Tag archives: Life

Good News for Women and Life: Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law is Here to Stay

by Katherine Beck Johnson

December 11, 2019

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied cert in EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Meier. By denying cert, the Supreme Court allowed Kentucky’s ultrasound law to stand, as the Sixth Circuit held the law was constitutional this spring.

Referred to as H.B. 2, the law requires an abortion provider, prior to performing an abortion, to perform an ultrasound; display the ultrasound images for the patient; and medically explain the development of the unborn child. In April, the Sixth Circuit upheld Kentucky’s law, holding that because the law “requires the disclosure of truthful, nonmisleading, and relevant information about an abortion, we hold that it does not violate a doctor’s right to free speech under the First Amendment.”

Kentucky is far from alone in regulating ultrasounds prior to an abortion. Twenty-six states have an ultrasound requirement. Fourteen states require abortionists to display and describe an ultrasound image before an abortion. Nine states require that the abortion provider offer the woman an opportunity to view the image. These ultrasound laws allow women to be more informed about the life growing within them, rather than keeping women in the dark. Ultrasound images are powerful tools that illustrate and humanize the life within the woman. Pro-choice advocates claim they are for women’s choice, yet they fight laws that would properly inform women about the very choice they are making.

The appellate courts are still divided on these laws. In January 2012, the Fifth Circuit upheld Texas’s ultrasound law. In Texas, abortion providers are required to show the women an ultrasound and provide a medical explanation of the size of the unborn child along with the development of the child. After April’s ruling in favor of Kentucky’s ultrasound law, the Sixth Circuit now joins the Fifth Circuit. In 2014, the Fourth Circuit struck down North Carolina’s ultrasound law, holding that it violates the free speech of abortion providers. The Supreme Court did not grant cert in that case.

It is a triumph for life that the Sixth Circuit’s opinion was allowed to stand. This is a welcome victory that allows the women in Kentucky to see their children in the womb and understand the medical aspects of the life within her. Women will now be better informed, and there is no doubt that life will be chosen more often thanks to H.B. 2. 

Introducing Lecture Me! - A New Podcast from FRC

by Family Research Council

October 15, 2019

We all need to be lectured sometimes.

Family Research Council’s new weekly-ish podcast Lecture Me! features selected talks by top thinkers from the archives of the FRC Speaker Series. Our podcast podium takes on tough issues like religious liberty, abortion, euthanasia, marriage, family, sexuality, public policy, and the culture—all from a biblical worldview.

Listen with us to the lecture, then stick around afterward as we help you digest the content with a discussion featuring FRC’s policy and government affairs experts.

The first three episodes are now available. They include:

  • Nancy Pearcey: Love Thy Body

FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview David Closson joins Lecture Me! to discuss Author Nancy Pearcey’s lecture about her book Love Thy Body, in which she fearlessly and compassionately makes the case that secularism denigrates the body and destroys the basis for human rights, and sets forth a holistic and humane alternative that embraces the dignity of the human body.

  • Military Mental Health Crisis

Currently, an average of 21 military veterans are taking their lives each day. FRC’s Deputy Director of State and Local Affairs Matt Carpenter joins the podcast to discuss Richard Glickstein’s lecture as he shares the compelling evidence that proves faith-based solutions reduce suicides, speed the recovery of PTSD, and build resiliency.

  • Repairers of the Breach

How can the conservative movement help restore America’s inner cities? FRC’s Coalitions Senior Research Fellow Chris Gacek joins the podcast to discuss Robert L. Woodson, Sr.’s lecture on how the conservative movement must identify, recognize, and support agents of individual and community uplift and provide the resources, expertise, and funding that can strengthen and expand their transformative work.

Lecture Me! is available at most places you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Castbox.

