Category archives: Life & Bioethics

Putting Patients First

by Worth Loving

June 12, 2018

With so many advancements in the field of medicine, people have access to more life-saving treatments than perhaps ever before. Hundreds of thousands of federal tax dollars go towards research of such treatments with the goal of giving people the best quality of life possible. However, the Left has exploited this funding to accomplish their own radical agenda, often at the expense of the well-being of patients.

One of these cases involves stem cell research. When National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins began his tenure in 2009, he specifically directed funding to be used for embryonic stem cell research—to the tune of 200 million taxpayer dollars per year. We know that the embryo is a human life and that destroying it for research is not only profoundly evil but a blatant breach of basic ethical scientific practice, a fact which Dr. Collins either ignores or denies. But as director of an institution designed to help Americans live better lives, he also ignores established research about stem cells.

According to Dr. David Prentice of the Charlotte B. Lozier Institute, embryonic stem cells have failed to produce even one cure for a deadly or debilitating disease. On the other hand, adult stem cell research has produced over 70 treatments for deadly and debilitating conditions such as cancer, lupus, and scleroderma. To date, adult stem cell research has helped over one million people. Every year, there are 20,000 adult stem cell transplants in the United States alone that help Americans live better lives.

There are two fundamental principles at stake in this debate. First is the morality of ending a human life. Taxpayers should not be forced to violate their conscience by paying for embryonic stem cell research, and our government should certainly not be involved in it. The other fundamental issue is if we want to support research that would improve people’s lives or continue promoting a destructive agenda at their expense.

In 2017, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced the Patients First Act that would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the NIH to instead spend that $200 million every year on adult stem cell research. Rep. Banks recently stopped by FRC headquarters to tell us more about his bill and how it would protect the consciences of taxpayers and help those dealing with deadly and debilitating diseases. Check out his lecture here

Finally, contact your representative in Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Patients First Act.

Defending the Free Speech Rights of Pregnancy Centers

by Worth Loving

May 22, 2018

Pregnancy can be one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life, especially when the pregnancy is unexpected. It’s extremely important that a woman have a strong support group during such a time. For many women facing unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy resource centers provide the support needed for the woman to carry her baby to term and equip her to raise the child in a loving home.

There are two types of crisis pregnancy centers, licensed and unlicensed. Unlicensed pregnancy centers are authorized to provide any type of non-medical support including pregnancy kits, education, support groups, clothing, and so on. Licensed pregnancy centers provide all these services as well but are also authorized to provide limited medical services. Unlike Planned Parenthood, pregnancy resource centers charge nothing for their services. Oftentimes, pregnancy centers are strategically located in poor communities where medical care is hard to find. No one seeking their services is turned away.

Now, the very mission of these pregnancy centers is under attack in California through a law known as the California FACT Act. Passed in 2015, the law requires pregnancy centers to promote a message directly contrary to their mission. For licensed facilities, the law requires a state-approved message regarding abortion referrals to be posted in the pregnancy centers. Interestingly, the law doesn’t require licensed pregnancy centers to promote wellness and nutrition programs for women, infants, and children or anything of the sort. For non-licensed facilities, the law requires that the pregnancy center post a message explaining that they are not a licensed medical facility and therefore cannot provide any related services, something these pregnancy centers have never claimed to do.

Shortly after the passage of the California FACT Act, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, arguing that the law violated the free speech rights of pregnancy centers. After working its way through the lower courts, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of NIFLA v. Becerra in November 2017. Oral arguments were heard on March 20, and a decision is expected to be announced at the end of the Court’s term next month.

It certainly appears that precedent is on the side of pregnancy centers. Several cases have been decided in favor of private individuals and institutions who were being compelled to promote or participate in a message or action contrary to their beliefs or mission. It also appears that the current justices have serious reservations about the constitutionality of the California FACT Act. During oral arguments for NIFLA v. Becerra, several of the more liberal justices voiced concerns that the law was not only burdensome but specifically targeted pregnancy centers, something Justice Elena Kagan called a “serious issue.”

Defendants in the case, including the state of California, argue that pregnancy centers are willfully deceiving women into believing that abortion is not an option and that they must disclose abortion services. In the end, though, Attorney General Becerra’s legal team conceded that no charges have ever been filed against a single pregnancy center in the state of California; and they have yet to bring forward a woman who has been harmed by a pregnancy center.

