Category archives: Family

Let’s Restore Government Neutrality When it Comes to “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion”

by Arina Grossu

January 29, 2014

Yesterday, the House debated, voted, and passed HR7 227-188-1. HR7 is a bill that will restore government neutrality when it comes to “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion”. Since the Hyde Amendment’s passage in 1976, it has been status quo that no federal monies may be used to pay for abortions. Obamacare created a loophole that bypasses the Hyde Amendment. HR7 seeks to make the Hyde Amendment permanent so that there is no government funding for abortion or funding for health care coverage that includes abortion. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said, “The American people do not want their hard-earned money to destroy human life… Our government should not be in the business of subsidizing abortion.” She is right. Americans should not be forced to pay for the destruction of children.

In a frenzied attempt Planned Parenthood sent out an action alert asking Members to vote against HR7. Pro-abortion supporters called HR7 a “radical Republican assault on women’s rights”. This is just typical emotional rhetoric about “women’s rights”. However, by law women will continue to be able to get abortions. HR7 simply continues to ensure that my money and yours will not be used to pay for other people’s abortions, a provision that has been upheld for the last 38 years.

Economic and Human Inequality: The Contradictions of Barack Obama’s Vision

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 23, 2013

In a compelling piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, economist and Chris Christie advisor Robert Grady describes that he calls the President’s “obsession with equality” and argues that the real solution to our bumpy economy is economic growth. As Grady notes, if Mr. Obama really wants to end economic disparity in the nation, “Accomplishing this worthy goal requires growth, not redistribution.”

Three thoughts:

(1) We cannot have the kind of growth Mr. Grady rightly calls for unless we have enough people. The sad but indisputable fact is that our quantity of workers is shriveling. My colleagues at FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute have demonstrated this is several key studies . The American family is in crisis due to divorce and cohabitation; abortion claims about 3,000 unborn lives each day. We cannot sufficiently manipulate federal tax and spending policy to redress these trends. The only way is for one man and one woman to marry, for life, and have three or more children. This is consistent with FRC’s view of the value of human personhood and the centrality of the traditional family unit, yes - but it is also demonstrated by the undeniable facts.

(2) That many Americans are struggling cannot, and should not, be denied. But there are a lot of misconceptions about what constitutes inequality, prosperity, and opportunity; the bottom line is that most ordinary families are faring relatively well. Pounding on the theme of “inequality” creates a measure of social resentment that will provoke unwarranted and dangerous federal intervention into the private marketplace, already too prey to the intrusions of the state (e.g., Obamacare, a confiscatory tax regime, etc.).

(3) It is ironic that Mr. Obama is so fixated on what he views as income inequality given his denial of the essential premise of the American republic, that all men are created equal. “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe,” he said in his December 4 speech on the economic disparity theme. As noted above, Mr. Obama both misstates the case and proposes policies that will only increase the power of the government at the expense of private enterprise and personal achievement. Yet beyond his rather standard “enlightened” critique stands a devastating paradox: If unborn persons have value independent of their mothers, if they are, in fact, persons, how does advancing a grim and relentless pro-abortion agenda, as does our President, assure the equality he says he so favors? It doesn’t, of course; abortion is inherently discriminatory, elevating the will and power of one person over another. It is the celebration of the worst kind of inequality, the taking of the life of the weaker by the stronger.

If Mr. Obama wants to be taken seriously by economists, entrepreneurs, and social conservatives alike, he needs to remove his reactive Left-liberal lenses and look at the economy, and what makes for the growth thereof, realistically. And if wants to be taken seriously as a moral leader, he needs to jettison his dogmatic agenda of elective abortion-on-demand. Let’s pray to that end in 2014.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.): ‘There is a law prohibiting the federal funding of abortions, but it is being done anyway’

by Bethany Brock

December 6, 2013

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to respond to the on-demand abortions found in Obamacare exchange healthcare plans in spite of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion.

The president made a promise that he would adhere to the Hyde principle, and that means that you do not fund even a plan that includes abortion,” said the Representative.