When It Comes to Transgender Pregnancy, More Common Sense Will Save Lives

by Cassidy Rich

May 20, 2019

In a recent story that made headlines, “Sam” (name changed in the media for privacy), a biological woman who identified as a transgender man, was brought to the hospital by her boyfriend because she had suffered through hours of severe abdominal pain. Her online medical records classified her as “male,” so the triage nurse who was running the tests on Sam naturally thought she was a biological man. Being obese and admitting to have not taken her blood pressure medication in a while due to losing her insurance, the triage nurse “triaged him to nonurgent assessment. Laboratory samples were drawn, including one for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) testing, and Sam awaited further evaluation.”

It wasn’t until hours later when the emergency physician came in to examine Sam that they discovered she was pregnant. Her hCG test came back positive, indicating that she was indeed with child. It wasn’t long before it was clear that Sam was in labor and needed an emergency C-section to try to save the unborn baby’s life. Sadly, Sam delivered a stillborn baby.

According to an article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Sam indicated to the hospital staff that she was transgender. The article states:

In Sam’s evaluation, the triage nurse did not fully absorb the fact that he did not fit clearly into a binary classification system with mutually exclusive male and female categories. Though she [triage nurse] had respectful intentions and nominally acknowledged the possibility of pregnancy by ordering a serum hCG test, she did not incorporate that possibility into the differential diagnosis in a way that would affect ensuing classifications and triage decision making. Despite communicating that he was transgender, Sam was not evaluated using pregnancy algorithms. Having no clear classificatory framework for making sense of a patient like Sam, the nurse deployed implicit assumptions about who can be pregnant, attributed his high blood pressure to untreated chronic hypertension, and classified his case as nonurgent.

The problem with this statement is that the authors of the article don’t say when in this entire process Sam communicated she was transgender. Instead, the authors blame the triage nurse for not taking every possible scenario into consideration. Whether or not the triage nurse should be blamed is another issue altogether. What needs to be addressed is the fact that Sam was born a female, transitioned to a male and classified herself as a man on her medical records and forms, and then was rightfully treated as a man by medical professionals because they had no reasonable way of immediately knowing that she was in fact a biological woman.

Biological men cannot get pregnant. It doesn’t make logical sense for a triage nurse to look at a medical form, see the patient classified as “male,” and think that there is a chance this patient is having abdominal pain because of a pregnancy. It seems clear from this tragic situation that when it comes to medical care for individuals who identify as transgender, we should pursue policies that eliminate confusion on what to do in medical emergencies, resulting in more innocent unborn lives being saved.

In this vein, while we continue to fight for science and biology to be the basis of medical care, maybe there should be a box to indicate biological sex, not just gender identity, to hopefully help mitigate these kinds of tragedies in the future.

Defending Family Values Across the Globe

by Travis Weber, J.D., LL.M.

April 10, 2019

This past weekend I was in Bogota, Colombia, to attend the 2019 Transatlantic Summit of the Political Network for Values—a conference where socially conservative legislators and activists gather from around the world to discuss the pressing concerns of life, family, and religious liberty. Many of the members of this network—which has asked me to serve on its committee of experts—come from primarily Catholic areas in Latin America and Europe, but share the concern of evangelicals in the United States that the historic Christian positions on these issues are being threatened. Meeting inside of the magnificent Congress of the Republic of Colombia, it became clear that there is much we can—and should—work on together.

In addition to remarks by pro-life and pro-family political leaders, the conference featured impassioned speeches like that of Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian pro-life activist living in the UK. Obianuju rose to prominence after penning an open letter against Melinda Gates for pushing population control on Africa, and in addition to her day job as a scientist, she heads the pro-life organization Culture of Life Africa.

One of the most promising aspects of this gathering was the number of young people, not only in attendance, but who are seeking to serve their countries through political leadership. The young Colombian leader Angela Hernandez, who I met several years ago in Belgium at the same conference, again gave a fiery defense of the family this year.

Near the end of the conference, I spoke about FRC’s efforts to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and end birth day abortion here in the U.S., in light of the increasing radicalism of the Democrat Party on this issue. When we have our own elected leaders openly defending infanticide, we know the time has come for action—and prayer.

