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Extreme Position of Pro-Choice Politicians Contradicts American Consensus

Lurking behind the annual split among Americans over the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” is a new reality. The fact is that today, whatever label they choose, Americans overwhelmingly support abortion restrictions.

Pro-choice politicians who typically support unrestricted, or almost unrestricted, abortion share the extreme view of a tiny minority of the American people.

Consider this. A majority of Americans who identify as pro-choice (62 percent) say that abortion should be restricted to—at most—the first trimester of pregnancy. Less than a quarter of them (22 percent) want unrestricted abortion.

Among Americans as a whole, the number who want such abortion restrictions is about eight in 10 (78 percent). Only about one in 10 of this group (13 percent) would leave it unrestricted.

Almost twice as many American voters would limit abortion to—at most—saving the life of the mother (24 percent) as would allow it any time.

It’s not a partisan issue either. Strong majorities regardless of political identity would restrict abortion to the first trimester, at most. This includes about two-thirds of Democrats (65 percent), as well as eight in 10 independents (80 percent), and nine in 10 Republicans (93 percent). There are few issues in our country on which you find such a strong consensus from across the political spectrum.

The polling we commissioned on this issue was done by the gold standard in public opinion research: Marist. That’s the same pollster used by NBC News, McClatchy, and The Wall Street Journal.

The numbers have been consistent on this for nearly a decade. Americans overwhelmingly support substantial restrictions on abortion. “Pro-life” politicians typically support bills consistent with this national consensus.

Nevertheless, self-identified “pro-choice” politicians generally hew to a policy orthodoxy that allows for no restrictions at all on abortion—even though it’s a view hardly ever shared by their constituents.

The typical “pro-choice” politician today represents the most radical view of abortion in the country—a view they share with only about one in 10 Americans (13 percent).

Some of these politicians celebrate abortion as a right that should not be restricted in any way. That’s the same line taken by the abortion industry, whose livelihood depends on performing this destructive procedure.

Other politicians hide behind the idea that they are “personally opposed” to abortion, but cannot impose their will on the majority. What majority are they talking about? Nearly everyone in the country wants solid restrictions on abortion, making such a position either ignorant or dishonest.

If a politician is really “personally opposed,” he should have the decency to follow his conscience and not block the vast consensus on this issue.

Better yet, he could take John F. Kennedy’s advice, who said when running for president in 1960 that he would resign if his conscience came into conflict with what he saw as the public interest. Kennedy said he hoped “any conscientious public servant would do the same.” That’s still good advice, and a worthy wish, five decades later.

Instead, the opposite is occurring.

Despite the American consensus on this issue, more and more extreme positions are being proposed by pro-abortion politicians.

Some are pledging to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions—contrary to Americans’ view that tax dollars should not be used this way.

Nearly two in three Americans would prohibit the use of tax dollars for abortion (62 percent). This includes more than four in 10 Democrats (44 percent), more than six in 10 independents (61 percent), and more than eight in 10 Republicans (84 percent).

Those who identify as pro-choice are split too, with 45 percent saying tax dollars should not be used for abortion.

Abortion is now the number one cause of death in America. With more than 50 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, no other issue comes close in scale. And yet, each year, another million abortions are allowed to occur by politicians who turn a deaf ear to the will of the people and oppose restrictions.

It’s time for the abortion extremism among these politicians to end. It’s time for “pro-choice” politicians to begin supporting policy proposals that restrict abortion consistent with our national consensus. (For more from the author of “Extreme Position of Pro-Choice Politicians Contradicts American Consensus” please click HERE)

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Pro-Life Clinic Sues City to Get Next to Abortion Business

On July 5, pro-life pregnancy care center Hand of Hope was ready to become the pro-life neighbor of A Preferred Women’s Health Center in Raleigh, North Carolina — an abortion facility with thousands in regulatory fines under its belt.

Now, it’s suing the City Council for discrimination for not rezoning the lot next to the facility. The non-profit center paid $309,000 for the property, according to the lawsuit, and is suing on behalf of itself and the women and children its services would help.

“The City Council claimed that though it was the City’s plan to rezone the property just as Hand of Hope’s requested, it was premature to do so and that the City did not want to rezone their property,” Noel Sterett, an attorney for Hand of Hope, told The Stream.

“According to councilwoman Kay Crowder … the Council preferred to rezone Hand of Hope’s property at a later date as part of a larger commercial project rather than in a piecemeal fashion with small lots,” continued Sterett in an e-mail. “The City Council’s statement is belied by the fact that the City apparently and separately approved the rezoning of 4 one-to-two acre properties close by Hand of Hope’s property in a piecemeal fashion.”

Approved and Then Denied

Three city agencies approved Hand of Hope request for a rezoning that would allow it to be situated next to the abortion center, Sterett said — the Citizen Advisory Council, the city’s Zoning Staff and the city’s Planning Commission. The latter agency unanimously approved the rezoning after holding a hearing and finding that Hand of Hope’s use “was entirely consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan and the surrounding uses and fit into all of the City’s other land use policies or goals.”

