Tag archives: States

Courage is What Counts in Battle for Life

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 20, 2011

For years, Christians and other people of conscience have worked to undo the great damage done (53 million unborn lives lost, and countless women deeply scarred) by the 1973 Supreme Court ruling known as Roe v. Wade.

Thus far, we have been unsuccessful in correcting Roe, which is why, after nearly four decades, there are those who say we should evacuate the public square, abandon political activism, support our local pregnancy care centers, and admit legislative and jurisprudential defeat. Focus on personal and ecclesial acts of charity, they say, but let politics alone.

Such an attitude betrays a weak understanding of the nature of political change. Such change is almost always incremental, involving two steps forward and one step back, over and over again. This process is tedious and sometimes discouraging. It is also necessary and intrinsic to any system of representative self-government.

At some point in the future, a Supreme Court that honors life might end Roe’s legacy of death. Until then, however, conservatives and champions of life will have continued opportunities to hem-in unrestricted access to abortion on demand.

For example, under President Bush, we were successful in enacting the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, a ban on partial-birth abortion, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. We ended U.S. funding for organizations that perform abortions in the developing world and prevented federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research. Mr. Bush appointed a series of pro-life judges to the federal courts and actively fought efforts to clone human beings. This is only a partial list.

Under President Obama, some of these have been reversed: Our country now funds groups that perform abortion abroad and subsidizes abortion at home. The Presidents most recent Supreme Court nominee was a leading advocate for the legalization of partial-birth abortion. Yet some of the progress under the previous President has not been, nor likely will be, reversed.

Since the first of the year, more than 400 pro-life measures have been introduced at the state level, with many becoming law (see page 3, FRC Actions State Pro-Life Legislative Report for 2011). For example:

  • In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation ending tax credits for Planned Parenthood.
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott “has signed into law four pro-life bills, including an ultrasound mandate and a ban on abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges mandated by President Obamas health care law.”
  • In Nebraska, there is now a law mandating parental consent for under-age abortion.
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a measure preventing late-term abortions in his state.
  • South Dakota now has a law requiring a three-day waiting period before a woman can have an abortion.
  • In Kansas, pro-life champion Gov. Sam Brownback has led his legislature in enacting key pro-life provisions (as detailed here).

Now in Virginia, pro-life Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have won approval for new regulations on abortion clinics which require hospital-quality standards for first-trimester abortions. Insisting upon sound sanitation, adequate ventilation, and sufficient physical space in facilities where a woman has one of the most invasive procedures known to medicine strikes most Virginians and most people generally - as quite reasonable.

As University of Alabama scholar Michael New has documented, these state laws play a significant role in reducing the number of abortions.

In other words, the pro-life movement has not won a single, comprehensive victory, but rather we have advanced a series of measures that increasingly have constrained abortion at both national and state levels. We have made great strides in convincing our fellow citizens that the unborn child has value independent of his or her mother, that this child is a person from conception onward and enjoys a God-endowed right to life that should be protected in law.

When some professing conservatives call for their compatriots to relinquish the battlefield for good public policy to those who oppose it, they do so out of a misapprehension as to the nature of political achievement and also an immature weariness that vitiates productive, and needed, action.

Defeat is never fatal, Winston Churchill is reported to have said. Victory is never final. Its courage that counts.

In the wake of the many welcome successes of recent years, lets keep up the battle with the courage of which Sir Winston spoke and with the “grace and truth” Christ alone can give. After all, we know Who wins in the end.

Let Rhode Island Vote

by Christopher Plante

November 19, 2010

The fact that the people of Iowa, when allowed to vote, threw out three of the judges that had overreached their authority by mandating homosexual-marriage on all Iowans, is of great encouragement. Every time the people get to vote on the issue they choose to protect marriage between one man and one woman. Ordinary men and women, mothers and father, know that children have a right to know and be known by their mother and father, and when given the choice they protect marriage.

Rhode Islanders want to have the opportunity to vote on marriage as well. In a public opinion poll conducted in August of this year over 80 percent of eligible voters polled stated they want the marriage issue on the ballot, irrespective of their personal beliefs on the issue. Rhode Islanders do not believe a small group of legislators, or worse judges, should decide such a crucial issue. We have had the opportunity to vote on ports, casinos, and even changing the name of the State; Rhode Islanders want to vote on marriage. And this is not new, public opinion polls conducted in June of 2009 and again in December of that year returned very similar results, with well over 34 of the respondents saying, Put it on the ballot.

