5 Minutes for Families
- Students, Privacy, and Bathrooms 29-Apr-2016
- ICYMI 22-Apr-2016
- Vote Yes on Prop 123 15-Apr-2016
- Bullies, Big Business, & Basic Freedoms 08-Apr-2016
- Choosing Profits over Safety 01-Apr-2016
- It's Time to Vote! 21-Apr-2016
- ACTION ALERT: Supreme Court Nomination 15-Apr-2016
- Another Video - Make Your Voice Heard! 15-Sep-2015
- Join the Protest Planned Parenthood events! 19-Aug-2015
- Our Chance to Defund Planned Parenthood 31-Jul-2015
- Gov. Ducey Signs Pro-Life Bills 31-Mar-2016
- Phoenix City Council Reinstates Prayer on a 6-2 Vote 23-Mar-2016
- Abortions Decrease 3.7% in Arizona 12-Oct-2015
- Gov. Ducey and A.G. Brnovich Respond to Planned Parenthood Video 20-Jul-2015
- Históricamente Trágico: La Corte Suprema Dice que las Mamás y los Papás No Son Necesarios 26-Jun-2015
Note: At this writing, the Arizona Legislature is working to pass the state budget. Our Policy Team is at the Capitol, advocating for several measures still under consideration. Look for a full recap of CAP’s legislative priorities in the coming weeks.
You’ve seen the news – the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals supposedly held that public schools must permit boys or men who claim to be girls to use the girls’ bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms and vice-versa.
But not so fast. Neither the Fourth Circuit nor any other court has actually ruled like some would have you believe.
In a narrow, limited court decision, the Fourth Circuit only ruled that the lower court should give deference to the federal Department of Education’s radical position that the term “sex” in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 refers to an individual’s subjective belief of his/her gender identity. But the court also sent the case back to the lower court to hear additional evidence and determine whether the school must allow the student in this case to use the opposite-sex restroom. This 2-1 decision is an outlier decision that included a strong dissent by Judge Neimeyer (the dissent begins on page 45 at this link).
This court action results from the efforts by the Obama Administration and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) activists to reinterpret federal laws banning discrimination on the basis of one’s sex or gender to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
This reinterpretation, as well as the passage of so-called non-discrimination laws in cities, defies common sense. These policies violate students’ basic rights to privacy and safety, particularly when they are in vulnerable situations at school and away from the care of their parents.
Expect More. Shop Somewhere Else.
Then there’s the news that the retailer Target will “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity… Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”
Sadly, we’ve heard from a number of families who used to enjoy shopping at Target but will no longer shop at Target because of concern for the privacy and safety of their children and moms.
Target’s move to adopt this radical and extreme policy represents capitulating to political correctness at its worst. If you feel strongly about making a statement against such action, we encourage you to join the nearly 1 million Americans who have signed American Family Association’s boycott Target campaign. See below for more details.
ICYMI – Latest News and Articles of Interest
The week has been full of newsworthy stories that I wanted to share with you. Each day seems to bring a major development or important article pertaining to the issues of life, marriage & family, and religious freedom.
Rather than be discouraged by the daily onslaught of news stories showing a culture in disarray and lacking common sense, let me encourage you to not grow weary in well doing. Keep the faith! Each of us can be the difference by advocating for the truth in a winsome and persuasive way.
Read on for some of the latest updates you don’t want to miss…
College kids say the darndest things
world swirling with uncertainty about the certain information of one’s own
gender – check out this video produced by our allied organization in Washington
state. The video has gone viral.
Feds warn states against defunding Planned Parenthood
This past Tuesday, the federal Department of Health and Human Services issued a letter to warn states against defunding Planned Parenthood. They specified, “[S]tates may not deny qualification to family planning providers, or take other action against qualified family planning providers … solely because they separately provide family planning services or the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care, including abortion services.”
