Month Archives: April 2007

Live Webcast at 11:00AM EDT

by Jared Bridges

April 30, 2007

Today at 11:00 a.m., EDT, FRC will host a Family Policy Lecture by Dr. John G. West, of the Discovery Institute entitled, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: The Disturbing Legacy of America’s Eugenics Crusade.” If you can’t join us on location here in D.C., be sure to watch the live webcast of the event. Here are the details:

This year marks the centennial of the world’s first forced sterilization law, passed by the state of Indiana in March 1907. By the early 1930s, some 30 states had enacted similar laws as part of a secular crusade to breed better humans known as “eugenics.” Promoted in the name of Darwinian evolution, eugenics led to the sterilization of tens of thousands of Americans against their will, many of whom would not be considered mentally handicapped today. Why did America’s leading scientists and scientific organizations embrace eugenics for so long? Was eugenics a logical application of Darwin’s theory, or a terrible misuse of it? What is the connection between the eugenics movement and the population control movement that arose in the 1950s and 60s? Most importantly, what are the lessons we can learn from eugenics for today’s controversies over science, bioethics, and public policy? Dr. West will explore these questions and more.

Dr. West is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He formerly was the chairman of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University. He has been interviewed by Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times, and has appeared on CNN, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Dr. West holds a Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate University and is author or editor of several books, including Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest; The Politics of Revelation and Reason: Religion and Civic Life in the New Nation, and The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia. In the fall of 2007, ISI Books will publish his book Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science.

Abortion: South Of The Border, Down Mexico Way

by Tony Perkins

April 30, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

This Saturday may be Cinco de Mayo, but pro-lifers in Mexico City will have little to celebrate. Last week, the city said adios to the sanctity of life and legalized abortion. Despite public demonstrations by thousands and opposition from the Vatican, the city caved on a ban thats been in place for over 70 years. With only 16 votes against, the city will now be a safe haven for abortionsand civil unions, which it approved last year. When the Mayor signs the bill, as hes said he will, women up to 12 weeks pregnant will be able to visit Mexico City to end their unborn babys life. For a country thats mainly Roman Catholic, Mexico City is publicly breaking with the Vatican on a key issue of faith. Earlier last week, Archbishop Angelo Amato called abortion terrorism with a human face. Other bishops say Mexico City officials now face excommunication by the church. Unfortunately, Latin Americans seem to be taking their cues on abortion from their northern neighbors.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Shell Shocked: Some U.S. Gas Stations Lift Ban On Porn

by Tony Perkins

April 27, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Some of Americas Shell gas stations are pumping out a new productpornography. Despite Shells long-standing ban on its retailers selling porn, a group of stores now owned by Circle K has been exempted from the rule. When the Florida Family Association contacted Shell about the change, they got an email from Otto Myers, a company executive, who said that Playboy and Penthouse are no longer considered pornographybut adult sophisticates. Well, you can change the term, but you cant change the policy, (at least Shell hasnt changed the policy) and it says that their retailers cant sell or display materials with sex [or] nudity. All the oil companys done is fuel the controversy in 240 stores across Baton Rouge, Denver, Memphis and Florida where the magazines are sold. Myers wrote that the general public doesnt consider Playboy pornographic. But the truth is, Myers would have a hard time finding people in these communities who dont consider dirty magazines vulgar and explicit. While Shells retailers are stepping on the gas to promote pornography, their competitors have refused to lift their bans. Obviously, this is one company that needs a refinery not only for crude oil, but for crude content!

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Laboring In Vain: Plan B Study Shows It Doesnt Reduce Pregnancy Rate

by Tony Perkins

April 26, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

According to a new study, emergency contraception is delivering. But unfortunately, thats the problem. The study, by Cochrane Collaboration, found that instead of reducing pregnancies, women who received the so-called morning-after pills pills were just as likely to conceive. The research combines eight studies of over 6,000 women in the U.S., India, and China, where the results were all the same. It turns out that the morning-after pill is no cure for morning sickness. Thats hardly good news for the 21 states basing legislation on it. We expected that easier access to contraception could help women use the pills more quickly when they needed them, said Chelsea Polis, the lead researcher. But increasing its availability didnt increase its effectiveness. Instead, the women who had Plan B didnt use itand if they did, they took it too late for the pills to work. We can add this to the long list of reasons why the FDA should not have approved the pills in the first place. Instead of fast-tracking the bills on Plan B, state leaders would be wise to take a long pregnant pause to consider all the facts.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

The Global War Against Baby Girls

by Joe Carter

April 26, 2007

If you were asked to name the technologies whose proliferation inadvertently threatens the human race, what would you include? IEDS? Assault rifles? Nuclear warheads?

