Nasty WomenJan 23, 2017
When I was a kid, I was the good girl type. Until one day, I got busted in class passing notes with cuss/crass words on them back and forth with a boy. Candidly, I didn’t know what the words he used meant… but he was cute.
When I got a little older, I knew if I said one of those “bad” words, I was doing something rebellious. Sometimes my friends and I would bust them out just to feel grown up. They were “adult words” but truth be told, they weren’t even words the adults around me used. The adults in my world had nothing to prove. The adults in my world had wide vocabularies and class. They could fully express themselves and talk about adult subject matter and still maintain refinement.
The thing about vulgarity is that for most people, the novelty wears off when we grow up. The use of these words proves nothing except possibly that we lack the creativity and class to have conversations of substance and meaning.
I fear that much the same principle applied to those that attended the misnamed “March for Women.” Given everyone appeared to be angry for different reasons and the march itself had no centralized purpose, it left a void that vulgarity filled. Sign after sign used words and images that should make us cringe. Rather than symbolizing some liberation of women, it should embarrass us. Does it represent our gender to be unable to express our specific, legitimate concerns with this administration with civility? I get that our new President hasn’t exactly set a high bar in this arena. I just find it odd that those that dislike him so much gladly follow him into the gutter.
Rather than organizing an anti-Trump rally, organizers tried to make it the summation of what it is to be a woman. The only problem with that plan is that in today’s gender-confused society, it’s very hard to describe what it is that makes one a woman. If visuals in D.C. yesterday are any explanation, womanhood comes down to the existence of a uterus and the ability to kill the next generation of girls. This left the march with conflicting messages because on the one hand, it is the uterus that defines “womanhood,” but on the other hand, even a uterus doesn’t guarantee your exclusive stake on a women’s locker room or shower room.
Ultimately, this left a march celebrating the taking of human life, sporting Cecil Richards as Grand Marshall. Pro-life women knew this all along because we were shut out of the march, even though we have uteruses too.
Organizers and attendees alike were thrilled with the turnout but I suspect, deep inside, they just wish the majority of white women had turned out for Hillary, not Trump in November. Because it is in fact women, defined somehow, that handed Trump the Presidency in the first place.
Forgotten How To Blush
Forgotten How To Blush
Last week, the school board in Prince William County voted 5-3 to let boys and men use girls’ intimate settings like locker rooms, bathrooms, and showers in schools – and even to be paired with females in overnight lodging situations. All this over the objections of thousands of Prince William County parents and students throughout the past year who pleaded earnestly with them from every logical, emotional and practical vantage point imaginable. And all of this without so much as a single substantiated complaint on the basis of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” in the school district’s history. New progressivism and secular humanist “moral” grandstanding seems to be their only true concern.
In the end, the five school board members’ complete dismissal of concerns about personal safety, privacy and dignity – as demonstrated by their blanket forbearance to even address them in their remarks – was the equivalent of their saying “Too bad, you better just get used to undressing, showering, and sleeping next to your opposite-sex peers.”
Such a shameless and callous disregard for basic human dignity and decency – especially among children as young as 5 years old to teenagers – reminded me of a particular Scripture verse which really says it all:
Jeremiah 6:15 – “Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD.”
They know no shame. They've forgotten how to blush.
But worse yet, it seems they've forgotten what it means to blush, and that other people still do so. They’ve forgotten that children in particular are highly vulnerable and are not yet prepared to face every kind of sexual circumstance which the board’s policy now potentially opens them up to. They’ve forgotten what an awkward and emotional time middle school and high school can especially be for most kids, who already have enough to worry about that doesn’t include intermixing of the sexes in intimate settings like locker rooms and bathrooms. They’ve forgotten the propensity of school-aged self-interested children to take advantage of what they perceive as “loop holes” in a rule, often at the expense of others.
Or maybe they haven’t forgotten, and instead they just don’t care. But that seems frankly too unthinkable. Then again, so did this policy only a year or two ago.
Perhaps we will see evidence of the second part of that Scripture verse in the near future. There is already a serious campaign underway to oust the school board chairman (the chief architect of this policy). Meanwhile, all eight seats are up for reelection this year. Maybe Prince William residents will say “Enough is enough. Stop making my kids the objects of your radical social experiments.”
For the sake of the many who have not forgotten how to blush, let’s hope so.
They'll Stop at Nothing
They'll Stop at Nothing
Over the objections of thousands of Prince William County parents and students throughout the past year, not to mention a mountain of unanswered legal questions, the school board there defiantly voted (5-3) last night to push through a policy that could allow boys in Prince William County schools to use the girls' locker rooms, bathrooms, and showers, and even to be paired with females in overnight lodging situations.