However, what the letter also touched on – but is not receiving much media attention – is the acknowledgement by the Obama administration that states are permitted to establish reasonable standards relating to the qualifications of providers. In line with this authority under federal law, the Arizona legislature is currently considering the CAP-supported Taxpayer Protection and Medicaid Integrity Act (HB 2599). This common sense bill assures that Arizona is empowered to take action against providers that abuse taxpayer trust in Arizona’s Medicaid program. No provider is targeted by this bill, and no provider will be automatically disqualified if it is passed.
Read more about this purely political display by the Obama administration by clicking here.
Federal Court: Schools may not provide separate bathrooms based on biology
The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a Virginia school district that sought to accommodate a transgender student while also protecting the privacy rights of other students.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Niemeyer correctly states, “This holding completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes.”
Read Ryan T. Anderson’s response here.
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issues statement on religious freedom legislation
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a statement on Monday to strongly condemn recent legislation to protect religious freedom in states such as North Carolina and Mississippi.
Read the Alliance Defending Freedom’s response, explaining the necessity of such laws, here.
The CAP Family Dinner with Brit Hume is less than two weeks away and tickets are still available! For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here.
Early voting for the May 17 Special Election begins today. Early ballots have been mailed out.
Special Elections often have a lower turnout compared to other elections, making every vote even more important.
To read our statement in support of Prop 123, click here.
Our longstanding position at CAP has been to support parents in the educational decision they deem best for their children. We advocate for an Arizona where school choice options are robust, offering parents a wide variety of educational options. Robust school choice depends on quality options for public, charter, private, homeschool, and online educational opportunities.
Don’t let your voice be silenced! Make sure your vote counts this election!
Since President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, immense pressure has been building for the U.S. Senate to cave and simply vote to confirm President Obama’s hand-picked nominee. For those that support life, marriage and family, and religious freedom, a move like this by the Senate would have catastrophic results.
Despite the wild claims being made by extremists and some in the media, it would also be “unprecedented for a Supreme Court justice to be confirmed under a divided government during a term-limited president’s final year in office.” Rather, replacing Justice Scalia and potentially shaping the ideological divide of the court for decades should rightfully be decided after the American people have spoken in this election.
Thankfully, both Senator John McCain and Jeff Flake have issued statements noting their opposition to any action by the Senate on President Obama’s nominee. These courageous stands deserve our thanks and appreciation.
In addition to deserving our thanks, it is imperative that we continue to ask the Senators to stand firm in their resolve. This week, Senator Jeff Flake is expected to meet with Judge Garland for what is believed to be a courtesy visit. Although Senator Flake has not given any signals that he is wavering in his position, it is crucial that he, along with Senator McCain, hears from Arizona constituents so that they know we stand with them.
- Contact your Senators, thank them for their public statements in opposition to any Senate action, and ask them to continue to stand firm.
- Forward this email to a friend and invite them to also contact Senator McCain and Senator Flake.
- Pray! Pray that the Senate will ensure the people are heard and wait until after the presidential election to confirm the next justice.
At Center for Arizona Policy, our longstanding policy has been to support parents in the educational decision they deem best for their children. We advocate for an Arizona where school choice options are robust, offering parents a wide variety of quality educational options.
Whether the parents choose homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, public schools, or online education, our heart and goal is to support parents in their educational choice. We avoid making a “value” statement as to what that decision should be – it is between the parents and God as to what is best for their children and their family.
A robust school choice environment only happens if every school choice option is worthy of parents’ consideration. Passage of Prop 123 is a necessary step for those who favor school choice as well as those who support our local public schools.
Today, I encourage you to join me in voting Yes for Proposition 123.
Proposition 123 accomplishes the following educational goals:
The additional funding comes from the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. A key purpose of the trust is to provide education funding. Prop 123 increases the distribution from the trust without jeopardizing future generations. You can read more about this important measure here.
In encouraging a Yes vote for Prop 123, we stand with legislative leaders who stand with us on life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. We stand with Governor Ducey who stands with us in support of robust school choices for all Arizonans. These leaders have examined all the issues surrounding Prop 123, and have resoundingly concluded that Prop 123 is worthy of a Yes vote!
April 18 Voter Registration Deadline to vote in the May 17 Special Election. Register to vote here.