Add this one to your list: the sonogram machine.

The widespread use of sonogram technology—coupled with liberal abortion laws—has made it possible for women to identify the sex of their child so that those without a Y chromosome can be killed before they’re even born. Last year, in a speech before the U.N., demographer Nicholas Eberstadt revealed the details of this frightening trend:

Over the past five years the American public has received regular updates on what we have come to call the global war on terror. A no-less significant global wara war, indeed, against nature, civilization, and in fact humanity itself has also been underway in recent years. This latter war, however, has attracted much less attention and comment, despite its immense consequence. This world-wide struggle might be called The Global War Against Baby Girls.

The effects of this war on girls can be seen in the changes in the sex ratios at birth. Eberstadt explains that there is a “slight but constant and almost unvarying excess of baby boys over baby girls born in any population.” The number of baby boys born for every hundred baby girls, which is so constant that it can “qualify as a rule of nature”, falls along an extremely narrow range along the order of 103, 104, or 105. On rare occasions it even hovers around 106

These sex ratios vary slightly based on ethnicity. For example, in the U.S. in 1984 the rates were: White: 105.4; Black: 103.1; American Indian: 101.4; Chinese: 104.6; and Japanese 102.6. Such variations, however, remain small and fairly stable over time.

But Eberstadt finds that in the last generation the sex ratio at birth in some parts of the world has become “completely unhinged.” Consider this graph from provinces in China in 2000:

CHINA: Sex Ratio at Birth, 2000, by Province90100

(Click to enlarge)

The red lines indicate where the rates should be based on what is naturally, biologically possible. Yet in a number of Chinese provinces—with populations of tens of millions of people—the reported sex ratio at birth ranges from over 120 boys for every 100 girls to over 130 boys for every 100 girls. Eberstadt notes that this is “a phenomenon utterly without natural precedent in human history.”

China is not alone in the war against baby girls. In India the ratios are almost as significant. For example, in 2001, 927 girls were born for every 1,000 boys, significantly below the natural birth rate of about 952 girls for every 1,000 boys. By 2004, the New Delhi-based magazine Outlook was reporting that the sex ratios in the capital had plummeted to 818 girls for every 1,000 boys and that in 2005 they had dropped to 814.

In fact, biologically impossible ratios are found in various countries around the world, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, El Salvador, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong, Libya, Macedonia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, and Venezuela. There are also numerous countries around the world where the “death rates for little girls, on an episodic or on a regular basis, are higher than those for little boys.”*

This threat to baby girls, however, is not just an international phenomenon but one that also strikes here in the U.S. Sex ratios at birth for the Chinese-American population, the Japanese-American population, and the Filipino-American population, and for the Asian-American population as a whole are out of kilter, as this graph shows:

america_birthrates.jpg

Early this year, the British medical journal Lancet estimated the male-female gap at 43 million with 100 million “missing girls” who should have been born but were not. Fifty million would have been Chinese and 43 million would have been Indian. The rest would have been born in Afghanistan, South Korea, Pakistan, and Nepal. (Keep in mind that this figure doesnt include the “missing girls” in the other seventeen countries with impossible birth ratios.)

What is fueling this crisis? Eberstadt credits the “freakish” ratios to the “fateful collision” between (a) overweening son preference, (b) the use of rapidly spreading prenatal sex determination technology coupled with gender-based abortion, and (c) the low or dramatically declining fertility levels.

Even if we set aside the moral horror of a world that is killing its daughters, this oft-ignored trend of female feticide could pose a greater threat than many of the high-profile concerns that are touted by the media. For instance, the Chinese government says that by the year 2020—only thirteen years from now—the men in that country will outnumber women by 300 million. Imagine hordes of men, numbering in the hundreds of millions, who will never be able to have sexual contact with a woman, never be able to marry, and never leave a descendant to carry on their lineage. Think about the level of anger and frustration that will be generated. Now consider the fact that the number of males fit for military service (ages 18-49) in the U.S. is currently and remains steady at 54 million.

