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Chick-fil-A Under Assault Again: Religious Freedom Update

Friday, August 28, 2015

It’s no surprise to us that religious freedom continues to face significant attacks nationwide. In case you’ve missed this news, following are updates on several cases making recent headlines.

Colorado: A local baker lost his appeal at the Colorado Court of Appeals and is now forced to bake cakes for same-sex marriages, should those opportunities arise. The courts wrongly say that the baker is discriminating. What the baker is really doing is deciding where he would like to use his artistic talents – a right that every American should enjoy. The baker was on The Kelly File a couple weeks ago.

Colorado: The Denver City Council has delayed consideration of a lease for Chick-fil-A to operate inside of Denver International Airport because of the company’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Yes, you read that correctly. The Denver City Council is not looking at the economic benefits of welcoming Chick-fil-A to the airport, but at the company’s beliefs on the issue of marriage.

Kentucky: A volunteer chaplain in the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice had his credentials revoked because he could not sign a state-mandated document promising that he would never tell inmates that homosexuality is sinful. Also, federal courts have refused to accommodate the religious beliefs of Kentucky county clerks who declined to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Thousands of people rallied in support of the clerks last week.

Ohio: The Ohio State Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct decreed that judges cannot cite their religious beliefs when deciding which marriages to perform. According to the order, a judge who performs opposite-sex marriages must also perform same-sex marriages.

These cases offer more proof that religious freedom is being undermined across the country, with many more examples expected in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

Thankfully, in Arizona, we are one of twenty-one states that have an existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Additionally, a number of other laws grant significant protection to ensure First Amendment rights mean what our founders intended. An overview of Arizona laws is available here.   

At Center for Arizona Policy we actively are reviewing current state laws and national trends to determine whether additional state protections are necessary in the wake of the aforementioned cases and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision redefining marriage. Stay tuned and pray! 

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Over 5,000 pro-life supporters attended the six Arizona protests at Planned Parenthood last Saturday. In contrast, less than 200 were counted as attending the Planned Parenthood counter-protest. And, most importantly, we heard that Planned Parenthood closed all their abortion clinics, meaning they performed no abortions that day! Five Arizona protest organizers submitted a letter recapping the morning’s events, which was published in the Arizona Republic on Tuesday.
  • Take time now to make sure you are following CAP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest news as it breaks. On Saturday, those CAP social media outlets featured up-to-the-minute pictures and recaps of the different protests across Arizona. These outlets also ran our statement on the 8th Center for Medical Progress video released on Tuesday.
  • Intern with CAP. If you’re a college student looking for front line public policy experience, apply for a CAP internship. Both the fall and spring semesters will focus on the 2016 legislative session and 2016 election season plans –one of the more interesting and valuable times to serve with our team. 
  • Be sure to read this article by Dr. Maureen Condic on why we don’t need fetal cells to conduct life-saving research.
  • Save the Date! Center for Arizona Policy’s 20th Anniversary Celebration will be on October 20, 2015, at the Mesa Arts Center. Watch for more details to come.

Arizona Responds to Those Videos

Friday, August 21, 2015

On Wednesday this week, we watched yet another horrific video exposing the atrocities being committed inside abortion clinics, the seventh Center for Medical Progress video. Probably the most difficult video yet to watch, this one includes abortion workers talking about the baby’s heart still beating following an abortion and describing in stark, vivid terms the dissection of an aborted baby.

Please, please do not grow numb to the truths being revealed in the videos. Share them on social media. Discuss them with your friends and neighbors. Millions of babies yet to be born and the well-being of their mothers depend on our perseverance to continue to expose the truth that abortion stops a beating heart and hurts women.

Despite the videos being largely ignored by the mainstream media, they are making a difference. Over 250 protests at Planned Parenthood locations nationwide are scheduled for this Saturday.

New action taken in Arizona

Earlier this week, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich implemented an emergency administrative rule requiring that all Arizona abortion facilities report to the state how they dispose of fetal tissue from abortions. Planned Parenthood has repeatedly stated they do not have a “tissue donation” program in Arizona. Now, our state authorities will be able to determine the facts about what is happening or not happening at all Arizona abortion facilities.

