5 Minutes for Families
- Ryan, Andrea, and Brent 17-May-2013
- Inhuman 10-May-2013
- ACTION ALERT: They Need to Hear from You 04-May-2013
- Pause 27-Apr-2013
- Who's Side? 19-Apr-2013
- Phoenix City Council Passes Bathroom Bill 5-3 27-Feb-2013
- Say No to the Bathroom Bill 20-Feb-2013
- Join the CAP Network to Get the Latest Action Alerts 01-Jan-2013
- What Gosnell Means for Arizona 13-May-2013
- Bisbee Backs Down 12-Apr-2013
- Abortions Drop 7.3% in Arizona Year to Year 20-Sep-2012
- Ninth Circuit Court Blocks Mother’s Health & Safety Act 01-Aug-2012
One of the most disturbing committee hearings I ever attended was last year’s House Health Committee debate on the Mother’s Health and Safety Act which prohibited most abortions after 20 weeks.
I was heartbroken to listen to the abortion lobby advocate against the bill because they believe parents should have the ability to abort a child if they discover the child has a developmental disability.
They argued that because the child would be a burden on the parents and the child’s quality of life would not be the ideal, parents should have the option to abort.
We could go on and on about how those with disabilities contribute to our society and bring joy to families. But I’d rather share Ryan, Andrea, and Brent’s story with you. Their fight against all odds shows why we must continue to stand for the vulnerable among us, and how through public policy, we can save lives.
- The Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1178 32-24-4! THANK YOU to all those that responded to our Action Alert. This bill must head back to the Senate for a final vote before it is transmitted to the governor. Please contact your state senator and ask them to support this important law to protect religious freedom in our state.
Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod in response to the murder conviction of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell.
“Moments ago, a Pennsylvania jury convicted the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell of three charges of first degree murder for the killing of three babies and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of a young woman among other charges.
Justice will likely never be served for the thousands of other women and children who were harmed or murdered by Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Yet today’s ruling is a victory for every American that respects life, as this man will never be able to kill again.
This case highlights the hypocrisy of legalized abortion. If these babies had died seconds before being born in the birth canal, it would have been a legal abortion.
Furthermore, the conviction of Dr. Kermit Gosnell serves as a wake-up call to every state official. Our elected leaders have a duty to ensure that no Gosnells exist within our state borders.
Like Arizona, Pennsylvania has numerous pro-life laws to protect against a tragedy of this magnitude. The failure occurred in the enforcement of these laws, as this monster was allowed to “practice” for more than 30 years.
Arizona must review our abortion clinic regulations to ensure women and children are being protected. A recently released undercover investigation by Live Action revealed an Arizona abortion clinic worker at Family Planning Associates telling a patient that a baby born alive as a result of an abortion would not be resuscitated. This video proves the need for greater oversight and review of what may be happening inside Arizona abortion clinics.
Like many Arizonans, my heart was broken by the events revealed in the grand jury report. Our only option going forward is to do everything we can to ensure this never happens again.”
With another undercover video, Live Action has given us a peak behind the curtain at a Phoenix abortion clinic. And just like previous videos, and the Gosnell trial, what has been revealed about abortion clinics is disturbing and heartbreaking, yet not surprising.
Here are the highlights from the video:
You can view the full, unedited video and read a transcript from the investigation here.
Center for Arizona Policy is still evaluating the videos to determine the appropriate response, but here’s what we know right now:
- Just like in Gosnell’s clinic, the video shows Family Planning Associates attempting to manipulate the ultrasound results to get a younger age of the preborn child in order to perform the abortion. You may recall it was this same practice that led to the death of a young woman in a Phoenix abortion clinic in 1998.
- The CAP-supported laws that mandate informed consent before an abortion are proven to be vital. It’s evident that without these laws, women would have no hope of getting the facts before making a life-altering and life-ending decision.
- It’s unsettling that Dr. Laura Mercer tries to downplay this information as “politically motivated.” Facts like fetal development are scientifically motivated, and women have the right to know that it is illegal for someone to coerce them into having an abortion.