The city’s attorney declined to comment to The Stream about the City Council’s decision, saying the city had not yet been served with the suit. But according to the minutes of the July 5, 2016 meeting where the Council’s decision was made, the council voted 7-0 against Hand of Hope because it did not want “lot by lot piecemeal nonresidential development.” The council wanted, in Crowder’s words, a “coordinated approach would produce a more efficient use of the land” producing higher tax value,” and the “Council believes that this dead-end street should be rezoned for such uses when all the properties along Woodsdale Road are rezoned.”

The city did not respond to The Stream’s question about why the abortion business was allowed on the street but Hand of Hope was not.

A Preferred Women’s Health Clinic is one of four facilities in a chain that has two locations in North Carolina and two in Georgia. According to Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger, “A Preferred Women’s Health Center has been cited by OSHA 13 times for violations categorized as ‘serious’ ones related to health. Fines levied were in excess of $12,000, indicating just how severe the violations actually were.” She told The Stream that the documents don’t give the details of the violations.

Sterett said that the abortion business “actively opposed Hand of Hope’s use,” and that “We are still investigating the relationships or known positions of the City Council members on the issue of abortion.” The abortion center did not respond to The Stream’s request for comment about its involvement in the debate over Hand of Hope’s request.

City Favoritism?

It appears a different city agency — the Raleigh Board of Adjustments — gave a different abortion facility a variance letting them put up a fence higher than the city regulations allowed. The center, according to pro-life testimony, asked for the variance after installing the fence at an illegal height.

According to the minutes of the Board’s May 9, 2016 meeting, approval was granted 4-1, thanks to employees and a volunteer for A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh Inc., who claimed the higher fence provided more privacy and other benefits for women getting abortions, as well as for employees. An opponent of the variance said the height would prevent him from recording legal violations at the facility, and another said he and his wife would be prevented from effectively offering adoption services to women going to and from it.

According to the Board of Adjustments, “The variance is consistent with the spirit, purpose and intent of the ordinance such that public safety is secured, and substantial justice is achieved.” The Board did say its “decision is subject to review for fraud, material misrepresentation, or other misconduct at the proceeding or for violations on the subject property,” and that “if such a determination is made by the Board, its prior decision may be reversed, modified, or affirmed.” (For more from the author of “Pro-Life Clinic Sues City to Get Next to Abortion Business” please click HERE)

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Alaska Court’s Ruling on Abortion and Parental Notification Hurts Teens

Hillary Kieft grew worried when her daughter didn’t arrive from school on the bus as usual. After she called the school to find out what was wrong, a school nurse pulled into her driveway with the daughter (let’s call her “Kelly”) in tow. The nurse explained that she had taken Kelly for counseling after school, according to, which reported on the Kieft story.

But, in fact, the nurse took Kelly to have an abortion.

In New Zealand—where the Kieft family lives—it is completely legal for a minor to have an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. Parents like Hillary Kieft have no legal right to be involved in their child’s decision to have an abortion, or even to be notified before it happens.

With her parents still unaware of the abortion, 15-year-old Kelly spiraled into depression, self-harm, and eventually attempted suicide. It was only when Kelly finally told her parents about the abortion that they could begin helping her cope—not only with the abortion, but also with the sad reality that the procedure had caused irreparable damage and she would never be able to become pregnant again.

As a article about Kelly points out:

The fact that a school needs permission to take your child on a field trip, but not for surgery, is beyond ridiculous. The same teen needs parental consent before getting a tattoo or using a tanning salon … Has abortion really become such a taboo subject that we are willing to just ignore all legal oversights rather than face the wrath of abortion advocates?

Fortunately, in the United States, most states have parental consent or notification laws.

Generally speaking, the law reflects the fact that parents are responsible for the well-being of their children, and are most likely to have their best interests in mind. That’s why parents have to sign waivers for almost any medical care for their children.

But this just changed for Alaskan families, thanks to a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood attacking the state’s parental notification law.

Alaska law required that minors seeking an abortion notify their parents unless they receive approval from a court (known as a judicial bypass). This notification requirement was intended to foster parental involvement in such a life-changing decision.

The state argued that its interests in requiring notification include encouraging parents to be involved in their minor child’s decision whether to have an abortion, protecting the physical and mental health of minors, and preventing sexual abuse.

In a 4-1 decision last month, the Alaska Supreme Court concluded that the state’s notification law violated the Alaska Constitution’s equal protection clause because it drew an unjustified “distinction between pregnant minors seeking to terminate and those seeking to carry to term.”

Essentially, the majority ruled that the law is unfair because it required parental notification for abortion but not for care related to maintaining a healthy pregnancy until birth. It is true that Alaska allows pregnant teens to receive pregnancy-related health care without parental consent; otherwise many young girls might avoid obtaining needed care.

