Mirroring a bill passed last year in Nebraska, the Kansas legislature recently gave final approval to a measure prohibiting abortions after 21 weeks based on an unborn childs ability to feel pain. This measure, HB2218, has now been sent to Governor Sam Brownback who is expected to sign it. Passage of this legislation signals a huge step toward fully protecting and valuing unborn human life. It also sets a precedent among states, the majority of which currently protect life at fetal viability, a stage which can be hard to definitively determine. Kansas is not alone in their effort to protect unborn children who can feel pain, 12 other states currently have similar legislation (ID, OK, OR,AR, AL, GA, SC,FL, MS,MN,IA, IN).
Another pro-life bill passed by the legislature was HB2035. It defines the criteria for those required to report cases of suspected child abuse and broadens it to include those who work or volunteer at organizations that provide pregnancy services to minors. Also included are reporting requirements for abortion providers; a provision allowing a woman to file suit if an abortion was performed upon her illegally; and a parental consent requirement among other things.
On the topic of abortion, other bills in the legislature would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion (HB2377), specify licensing requirements of abortion clinics (HB2337, SB36, SB45and SB165), create health exceptions to late-term abortions (HB2007), and address abortion coverage in health insurance (HB2292 and HB2293).
In other areas, the legislature recently passed a bill requiring citizens to present valid ID before voting and in order to register to vote. Provisions of the law do not start going into effect until January 1st, 2012.
Currently in committees of origin are bills that establish covenant marriages and enact divorce reform (HB2254), prohibit public funding of human cloning (HB2214), and include sexual orientation and gender identity in state law prohibiting discrimination (SB53). Also of note is a bill which has passed the house and is now in a senate committee that addresses the method of selecting judges (HB2101).
The ever-inventive animalists at PETA are out with a new beef, er, gripe: The Bible.
It seems in this 400th anniversary year of the venerable King James Version, PETA wants to jump on the bandwagon for some free publicity. Heres the news item:
Animal activists say the Bible needs to be more considerate of Gods furry friends. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has asked the Committee on Bible Translation to update the New International Version Bible to include more animal-friendly language, according to CNN. In a letter to translators, the group called the Bibles current text speciesist and requested that pronouns like he and she be used instead of it when referring to animals…Language matters, Friedrich told CNN. Calling an animal it denies them something. They are beloved by God. They glorify God.
Actually, PETA folks get this one wrong, too, as they get most things wrong. The Bible is most considerate of Gods creatures. The Bible tells us that all Creation groans, awaiting its savior. As C.S. Lewis helpfully informs us, Nature is not our mother, shes our sister. Nature, like us, is in need of redemption. Thats why, when Jesus was born, Heaven and Nature sang.
As it happens, my mens Bible study just this week delved into the remarkable story of Balaams ass. Its in the book of Numbers 22:21-38. In brief, Balaam is a pagan priest on his way to curse Israel. Apparently, Balaam is considered a champion curser. He mounts his she-ass and heads off to do evil. But the Angel of the Lord appears and blocks the path. Balaams poor donkey sees the angel and balks at going to the left or the right. Despite Balaams beating her, she refuses to aid him in his wickedness. She lies down before the Angel. She even talks to Balaam. She asks him how he can be so cruel to her. Never before had I encountered talking animals in Scripture. No wonder C.S. Lewis peoples his books with talking creatures, two- and four-legged. Balaams ass is a touching story. Even the donkey acknowledges the God of Israel.
I was once taught a lesson in the differences between men and beasts. Boarding a Soviet trawler in the Bering Sea, my party of ten Coast Guardsmen quickly finished our inspection of their catch of fish. I was serving as the Russian language interpreter for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell.
As I was about to go back over the side, I offered this last word to the Soviet skipper. Naoborot, spaceetyay kitov. (By the way, save the whales.) Whales, like all marine mammals are a protected species. My Greenpeace friends ashore had given me that Russian line to use.