- The video shows Dr. Mercer mentioning Center for Arizona Policy while going through the informed consent information. As I mentioned at the CAP Family Dinner on Tuesday, our opponents can attack us all they want, but no matter what, we will not rest until life is protected from its very beginning to its natural end. (Also note: CAP has never donated to a single campaign. Her claims are completely untrue.)
Just like Dr. Gosnell, this atrocity cannot be ignored. Help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends and sharing the videos on Facebook and Twitter.
- What an amazing night with Dr. Carson at the CAP Family Dinner! THANK YOU to all those that attended. Click here to view photos.
- Our opponents continue to bombard the legislature with misinformation about SB 1178 which protects religious freedom in Arizona. Help bring clarity to this debate by sending a note to your legislator! If you’ve already emailed, consider calling them on the phone too!
- Promise Keepers are back! Their upcoming conference in Phoenix (May 17-18) is Awakening the Warrior and aims to awaken men to God’s calling to be equipped to fight the good fight of faith and take a stand for a cause that is worthy. Click here for more.
This week’s 5 Minutes for Families is an important Action Alert that needs your immediate attention.
Your legislator needs to hear from you that religious freedom should NEVER be compromised!
SB 1178, sponsored by Senator Steve Yarbrough, awaits a final vote in the state House of Representatives before being sent to the Senate for a final vote. SB 1178 updates and strengthens our state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The bill could not be more vital. It protects your right to freely practice your faith by strengthening the right to defend yourself in court.
Furthermore, in recent years, America and Arizona specifically have witnessed organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation attempt to undermine our religious freedom. In order to better protect against the frivolous lawsuits brought by this out-of-state organization and by those seeking to restrict individual religious liberty, it is essential that Arizona strengthen the state RFRA.
Legislators have been flooded with emails attacking this important legislation. Opponents are aiming to deceive them about what this very reasonable bill actually accomplishes.
It is absolutely critical that we respond with the truth: This legislation is about bolstering our first freedom - nothing else. Any other distortion is simply untrue.
The Facts about SB 1178:
- Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been on the books since 1999. This bill seeks to simply close loopholes within this law that might jeopardize a person’s free exercise of religion in Arizona.
- By changing the word “government” to “state action” with an accompanying definition, it closes a loophole which will ensure that a RFRA claim is not off the table simply because the government is not technically a party to the case.
- It clarifies that a person may assert a RFRA claim if his/her religious exercise is likely to be burdened. A person should not have to wait to assert a claim if there is a strong likelihood that that person’s religious exercise will be burdened by a state action.
- Read our Fact sheet of SB 1178. You can also read the bill online.
- Click here to contact your two state representatives to encourage them to take a stand for our first freedom!
- Forward this email to a friend, encouraging them to contact their legislators and stand for religious liberty.
- Pray for this and other CAP-supported legislation. It is only by His guidance and grace that we will see victory.
- Track the progress of all CAP-supported legislation on our Bill Tracker and Facebook Page.
Our nation and state have a rich heritage of religious freedom, but recently we have seen increasing threats to religious liberty in our country and state. Stand up now to ensure that this freedom is ensured for generations to come. As President Ronald Reagan once famously said,
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
- Are you a student ages 16-25? Check out the Patriot Academy. (July 16-19)
- Promise Keepers are back! Their upcoming conference in Phoenix (May 17-18) is Awakening the Warrior and aims to awaken men to God’s calling to be equipped to fight the good fight of faith and take a stand for a cause that is worthy. Click here for more.
- Don’t miss Christian Family Care’s theatrical performance of A Life Connected.
The National Day of Prayer is next week - Thursday, May 2.
Given the challenges facing our state and nation, this annual event comes at a very opportune time. An abortionist is on trial for unspeakable horrors he committed in the name of choice. Terrorism once again threatens our nation. The future of marriage is before our nation’s highest court. And, in Arizona, our state legislature appears to be at a standstill after 100 days in session.
You can’t open up a newspaper or turn on the radio without being confronted with all that’s being debated. Instead of adding more commentary to the ongoing conversation right now, my simple encouragement to you is this: on Thursday and throughout the coming week, join me in setting the politics aside, and simply praying for those in authority over us.
Please specifically pray for:
- Protection for all of our elected officials and their families.
- Wisdom to navigate the difficult decisions facing our state regarding the expansion of Medicaid and the state budget.
