unborn

Quote Of The Day, 1-15-14: Feminists Retread '70s "ERA"

There were several candidates for the 2014 Virginia General Assembly's first Quote Of The Day. But the winner doesn't come from a legislator. It comes from a liberal activist. One trade secret in the lobbying business is to keep your mouth shut in the hallways and elevators. If you're talking, you're not listening to what others are saying, and you may be giving away something to the other side no matter how insignificant you think it may be.

This morning, a few stragglers from a feminist briefing lingered not far from me as I sat on a hallway chair in the General Assembly Building and recorded notes on a meeting with a legislator. They were giddy with enthusiasm to lobby lawmakers to vote to ratify the so-called Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. No, you haven't gone back into a 1970's time warp. For the last three years it has been introduced in the General Assembly despite its decades ago expiration from failure to secure the three-quarters of the states necessary for ratification by its own deadline.

Believe it or not, in 2011, the Virginia Senate mistakenly passed it when they thought they were filming a Spielberg history movie (sic), before a House committee effortlessly punted it through the Twilight Zone and back to the Jimmy Carter-Tip O'Neil era. To hear these feminists, the original resolution's deadline, approved by a liberal dominated Congress at the time, doesn't count.

I am not making this up. Talk about "wasting time on divisive social issues."

The women talked openly about their strategy, as primitive and naive as it was, not realizing who I was. I kept my head down, finished my job and listened with great amusement — and took notes (then provided them to one of the "targeted" legislators — an unflipable conservative — before they could visit his office for a second time that morning). One woman, with colored blond hair and a blaze red stripe of hair across the front, admitted it was hard for her to concentrate solely on the ERA because "I can't prioritize. I love all these bills. I'm even all in on the animal rights bills, too!"

Rights for the animals. None for the unborn. Some definition of feminism.

That's not the QOD, though, and it's not this gem either: "I want to live until I see this passed and I will die happy."

The QOD goes to another woman who said she gave an ERA pin to Dorothy McAuliffe, our new First Lady:

She said she'd give it to Hillary. All I want for Christmas is a picture of Hillary Clinton wearing an ERA pin. That's the money shot for me.

Did I say "naive"? Honey, if you don't have Hillary in your camp by now, you might as well stick with your friend's animal rights bills.

 

Senate Kills Life Bills, Passes Threats To Family

If the past two days aren't evidence enough that the Virginia Senate must change, we honestly don't know what is. In a 48-hour period since Wednesday, the Senate, where Democrats hold a 22-18 majority, has passed several bills that undermine the values of Virginia while defeating common sense measures that would reduce the number of abortions and advance a culture of life. On Wednesday, it passed legislation adding sexual orientation to state government's non-discrimination law (SB 747), a bill that gives state government agencies the ability to provide domestic partner benefits (SB 1122), and a proposal that is an attack on Virginia's abstinence centered family life education policy (SB 967).

In yesterday's Senate Education and Health Committee, five pro-life bills were defeated, including legislation that would have provided women seeking an abortion an opportunity to view an ultrasound (SB 1435); created wrongful death protections for the unborn (SB 1207 and SB 1378); and criminalized the act of coercing someone to have an abortion (SB 1217). The committee also rejected a bill that would prohibit health insurance companies that provide elective abortion coverage from participating in the state-run exchanges required by President Obama's federal health insurance scheme (SB 1202).

As in past years, the Senate has proven to be a killing field for pro-family, pro-life legislation, as well as the source of bills that undermine Virginia's values. The question now becomes, are pro-family Virginians finally tired of this? If so, this November all 40 members of the Senate face re-election. Let's face it — having the truth and the facts on our side, having a professional team of advocates to influence legislators, having a grassroots network across Virginia simply isn't enough. We have to change the people who sit in that chamber.

This year is our opportunity to break through this barrier and change the future of Virginia. We need to add more conservative voices to the Senate. When it had a Republican majority in the past the outcome wasn't much better. We need principled conservatives in office. The Family Foundation and The Family Foundation Action will do everything possible to ensure that Virginians know exactly what the stakes are — and which candidates stand with us and which stand against us — as the elections approach. Please click here to learn more about our Ignite Campaign and how you can help.

Please also know that there are several members of the Senate (15) that voted with The Family Foundation on every one of the bills. We thank them for their stand on principle. We especially thank those Senators who carried pro-life legislation this year, including Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), Ralph Smith (R-22, Botetourt) and Bill Stanley (R-19, Chatham).

Why We Vote 2010, Part 1: Don't Gamble With Your Vote Tuesday!