Pregnancy centers have never claimed to be full service. Their goal is to provide services to a mother in need so that her baby may develop fully and that she may love and nurture the child. What’s at stake in this case is the First Amendment right of pregnancy centers to refuse to promote a message directly contrary to their mission. Last week, Congressman Andy Harris, a medical doctor from Maryland, spoke on the importance of this case at FRC. As he said, “The First Amendment gives you the right to say things. It also gives you the right not to say things, and that’s what this case is about.” To find out more about this critical case and how you can support pregnancy centers in your area, watch Rep. Harris’ full lecture.

10 Reasons Why We Marched for Life

by Patrina Mosley

January 22, 2018

This year marked the 45th annual March for Life to protest the Roe v. Wade decision that changed the course of human dignity in America forever. Forty-five years ago, seven Supreme Court justices ruled that it was perfectly legal, and in fact a right for a mother to kill her own child in the womb. The first March for Life was just a year after this 1973 decision and advocates for the right to life haven’t stopped marching since! 

Unlike the Women’s March, which had no clear purpose or goals (and if you were not a liberal, pro-choice, secular humanist who didn’t vote for Trump, you were not welcomed), advocates for life gathered for a purpose that extends beyond Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Here are ten reasons why we marched for life:

    1. Life is precious and we are made in the image of God. That image gives glory to God. Genesis 1:26-28 shows that people, human beings, are the crown of God’s creation because He patterned our design after himself. God did this for nothing else in His creation. We have His attributes and divine involvement in the procreation of life and all its stages. Psalms 139:13-16 beautifully records:
      “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

      Through this intimate account by the psalmist David, we see the attributes and glory of God as being all-powerful, all-knowing, and always present. This account only affirms what modern science can tell us today about the development of a baby in the womb.

    2. The abortion industry was built on a genocidal philosophy, and this philosophy is still succeeding today. Martin Luther King wasn’t the only one with a dream. The dream of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was to weed out what she called “the unfit” from society. This included the poor, the sick, the disabled, and minorities. In her own plans to market to the “unfit,” she cautioned, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Today, over 79 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities are located within walking distance of black or Hispanic neighborhoods. Coincidence? I think not. Though abortion industry advocates might tell you that they are just concerned and want to provide access to those who are most vulnerable to unintended pregnancies or economic hardship, there is a reason this type of family planning started in these communities and continues to this day. How is it that the African-American community has been a part of this country as early as the 1600’s and represent less than 13 percent of the population today? This is true systemic racism.
    3. Abortion masquerading as “healthcare” is the biggest lie in America right now. Abortion poses an undisputed risk to women’s physical and mental health. After an abortion, it’s not uncommon to develop blood clots, hemorrhaging, and infection due to injury to the cervix. Abortion also increases the risk of breast cancer and premature births. Immediate medical complications affect approximately 10 percent of women undergoing abortions, and approximately one-fifth of these complications are life-threatening.
    4. The emotional and psychological harm done to women due to abortion is overwhelming—we must protect them both. The risk of suicide is three times greater for women who aborted than women who have not. Forty-two percent of women who aborted their child reported major depression by the age of 25. In a recent study done on 987 post-abortive women, only 6.6 percent of respondents reported using prescription drugs for psychological health prior to the first pregnancy that ended in abortion, compared with 51 percent who reported prescription drug use after the first abortion. A pro-life activist shared a statement she heard from post-abortive women that still sticks with her today: “Not a day goes by when the first thought that comes to my mind upon waking is ‘I actually PAID someone to kill my child.’”
    5. Abortion is neither empowerment nor a blessing. Abortion destroys life, glamorizes selfishness, enables reckless behavior, brings emotional trauma to both the man and the woman, and places an endorsement of complacency in building families.
    6. Convenience or coercion from others to abort a child does not determine inherent value or worth. Of the 987 women who participated in the study from above, 58.3 percent of the women reported aborting their child “to make others happy,” while 73.8 percent disagree that their decision to abort was entirely free from even subtle pressure from others to abort. A person’s value and worth should not be determined by if they are wanted or even healthy, but simply by being made in the image of God, and with that comes a plan for their life and the lives they will impact.
    7. It’s the right thing to do. To know the right thing to do and not do it is sinful and wrong for us to ignore (James 4:17). The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. even said: “The time is always right to do what is right.” Abortion is the most horrific injustice we could ever see—killing someone before they even have a chance to breathe. An estimated 60 million children have been extinguished from our society due to abortion.
    8. The hundreds of thousands who come to the March for Life annually have the power to change the hearts and minds of the American people, which can ultimately lead to changes in policy. Because we haven’t given up, we’ve seen massive pro-life legislation passed at the state level, and much of this legislation is gaining momentum at the federal level. On the day of the 45th March for Life, we saw the U.S. House of Representatives pass H.R. 4712, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require any health physician present to administer life-saving care to a child who survived an attempted abortion. We also saw the biggest showing of White House support for the pro-life movement than ever before! For the second year in a row, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the crowd, stating “My friends, life is winning in America because Love Saves Lives,” referencing the theme of this year’s March for Life. Also, for the first time ever in American history, a sitting president, Donald J. Trump, visually addressed the March for Life. He said: “Americans are more and more pro-life… In fact, only 12 percent of Americans support abortion on demand at any time. Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life.”
    9. Because we love. The March for Life is one of the most selfless acts of compassion one can be a part of. Not only are you marching to save lives, but you are marching to remember the lives that are no more—many of whom you don’t even know. But that doesn’t matter because all you need to know is that it was a life—a life that was taken for the sake of profit and a mother who is now left to deal with the emotional trauma. We love them both, and that love compels each of us to march and be the defenders of life and the broken.
    10. We are not alone. At the March for Life, you get to see other people from all different backgrounds from across the country, even from other parts of the world, that value life just like you and are willing to brave the cold and go the distance to see the sanctity of life restored. It’s a brotherhood and sisterhood of a love of another kind. At this March, you didn’t have to be a “Never-Trumper,” a Republican, a religious person, or heterosexual. People from all walks of life were united in a simple belief: that every life has value and was created just as God intended, and therefore deserves justice.