Federal funding of Obamacare for healthcare plans that include abortions overrides the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), an amendment that Smith helped pass in 1983. FEHB states that the Office of Personal Management (OPM) cannot administer any plan that includes abortion, except in very limited cases. 

OPM has no choice but to obey the clear letter of the law.  That’s not what they’ve done,” Smith said.

There are 112 Obamacare plans that are offered to all of our Congressional staff in Washington and across the country and to members of Congress. Ninety percent of them, 103 of those plans out of 112, fund abortion on demand.”

Smith explained, “Those federal tax dollars will be going into forms of subsidies that will be buying these plans that include abortion on demand. It is outrageous in the extreme. There is a law prohibiting the federal funding of abortions, but it is being done anyway.”

He continued, “It is very difficult when you have a lawless president, executive branch, attorney general, and a justice department that is absolutely willing and complacent in the lawlessness to enforce federal statutes.

I’ve been in Congress 33 years and have never felt that our executive branch was out of control like this.” Smith said that even in past administrations there was always a sense that the rule of law was being adhered to. “Not so with these folk in the White House and our President. They do whatever they want. They break the law with impunity and this is a classic example.”

Smith recently introduced H.R. 7, a bill that proposes to completely remove abortion from Obamacare exchange plans and to repeal Obamacare. “We need to pass that and stay with that until it is the law of the land. I believe strongly and have voted repeatedly with the Republican leadership to repeal Obamacare itself.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Co-Parenting” — Co-Operation in Ignoring Child Welfare

by Leanna Baumer

December 6, 2013

Following this year’s introduction of “wedleases” and “monogamish” to the personal relationship lexicon, we now arrive at the latest concept to jar our understanding of family life: “co-parenting.” On its face, the term sounds harmless — after all, parenting involves partnership. But, “co-parenting” isn’t being used to describe a renewed focus on the dual responsibility of a mom and dad to rear their children or even a focus on strategic parenting after a marriage ends in divorce.

Rather, this elective “co-parenting” describes a new way for adults to skip over love and marriage and go straight to the carriage, all with the ease of social networking websites that one fan has called “Facebook for fetuses.” With no intention of marriage, cohabitation, or any sort of romantic relationship with the co-parent, a man or woman can solicit a partner with which to conceive a child through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and share custody in the future.

Sites like Modamily are quick to point out that they provide recommendations for co-parents to go through background checks, undergo health screening, and enter into detailed legal agreements regarding the rearing of the baby being constructed, all in an effort to establish a strategic baseline for the future split care of the child. Some reports are honest in explaining the phenomenon as essentially “cut[ting]straight to divorce” with all the legal complications that can abound.

In fact, the difficult realities which children of divorced parents face will likely be some of the same challenges faced by future children of co-parents. An ever-growing body of social science research tells us that divorce causes dramatic upheaval in the lives of children, imposing on many children the strong likelihood of negative economic, educational, and behavioral outcomes. Touting the functional equivalent of divorce — co-parenting — in light of those likely harms is not only foolish but inherently shortsighted. Without even an attempt to give children the known benefits of an intact marriage between their mom and dad, co-parents intentionally seek to introduce a child into a fractured home life from birth.

Children aren’t “things” to be peddled online and discussed as goods to be shared back and forth. Co-parenting backers state “love of the child is first and foremost” behind their efforts to give life to a child.  In reality, the only thing they are certain to give is a profound display of selfishness in prioritizing adult interests over child welfare.  

NYC Mayor-Elect Reveals Radical Abortion Agenda

by Anna Higgins

November 8, 2013

New York City, one of the world’s abortion capitals, this week elected a new mayor with a dangerously radical abortion agenda. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has openly declared war on non-profit Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) while promising unwavering support for abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

According to LifeSite News, de Blasio, “has promised to partner with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to help them expand their business in the city. He says he plans to help abortionists find neighborhoods that lack convenient clinic access and provide them with ‘city sponsored’ space to set up shop.” In conjunction with his commitment to increase the number of abortion facilities in New York, he proposes requiring doctors trained in city hospitals to train to perform abortion, all while closing the doors of PRCs.

