FRC Blog

Family Facts #3

by Family Research Council

March 1, 2007

According to a 2006 report in the Journal of Marriage and Family, higher levels of father involvement were associated with less aggressive and anti-social adolescent behavior, and partially accounted for the impact of family structure on adolescent behavior..

Source: “Family Structure, Father Involvement, and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes”

Carlson, Marcia J. Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 68, Number 1. February, 2006. Page(s) 137-154.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

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No Aid to AIDS Groups That Promote Prostitution

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

In a commonsense ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals sided with the Bush administration yesterday saying that the president can deny AIDS funding to groups that condone prostitution and sex trafficking. The case, now a year and a half old, was brought by DKT International, Inc., a family planning group that, among other things, provides condoms to Vietnamese sex workers. When DKT refused to sign a pledge that it would honor the President’s anti-trafficking policies, the administration denied it taxpayer support. A lower court sided with DKT, stating that the nonprofit’s First Amendment rights were violated because the funding conditions “insisted that the groups ‘parrot’ the government’s position on prostitution.” Fortunately, a three-judge panel reversed the decision and restored President Bush’s authority to fund only those organizations that communicate the U.S. government’s opposition to sex trafficking.

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U.K. Pro-Lifers Take Baby Steps in Legislature

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

The miraculous story of little Amillia Taylor, who is said to be the youngest surviving premature baby, has prompted Britain to reconsider its abortion policies. As it stands, the U.K. allows women to abort through the 24th week of pregnancy. Until recently, experts argued that unborn children could not survive outside the womb before that period, a theory that Amillia’s existence has completely discredited.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries has sponsored bills in the past that would impose a tighter limit on late-term abortions. In light of the Taylors’ story, Dorries intends to reintroduce legislation that would make abortions illegal after 21 weeks. As one doctor said, “To me it seems utterly illogical that one doctor is struggling to save a baby delivered at 23 weeks while another is aborting a healthy baby of the same age.”

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In Hawaii, Coast Is Clear from Civil Union Threat

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

After a grueling five hours of testimony, Hawaiian lawmakers refused even to vote on a bill in committee that would have allowed same-sex unions. Later, the state’s legislators refused to offer an explanation for the move, but we applaud the Hawaii Family Forum for motivating voters to voice their opposition to this dangerous measure. The vote in Hawaii is more evidence that legislatures are reluctant to change the public understanding of marriage when they are free to debate and vote in the absence of a judicial decree that puts a finger on the scales of justice.

Hawaii is a politically liberal state, but it was one of the first in the nation to grapple with a pro-homosexual judicial ruling upsetting the man-woman character of marriage. When Hawaii courts first ruled on the matter roughly a decade ago, voters amended the state constitution to require that any changes in state law on the nature of marriage could only be made by the elected branches of government, not judges.

This stands in sharp contrast to the judicially-driven outcomes in Vermont, Massachusetts, and now New Jersey. It also has the virtue of being more honest: elected officials must account for themselves, and not point to another branch of government and say, “They made me do it.” Whatever your position is on this issue, or any other controversial matter, voters should expect their elected officials to stand on the courage of their convictions, not the convenience of coercion.

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What About the Other 97.8%?

by Peter Sprigg

February 28, 2007

Over the past few days, both The Washington Times and the Washington Post have run stories on HPV and the new HPV vaccine, Gardasil. The Times articles on the subject may have underplayed the risks from HPV to young women and girls. Today’s Post article, on the other hand, seems to overplay it.

The headline (“Millions In U.S. Infected With HPV: Study Finds Virus Strikes a Third of Women by Age 24”) is about the large number of women who are infected with HPV—which would seem calculated to build support for making the vaccine mandatory. But those figures refer to at least 27 strains of genital HPV. Only in paragraph four do you learn that “only 2.2% of women were carrying one of the two virus strains most likely to lead to cervical cancer”—in other words, the two cancer-related strains targeted by the vaccine.

To put this another way—vaccinating the entire population with Gardasil would not eliminate a virus that infects one quarter to one third of American women, as the headline might lead you to believe. Instead, it would only eliminate the strains that infect 2.2% of women.

Now, that 2.2% will account for 70% of cervical cancer cases, so the vaccine’s impact is very significant in relation to that disease. But the vaccine will not help the millions of other women infected with other, less deadly strains of HPV. Only abstinence will help them all.

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Live Webcast at 11:00AM EST

by Jared Bridges

February 28, 2007

Why Do You Persecute Me?

Follow this link to view the webcast.

The religious impulse is a fundamental and basic human yearning. Yet, governments and societies sometimes deny religious freedom, particularly to those whom they view as a threat to their own ideology. Within the past ten years, the question of international religious freedom has become an important part of U.S. foreign policy. How did this happen? What does it portend for the future of religious freedom around the world? In this lecture, Bill Saunders will examine these and related questions.

Bill Saunders is Senior Fellow and Human Rights Counsel at the Family Research Council. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he has been active in the cause of international religious freedom for more than a decade, first at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, then at the Family Research Council. He was involved from the beginning in the movement to make this part of U.S. foreign policy. In 1999, he founded an organization to provide relief to persecuted Christians and others in Sudan. He has written on this topic frequently, in a variety of journals.

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Family Facts #2

by Family Research Council

February 28, 2007

According to a study by the Alabaman Policy Institute, the longer couples cohabited before marrying, the more likely they were to resort to heated arguments, hitting, and throwing objects when conflicts arose in their subsequent marriage. A longer length of cohabitation was linked to a greater frequency of heated arguments, even when controlling for spouses’ age.

Source: “Effects of Cohabitation Length on Personal and Relational Well Being” Hill, John R. Evans, Sharon G. Alabama Policy Institute Vol. API Study, Number . August, 2006. Page(s) 1-13.

(HT: FamilyFacts.org)

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Abortion as a Moral Good?

by Family Research Council

February 28, 2007

Amanda Marcotte, the blogger who worked for John Edwards campaign before she fell victim to the “right wing noise machine”, has an interesting take on abortion:

To see that abortion is moral, you just need to look at women as human beings with lives that have value. When a woman chooses abortion, shes not indulging some guilty pleasure, like sneaking in a round of adultery at lunch, to bring up a genuinely immoral action that should not be criminal. She is probably thinking about her familys well-being and yes, her own well-being. Taking your own well-being into consideration is called selfish by anti-choicers, but I think valuing yourself is a moral good, even if you are female. In fact, especially if you are female, since you live in a world where having self-esteem can be an act of moral courage that requires some defiance. If I got pregnant, I wouldnt even have to suffer much mental strain to realize that abortion would be the best choice for myself, my family, and my relationship. Abortion, not just the right to abortion but the actual procedure, is a moral good that helps women and families and should be honored as such. Women who get abortions should be recognized as people who can accurately weigh their choices and make the most moral one.

In fairness, most abortion advocates are not as morally deranged as Marcotte. Some even consider abortion to be “morally questionable”, a position Marcotte claims is a “huge insult”:

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