But, Justice Craig Stowers, the lone dissenter, explained, the law “necessarily differentiates between minors seeking an abortion and minors who intend to carry to term” because mandating parental notification before a minor can receive prenatal care may threaten the health of the mother and the growing child. Stowers observed that “no useful purpose is served by … requiring parental consultation for carry-to-term decisions.”

Stowers also wrote that providing parents with an opportunity to discuss the consequences of abortion with their child is both a clearly valid reason for the law, and completely in line with U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992).

The law is necessary, he pointed out, to ensure that “the people society holds responsible for her well-being—her parents—will be informed of what is happening in her life.” He noted that previous cases from this very court said that parental notification requirements would further the compelling interest of parental involvement. But the majority now “undermines the parents’ rights and responsibilities in this regard and makes a mockery of its earlier proclamations of the proper and fundamental role parents have traditionally played in their children’s lives,” Stowers writes.

Stowers further noted that the law does not stop a minor from obtaining an abortion against her parents’ will. It only requires that they know, which gives them a chance to exercise their right and responsibility of involvement in their daughter’s life. The law even created an “easily navigable, broad bypass process” that would allow a judge to approve an abortion for the minor without parental notification.

The bottom line is that parents, rather than abortion clinic staff or school nurses, deserve the right to be involved in their minor daughter’s decision whether to terminate her pregnancy. After all, clinics are businesses that do not necessarily prioritize the health and safety of patients over their ability to turn a profit—just look at the conditions of some clinics that were so bad that many states have passed reforms in recent years aimed at increasing the standards at clinics.

As a result of this decision by the Alaska Supreme Court, instead of receiving counsel from their parents, minors may be pressured into making a life-altering decision and forced to hide any emotional or physical struggles from their parents after the fact. Eliminating parental notification is a step in the wrong direction and harms, rather than helps, girls like Kelly. (For more from the author of “Alaska Court’s Ruling on Abortion and Parental Notification Hurts Teens” please click HERE)

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National Pro-Life Groups Back Marco Rubio on Zika Abortion

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fl. (C, 77%) infuriated the Left when he said that pregnant mothers who have contracted the Zika virus should not be permitted to abort their children. But prominent pro-life organizations are siding with Rubio in defense of the innocent, disabled children.

The Zika virus has been linked to cases of microcephaly, a birth defect which leads to an underdeveloped brain. Microcephaly can lead to a host of developmental problems for children, including seizures, intellectual disability, problems with movement and balance, hearing or vision loss, difficulty swallowing, and speech impediments.

To slow the spread of Zika, many have called for what Conservative Review’s Nate Madden referred to as “Machiavellian, eugenic tactics”—namely, the abortion of infected children.

Sen. Rubio, who is running for re-election in his home state of Florida, told Politico, “a lot of people disagree with my view—but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws.”

“And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one,” he said. “But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.”

In response to Rubio’s statement, you have headlines like “Anti-Choice Marco Rubio Thumbs Nose at Pregnant Women Amid Zika Scare,” and tweets like, well…

Rubio’s comments are completely in lock-step with the nation’s largest pro-life organizations though, as The Daily Beast reports.

“Senator Rubio is absolutely right,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, in a statement. “Zika should not be used as a springboard for a search-and-destroy mission against disabled babies.”

“Exactly right” were the words that Clarke Forsythe, acting president of Americans United for Life (AUL), used to describe Rubio’s position, adding: “We should value all human lives, refusing to devalue people based on prejudices against their mental or physical disabilities.”

American Life League (ALL) President Judie Brown told The Daily Beast, “We agree with Senator Rubio because regardless of the alleged condition confronting a preborn child, there is never a reason to kill that child.”

“Instead of killing human beings, born or unborn, because they have a disability, I would hope that this nation would extend mercy and compassion to them,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). “Kill the virus; kill the mosquito. Don’t kill the baby.”

The message from the pro-life movement to Sen. Rubio is clear: Stand strong and continue to defend the lives of the innocent. (For more from the author of “National Pro-Life Groups Back Marco Rubio on Zika Abortion” please click HERE)

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Irish High Court Judge Rules: ‘Unborn’ Is ‘Clearly a Child’ With ‘Significant’ Rights

By Steve Weatherbe. An Irish High Court judge has ruled that unborn children have all the rights of “born” children under the Irish constitution and law.

Justice Richard Humphries made the ruling during a tangled deportation case made more complex by the unborn child fathered by the Nigerian man whom the Irish government is seeking to expel.

“The ruling is vitally important at a time when the status of unborn babies in Ireland is once again under grave threat from pro-abortion organizations and the media,” Patrick Buckley of the Dublin office of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said.

