Month Archives: February 2011

New: State of the States

by Brianna Walden

February 28, 2011

In effort to continue to help equip and inform you about important current issues, Family Research Council is adding a new category to our blog, the “State of the States.” As this 2011 legislative session advances, we will keep you apprised of the status of key family-related legislation across the 50 states as well as post color-coded maps giving you the state of the states at a glance. Armed with that knowledge you can then take steps to get involved in the legislative process by calling your legislators and encouraging your friends to join you and Family Research Council in advancing faith, family, and freedom today!

Below are two maps outlining the status of marriage in the states. Check back tomorrow for more maps detailing the status of homosexual relationships in the states.

Response to New York Times Erroneous Editorials on Women and Babies

by Family Research Council

February 28, 2011

On Saturday, February 26th, the New York Times ran two pieces on the topic of abortion and womens health that were misleading and erroneous. The War on Women ignored critical facts on the recently released Planned Parenthood videos related to human trafficking. This editorial leaves one with the wrong impression that PPFA had one recent questionable instance related to the sex trafficking of minors and immediately fired this employee. However, in truth, the problem is deeply systemic: five videos with questions related to the sex trafficking of minors featuring a number of PPFA employees and clinics across the U.S. have been released, leading to serious questions about the ethical and legal conduct of Planned Parenthood. It is especially noteworthy that PPFA relies heavily on federal funding, having received $363 million in 2009. This amount composes roughly one-third of PPFA’s budget.

The second piece, The GOPs Abandoned Babies, by columnist Charles Blow, missed an acutely critical point in that one of the physiological consequences for women who choose to have an abortion is that their ensuing pregnancies frequently result in pre-term deliveries, leading to a higher infant mortality rate in the U.S. Despite the rhetoric of abortion-proponents, scientific fact supports the reality that abortion is not good for women — physiologically or psychologically — much less their developing babies.

Cloning Gadhafi?

by David Prentice

February 28, 2011

An interesting side note to the turmoil in Libya. Cloning fraud Hwang Woo-suk was among 198 South Koreans evacuated from Libya recently. What was he doing in Libya?

Hwang apparently has a $133 million contract with the Libyan government, and has been to Libya at least ten times since 2004.

Hwang told Korean news reporters that the highest authority in Libya had invited him to the country, and that he will be returning to Libya once the situation in the country calms down.

I cant say what Im working on at the moment. Its incredibly big. If you find out you may collapse out of surprise.

Hwang was indicted on charges including fraud and embezzlement over his fraudulent research claims.

Other human cloning proponents also appear to like a Mediterranean climate, such as Panayiotis Zavos (who has a clinic in Cyprus) and Stanford’s Irving Weissman, who enjoys California’s Mediterranean climate while pushing for cloned human embryos.

First Horse iPS Cells

by David Prentice

February 28, 2011

Canadian scientists have produced the first induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from horse. The cells show all the typical characteristics of pluripotent stem cells, including the formation of tumors in immuno-compromised mice. The scientists note that the availability of horse iPS cells should help with modeling veterinary treatments in the lab. And according to Dr. Sheila Laverty at the University of Montreal

The horse is an excellent model for a range of human degenerative diseases, especially those involving joints, bones, tendons and ligaments, such as arthritis.”

Of course, in that respect adult stem cells are already treating horses for those conditions, repairing tissue damage and even restoring horses to winning health. Adult stem cells are the Secretariat of the stem cell world, racing far ahead of embryonic-type stem cells to cross the finish line many lengths in front.

The new study is published in Stem Cell Reviews and Reports.

The President’s Unconstitutional Two-for-One

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 25, 2011

President Obama’s decision this week not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court demonstrates both contempt for the law itself and a disturbing arrogance concerning his own authority.

This action is not unique. As today’s Wall Street Journal notes, “The White House has apparently decided that it won’t enforce the unpopular parts of its health-care plan until after the 2012 election. The latest evidence is its decision not to slash Medicare Advantage, the program that Democrats hate because it lets seniors choose private insurance options.”

