Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute published an opinion piece in the New York Times earlier this week entitled “The Boys at the Back.” In her interesting and well-written article, the author addresses the classroom gap boys are witnessing today. The problem isn’t one of intelligence—boys’ test scores are on par with girls’. The problem boys face at school is behavioral: teachers factor behavior into grades, and the classroom structural deck is stacked against boys. Hoff Sommers cites “boy-averse trends like the decline of recess, zero-tolerance disciplinary policies, the tendency to criminalize minor juvenile misconduct and the turn away from single-sex schooling” as culprits.
Ms. Hoff Sommers addresses three policy reasons to care about boys’ performance: the long-term effects of grades (not merely education, but grades) on children’s future well-being and happiness, the need to keep up in the global economic race, and the fact that male educational performance is lagging particularly in black, Latino, and low-income communities. The author makes several valid suggestions for how to engage boys, but as at least a partial explanation (and remedy) for her third reason for concern about boys’ poor performance, I would point to weak family structure.
Certainly the fact that boys are falling behind can be traced to many issues. Hoff Sommers notes that “[a]s our schools have become more feelings-centered, risk-averse, collaboration-oriented and sedentary, they have moved further and further from boys’ characteristic sensibilities.” But doesn’t it stand to reason that stable homes produce more disciplined children? And as the author notes, “If boys are restless and unfocused, why not look for ways to help them do better? As a nation, can we afford not to?”
CNN is asking its website visitors to share their abortion stories as part of their iReport series. Some have documented the feelings of regret and remorse for having an abortion, while some are speaking favorably about decisions to undergo the procedure.
FRC has produced research showing the emotional impact of abortion on women. The evidence shows that abortion’s impact is detrimental to a woman for the rest of her life, especially after realizing the pain and suffering the child experiences during the procedure. Dr. Martha Shuping and FRC’s Chris Gacek, Ph.D. looked into the psychiatric impact of abortion in their booklet, “Post Abortion Suffering: A Psychiatrist Looks at the Effects of Abortion,” and found that women suffered life-altering depression, thoughts of suicide, and such delayed reactions as flashbacks from the procedure years after it occurred.
Instead of asking website visitors to submit stories of past abortions, CNN should have met privately with women willing to share their stories and shared information with the public on the psychological effects abortion has had on them. One can only hope if CNN uses these videos for a future story that they will shed the light on the harm abortion causes to the mother and the child.
Although Roe and Casey worked to arbitrarily remove the right of states and citizens to prohibit abortion, states do have a legitimate interest in protecting the health of the woman and fetus throughout all nine months of pregnancy through abortion regulations.
As pro-life sentiment among the nation grows, along with it have come record numbers of pro-life bills being introduced at the state level. States are beginning to take seriously their legitimate interest in protecting the lives of all citizens from conception to death and are implementing common sense regulations on abortion practice that protect the lives and health of both mother and child. FRC has tracked over 130 pro-life measures enacted at the state level in 2011-2012.
Last week, I was privileged to travel to the great state of North Dakota with Dr. David Prentice, FRC resident bioethics expert, in order to testify on important pro-life legislation being introduced in the North Dakota legislature. Up for debate were quite a few pieces of pro-life legislation, including a personhood amendment to be placed on the ballot, a right to life act, a physician’s admitting privileges bill, and a heartbeat bill (this is not an exhaustive list). Testimony was lengthy and the opposition was out in full force.
In preparation for our testimony, Dr. Prentice and I carefully collected relevant statistics and legal information, all cited and documented, in order to present well-rounded factual testimony that would be helpful in the legislative consideration of these bills. What I observed time and again from the opposition testimony was the use of fear tactics and blatant disregard for facts. For example, instead of presenting actual statistics related to abortion and women’s health, legislators were regaled with vague references to equality and government intrusion. Meanwhile, the actual meaning of the text of the bills was misrepresented numerous times by the opposition in an attempt to confuse and scare legislators into voting against the bills. Thankfully, David and I, along with several other pro-life groups were able to allay many fears by presenting the facts.
I’m afraid that all too often these pro-life measures fail because opposition leaders are willing to say anything necessary to make sure the lives of unborn children remain unprotected and unfettered access to abortion remains intact despite life and health concerns for both baby and mother. To the great credit of the legislators in North Dakota, five out of the six pro-life bills presented were passed and will head to the opposite chambers for debate in March.
