Author archives: Anna Higgins

Welcome the Little Children

by Anna Higgins

December 21, 2012

Recently, Dr. Russell Moore visited FRCto present a lecture on adoption. He reminded us of a very important adoption story we often fail to consider – the adoption of Jesus by his earthly father, Joseph. He recounted the verse in James that tells us that true religion is caring for orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). Joseph made a choice to put that true religion into practice when he decided to care for and protect Mary and her son, Jesus.

The Bible records two lineages of Jesus, one from Mary and one from Joseph. Thus, Jesus became Joseph’s actual son, just like every child who is adopted today becomes the true child of the parents who adopt him. As Dr. Moore stated, adoption creates a real relationship. As Christians we should fully understand the vital role of adoption, as we were adopted into God’s family through Christ, so that we who were orphans in need of rescue now call God, “Father” (Romans 8:15).

The kingdom of God is made up of childlike faith (Luke18:16). It is of vital importance to the furtherance of the kingdom of God that we welcome children, as Dr. Moore reminded us, as blessings, not burdens.

Today, I came across a post on Life News from Ryan Bomberger, founder of The Radiance Foundation, which illustrated the beauty of welcoming children in the name of Jesus.

I Like Giving, a new website dedicated to the idea of recognizing need and responding by acting generously (“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7), recently posted a video about a family, the Dennehy’s, with 9 adopted children from all over the world. The video, called “I Like Adoption,” features all 9 children, some of whom have special needs, and the parents discussing the concepts of family, love, and treating children as blessings. As Bomberger attests in his article, “I can’t imagine someone not being moved to introspection and action after watching this short film about the gift of family. It speaks to the heart without offense.” This video has the unique capacity to convey in just a few minutes the truth and worthiness of the Gospel. As one son sings a moving rendition of “How He Loves Us” (David Crowder Band), the love of Jesus for all people, no matter their age or circumstance, is conveyed more eloquently than can be described.

As we approach the day we have set aside to celebrate the greatest Gift ever given, we remember that this Gift was given in the form of a child. May we have renewed joy and hope in the remembrance that while we were orphans, Christ came to save us. We have been adopted and are now sons and daughters of the Most High God!

With this good news in your heart, prayerfully consider how you can welcome children with the love of Jesus this year. Begin by purposefully treating all individuals, as imperfect as they may be, as blessings – uniquely created to be loved and treasured. Spread the word about the blessing of adoption and support families who adopt. Throughout the New Year and beyond, I pray that we daily grasp the importance of welcoming, loving, and protecting these little ones that God has entrusted to us.

Planned Bullyhood - Planned Parenthood’s Attack on Komen

by Anna Higgins

December 17, 2012

On Thursday, December 13, FRCwas pleased to host a lecture and panel discussion featuring Karen Handel, former Vice President of Komen for the Cure. Karen was joined by Jeanne Monahan, President of March for Life, and Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow, Legal Studies atFRC.

The reason Karen is the former Vice President of the Susan G. Komen foundation is detailed in her new book, Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Karen’s story is a fascinating account of how a renowned charity with the purpose of fighting breast cancer became the target of a vicious attack by Planned Parenthood.

The firestorm started when Komen decided to review its grants to other organizations for the purpose of determining which grants were effectively used to fight breast cancer. Since Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) provided no mammogram services, the approximately $700,000 annual grant from Komen to Planned Parenthood fell into the category of non-impactful grants and was slated to be eliminated. According to Karen, when Komen reached out to Planned Parenthood and explained its position, all signs pointed to an amicable break between the organizations. Instead, Komen was completely blindsided by the wrath that was unleashed against it by the media,Hollywood, and executives at PPFA. As Karen related, Planned Parenthood offered up Komen as a sacrificial lamb to protect its abortion agenda.

PPFA is primarily an abortion provider; in fact, they are the leading abortion provider in the U.S.and now require all affiliate centers to provide abortions. Abortion is an extremely lucrative business for PPFA. In 2010, PPFA performed 329,445 abortions, which amounted to $181 million in revenue. Out of PPFA’s total income, almost half (46%) comes from the pockets of American taxpayers. Government funding for PPFA in 2010 reached a staggering $487 million, according to PPFA’s annual report.