And this week’s decision regarding DOMA is not a new departure from allegiance to the law. As George Will wrote in 2009, “The Obama administration is bold. It also is careless regarding constitutional values and is acquiring a tincture of lawlessness.”

The President of the United States takes an oath when he assumes office, assuring us that he will “defend the Constitution of the United States.” That Constitution makes Congress the legislative body, not the Executive branch. Thus, when Congress passes legislation that is signed into law by the President, it becomes incumbent upon the President — as the chief constitutional law enforcement office in the nation — to defend it.

When this or any President refuses to defend any given law, he is placing himself above it. How, in principle, this distinguishes the United States from any tin-pot autocracy, where law is made by the fiat choices of an unaccountable dictator, escapes me. For that matter, why bother with having legislative (Congress) or judicial (the Supreme and other federal courts) branches if the President can simply choose to ignore defending laws he dislikes?

Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow Chris Gacek (JD, Virginia) notes that DOMA “affirms the power of each state to make its own decision as to whether it will accept or reject same-sex marriages created in other jurisdictions … The Defense of Marriage Act preserves the right of the states to govern themselves with respect to family law and domestic relations. DOMA impedes judicial activism regarding marriage and provides needed uniformity in federal law. It is an essential part of preserving traditional marriage in America.” In other words, as Quinn Hillyer writes in The American Spectator, “Without DOMA, state and local decision-making would be nil. In fact, the decisions of 49 states could be superseded by the decision of one state to allow such ‘marriages’.”

The rule of law is essential to the future of representative self-government in the United States. The future of marriage hinges, in large measure, on DOMA. President Obama has succeeded in undermining both this week.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson and the Power of Love

by Robert Morrison

February 24, 2011

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who passed away this week, several times in the course of my own pro-life witness. This prolific author and teacher was the highest profile convert to the pro-life cause.

He had been a co-founder with Lawrence Lader in New York of NARAL—originally the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. He was an OB/GYN who had, by his own admission, supervised some 75,000 abortions. In his later writings, he showed how intelligently he and Lawrence Lader strategized to overturn U.S. laws for the protection of the unborn child. Lader famously said: Abortion is central to everything in life and how we want to live it.

Pro-lifers who underestimate the hideous strength that comes from that determination will be unprepared for the furies that are unleashed against anyone who tries to prevent abortion-on-demand from being fully funded and included within ObamaCare.

In the late 1960s, Lader focused on the Catholic Bishops, not Catholics in general. As New Yorkers, Lawrence Lader and Bernard Nathanson knew that they could not stage an anti-Catholic campaign. There were too many Catholics in New York for that. They also knew that many lay Catholics groused about the Bishops, especially those who onsidered themselves liberal, sophisticated New Yorkers.

Being pro-abortion in those days was like reading your Sunday Times over a cuppa and your bagel with. Its what you did and who you were. Why, the Bishops had not even repudiated Pope Paul VIs 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, (Of Human Life). If you werent going to listen to your Bishops about contraception, you were far less likely to follow their guidance about abortion. Lader brilliantly exploited those fault lines, artfully blurring all distinctions between preventing the conception of a child and killing the child in utero.

When he first broke with Lader, NARAL, and the pro-abortion ranks in 1972, Bernard Nathanson took pains to emphasize that his newfound opposition to abortion was based on his medical and scientific discoveries alone. He continued to describe himself as a Jewish atheist. He did not want the secular media to dismiss him as a religious fanatic. Its interesting to note that for all his documented anti-Catholicism, the mainstream media never dismissed Lawrence Lader as an anti-religious fanatic.

In his 1979 book, Aborting America, Dr. Nathanson wrote of how seeing the unborn child on ultra-sound had changed his mind about abortion. The scientific reality was—for this brilliant thinker and writer—inescapable.