The National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island will make every effort to insure that Governor-elect Chafee and the new Assembly hear and follow the voice of the people.

This is particularly crucial given the economic morass that Rhode Island still faces; this is no time to bog down our State government with an issue that impacts less than 5 percent of the population. According to the Providence Journal, October 17, 2010, For example, projected state budget gaps run above 10 percent through fiscal 2015. For the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2011, the forecast deficit is $320 million, largely because federal stimulus money that has supported the last three budgets is running out. That fiscal 2012 budget is the first one that will be crafted by the governor and General Assembly that take office in January. The projected shortfalls get worse as time goes by. The gaps are $416 million in fiscal year 2013, $457 million in fiscal 2014 and $536 million for fiscal 2015.

Even Governor-elect Chafee understands the challenge he faces. According to the Journal on November 7, 2010, A day after Rhode Island voters elected him their next governor, Lincoln D. Chafee stood in front of a bank of reporters in his Warwick campaign headquarters taking questions. Was this redemption? one television reporter asked, for losing his 2006 reelection bid to the U.S. Senate? Chafee paused. Then grinned. To inherit 12-percent unemployment? A $360-million budget deficit? The crowd, including a dozen campaign workers, chuckled. I dont look at it as redemption, Chafee said. I like a challenge.

Governor-elect Chafee and the new Assembly must not bog down the State government with the divisive and grid-locking issue of homosexual-marriage. Instead they should heed the voice of the people who elected them and put the homosexual-marriage question on the ballot.

Legislative Wake-up Call in the States

by Cynthia Hill

April 14, 2010

If you think legislation on the federal level has gone haywire, take a minute to check out whats going on in state governments through FRCs State Legislation Tracker. The present 38 issue profiles currently track 7469 bills of concern. A breakdown of the results (listed below) provides a telling glimpse into the “state of the states” and the subsequent health of our nation. That the top five profiles include domestic violence (2146), gambling (1346), divorce reform (827), and pornography (728 total, 325 dedicated to child pornography alone) should be a serious wake-up call for all Americans.

Whether or not current liberals and progressives approve, Americas Founders understood from historical perspective that their new government must be rooted in Judeo-Christian tenets. Nothing less resilient and enduring could contribute the ongoing stability required for individuals, families and national industry to flourish in the long term. The following contemporary indicators mandate that we re-examine those pro-family factors that precipitated Americas success, and work aggressively at the state and local level to re-introduce and re-implement them.

Numbers of bills (see here a drill-down on each issue):

  • Abortion - Fetal Pain 5
  • Abortion - Parental Notification - 38
  • Abortion - Ultrasound Bills - 60
  • Abortion Alternatives - Pregnancy Care Centers -18
  • Adoption - By Traditional Family - 551
  • Adoption - By Unmarried or Same-Sex Couples - 44
  • Bathroom Bills - Gender Expression & Same-Sex Issues - 185
  • Conscience Regulations - 4
  • Cord Blood - 62
  • DADT - Military Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ - 13
  • DOMA - Defense of Marriage Act - 2
  • Domestic Violence - 2146
  • Eminent Domain - 1340
  • ENDA - Employment Non-Discrimination Act - 3
  • Gambling - 1346
  • Hate Crimes - 27
  • Health Care - States’ Response to Obamacare - 176
  • Homeschool - 341
  • Human Cloning - 149
  • Human Eggs - 8
  • Human Trafficking - 255
  • Jessica’s Law - 5
  • Life Issues - 23
  • Marriage - Divorce Reform - 877
  • Marriage - Marriage Protection Amendments -12
  • Pornography: Child - 325
  • Pornography: General - 403
  • Public Education: Bullying Bills - General - 28
  • Public Education: Bullying Bills - Pro-Homosexual Agenda - 41
  • Public Education: Discrimination Free Zones - 1
  • Public Education: Sex Education - 7
  • Religious Liberty - 29
  • Reproductive Health - 9
  • Same-Sex Marriage - 493
  • Sexual Predators - 60
  • Statutory Rape - 69
  • Stem Cell Research - Adult - 17
  • Stem Cell Research - Embryonic - 37

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