Action Fund, he also devoted his days, not ever knowing how many there would be, to helping lawmakers in states across the country understand the implications of legalizing assisted suicide for patients, for the medical field, for persons with disabilities, and especially for families. He gave his time to providing official testimony, sharing his personal story, and meeting with lawmakers one-on-one to encourage them to oppose any bill that would legalize assisted suicide.

JJ was only supposed to live about four months from his diagnosis in May 2014. He just passed away on December 30th.

Paul Weber, President and CEO for Family Policy Alliance believes JJ’s life greatly influenced our nation and, most importantly, his family:  “JJ devoted his last days to his family and to making sure that lawmakers around the country got the message that every life is worth fighting for—what an incredibly legacy for his wife and children. My team and I at Family Policy Alliance send our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Hanson family, and to our friends at Patients Rights Action Fund.”

We pray JJ’s family takes comfort in knowing that despite efforts in nearly 30 states by Compassion & Choices, the leading activist organization attempting to legalize assisted suicide, no state legalized the practice in 2017 (with the exception of D.C.). Family Policy Alliance is committed to making sure that as lawmakers head back to state Capitols in 2018, no bills to legalize assisted suicide advance. We hope you’ll join us in honoring JJ by declaring that every life is worth fighting for.

For more stories about why assisted suicide is bad policy, check out these short videos:

A woman with quadriplegia shares why assisted suicide is bad policy for people with disabilities This doctor explains why assisted suicide harms doctors’ duty to care for their patients Elizabeth has brain cancer—she explains why assisted suicide is bad for patients and their families

If you’d like to offer condolences to JJ’s family, his wife Kris requested individuals send donations to the Can’t Hurt Steel Community Foundation, PO Box 333, Eldred, NY 12732.

The post Saying Goodbye to a Man of Steel appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Take Action: Stop the Last-Minute Abortion Funding Deal in Congress

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:08am

Congress will likely decide this week whether to allow taxpayer funding for abortion in Obamacare, and your voice is needed to urge your senators and representative to vote against this scheme.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a pro-abortion Republican, last week demanded – as a condition of her supporting the Republican tax-cut bill – that Obamacare bailout funding be added to the must-pass appropriations bill that will be voted on later this week.  Her bailout package contains no language to guard against the use of taxpayer funds for plans that cover abortions.

Such pro-life language – often referred to as the Hyde amendment – is estimated to have saved more than two million lives since it was first enacted in 1976.

Family Policy Alliance has signed on to a letter advising every U.S. senator that any vote in favor of an appropriations bill without Hyde protections will rightly be seen as a pro-abortion vote.

Now it’s critical that senators and congressmen hear the same thing from voters like you. Please take a moment to send a message now, as time is of the essence.  We’ve made it simple on our Action Center – with just a click you can get that message to both U.S. senators and your member of Congress.

And then, if you would, please share this widely with friends so that Congress gets an unmistakable pro-life message in this week before Christmas!

Thanks for making your voice heard!

The Family Policy Alliance Team

 

TAKE ACTION- Send your message to Congress today.

The post Take Action: Stop the Last-Minute Abortion Funding Deal in Congress appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Why Two New Federal Judges Should Be an Encouragement to All Families…and Pro-Family Lawmakers

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:04am

Neil Gorsuch isn’t the only conservative legal thinker who has been appointed to a judicial bench during the new administration.  So far this year, 19 federal judges have been nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Many of these vacancies have been filled in the last several months. This acceleration in confirmations is due largely to Senate Republican leaders working around roadblocks put in place by Senate Democrats to stop the appointment of judges who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and law, not attempt to “write law” from the bench.

Two of the most recent appointments to circuit courts have strong ties to the Family Policy Alliance network. Don Willett was recently confirmed to sit on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and is closely connected to Texas Values, Family Policy Alliance’s allied organization in Texas.

Also, Steve Grasz, who was confirmed to sit on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, was formerly on the board of the Nebraska Family Alliance and his son, Nate Grasz, now serves as the organization’s Policy Director.

Karen Bowling, Nebraska Family Alliance’s Executive Director, shared her congratulations to the Grasz family: “We congratulate Steve Grasz and his family on his confirmation to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Senate confirmed a constitutionalist with a proven public service record in Nebraska who will serve with integrity and judicial prudence for years to come.”

These men have shown a commitment to faithfully interpreting the Constitution, a record of interpreting the law rather than legislating from the bench, and an upstanding character and worldview. These two men should be an encouragement to all families to see judges in our country with this type of character restoring the proper role of the judiciary. And, these two men should be an encouragement to lawmakers working hard to pass good laws that protect families, life and religious freedom—with these two men, pro-family lawmakers do not have to fear that their good laws will be overturned by activist judges.