And what was the Board's response to these concerns? Well, it wasn't to deny that these things would now be permissible, but instead only to dismissively declare various versions of "Oh, that'll never happen." Such a response does make you wonder if these folks really know anything at all about the experience of middle school and high school, adolescent males, teenagers generally, history, or human nature.
Or more likely, they just don't care.
The Board's action last night came after a groundswell of outrage and public pressure last September forced the Board to punt on the issue until this summer (conveniently when school would be out and parents would be less engaged with school policies, or on vacation). In that time, the Board managed to gather the cover they needed in order for a majority of them to vote to place every child in danger - ironically in the name of "safety for all." After going practically off the radar since September, the LGBT activists emerged for yesterday's meeting highly mobilized and organized, all of them showing up more than two hours early to pack the front of the room, and all of them decked out in purple. Even so, as the evening progressed, more and more opponents of the policy change arrived, ending with a crowd split about evenly.
And while the Board and proponents tried to sidestep the issue of opposite sex children in intimate settings by including “guidance” language that says bathroom and locker room policies won’t change, the reality is that the policy adopted cannot be limited in such a way.
But last night’s vote was really just part of the story. Just hours before the meeting, it was revealed that the school board chairman, Ryan Sawyers, ripping a page out of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s playbook of ignoring the law and policy, had tried to use his power and influence to manipulate who was allowed to speak during the required public comment period. Board policy states that the first ten people who sign up with the Board clerk speak, but the chair had sent text messages to the clerk demanding that the names he submitted be placed “at the top of the list.” Exposed through a Freedom of Information Act from Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), the Board then received a letter from our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom explaining that if normal rules weren’t followed, any vote would be subject to legal challenge.
Unlike Governor McAuliffe’s Board of Health, which flippantly ignored the law when it scaled back abortion center safety standards, the Board backed off and followed normal public comment policy.
But both the willingness of the Board chair to ignore the law and the mobilization of secular progressives shows that those who wish to force their dangerous agenda on our children will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal. Public outrage doesn’t matter, the law doesn’t matter, truth doesn’t matter, science doesn’t matter.
So what’s the answer? Pro-family Virginians need to re-double our efforts to organize and mobilize. Churches need to stand up and be willing to mobilize to school board meetings across Virginia. And, people who understand that the dignity, privacy and safety of our children – not to mention DNA – matter need to run for school boards across Virginia!
If science and reality don’t affect school board members, maybe a few election losses will.
Breaking: PWC School Board Chair Violates Law?
Breaking: PWC School Board Chair Violates Law?
The chairman of the Prince William County School Board has apparently decided to take a page out of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s playbook and violate the law and policy to accomplish his personal agenda.
The Board is set to vote tomorrow night on a controversial policy that would threaten the dignity, privacy and safety of school children in intimate settings like showers and locker rooms. At multiple meetings over the past year, opponents to the policy have dominated the public comment period at board meetings. Apparently, the chair of the board, Ryan Sawyers, is tired of the opposition – you know, parents and grandparents of children in the schools. (Sawyers is currently seeking the Democrat nomination to run for Congress in the First District.)
Through text messages obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request from Delegate Bob Marshall, it was revealed that that Sawyers is apparently trying to use his power and influence to place hand selected speakers at the top of the public comment list for tomorrow's meeting, instead of requiring them to sign up like everyone else.
The first person Sawyers wants to speak? The first openly transgendered candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates who just happens to be running against Marshall in Prince William County.
That would be called a politically motivated PR stunt.
At the last school board meeting, the first ten people who had signed up were able to speak during the public comment period, but several others were forced to wait until the end of the meeting to speak, at the decision of the chair. If that same thing happens tomorrow, it would mean that Sawyers' hand selected proponents of the policy would be able to speak before the vote, but all those who oppose would be forced to wait until after the vote to speak.
According to Marshall’s press release, “A Legislative Services attorney advised Marshall today that the Prince William School Board’s own regulations (133-1) in sections B and E, provide that persons are to speak in the order in which they have put in their requests to speak. Chairman Sawyers’ directive that his preferred list of supporters speak first, ‘cannot be given precedence over any speakers who signed up with the Clerk to speak before the submission by the chair.’”
Marshall said, “I asked the PW School Board Clerk today whether Sawyers’ list was submitted after others had requested to speak. The Clerk responded that other citizens had already signed up to speak prior to the Chairman’s submission. Legal counsel further advised me that if the Board failed to follow its own regulations in adopting transgender policy changes, that failure could give rise to a court invalidation of such action.”
Of course, in Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia, rules and regulations are simply a burden to be ignored. It is his administration that violated the law multiple times to roll back abortion center health and safety standards, a decision that is now being challenged in court. Apparently, now others are following his lead, knowing that the media won’t hold them accountable, and few have the resources to fight these illegal acts in court.