Under this new rule, Arizona abortion providers must now give the state information on the final status of all fetal remains on a monthly basis. If a clinic transfers the fetal tissue to any third party, then the name, address, payment amount, and the informed consent agreement signed by the patient must be provided to the state.

Arizona enacted this regulation in order to be “better able to monitor health care institutions where abortions are performed” to ensure that all abortion facilities were compliant with “the laws and rules on the use of donated tissues, including the potential illegal sale of tissue from unborn children.”

What else can be done?

Center for Arizona Policy continues to research and consider what else can be done. Over the last several years, CAP-supported laws have been passed to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortion training, disqualify abortion providers from the charitable tax credit, end taxpayer-funded insurance coverage for government employees’ abortions, and prohibit elective abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

While Arizona is not allocating state taxpayer dollars directly to Planned Parenthood out of its state budget, Planned Parenthood still receives taxpayer funding via federally mandated programs like Medicaid and Title X family planning. CAP’s prior effort to stop that funding through state legislation was struck down by the federal courts. To further understand taxpayer funding of abortions in Arizona, see our Policy Page.

We all know too well that moral outrage without constructive action leads back to collective apathy. This is why I am encouraged by the quick action taken by Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich to get the facts on what’s happening to baby body parts in our state. I’m also thankful for those organizing this Saturday’s protests. Now is not the time to grow weary. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to stand in defense of the sanctity of human life.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

·      Save the Date! Center for Arizona Policy’s 20th Anniversary Celebration will be on October 20, 2015, at the Mesa Arts Center. Watch for more details to come.

·      Don’t forget to take time to join the Protest PP rallies tomorrow, August 22nd, as we protest the sale of fetal tissue with other Arizonans. Find out more information about the protests at www.protestpp.com.

·      Good news! According to the American Family Association, “Hilton Worldwide, a leading hotel chain, has just announced that it will no longer offer ‘adult’ movies at any of its branded facilities.” Please take a moment to sign a petition of appreciation to Hilton for doing the right thing.

·      A word from Dr. Russell Moore about the Planned Parenthood videos and how to respond.

Join the Protest Planned Parenthood events!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Saturday, August 22nd, Americans will gather together to protest Planned Parenthood’s barbaric harvesting of aborted baby parts. Over 250 of these protests have been organized nationwide – including some international protests.

While CAP is not an organizer of these protests, we do encourage you to participate! 

According to the ProtestPP website, the following protests are planned for Arizona:


Planned Parenthood, 610 N Alma School Road (map)
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Planned Parenthood, 2500 S Woodlands Village Boulevard (map
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Planned Parenthood, 5771 W Eugie (map)
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Planned Parenthood Office, 4751 N 15th Street (map)
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Planned Parenthood, 1250 E Apache Boulevard (map)
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Meet at 2120 N Beverly Avenue (map)
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

For more information about the purpose and goal of these protests, please read a portion of the mission statement from ProtestPP:

“ProtestPP is a coalition of pro-life groups calling for a National Day of Protest on August 22, 2015 at Planned Parenthood facilities all across America. The four main sponsors are: Created Equal, the Pro-Life Action League, 40 Days for Life, and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.

The National Day of Protest will strengthen local efforts by raising their profile with the local press, the community and other pro-life activists. Together, the protests held on August 22 will put pressure on the media, both local and national, to report the truth about Planned Parenthood, and on government officials to stop funding this discredited organization.”

Action Needed

  1. Make plans today to attend one of the Saturday protests. Find out where the nearest ProtestPP location is to you.
  2. Forward this blog to a friend or share on your social media accounts.
  3. Invite friends and family to attend a protest with you.
  4. Pray! Pray that many people attend these protests to defend the sanctity of life. Pray that hearts are changed through these protests. Pray for the safety of everyone who is protesting Planned Parenthood on Saturday morning.
  5. Document the protests on Saturday. Take pictures and post to social media. Tweet the notable remarks from the speakers at the protests.
  6. Follow CAP’s coverage of some of the protests through our Facebook and Twitter pages.

What Planned Parenthood doesn't want the court to know

Friday, August 14, 2015

Planned Parenthood doesn’t want women to know the abortion pill may be reversible. That’s why they sued Arizona to block the CAP-supported law requiring that women are informed of this potentially life-saving procedure.