The post Why Two New Federal Judges Should Be an Encouragement to All Families…and Pro-Family Lawmakers appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Protecting What God Designed

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:24am

By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager

He created them male and female and blessed them. Genesis 5:2 (NIV)

First Woman Mayor! Julie Lemieux elected “only female mayor in Tres-Saint-Redempteur’s 137 year history.”

Canadian headlines excitedly reported Julie’s “remarkable” accomplishment last month as the “first female mayor” in over a century. Yet, the sad reality is that a man who calls himself Julie and identifies as a woman was elected. Electing a male mayor in this Canadian municipality is not particularly noteworthy. And, a woman still has never been elected to this mayoral office.

Sadly, now a woman can never achieve the title of “First Woman Mayor” in Tres-Saint-Redempteur because a man stole the accomplishment. And, there are many more stories like this one. Allowing men to identify as women gives them permission to take opportunities (like scholarships, grants and clubs) and spaces (like locker rooms, showers, and restrooms) that have been specifically tailored for women. American law has put into place legal safeguards and protections to remedy centuries of preventing women from accessing the same opportunities as men.

With your help, Family Policy Alliance partnered with unlikely ally WoLF (Women’s Liberation Front), a radical feminist group, to make this very point. We submitted a brief to the Supreme Court together, helping the Court understand that erasing “woman” and redefining “sex” in the law is wrong and harmful to all. We may disagree with WoLF on many other issues, but we can join together when it comes to protecting women from being “legally erased” by gender identity politics.

Family Policy Alliance also works closely with our state allies to reinforce the truth that women are inextricably and historically linked to their biology, just as God designed us, and this reality cannot be appropriated by a man simply because he “feels” like a woman. This year, we tracked over 133 bills that would change the meaning of “sex” in the law and in society. These bills are all directly related to questions like whether men can enter female spaces such as bathrooms and locker rooms, be entitled to public funding for drastic surgeries to make their bodies more feminine, or take advantage of jobs intended for women all based on their feelings instead of biology. The good news is that with your partnership, our efforts to educate and equip families to stop these harmful bills, the hard work of our state allies advocating for families at capitols across the country, and with families like yours speaking out, only 5 of those 133 bills became law!

We, like you, believe women and men both reflect the image of God, have their own unique purpose in creation, and should remain free to pursue their purpose without fear of oppression or being erased by “gender identity politics.”

Thank you for partnering with us as Family Policy Alliance seeks to bring compassionate truth to this politically and emotionally charged issue so near to God’s heart and who He designed us to be.

The post Protecting What God Designed appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Transgender Facts That Shocked This Blue State Crowd!

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 8:59am

 

A few weeks ago, Family Policy Alliance was proud to partner with state ally Cornerstone Action of New Hampshire in hosting a Legislative Briefing and Gender Identity Forum centered around the hot-button issue of gender identity. Stephanie Curry, Manager of Public Policy for Family Policy Alliance, spoke to legislators and the public on how changing the definition of “sex” in the law negatively impacts everyone. Shannon McGinley, Executive Director of Cornerstone, stated: “Stephanie’s information was a real eye-opener to everyone who attended Cornerstone’s briefing and forum on gender identity. She gave a clear and valuable explanation of how gender identity laws will affect education and public policy. Even after the forum was over, she was happy to stay and answer questions. We’ve been hearing ever since from attendees who appreciated her presentation.” Curry was joined by David Pickup, a licensed psychotherapist, who addressed what true healing looks like, and Rene Jax who shared her life-long struggle with gender identity, even after a sex-change operation.

Read more about how Cornerstone has spoken truth into the lives of hundreds of people, directly engaging decision-makers who will be responsible for laws that will impact our nation.

The post Transgender Facts That Shocked This Blue State Crowd! appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

TEXAS: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the City of Houston’s Request to Review Same-Sex Benefits Case

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 8:44am

Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Texas Values, one of our 40 state-based allies.

In the only case of its kind, and in a major victory for Texas Values and Houston taxpayers, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the City of Houston’s request to review whether Houston taxpayers may challenge the city’s policy of providing spousal benefits to the homosexual partners of city employees.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Houston taxpayers Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks may proceed with their lawsuit challenging the city’s policy, and the high court’s action leaves the state supreme court’s ruling in place.

READ MORE
VICTORY: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the City of Houston’s Request to Review Same-Sex Benefits Case

The post TEXAS: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the City of Houston’s Request to Review Same-Sex Benefits Case appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

When Leaders Misbehave…

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 3:17pm

When leaders misbehave, what should be the role for followers of Christ? We believe that it’s time for Believers to do more as salt and light in our culture, not less!

By Paul Weber, President & CEO

In the midst of frustrating circumstances, it’s human to withdraw—to take our ball and go home.

Like you, I see the news and each day another powerful man is accused of sexual misconduct. Rumor has it that many more will come to light in weeks ahead. Whether in Hollywood or Capitol Hill, misdeeds of days gone by are being exposed with voracity and that’s a good thing.