Why FRC Action Supports the Graham-Cassidy Legislation Repealing Obamacare

by FRC Action

September 19, 2017

 

Family Research Council Action along with FRC and Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) support the FY17 reconciliation legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). The Graham-Cassidy legislation would reapply to federal health care law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized. It redirects taxpayer funding away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and provides better state-based health insurance solutions for families than Obamacare.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released the following joint statement in support of the Graham-Cassidy legislation:

We applaud Senators Graham and Cassidy for their leadership and strongly endorse the bill they have crafted. This legislation offers Republicans the best chance to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, stop taxpayer funding of abortion, and redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, to comprehensive health care alternatives.

It is now well past time for Republicans in Congress to deliver on those promises. The Graham-Cassidy bill offers them the best chance to do that, with only 51 votes needed in the Senate to pass it before the September 30 deadline. The prior Congress passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and fund alternatives instead of Planned Parenthood that would have become law had it not been vetoed by President Obama, and now they have a commitment from President Trump to sign it. The pro-life majority controls both chambers of Congress and the White House. The GOP is without excuse. We urge them to keep their promise and repeal Obamacare and end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. Failure to keep their promise to voters will bring into question whether this Congress can truly be called the ‘pro-life Congress.’ Rhetoric must be translated into verifiable action.

Should robust efforts to enact the Graham-Cassidy legislation through the FY2017 Reconciliation bill run out of time, then the fight to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood must move immediately to the FY2018 Tax Reconciliation bill. Planned Parenthood proudly self-reports taking the innocent lives of 328,348 unborn children last year and nearly one million over the past three years. That is 900 lives snuffed out before their first breath every single day by a single taxpayer-funded abortion chain. This tragedy is compounded every day that passes with inaction. The time for results is now. Lives depend on Congress’ leadership and action to enact the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

Stand with David - Sign the Petition Today!

by FRC Action

July 26, 2017

David Daleiden led the project that brought to light the footage of Planned Parenthood employees discussing the selling of baby body parts in 2015. Since then, Daleiden has started the #PPSellsBabyParts campaign on Twitter and has continued to be a strong activist on behalf of the most vulnerable. However, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has sued Daleiden by claiming that the videos were illegally obtained and that their distribution poses a possible threat to the lives of abortionists across the country. U.S. District Judge William Orrick has ruled that David must take his video content off the web. David complied but his attorney placed the videos on his own website to keep them public. Judge Orrick reacted by saying that David was in contempt of the court. He also slapped him with additional fines, upward of $150,000.

David’s defense team has called for Judge Orrick to recuse himself as the sitting judge of the case because of his personal bias toward and support of Planned Parenthood. As evidence of Judge Orrick’s bias, David’s team has cited statements made on May 25th that imply that he believed David meant to cause personal harm to abortionists by releasing the videos. They also cited the fact that Judge Orrick has worked for over 20 years with a Planned Parenthood affiliate, the Good Samaritan Resource Center, and donated $5,072 to the resource center in 2006. Additionally, it appears that members of Judge Orrick’s family have publicly supported court rulings against David on social media.