Yet in another brazen attempt to hide the truth, Planned Parenthood has taken an unprecedented step to withhold the facts from a Federal District Court.

Since this provision was introduced at the legislature, the pro-abortion community has been calling the Abortion Pill Reversal “junk science.” Yet doctors throughout the country and here in Arizona have administered the Abortion Pill Reversal and can testify to its effectiveness.

What’s more, the over 100 children alive today due to the Abortion Pill Reversal will probably take issue with the term “junk science.”

Two Arizona physicians – Dr. Billy Chavira and Dr. Clint Leonard – stepped forward to file a friend of the court brief in this case to debunk the attacks against the Abortion Pill Reversal and explain how this common sense procedure works. You can read their brief here.

Yet Planned Parenthood doesn’t want the court to hear from these doctors – and has filed a motion to block their testimonies from the court. “Highly unusual” would be an understatement for this type of legal maneuver in the District Court.

Just as the undercover videos have revealed, Planned Parenthood is not concerned with transparency, or even the health and safety of women.

Please be in prayer for these doctors who have submitted testimony for this case. They have shown great courage by filing this brief. Pray for all the other doctors around the country who stand ready to help a woman reverse the deadly effects of an abortion pill. Also pray that Judge Steven Logan who is presiding over this case will allow this friend of the court brief to be admitted.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Today at 1:30 p.m., Judge J. Richard Gama will be hearing oral arguments in Planned Parenthood v. Humble. This case involves an Arizona law, which ensures that dangerous abortion medication is distributed only as the FDA approved. You can read more about the judicial developments of the case here.
  • Please join us on August 22nd as we protest the sale of fetal tissue at two local Planned Parenthood offices. You can find more information for the Glendale and Tempe protests on our website www.azpolicy.org.

Next 3 Steps in AZ to #DefundPP

Friday, August 07, 2015

The U.S. Senate voted on a bill this week to ensure Planned Parenthood doesn’t receive any taxpayer funds. Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain both cosponsored this bill and voted for it. Unfortunately, this important measure didn’t get the 60 votes needed.

Yet it was certainly a step in the right direction.

According to SBA List, the last time the Senate voted on similar legislation in 2011, the bill received 42 votes. This time, it received 53, and could have had 55 votes, but Senator Graham wasn’t in attendance, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted no for procedural reasons.

This progress is important. In Arizona, it took 10-15 years to pass and see enacted critical life-saving legislation like the Abortion Consent Act. Making major policy change is a long process. It takes perseverance and steadfastness. But if we are committed to the cause, it can happen.

The fifth undercover video by The Center for Medical Progress, released Tuesday, continues to motivate us to ensure that Planned Parenthood no longer receives taxpayer money. 

Commitment to the cause requires both prayer and action! Begin by praying for elected officials to show real leadership. Pray for those working in the abortion industry to face the reality of what’s happening and leave their jobs. Pray for women considering abortion to seek alternatives through pregnancy resource centers.

Take action today to respond to an immediate opportunity before us to defund Planned Parenthood.

The U.S. House is in the midst of the August recess.  Now is the time to connect with your representation in the House of Representatives and ask them about the Planned Parenthood videos.

Here are the three things you can do now to work towards defunding Planned Parenthood:

1) Verify who your Representative is with CAP’s Action Center.

2) Find out if your Representative is planning on hosting any town hall meetings this month. Check their website for any events planned for August. Attend the event and publicly ask them whether they have watched the videos and whether they will support defunding Planned Parenthood.

3) Contact your Representative and ask them not to vote for any budget that contains funding for Planned Parenthood. Let them know you believe Planned Parenthood does not deserve $500 million in taxpayer funds.

