Tag archives: Abortion

The Human Costs of China’s Demographic Collapse

by Arielle Del Turco

January 25, 2022

Last week, China announced that its birth rate hit a record low in 2021 after five years of decline. In 2021, China’s population growth rate was up a measly 0.034 percent, while the number of births per thousand people fell to 7.52 in 2021 from an already low number of 8.52 in 2022.

Years of propaganda and policies discouraging families from having more than one child have had a major impact. Now, Chinese officials are scrambling to come up with ways to reverse the self-inflicted damage.

For over three decades, China brutally enforced its one-child policy, even utilizing forced abortions and sterilizations. The damage wrought by the policy is not just psychological or cultural, but also physical. A Wall Street Journal article on China’s urging of parents to have children notes that “multiple abortions impact women’s bodies and infertility is a possible consequence,” according to anthropologist Ayo Wahlberg.

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders first instituted the one-child policy due to their concern that the growing population would strain the economy. Now, they worry about the economic cost of slowing population growth and the possibility of population decline. Mainstream media outlets cover the possibility of China’s population decline mainly as a troubling development for the rising power’s economy. Rightfully so. China has an aging population and fewer young workers to support the elderly. 

A decline in the birth rate—and certainly a population decline overall—would have high economic costs. But it will also have a human cost; that’s because families matter. Individuals belonging to a healthy family will have a support system when they age. Children and families can act as a hedge against loneliness (especially in old age) and lend purpose and meaning to life. These benefits cannot be underestimated. With population decline, nations will lose much more than numbers.

In China, the ramifications already harm millions. Most Chinese adults born under the one-child policy have no siblings and bear the weight of supporting their elderly parents alone. And only children whose parents are also only children lack the larger support network and community of an extended family.

Nothing illustrates the human cost of population decline quite like the bizarre cultural phenomena it is currently causing in Japan. For Japanese brides or grooms with few family members, “relatives” can be rented to attend weddings. For those who want the affection of a pet without the responsibility of caring for them, robot pets and rental pets are increasingly common. Meanwhile, there are now so few people that one in eight houses sit vacant; so many that there is a term for them—akiya.  

The Institute for Family Studies points out that low fertility rates very directly impact the lives of those who experience “missing births,” including “rising loneliness to aging alone to less happiness.”

Chinese leaders are scrambling to undo the damage of the one-child policy and encourage births, but some think it may be too late. There’s an air of fear in China regarding having children. It’s impossible to believe that decades of propaganda against having additional children (and abusive measures taken against families that do) is not largely to blame for this. Many couples view having multiple children as too much of a burden. Education and extracurricular costs for children are extremely high, and a culture that prioritizes career growth undercuts the importance of family.

Repressive government policies against ethnic minorities only exacerbate China’s demographic challenges. In Xinjiang, Chinese authorities are committing genocide against the Uyghur people by preventing births through forced abortions and sterilizations. The brutality of the atrocities being carried out in this region is difficult to comprehend, and women of reproductive age bear the brunt of these policies. If Chinese leaders truly want to raise the birth rate, a good first step is to stop committing genocide.

After decades of tinkering with population control, Chinese leaders have not learned their lesson. The number of children a couple is allowed to have is currently up to three, but any limitation should be removed. Chinese people—and Uyghur people—ought to be free to have as many children as they desire.

Chinese leaders should resist the temptation to use heavy-handed policies to force a rise in the birth rate. Instead of coercive measures to fix its demographic issues, they should focus on affirming the inherent value of every human life and the deep importance of families.

The world is beautiful and full of adventure. Instead of worrying about fleeting career advancements or economic gain, couples should open their hearts to invite more children in to enjoy it. Having kids can be scary—but they can also make you a better person. Governments don’t need coercive policies; they need only to affirm the profound importance of families, a truth people know deep down but need reminded of. In China and all countries experiencing lower birth rates, a change of heart about children and families can make all the difference.

Equality Ends at the Door of an Abortion Facility

by Joy Zavalick

January 21, 2022

The theme of the 2022 March for Life is “Equality begins in the womb.” The abortion industry has caused great detriment to the goal of equality in the United States. It is an affront to the inherent human dignity of children in the womb, and it distances their mothers and communities from the dignity they deserve.

Pro-life state administrations such as Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s understand that equality begins in the womb; Youngkin has expanded the role of his chief diversity, opportunity, and inclusion officer to incorporate serving as an ambassador for the unborn. As Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson has also vocalized, “It’s racist to fund abortions.” When discussing the desires of her 60 percent African American constituency, Jackson says, “I’ve never been in a group of African Americans who’ve asked me to fund abortion.”

When leaders like Youngkin and Jackson speak up for the unborn, they are representing children that are majority non-white, economically disadvantaged, or prenatally diagnosed. As they do so, the abortion lobby is making it clearer than ever that disadvantaged populations are of no importance to them except for profit. After all, minority and impoverished communities are their target demographic.

In 2019, non-Hispanic black mothers obtained abortions 3.6 times more than non-Hispanic white mothers, causing black babies to account for 38.4 percent of those aborted, despite only representing 14 percent of the national population in the same year. According to a letter to Planned Parenthood signed by over 100 black leaders, in cities such as New York, more black children are aborted every year than are born alive.

Why is the abortion rate for black babies so disproportionately high? Could it be because 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods?