De Blasio calls crisis pregnancy centers ‘sham’ clinics. In his view, their refusal to perform abortions means they do not offer ‘legitimate health care.’ He has pledged to continue the city’s appeal of a court order striking down a law aimed at closing down such centers.”

In the event the court appeal fails, de Blasio says, he stands ready to ‘craft new regulations to prevent [crisis pregnancy] centers from masquerading as legitimate health care providers’.”

Pregnancy care centers, far from being a “sham,” are typically the only place women in crisis pregnancies can go to get accurate information about their pregnancy and available options. According to Family Research Council’s own publication, A Passion to Serve, in

2010, Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) served over 2.3 million people with pregnancy tests, counseling, referrals, ultrasounds, education, and material needs. These services saved communities a conservative estimate of $100million.

The new mayor’s plans not only put his ignorance on display, they reveal the fact that he is not interested in a woman’s “right to choose,” but rather, that he supports only the abortion “choice.”

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md): Obamacare Causing Real Pain for American Families

by Bethany Brock

November 5, 2013

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” and provided information about the latest developments of Obamacare:

A lot of American middle class families are being hurt by this plan. Even if the [Healthcare.gov] website works perfectly, you still wouldn’t be able to keep your plan. It would still be 41 percent more than the plan you have now, and you probably wouldn’t get to keep your doctor.  Even if the website worked perfectly, this is not about a website. This is about a basic change of the way you get your health care- putting a government bureaucrat in between you and your physician and that is not the way you want your health care delivered.”

The Manhattan Institute has released a current survey of the cost of all new healthcare exchange plans offered around the country. Harris points out that healthcare rates have increased an average of 41 percent. “Families are hard pressed to pay their health insurance bills now, much less 41 percent more,” Harris said.

Harris said Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) filed a bill in the Senate that will allow Americans to keep their current insurance if they want to. The House will be voting on this bill next week.

I hope the President has a change of heart because he’s causing some real pain in American families right now,” Harris concluded. Click here to listen to the entire interview

The frosting can’t cover it up

by Jessica Prol

October 17, 2013

Yesterday Planned Parenthood wished itself a Happy 97th Birthday. Its Facebook page and Twitter feed featured the image of a single candle, atop a frosted and sprinkled cupcake, with the following words: “97 years ago the first Planned Parenthood clinic opened in Brooklyn,New York. Today, we celebrate the 3 million patients that come to us every year for high-quality, affordable health care.”

The American Life League took the meme head-on, with a counter-candle and a counterfactual of its own: “Planned Parenthood is celebrating its 97th birthday. But the 6,300,000 babies aborted in its facilities won’t even have one.”

Predictably, Twitter lit up in loud, 140-character disagreements on the subject. Such disagreement isn’t surprising. Our nation remains deeply divided on the merits of the Planned Parenthood business, but there’s quite a bit going on below the frosting-fight.

So, before you take a bite out of that cupcake, or even fling frosting at “the other side,” here are a few things to consider about Planned Parenthood:

  • Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of sex education. It uses millions of taxpayer dollars to create explicit books, videos, social media pages, curriculum and campaigns that promote sexual experimentation which leads to an increased need for contraception and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment.” (Source: Alliance Defending Freedom)
  • [I]n 2010 Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed 329,445 abortions. In 2009, the number of abortions was 332,278 and in 2008 the number was 324,008. The Guttmacher Institute (originally founded to be the research arm of Planned Parenthood but later becoming an independent body) reports that the total number of abortions in the United States in 2008 was 1,210,000. Therefore in 2008, PPFA provided approximately 27 percent of abortions in the United States.” (Source: America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Planned Parenthood)
  • According to estimates, a first trimester non-subsidized abortion costs approximately $550. As reported in their 2010 annual report, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions, yielding approximately $181,000,000 in revenue—solely from abortions performed that year. In contrast, Planned Parenthood made 841 adoption referrals in 2010… In the annual report for fiscal year 2010, the organization claimed an excess of revenue over expenses of 18.5 million dollars… PPFA’s 2010 annual report indicates that it received approximately 46 percent of its income from federal, state and local government grants and contracts. In other words, taxpayer dollars fund nearly half of PPFA’s budget. In 2010, $487,400,000 was paid to PPFA by the government. Another $233,800,000 of PPFA’s budget came from contributions and gifts.” (Source: America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Planned Parenthood)
  • Planned Parenthood keeps medical standards low to keep overhead low. This puts women at risk. Hundreds of medical complaints have been filed against the organization, and many women have suffered botched abortions or died because of their practices. Medical citations include: non-medical personnel performing medical functions, failing to disinfect and remove blood stains from tables between abortions, using abortion pills after their expiration date, reusing unsanitary sponges to clean instruments, allowing fetal matter and frozen blood to build up on freezers.” (Source: Alliance Defending Freedom)

