Month Archives: January 2014

Protecting the State of the Unborn

by Krystle Gabele

January 30, 2014

H.R. 7 was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, as six Democrats and a 39 vote victory ensured that taxpayers will not be funding abortions.  While the House passed the measure, we would ask the Senate to take up the conversation and debate.

Below are remarks by Members of Congress in support of H.R. 7.

The Social Conservative Review: January 30, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

January 30, 2014

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday evening, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) gave a moving address about the hope and opportunity all Americans share. Responding to the President’s State of the Union message, she spoke of the grandeur of “a nation where a girl who worked at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru to help pay for college can be with you from the United States Capitol.”

She also talked about her wonderful son Cole, a little boy with Down Syndrome. She described him as “a 6-year old boy who dances to Bruce Springsteen; who reads above grade level; and who is the best big brother in the world. We see all the things he can do, not those he can’t. Cole, and his sisters, Grace and Brynn, have only made me more determined to see the potential in every human life — that whether we are born with an extra 21st chromosome or without a dollar to our name — we are not defined by our limits, but by our potential.”

Last summer, Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ former staffer, now-U.S. Rep. Jaime Beutler Herrera (R-WA), gave birth to a little girl with Potter’s Syndrome, “a kidney and lung condition that’s typically fatal.” Both of these brave women have shown that every child is a precious gift. One week after the March for Life, let’s keep remembering that.

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. FRC’s Executive Vice-President, Lt. Gen. (ret) Jerry Boykin, earlier this week submitted eloquent testimony to the House Armed Service’s Military Personnel subcommittee regarding “Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services.” Read the full text of his timely comments here.

Educational Freedom and Reform

Legislation and Policy Proposals

College Debt

Government Reform


Health Care

Health care reform: ACA/Obamacare



Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research
To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Human Trafficking

Marriage and Family

Family Economics

Family Structure


Religion and Public Policy
Religious Liberty

Religion in America
Check out Dr. Kenyn Cureton’s feature on Watchmen Pastors called “The Lost Episodes,” featuring how religion has had an impact on our Founding Fathers.



International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

The Courts
Constitutional Issues

Other Issues

Book reviews

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.

The People’s House Voted Today to Protect Taxpayers from Paying for Abortion

by Emily Minick

January 28, 2014

Today the House debated and passed H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) controlled debate today on the House floor and defended the will of an overwhelming majority of Americans who are opposed to paying for other people’s abortions and want the government to be neutral when it comes to the funding of abortion.

This bill is extremely simple- it would permanently codify the Hyde Amendment, and other pro-life provisions, in federal law and across government programs.

Some may ask, “Why is this bill necessary since the Hyde Amendment is currently law”?

The answer to this is very clear, the passage of H.R. 7 is necessary because each year the Hyde Amendment needs to be re-authorized. Additionally, Obamacare bypasses the Hyde Amendment and directly appropriates funds to assist individuals, via the form of tax credits, in purchasing healthcare which could include abortion coverage.

Obamacare violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment, despite the President’s claim that the passage of his signature law would not violate Hyde’s principles.

Even with the Hyde Amendment’s annual renewal, there have been times in recent history where the government has funded abortion. Hyde doesn’t cover other funding streams outside of the Department of Health and Human Services and Medicaid. Despite the fact that Hyde was in effect, in 2009 Congress failed to include the Dornan Amendment, which prohibits government funds from paying for abortions in the District of Columbia, and for a period of a year and a half taxpayers paid for 300 abortions totaling $185,000. This, despite the fact that Hyde was in effect.

The principles of the Hyde Amendment need to be permanently codified and applied across federal funding streams.

Besides the fact that Obamacare bypasses the Hyde Amendment and uses taxpayer dollars to assist individuals in paying for abortions, it also prevents individuals from knowing whether or not a healthcare plan includes abortion coverage, until after they already pay and enroll. Transparency is necessary to good governance and lawmaking. H.R. 7 would require that whether or not a plan covers abortion be prominently displayed at the time of enrollment, so individuals can make an informed decision.

