Tomorrow Is Your Chance To Stand Up To Virginia's $1 Billion Abortion Industry!Apr 11, 2013
When does David get to face off against Goliath on equal terms? In our democratic process. Tomorrow, at the Virginia Board of Health meeting. That's when volunteer, pro-life grassroots activists will have their chance to express their support for abortion center safety standards in the face of Virginia's $1 billion abortion industry, which is mobilizing college students and protestors to flood the meeting in hopes of intimidating the Board into watering down the proposed health and safety standards.
Of course, Planned Parenthood and NARAL are counting on your silence. If there's any doubt as to what their ultimate, ghastly aims are, please see this video of a Planned Parenthood lobbyist.
Please do all you can to join us Friday and show that we are the voice of Virginia. We must show the Board of Health that we are pro-life and we are the majority! This could be a seminal day in the pro-life movement in Virginia.
By voting to adopt the standards tomorrow, the Board will ensure that Virginia's abortion centers will be required to meet basic health and safety standards and will no longer be protected by a veil of secrecy. Showing up and voicing your support of these new standards is extremely important in the fight for life as it is crucial the Board see and hear from pro-life Virginians when deciding on final passage of the regulations.
Please plan to join us tomorrow and forward this link to your pro-life friends and share it on your social media sites. Plan to arrive at the Perimeter Center (9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond, 23233) at 7:00 a.m. (earlier if possible) to prevent pro-abortion activists from filling the room and silencing your voice. Seating is very limited, so not everyone will be able to get into the meeting, which is why it's important to arrive early. We encourage you to bring a handmade sign showing your support for life. The public comment period will be in the morning, so if you want to speak in support of the regulations, please prepare a two-minute testimony (you cannot testify if you are not in the room, so you have to be there early to get in line). A final vote will likely take place after lunch, and the meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 3:00.
For a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Board meeting, click here. Please contact The Family Foundation if you have additional questions (804-343-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The regulations, passed by the Board this past September, would promote safer conditions in Virginia abortion centers, resulting in a higher level of respect and dignity for the women who make the unfortunate choice to get an abortion. Since the announced inspections of Virginia's 20 abortion centers, more than 100 health violations have been discovered. Some of these include:
» Blood-stained tables and equipment
» Unsterilized equipment
» Untrained staff members
» Crucial parts missing from emergency life-saving equipment
Voicing your support of these new standards is imperative. Please join us at the Board of Health meeting in Richmond tomorrow. Do not let NARAL and Planned Parenthood speak for Virginians in your silence. Make it known that Virginia is a pro-life state!
Of course, if you cannot attend the meeting, please take time today and tomorrow to pray for the meeting, the outcome, the Board members and for the safety and protection of pro-life activists in attendance.
Voice Your Support for Abortion Center Regulations
Voice Your Support for Abortion Center Regulations
Yesterday, the public comment period opens for the Virginia State Board of Health’s review of the previously passed abortion regulations. Visit here and then click “Enter a Comment” to voice your opinion.
The public comment period on these regulations will be open for 45 days, ending on July 30, and then in its December meeting, the Board of Health will decide whether or not it will rewrite these much needed regulations. It is imperative that the Board leaves these regulations as they are.
Prior to the implementation of regulations in 2012, the Virginia abortion industry had gone unregulated for too long. Department of Health inspections revealed widespread health and safety violations, including blood splattered exam tables and equipment, unsterilized equipment, poorly or untrained staff, violations of state parental consent laws, and the lack of reporting of possible cases of child sexual abuse, along with over 300 other violations. These violations reveal a serious need for regulations of these facilities in order to protect women who seek out abortions.
While focusing on the construction standards included in the regulations, the media has almost completely ignored the blood stained and unsterilized equipment, along with all the other health and safety violations. The construction standards are necessary to improve access for emergency personnel and equipment when medical emergencies take place, but the rest of the standards are basic to any medical facility that puts its patients ahead of its profits.
Recent information that has come to light about Virginia abortion center owner, Dr. Steven Brigham, exemplifies the need for regulations. Brigham’s license to practice medicine has been revoked in five states because of his complete disregard for the safety of women. The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners revoked Brigham’s license declaring, “Dr. Brigham’s continued practice would present clear and imminent danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.” Virginia inspections found gaping holes in the ceiling of his abortion center, unsterilized needles, outrageously high complication rates, and incomplete lifesaving equipment. If an abortion doctor like Steven Brigham can continue to operate two abortion centers here in Virginia, it is clear that the regulations must remain in place to protect the women of Virginia from Brigham’s harmful practices.
It is vital that the Board of Health understands how important health and safety regulations on abortion centers are to the people of Virginia. This can only be done by your participation in the public comment period. Leave your comment encouraging the Board to maintain the regulations as they are and ensure that the voices of pro-woman, pro-life Virginians are heard loud and clear!