I first met Dr. Nathanson in the early 1980s when he addressed a Lutherans for Life national convention. He brought his beautiful wife, Christine, with him and she memorably related how she welled up with tears upon hearing us sing Beautiful Savior, a hymn she recalled from the Lutheran churches of her childhood. Still, Dr. Nathanson took pains to emphasize his reasons for now opposing the satanic world of abortion were non-religious.

In Kansas City in 1984, I again encountered Dr. Nathanson. This time, he was to present his compelling film, The Silent Scream. The convention of the National Right to Life Committee eagerly awaited this video. So many convention goers crowded into the room for the screening that organizers had to move the showing to a larger room. Dr. Nathanson asked me to help set up the TV monitor. We had to put the heavy television on stage on two chairs so that people in the back of the hall could see the grainy ultra-sound footage.

I told Dr. Nathanson I would have to stay up there to hold the monitor or it might pitch forward into the crowd of watchers below. My God, Bob, I hope not! He said it with such emphasis that I thought then he was not going to be able to maintain his Jewish atheist shtick much longer.

That film was later described by Planned Parenthood, the outfit that kills as many as 350,000 unborn children yearly, as the most powerful thing the right to life movement has put out. I thought, I hoped, that if we could only get everyone in America to watch this overwhelming film, we could put an end to abortion. I still believe that.

Dr. Nathanson later wrote, in his 1996 book The Hand of God, about the power that ultra-sound images have over us:

For the first time, we could really see the human fetus, measure it, watch it, and indeed bond with it and love it. I began to do that.

It was in 1996 that I saw Dr. Nathanson for the last time. He spoke to a Capitol Hill meeting of pro-lifers. He was to speak to us about his recent conversion to Catholicism.

We were all interested to hear what he had to say, but before he could affirm his new faith, he wanted to confess to us his sins.

He described how he had performed an abortion on his girlfriend, killing his own child. He admitted driving the children of one of his wives into mental institutions. It was a heart-wrenching confession, painful to hear. Then, he recited the Apostles Creed and all present wept.

Except, perhaps, Professor Hadley Arkes. Hadley was viewing all this with evident emotion, but with a certain distance. Jim Jatras, a respected Hill staffer and noted Greek Orthodox believer, with a flowing beard, innocently asked Hadley if he, too, had not converted to Catholicism. Arching a bushy eyebrow, Hadley gave a shrug and said: Not yet.

Dr. Nathanson now goes to his Beautiful Savior, asking for His mercy. The power of love is what brought Bernard Nathanson around. It may yet bring around those professional killers, Warren Hern and LeRoy Carhart. That, and no violence on our part, is our best hope.

A Different Take on Black History Month in the Big Apple

by Family Research Council

February 23, 2011

Earlier today a huge billboard with the picture of an adorable little African American girl and the caption The Most Dangerous Place for An African American Is in The Womb was unveiled in downtown New York City.

A nearby Planned Parenthood is outraged about the billboards.

However, given the fact that only a few months ago the citys health department reported that 60% of African American babies are aborted, in truth the billboard is an entirely accurate depiction of reality.

In New York City it is more likely than not that a black baby will not have the chance to live.

According to Pastor Stephen Broden, a board member of the group that has sponsored the website, During Black History Month, we celebrate our history, but our future is in jeopardy as a genocidal plot is carried out through abortion.

Unborn Child or Fetus?

by Robert Morrison

February 22, 2011

My colleague Tom McClusky has a pointed post on his Cloakroom website how the Washington Post occasionally slips up and calls the unborn child a babyat least in its Letters to the Editor section. Over the weekend, the Post even published a column by longtime pro-abortion activist Frances Kissling. Kissling acknowledged that the the fetus is more visible than ever before, and the [pro-choice] movement needs to accept its existence and its value. Well, every inchor in this case, quarter-inch—of progress is worth noting.

Clearly, Frances Kissling is disturbed that Americansespecially the youngare able to see the unborn child on ultra-sound. When she calls upon her fellow pro-choicers to accept the existence and…value of the unborn child, she is making a concession.

I can vividly remember what I thought when I first encountered this fetus talk. I was a young, unchurched, single man. I didnt know any fetuses or unborn children. Some of my relatives had babies, but as the abortion debate gathered force, I heard more and more of this clinical talk of the fetus.