The eugenic foundations of the abortion industry are no secret. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, famously espoused birth control as a means of eliminating those who she saw as unfit for life. In Sanger’s article “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” part of the February 1919 edition of The Birth Control Review, she bemoaned that even sterilizing those who were “unfit” was not a sufficient solution: “These measures do not touch those great masses, who through economic pressure populate the slums and there produce in their helplessness other helpless, diseased and incompetent masses, who overwhelm all that eugenics can do among those whose economic condition is better.”

Despite Sanger’s blatant racism and discriminatory tendencies, her memory and life’s work have not been universally repudiated. The extent of Planned Parenthood’s national efforts to distance themselves from Sanger’s legacy are limited to subtle gestures, such as ceasing to present the Margaret Sanger Award since 2015 (although the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s website still calls the award their “highest honor”). Though rioters have toppled statues of America’s Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, Margaret Sanger’s bust is still on display in the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Those born with disabilities have also been a central target of the abortion industry. The New York Times recently reported that prenatal tests screening for rare disorders are wrong 85 percent of the time. Because of these tests and the eugenic mindset that has crept into American culture alongside the abortion industry, 63 percent of babies diagnosed with spina bifida and between 65 and 95 percent of babies diagnosed with cystic fibrosis are aborted. The message for Americans living with such conditions is loud and clear: if Planned Parenthood had their way, their lives would have been extinguished before they saw the light of day.

The abortion industry prioritizes its bottom line over protecting vulnerable women. Rather than championing requirements for women seeking abortion to visit a facility in person in order to be evaluated by someone who can recognize signs of sex trafficking and domestic violence, the abortion industry has instead advocated for the elimination of in-person dispensing requirements for the chemical abortion regimen in order to make abortion cheaper to provide. It thereby enables abusers to continue their exploitation without fear of discovery.

The abortion industry is a consistent source of inequality for both the unborn population and their mothers. As this year’s March for Life champions the equality of all human life, beginning in the womb, let us ceaselessly pray for an end to abortion and all forms of violence that insult the imago Dei.

Abortion Survivors Are One Signature Away from Gaining Full Protection in Ohio

by Chantel Hoyt

December 17, 2021

It is a hopeful day for abortion survivors in Ohio. Senate Bill 157, which requires reporting on the number of infants who survive abortions and strengthens the state’s existing protections for these infants, has been sent to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk. If he signs it, Ohio will become the 10th state to establish reporting requirements regarding abortion survival rates.

This change is significant. Currently, most states do not report abortion survival statistics, so we have no way of knowing just how many babies survive abortion attempts in the United States each year. However, we know that these babies exist. Of the nine states that require reporting, six have confirmed cases of abortion survivors—Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas. These states have reported a combined 203 infants who survived abortion attempts since 1997. (It should be noted that Michigan is the only state that has been reporting these numbers as far back as 1997. Most of these states did not begin reporting until at least 2006, and Texas only just began reporting in 2019.)

Given that this data is only from nine states, the true number of abortion survivors in the United States is still largely unknown. The Ohio legislature has done its part to help close the gap—now it’s up to Governor DeWine to see it through.

Ohio SB 157 would do more than simply require yearly reporting on the number of infants who survive abortions. It would require the director of health to develop a child survival form to be submitted to the department each time a child is born alive after an abortion. Some of the information to be gathered on this form includes the type of abortion procedure carried out, the gestational age of the child, and any complications that occurred. With these reports being filed monthly, Ohio would soon have data that would shed light on how often babies are born alive and under what circumstances.

Existing law imposes the criminal penalty of abortion manslaughter if anyone purposely takes the life of a child who is born alive after an attempted abortion. It also requires that care be given to preserve the child’s life. SB 157 would add to these protections by requiring the abortionist to immediately arrange for the transfer of the newborn to a hospital. The bill imposes professional penalties (i.e., revocation or suspension of licensure) for those who fail to comply.

Those in the Ohio legislature who voted for SB 157 have shown themselves to be advocates for abortion survivors. If Governor DeWine signs this bill, the data gleaned as a result will serve to raise awareness about abortion survivors in Ohio and around the country.

Click here to see how your state compares to Ohio regarding Born Alive Protections.

Year in Review: 10 Stories From 2021

by David Closson

December 17, 2021

2021 has been a year full of important cultural, political, and legal developments. In a year that witnessed the inauguration of a new president, the conclusion of America’s longest war, and the ongoing fight against COVID-19, there was much to track, analyze, and discuss. Although Democratic majorities in Congress required conservative policymakers to play defense at the federal level, there were still notable (and significant) legislative victories throughout the states.

2021 was an active year for Family Research Council, and there are several new initiatives, events, and legislative victories that merit gratitude and reflection as we prepare to ring in the new year. What follows are 10 stories from 2021 that provide a summary of God’s faithfulness and kindness to us and lay the groundwork for an exciting 2022.

1. Oral Arguments Heard in Case that Could Overturn Roe

On December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion on demand in America through all nine months of pregnancy. 

In Dobbs, the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, bipartisan legislation that prohibits elective abortion after 15 weeks gestation. The Gestational Age Act offers a direct challenge to the jurisprudence of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that made legal abortion through nine months the default law of every state. Under Casey, states may prohibit abortion post-viability and restrict abortion prior to viability so long as the restriction does not place an “undue burden” on the woman. In Dobbs, the court will consider whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional. The court’s decision, which is expected in summer 2022, could return the ability to legislate abortion back to the states and will have major implications for the future of the unborn in America.