The state secured a deportation order in 2008, but the Nigerian, who was claiming refugee status, delayed implementation with various appeals and then sought a judicial review of the original order on the basis of having fathered the child, unborn at the time of his application, by an Irish woman with whom he is still partnered. (Read more from “Irish High Court Judge Rules: ‘Unborn’ Is ‘Clearly a Child’ With ‘Significant’ Rights” HERE)


GOP Governor Sued for Forcing Doctors to Promote Abortion

By Bob Unruh. The governor of Illinois on Friday got sued for signing into law a plan that includes provisions to force doctors to promote abortion – even if they have religious objections to the procedure.

The lawsuit was filed by officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford, Area Pregnancy Care Center, Dr. Anthony Caruso and others.

It names Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s secretary of its Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, Bryan Schneider.

“No state should attempt to rob women of the right to choose a pro-life doctor by forcing pro-life physicians and entities to make or arrange abortion referrals. What’s even worse is that Illinois did this by amending a law designed specifically to protect freedom of conscience,” ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman said in a prepared statement.

“The governor should have vetoed this bill for many reasons, including its incompatibility with Illinois law and the state constitution, which specifically protects freedom of conscience and free speech,” he said. (Read more from “GOP Governor Sued for Forcing Doctors to Promote Abortion” HERE)

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Top Catholic Warns Politicians Who Back Abortion, Oppose Religious Liberty

Catholics cannot support politicians who support abortion, the head of the international Knights of Columbus told members and almost 100 Catholic bishops today. The group, known as “the Knights,” is the largest Catholic men’s service organization in the world, with almost 2 million members who in 2014 gave $175 million and 73 million volunteer hours to charity.

“It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson at the Knights’ 134th annual convention, according to a copy of his address given to The Stream. Abortion, he said, is not “just another political issue.” It is “a legal regime that resulted in more than 40 million deaths.”

Anderson’s comments echoed his 2008 open letter to Catholic Sen. Joseph Biden,Sen. Obama’s choice for vice president. Like Hillary Clinton’s choice Tim Kaine, also Catholic, Biden said he was personally opposed to abortion but supported it as public policy. Anderson explained how Biden had misrepresented the Catholic teaching and finished his letter by telling him: “You have a choice: you can listen to your conscience and work to secure the rights of the unborn to share in the fruits of our hard-won liberty, or you can choose to turn your back on them.”

The Knights recently commissioned a poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion that found most Americans oppose public funding of abortion and support raising standards on abortion clinics. However, most Americans also support legalized abortion in the first trimester, which is when the pro-abortion research group Guttmacher reports 88 percent of abortions take place.

On Tuesday, he asked: “What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation?” Abortion, he said, “is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale. We need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates. It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians. We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death.”

A spokesperson for the Knights did not respond to The Stream’s questions about what advice the Anderson would give to Catholic voters this fall, especially related to the support for abortion by both major party nominees and the nominees for the Green Party and Libertarian Party. The Knights also did not respond to whether pro-abortion Catholic politicians should be permitted to receive Communion.

The Knights’ Charity

In addition to tackling abortion and the controversial issue of religious liberty, Anderson’s speech noted charitable activities funded by the Knights, such as tens of thousands of donated wheelchairs and more than 300,000 new coats for children the group has given out in recent years. He also highlighted the plight of Christians in the Middle East, who have been targeted by Islamic extremists. (Anderson speaks about this more in this Crux interview.)

“Christians and other religious minorities are facing extinction,” said Anderson. “Many receive no support from their governments or from the United Nations. They have had to rely on their fellow Christians, and they have been able to rely on the Knights of Columbus.” The Knights have raised more than $11 million for Christian refugees in the last two years, and was a major player in the U.S. State Department’s decision to declare that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians. (For more from the author of “Top Catholic Warns Politicians Who Back Abortion, Oppose Religious Liberty” please click HERE)

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Only Miles From Democrat Convention, Kermit Gosnell’s Clinic Brings Abortion Industry Horrors to Forefront

Three years after he was convicted of murder, Kermit Gosnell’s shuttered abortion clinic still stands mere miles from Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, home to this week’s Democratic National Convention.

As Democrats gather in the city to anoint their presidential candidate, film director and citizen journalist David Altrogge is preparing the release of a new film, “3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy.” The award-winning documentary, hailed by media commentators including Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper on CNN, will release on iTunes and Amazon Video on Aug. 2.

The documentary tells the true story of Gosnell and Altrogge cannot help but express outrage after careful research of the facts.

“Real women and babies lost their lives—because the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Department of Health chose to look the other way,” he said in a recent interview. “Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, can’t we at least agree that women deserve better?”

Interviewing Gosnell over seven months, Altrogge developed a relationship of sorts with the notorious abortion doctor—who is currently serving three life sentences in a Pennsylvania prison for involuntary manslaughter of a woman seeking an abortion at his clinic and first-degree murder of three infants born alive (among other criminal charges). Gosnell himself narrates many scenes in the “3801 Lancaster” documentary.