In 2008, CatholicVote.org created one of the most powerful campaign videos in this new Internet age we live in. In music and video, it dramatically showed why we needed to vote (see here) and it has been viewed by 3 million people. It also produced a broader, ecumenical companion video, every bit as vividly thought provoking (see here). This year, as our friends at RealCatholicBlog.com show us, CatholicVote.org has produced two more dynamite videos. Although geared toward Catholics, the themes of the videos are universal — especially the ideas of not trusting demagoguery and vague rhetoric, such as "hope" and "change" ("High Stakes," below), as well as the paramount issue of protecting innocent life, especially the unborn (see John Mallon at CatholicVote.org's blog). They should appeal to all people who believe in and/or respect our Judeo-Christian, traditional values. We highly recommend them and encourage you to distribute this link to anyone you think needs encouragement to vote tomorrow.

Satisfied with your change?

The New Abortion Providers

Who knew abortion was such a pleasant experience? From the July 12 New York Times, a feature on "The New Abortion Providers" glows as if these people are modern versions of Florence Nightingale:

After Roe, the shadow of the greedy, butchering "abortionist" continued to hover, and many doctors didn't want to stand in it. As mainstream medicine backed away, feminist activists stepped in. They set up stand-alone clinics to care for women in their moments of crisis. In many ways, the clinics were a rebel-sister success story. Instead of a sterile and expensive hospital operating room, patients could go to a low-cost clinic with pastel walls and sympathetic staff members. At a Planned Parenthood I visited recently in Rochester, while women were having abortions, they could look at photos of a Caribbean beach, taped above them on the ceiling.

I guess when an organization constantly gets exposed (see latest video from LiveAction.org) for unethical behavior and horrible conditions, it needs a little puffery from the liberal media. There is an interesting sentence in the article, though:

The American Medical Association did not maintain standards of care for the procedure.

This is something we come up against every year during the General Assembly in our work to get abortion centers regulated just as every other medical facility must be. This past session, the pro-abortion lobby finally came up with standards it says its abortion centers follow, based on recommendations from its own association of abortionists. New, indeed.

There's much to take from the long article but here's the gist, as from this paragraph:

This abortion-rights campaign, led by physicians themselves, is trying to recast doctors, changing them from a weak link of abortion to a strong one. Its leaders have built residency programs and fellowships at university hospitals, with the hope that, eventually, more and more doctors will use their training to bring abortion into their practices. The bold idea at the heart of this effort is to integrate abortion so that it’s a seamless part of health care for women — embraced rather than shunned. (Emphasis added.) 

So much for "safe, legal and rare." The abortion movement is nothing short of a full-frontal effort to encourage abortions at all cost. Rather, than, as NARAL and Planned Parenthood proclaim, that they are for choice and aim to provide options and overall women's health care, their intentions are to create the acceptance of, and markets for, the killing of the innocent unborn for their own profit and other nefarious reasons.

Calling A "Truce" On Social Issues?

Today, as we watch an out of control federal government spend our children's futures into fiscal oblivion, as we watch our own president ignore constitutional principles, and as we watch the greatest expansion of government in our lifetimes and the corresponding loss of freedom it brings — aren't the issues you and I care about, as your teenagers might say, "so yesterday"? I mean, we hear it all the time. From media pundits and politicians — even politicians who used to be one of us — we hear the new mantra that there are "more important issues that need to be dealt with," such as the economy, jobs and our security. However, abortion and traditional marriage — "family values" — are divisive distractions from what really matters.

Just recently, yet another political leader, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels — a "pro-family" Republican mentioned as a presidential candidate — urged us to "call a truce" (see Hot Air) on family issues until the nation's economic problems are solved. After all, aren't we all worried about the economy? Isn't making sure we have jobs so we can feed our families more important right now than so-called "social issues"? (See Weekly Standard.)

That is certainly what the political class in Richmond and Washington want us to think. And wouldn't it be so much easier for them if they didn’t have to be "distracted" by issues that they deem less important than the economy? So, how do I, the president of The Family Foundation, respond to that? Why do I believe our mission is more important than ever and that you need to be a part of that mission?

While there is no doubt that reinvigorating our economy and getting Americans back to work is a high priority, the way to do that is not government programs and giveaways. It is strong families that provide the foundation for financial success (study after study proves it, read here). Let's be frank — no matter how good the economy, our nation is in peril if we continue to ignore God's principles of justice for innocent life and family.

I am increasingly discouraged by what I see around me in our culture and, in particular, the increasing hostility toward religious faith in the public square. Our religious freedom is facing a crucial challenge. I honestly believe that our right to practice our faith — to exercise our religion and voice our opinions in matters of public policy — is in danger. There are a lot of people and groups that want us to shut up and go away. But I can promise you, The Family Foundation is not going away.