- That the vital issues of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty are promoted and defended in state and federal law.
- Ultimately, that His will be done.
To find out about any National Day of Prayer related events in your area, click here.
This week’s 5 Minutes for Families is from Aaron Baer, Center for Arizona Policy’s Communications Director.
Earlier this week, national radio talk show host and friend of CAP, Hugh Hewitt, interviewed Pastor Jim Wallis about his new book “On God’s Side.”
I’m not going to begin to try to unpack all that was discussed in this two-hour interview. But it was a fascinating discussion, and you can read the transcript here.
Hewitt and Wallis covered a range of topics, but there was one response from Wallis that particularly jumped out at me. When asked about his views on redefining marriage, Wallis said:
But now, I hear young Christians all over the country, including the majority of Evangelical young Christians, really believe that equal protection under the law should include civil marriage for same sex couples. And I now tend to agree with them on that.
There are a number of problems with this statement - first and foremost is the claim that the marriage debate is one of “equal protection.”
But I want to set that aside for the moment and focus on what I see as the greater issue with this view, because I see it becoming increasingly more pervasive.
Jim Wallis is a renowned pastor and author. National media regularly turn to him to get the “Christian perspective.” In other words - he’s a leader - or at least plays one on TV.
Yet on one of the most critical issues facing our country today, Wallis says that his views are shaped based on what “young people” think.
Now, it’s one thing for your run-of-the-mill talking head to make this kind of ambiguous claim. It makes you sound cool, and down with the youngsters. Who knows - it might even get you interviewed on The Daily Show!
But as a pastor, he should know better than to value youth over experience, wisdom, and eternal truth. Scripture warns explicitly against this - 2 Timothy says, "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."
The Word recognizes that youth is inherently impulsive and immature.
Can "young people" do great things and express wisdom? Of course! I think of Ryan T. Anderson debating Piers Morgan. But Ryan won that debate because he made strong arguments, not simply because he was young.
I’m a part of the under 30 crowd. And while I won’t let anyone look down on me for my youth, I also recognize the limitations of my short experience, and try to depend upon more lasting sources - like sacred texts that have endured the test of time or social science data … or common sense.
More than anything, my generation needs real leadership on the issue of marriage. We need to be shown the value, purpose, and meaning of this forever bond between a man and a woman.
Yet instead of showing true courage, and confronting the issues of our time, Wallis - and far too many of today’s “leaders” - conform to the culture.
- Last week, the legislature unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Boy Scouts of America’s policy on sexuality. See photos and read the resolution on CAP’s Foundation’s blog.
- Be sure to track the latest progress of CAP-supported legislation with our new Bill Tracker.
Statement from Center for Arizona Policy's President Cathi Herrod
"Today, the City of Bisbee acknowledged what we've said all along: Bisbee lacks the legal authority to enact a so-called "civil unions" ordinance that grants marital-type benefits to unmarried individuals. The City now plans to revise the recently adopted ordinance.
The power to grants marital benefits is a power reserved to the state and the voters of Arizona. In 2008, Arizonans strongly voted in support of marriage being defined as the union of one man and one woman.
While this debate is far from over, today's announcement is a victory for the rule of law, and the will of voters."
I want to share with you this week about the changing abortion debate. Yet before I explain what’s happening across the country that is impacting the way we discuss this issue, I want to warn you that some of the topics and stories I’m going to tell you about are graphic and very disturbing.
First the good news: we’re winning the abortion debate. Thanks to technological advancements, and the tireless efforts of compassionate individuals who care for the health and safety of women and preborn children, the momentum is on our side. Whether it’s the passage of numerous state pro-life laws or polling data showing majority pro-life support, the pro-life position has more support among the American people than in the last 40 years.
But the public discussion over abortion is far from over, and there is still much work to be done.
We must recognize that the abortion debate is no longer only about when life begins. In many significant ways, the simple truth is that we’ve won that issue. Most people who look at an ultrasound image can clearly see that this is a life.
Sure there are some who still cling to the “clump of cells” argument, but that archaic view is easily overcome by the scientific realities that show preborn children are far more than a collection of tissue.
As the Public Discourse blog says, the last great debate on abortion will be about the value of life, and even more specifically, whether there is a right to end the life of a child.