As we saw today on the House floor, opponents of the bill can make up a lot of excuses as to why this bill should not pass, yet they fail to address the issue at hand, the issue of eliminating the taxpayer’s role in abortion.

Nothing in this bill would prevent a woman from having an abortion, purchasing a healthcare plan which includes abortion coverage with her own funds, or prohibit women in the District of Columbia from having an abortion.

For over 30 years the Hyde Amendment has recognized that abortion is not healthcare, and thus the taxpayer should have no role in the funding of abortion. This bill applies these principles across the government. Today the people’s house voted to protect taxpayers, women and their unborn children.

Marriage-Minded Community: The Wide Scope of New Research

by Avery Pettway

January 28, 2014

A recent study out of Harvard University indicates that children who are raised by intact families have greater social mobility than their single-parented peers. Moreover, negative outcomes are not restricted to the children of these single-parent households. As Brad Wilcox writes in his Slate article, the rates of single-parenthood at the community level have been shown to impede the mobility of everyone, not just the families in distress. If we are to break the cycle of single-parents and improve economic situations for all, it is crucial that married couples do what they can to foster a culture of marriage in their communities. Read more here.

The Poverty of Nations: Practical Solutions for a World in Need

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 27, 2014

My friend Dr. Wayne Grudem, one of America’s leading theologians and a man of great compassion for those in need, has published a new op-ed in  Titled, “The Only Way for the Poor to Escape from Poverty,” the piece is a short, introductory summary of Dr. Grudem’s book, Poverty of Nations (both the book and op-ed are coauthored by economist Barry Asmus). Here is an excerpt:

The Bible’s teachings support the idea that nations must produce their own prosperity. When Israel came into the Promised Land God did not promise them perennial donations of riches from other nations, but hills filled with iron and copper (which they would have to dig and refine) and fields of vines and fig trees (which they would have to tend and harvest each year).”

Dr. Grudem gave a longer presentation of the arguments in his important book last month at the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C. You can watch it in its entirety at no charge and learn the principles that, when applied, can elevate the poor into prosperity and hope.

Likeability, Character, and Barack Obama

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 23, 2014

A new Associated Press-GfK poll on President Obama finds that “while (President) Obama’s likeability numbers have recovered somewhat, doubts about his decisiveness and honesty persist. More than half of Americans wouldn’t describe him as decisive or honest. Fifty-two percent don’t find him particularly inspiring.”

Yikes. “Taking stock of President Barack Obama at the five-year mark in his term, less than a third of Americans consider him to be an above-average chief executive. Nearly twice as many find him likable,” the study finds.

A couple of years ago I wrote a column on likeability and politics. My comment then: “Character counts far more than likeability. A person can be winsome, charismatic, and funny, and also be a serial adulterer.” Or a chronic liar.

No president has an easy time in the Oval Office. The stresses and demands inherent in the job of being leader of the free world are enormous. On any given day, a president has to engage with a host of frequently unrelated issues.

Additionally, every president has flaws, character and managerial and philosophical. Expecting perfection or exact consistency of anyone is a standard no one can meet.

But we have a right to expect bedrock honesty and intentionality of purpose from the leader of the country. Telling falsehoods (“if you like your doctor and your health insurance, you can keep them”) and repeatedly splitting the difference on critical policy matters represent a failure of leadership.

Indecision and a lack of integrity are not character qualities we need in a President. As one’s character is capable of change, let’s hope (and, more importantly, pray) Mr. Obama will determine to be a person of honesty and wise and certain judgment in his final years in office.

Save a Baby’s Life and Save a Second Life with Baby’s Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells

by David Prentice

January 22, 2014

Post Image

(a similar version of this item was first published online by National Right to Life News;
for more stories you can access the January issue of National Right to Life News and Family Research Council’s Life issues pages)

This year we mark the 41st anniversary of the onset of tragedy; a tragedy because of the horrific loss of life, and many more lives than we realize.  The legalization of abortion in the U.S. by the Roe v. Wade decision has cost over 56 million preborn babies their young lives since that fateful day in 1973. 