That is just the beginning. We haven’t even begun to discuss the psychological, emotional, and physical trauma that many a woman faces after trusting Planned Parenthood with the life-altering decision to abort her child.

There is a better way to help women. “A Passion to Serve” illustrates that reality.

If you, or someone you know, are facing a difficult, unexpected pregnancy, there are thousands of people who are prepared to help you. People are reading and waiting to take your phone call.

Don’t get fooled by the pretty little cupcake. There’s so much hiding under the frosting.

On the intersection between “gayness” and Christian practice

by Jessica Prol

October 10, 2013
On a cold morning this past January in Gresham, Oregon, Aaron Klein sat down with two customers at the bakery he owned with his wife, Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The two women, a bride and her mother, were making plans to purchase a wedding cake. Before discussing the details, Klein asked his customers a few standard questions. When would the wedding be? What was the groom’s name? At the second question, there was an awkward hesitation, and the mother explained that this would be a wedding between two brides. Klein politely but firmly told them that because of his and his wife’s Christian beliefs, they would not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Without a word, the bride and her mother got up and left.
About ten minutes later, the bride’s mother returned to the bakery and began to debate Klein using biblical references to claim that her daughter was created that way and there was nothing wrong with her marriage. Klein was firm, asserting that he would not be involved in a lesbian wedding. When he refused to back down, the woman left. About two weeks later, Klein received a complaint letter and an official investigation notice from the Oregon Department of Justice.

But the saga is not over. In a recent post for The American Spectator, Claire Healey tells how Aaron and Melissa Klein faced additional harassment for their decision—harassment that eventually led them to close their doors. It is sobering to infer that consistent Christian witness will, at times, collide with the celebration of sexual license.

 

It is also sobering to know that the Kleins are not alone. Family Research Council has partnered with The Liberty Institute, to document hundreds of challenges to religious liberty and practice across the United States. You can review and download that report here: religioushostility.org. Not all of these cases deal with the crossover between Christian witness and sexuality, but it is an especially tumultuous intersection.

But some mainstream Christians and progressive advocates have banded together to proclaim that need be no friction, no disagreement, no critique of homosexual practice. Their premise: Haters gonna hate and we’re “Not All Like That.”

I understand why the “Not All Like That” (NALT) movement is attractive to my peers. It is a rare and difficult sort of person who loves making enemies. I have met them, but I don’t find they make the most loyal friends.

But what if NALT is selling a counterfeit Gospel, spreading a lie that masquerades as love?

The question looms large on our public conversation. For today, I begin by offering a few resources that begin to inform an answer:

Dubious Reporting About International Adoptions

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 24, 2013

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a piece by a writer named Kathryn Joyce on the supposed exploitation of orphans in the developing world by Christian ministries. The piece is based on her book, The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption.

The Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) has written a gracious but powerful response to Joyce’s claims; it should be read by anyone concerned about the international adoption movement. My friend Jedd Medefind, who leads the CAFO and drafted the response, concludes:

It’s been said that democracy is the worst form of government…except for all the others. The same could be expressed of many other good things, including aspects of the Christian orphan movement. None of its expressions are perfect — whether adoption, foster care, mentoring, family preservation or global orphan care initiatives. And yet, despite many shortcomings of this work, tremendous good is brought daily to millions of children around the globe. Yes, errors and pitfalls will always come with any effort to address deep human need. So we must labor continually to minimize risks and avoid unintended consequences. Yet this realism need not lead to the cynicism that defines The Child Catchers. Nor to the hopelessness or temptation to withdraw from engagement the one might feel after reading it.