We in the United States must remember that there are many fellow believers around the world who share our commitment to life, family, and religious liberty. This year’s Political Network for Values Conference was an encouraging reminder of that. May we continue to work together with all allies—foreign and domestic—to advance faith, family, and freedom.

The Malthusians Return

by Family Research Council

October 16, 2013

The tired old argument has returned. People are going to end the planet. The oceans will rise, the land will burn, and aliens will invade. Ok, there are no predictions of an alien invasion … yet. So what is the solution to these problems? Get rid of those pesky people. After all if there were no people, then they would not be destroying earth by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Of course, limiting the population of earth through encouraging women to have fewer kids would be devastating to economic growth and development. People have been making predictions about the end of the world for a long time. There is one factor common to all of them— they have failed to happen.

Instead of encouraging anti-human, anti-family policies, we should encourage healthy families where God is honored and lifelong marriage is the norm. While we are unlikely to be affected by global warming, we are already being affected by family breakdown. On almost every social measure the breakdown of committed marriages has devastating consequences. We should be focused on the real man-made problem of family destruction. If we don’t fix the family the future will indeed be bleak.

And one more thing, I did a quick internet search while writing this article; an alien invasion could be a result of global warming according to some!

I’m Not in Your Bedroom. Obama is in Your Bedroom”

by Cathy Ruse

April 17, 2013

I have a new hero: Eden Foods founder and CEO Michael Potter.

Eden Foods is an organic company popular among the “crunchy, liberal crowd” which has filed suit against the Obama administration over the HHS mandate. 

Potter is getting slammed over it, thanks in part to a hit piece last week in Salon magazine which publicized the suit and framed Potter as a man with an anti-birth control agenda. 

Don’t waste your time on the original article. Instead, enjoy the refreshing quotes from the no nonsense, plain-speaking Mr. Potter in Salon’s follow-up piece from Monday relating a telephone conversation between Potter and Salon writer Irin Carmen.

I’ve got more interest in good quality long underwear than I have in birth control pills,” Potter told Carmen. Then he elaborated:

I don’t care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel’s or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that? That’s my issue, that’s what I object to, and that’s the beginning and end of the story….I’m not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, but don’t tell me I gotta pay for it.

Rock on, M.P.!

When Carmen pressed Potter using the fallacy that “the mandate doesn’t cover abortion” but “only contraception,” Potter responded this way:

It’s a morass…I’m not an expert in anything. I’m not the pope. I’m in the food business. I’m qualified to have opinions about that and not issues that are purely women’s issues. I am qualified to have an opinion about what health insurance I pay for.

When Carmen said contraceptive coverage is cheaper to pay for than maternity coverage, Potter replied: “One’s got a little more warmth and fuzziness to it than the other, for crying out loud.”

Potter is not backing down:  “I worked my ass off at figuring out what to do on it. I worked hard on it and I made a decision,” he said. “The federal government has no right to do what they’ve done. No constitutional right, no standing.”

Carmen writes that Potter sounded annoyed that he’s receiving emails telling him to stay out of people’s bedrooms. “I’m not in your bedroom,” he said. “Obama’s in your bedroom.”

Michael Potter is doing the right thing, for the right reasons, and he’s getting slammed by left-wing activists who have lots of time on their hands. He needs to hear from the rest of us.

Here’s where to write: websales@edenfoods.com and info@edenfoods.com

I just did, and here’s what I said: 

Dear Mr. Potter:

I know you’re getting heat for your lawsuit from people who like the idea of free birth control and abortion drugs, courtesy of a heavy-handed federal government mandate on employers.

But you should know there are many people who agree with you that it is not the federal government’s place to dictate to employers that they must buy these things for their employees in their health plans. And yes, the mandate does include drugs that can cause an early abortion, not just contraception.

As a woman and a lawyer, my message is this: contraceptives and abortion pills are widely available, they’re legally unrestricted, and they’re cheap. Anyone who wants them can get them. There is no reason for the federal government to force every employer in America to provide them “for free.”

Thanks for standing firm. I can’t wait to buy lots of Eden Foods!