The Soviet skipper laughed: We know whut you mean, he said, but you cant say eet zat way, he said in heavily accented English. He smiled through stainless steel teeth.
Spaceets means to save as in save ones soul. Whales dunt haff souls, only people haff souls.
I looked up at the trawlers smokestack. It had a yellow profile of Lenin, the top Communist revolutionary. Lenin had said any religious sentiment, however slight, was unspeakably vile. Yet here was one of his own Communistswearing a furry shapka on his head that bore the red star, hammer and sickle deviceand telling me that only people had souls. I half expected that smokestack to tumble into the sea!
If Balaams ass can acknowledge the God of Israel, and if this official representative of the atheist USSR knows that only people have souls, there may be hope for PETA yet.
Anyone who has attended the annual March for Life and has witnessed the thousands of teenagers, children and young adults peacefully protesting abortion in the U.S. knows that the pro-life movement will ultimately succeed in the hands of our young people.
“Who has the primary responsibility for making critical decisions about the education of school-aged children? Their parents? Or government and the school system it operates? That is a fundamental question about education policy that faces the United States as it attempts to build educational institutions for the twenty-first century.” - Jack Klenk
Marcia Walden, a licensed counselor in Georgia, explains why she was fired after referring a homosexual client to a colleague. Marcia referred the client to another colleague because offering counseling services would conflict with her Christian beliefs on homosexuality. Under ENDA legislation currently before Congress, Christian employers and employees across the nation would experience similar attacks on their Constitutional right to freedom of religion, speech and association.
For more on how you can protect the religious liberties of employers and employees, visit FightEnda.org.
With the recent passage of the Continuing Resolution here in DC there has been much debate about whether taxpayer money should be used to fund abortion. Currently, due to provisions in various federal appropriations bills, federal tax dollars are not supposed to be used to fund the procedure of abortion. President Obama changed all this, first by eliminating the long standing policy called the Dornan Amendment that prohibited all funds that Congress approved for D.C.(both local and federal) from being used for elective abortions. With a liberal majority in the last Congress, language contained in a Continuing Resolution banned only the use of federal funds for elective abortions. This change by pro-abortion legislators gutted the entire policy, because the District government could then use taxpayer funds to pay for abortion as long as a bookkeeping sleight-of-hand was employed to claim the abortions were being paid for with District of Columbia tax monies. President Obamas second successful attempt to federally fund abortions was through his health care legislation, which both funds and subsidizes the abortion industry.
In addition to the aforementioned examples, nothing currently prevents millions of dollars of grant money and subsidies from being allocated to the scandal-plagued abortion giant Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers annually. This money goes to fund their non-abortion services, effectively freeing up their other funds to finance not only the hundreds of thousands of abortions they perform each year, but also their lobbying efforts to stop any piece of legislation that seeks to protect the life of the mother or her unborn child.
Congress is not the only entity that is currently addressing this grave misuse of Americans hard earned tax dollars; several state governments have also taken up the issue of taxpayer funding of abortion. As noted in the map below, four states have proposed constitutional amendments prohibiting the public funding of abortion. Even more noteworthy, four additional states have proposed legislation not only aimed at denying direct funding of abortion but also denying funding to any entity that provides elective abortions. Two states in particular, New Hampshire and Indiana, have called out Planned Parenthood by name, emphasizing the fact that they will not be receiving state funds, and Montana has specifically not allocated any funds to Planned Parenthood in their state budget.
In addition to the states below that have addressed the issue of taxpayer funding of abortion, many other states have introduced bills that would prohibit coverage of abortion in health insurance plans (both state and private plans). These measures are not addressed in the following map.
On April 11, 2011, Family Research Council will be hosting a Family Policy Lecture about how socialists are reshaping Spain. Ignacio Arsuaga will be the featured speaker, and will also be releasing his new book, The Zapatero Project: Chronicle of an attack on society. This lecture should be particularly interesting, considering Arsuaga’s work in defending human rights through his work as President of HazteOir.org.
You can register for this lecture, which will also be available by webcast, by clicking here.