We have been here for a quarter of a century and we will be here for another quarter century with your continued help and activism. We are going to continue to fight for values-centered public policy — laws based on our values — regardless of our opponents. We are going to continue to fight for lower taxes, less government, education freedom, strong marriages and, yes, for the unborn, even when it's uncomfortable for the political class.

It isn't our job to make politicians comfortable. It's our job to hold them accountable.

McDonnell's First 100 Days: The View From The Family Foundation

The Washington Post ran a recent Sunday edition story that suggested a chasm has developed between Governor Bob McDonnell and social conservatives. According to the article, some have become disheartened and feel the governor has let them down while others are more willing to be patient and give the governor time. So, what does The Family Foundation think of the governor's first 100 plus days? Understanding the context of events is always key to accurate analysis. So let’s remember that for the past eight years social conservatives in Virginia have been isolated from the governor's office. Both previous governors were at times openly hostile to traditional values issues. Governor Mark Warner gave $25,000 to the Commonwealth Coalition, the organization that opposed the Marriage Amendment, and regularly opposed our agenda (hear in his own words what he thinks of Christian conservatives). Governor Tim Kaine openly campaigned against the Marriage Amendment and also opposed much of our agenda (though he did work with us on several marriage initiatives). Add to that the fact that in November 2008 Virginians voted for Barack Obama for president, and political pundits (as usual) proclaimed social conservatism dead. Any candidate who wanted to win had to disavow  caring about the unborn and marriage and stick to one thing and one thing only — money (well, the economy).

Enter Bob McDonnell. A long time friend of social conservatives and leader on many of our issues, values voters were energized by a candidate they could call "one of us." While campaigning, candidate McDonnell steered clear of social issues unless asked, focusing on exactly what the "experts" said he had to focus on — the economy. Some social conservatives expressed frustration that McDonnell wasn't more vocal on abortion and other social conservative causes, but many understood that the political climate was such that the majority of voters were most concerned about their personal well-being with an economy in recession and a federal government spending us into oblivion.

On Election Day, social conservatives voted for McDonnell in droves. Exit polling showed that nearly half of McDonnell's voters were self-identified evangelicals. Clearly, they believed that Bob McDonnell was going to be their guy in the Governor's Mansion. As with any constituency, those votes did not come without expectations, and they were high expectations at that.

Once sworn in, he went to work on his campaign promise to bring Virginians a balanced budget without higher taxes, and job development. Most agree that the governor has largely fulfilled those promises — though some are concerned with increased fees in the budget. During his administration's first General Assembly session the governor was relatively quiet on social issues, though his administration did vocally support abortion center safety legislation in the Senate Education and Health Committee. He also renewed an executive order concerning non-discrimination in state hiring practices, but did not include "sexual orientation" as had been done by the two previous governors (though Governor Warner did it in the last month of his administration).

Of course, things didn't go perfectly for the new administration. Social conservatives were particularly disappointed that he chose to issue an "executive directive" concerning hiring practices that included "sexual orientation," and we explained those concerns to him both publically and privately. He did, however, sign the Health Care Freedom Act, the first legislation of its kind in the nation that hopefully will protect Virginians from being forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance. He also protected Virginians from being forced to pay for low-income elective abortions (a major pro-life victory) and ensured that Planned Parenthood can't use the money they make off of their new license plate to perform abortions.

Now, we are just passed the first four months of his four-year term, and some conservatives are expressing disappointment, even outrage, with the governor's actions thus far. Interestingly, I was interviewed for the Post article long before its publication date, and at the time, we were encouraging the governor's office to take a more pro-active approach on social conservative issues. In particular, the discussion surrounded the pro-life budget amendments the governor chose not to introduce — defunding Planned Parenthood and failed embryonic stem cell research. On that issue I said to the Post:

We want him to do more, and we will continue to ask him.

I stand by those words. Once something is in the budget it is difficult to remove it. While we trust that Planned Parenthood will not receive any taxpayer money during this administration, we continue to believe that adding such language to the state budget will protect taxpayers in future years.

But remember the context of my Post interview:

In between my interview with the Post and the article's publication — several days — the governor fulfilled an extremely important campaign promise and reversed the Kaine administration's discriminatory prohibition on prayers offered by state police chaplains. In a press release I said we were "thrilled" with the governor's action, and we are. This was an important and courageous action and Virginians are better off for it. We also asked you to contact Governor McDonnell and thank him as well.