Now, Altrogge shares his response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the practices of Planned Parenthood, and why citizens should not stay silent.

Q: What is your reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision last month, striking down the Texas law that would have provided higher clinic safety standards?

A: I’m disappointed by the court’s decision. It was my hope that, as a nation, we would learn from what happened in Philadelphia at Dr. Gosnell’s clinic and implement commonsense clinic regulations to prevent it from happening again in Texas and elsewhere.

The grand jury report in the Gosnell case specifically recommended the implementation of ambulatory surgical center standards to protect women seeking abortions, which is what Texas did through state law HB 2. This Supreme Court decision makes it clear our country hasn’t learned what happens when we make women’s access to abortion a higher priority than women’s safety. It’s only a matter of time before our nation has another abortion clinic disaster like we had in Philadelphia.

Q: After spending hours upon hours interviewing Kermit Gosnell personally, why do you believe he subjected women to such poor medical treatment?

A: Before actually meeting him, the media reports I heard about Kermit Gosnell were that he’s a monster. Then when I started talking to him I realized, ‘Oh my gosh! He’s thought through what he’s doing and he has rational reasons for it.’

It is much easier if we view him as like a “B movie” monster and an aberration. It makes us feel better to think, ‘OK, that was one crazy guy, but thank goodness he was an outlier and there aren’t others like him.’

What’s so troubling is you look at him and you have to ask the questions: What did he believe? What ideas did he buy into over the years that allowed him to be okay with what he was doing?

Here we have a man who is very intelligent, very successful—who has bought into certain ideas that lead him to some incredibly dark places. They led him to hurt people. That’s one of the most disturbing things about this story.

Q: Why did you choose to tell this story from the vantage point of Gosnell’s former patients, his family, and the investigating officials?

A: The making of this film was a very evolutionary process. We knew from the outset we had to tell it from the vantage point of some of his patients—who were some of the first people we found and interviewed for the film.

We also had this incredible document, the grand jury report, that so clearly laid out the case. After reading it, we thought it would be amazing to be able to interview the investigating officials—the crime scene investigators and the narcotics officer who broke the case. But when we started the film in 2011, there was a gag order on the case so no one involved was allowed to talk about it.

Instead, we started by interviewing former patients, people who had known Gosnell, neighbors, and some reporters. After the trial, we had the incredible opportunity to finally do those interviews with those police officers and with the crime scene detectives—all those really powerful interviews.

Q: As you’ve researched the abortion industry more broadly, do you see the practices of Gosnell’s clinic as the exception or the rule?

A: I don’t believe that Kermit Gosnell is an outlier in the abortion industry. If you look at the amount of money he made doing what he was doing, there’s no way that he’s the only guy doing it.

In the film, we also look at another clinic that also had some really dangerous practices going on in Delaware. The similarities between this Delaware case and Gosnell are striking as far as the Delaware Department of State not responding to complaints, just like the Pennsylvania Department of State failed to respond. Just incredibly similar.

Now, are all other clinics as filthy and unsanitary as Dr. Gosnell’s clinic? I don’t think that is an accurate statement either. But it would be naïve to say there are no others like Kermit Gosnell, who was making a significant profit providing abortion services.

Q: Tell us more about the Planned Parenthood of Delaware story. Why did you include perspectives of pro-choice women on the practices of abortion clinics?

A: Right in the middle of our documentary production, this whistleblower story breaks in Delaware and we realized we had to go out there and tell this story too.

It was important to include the perspectives of pro-choice nurses because what we found and what they shared was powerful. You don’t have to be pro-life to stand up and say, ‘What’s happening here is wrong.’

Even when we disagree on abortion, we should at least agree that women who go into these abortion clinics should expect some level of safe treatment for themselves. It’s mind-blowing and unfathomable to me how people who claim to be pro-woman can be against any sort of regulations.

To the people who are so vehemently pro-choice, I’d say, ‘Look at what happened at Planned Parenthood of Delaware and at Gosnell’s clinic, and what is happening elsewhere. Why can’t you at least say this is wrong, and we have to put a stop to that?’

Q: As a filmmaker who happens to be a Christian, how do you address fellow believers who choose not to be aware or speak up for the most vulnerable in our society?

A: I would encourage you to look at where Jesus said: “Do for others as you would want them to do for you.” When you look at abortion, if you were a potential victim, how would you want others to treat you?

Turning a blind eye is not an option for Christians. We have to look at this. We have to ask, ‘What am I called to do as a Christian? How am I called to stand and speak up?’ I know it makes us so uncomfortable, but we have to address this issue. (For more from the author of “Only Miles From Democrat Convention, Kermit Gosnell’s Clinic Brings Abortion Industry Horrors to Forefront” please click HERE)

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Alaska Supreme Court Strikes Down Parental Notice on Abortions

In split decision, the Alaska Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved law that required at least one parent to be notified before an abortion practitioner could perform an abortion on a minor girl. The law provided an option for a judge to bypass the notification requirement in special circumstances.

