Author archives: Quena Gonzalez

Oklahoma Supreme Court asked to protect child sex abuse

by Quena Gonzalez

October 30, 2015

One of the bad raps we pro-lifers get for opposing elective abortion is that we’re waging a “war” on women. Never mind that pro-lifers contribute millions of dollars in volunteer time and financial gifts annually, staffing and funding a vast network of crisis pregnancy providers to care for mothers grappling with unplanned pregnancies. Never mind that many of us were, ourselves, children from unplanned pregnancies. Never mind that we grew up with ultrasound pictures on the refrigerator, or that we believe that abortion is the taking of human life.

Pro-lifers denounce violence and march peacefully in the hundreds of thousands every January, and we’re accused of waging a war. Meanwhile, an ideologically pro-abortion outfit protects child sexual abuse on procedural grounds. Guess who gets the free pass?

The sterile-named Center for Reproductive Health, which has filed multiple lawsuits in Oklahoma and Kansas against a variety of pro-life bills, is charging that Oklahoma’s SB 642 violates the state’s requirement that bills deal with only a single subject. The bill includes four measures, all designed to catch and penalize child molesters who bring underage girls in for abortion to cover up their crime:

  1. It makes it a felony to procure or knowingly participate in an abortion on an unemancipated minor behind her parents’ backs.
  2. It provides accountability by requiring abortionists to preserve fetal tissue from abortions on minors as evidence for any investigation into child sex abuse, according to regulations to be written by the state’s Board of Health.
  3. It further provides accountability by giving the Health Board authority to regularly inspect abortion practices to ensure compliance with this and all other requirements for licensure.
  4. It provides penalties by making violations a felony punishable by up to $100,000/day, subject to a judge’s discretion.

Are such steep penalties necessary? Live Action’s undercover videos a few years ago demonstrated that abortionists are not above covering up child sex abuse:

The Center for Reproductive Rights claims the Oklahoma law is overly broad, but their simultaneous challenges to multiple, unrelated pro-life laws suggests an ideological motive. Still, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to use a procedural challenge to protect the “reproductive rights” of child sex abusers.

Let’s hope and pray the Oklahoma Supreme Court promptly finds the law in order, and that protecting children from sexual abuse is a compelling state interest.

States Grapple with Whether Some Conscience Rights are More Equal Than Others

by Quena Gonzalez

October 9, 2015

The recent, intense debate over whether Kim Davis should go to jail or be a hero means that many Americans are considering conscience rights in light of the redefinition of marriage for the first time. We can learn a lot by looking at a case involving a state conscience claim, not on marriage but on the issue of when life begins.

Our friends at the Family Policy Institute of Washington summarize the case nicely:

[T]he Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [in July] that Washington State can force a pharmacy to sell Plan B despite their moral objections to doing so.

Plan B is a drug many object to because they believe it causes an early state abortion.

In 2007, the Washington State Board of Health created new rules stating that pharmacies must stock and sell Plan B. However, Ralph’s Thriftway challenged the rule and a judge ruled that the First Amendment protected their right to refer customers rather than sell a drug they objected to on moral grounds.

Did you catch that? Ralph’s Thriftway is being banned from referring customers to nearby pharmacies where abortifacient drugs are readily available. “With 33 pharmacies stocking the drug within five miles of our store,” said Kevin Stormans (the president of the company), “it is extremely disappointing that the court and the state demand that we violate our conscience or lose our family business.”

Part of the irony is the narrow ban on acting in accordance with a religious conviction. “The state allows pharmacies to refer for all kinds of reasons” including if a drug is not profitable, Stormans pointed out. “In practice, [the state] only bans religiously motivated referrals.”

Some pro-life views, however, are apparently more equal than others in state law. A recent article in U.S. News and World Report noted that the state’s physician-assisted suicide law “specifically carves out a health care provider’s right not to help terminally ill patients induce their own death.”

And earlier this year, leading pharmacist trade groups took steps to discourage their members from providing drugs that could be used in capital punishment, though states do not force pharmacies to do so.

Experts are watching to see if the Supreme Court will take the case and force Washington State to begin respecting the conscience rights of its citizens. But state legislators shouldn’t wait: They should protect conscience rights now, before civil servants like Kim Davis or private citizens like the owners of Ralph’s are sued.

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