In the weeks leading up to the oral arguments, FRC provided leadership to the pro-life community in a variety of ways. First, FRC filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging the justices to overturn Roe and its companion case, Casey. Second, FRC teamed up with other national pro-life groups, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Alliance Defending Freedom, to host a “Pray for Dobbs” national webinar for pastors. Over 4,000 pastors joined the October broadcast and learned about the case. Then in November, the “Pray for Dobbs” coalition hosted a national prayer event. Over 18,000 people joined national leaders on the broadcast to pray for the upcoming case. Third, on November 28, FRC hosted a prayer rally titled “Pray Together for Life” in Mississippi. Among the national leaders who participated was Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. Finally, FRC also published resources and articles about the case, and on the day of oral arguments, FRC’s Katherine Johnson spoke at a rally outside the Supreme Court.

To learn more about the case and for a list of recommended ways to pray, see my article in The Gospel Coalition.  

2. Vaccine Mandates Struck Down

On September 9, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that all employers with more than 100 employees must require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing. Noncompliant businesses could be fined. Biden’s private employer mandate came on the heels of a federal mandate requiring all federal employees to receive the vaccine, get tested weekly, or face dismissal from their job.

After the announcement, several organizations and schools (including The Daily Wire, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Asbury Theological Seminary) sued, alleging the Biden administration lacked constitutional and statutory authority to issue such a mandate to private employers. Both schools also argued that the administration lacked jurisdiction to dictate employment practices to religious institutions. On Friday, November 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order staying enforcement and implementation of the executive order. On November 16, 2021, the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all petitions for review of the Emergency Temporary Standard (including the Fifth Circuit ruling) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Moreover, on November 29, a U.S. district court in Missouri issued a preliminary injunction for health care workers in 10 states. On November 30, the U.S. District Court of Western Louisiana issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the enforcement of Biden’s national vaccine mandate for health care workers. Additionally, on December 7, a U.S. district judge in South Georgia temporarily blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors.

President Biden’s vaccine mandate has proven to be divisive. Thus far, courts around the country have halted the implementation of the mandate. As we move into 2022, Christians will need to think carefully and biblically about vaccine mandates, as it seems they will continue to be part of the national conversation.

Concerning whether Christians should use religious exemptions, see my article “How Should Christians Use Religious Exemptions for Vaccine Mandates?

3. Off-Year Election Results

While 2021 is not a major election year for most states, a few states and cities still held important elections. The most significant of these was the Virginia gubernatorial election, in which Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin faced off against the Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Even though Joe Biden had won Virginia by 10 points the previous year, Youngkin surprised political pundits by defeating McAuliffe and becoming the first Republican to win a statewide race in over a decade. Furthermore, Republican nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general both won, and Republicans retook the majority in the House of Delegates. Many election observers cited parents’ outrage over public school officials’ cover-up of a biological male student’s rape of female students in Loudon County school bathrooms. Abortion and the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools were also motivating factors for many voters.

Elsewhere around the country, conservatives demonstrated that the political climate has soured against Democrats and their progressive agenda. For example, the Republican nominee for governor in New Jersey nearly pulled off a shocking upset against incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Murphy. In perhaps the most stunning race, New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney (D) was upset by a Republican truck driver who only spent a few thousand dollars on his campaign.  

Additionally, ballot measures to defund the police department were defeated in Minneapolis, and the mayor of Buffalo waged a successful write-in campaign against a progressive candidate endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). FRC Action (FRC’s legislative affiliative) endorsed their first candidate for school board, David Anderson, in Washington state. Anderson won the election. Only a year after the 2020 election, voters are clearly concerned about the country’s direction, and these results are encouraging for conservatives headed into next year’s midterm elections. 

4. FRC Launches Center for Biblical Worldview

In May, FRC launched the Center for Biblical Worldview (CBW) with the goal of equipping Christians to advance and defend their faith in their families, communities, and the public square. We also added researcher George Barna and Professor Owen Strachan to the CBW team.

The need for the CBW was underscored by an FRC-commissioned survey that revealed that only six percent of Americans have a biblical worldview, despite 51 percent thinking they do. Furthermore, only 21 percent of those who attend evangelical churches have a biblical worldview. Biblical illiteracy is a significant problem in America, one the CBW hopes to help counteract.

The CBW hit the ground running, publishing numerous resources in its first year, including newly re-branded Biblical Worldview Series booklets covering important topics such as religious liberty, the sanctity of life, human sexuality, and political engagement. These booklets are now available in English and Spanish. The CBW also produced dozens of articles, interviews, and other resources to help pastors, churches, and Christian laypeople think through the year’s most contentious and confusing political and moral questions.

In 2022, the CBW is planning to publish a Sunday school curriculum, a video series, and a web-based resource for parents and students to evaluate the faithfulness of every Christian college and university in America. To stay informed about all of the exciting projects we expect to release next year, you can sign up for the CBW’s monthly email here.

5. Texas Heartbeat Act Saves Thousands of Babies

The Texas Heartbeat Act, which took effect on September 1, has saved an estimated 150 babies from abortion per day. This will result in upwards of 18,000 babies saved by the end of the year. The Texas law bans abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, typically at about six weeks gestation. Texas’ 230 pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) have been meeting the needs of mothers that otherwise might have undergone abortions prior to the Heartbeat Act.  