Ann Kirkpatrick, District 1
Phone: 928.213.9977
Contact: https://kirkpatrick.house.gov/contact/email-me
Website: https://kirkpatrick.house.gov/

Martha McSally, District 2
Phone: 520.881.3588
Contact: https://mcsally.house.gov/contact 
Website: https://mcsally.house.gov/ 

Raul Grijalva, District 3 
Phone: 623.536.3388
Contact: http://grijalva.house.gov/connect-with-raul 
Website: http://grijalva.house.gov/ 

Paul Gosar, District 4
Phone: 928.445.1638
Contact: http://paulgosar.house.gov/contact/ 
Website: http://gosar.house.gov/

Matt Salmon, District 5
Phone: 480.699.8239
Contact: https://salmon.house.gov/contact
Website: https://salmon.house.gov/

David Schweikert, District 6
Phone: 480.946.2411
Contact: http://davidschweikert.house.gov/contact/
Website: http://schweikert.house.gov/

Ruben Gallego, District 7 
Phone: 602.256.0551
Contact: https://rubengallego.house.gov/contact
Website: https://rubengallego.house.gov/

Trent Franks, District 8
Phone: 623.776.7911
Contact: https://franks.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Website: https://franks.house.gov/

Kyrsten Sinema, District 9
Phone: 602.956.2285
Contact: http://sinema.house.gov/index.cfm/contact-me
Website: https://sinema.house.gov/index.cfm/home 

Our Chance to Defund Planned Parenthood

Friday, July 31, 2015

We all watched in horror yesterday as a fourth undercover video was released showing Planned Parenthood staff proclaim “Another Boy!” as they dissected an aborted infant. 

Today, we have a chance to do something about it. 

On Monday, the U.S. Senate will be voting to prohibit the nation’s largest abortion provider from receiving taxpayer funds. According to their 2013-2014 annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million dollars of taxpayer money.

This undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood has given us a rare moment that we cannot let escape. Our nation has been exposed to Planned Parenthood’s dangerous and deadly practices, and now is our chance to cut off their federal funding.

Senator John McCain has signed on as a sponsor of S. 1881, and Senator Flake’s office has informed CAP that he intends to also sponsor the bill.

Action Needed

1) Contact Senators McCain and Flake and thank them for their support of S. 1881. They need to hear from you that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t receive a dime of taxpayer money.

Senator John McCain
D.C. Office Number: 202.224.2235
Contact Page: http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

Senator Jeff Flake
D.C. Office Number: 202.224.4521
Contact Page: http://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-jeff

You can use this email text to ask them to vote YES on S. 1881:

A series of undercover videos has exposed Planned Parenthood’s dangerous and deadly practices.

These videos have shown top Planned Parenthood officials and medical staff callously discussing the strategic dismemberment of preborn children for the possible sale of their organs.

According to their most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million in federal funds. This is unacceptable.

Thank you for sponsoring S. 1881 to stop this inhumane organization from receiving a dime of taxpayer money.

2) Spread the word! Tell your friends and family to contact their U.S. Senators by sharing this post, and tweet their Senators using the hashtag #DefundPP

3) Pray! Pray this law passes, and that life is protected in America. 

Del Tackett's New Project

Friday, July 24, 2015

For families throughout Arizona, Dr. Del Tackett’s The Truth Project was an amazingly inspiring small group study that challenged them to grow and strengthen their biblical worldview.

Dr. Tackett’s teachings forced us all to answer the question do we really believe that what we believe is really real? And if so, what does that mean for how we live our lives?

I’m often asked what is Dr. Tackett working on next, that’s why I’m pleased to share with you The Truth Encounter.  

In his own words, “[The Truth Encounter] is a place where I hope and pray you will find encouragement … maybe some prodding … maybe some equipping. It is a place for you to engage one another as you ponder the depths of who God is.”

Check out this video message from Dr. Tackett to learn more:

The site is full of great content for you to explore. I recommend reading his blog, and recent post “Homosexual marriage ruling: practical actions for the remnant.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

Gov. Ducey and A.G. Brnovich Respond to Planned Parenthood Video

Monday, July 20, 2015

Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod

“Today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich both publicly responded to the shocking undercover video exposing the horrifying practices of the country’s largest abortion provider.

The video, released last week, captures Planned Parenthood’s senior medical director discussing how their doctors can manipulate an abortion in order to preserve vital organs of preborn children for medical experimentation and possibly sale. Troublingly, the state of Arizona is referenced multiple times in the unedited version of the video as a potential state in which to carry out these abhorrent transactions.

We appreciate and are thankful for Governor Ducey and Attorney General Brnovich taking steps to protect preborn children and ensure baby tissue is not a commodity for sale in our state.”