Those who support the pro-life cause and the work that David undertook to reveal the practice of Planned Parenthood and the NAF in selling baby body parts should join in signing this petition. Judge Orrick’s bias must be reviewed to ensure that Daleiden is given fair treatment before the law and to ensure that justice is served. David is counting on us to make our voices heard and to stand with him. Stand with David Daleiden in his legal battle and also tell Congress to defund Planned Parenthood by signing this petition: Support Daleiden.

Georgia’s Pro-Life 6th District: Money Does Not Equal Votes

by Philip Rhein

June 22, 2017

In the most expensive congressional race in history, the election for Georgia’s 6th district demonstrated that spending a greater amount of money will not necessarily translate into a decisive win. While Planned Parenthood and its affiliates had intended this election to serve as an example of how worn out the country is of Republican legislators, it has had the opposite effect of re-asserting Georgian voters’ commitment to pro-life leadership.

Pro-life candidate, Karen Handel, defeated her pro-abortion challenger, Jon Ossoff, by 3.8 percent. According to Open Secrets, the two outside groups that spent the most to help Ossoff were the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Planned Parenthood Action Fund – the latter of which spent close to $800,000.

Although June 20th was the closest the Democratic Party has come to winning this district in 40 years, comparing how much each candidate spent per vote reveals a striking contrast.

This election is one example of how far this country has come in its support of the pro-life movement. Contrary to what Planned Parenthood would have Americans believe, recent polls have shown that at least 78 percent of Americans favor strong abortion restrictions. Massive campaign funds, aggressive door-to-door advertising, and hundreds of TV and radio commercials, funded by out-of-state donors, are not enough to convince pro-life voters to abandon their values at the election booth.

The election on June 20th infers that the 6th district of Georgia has voted pro-life, despite the incredible pressure placed on voters from the over $32 million of pro-abortion/pro-Ossoff advertising. This election should reassure and inspire pro-life advocates around the country. It demonstrates that regardless of how much is spent, staunch Georgian voters will not be bought or convinced to vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

Watch Do No Harm: The Peril of Physician-Assisted Suicide

by FRC Action

May 19, 2017

By authorizing doctors to violate the Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm,” physician-assisted suicide undermines our nation’s most cherished values of providing compassionate care to the sick and dying. Assisted suicide prevents vulnerable citizens with life-limiting illnesses from receiving the best palliative medical care when they need it most. Earlier this year, Washington, D.C. joined six other states in legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

As a physician of over 25 years and a strong supporter of patient rights and access to quality care, Congressman Brad Wenstrup has led the charge in Congress to repeal the D.C. law and ensure that safeguards stay in place to protect our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Congressman Wenstrup shared with the Family Research Council why physician-assisted suicide should not be a partisan issue, but a human issue. Some of his arguments that he used include:

  • Moving personal accounts of families who were drawn closer together through the death of a loved one, experiences that would have been cut short or missed altogether if assisted suicide.
  • The lack of accountability in tracking potential abuses that comes with these laws.
  • The lethal drug that is used to commit assisted suicide has in many cases been used to kill people who do not have a terminal illness.
  • Assisted suicide decreases options for patients, because insurance companies would rather fund lethal drugs instead of potentially life-saving procedures, since it is often the cheapest means of “treatment.”

Do No Harm: The Peril of Physician-Assisted Suicide provides valuable information on why physician-assisted suicide isn’t just bad policy, but bad for humanity. Congressman Wenstrup’s extensive medical background and personal experience with cancer in his own family gives him unique insight into why this policy is detrimental to society by way of its devaluing of human life.

Click here to view

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.

House Passes Budget Reconciliation Bill

by David Christensen

October 23, 2015

Great news!  Today, the House passed the “budget reconciliation” bill to defund a huge pot of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and gut key elements of Obamacare. The roll call vote was 240 ayes to 189 nays, with five members not voting. One Democrat voted for it, while seven Republicans voted no.

See Tony’s statement calling for the Senate to pass this bill here.

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ICE: Unsung Heroes or Anti-Immigrant?
by Emily Weatherholt (July 11, 2018)

Throughout the years, ICE has created alternatives for detention programs, created apps to help prevent child exploitation on the internet and track children that have been abducted by sex trafficking ...

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