Unsurprisingly, Texas abortion businesses sued the state over the Heartbeat Act. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and in December issued an opinion permitting lawsuits to proceed against licensing officials but no one else that the abortion lobby had named as defendants. SCOTUS also made the rare move of dismissing the Biden administration’s suit saying they never should have accepted it in the first place. Overall, the opinion was a win for pro-lifers. Although the law is currently facing challenges from the outraged abortion lobby, it is still in effect today. 

While holding her three-month-old son, FRC’s Mary Szoch spoke outside the Supreme Court as arguments about the Texas law were heard. FRC’s Katherine Johnson also published an explainer about the law, combatting lies spread by the abortion lobby (and unfortunately parroted by many in the media). Christians must continue to pray for a favorable outcome for Texas as the Heartbeat Act continues to face litigation in 2022.  

6. Win in Congress: NDAA Passes Without Conscripting Women

Every year, Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that is required to fund the military. Legislators have managed to pass the NDAA for 60 years. However, it is not always an easy or smooth process. This year, Democrats dug in on adding a proposal to mandate that women register for the draft.

Over the past few months, as the bill moved through Congress, FRC argued that women should continue serving honorably in the military on a voluntary basis only. Including women in any future drafts would subject them to being mandated into combat roles, which is unnecessary and dangerous. It has been proven that women in combat situations have a higher likelihood of injury than their male peers and thus affect the lethality, readiness, and cohesion of certain combat units.

FRC facilitated more than 200,000 messages to Congress opposing this dangerous mandate. Pro-family leaders in the House and Senate such as Sens. Hawley (R-Neb.), Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Lee (R-Utah) and Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) led the charge. In an about-face that Politico described as a “stunning turnaround,” this mandate on women and other anti-life and anti-religious liberty provisions were dropped from the bill.  

7. Hyde Amendment Preserved

The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. However, since 1976, Congress has worked to ensure that federal funding does not go toward abortion. In 1976, Congressman Henry Hyde introduced an amendment to the Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations bill, prohibiting federal Medicaid funds from paying for abortions. This amendment to the annual spending bill, known as the Hyde Amendment, has been approved every year since 1976 and has saved an estimated 2,409,311 lives.

However, because of the nature of federal spending, this measure must be passed annually in order to remain in effect. In recent years, Democrat lawmakers have openly lobbied to remove the Hyde Amendment. In fact, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an HHS spending bill without Hyde for the first time since 1976. Moreover, the Senate introduced a spending bill without Hyde protections. Thankfully, despite fierce attacks from pro-abortion lawmakers, Hyde was preserved in the spending bills passed in 2021.

There are several ways in which FRC was involved in preserving Hyde. For example, FRC worked to secure 199 signatures from House members calling for the preservation of Hyde. Additionally, FRC worked to educate members of Congress about Hyde and worked with them whenever the issue was brought up in committee or came up for a vote. When the spending bill came through committee in July, FRC staff helped committee members with speeches and media interviews. Every Republican on the appropriations committee gave a speech defending Hyde and opposing taxpayer funding of abortion. While it is normally difficult for outside groups to muster five to seven members to speak out in committee on a given issue, FRC helped get 25 members to speak in favor of Hyde. Even though it remains under attack, the Hyde Amendment received more vocal support from Republican lawmakers in 2021 than in any year in recent memory.

8. Pray Vote Stand Summit

The inaugural Pray Vote Stand Summit was held October 6-8 at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia. The thousands of social conservatives who attended in-person and the tens of thousands who attended online heard from nationally-recognized religious and political leaders on the most pressing issues facing the nation, including religious freedom, abortion, national security, and education.

Speakers included Mike Pompeo, Glenn Youngkin, Michele Bachmann, Sam Brownback, Carter Conlon, Os Guinness, Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. James Lankford, Jack Hibbs, Nancy Pearcey, Allie Beth Stuckey, Chad Wolf, and many others.

In addition to plenary addresses from speakers, attendees benefited from hearing panel sessions on topics such as abortion, worldview, Christian persecution, vaccine mandates, and keeping children safe from radical gender ideology. Coinciding with the Summit, FRC also hosted a training for those interested in running for their local school board. 

FRC’s communications team credentialed 47 members of the media from 26 outlets to cover the Pray Vote Stand Summit, including Fox News, CBN News, and One America News. Additionally, 34 media outlets published 45 articles about or referencing the conference including Fox News, Breitbart, The Blaze, CBN News, The Daily Wire, The Christian Post, and The Epoch Times.

9. International Religious Freedom Summit

On July 13-15, FRC participated in the 2021 International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit. Unlike the Trump-era Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, this year’s IRF gathering was organized by private organizations, not the U.S. government. Hosted by 81 convening partners (including FRC), the summit highlighted the issue of international religious freedom, an area of increasing concern. In fact, almost 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries with high levels of religious persecution, much of it perpetrated by government actors.

At the summit, participants heard reports by FRC’s Andrew Brunson and Bob Fu. FRC president Tony Perkins hosted a panel discussion and a sponsored lunch where he interviewed Grace Gao, who shared about her father, a human rights lawyer, who has been targeted by the Chinese government and whose exact whereabouts have been unknown for four years. FRC’s Lela Gilbert moderated a side event on religious freedom in Nigeria, which included two survivors of persecution.

For more information about FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, specifically its work on international religious liberty, see FRC.org/irf.