FRC in the News: January 30, 2013

by Nicole Hudgens

January 30, 2013

Anna Higgins Defends Life in North Dakota Senate

Anna Higgins, Director, Center for Human Dignity at FRC, testified before the North Dakota Senate concerning Senate Concurrent Resolution 4009. The resolution will amend the North Dakota Constitution by adding “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized must be recognized and defended.” Read some of Anna’s statement, Senate Concurrent Resolution 4009, and more about the hearing  here.

FRC Stands for Boy Scouts Morality

Recently, the Boy Scouts of America have considered ending its ban on allowing homosexuals to serve as leaders. FRC is choosing to stand for the code that the Boy Scouts have held for about a century:

“On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Rob Schwarzwalder, FRC’s Senior Vice President, and Tony Perkins, have strongly supported the morality of the Boy Scouts and released a statement to show their strong concern over the possible changes.

Ken Blackwell Applauds Loyalty to Life

Ken Blackwell’s article, which was featured in World Magazine, commends Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) for standing up for life in the House of Representatives even though his party typically does not. Rep. Lipinski addressed the attendees of the March for Life via video and encouraged the enormous crowd to stand for human life. Rep. Lipinski believes that life is a bipartisan issue and those who stand for the unborn are thankful for his leadership!

Ben Franklin, January 17, 1706: “Of What Use is a Newborn Baby?”

by Robert Morrison

January 17, 2013

One of my pool pals was telling me about his forthcoming trip to Japan. I’ve never been there, but I was excited for him. I mentioned, in passing, that Japan is the only industrial country in the world that is losing population. My friend jumped on that statement. “It’s a good thing, too. Every country should cut its population in half.” Now, my friend is a well-to-do biotech executive. He’s going to Japan to work with their Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Shinya Yamanaka. And my friend noted approvingly that Dr. Yamanaka’s work with stem cells “doesn’t raise ethical issues.” That’s a roundabout way of saying Yamanaka isn’t killing embryonic humans. Thank God.

But my swimming buddy’s attitude toward population should not have surprised me. He is well-educated and a successful professional—traveling China, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore on an almost monthly basis. The educated classes in America, and in the international arena, are almost all anti-population.

Too bad. One of America’s greatest scientists, Benjamin Franklin, was born this day in 1706. Ben was the 15th of 16 children of a poor Boston candlemaker. Very early in his life, he was apprenticed to his older brother, a printer. When Ben became distracted by his reading and arrived late at the print shop, his brother would box his ears. Franklin wrote satirical articles that ridiculed the solemn leaders of that still-Puritan influenced colony. He got into an early controversy when he attacked the great Rev. Cotton Mather for Mather’s advocacy of inoculation for smallpox. Young Ben was wrong on that one. The learned Mather was a member of Britain’s Royal Society and had read deeply on prevention of smallpox.

Franklin soon ran off to Philadelphia. He arrived almost penniless. His future wife, Deborah, laughed at the threadbare youth walking past her door, with only a loaf of bread under his arm. It wouldn’t be Franklin’s last laugh in the City of Brotherly Love.

He soon became a leading figure in colonial America’s largest city. He was not only a hard worker and a creative writer, he liked to be known as a hard worker. In his autobiography, he tells the delightful story of how he deliberately left the wheel on his printer’s barrow ungreased. That’s so Philadelphians  would hear him squeaking through the streets before dawn every morning.

The list of his practical ideas and inventions staggers the mind. He urged on his neighbors to provide street lighting. Once the streets were lighted, everyone could better see the filth that needed cleaning up. Franklin pushed for that, too. And subscription libraries, volunteer fire companies, and even a university. Franklin’s friends formed the Junto, an association of ambitious young men whose goal was self-advancement through community service. 

Franklin studied simple, everyday needs. Americans (and Europeans) then spent an inordinate amount of time simply staying warm. Franklin developed a stove that brought the heat into center of the room.

The Franklin stove alone would have made Ben a fortune—if he had sought a patent for it. But he didn’t. He gave the idea away freely.