The current administration continues to persist in issuing massive grants to PPFA despite evidence that PPFA affiliates have been involved in financial waste, abuse, and potential fraud, according to Alliance Defending Freedom’s comprehensive audit. Additionally, PPFA affiliates have been involved in lawsuits for failure to report statutory rape and sex abuse. Several undercover sting videos by Live Action have shown various affiliates’ willingness to aid and abet the sex trafficking of minors and accept donations for the purpose of aborting minorities.

As many of you know, three days after it announced that its grants to Planned Parenthood would be terminated, Komen retracted amidst relentless pressure, and decided to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Karen’s story is not to be missed, and I encourage everyone to read the book and especially to watch the web cast of the event. The question remains, what can we do?

First, read FRC’s  America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Abortion pamphlet, and FRC Action’s publication, The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death to become fully informed on the issues. Additionally, urge your legislators - national, state and local - to not remain silent on the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Ask them to participate in any Congressional investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood. For additional steps you can take to help hold PPFA accountable, please see the America’s Abortion Provider pamphlet.

Any organization that receives a significant portion of its annual budget from the American people should be held accountable for its use of that money. Such an organization should be expected to maintain the highest ethical standards. Planned Parenthood falls miserably short of these expectations. The day for giving them a free-pass is long past.

Emergency Contraceptives Over the Counter - Safe or Sorry?

by Anna Higgins

December 13, 2012

There has been much talk recently in “reproductive rights” circles about the over-the-counter (OTC) status of emergency contraceptives (EC’s) and hormonal contraceptives, in general. Much of the debate has centered on a December 2011 decision by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius not to extend OTC status to Plan B One-Step, an emergency contraceptive, to girls less than 17 years of age. In defense of her decision, Secretary Sebelius stated, “the data provided as part of the actual use study and the label comprehension study are not sufficient to support making Plan B One-Step available to all girls 16 and younger, without talking to a health care professional.”

Now, one year later, “reproductive rights” advocates such as RH Reality Check and Reproductive Health Technology Project are determined to push the Obama Administration for wider access to all emergency contraceptives to all women and girls of reproductive age, according to a Washington Times story. These advocates see prescriptions as “barriers to care” and claim that emergency contraceptives have been proven safe enough “to be on the shelf — right between the condoms and the pregnancy-test kits.” (See President of Reproductive Health Technology Project Kirsten Moore’s statement).

Even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recommended that prescription-only age restrictions for EC’s be removed “to create true over the counter access to emergency contraception for all women.” (Committee Opinion Number 542, November 2012, Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women). In their committee report, ACOG claims that making emergency contraception easily available to teens will not increase the incidence of risky sexual behavior or unintended pregnancy, and that physical examination is not needed prior to the prescription of contraceptives. However, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) refutes ACOG’s findings.

AAPLOG addressed myriad problems with the decision to allow EC’s over the counter. Most significantly, AAPLOG noted in a news release that abortion rates and unintended pregnancy rates in places with OTC status for EC’s has not decreased (and, in fact, has increased in the UK), and since women will not need to be seen by a doctor before obtaining emergency contraceptives, they will bypass screening for STDs that they would normally receive at their doctor visits. AAPLOG also emphasizes the danger of easy access to EC’s for male sexual predators who wish to cover up their abuse.

Likewise, the American College of Pediatricians notes in its December 3, 2012 press release that there is no association between wider access to emergency contraceptives and lower incidence of unintended pregnancy, and in fact, access to EC’s is associated with a increased incidence of STD’s. The American College of Pediatricians also says that despite arguments to the contrary, EC’s are related to increased sexual activity among minors, “which is a risk factor for depression and suicide, poor school performance, more lifetime sexual partners, and an increased divorce rate.”*

The American College of Pediatricians emphasizes the fact that the adolescent brain has not reached full maturity — a fact to which any parent or school teacher can attest — and, thus, teens need guidance in decision-making from parents. The College recommends the more responsible, common sense position that doctors “encourage good adolescent-parental communication, teach adolescent patients the benefits of delaying sexual activity until marriage, and teach them how to avoid premature/promiscuous consensual sex and situations resulting in coerced sex.”

Protecting young women should be our foremost concern. Advocates of increased access to EC’s for teens want to push children into making serious, adult decisions in the name of “removing barriers.” As adults, it is our job to protect, not to endanger, children. If even a few of the concerns mentioned in relation to providing Plan B and other EC’s over the counter are valid, then the proposal to provide them to all girls of reproductive age should be suspended indefinitely.

* For more information about the effect of America’s sexual culture on girls, please reference the new book, Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women, written by obstetricians Joe S. McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush 

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