What’s perhaps even more frustrating is that this behavior is not limited to those opposed to family values. Leaders who for years have championed dignity for women, life from conception to natural death, and a faith in Christ are not immune to this behavior. Many, to their credit, have confessed and immediately stepped down. We pray for their reconciliation to their families and to our Lord—especially at this Christmas time.

However, don’t you find it peculiar that in a culture as hyper-sexualized as America’s, that men are being forced from their lofty pedestals because of sexual misdeeds?  Think about it for a minute… we have lived most of our lives in a culture where sex is used for almost everything except for the beautiful act God designed it to be—to sell cars and toothpaste, to make porn easily accessible for even kids on any device, to escalate divorce, to pass for “love” in a hookup culture, and more. Yet, despite this, our culture still holds that sexual harassment is wrong! Perhaps there is still reason to be hopeful!

But, in our world where leaders are falling Left and Right (pun intended!), who will replace them?

Frankly, that depends on you and me and what we decide to do next. In the midst of struggles, will we take our ball and go home? Or, will we continue to engage; continue to provide resources; continue to join in the cultural debate and hold ourselves and those within the body of Christ to higher standards?

It’s for these very reasons that Family Policy Foundation—our tax deductible, sister organization—launched the Statesmen Academy.  The Statesmen Academy is dedicated to identifying and training Christian men and women who want to run toward the battle of politics and serve as missionaries within the system. To ultimately bring about transformation from within.

And, a vital part of the Statesmen Academy is accountability; to the Lord, to each other and to our constituents. While the training we offer is one week long, the fellowship, community, and guidance are intended for a lifetime. Your continued financial support can make that happen.

So, in this time of challenge, uncertainty and scandal; will we step up and do more… or less? Imagine if the Father had decided to do less over 2,000 years ago. What a state we would be in. Instead, He chose to do abundantly more and sent His only Son.

Thank God for more, not less!

The post When Leaders Misbehave… appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Victory! Huge Outcry Stops Dangerous Attack in Blue State

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 4:10pm
Nicole Theis, Family Policy Alliance’s allied leader in Delaware, delivers petitions to the Governor and Department of Education.

Last month, we told you about a push by the Delaware Department of Education to allow school children to self-identify their sex – as well as their race – without their parents’ input.  With backing from the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the leading LGBT lobbying group, it looked like this policy would sail through.

But then the radical policy ran into a wall of opposition orchestrated by Nicole Theis, who heads Family Policy Alliance’s allied organization, Delaware Family Policy Council.  She reached out to parents and other concerned citizens to inform and rally them to action – and even made an appearance on Fox & Friends.  As a result, in the last week Nicole and her team delivered 8,000 comments and petitions to the Governor and the Department of Education.

In response to the overwhelming opposition, the state announced that it is pulling the proposed regulation and sending it back for “substantive changes.”

The proposed rule (Regulation 225) would have, among other things, forced schools to let teenage boys use girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms.  “Regulation 225 is an example of the direct conflict between transgender ideology and parental authority,” said Theis.

While the battle certainly isn’t over in Delaware, Theis is very encouraged with the way parents responded.  “We’ve never seen so many people engage on an issue in such a unified way as we did with this regulation. We gave people tools to make it easy to take action, and citizen activists went to work all over the state, as much as they could in such limited time. We’re thanking God for the media opportunities to inform people and sound the alarm to wake up parents.”

If you live outside of Delaware, stay alert for related efforts by your state’s department of education.  Similar regulatory attempts have already been undertaken in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. We know the Left is targeting other states as well. Check out our piece Your State’s Education Department – Do You Know What’s Going On? to learn more. Families in Delaware proved that when they work together to call on elected leaders to stand for godly, family-centered values, they can make a huge impact in a state!

Finally, your support of Family Policy Alliance alerts and mobilizes people all over America, including in Delaware through our assistance to Nicole Theis and her team.  Thank you for making a difference!

The post Victory! Huge Outcry Stops Dangerous Attack in Blue State appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Top 3 Reasons Why a Cake Artist Is in Court…And Why It Matters to You

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 9:57am
 
Photo courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom
By Autumn Leva, Director of Policy & Communications

Jack is a small business owner from Colorado. He’s a cake artist who has loved art all his life. And, he’s a Christian who wants to live out his faith in the way he runs his business—and every aspect of his life. You could be Jack. I could be Jack.

Today, Jack is at the Supreme Court defending his freedom and faith, and the decision in his case will likely be the most anticipated Court ruling in the summer of 2018—similar to the ruling on Obamacare in 2012, the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case in 2014, and the decision on same-sex marriage in the Obergefell case in 2015.

Jack has been defending these rights ever since he told a same-sex couple he couldn’t design their wedding cake. The couple filed a complaint against him with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, forcing Jack to defend his faith, freedom, art and family business in a long legal battle.