He later wrote that he saw too many inventors wasting their time and talents fighting bitter patent battles. Ben might have had to go to thirteen colonial capitals and maybe London, too, to lock up his patent rights. He preferred to give his inventions away. And, with typical self-mockery, he allowed that he was not unaware of what this did for his reputation.

Franklin’s discoveries in electricity made him a worldwide sensation. The experiment with the kite and key proved that lightning was electricity, just a more powerful form of that phenomenon people knew from the Leyden jar experiments. Franklin gave it plus and minus charges. Franklin’s speculations about its nature truly revolutionized the world’s understanding. He deserves to be in the front rank of scientists. For this achievement, he was granted an honorary doctorate by Scotland’s University of St. Andrews.

Yet, Doctor Franklin is one of the few Founding Fathers we feel comfortable calling “Ben.”

His famous Poor Richard’s Almanac contains hundreds of witty aphorisms, many of which are still in use today. It was this publication, and his role as royal postmaster for the colonies, that made Ben Franklin a wealthy man. 

Franklin was well enough off to retire from his printing business in his forties and dedicate himself entirely to public service. He provided supplies and weapons for British Gen. Braddock’s army as it marched to the Pennsylvania frontier during the French & Indian War. It was then that Franklin met young Col. George Washington, the commander of Virginia’s colonial militia.

Franklin spent nearly twenty years in London as a representative of first the Pennsylvania colony, and later New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Georgia. Still, Franklin had no vote in the British Parliament.

He tried to dissuade that Parliament from imposing its Stamp Act on the North American colonies.

Parliament would not be budged. Finally, Franklin became embroiled in a bitter controversy. One of his agents in America had intercepted and sent to Franklin the letters of Massachusetts’ royal governor, Thomas Hutchison. In those letters, the governor urged the King’s ministers to crack down hard on Samuel Adams and other patriot leaders in the Bay Colony. Franklin was suspected of leaking these incriminating documents in London. 

Franklin was summoned before the Privy Council and made to stand while the Crown’s Attorney General verbally abused him, for more than an hour. That incident may have convinced Franklin there was no hope of reconciliation between the Americans and the British.

Soon, Dr. Franklin was back in Philadelphia, attending the Second Continental Congress. There, he was appointed to the committee to draw up a Declaration of Independence. He even consoled his young friend Thomas Jefferson, the principal author, when congressmen “mutilated” the Virginia delegate’s draft. 

Congress sent Franklin back across the ocean. This time, he was America’s minister to France.

Franklin’s presence in France caused a sensation. The renowned scientist’s face, he told his daughter in a letter home, “more familiar than the man in the moon.” King Louis XVI even oafishly put Franklin’s face at the bottom of a chamber pot for one of the great ladies of Versailles.

Franklin enjoyed spectacular success in France. He negotiated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce that enabled the United States to form an alliance that would win our independence. Franklin was unevenly yoked with the hard-working John Adams. The younger man seemed always to resent Franklin’s fame and the easy way he had with the French. Adams’s own tenure in Paris was a near-disaster. Franklin generously said he was a good man, always an honest man who always sought the best for America. “But in some things, in some way, he is out of his mind.” That’s about right.

My favorite story from Franklin’s Paris years occurred just as he was about to leave. Crippled by gout, the great scientist nonetheless wanted to be on hand for the first manned balloon flight. Tens of thousands went out to Versailles to see the Montgolfier brothers set off the flame that would heat the air in their gaily-colored balloon. People gasped to see the ascent. Some women fainted.

Then, someone spied the 79-year old Dr. Franklin taking it all in from his carriage. It’s a wonder, to be sure, the questioner said, “but of what practical use is it?” Ben Franklin was the man to ask. He was the most practical man in the world. 

Smiling, Ben answered: “Of what practical use is a newborn baby?” So, for my globetrotting, population controlling pool pal, I would answer: Of what practical use are newborns? Oh, and by the way, I can take off my swim fins now, another practical device credited to Ben Franklin. Happy Birthday to Ben Franklin, 15th of 17 children. And I thank God for him.