40 Days Of Prayer, Fasting And Repentance For Marriage
40 Days Of Prayer, Fasting And Repentance For Marriage
. . . remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses. - Nehemiah 4:14
The Family Foundation is asking that you join us for 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance for Marriage from August 27 until October 5, 2014. Our state and nation are mired in a morass of confusion and post-modern thinking that does not believe in absolutes nor that any truth can even be known. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current debate raging about what constitutes marriage. Pagan philosophies, a secular humanist education establishment and an entertainment industry that is absolutely determined in pushing the envelope on decency and morality have all combined to turn this great land into a country that our forefathers could not even begin to recognize.
How did we get here? We must look within and ask, "Have we as believers been the salt and light that Jesus commanded us to be?" So many churches in America have become lukewarm and have lost the ability to impact culture in the way they once did. Our nation, built on a Judeo-Christian foundation, has been greatly blessed by the Lord, but instead of being thankful, we have turned our back on the Lord and His teachings and have and followed after other gods. That is why we are asking you to join us zealously in humility and fasting in repentance before God and implore Him to heal our land.
The Virginia Marriage Amendment, which affirms God's design for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is being challenged in federal court. Our recently elected Attorney General, Mark Herring, has not only refused to defend Virginia in court, he has joined the plaintiffs in attacking our Marriage Amendment. The issue of marriage is out of the hands of the legislators and the people they represent, and is now in the hands of unelected, unaccountable judges.
The Supreme Court begins its session on October 6. We fully expect it to take a marriage case sometime in the next year. In the natural, it looks like a David vs. Goliath battle. The federal government, the news media, Hollywood, the public education system and big business all are arrayed on the side of same-sex "marriage." Only the church stands in support of God's design for marriage. Our 40 Days will culminate on October 5 just before the court begins its session. We don't know what the Lord will do. We do know that He is sovereign. Whatever happens, we must adopt the attitude of the three Hebrew children who refused to bow before the golden image in Babylon:
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. - Daniel 3:17-18
If you are a pastor, please consider having your church join with us in this effort. The Family Foundation is partnering with other nationally known organizations to provide talking points, sermon outlines, bulletin inserts, video clips and other resources to help you lead your congregation through the 40 Days. We will also send a daily prayer journal to everyone to help guide our prayers and devotions during that time. Click here to be directed to a page where you can sign up as a partnering church in this effort. You also can indicate on that page that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us.
If you would like a representative from The Family Foundation to come and speak to your congregation about the 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance please contact us 804-343-0010. If you are not a pastor, click here to sign up and then forward this link to your pastor to encourage your church's involvement with us.
Urge Override Of Governor McAuliffe’s Vetoes!
Urge Override Of Governor McAuliffe’s Vetoes!
Recently, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed two bills that would protect religious liberty: SB 236, a bill that would protect the free speech rights of public school students; and SB 555, a bill that would have prohibited government censorship of military chaplain sermons. Both passed with large bipartisan majorities, including a unanimous vote in the Senate for SB 555! The General Assembly will hold its annual "veto session," where it reviews vetoes and amendments to bills, on Wednesday, April 23:
Please urge your senators and delegates to vote to override the governor's vetoes of SB 236 and SB 555 (click the links to find their contact information). If you don't know who your legislators are, click here.
SB 236, patroned by Senator Bill Carrico (R-40, Galax), would create "limited public forums" at certain public school events. Limited public forums restrict the schools from censoring speech simply because it is from a faith perspective. The schools can still "limit" the speech to the matter at hand; for example, a graduation speech still has to be about graduating, but it can contain statements about the importance of faith. The bill also protects students' rights to organize prayer groups, have events such as "see you at the pole" gatherings and wear clothing with religious expressions.
Students in our public schools shouldn't be treated as a second-class citizen simply because their viewpoint is motivated by their faith, regardless of what faith perspective they have. It is tragic that in Virginia, the birthplace of religious freedom, Governor McAuliffe has chosen to listen to the ACLU and has trampled on the right of Virginia's students to simply express their beliefs.
SB 555, patroned by Senator Dick Black (R-13, Leesburg), prohibited state government from censoring sermons given by chaplains in the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force. This reasonable, common sense measure passed the Senate in January 37-0! The governor's explanation for vetoing the bill is a remarkable misunderstanding of the actual definition of a chaplain.
Overriding a governor's veto requires two-thirds support from both chambers, meaning that 27 members of the Senate and 67 members of the House of Delegates have to vote for an override.
At what point do we finally say, enough is enough? Our God-given, inalienable right to exercise our faith, live according to our conscience, and speak truth to culture is in serious jeopardy if we allow people like Terry McAuliffe to dictate what we can and cannot do in the public square.