Initially approved in 2010 when Alaska became the first state to pass a parental notification law through a citizen-led initiative, the measure was challenged in the Alaska Supreme Court by Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the nation.

The law passed comfortably in 2010 by a 56 to 43 percent margin.

The achievement was a long sought and welcome victory, particularly for parents and many Catholics who collected petition signatures, waved signs on street corners and prayed to ensure the protection of parental rights. The Catholic Church recognizes the relationship between parent and child as sacred — and not one to be broken by others, including abortion practitioners.

In 2012 Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock upheld major portions of the law, concluding that “minors may be pleasantly surprised when underestimated parents support, comfort and affirm them. Or a teen might overlook available resources. Her parents might help raise the child, and so make college or military service feasible. Parental notification undoubtedly can open doors to unconsidered options for an otherwise isolated young woman.”

Since the law took effect, the number of abortions to girls age 17 and younger had seen a dramatic drop. In 2010, before the law took effect, there were 113 abortions to girls under 17. After the law took effect there were only 87 abortions to girls under 17 in 2011 and the state saw a record low number of reported abortions last year. According to the state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics 1,334 abortions were performed in 2015, the fewest since 2003 when Alaska began recording data.

In striking down the parental consent law, then Chief Justice Dana Fabe was joined by justices Daniel Winfree, Peter Maasen and Joel Bolger. Justice Craig Stowers dissented.

Stowers noted that the parental consent law had “One obvious purpose” and that was “to provide the minor’s parents the opportunity to discuss with their daughter the potential effects of and alternatives to abortion. This is beyond doubt a legitimate interest and right that the State and the parents possess.”

Stowers criticized his colleagues for failing to uphold basic parental rights saying the ruling “trivializes and makes this right of no effect.”

In writing the majority opinion, Winfree claimed that the law unjustifiably treated minors differently when they sought an abortion as opposed to when they decided to keep their babies. By requiring abortion doctors to notify parents that their daughter was to undergo an abortion but not requiring parents to be notified when their daughter chose to keep the baby was seen as a violation of equal protection under the law, Winfree argued.

“Our response — again — is that the Notification Law’s problem is not with wording, but rather with the lack of an acceptable justification for discriminating between pregnant minors based on how they exercise their fundamental privacy right to reproductive choice,” Winfree claimed. “The equal protection clause guarantees that the State may not discriminate between individuals with respect to a fundamental right unless a compelling governmental interest justifies the discrimination.”

But Stowers had strong words for the court’s rational, saying that the same court had previously stated in a 2007 striking down parental consent that a parental notification law could pass constitutional muster because it would be a less restrictive way to further the state’s interests.

By striking down the parental notification law Stowers said the court has indicated that “no parental notification law recognizing parents’ fundamental legal rights to notification of, much less meaningful involvement in, their minor daughters’ decisions to have abortions will be upheld by this court under its strained jurisprudence defining minors’ rights to equal protection.” (For more from the author of “Alaska Supreme Court Strikes Down Parental Notice on Abortions” please click HERE)

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The Difference Between Privacy Rights in Abortion and Same-Sex Locker Rooms Cases

When most Americans consider the right to privacy they think about the privacy they enjoy in their homes and person. They don’t think about killing unborn children in the womb.

But that is not true of liberal activists. To them, the right to privacy is all about abortion because seemingly everything is about abortion on demand: a non-negotiable doctrine of the secular-political faith.

So it comes as no surprise that ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser sees Alliance Defending Freedom’s simultaneous defense of young boys’ and girls’ right to privacy in school showers and locker rooms and strong and unwavering opposition to abortion as hypocritical.

But he misses the mark completely.

The right to privacy that protects young boys and girls from being forced to shower and change in front of members of the opposite sex is not based on the left’s tortured view of “privacy” that was created out of whole cloth by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledged that the “right” invented in Roe to kill children in the womb was “heavy handed judicial activism.” Roe is a legal disgrace that ADF has and will tirelessly fight to overturn.

The privacy claim ADF asserts—the right to privacy in one’s unclothed or partially unclothed body—is deeply rooted in our nation’s history and traditions. Courts have said that this is the right test for protection under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Roe obviously fails that test because, at the time of the court’s decision, there was not even a whiff of historical evidence that killing unborn children was an accepted, deeply rooted practice in the United States. Any look at history shows the opposite was true.

In stark contrast, the privacy right ADF defends easily meets the “deeply rooted” test under the Supreme Court’s current jurisprudence. It is indisputable that citizens have a right to privacy that protects them not just in their homes, but also from government-compelled exposure of their unclothed bodies to persons of the opposite sex.