The numbers are staggering, difficult to grasp; the U.S. has lost more lives than the population of many entire countries such as South Africa or South Korea, almost as many deaths as the entire population of Italy or the United Kingdom.  But those aren’t the only lives lost or scarred as a result of abortion in the U.S.  There is no accurate number of the women who lost their own lives, as well as those who have been physically and psychically scarred by abortion.  The victims are often silent and unknown, but seriously harmed.

And yet the number of lives lost as a result of abortion is even more than that.  Because many lives could have been saved from the delivery of those babies, by the collection and use of adult stem cells from the umbilical cords of those born babies.  We could have doubled the lifesaving, by letting babies live and be born, and using their umbilical cords to save life from that life saved. 

Umbilical cord blood stem cells have become an extremely valuable alternative to bone marrow adult stem cell transplants, ever since cord blood stem cells were first used for patients over 25 years ago.  The first umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant was performed in October 1988, for a 5-year-old child with Fanconi anemia, a serious condition where the bone marrow fails to make blood cells.  That patient is currently alive and healthy, 25 years after the cord blood stem cell transplant. 

Since that time, over 30,000 cord blood stem cell transplants have been done around the world, and transplants have increased for various blood and bone marrow diseases and leukemias, as well as for genetic enzymatic diseases in children.  Cord blood stem cell transplants have also become more common for adults with leukemia.  Cord blood transplants have been especially helpful for racial and ethnic minorities. 

Bone marrow adult stem cell transplants require an exact match between donor and recipient, and it can sometimes be difficult to find a donor match for a patient, especially for minorities.  But umbilical cord blood stem cells can be used with some mismatch and still provide successful treatments.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted the increased interest in umbilical cord blood by scientists and doctors seeking stem cell cures.  Besides current treatments, cord blood stem cells are now being studied for their potential to treat many more diseases, including Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as congenital heart disease and cerebral palsy.  The story quotes Dr. William Shearer, professor of pediatrics and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine:

It’s a disposable item that Mother Nature provides us with… It’s a renewable source.  It’s free and why not use it?”

Since the first umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant over 25 years ago, over 600,000 cord blood units have been stored away around the globe for future lifesaving transplants.  Just two examples of public programs to collect and store umbilical cord blood stem cells are the National Marrow Donor Program (motto: “You could cure someone’s blood cancer by giving birth”) and the National Cord Blood Program, and additionally there are commercial cord blood storage companies, involved in collection, storage, and research.  The data so far show that cord blood stem cells can be stored frozen for over 20 years without loss of potency.

And it’s not controversial.  As a recent news story in the Washington Times showed, many more states are turning to ethical, successful adult stem cells, providing real hope and real treatments for thousands of people.  Kansas last year initiated a unique Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center that will treat patients, do research on new therapies, educate the public and professionals on the advantages of adult stem cells such as those from cord blood and the solid umbilical cord, serve as a resource to process patient cells for treatment, and train physicians to deliver those treatments.  Paul Wagle was appointed by Governor Brownback to represent the patient community on the new Advisory Board for the Kansas Center.  Paul received an umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant for his leukemia in 2005.  Partly as a result of the successful treatment, Paul developed an interest in science and earned a triple major from Benedictine College in Kansas in 2013, and is now in seminary.  The Kansas Center has already treated its first patient and held its inaugural scientific conference.

Here are just a few other examples from FRC’s “Adult Stem Cells Saved My Life project” of the double lifesaving from a born baby and the saved cord blood.

Mary Lou Rusco also received umbilical cord blood stem cells for her leukemia.  She received the treatment from doctors at the Kansas University Medical Center, and is now free from leukemia.

Joe Davis, Jr. was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, at only a few months old.  His parents were told that he wouldn’t survive to be a teenager, and they couldn’t find a bone marrow match for him.  But along came younger brother Isaac, whose umbilical cord blood stem cells saved Joe Junior’s life.

Chloe Levine received an innovative cord blood stem cell transplant at Duke University to treat her cerebral palsy.  She’s now a happy healthy little girl.

As our good friend Tom McClusky of the March for Life has noted, this lifesaving stem cell research strikes the right cord for life!

December 2013 «

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