Your legislators, regardless of party, need to hear from you. They need to know that you are not going to stand for this type of discrimination any longer! Please act today:
Contact your senators and delegates today and ask them to override Governor McAuliffe's vetoes of SB 236 and SB 555 at the upcoming April 23 Veto Session.
Save the Babies!
Save the Babies!
The definition of “women’s health care” is as fluid it seems as the definition of gender, at least to the political left. Yesterday’s floor debate in the state Senate is another example.
As the Senate was debating Delegate Ben Cline’s bill to redirect non-Medicaid funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care facilities, Senator Barbara Favola lamented that such a prohibition would end a contract the state has with a Planned Parenthood affiliate to provide STD testing. She worried that such a change would endanger “women’s health” and put unborn babies at risk (no, really) because they are more likely to have health issues if their moms have an STD:
Never mind that being killed in the womb is “no fault of their own” either, Favola and Planned Parenthood itself sure are awfully concerned about STD testing all of the sudden, which is kind of surprising. You see, over the past year plus while the industry was fighting to dilute abortion center health and safety standards, they fought to remove a requirement that abortion centers provide STD testing!
That’s right, the same people lamenting that they aren’t going to get paid by taxpayers to do STD testing also fought against having to do STD testing. Apparently, it’s only women’s health care when you profit off of the taxpayers.
And by the way, there is no reason that community health clinics can’t apply for the same grant and provide the same service. And they can do so in really “underserved” areas because they actually have clinics in underserved areas. There are no Planned Parenthood abortion centers west of Roanoke. There are dozens of community health care centers.
It really is remarkable that the abortion industry seems absolutely incapable of being honest in any way. Or they are completely blind to their own distortions. But they can get away with it because there is absolutely no one in the media that is going to challenge their claims.
If anyone ever wondered why so few people trust the “mainstream” media, today’s stories about two bills that passed yesterday in the House of Delegates and state Senate are clear evidence.
Now, as someone who has been doing political media work for nearly 20 years, let me first say that there are still good reporters out there trying to be accurate. Not all reporters are so blatantly biased that they manipulate stories, and even some who have bias do an admirable job of trying to be fair. But the decline in accuracy, the inability to even begin to hide bias, the have-to-get-this-online immediately syndrome, and quite frankly, the rise of a generation of reports who have no concern about being subjective and inaccurate has ruined media credibility and if not corrected is going to have devastating consequences for our nation. Fake news is just the beginning.
Back to today’s news stories (some of which first appeared online last night, leaving no time for any reporter to verify claims made).
In a story delivered by the Associated Press to multiple news outlets concerning the passage of a House bill that would redirect money away from Planned Parenthood, several false claims were made and printed as if true. The first claim, that abortion makes up only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s business, has been repeatedly proven false and misleading, even by the media’s own “fact-checkers.” The statement is not attributed to anyone in particular in the story, so where did the “reporter” (I’ll explain why that’s in quotes shortly) get the information? Was it her own bias? Did someone with Planned Parenthood or some other abortion-defending group tell her? It’s in the paragraph that prefaces other claims with “according to the organization.” Does that apply to the 3 percent claim? Who exactly should be held accountable for the falsehood?
Another false claim in the article states, “Without the funding, the organization says it would have to shut its five clinics in the state.” The reality is that most of the money Planned Parenthood receives is from Medicaid, which this bill doesn't address, and the amount of taxpayer dollars that would be affected by this bill is relatively small. Small enough that it would have no bearing on whether or not a facility would close.
Late this afternoon, a correction on the second claim was posted on the story on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website, stating, “An earlier version of this story reported erroneously that losing funding would force the group to close its five clinics in the state. Planned Parenthood officials said defunding would ‘significantly undermine our ability’ to provide services at the clinics, but they did not say the facilities would close.” Frankly, the correction is just as false as the original statement, but it’s at least moving in the direction of accuracy.
Here’s the interesting part, the “reporter” on the story is, in fact, a student at VCU and not a professional journalist. Because news outlets are bleeding money and most veteran reporters in Richmond have been kicked to the curb or left for other jobs, some media outlets are relying on something called the Capital News Service, which is primarily staffed by college kids! So, the Associated Press story was not actually written by someone with the AP, but by a college student.
Now, I’m all for “real life” experience for college kids. Heaven knows many could use some. But relying on a college student for actual news reporting is far removed from the days when they would research and verify facts for a story, not have the actual byline! Regardless, an editor somewhere along the way should have known about the 3 percent falsehood. It’s easily found with a simple Google search. Clearly, no one cared if the story was accurate, just that it went online quickly and, I dare say, fit the narrative that Planned Parenthood must be saved at all cost.