So, how is the governor doing? (Honestly, I think social conservatives need to take a deep breath, and remember that there are still three years and seven months left in this administration. We have to remember the victories he has delivered, while knowing that there is still a lot to be accomplished. But we are confident that the governor understands the concerns we have. There are pressing issues facing our commonwealth and the governor needs to address those issues. At the same time, the culture of Virginia must also be a priority for this administration. We will continue to encourage him to take the lead on family issues that are the foundation to the very economy he is trying to fix (see more of my comments in another article on this topic in the Richmond Times-Dispatch).

The Family Foundation is determined to be strategic in our efforts. We understand the political climate is hostile and we have to accept that incremental victories are victories nonetheless. Those who demand "all or nothing" tend to receive nothing. We are encouraged by the recent actions of Governor McDonnell and continue to believe he will fulfill his campaign promises.

Delegate Kathy Byron Addresses Family Foundation Activists

As part of our Virtual Lobby Day, we want to bring you as much flavor of the General Assembly as we can to those who can't make it to Richmond as often as they'd like. In fact, we continue to post videos of committee hearings on bills we support on our YouTube Channel as well as here, making this blog perhaps the best place for information about what your state government is doing. Tomorrow, and throughout session, we'll have more about what we're doing through the Internet and how you can help influence lawmakers. On January 18, Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg), a former Family Foundation Legislator of the Year, spoke to pro-family activists at our Family Foundation Day at the Capitol. She focused on two pro-life bills she is carrying this session: HB 1033 (defining a baby as separate from the mother's body) and HB 1042 (requiring an ultrasound before an abortion). Both bills are still alive. Click on them to get more information and learn where you need to direct your e-mails.

Delegate Kathy Byron speaks on behalf of the unborn — and the born in patroning the "baby bill" this session.

Virginia News Stand: December 21, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Like Deeds, Like Marsden; Like Kaine, Like Marsden; Like Deeds, Like Kaine

We're keeping the news to a minimum today: the snow is melting and people are less captive and not as inclined to be in front of the computer as they get back to last minute shopping and other Christmas preparations. Most of the news around the state concerns Governor Tim Kaine's outlandish income tax increase proposal. Easy for him to do — he leaves office in three weeks. Governor-elect Bob McDonnell and the majority House Republicans already say it's a non-starter. So perhaps the big story, or at least the most intriguing, is the turn taken in the special election in the 37th Senate district (in Fairfax County) to replace Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli, between Republican Steve Hunt and Democrat Dave Marsden, currently a delegate. Democrats think, because of recent trends in Fairfax, they can win the seat; the GOP, with its reverberating rebound last month, sense the tide has turned back their way, even in Northern Virginia, where its candidates did exceedingly well in the recent election.

Delegate Marsden, who moved into a friend's house to establish residency in the district, now has pro-abortion allies railing against some old literature a crisis pregnancy center stopped distributing some time ago. Hunt used to serve on the center's board.

Two things are absolutely peculiar about this: First, Delegate Marsden, must not have paid much attention to the top of his own ticket last month as Democrat standard bearer Creigh Deeds (remember him?) clamored about abortion and social issues while the rest of Virginia concerned itself with jobs. Marsden, himself, considered to be in a safe House district, barely escaped to re-election. Now, Governor Kaine wants to repeal the car tax cut and raise the income tax, and Delegate Marsden, given his record, is most likely right there with him. Again, just like Senator Deeds, who recommended raising taxes during a recession (see Jeff Schaprio's analysis in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, below).

The second oddity is that while the pregnancy center has ceased distributing the information, those attacking it and Mr. Hunt are providing this type of sick information (see video of Planned Parenthood abortionist and counselor talking to prospective patient),where "patients" are advised that abortions are safer than giving birth. So, it's mini-campaign redux featuring residency, raising taxes in a recession and old flyers versus jobs and sticking up for the unborn.  

News:

Antiabortion pregnancy center figures in state Senate race (Washington Post)

McDonnell, GOP lawmakers assail Kaine’s budget plan (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine proposes 1% rise in state income tax (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

From deep in the red, Gov. Kaine proposes a brutal state budget (The Daily Press)

'Painful cuts' part of Kaine's Virginia budget proposal (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Kaine proposes replacing car tax with income one (Washington Times)

Virginia governor proposes an income tax increase (Washington Post)

At least 7 GOP candidates eager to take on Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis:

With budget, Kaine leaves tough task for both parties (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

A Message From Alveda King

Alveda King is the niece of the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As he saw justice to a people immorally denied, she sees, first hand, the destructiveness to that same community — and all people — of the justice denied to the unborn. She has committed herself to a life and ministry of bringing civil rights to the unborn. She recently recorded a message for our sister organization, TFF Action. Please take a listen to it and forward this link to as many people as you can.