As ADF explains in its Illinois lawsuit challenging the federal government’s gender identity mandates (read paragraphs 359-387), this right is a basic and essential aspect of personal liberty that has historically been protected in American law and society.

As Ginsburg has said, Roe was an act of political will—outcome-based jurisprudence, pure and simple. And its notion of “privacy” involves one person exterminating another person for convenience. How does that have anything to do with “privacy,” again?

But ADF’s locker room privacy argument truly protects the person—barring the exposure of one’s unclothed body against one’s will—a right grounded in basic aspects of human liberty and dignity that any government ought to protect.

So the answer to Millhiser’s “hypocrite” charge? Easy: Vindicating the long-established, much-cherished, historically-based privacy right of boys and girls, who would be scared, scarred, humiliated, and degraded by government policies that force them to change clothes in the presence of the opposite sex on a daily basis at school, lends not one whit of support to the “right” to abortion concocted in Roe. Simply put, the privacy claims in abortion and locker room cases are apples and oranges.

In reality, it is the left that is struggling with consistency problems here. Its (mistaken) position that locker room privacy arguments are based on the same privacy right invented in Roe raises an obvious question: How can Roe protect the horrific practice of killing unborn children but not protect something as basic, elementary, and historically as grounded as shielding one’s unclothed body from the view of opposite-sex strangers?

And what of the left’s newest invented “right,” the right to be free from governmental policies that harm one’s “dignity” (see Obergefell v. Hodges). How can government policies that force young girls and boys to expose their partially or fully unclothed bodies to opposite sex peers not violate this newly discovered right?

If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that when the left cries “hypocrite,” it’s only to deflect attention away from the fact that it has nothing meaningful to say. And in this instance it serves one further purpose: to avoid answering for its own hypocrisy. (For more from the author of “The Difference Between Privacy Rights in Abortion and Same-Sex Locker Rooms Cases” please click HERE)

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‘No American Should Be Forced to Participate in Abortion,’ Says Pastor Following Pro-Life Vote

Seated in the House gallery, one man watched the vote on the Conscience Protection Act with all the intensity of a general going into war.

On July 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, which intended to protect the rights of health care providers, churches, and other groups that object to participating in abortion.

Jim Garlow, father of eight children and pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, California, sat with his wife and a dozen congregants who prayed and discussed events unfolding on the House floor. While others visit the nation’s capital city for summer vacation, this team came with purpose.

Nearly two years ago, Garlow was thrust into a battle with the state of California when his church objected to a new state mandate involving abortion. Since then, he has found that pro-choice bias in state and federal government is no casual affair.

“They are ruthless,” Garlow says.

Yet his church refuses to bow to the state. Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, its lawsuit against California is ongoing.

In an interview with Bound4LIFE—a faith-based, pro-life organization—following the vote, Garlow discusses how he testified before Congress, his personal connection to life issues, and the covert strategy he sees at work in politics today.

Bound4LIFE: What recent events in California led your church to file a lawsuit against the state to defend your pro-life convictions?

Garlow: On August 22, 2014, some nameless, faceless bureaucrat at the Department of Managed Health Care in Sacramento made a decision by fiat: that every insurance provider in the state of California had to include elective abortion in our plans.

I found out about that decision 60 days later. An attorney who assists us at Skyline Church said, ‘You’re now covering abortions in your insurance.’ I said, ‘There’s no way.’ ‘No, you are.’ ‘Surely not—we would’ve been notified or something! We would’ve seen this in the media?’ I asked our team to follow-up about it and that attorney was right. We were being forced to pay for abortions, and in fact everyone in California is.

We began to ask what we could do—what is our legal recourse? There were many conference calls. We appealed directly to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at the time. She stalled our inquiry forever and did nothing. HHS would not enforce the law as written, which protects our rights.

A number of churches, hospitals, as well as Christian universities, both evangelical and Catholic, filed a complaint against the federal government. On June 22, a federal agency dismissed that coalition complaint. Our church filed a separate lawsuit against the state of California in a federal court, which is currently ongoing.

Bound4LIFE: Are there specific policies already enacted that protect medical professionals—or any citizens—who do not want to be involved in abortion?

Garlow: If you’re an OB-GYN doctor or a nurse, and you refuse to perform an abortion, there are several federal statutes that protect you. The Hyde Amendment is the most well-known, prohibiting federal funding of abortion. There’s the Church Amendments—not named for “church,” like a congregation; it refers to Frank Church, former senator from Idaho.

There’s also the Coats-Snowe Amendment, named for Dan Coats and Olympia Snowe. They are two people on opposite sides of the abortion issue, but they agreed that people should not be coerced to be involved in abortion.

But the Weldon Amendment, named after Congressman Dave Weldon who is a medical doctor, is the most relevant. The Obama administration has twisted the Weldon Amendment in such a way that, if any medical professional objected to providing abortions, they can be fired with no right to litigation.