10. SAFE Act Passes in Arkansas

On April 6, the Arkansas legislature enacted House Bill 1570, the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act. This made Arkansas the first state in the nation to ban the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgeries on individuals under 18 for the purpose of “gender transition.” Of the many similar bills introduced across the nation, Arkansas’ law is the most comprehensive ban addressing this issue. It initially passed the Arkansas House 70-22 and the Senate 28-7. When Governor Asa Hutchison vetoed the bill, the House voted 72-25 and the Senate voted 25-8, providing the first veto override in Hutchinson’s tenure as governor. FRC awarded Rep. Robin Lundstrum the Samuel Adams Award for State Legislator of the Year in recognition of her leading role in getting the bill passed.

For more information about FRC’s work with state legislatures around the country and some of the pieces of legislation we support, see FRC.org/legislation.

Fact Check: 5 False Claims Corrected in the Dobbs Oral Arguments

by Mary Szoch

December 14, 2021

On December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that poses the best chance in over a generation to overturn Roe v. Wade. Julie Rickelman, senior director of U.S. litigation for the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that the Court should strike down Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act—the bipartisan legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks that was at issue in the case.

Although Rickelman’s arguments occasionally aligned with the truth, the majority of what she said does not pass a fact check. Let’s examine several of those claims.

Claim #1: Justice Roberts questioned whether a 15-week ban on abortion, as opposed to a ban at the point of viability (generally set at 22-24 weeks gestation), would have a severely negative impact on women in their place in society. Rickelman responded by stating, “People who need abortion after 15 weeks are most often in the most challenging circumstances… In fact, the data has been very clear over the last 50 years that abortion has been critical to women’s equal participation in society.”

  • The Truth: In Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a publication of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, the authors acknowledge that women seeking late-term abortions do so for the same reasons women receive earlier abortions—“stressful circumstances of unprepared pregnancy, single-motherhood, financial pressure, and relationship discord.” Killing a child is not the solution to challenging circumstances.

Claim #2: Justice Roberts mentioned that the list of countries that do not ban abortion prior to viability includes North Korea and China. Rickelman responded, “First that’s not correct about international law. In fact, the majority of countries that permit legal access to abortion allow access right up until viability… So, for example, Canada, Great Britain and most of Europe allows access to abortion right up until viability…”

  • The Truth: Across the globe, only six countries allow abortion throughout the entirety of pregnancy—North Korea, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Canada, and the United States. While Rickelman was correct that Canada and the United Kingdom offer abortion up until viability, she was wrong in characterizing that as typical for Europe. In fact, only two countries in Europe (the United Kingdom and Finland) allow abortion for “broad social reasons” or “socioeconomic reasons.” Around the world, 100 countries completely outlaw abortion or only allow abortion to protect the life of the mother or in cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormality.

Claim #3: Justice Gorsuch asked Rickelman whether the “undue burden” standard is unworkable. Rickelman replied, “The only thing that’s at issue in this case is the viability line, and the viability line has been enduringly workable. The lower federal courts have applied it consistently and uniformly for 50 years. And the Fifth Circuit here below had no difficulty striking down this law unanimously, 3-0. So it’s been an exceedingly workable standard.”

  • The Truth: The viability line has shifted from 28 weeks when Roe was decided in 1973 to 22-24 weeks today. Multiple babies have even survived at 21 weeks. Viability is not a standard that can be uniformly applied because it varies from person to person. Characterizing viability as an “exceedingly workable standard” is either wishful thinking or willful ignorance.

Claim #4: Justice Alito questioned Rickelman about her defense of the viability line. He asked, “The fetus has an interest in having a life, and that doesn’t change, does it, from the point before viability to the point after viability?” Rickelman ultimately responded, “It [the viability standard] is principled because, in ordering the interests at stake, the Court had to set a line between conception and birth, and it logically looked at the fetus’ ability to survive separately as a legal line because it’s objectively verifiable and doesn’t require the Court to resolve the philosophical issues at stake.”

  • The Truth: The matter of an unborn child being a human being is not a “philosophical issue”; it is a scientific fact. Furthermore, at no point in time do babies—born or unborn (or countless fully grown adults)—have the ability to “survive separately,” so if Rickelman actually believes that the Court’s line where a person has the ability to “survive separately” is the logical point before which a person can be killed—she is endorsing abortion, infanticide, and the right to kill anyone who cannot survive on their own.

Claim #5: In an exchange with Justice Alito, Rickelman claimed that access to abortion is part of the American tradition. She said, “At the founding, women were able to end their pregnancy under the common law. And, in fact, this Court… specifically called out and relied on Roe’s conclusion that at the time of the founding and well into the 1800s, women had the ability to end a pregnancy.”

  • The Truth: Multiple amicus briefs were filed proving the opposite. The Thomas More Society noted that English common law originally followed in the American colonies considered abortion after “quickening” as a serious crime, and early state laws made abortion throughout pregnancy criminal. As Josh Craddock pointed out in his seminal piece, “Protecting Prenatal Persons: Does the Fourteenth Amendment Prohibit Abortion?” published in Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “quickening” was used to protect prenatal life as soon as it could be discerned—not to exclude life prior to that moment. In other words, at the time of the American founding, once there was evidence of life in the womb, it was protected. Professors Mary Ann Glendon and O. Carter Snead echoed this argument.