States are taking the lead on abortion regulation where the federal government has refused to act. It is important to know what the bills mean and to get the truth out to those around you and in the legislature. What we need are citizens who are dedicated to staying abreast of pro-life legislation being proposed in state legislatures and are willing to support such legislation through testimony, calls, letters, and visits to representatives. Your voice matters and may be the one voice of reason in a sea of confusion and misrepresentation.
Jennifer McKenna Morbelli was a beautiful, young, pre-school teacher. She was 33 weeks pregnant when she went to have an abortion in Maryland. Jennifer’s daughter, Madison, was killed in the abortion clinic. A few days later, Jennifer died due to the fatal complications of the late-term abortion. It is a tragic loss and our hearts go out to the Jennifer and Madison’s family. Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director of Center for Human Dignity, spoke at the memorial and press conference hosted by Maryland Coalition for Life. She called for the state of Maryland to uphold their laws put in place to protect women, both inside and outside of the womb, as well as to end the horrible practice of abortion in the state.(29:30-33:00)
Impact of Intact Families
The Index of Family Belonging and Rejection, authored by Pat Fagan, Ph.D., Nicholas Zill, Ph.D., and Henry Potrykus, Ph.D., was cited in CNS Newsand The Washington Examiner. The Index’s research shows that children of intact families are more likely to succeed in education. Intact families also increase employment, especially for males between the ages of 25-54. Marriage is an important key in creating a stable and flourishing society. Fagan and Potrykus state:
“The state has hitherto ignored the importance of the intact married family in shaping the outcomes of its social policies. This neglect of marriage is an error of historical proportions.”
On the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI
Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, describes the recent renunciation of the Pope to that of George Washington. Blackwell shows in his article featured on Townhall.com that both honorable men chose to give up the power they had for the betterment of the people. Blackwell honors Pope Benedict by stating:
“Pope Benedict XVI has never marched to the media’s drumbeat. He did not seek to satisfy the agenda of the hour. Instead, the Pope reminded the City and the World what it was in danger of forgetting: God is love.”
President Obama wants nearly 30 new government programs, but says they won’t cost anything. He wants to encumber businesses of all sizes with an unworkable health care plan whose thousands of pages are only now beginning to be fully understood, but says he wants to reduce health care costs. He calls for creating a stronger, more vibrant middle class, but wants to put four year-olds in pre-school. He calls for fatherhood as a moral imperative, but wants to redefine marriage. He applauds America for being a land of laws and justice, but his Cabinet officers ignore multiple Freedom of Information Act requests from around the nation.
I guess I’m kind of like the President. I’d like to eat prime rib and ice cream several times a day without gaining weight. I’d like to climb all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks without cracking a sweat. I’d like to win an Olympic gold medal without having to train. And why doesn’t someone just give me a Ph.D. without my having to study or write dissertation? After all, I want it.
Mr. Obama lives in a twilight world of utopian dreams and impractical policies. His goals, his means, and his ideas are about as compatible as Mike Tyson and Tiny Tim.
Politics, like life, is about choices, often hard ones. Mr. Obama’s self-contradictory policy proposals collapse under the weight of incoherence. Our nation loses as a result.
FRC’s Senior Vice President, Rob Schwarzwalder, was quoted in the New York Times regardingthe Boy Scouts decision to possibly change its policy that requires members and leaders to be “morally straight.” The leaked announcement from the Boy Scouts of America, as Schwarzwalder states, has caused the “emergence of widespread grass-roots movement…It’s something that has animated many people because of their religious convictions and concerns about their children.”
Media Ignores Terrorism Towards Conservatives on Capitol Soil
Ken Klukowski, FRC’s Director for Religious Liberty, recently wrote an article for Breitbart News about how the media ignored the trial of Floyd Corkins, the man who attempted a mass murder at the FRC headquarters in D.C. Klukowski poses the question:
“How many stories have you seen on the broadcast networks or cable networks—any of the networks—about the first-ever domestic terrorism conviction in our nation’s capital? Is same-sex marriage such a politically correct issue that no one wants to inform the public when a gay-rights political activist shoots someone in an attempted mass-murder?”
Lincoln: Is His Legacy Still Alive?