This is wonderfully said, and makes the point that whatever errors have been made as Americans, including American Christians, have engaged in international adoption, the overwhelming good being done for little ones without parents (and currently, there are more than 140 million of them) through adoption far outweighs the missteps.

Additionally, it is noteworthy that Kathryn Joyce is closely identified with the pro-abortion movement. She writes for such Left-liberal publications as Mother Jones, The Nation, and “RH Reality Check: Reproductive and Sexual Health and Justice News and Commentary,” one of whose stated goals is “to restore and sustain abortion coverage for low-income women.” “RH Reality Check” exists to advance abortion as a fully justified means of women’s health care and debunk pro-life arguments and initiatives.

Ms. Joyce writes frequently about what she regards as the dangers of Evangelical Protestantism; that’s her right, but let’s be clear about where her biases lay.

Ms. Joyce is not a dispassionate journalist but an advocate for a point of view. Again, advocacy for one’s convictions is perfectly legitimate. What isn’t appropriate is for her and her champions (e.g., the editorial page of The New York Times) not to disclose her allegiance to a movement and point of view inimical to those about whom she is writing.

The Battle for Life Continues, Regardless of Outcomes

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 23, 2013

This past Friday, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court “to decide that for-profit corporations cannot deny their employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners”. According to Religion News Service’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey:

In June, the Obama administration issued final rules for the mandate that requires most employers to provide contraception at no cost. While there are exemptions for religious groups and affiliated institutions, there are no carve-outs for private businesses with religious owners. Opponents of the mandate say that they will be forced to provide coverage they find morally abhorrent. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Friday (Sept. 20) on behalf of four Christian universities in Oklahoma, where Hobby Lobby is also based. Now that two different federal courts have issued contradictory opinions on the mandate, the issue is near certain to be decided by the Supreme Court.

This is welcome news, and it is hoped that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty. The owners of Hobby Lobby, the Green family, and others like them did not leave their Christian convictions in the pew on Sunday morning. As attorney Kyle Duncan of The Becket Fund argues:

The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living … We’re confident that the Supreme Court will reject the government’s extreme position and hold that religious liberty is for everyone—including people who run a business.

Let us hope Kyle is right, for the sake of every citizen of a nation in which religious liberty historically has been the foundation of every other right (our rights come from God, not from the state, and thus our primary duty is to Him, not it – this is the essential premise of the U.S. Constitution).

Yet even if this battle is won, the battle for life in the U.S. will be far from over. For example, attorney Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life has just published a new book, Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe. V. Wade in which he explains that

The United States is an outlier when it comes to the scope of the abortion “right.” The United States is one of approximately ten nations (of 195) that allow abortion after fourteen weeks of gestation. The others are: Canada, China, Great Britain, North Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Western Australia, and Vietnam. When it comes to allowing abortion for any reason after viability, however, the United States is joined only by Canada, North Korea, and China (p. 126).

I am always glad for the United States to stand alone when it comes to our defending our national security, the well-being of our citizens or the protection of our other vital interests, but in this case, I wish the land of the free was in league with the majority of the world’s countries in imposing restrictions on post-viability abortions. Of course, all who cherish life know it is immaterial whether the U.S. is in the majority or minority of nations when it comes to the imperative of correcting Roe altogether and affirming the sanctity of every life, from conception to natural death.

Regardless of laws, legislation, or litigation, the movement to protect the unborn and prevent their mothers from being preyed-upon and commoditized will not quit. We’ve achieved some great victories in recent years, and we can be grateful for the growing public judgment that elective abortion is a moral evil.

Yet our criterion of victory is not found in numbers, polls, bills, or laws. Ultimately, it is found in fidelity to the One Scripture calls “the Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). He deserves our full and unflagging efforts in defense of those He still is forming in their mothers’ wombs. May we always give it to Him.

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