    Craddock also noted that by the time of ratification of the 14th Amendment, which is used to justify the “right to privacy” under which abortion is legalized, not only did common-law and state practice protect the unborn, but dictionaries used “person” and “human being” interchangeably, and the authors of the 14th Amendment expected it to especially protect the weak and marginalized. Esteemed legal scholars John Finnis and Robert George, as well as Lee Strang, submitted amicus briefs arguing along the same line of thought.

As we pray for the outcome in Dobbs, let us also pray for Julie Rickelman—that this brilliant woman will seek the truth and one day use her God-given gifts to defend life.

Good News: Ohio Is Strengthening Protections for Abortion Survivors

by Chantel Hoyt

December 10, 2021

On Wednesday, the Ohio House passed Senate Bill 157, a bill requiring that health and life-preserving care be rendered to infants who are born alive after an abortion and that incidents of infants being born alive following an abortion must be reported to the state’s department of health. The bill passed with a 61-35 vote along party lines.

SB 157 will now be sent to the state’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine. If he signs it, Ohio will become the 10th state in the nation to require the reporting of infants born alive after an abortion attempt (click here to see how your state ranks on FRC’s Born Alive Protections map).

Ohio Representative Gary Click recently tweeted about SB 157, saying, “This is one of the most important bills I have had the pleasure to support!”

Reporting requirements like the ones contained in SB 157 are an often-overlooked component of born-alive protection bills in the United States, but they carry great importance. Without these requirements, the number of abortion survivors in the United States remains unknown. This makes it easier for abortionists to operate in the shadows, without accountability for infants born alive for whom they fail to provide care. Much of the American public is left believing the lie that abortion survivors do not exist and that babies are never born alive following abortion attempts.

Although we lack the full picture of the data due to the lack of reporting requirements, we know that abortion survivors exist. Reports from the CDC; known cases of abortionists Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen snipping the necks and spines of babies born alive; and the stories of abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden, Gianna Jessen, Claire Culwell, and Josiah Presley prove that these events do indeed occur.

Legislation like Ohio SB 157 is critical for attaining a more accurate estimation of the number of abortion survivors in the United States and to hold abortionists accountable for how they treat these infants.

If you live in Ohio, please click here to send a letter thanking your state officials for passing this legislation and urging Governor DeWine to sign it once it reaches his desk.

Wisconsin’s Gubernatorial Election Cannot Come Soon Enough for the Unborn

by Chantel Hoyt

December 9, 2021

This past Friday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed five pro-life bills that had aimed to protect unborn children and their mothers. This move came just two days after oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and return the ability to restrict abortion to the states.

While the country anxiously awaits the Court’s decision in Dobbs, Tony Evers has once again shown himself to be pro-abortion. In his three years as governor, he has vetoed legislation to protect born-alive abortion survivors twice. Even a bill requiring that parents be given informational materials when their child (born or unborn) is diagnosed with a congenital disability could not survive Evers’ pen.

Evers announced the vetoes on Twitter: “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today, as long as I’m governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that’s a promise.”

Here are the bills that Evers vetoed:

  • SB 16 – This bill would have required that practitioners exercise professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life of infants who survive abortion, required that the infant be immediately transported to a nearby hospital, and imposed a criminal penalty against those who fail to comply (Evers vetoed a similar measure in 2019). (Click here for more information on Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Acts.)
  • SB 503 – This bill aimed to prevent Medicaid funds from going to abortion businesses by prohibiting the Department of Health Services from certifying such businesses. (Click here for more information on defunding abortion and abortion businesses in the states.)
  • SB 591 – This bill would have required that a woman planning to undergo a chemical abortion be informed of the possibility of reversing the effects of the first pill in the event she changes her mind. This bill would have also added to existing abortion reporting requirements by requiring abortion businesses to report the number of previous abortions each woman has had; whether the abortion was paid for by private health coverage, public assistance coverage, or self-pay; and the reason for the abortion.
  • SB 592 – This bill would have required physicians to provide certain educational resources to parents whose child (whether born or unborn) receives a positive test result for a congenital condition (e.g., Down syndrome). This would have included information on the congenital condition, possible outcomes of the condition, the child’s life expectancy, and supportive resources and organizations.
  • SB 593 – This bill would have prohibited an abortion sought solely on the basis of the unborn child’s race, sex, skin color, national origin, ancestry, or disability. It provided a civil penalty for those who fail to comply, indemnified the mother (i.e., absolved her of legal liability), and created a civil cause of action for any individual directly harmed by a violation (Evers vetoed a similar measure in 2019). (Click here for more information on Prenatal Nondiscrimination Acts.)

State Senator Julian Bradley, one of the primary sponsors of SB 593 (the bill prohibiting discriminatory abortions), released a statement saying, “Killing an unborn baby because of their race, sex or disability is not healthcare. This is a radical, pro-discrimination veto from Governor Tony Evers. Wisconsinites deserve to know life is valued whether they are a man or woman, white or black, or have a disability.”

Senator Chris Kapenga, one of the primary sponsors of SB 16 (the bill requiring that medical care be given to abortion survivors), tweeted, “the Gov’s track record makes it clear he doesn’t have a problem with discriminating against some of the most vulnerable women—the ones still in the womb…” Senator Kapenga went on to say that by vetoing the bills designed to allow women to make informed decisions, Governor Evers was clearly trying to “limit knowledge,” causing more women to choose abortion.

As Governor Evers is up for reelection in 2022, the people of Wisconsin should remember his track record regarding the unborn and vote accordingly.