A Message About Protecting The Unborn From Alveda King, Niece Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

U.N. President Is Right

The following comes from a President of the United Nations:

"I am going home America — farewell.

"For seventeen years I have enjoyed your hospitality, visited every one of your 50 states. I can say I know you well.

"I admire and love America. It is my second home.

"What I have to say now in parting is both a tribute and a warning: Never forget, Americans, that yours is a spiritual country.

"Yes, I know that you are a practical people. Like others, I have marveled at your factories, your skyscrapers and your arsenals.

"But underlying everything else is the fact that America began as a God-loving, God-fearing, God-worshipping people, knowing that there is a spark of the Divine in each one of us. It is the respect for dignity of the human spirit which makes America invincible. May it always endure.

"And so I say again inparting, thank you, America, and farewell. May God keep you always — and may you always keep God."

Shocking, isn't it, that someone associated with the United Nations could ever make such a proclamation?

Oh, I forgot to tell you, these are the words of the former president of the U.N., former Philippino delegate to the U.N. and former Ambassador to the U.S., Carlos Romulo. The words above were spoken in 1962 — just as the United States was discovering the so-called separation of church and state; just as the Supreme Court was ordering God out of schools; just as the cultural revolution of the '60s was about to explode. 

Good thing we know better now. Good thing we didn't listen to Mr. Romulo and "always keep God." I mean, look how much better off our nation is today. Lots more abortion, lots more divorce, lots more out-of-wedlock births, lots more crime, lots more greed, lots more poverty, lots more of all those things that make America "progressive"! Good thing we don't see the divine spark in each one of us — or at least not in the unborn. 

God bless America Amerika.

Unborn Memories

A new study published in the July/August edition of the journal Child Development says that unborn children have short-term memory capabilities at 30 weeks gestation. Researchers also found that 34-week-old unborn children are "able to store information and retrieve it four weeks later." 

Science advances the pro-life cause yet again. 

Once again, science is proving what pro-life Americans have always known — that unborn children "are members of the human family." According to the Washington Times, NARAL Pro-Choice American did not respond to requests for comment. Of course, as with the science that shows that unborn children feel pain, they will dismiss the science as irrelevant or misleading. 

But reasonable, thinking Americans everywhere are catching on. Science is advancing the pro-life cause faster than any politican could dream. The question is, will the politicans ever catch up with the science?

More Statements Coming

The next several posts will be statements from the major players who had significant roles in crafting the legislation that became Virginia's law banning partial birth abortion/infanticide; in defending its constitutionality in the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals; and other organizations that play a leading role in defending unborn, innocent life in Virginia public policy.

Help Maintain Medical Conscience Protections!

Thanks to our friends at The Virginia Catholic Conference — who do fantastic work keeping up with federal issues, especially regulatory matters that don't require Congressional action and therefore aren't in a big a media spotlight — we have an urgent reminder that the Obama Administration is losing no time in trying to force medical workers of faith into providing services they find objectionable. On February 27, it announced its intention to remove current regulations, put in place by the Bush Administration late last year, that protect conscience rights in health care. On March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a formal proposal to rescind these regulations, thereby activating a 30-day period for the public to submit comments. 

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has devised an Action Alert explaining why the regulations should be retained and providing directions on how to submit comments to HHS (click here). E-mail messages can be sent directly through the NCHLA Action Center. A preset message is provided, to which the sender can add personal comments. 

Please submit your comments before the April 9 deadline! 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a special Web site with that provides a wealth of information and resources on conscience protection (click here), including a link to the NCHLA Action Center message. We encourage you to visit that site and others to fully arm yourself on the issue.  

Churches are encouraged to display the NCHLA and USCCB links on their Web pages. Highlighting the critical importance of the current conscience regulations, Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said:

They are "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God." 

Removing these conscience regulations "would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism."

The Obama HHS promises to be as destructive as ever toward the unborn. Its secretary-designate, Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic, was the most pro-abortion-on- demand governor in the country before her nomination. He extremist policy positions prompted Archbishop Raymond L. Burk to call her an "embarrassment" (Catholic News Agency). It will take every possible effort to counter the new adminstration's pro-abortion initiatives. Pro-life Virginia activists responded in numbers to impress upon the Bush Administration how important these medical professional conscience protections are (see previous commentary). A redoubled effort is required to convince the Obama Administration to retain them.