FRC’s Senior Fellows, Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, highlight Lincoln’s legacy and compare it to that of the current White House resident in their recent article featured in American Thinker. Blackwell and Morrison point out that though both former senators stood in Springfield, Illinois, one firmly stood to free innocent human lives. The other firmly stood against protecting innocent children who survived abortion assault and were left in closets to die. As Blackwell and Morrison state:
“We will continue to pray for President Obama, but today we honor the Lincoln Legacy. He spoke clearly to us when he said the Founders believed: “Nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon.” We must continue respectfully to confront President Obama with this question: “Mr. President: Are not unborn children so stamped?”’
On the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
Cathy Ruse, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, commended Pope Benedict XVI for his service in her recent interview on CNBC. Ruse also wrote a recent article about Pope Benedict as well as the choosing of the next pope in Human Events. Ruse stated that,
“One thing is certain: The next pope will be in the mold of John Paul II and Benedict XVI since every one of the cardinals who will do the choosing was chosen for this role by them. And whoever that is, everyone – Protestant, Catholic, and Jew alike – will care.”
Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg represented FRC today at a Maryland Coalition for Life (MDCFL) press conference in Germantown, Maryland where it was announced that a 29 year-old woman was pronounced dead at a Germantown hospital as a direct result of complications from a 3rd trimester abortion.
The abortion was performed by Dr. LeRoy Carhart. Carhart, former associate of late-term abortionist George Tiller, was recently hailed a “hero” in the film “After Tiller” at the Sundance Film Festival. Carhart was the abortionist who performed a late-term abortion on a young woman with Downs Syndrome who died following complications from that abortion in 2005 at Women’s Heath Care Services in Wichita, KS.
The young woman who died Thursday was approximately 33 weeks pregnant and came to see Carhart for an abortion procedure that lasted four days and ended in her death from apparent blood loss and shock, according to MDCFL.
Another botched abortion at an Elkton, Maryland resulted in a woman suffering from a ruptured uterus and the discovery of three dozen late-term aborted fetuses in the clinic freezer. This led Maryland, one of the most abortion-friendly states in the country, to quietly enact stricter abortion facility regulations in July, 2012. Those regulations require licensure of facilities and basically mirror regulations that govern outpatient surgical facilities.
MDCFL has learned that while Carhart’s facility was recently licensed by the state, no actual inspection took place prior to that licensure to guarantee that the facility conformed to the new MD regulations. This senseless tragedy should serve as a wake-up call to abortion supporters who continually insist that abortion is “health-care” and is safe for women.
As we have seen over and over again in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona, Marylandand Kansas, abortion facilities and procedures remain unsanitary and unsafe. Late-term abortions are particularly dangerous. Late term abortion complications include, but are not limited to pain, bleeding, shock, infection and instrumental injury, according to S.V. Gaufburg, professor of medicine at Harvard University.
U.S.mortality rates per 100,000 abortions are 14.0 for procedures at 16-20 weeks of gestation and 18.0 for procedures after 21 weeks of gestation, according to Gaufberg. A Bartlett study conducted during the years of 1988-1997 paints an even more dire picture. Specifically, it found that per 100,000 abortions, the relative risk of abortion-related mortality was 14.7 at 13–15 weeks of gestation, 29.5 at 16-20 weeks, and 76.6 at or after 21 weeks.
The death of the young Maryland woman could have been prevented had abortion been more tightly regulated in her home state. In light of this tragedy, Maryland should consider a total ban on late-term abortions in order to better protect women and families.
Maryland, a staunchly pro-abortion state, is not likely to re-think those laws anytime soon, according to LeRoy Carhart, who said in a 2011 interview, “[I] don’t think the laws here will change. Maryland is one of the most pro-choice communities in the country.” It is time for Maryland to prove Carhart wrong by putting the safety and dignity of its citizens first and outlawing these dangerous procedures.
FRC’s Executive Vice President, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA), was on the Mike Huckabee Show yesterday to discuss the court hearing of Floyd Corkins II, the man who attempted a mass murder shooting last August at FRC. Corkins had planned to kill as many people in FRC as he could and stuff Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces as a protest for FRC’s stance on marriage. He was stopped by FRC’s Leo Johnson who suffered a shot to his arm. Corkins chose FRC and other organizations he planned to target from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” list.