April 20 Early Balloting Begins for the May 17 Special Election.
May 17 Special Election Day on Prop 123 and Prop 124.
Our allies in other states are making heroic efforts to support commonsense measures to defend and protect fundamental freedoms and First Amendment rights. First, I’ll catch you up-to-date and then let you know what you can do to help preserve religious freedom in our country.
North Carolina’s legislature passed, and their governor signed, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act on March 23. This commonsense law protects women and children from having to share public bathrooms and locker rooms with men. This action was a much needed and appropriate response to the passage of a Charlotte ordinance that allowed men into women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms – an ordinance similar to the one Houston voted down last November.
Immediately the bullying tactics of the so-called tolerant Left came out against this commonsense bill, framing it as “anti-gay,” “discriminatory,” and “bigoted.” The Human Rights Commission drummed up Big Business opposition, and PayPal reneged on their agreement to expand their corporation in Charlotte (despite the fact they currently do business in 19 countries where homosexuality is illegal and 6 countries where they can be executed).
More threats came from the federal government about removing funding, and the NBA is reportedly considering pulling their All-Star game from Charlotte. Even governors in New York, Connecticut, and Minnesota are boycotting by banning state travel to North Carolina.
All of this because of a commonsense law that places the privacy interests of women and children first.
I commend Governor McCrory for standing strong against these politically-motivated and melodramatic attacks being thrown at him.
With the backing of a majority of Mississippians, Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act this past Tuesday.
We have continued to see a trend of business owners and religious nonprofits around the country being penalized for their beliefs on marriage and this law works to guard freedom of conscience for all Mississippi citizens.
HB 1523 states that the government cannot discriminate against a religious organization, a medical professional, someone who works in the wedding industry, or a government employee due to their beliefs about marriage and outlines specific protections for each of those groups.
As stated by Alliance Defending Freedom, “[Y]ou’re not free if your beliefs are confined to your mind. What makes America unique is our freedom to peacefully live out those beliefs, and the Constitution protects that freedom.”
How you can get involved
Voice your support for these two men standing strong to support the fundamental rights of all instead of a select, special interests group. Here’s what you can do today:
- Call both governors to say THANK YOU for signing these outstanding bills into law.
Gov. McCrory: 919-814-2000
Gov. Bryant: 601-359-3150
- Send a thank you postcard to Gov. McCrory! People in every state are coming together to send thank you postcards to North Carolina Governor McCrory. Click here to fill out the form and send your message. Tell Gov. McCrory that any state that stands up for safety and privacy is a state you want to visit.
- Pray! Pray that both of these governors will stand strong in the face of opposition and will not cave to the pressure mounting against them.
ICYMI – Latest News & Articles of Interest
Due to the number of linked articles in my email today, I encourage you to learn more about what is happening in our nation by clicking those news stories and then taking action!
Earlier this week, after 16 years holding to a strict post-marketing regimen for how medication abortions (the abortion pill, also called RU-486) should be administered, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was disregarding those standards and relaxing the protocol. Aligning conveniently with much of the current practice of abortion giant Planned Parenthood, the FDA’s new protocol increases the gestational limits and at the same time loosens the safety standards for how to use medication abortions. The FDA took this action without a transparent process involving public notice or opportunity for comment.
Why is this such a significant and offensive change? First, the new protocol is essentially a rubber stamp by President Obama’s FDA of Planned Parenthood’s preferred protocol. As has been reported, years ago the abortion industry “found that prescribing a lower dose of the expensive mifepristone and increasing misoprostol saved approximately $200 per abortion,” allowing for a larger profit margin. And this week’s action by the FDA amounts to the FDA blessing this profits-over-safety approach.
Second, although touted as a protocol that increases access to medication abortions, the protocol does so at the expense of women’s health and safety. The new protocol increases the gestational limit from seven weeks to 10 weeks (one week beyond even what Planned Parenthood says has been their practice), yet the statistics are clear that after seven weeks the risk of complications and frequency of incomplete abortions needing follow-up surgical abortions multiplies. The FDA apparently has ignored this information.