It remains to be seen if the Board bows to the chairman’s illegal action or follows the law.
Media reports indicate that five members of the eight member board are prepared to vote favorably on the dangerous policy, despite overwhelming public opposition.
"Go Somewhere Else"
"Go Somewhere Else"
Throughout the entire multi-decade battle to ensure abortion centers have safety standards adequate to protect the moms that undergo this heart-wrenching procedure, the abortion industry and its sympathizers have made one resounding claim: Safety standards will result in the loss of access to abortion – and other medical services they claim to offer – as those centers, they claim, will close rather than comply. While those who hold a pro-life perspective would not be disappointed if fewer unborn lives are lost, basic economics shows that if the “market” has a perceived need, it will adjust to new standards and the customer’s desires will still be serviced.
Personally, I’ve had a hard time being concerned about abortion centers closing that are theoretically so broke they can’t ensure that the equipment used isn’t bloody, or the staff is actually trained in how to handle Schedule II narcotics. Moreover, when Planned Parenthood continues to get approximately $500,000,000 annually from taxpayers—that’s half a Billion with a capital “B”—I figure they can have a couple of basic safety strings attached. Then, when it was revealed recently that they spent nearly $750,000 in an unsuccessful effort to ensure Karen Handel didn’t get elected to Georgia’s congressional delegation, I continue to call this claim of non-access due to no money bunk.
Now, it appears that even the McAuliffe administration doesn’t believe its own rhetoric on center closure. The legal memorandum submitted recently by the AG representing the State Health Commissioner in the case Itzel Melendez v. Virginia State Board of Health that centers on the illegal process of watering down the abortion standards flies in the face of their access claim.
In the brief, the Health Commissioner alleges that the appellants have no “standing” to petition the court. For non-lawyers, the government is arguing that none of the challengers have a right to be in court to contest the illegality of the regulation change process. To have a right, one typically needs to be affected by the regulation changes. This no-standing claim comes despite the fact that one of the four appellants, Itzel Melendez, is a woman of child-bearing years who has visited an abortion facility in the past and could desire their services again. It clearly matters to this woman and a whole host of similarly situated women whether they could obtain a “safe abortion” under now-lessened standards.
In an irony of all ironies, in order to claim this appellant is unaffected, the Health Commissioner contends, “Further, alternatives for obtaining abortion services exist at hospitals licensed under 12 VAC 5-410 that offer such services and at any medical provider that performs fewer than five first-trimester abortions per month.”
The abortion centers under regulation (or non-regulation depending on who is in the Governor’s mansion and on the Board of Health) are defined as facilities that perform more than 5 abortions a month and which are not a full-blown hospital, since those have greater standards already. Bottom line, the Commissioner is essentially saying, if Itzel Melendez doesn’t want an unsafe abortion from the facilities that are in question, she can just go somewhere else. Now isn’t that something, since the abortion industry has argued that “access” to abortion is at the center of their fight against the standards.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey: 25 Years Later
Planned Parenthood v. Casey: 25 Years Later
If you are at all familiar with the modern abortion debate, you know about Roe v. Wade. The 1973 Supreme Court ruling claimed that women have a constitutional right to have abortions and paved the way to where we are today in terms of abortion-on-demand. But for those interested in the eventual eradication of abortion in our nation, there is another pivotal court case that must not be overlooked. On June 29th, 1992, almost two decades after the Roe decision, the Supreme Court released its ruling on the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Today, exactly twenty-five years later, the implications of that decision present a serious obstacle to the pro-life cause.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey was one of the first cases to significantly challenge Roe, and many saw it as a prime opportunity for the Supreme Court to overturn its previous ruling. Tragically, the complete opposite happened. Not only did the Court’s decision on Casey reaffirm Roe v. Wade, it went even further, adding language that prohibited states from passing statutes which could place “a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman’s choice,” arguing that such regulations would “impose an undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose abortion. Such wording has proven extremely problematic for the pro-life side, primarily because the definition of an “undue burden” is in the eye of the beholder, primarily liberal judges. We have seen fallout from the precedent set in Casey several times since 1992, most notably in last summer’s ruling on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
Though the justices cited Roe v. Wade in their Hellerstedt decision, it was Planned Parenthood v. Casey, not Roe, which gave the court the most substantial grounds for striking down Texas’ laws to regulate abortion facilities. Ironically, the Hellerstedt decision, in which the Court decided that requiring abortion facilities to meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical care center placed “a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion,” and thereby constituting an “undue burden” on the right to abortion, was released just two days shy of Casey’s 24th anniversary. Had the court ruled the other way in Hellerstedt, Texas would have been down to fewer than ten abortion clinics in the entire state. Who knows how many clinics would have closed around the country if other states, following Texas’ example, had passed similar measures?