Rob Schwarzwalder on Hatred, Bigotry, and Truth
FRC’s Senior Vice-President, Rob Schwarzwalder, writes in his article featured in Patheos about how Christians truly view the issue of homosexuality. Schwarzwalder points out that even though sometimes the Bible’s truths are not always easy to accept, its truth cannot be denied. He also states that evangelical Christians, Catholics, and Jews who believe the Bible to be the moral standard will stand for its morality, not in a way of hatred or homophobia, but because they fear God. They will also speak God’s truth in love because of their love for Him and their love for others.
Blackwell and Morrison Say Goodbye to the Secretary of State
FRC’s Senior Fellows, Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, wrote an article that appeared in American Thinker commending former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton for her heroic accomplishments. Blackwell and Morrison also recognize her heart-breaking lack of care for the unborn around the world as well as Clinton’s “open hand policy” towards Iran and her inexcusable testimony concerning Benghazi.
For four decades, families have traveled over miles of wintry highways in the hope that their trips to Washington, D.C. will someday end—and with it, one of the darkest periods of American history. Until then, they continue their pilgrimage to protest a ruling now responsible for the slaughter of millions of unborn lives. Undeterred by ice or snow, this generation of abortion survivors has resolved to never let the nation forget the blood spilled in the name of “choice.” Today, despite freezing temperatures and whipping winds, people came by the hundreds of thousands to fill the National Mall with a word the media won’t even say—life.
In bundled-up babies to busloads of students, this year’s March for Life was a powerful reminder that Americans have not forgotten the ugly legacy of Roe. As somber as the occasion was, I couldn’t help but stand at the podium and marvel at all the young faces staring back at me. Looking out over the vast crowd, it was clear that in 40 years, our movement has not deteriorated but is thriving as never before in the passion of the next generation. These are children who grew up knowing nothing but a society of abortion-on-demand and witnessing the devastation it inflicts on women, families, and millions of their peers whom they will never have the opportunity to meet. They are the torch bearers of a movement that will build on the legacy of life in clinics, laboratories, classrooms, and legislatures. They are the ones who will live to see this grave injustice undone.
As I closed the rally in prayer, I thanked God for the hope these young people represent—not just to our movement, but to America. In the Old Testament, through God’s servant Moses, He put before a new generation, the covenant that was over 1,000 years old. It was this new generation’s time for choosing. God said, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.” May we not just be a nation that chooses life, but chooses abundant life in Jesus Christ.
Floyd Corkins II, the shooter who attempted a mass murder at FRC in August, plead guilty yesterday to “interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, assault with the intent to kill while armed, and act of terrorism while armed” as seen in this CBS News article. In a statement Corkins gave, he “intended to smear the [Chick-fil-a] sandwiches in the faces of his victims to make a statement about gay rights opponents.” FRC President Tony Perkins, pointed out in his radio show, Washington Watch that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had listed FRC as a hate group, and Corkins admitted that SPLC’s website was where he found the FRC and other groups he intended to target. FRC’s Executive Vice President, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA), was interviewed by Glenn Beck this morning concerning the shooting and the court case.
Tony Defends Stand for Morality on CNN
FRC President Tony Perkins, was interviewed yesterday on CNN about the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) possibly changing their policy on allowing open homosexuals to become members or leaders. Perkins stands firm and points out that the Boy Scouts stand for honor and morality, which explains why so many faith-based organizations sponsor them. The Boy Scouts of America are choosing to delay their decision until May. We ask you to pray for them and contact them to encourage them to stand for morality!
The Government Cannot Trump Religious Liberty
Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, wrote an article in USA Today about the HHS mandate that still forces religious groups, businesses, and non-profits to provide contraceptives to their employees—even if it goes against their conscience. The HHS recently tried to “clarify” the mandate, but it still only applies strictly to churches and houses of worship. This violates citizens’ rights to religious liberty. Blackwell also cites a recent court case in which the administration tried to tell churches who to hire and fire. Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of freedom of religion and voted the administration’s argument down 9-0.
Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, wrote a piece in Townhall concerning the HHS mandate as well and states:
“Since HHS and the Obama administration appear to be unwilling to protect religious liberty despite numerous court decisions against their violations, Congress must act again to preserve the constitutional right of religious freedom. Until Congress or the courts solve this problem, institutions must decide between violating their faith or engaging in civil disobedience coupled with large fines.”