Will we have the sense and the fortitude to act, both domestically and internationally, to avert such a disaster? Or will we let our inviolable right to abort baby girls trump our very survival?

The West constantly frets about the levels of global CO2 emissions. But we should be even more concerned about the imbalance in the level of global testosterone. As we will soon realize, changes in our global climate are a minor threat compared to the havoc that will result from the changes in global demographics.

[Note: This entry is crossposted from EvangelicalOutpost.com]

*Those countries are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Mexico, Benin Gabon, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana Gambia, Brunei, Burkina Baso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Columbia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote dIvoir, Cyprus, Dem. Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Equatorial New Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Israel (non-Jewish pop), Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Peru, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Rwanda, Sabah, Sao Tome, Sarawak, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Uruguay, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Family Facts #12

by Joe Carter

April 26, 2007

Teen girls from intact families with frequent religious attendance averaged the fewest sexual partners (0.47) when compare to (a) their peers from non-intact families with frequent religious attendance (0.93), (b) peers from intact families with low to no religious attendance (1.14), and (c) peers from non-intact families with low to no religious attendance (1.55).

Source: Fagan, Patrick, A Portrait of Family and Religion in America: Key Outcomes for the Common Good, (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation 2006), pp. .

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

Idol Threat? Hit Show To Raise Money For Pro-Abortion Groups

by Tony Perkins

April 25, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Starting tonight, the contestants on American Idol will give new meaning to the phrase drumming up support. As part of a two-hour telethon, the Fox talent show is hoping to raise millions of dollars for poor people in Africa and the U.S. Instead of competing for themselves, the stars are competing for charity. A list of corporate sponsors will donate a set amount to groups like Save the Children and UNICEF, the United Nations Childrens Fund for every vote cast. While its great that producers want to help the poor, the organizations theyre supporting certainly do not have the vote of the pro-family community. And for good reason. UNICEF, the Childrens Fund of the U.N., has funneled money to International Planned Parenthood for 30 years. Not to mention that theyve used their funds to support programs for abortion, and population control. Its time for American Idol to face the music. These organizations dont help childrenthey help to abort them! When advertisers promoted the event, they only hit the high notes about offering health care and ending hunger. But if these celebrities want to stop the real suffering, then its time to start singing a different tune on charity.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Homosexuals spurn benefits of marriage

by Peter Sprigg

April 25, 2007

Fridays USA Today included an article noting that despite moves toward legalizing civil unions in states like New Hampshire and Oregon, fewer gay couples are choosing to enter civil unions or register as domestic partners (Andrea Stone, Some say civil unions dropping off, April 20). For example, in Connecticut, the number of same-sex couples who entered into civil unions in the first 15 months that they were legal was only 18% of the number of same-sex unmarried partner households counted in the 2000 census. (By contrast, 92% of opposite-sex couples who live together in Connecticut are legally married.)

The article quotes one homosexual activist as suggesting that same-sex couples are waiting for marriage. But it certainly undermines the argument that same-sex couples are being seriously harmed by lack of access to the legal and financial benefits of marriage, if 82% dont even bother to access those benefits once they are granted them under state law.

The article says that in Massachusetts, where they do have same-sex civil marriage, about 9,000 such marriages have occurred since 2004. However, it fails to note that this is barely more than half the number of cohabiting same-sex couples identified in the census (again, in contrast to heterosexuals, among whom the married outnumber the cohabiting by a ratio of more than 10 to 1). These figures constitute empirical evidence that a majority of homosexuals do not need the benefits of marriage, and relatively few even want to participate in the institution of marriage.

What they really want is the official government affirmation that homosexuality is identical to heterosexualityperiod. But by winning marriage and then not participating in it, they advance the deinstitutionalization of marriagethat is, they destroy any social norm suggesting that marriage is the preferred context for living together in a sexual relationship (even more than heterosexuals have). This is one of the ways that same-sex marriage harms the institution of marriageyes, even for heterosexuals.

See also FRC InFocus: How many benefit from same-sex marriage in Massachusetts?

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