FRC Blog

FRC brief in Irish abortion case

by Bill Saunders

November 18, 2008

Last week, FRC filed a friend of the court brief in a case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR is considering a challenge to Ireland’s laws on abortion, which restrict access to abortion unless the woman’s life is in danger. FRC was one of 3 groups invited to file an unusual “joint” brief by the ECHR, and the only pro-life group in the USA invited to do so. (The others were SPUC of the United Kingdom and the European Center for Law & Justice from Brussels.)

The case is important because the European system of jurisprudence is quite limited when it comes to social issues. In other words, though there is a European Convention of Human Rights that binds all European nations that have ratified it (including Ireland), the resolution of “social issues” is left to the laws of the individual state to decide. Thus, it should not be possible for the ECHR to create a European-wide “right” to abortion.

Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court created a right to abortion where none existed under our Constitution. Thus, just as our Court ignored the wording of the Constitution and principles of federalism to overturn the laws of all 50 states on abortion, it is conceivable the ECHR could do the same thing. In fact, pro-abortion groups have filed briefs urging it to do so. Thus, it was important for FRC - in alliance with our good friends of the Alliance Defense Fund - to file a brief urging the ECHR to stay out of these matters and to leave the resolution of the issue to the member states. Click here for the brief itself.

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The Hunt for Red Beluga

by Michael Fragoso

November 13, 2008

In a case that resembled a mix between a Tom Clancy novel and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Navy can use its active sonar when conducting drills and fleet operations off the California coast.  Environmental groups had argued that active sonar pinging could be harmful to marine mammals, and thus ought not to be permitted.  The Navy countered that such fleet operations are necessary to keep our forces up to snuff in their sub-hunting abilities in the event of a naval war. 

The short of it is that an environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, sued the Navy arguing that they failed to issue an environmental impact report for their exercises in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  A district court judge saw things the same way, and the Navy agreed to issue the report, but chafed at the sonar-use restrictions placed upon them by the court.  President Bush stepped in, directing that the Navy be exempt in this case from the NEPA because these sub-hunting exercises are necessary for national security in time of war.  Unsurprisingly, the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and upheld the lower ruling, resulting in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, which had a comfortable 6-3 margin.

Some readers might recognize this case from the Court Jesters segment at our Values Voters Summit back in September.  (Phyllis Schlafly wrote a poem about it.)  It’s very refreshing to see that-at least for now-we have a Supreme Court willing to correct the silliness of activist judges.

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The Daily Buzz

by Brittany Smith

November 13, 2008

Proposition 8 supporters vent frustration over continued protests

ACLU bullies small-town festival for including Christians

 

Schwarzenegger tells backers of gay marriage: Don’t give up

 

Saudi Arabia to Lead U.N. Faith Forum

 

Feds issue rule aimed at Internet gambling ban

 

Playing the race card on gay marriage

 

Mormon church in Orangevale vandalized in wake of Prop. 8 vote

 

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Thugocracy Watch: California Screamin’: Intolerance Towards Others Is Outed on the Left

by Family Research Council

November 10, 2008

There is an irony in the taunts thrown at Christians that they are “intolerant” and “bigoted.” Throughout history it has been Christians and others of strong religious faith who have spoken out and fought for those who are truly oppressed. Most notably the abolition of slavery was led by Christians like William Wilberforce in England and Thomas Jefferson Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson, in the United States. And of course the civil rights movement of the 1960’s found its leader in the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

However it is Christians and African-Americans who are being attacked, alongside Mormons, because of the leadership and support they gave the successful push for a marriage amendment in California’s state constitution. Tony spoke on some of the despicable discrimination reigning down on Mormons last week. Over the weekends homosexual activists have been harassing church goers and also African-Americans (presumably because of the large number of African-Americans in California who voted for the Amendment.) At one anti-opposite-sex marriage protest in Los Angeles homosexuals hurled racial epitaphs and threatening violence towards African-Americans who support gay “marriage.” (WARNING: some innapropriate ads on that link)

In a different situation an elderly woman carrying a cross was attacked by homosexual activists and her cross was taken from her and stomped upon (see the end of this video here.) In certain areas of California churches are reporting vandalism and/or protestors seeking to stop worshippers from entering the church.

If pro-marriage supporters used racial slurs and held such violent protests they would be rightfully condemned by the national media and politicians So far there has not been a peep in the national news on these incidents - and as for politicians, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told the homosexual protestors “(t)hey should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done.” And that he hopes the courts will once again overrule the will of the people.

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Study Links Exposure to Sexual Content on T.V. and Teen Pregnancy

by Moira Gaul

November 7, 2008

A recently released study published in Pediatrics and sponsored by the Rand corporation has linked watching sex on television and teen pregnancy. Data from a national longitudinal study on adolescents from 12 to 17 years of age were used from over a three year period to measure experience of a teen pregnancy. Adolescents were surveyed to assess whether exposure to sexual content on television predicted subsequent pregnancy for girls or responsibility for pregnancy for boys.

Results showed that teens who were exposed to high levels of sexual content on television, were twice as likely to experience a pregnancy (either directly for girls or to be responsible for a pregnancy for boys) in the subsequent three years, compared with teens watching less sexual content on television.

Points to make regarding and related to the study findings:

  • The majority of television shows teens are exposed to with sexual content as described by the study release don’t accurately communicate the health outcomes, either physical or emotional, associated with the high-risk behavior. These can include increased risk for sexually transmitted infections, impaired reproductive health, and negative emotional repercussions. Rather, television shows typically glamorize sex with little, if any, depiction of potential consequences.
  • In addition, television shows typically do not portray characters that choose to practice sexual abstinence outside of marriage who do not have the accompanying concerns of their counterparts who engage in sexual activity - two being concerns about possible nonmarital pregnancy and being at increased risk for disease.
  • While as the study author states, the amount of sexual content on television has doubled in recent years, prevention messaging has not. Broadcasters need to take a more responsible approach to public health given the current epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases and infections which exists among our young people.
  • Accurate health messaging, including the knowledge about the consequences and repercussions of high-risk behavior, such as adolescent pre-marital sex, is critical for prevention efforts. Reinforcement that youth are capable of practicing risk avoidance behavior or sexual abstinence is also key.
  • Given the level of exposure teens have to both the television shows measured in the Rand study and similar messaging from other media bombarding youth with sexual content, both parents and health care providers need to emphasize the prevention message, the best of which is risk avoidance or abstinence, and the benefits of practicing it.

Recommended reading for both parents and young adults: “Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children,” by Drs. Joe McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush. Watch for an FRC Book Lecture at the beginning of 2009 at which Drs. McIlhaney and Bush will discuss how new research in the field of neuroscience is shedding light on the impact having sex has on teens and young adults.

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