Fortunately, I had taken college biology at a secular university. My ideas about science were state-approved and decidedly non-religious. As part of Bio. 101, we had to dissect a fetal pig. For those of us who dont thrill to arcane discussions of English grammar, there was yet something elegant and true about that formulationfetal pig. Note, we were not asked to dissect a porcine fetus. Nope, the adjective clearly modified the noun, pig. Sus domestica was the Latin descriptor for our familiar barnyard porker.

College Biology and not the Holy Bible was to be my guide as I was confronted with the abortion question. Pro- and anti-abortion forces converged on my campaign headquarters in 1972, months before Roe, demanding a clear statement from the candidate for state legislatureme. I would really have preferred talking about taxes and roads, schools, and

crime. I didnt want to face the abortion question, but I had no choice.

Most of my campaign volunteersI was a Democratclearly wanted me to come down on the pro-abortion side. But the more I wrestled with my decision, the more I remembered that fetal pig.

How was it we were in no doubt whatsoever that the pig was a pig, and that a fetal pig was simply the non-controversial way of referring to an unborn pig? Why would it all suddenly change when we began considering the human species?

Realizing that the unborn child could be nothing but a human being, I recognized that all talk of potential human life was false. There is nothing that has the potential of becoming human life that is not already human life.

I would soon hear ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings describe an operation on a child in the womb. He spoke somberly of how a fetus was diagnosed with hydrocephaly, but instead of terminating the pregnancy, the parents decided on pre-natal surgery. The fetus was taken out of the mothers womb, Jennings reported, then the child had a shunt put into its skull to relieve the pressure on the childs brain. The child was then put back in the womb, where the mother then carried the fetus to term.

What? Fetus inside? Child outside? I knew I was a typically forgetful history major.

I did not have Peter Jennings amazingly flawless delivery. I could never keep those terms straight. I knew I would someday forget—and call the fetus a child.

So, what will Frances Kissling do? She will continue to call for legal abortion. She wants it subsidized by the government. She wants federally-funded counseling for women considering abortion. Such counseling must be, of course, non-directive.

Doesnt non-directive counseling assume the decision to let the unborn child live or put it to death is morally neutral? What if such counseling involved showing the young mother considering an abortion an ultra-sound of the unborn child in her womb? Figures show that some 85% of mothers thus confronted with the reality of unborn life choose life.

How does this non-directive counseling take account of the unborn childs existence and value? If it has any value at all, doesnt the decision to kill it become one of terrible weightiness?

I doubt that Frances Kissling would be satisfied with her own policy prescriptions. She seems to want a European system where early abortion is readily available and paid for.

I sense that Frances Kissling, like President Obama, will learn soon how unlike Europe we are. Here, most Americans still acknowledge the existence of God. And most Americans are pro-life, a fact she grudgingly acknowledges. And here, most Americans agree with what Lincoln said of slavery: Nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon. Frances Kisslings prescriptionsat the end of the daycannot help treading upon the unborn child who is, like the slave, stamped in the divine image.

Staggering Level of Drug Violence in Mexico

by Chris Gacek

February 22, 2011

Jerry Seper of the Washington Times wrote an article yesterday informing us that a funeral service will be held today for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata in Brownsville, Texas. Sepers story contained a fact about current-day Mexico that I found astonishing:

Violence has been commonplace in Mexico since a raging drug war between drug-smuggling cartels began in 2006, claiming 35,000 lives.

Incredible. It shows that when a society starts to unravel it doesnt take long for enormous levels of violence to be reached. Something we may see soon in nations like Egypt if civil war erupts.

Another point added later: can you imagine the anguish, torment and stress this must be placing on Mexican families and children? I can only wonder how many children will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from what they have seen. Adults too. The rule of law and peace are so critical to a positive society. I imagine that is one of the reasons Christians, since the writing of Romans 13, have known that anarchy and violence are inherently evil.

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