For more information on pro-life laws in the states, see FRC’s pro-life maps.

Listen to the Young, Female Voices of the Pro-Life Movement

by Joy Zavalick

December 8, 2021

Last Wednesday, on the day of the oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, thousands of advocates flocked to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to vocalize their convictions about abortion. Even though a fence was eventually erected between the pro-life and pro-abortion supporters, the chants and cries of speakers and crowds could still be heard from either side. The pro-life side featured a diverse crowd of women and men of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. But one of the most numerous demographics in attendance at the pro-life rally was one for which the pro-abortion side claims to speak—college-aged women.

According to one female student in attendance on Wednesday, “I thought the Dobbs rally was an amazing representation of what the pro-life movement truly is. Not only was the pro-life crowd energetic, enthusiastic, and united through the goal of saving innocent lives, everyone was excited, peaceful, and encouraging!” She went on to emphasize, “I was surrounded by young women and college students who all desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned and are willing to make a collective effort to stand for what is right. My generation wants to see change in abortion laws, and the rally was evidence of that.”

Pro-lifers’ hopes that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade have only grown since the Dobbs oral arguments, due to multiple justices indicating an openness to reconsidering the legal precedent set by Roe that allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. As Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out, this precedent puts the United States’ abortion jurisprudence on par with that of notorious human rights violators North Korea and China and out of step with most of the world.

Another young woman in attendance at the rally outside the Supreme Court commented, “A constant theme throughout the many wonderful speeches was how the pro-life movement supports and empowers women. Every baseless stereotype about pro-lifers was completely and utterly shattered. No one could walk away from this rally believing that the pro-life movement is about forcing religion on people and controlling women.”

These comments resonate with statements Justice Amy Coney Barrett made during the oral arguments, when she suggested that adoption and safe haven laws have equalized the burdens of parenthood that Planned Parenthood v. Casey had relied so heavily upon to reaffirm Roe in 1992.

Given her status as the youngest justice, only the fifth woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court, and a successful mother of seven—including two adopted children—the pro-life movement has hailed Justice Barrett as living proof that embracing motherhood does not have to preclude a woman from also pursuing a career. This is a message that young women across the country desperately need to hear.

Recent legislative initiatives from Republicans have sought to stop the abortion industry from marketing to college women through their campus health centers. Given that 42 percent of abortions are carried out on women between the ages of 18 and 24, it is clear that the pro-abortion lobby is working to coerce women in this vulnerable stage of life to believe that abortion is their only option, rather than providing resources to allow them to flourish both as mothers and in the career of their choosing.

The rally for life at the Dobbs oral arguments, however, demonstrated that many young women are not taking the bait and are fighting to protect their peers from the abuse of abortion—something that the all-male Supreme Court failed to do in 1973 when they fabricated the “right to abortion” in Roe v. Wade.

I noticed a drastic difference between the two sides,” one female student reflected. “The pro-life movement is one full of love, laughter, respect, prayer, and worship. The pro-abortion movement was overflowing with anger, hatred, and intense darkness. I don’t know how people can look at the two groups and choose to make their tent amongst such devastating darkness.”

Although the results of the Dobbs case will not be revealed for several months, its influence has galvanized the pro-life movement and elevated the voices of young women who refuse to accept the standard of Roe v. Wade any longer. As one of the abortion industry’s favorite target demographics increasingly rejects their lies, it becomes clear that the pro-abortion lobby rests on sinking sand.

10 Things You Can Do to Defend the Unborn Ahead of Dobbs

by Mary Szoch

November 22, 2021

On December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. This case concerns the constitutionality of Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which prohibits elective abortion after 15 weeks—nine weeks before the 24-week “point of viability” (i.e., the gestational age when a baby is generally considered capable of surviving outside the mother’s womb). Because Mississippi’s law directly challenges the abortion jurisprudence of Roe v. Wade, the Dobbs case presents the greatest opportunity to overturn Roe since the decision was first handed down in 1973.

Although it will be Scott Stewart, the solicitor general of Mississippi, who will be presenting the arguments in defense of the unborn before the Supreme Court, everyone has a part to play in this upcoming case.

Here is a list of 10 things that you can do to build a culture of life as we await the oral arguments and eventual ruling in Dobbs:

1. Pray.

The most important thing you can do leading up to the Dobbs case is to pray. To help you get started, Family Research Council has compiled a helpful prayer guide, available here. Consider praying with a friend outside an abortion facility and joining FRC for our upcoming prayer event (details below).

On Sunday, November 28, FRC will be hosting Pray Together for Life, a national prayer gathering at New Horizon Church in Jackson, Miss. The purpose of this non-partisan event will be a unified prayer meeting of the body of Christ with the sole focus on praying for the restoration of the sanctity of life in America, beginning with the unborn. We hope you will join us, either in person or online, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. You can register here.

For additional prayer resources, visit: PrayForDobbs.com  

2. Discern whether your family is being called to adopt.

If Roe is overturned, there will likely be more babies in need of parents. As members of the pro-life community, we should all discern whether God is calling us to radically love others by opening our home to a child in need. Focus on the Family provides a number of helpful resources on this topic.

3. Support a Pregnancy Resource Center.

In 2019, Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) nationwide served almost two million people and provided nearly $270 million in services at virtually no charge. PRCs operate largely through the generosity of volunteers and donors. Their work truly makes a difference in the lives of millions, and if Dobbs overturns Roe, there will be much more work for PRCs to do. You can locate the PRCs near you here.