A second story came from the Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding a religious liberty bill that passed the state Senate. It quoted the Senate Democrat caucus this way: “The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus issued a news release saying the bill would allow state employees to refuse marriage licenses to people based on religious beliefs.”
Except that statement is patently false. The bill clearly defines to whom it would apply and “state employees” are nowhere to be found. It’s very limited to those associated with religious organizations in the performance of duties associated with the organization. Again, the story popped up online and my guess is the reporter had no time to verify the claim, which was since deleted from the online version of the story. This afternoon, after the reporter was made aware of the erroneous claim, the Senate Democrat caucus issued a correction saying, “Yesterday's press release incorrectly stated that Senator Carrico's SB 1324 would allow state employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses on account of their sincerely held religious beliefs. That was not the intention of the bill. We apologize for the staff error and commit to further quality controls in order to make sure this does not happen again.”
Intention? No, it’s the actual language of the bill, but here’s to “quality controls” to make sure facts are used. Perhaps the editors at the Associated Press and RTD should think about some “quality controls” as well.
Of course, online corrections to these stories is simply too late. How many people go back and read a story again to find the corrections hidden at the bottom? My guess is you won’t see these false claims challenged in any meaningful way on any media website or in print. Anchors or reporters on newscasts (like here) who may have quoted the falsehoods won’t likely begin tonight’s newscasts with an apology (rarely do you see that happen) or correction. The fact is the narratives for these stories were affirmed and people were fed falsehoods that they will continue to believe because “it was in the news.”
I repeat, some of these errors can be attributed to reporters not having time to verify claims in the age of news is now. But still, these falsehoods are suspect on their face and a simple reading of the legislation will show them to be false. Clearly, a reporter should have time while sitting waiting for votes to be cast to actually read the bills? An editor should be aware that fact-checkers have found statements to be false or misleading. Some of it may be shear laziness.
But a lot of it is biased. Too many reporters believe what confirms their bias. How do we know? Last night, when talking with reporters about the Planned Parenthood bill, we challenged the false claims, because the "AP" story was already online. And we were ignored. To me, that’s proof they weren’t interested in truth, but in telling their version of reality, which just happens to align with Planned Parenthood’s.
And that’s why people are just as willing to believe “fake news” as they are what they are being fed by the “mainstream” media.
Crossover Sees Wins, Losses
Crossover Sees Wins, Losses
As the General Assembly approaches “crossover,” the day after which each chamber can consider only bills that have passed the other chamber, dozens of bills have been disposed of in committee or, now and then, on the floor of either the House or Senate.
First the good news, a handful of bills creating new "hate crimes" were defeated in House and Senate committees this week. And though it may sound strange, that is a victory for conscience rights.
Hate crimes essentially punish thought, and one could be subject to a separate criminal penalty, including jail time, not for the actual crime, but simply because of the thoughts at the time. In Virginia, conviction of a hate crime carries with it a “mandatory minimum” of 30 days in jail. One can clearly see the slippery slope created by this sort of “thought crime”. What sort of thoughts, values, or motivations might the state try to criminalize next?
As we watch the progressive left use violence and bullying to silence speech it doesn’t like, criminalizing thoughts in any way is a dangerous step. Luckily, those in the House and Senate courts committees agreed.
Last Thursday, we saw our top religious liberty proposal pass the House of Delegates. This bill, which passed last year but was vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, protects religious charities and schools from being discriminated against by the state simply because those organizations don’t hold the Governor’s view of marriage. (A Senate version passed committee Friday afternoon.)
Also this week, the House passed a resolution recognizing pornography as a serious public health problem. The devastating effects of pornography on society are now being chronicled in research and for many, in their own lives. From addiction to destroying marriages to its impact on human trafficking, few reasonable people see anything positive in the exploitation of men and women through pornography. Recently, South Dakota became the second state to recognize pornography as a public health hazard. Though this resolution falls short of that, it has brought attention to this serious problem.
Not all, however, went as we hoped this week. Legislation we supported that would have made Virginia’s Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit program more attractive to corporate donors failed in the House of Delegates on a “voice vote.” The bill would have increased the tax credit from 65 to 90 percent, bringing Virginia in line with other states that have similar programs. Already, nearly 2,500 low and middle income children are benefiting from the program, which last school year saved the Commonwealth over $4 million. Unfortunately, those arguments didn’t win the day as the bill died on a procedural vote. The good news on school choice is that other proposals, including expanding virtual and charter schools and creating Education Savings Accounts are still making their way through the legislature.
Thank you again to everyone who has responded to our Action Alerts! With all the bills that will be voted on by both the House and Senate on Monday and Tuesday, I know you’ve received several alerts. These are important issues so we hope you’ll be patient and take the time to act so that your elected officials hear from you!