Instead we are here today: a quarter of a century since Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and still suffering the consequences of the Court’s degradation of life. With a President supportive of pro-life efforts and a Republican majority in Congress, there is considerable opportunity to challenge our abortion-on-demand culture, but we should remain mindful of our legislative limitations. We have seen how much wiggle room Casey gives to the states when it comes to restricting abortions, even when it involves improving health and safety standards, but it is not enough. An important struggle lies ahead of us in the courts. In the meantime, we should do what we can, in state and local governments, on sidewalks and in pregnancy centers, but we will never reach an end to abortion until Casey and Roe are gone. Let’s pray it doesn’t take another 25 years to see them overturned.
By Jessica Skansi, 2017 Family Foundation Intern
From Beginning to End
From Beginning to End
What does being “pro-life” really mean?
America it seems has turned the phrase “pro-life” into little more than a simple political stance on abortion.
But you and I realize that being pro-life is far more than a political bumper sticker or slogan. It’s a way of life that values human life at every stage. Today, I’m excited to announce a new Family Foundation campaign, “From Beginning to End.” This campaign is meant to remind us what we’re called to do as Christians when we decide that we are pro-life – that we would be pro-life from beginning to end.
From the first time you hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat until those last final days spent with a dying parent or loved one, each season of life, and everything in between, holds priceless value.
It’s clear that our culture has lost a deep respect for the value of human life. It’s time to reevaluate and become proactive in our comprehensive understanding of being pro-life.
Pro-life Americans are often accused of not caring about anything but the baby, but that’s another lie of our culture. But we know that there are more pregnancy centers helping women through an unplanned pregnancy by providing resources and support than there are abortion centers. We know that churches and ministries across America pour vast resources into helping vulnerable communities every single day, including facilitating adoptions and assisting in foster care for thousands.
But we also know that we can and we must do more.
Being pro-life means more of us must be praying for an unwed mother facing an unplanned pregnancy; it means more of us must volunteer at or donating to the local pregnancy center that is doing all it can to help that mother meet her financial and material needs so she’ll choose life; it means lending a helping hand when that baby is screaming while the pastor is preaching, and that young mother is craving God’s Word; it means that we follow up with that couple and ask if they need diapers or a babysitter to sit for free a few nights a week so that both of those kids, who are now parents, can get their GED or go to college.
This kind of care is pro-life. One must not be only supportive of the existence of their baby, but lend actual support to the parent's well-being, their joy and hope. One is pro-life when he/she joins another on their journey, and privilege of bringing new life into the world.
For some families, being pro-life means a willingness to be foster parents to an orphaned child or for a child whose family is in crisis; it's supporting the plethora of faith-based organizations that assist with foster care and adoption; it means supporting and fighting for the religious charities that serve vulnerable communities like the homeless or victims of domestic violence.
Being pro-life means taking dinner to the elderly widow in your church whose husband has passed and who now sits alone in her house just waiting for her time to come. It means that one shows her the love of Christ and values her opinion and thoughts. Do we love her? Listen to her, or take her out for a night on the town so she feels young again, and not alone? How do we value her life?
Being pro-life means that one is generous and supportive of the middle-aged couple that can never seem to get ahead in their finances and always seems to struggle. Can we feel the hopelessness in their life, the tension it creates in their marriage? Are we as a “pro-life” community watching them drown? Do we pray for them or treat them to dinner? Watch their kids for a night? Or maybe even use our contracting businesses to help with home repairs they can’t finance?
This campaign is a call to encourage everyone to consider how we define being pro-life. Are we comprehensively pro-life? Does our support inadvertently stop after the baby is born? Or do we continue to love people with the love of Christ in every season of their life?
At The Family Foundation, we want to lead Virginians be pro-life “From Beginning to End.” Every stage and season; every breath taken and every heartbeat is so important. We have to remind ourselves and each other to fight to restore lost hope, and lost relationship with Christ.
Jesus gave his life, so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
We must protect life “From Beginning to End.”
The Family Foundation has put together a campaign encouraging all of us to think about ways we can be pro-life “From Beginning to End.” Many you can do individually or through your church or another local ministry. There are also a few ways you can help us was we kick-off this campaign:
- Become a monthly donor of just $15.00 dollars a month or give a one-time donation of $25.00 and receive one of our Special Edition, “From Beginning to End T-Shirts”.
- Create a video or social media post sharing why you’re pro-life. Be sure to tag The Family Foundation and use the hashtag #frombeginningtoend.
- Go to The Family Foundation Action Facebook page, watch and share one of our #frombeginningtoend videos.
- Invite Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb to speak at your church about the great work The Family Foundation is doing.
- Join the Family Foundation’s new grassroots Regional Action Teams and see where you can make a difference!