Read Governor Ducey’s statement here and Attorney General Brnovich’s statement here.

For more information, contact Lydia Vest, 602.424.2525 or lvest@azpolicy.org.

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. For more information, visit azpolicy.org.


How Long America?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

On Tuesday, another undercover video was released exposing how America’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood operates.

The video captures Planned Parenthood’s senior medical director discussing how their doctors can manipulate an abortion in order to preserve vital organs of preborn children for medical experimentation and possibly sale. 

How long will Americans put up with the atrocities being committed by Planned Parenthood? How long will American citizens support politicians who stand with Planned Parenthood? How long will even the most committed pro-abortion and pro-choice sympathizers ignore and even defend the unconscionable acts being done daily at Planned Parenthood facilities throughout this country, including those done with taxpayer dollars? 

Even Arizona Republic columnist EJ Montini couldn’t stay silent about the latest atrocities, saying even abortion proponents should be disturbed by these practices.

Planned Parenthood has a track record of placing profits over the health and safety of women. The latest lawsuit against the CAP-supported law requiring women to be informed about the Abortion Pill Reversal is a prime example.

As you may remember, this law was the result of Planned Parenthood lying to a young woman in Glendale that there was nothing she could do to stop the effects of the abortion pill Planned Parenthood had given her just hours earlier.

Thankfully, she didn’t accept Planned Parenthood’s lies and found out for herself about the Abortion Pill Reversal process. She now has a healthy pregnancy and will be giving birth this fall.

The very idea behind the Abortion Pill Reversal threatens Planned Parenthood’s business model. Women will “ultimately feel relief” after an abortion, Planned Parenthood claims. Sadly, you and I know this isn’t the case, and countless women experience deep and lifelong regret after following Planned Parenthood’s advice.

More must be done to protect women and preborn children from this abortion giant. Thankfully, the U.S. House of Representatives has announced hearings to investigate Planned Parenthood’s selling of body parts. What you can do today is to share this latest investigative video to spread the truth about Planned Parenthood. 

More on Planned Parenthood

A Special Note

Congratulations to CAP Vice-President of Communications Aaron Baer who has accepted the position of Policy Advisor to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. In his five years at CAP, Aaron has had an incredible impact on our work. He indeed is a man of many talents with a heart and passion for life, marriage, and religious freedom. I am thankful for his service at CAP. Aaron will be joining a great team at the Attorney General’s office. I wish General Brnovich and his team all the best – they are making a difference in Arizona and nationally.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com 

Silenced...But here's something you can do

Friday, July 10, 2015

What if you were fined $135,000 tomorrow because of your convictions? What would that mean for you, your family, and their future?

And then, you were ordered to be silent.

This scenario played out for Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. In 2013, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her mother came in for a cake tasting where she shared with Aaron that there was no groom but instead two brides. Aaron then explained that he would not be able to provide a cake for the wedding because of his and Melissa’s religious belief in the sacredness of marriage between one man and one woman.

Soon after, the Kleins found themselves at the center of a lawsuit claiming they had illegally discriminated against the same-sex couple for not wanting to participate in their wedding.

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian settled the decision by seizing the livelihood of the Klein family and demanding they pay the Bowman-Cryers $135,000.

What’s more, Melissa and Aaron Klein have now been ordered by Avakian to “cease and desist” – to stop speaking up about their beliefs and stop living and running their business in accordance to their convictions.

Justice Alito’s words in his dissenting opinion against the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage are already coming to fruition when he wrote, “…those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

The Klein’s stand isn’t just about their basic freedoms, but every American's. It is only a matter of time before every one of us will be faced with the question of compromising our faith, or paying the consequences.

Right here in Arizona, we have our own example of a leader standing for religious freedom. This week, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich signed a letter along with 14 other state attorneys general to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner opposing the unprecedented power the government has taken restricting religious freedoms and imploring Congress to prevent the IRS from targeting religious groups and potentially driving them out of existence.

You can read the letter here.

As our culture is increasingly in opposition to people of faith, we want to stand behind those who have the courage to defend your right to not only speak—but also live and act—in accordance to your beliefs.

Take time today to send Attorney General Brnovich a short email  thanking him for standing for religious freedom.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

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