4. Support single moms.

Even though being a mom is incredibly rewarding, it is also incredibly challenging. Lost fatherhood brings additional hurdles for raising a child, which is why community support for single mothers is all the more important. Support single moms you know in practical ways like making a meal for the family or offering to babysit. Being pro-life means working to create a culture of life!

5. Befriend a person with disabilities.

Invite someone in your community with disabilities to get coffee or play a sport. Babies prenatally diagnosed with genetic abnormalities are aborted at alarming rates. Combat this by creating a culture where everyone is welcome.

6. Share information about the dangers of chemical abortion and about the option of abortion pill reversal.

With known complications including severe bleeding, infection, retained fetal parts, and even death, chemical abortion (more commonly known as “the abortion pill”) is nearly four times more dangerous than already dangerous surgical abortion procedures. In some cases, if only the first of the two pills in the abortion pill regimen has been taken, this type of abortion can be reversed. For more information, visit: AbortionPillReversal.com. Sharing this message could save a life.

7. Talk to a friend about her abortion views.

Most of us have a friend who does not share our views on the dignity of the unborn child. It can be challenging to have conversations surrounding abortion but making this effort can create a ripple effect that stretches far beyond your own influence. This FRC resource provides talking points and stories to help you get the conversation flowing.

8. Share information about Project Rachel.

For many women, the pain and guilt after an abortion are incredibly difficult to bear. Project Rachel is a nationwide ministry providing women with the assurance that there can be forgiveness, hope, and healing after abortion. It is open to all women, including women of no faith. Project Rachel’s website is HopeAfterAbortion.org or EsperanzaPosAborto.org.

9. Let your friends know you are a safe person to talk to.

Post a message on social media letting your friends know that if they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, you’re a safe, supportive, and loving person to talk to. This might be all the encouragement someone needs to choose life.

10. Support pro-life state legislators and legislation.

Electing pro-life state legislators is critical to ending the scourge of abortion in America. If the Dobbs case overturns Roe, the question of abortion legality would most likely return to where it was before Roe—the individual states. It is essential that the states are equipped with pro-life legislators to pass pro-life laws. When legislators introduce pro-life legislation, pro-lifers must be supportive of the effort by calling and e-mailing their elected officials.

Poll Numbers on Roe Show That Pro-Lifers Have a Lot of Work To Do

by Mary Szoch

November 18, 2021

The results of a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on November 16 indicate that 60 percent of Americans think the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade. Americans should be appalled by these results. They mean either 60 percent of Americans believe it is morally permissible for a child to be aborted right up until the moment of birth (a position that, though horrifying, is consistent with support for early abortion), or 60 percent of Americans still have no idea what Roe actually does—even though the decision was handed down nearly 50 years ago.

Given the discrepancy between the Post/ABC poll and years of Gallup polling (which, as of 2021, indicates that only 32 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances), the issue seems to be with the level of education people have on the abortion issue. The vast majority of Americans do not realize that Roe not only legalized abortion but made elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy the default law in every state, overturning nearly every state’s abortion law in the process.

Lack of information being the culprit for these abysmal poll numbers might come as a relief to some—but it shouldn’t. And if it does, the issue, once again, is with education. Modern science points to the fact that a newborn child is the same child she was moments before birth. A child moments before birth is the same child she was at 20 weeks gestation. A child at 20 weeks gestation is the same child she was at the moment of fertilization.

Advances in science show that all of a person’s hereditary attributes (including sex, hair and eye color, and even personality traits) are present in that person’s DNA from the moment of conception. This means that abortions at five weeks, 10 weeks, 20 weeks, and 40 weeks all carry out the same gruesome task—ending the life of a unique, unrepeatable human being.

Some likely think that the Supreme Court justices should take the findings of the Post/ABC public opinion poll into consideration when deciding the upcoming case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could overturn Roe v. Wade. This points to yet another area in which Americans’ education is lacking—the role of the Supreme Court.

While public opinion is vitally important to America’s legislative process, the executively appointed Supreme Court justices are not meant to rule based on public opinion. Instead, the members of the Court take an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. This means that in Dobbs, it is their job to determine if the framework of the Constitution includes the right to abortion. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.

As the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted, the court of public opinion is the state legislature. Like Americans saw in the recent Virginia election, it is state legislators who are voted in and out of office based on the preferences of the people they are elected to represent. Supreme Court justices, on the other hand, are appointed for life. This is to prevent justices from bowing to the whims of the majority. These two branches of government were intentionally formed this way as part of a delicate balancing act to both allow the changing views of the American people to impact legislation and maintain the legal precepts essential to the foundations of American society.

If the Court rules as they should in Dobbs, the justices will conclude that the right to an abortion does not exist in the Constitution. If this happens, the question of the legality of abortion will most likely return to the states. While this is the most likely outcome of a pro-life ruling in Dobbs, a person’s right to life should not be contingent upon majority vote. Sadly, the Post/ABC public opinion poll should be a sign to pro-lifers that the work to educate the public and protect the most vulnerable is far from complete.

Our first step must be recognizing that God, the author of life, must be at the center of our efforts to defend life. And so, we hope you will join us on November 28 at 7:00 CT as we join with pro-lifers around the country to pray for an end to abortion. We hope you will join us, either in person or via livestream. Please visit PrayTogetherForLife.com for more information.

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