Another common sense safety requirement thrown out by the new protocol is to no longer require that the second pill be taken in a clinic or physician’s office. Rather, the new advice of the FDA is to take the second labor-inducing drug at “a location appropriate for the patient.” Increasing access and customers for Planned Parenthood should not be the main focus when the government is setting recommended health and safety standards for the entire country.
Finally, the lack of transparency and absence of public notice or comment is telling. Contrary to what Planned Parenthood would suggest, not all medical experts agree that their profits-over-safety protocol is safer than the original FDA protocol. It’s the abortion industry and their allies who agree. Given the difference in medical opinion, the FDA should have exercised due diligence and heard from all parties instead of just the drug’s manufacturer and the abortion-at-any-cost-for-any-reason-at-any-stage-of-pregnancy crowd.
It goes without saying but if there was ever a question of the influence of Big Abortion with the current president, the answer is clear. And this brings me to how the FDA’s decision impacts Arizona.
In 2012, the Arizona legislature stepped in to require medication abortions be administered according to the FDA protocol when it was discovered that the abortion industry was ignoring the safety standards. After two Planned Parenthood lawsuits and two years of litigation, this year the Arizona legislature passed the CAP-supported SB 1324 to resolve one of the lawsuits by specifying the protocol be followed as of December 31, 2015. This bill was passed last week and transmitted to Governor Ducey’s desk on Monday. The FDA announced their change on Wednesday. In spite of the FDA’s change in protocol, Governor Ducey thankfully signed SB 1324 into law.
With the signing of SB 1324 and this week’s change in FDA protocol, Governor Ducey included a note to lawmakers acknowledging that additional legislation may be needed to resolve the discrepancy of the law requiring a now out of date protocol.
Due to this week’s politically-motivated action by the FDA, we are working with lawmakers and exploring all options as to what steps can and should be taken. Stay tuned for updates.
Most of all, this week’s news reminds us of the need to reach women considering an abortion with the truth about how abortion hurts women and how abortion stops a beating heart. I grieve over the thought of a woman ten weeks pregnant being sent home with a pill to induce labor to deliver her now-deceased child at home, often alone. Taking the abortion pill is never the answer for a pregnant woman. If you’re not involved with your local pregnancy resource center or a ministry reaching abortion-minded women, consider doing so!
ICYMI- Latest News & Articles of Interest
Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President, Cathi Herrod
PHOENIX – “Today, Arizona spoke loud and clear: not on our watch will the body parts of aborted babies be bought and sold as commodities on the open market.
By signing SB 1474, Gov. Doug Ducey and a bipartisan majority of Arizona legislators have made Arizona one of the first states in the nation to prohibit the sale, experimentation, and research of aborted babies and their body parts. No longer will Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider be able to peddle aborted remains and exploit a loophole in federal law to make an extra buck.
May this Easter be a time of remembering and rejoicing for you and your family! During this season, I am rejoicing as my favorite Easter hymn proclaims that
“Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia.”
To me, that is Easter.
That Jesus Christ died for us and rose again to save us from our sins.
That the veil was torn in two, enabling us to enter into the Holy of Holies.
That we are not to be afraid because He has risen.
He has risen indeed!
Whatever you may be facing, may you rejoice this Easter.
Whatever our country may be facing, may we rejoice that He is Risen Indeed.
May the truth of the resurrection bolster faith and give us hope!
Praying you have a most blessed Easter season,
Cathi Herrod and the Center for Arizona Policy Team
Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President, Cathi Herrod
PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council has just voted to reinstate the longstanding practice of invocations to open council meetings.
Prayer has been a part of the legislative process throughout our nation’s and our state’s history. The first day of Arizona’s Constitutional Convention in 1910 was opened with prayer and our state legislature has opened their sessions with prayer since Arizona became a state over 100 years ago.
Allowing this cherished tradition to continue with a commonsense, respectful policy is the right decision for the City of Phoenix and its citizens.
Thank these council members who voted in favor of reinstating prayer in our city!
Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. For more information, visit azpolicy.org.