It’s bizarre. When the law is violated, people always have the right to sue—but now none of these people could. On top of that, churches are also coerced to cover abortions.

I testified this past Friday before the Energy and Commerce Committee—their subcommittee on Health, chaired by Congressman Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania. I flew home, preached in San Diego, then flew back here Monday to speak to congressional staff about this issue—60 key people influencing their bosses, who are members of Congress.

We’ve been in meetings one after another with congressmen, specifically bringing up the Conscience Protection Act and how it helps correct these issues. I also have a new book called ‘Well Versed: Biblical Answers to Today’s Tough Issues;’ a team from Skyline Church came as volunteers and hand-delivered copies to all 535 members of Congress. They believe the message is that important.

Bound4LIFE: Now the vote just ended on this bill, how does it correct the issue of government discrimination against medical providers and churches like yours?

Garlow: We had a victory moments ago, when the Conscience Protection Act passed by a bipartisan majority vote of 245-182 in the U.S. House. Our team was seated in the House gallery praying. Now it will proceed to the U.S. Senate, where it will hopefully be voted on this fall.

This week, I’ve been sitting with attorneys who’ve been using all this legalese—some of which I did not follow, quite frankly. Let me approach the specifics in layman’s terms. This bill tightens the screws down on these amendments already enacted. It gets rid of this notion that you cannot sue if you’re coerced into providing an abortion. That’s the quick and easy way of understanding it.

This bill would take out the language where they twisted the Weldon Amendment to mean something different. The Obama administration released a statement last night saying the president would most certainly veto this bill if it arrives at his desk because it would ‘limit women’s health care.’

They are completely ignoring the reality of the shift. When they push for certain policies, the left at first says, ‘Let us do this—you’ve just got to tolerate it.’ Then next they say, ‘You’ve got to affirm it.’ And finally they say, ‘No, you’ve got to participate in this activity.’ In this case, they want us to participate in the killing.

They attempt these three levels every time: toleration, affirmation, participation. They are ruthless. They have no respect for the First Amendment rights of the Constitution.

Bound4LIFE: For someone who does not hold pro-life convictions, why should they support this bill?

Garlow: Tonight, we had three Democratic members join the majority in voting for this bill. Now the Democratic Party, according to its platform, is unashamedly pro-choice—I would call it pro-abortion, to be honest.

Many leaders mentioned earlier who wrote these amendments, such as Senator Frank Church, were Democrats who said that a person’s conscience should not be violated. There’s been a fair amount of bipartisan support for conscience rights, because this policy is not fundamentally about the issue of abortion.

Rather, it addresses: Is the First Amendment going to be respected? That question is on two levels. On one level, there are those of us who uphold the sanctity of life based on biblical reasons—we can point to chapter and verse, as well as church doctrine.

On a second level, there are atheists who object to abortion and they don’t have to give a theological reason for that. It’s a matter of conscience for them, period. No one should be forced to do something they find offensive.

This was emphasized strongly in the Energy and Commerce subcommittee forum. Two of us testifying were pastors, while two others were conscientious objectors whose stand for life was not tied to theological reasons. No American should be forced to participate in abortion.

Bound4LIFE: You noted your role as a pastor. Sometimes speaking of the value of every life seems distant or political to people. How does Skyline Church live out your pro-life beliefs?

Garlow: It concerns me that we live in a culture where people wonder, ‘Why should we care about a pro-life position?’ How ludicrous is that! The average person uses the word ‘abortion’ with far too much ease. When I was in front of the congressional committee, I said, ‘Let’s call it what it is: Abortion is dismembering a human being, ripping them to shreds. Innocent blood is flowing in the streets of our cities.’

At Skyline Church, we are activists. We hold accountable those in public life. We also adopt babies—I’ve adopted four myself. One of my adopted children is an adult now, who has adopted children. My wife passed away a number of years ago and I remarried, then I had stepchildren; one of my stepchildren is adopted.

My daughter-in-law, whom I claim as my own, runs an adoption ministry. So she’s standing for life full time on the frontlines. Some of our congregation goes out to abortion centers for the purpose of praying and reaching out in compassion. When I pastored in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I was heavily involved on that important front.

Bound4LIFE: You mention Texas, which was at the center of a recent Supreme Court decision seen as a setback for the pro-life movement. Do you have hope as a pro-life pastor?

Garlow: I do have hope. The pro-life movement is very encouraging to me as a pastor. How we’re seeing the next generation take a stand against abortion is thrilling.

I have a cautious optimism, built on whether this nation has a critical mass of people who are willing to repent of sin, hold leaders accountable, and refuse to tolerate the kind of actions we’ve seen going on. We have tough battles here, but they are winnable to the extent that we will follow the word of God. (For more from the author of “‘No American Should Be Forced to Participate in Abortion,’ Says Pastor Following Pro-Life Vote” please click HERE)

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