But, what most people don’t know about this case is why Jack is in Court in the first place.

Here are the top 3 reasons:

  1. Colorado’s Legislators Passed a Bad Law.

The law putting at risk Jack’s religious and artistic freedom was passed by Colorado legislators in 2008. Simply put, the law adds the classifications of “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” to the state’s civil rights code, giving those classifications the same level of protection as race, disability, and national origin. This is often called a “SOGI” law.

When Colorado legislators were debating this law, they received lots of warnings from groups like Focus on the Family and Family Policy Alliance (under its former name, Focus on the Family Action) that the law would harm freedom for all Coloradans. But, the majority of Colorado legislators and then-Governor Ritter decided to sacrifice religious and artistic freedom for the sake of a progressive agenda—harming family businesses like Jack’s.

  1. Colorado’s Liberal Civil Rights Commission Failed to Protect Religious & Artistic Freedom.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Jack’s decision to follow his conscience by not designing a same-sex wedding cake was unlawful, even though a person’s “religion” is a protected classification in Colorado, freedom of religion and expression are protected in the Colorado Constitution, and freedom of religion and expression are protected in the United States Constitution.

The liberal Commission ordered Jack to design all wedding cakes (or stop designing them altogether, losing 40% of his business), to educate his staff that living by his beliefs was wrong, and to report to the state government every time he declined a business order for a cake.

Does this seem outrageous to you? The Colorado Civil Rights Commissions, like similar bodies in most states, is made up of members who aren’t even elected by you –the voters—yet they have the power to pick and choose which civil rights to protect (or fail to protect), to require business owners to “educate” their employees on how living out their faith is wrong, and to dictate even which cake orders to fill.

  1. Colorado’s Legislators Didn’t Protect Jack.

Colorado legislators could’ve passed a law to protect Jack—and other business owners and artists in the state like him. They’ve had an opportunity every year since the SOGI law passed in 2008 to clarify that religious and artistic freedom are protected in Colorado.

In fact, that’s what they should be doing, rather than standing by while family businesses are harmed in the state. The legislative body is charged with making laws—not the judiciary. Using their law-making power (and taxpayer resources) to protect freedom should be lawmakers’ top priority.

Instead, Jack was forced to turn to the courts to protect his freedom through a long legal process where nine Justices, primarily Justice Kennedy, will decide how he can run his business in his state.

And here’s why Jack’s story matters to every family:

Maybe you’re thinking:  Yes, I could be Jack, but my state would never do what Colorado did.

Check out our map below.

  • States in blue are states with laws already in effect similar to the law that harmed Jack.
  • States in red are states where liberal activists would love to pass a SOGI law and claim a victory in 2018. In fact, in many of those states, a SOGI bill like the one that harmed Jack was introduced at the Capitol this year!

In other words, if you live in a state marked in blue or red, you or your loved ones could face a situation similar to Jack’s because of your faith.

And what about Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission with unelected members who aren’t accountable to the public? Yes, most states have a similar administrative body, and they almost always lean liberal—meaning they’ll tend to favor a liberal agenda over protecting religious and artistic freedoms.

With liberal activists fighting hard to influence state lawmakers and administrative bodies like Civil Rights Commissions, families in most states may see their lawmakers passing bad laws or failing to protect freedom and families.

So what can we do about it together?

My team and I at Family Policy Alliance don’t believe you, me, Jack, or anyone else should have to go to court to protect their freedoms. The first stop for protecting freedom should always be with the people we elect to represent us and pass good laws—whether at the local school board level, in the state government, or at the U.S. Capitol in D.C.

So, we invite you to partner with us as we work with our state allies in 2018 to (1) advocate for legislators to pass good laws that protect freedom for people like you, me and Jack when most state legislatures get back to business in January; and (2) elect the right people who will pass good laws that protect freedom in November.

You can help in two ways right now.

  1. Know your state & work together!
    We work hard to know what’s going on in each state that will impact freedom and your family. We’re making more maps like the one above to help you know where your state is at on each issue, and we work with our local ally in your state. But, we can’t send you special alerts about your state and if your legislators are trying to pass a SOGI law like the one that harmed Jack without knowing your district. Please take a moment to enter your zip code. And, passing laws that protect freedom and holding legislators accountable for the laws they pass needs the help of the whole Body of Christ. Please encourage your friends in your state (or in other states) to know their own state & enter their zip codes as well.
  1. Prepare for 2018!
    We need your help in our mission to equip families to understand each state’s laws and hold each state’s lawmakers accountable for protecting freedom. These efforts take a lot of hard work and resources. As we prepare for 2018, please consider Family Policy Alliance in your year-end giving and double your gift here!

The post Top 3 Reasons Why a Cake Artist Is in Court…And Why It Matters to You appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

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