Look at what’s happening in Pennsylvania. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for snipping the spines of newborn children after botched late-term abortions.
He faces the death penalty if the jury finds him guilty. In these cases, Gosnell would deliver fully developed preborn children and murder the child outside of the mother’s womb. There is no doubt that these babies were alive, but a determination was made the child did not deserve to live.
Or consider the arguments we heard last year during debate of The Mother’s Health and Safety Act, which prohibited most abortions after 20 weeks.
The primary argument against the bill wasn’t that abortion is okay because a preborn child is not a human, rather the leading argument was about children diagnosed with fetal abnormalities who would face difficult life circumstances because of their disabilities. Our opponents suggested the compassionate thing to do would be to end the child’s life, or at least give the parents the option to do it. Spare the child the painful life and the parents from having to endure caring for the child.
As a new documentary on late term abortionists called After Tiller shows, the abortion industry recognizes what they are doing. Even though this movie tries to put abortion providers in a good light, it is clear that they recognize they are ending life.
What does this mean for you and me? It means we must stand firm on our commitment to lovingly, yet firmly, expose the dangerous and deadly practices of the abortion industry - like the latest report about the “meat-market style” conditions at a Delaware Planned Parenthood.
It also means that we must affirm at every opportunity the value of every life - regardless of its condition. No person should hold the power of life or death over an innocent life.
We've Forgotten What Goes on Page 1 - The media has been noticeably silent on the horrors revealed from abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell's trial. Help break the silence by sharing the article and tweeting it with the hashtag #Gosnell.
Take Action: In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Senator Ed Ableser said churches and religious schools were “freeloaders.” The interview pertained to a CAP-supported bill that clarified Arizona law and the current practice of more than thirty years that religious preschools were exempt from paying unemployment insurance after the Department of Economic Security changed their longstanding interpretation of the law.
As evidenced by testimony, the tax burden that unemployment insurance would put on many preschools would force them to shut down.
Churches and religious schools provide countless services to our community. Please take time today to contact Sen. Ableser to ask him to explain why he believes religious institutions are “freeloaders.”
April 5, 2013
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court considered California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. This week, the discussion about the purpose and meaning of marriage continues in Arizona. Late Wednesday night, the town of Bisbee enacted an ordinance creating civil unions within their town limits. Tempe now is considering a similar ordinance.
The Bisbee ordinance allows an unmarried couple to obtain a civil union certificate that purports to grant them marital-type benefits regarding community property, inheritance, adoption, and other rights. As our letter to the Bisbee City Council explained, Bisbee does not have the legal authority to enact an ordinance granting these types of legal rights. That authority is reserved to the State of Arizona.
Thankfully, Attorney General Tom Horne has stepped up to enforce Arizona law and has promised to take legal action to block the ordinance from taking effect.
Yet the situation in Bisbee serves as another reminder to us about the need to communicate wisely and clearly our position in favor of marriage between one man and one woman, and against marriage counterfeits. The ongoing debate also reminds us of the need to thank those who stand with us. Today, I ask you to join me in taking two action steps.
1) Educate and Equip Yourself with the Arguments – I encourage you to take time to read our Policy Pages on why marriage matters. Equip yourself with the data and rationale for why our laws grant benefits and rights on the basis of marriage between one man and one woman. Marriage has provided the cornerstone, the foundation of our civilized society. Marriage benefits society, that’s why society provides benefits on the basis of marriage. Let’s emphasize what we are for, not what we are against. Equip yourself with the arguments on why domestic partnerships and civil unions should not be adopted by lawmakers.
Why does this matter? As with the Phoenix City Council over the “bathroom bill,” those speaking against the Bisbee ordinance tended to use Biblical references and language to angrily speak condemnation on those favoring the ordinance. Those are the quotes and stories carried in the media. These emotional arguments using the name of God as justification for our position simply are unpersuasive and out of place in these debates. To win these debates, we must communicate clearly why marriage matters and we must re-establish the meaning and value of marriage.
2) Thank Those Standing in Defense of Marriage – The reality is that those who want to redefine marriage hold tremendous power. We are witnessing an unprecedented public relations campaign to redefine marriage and cultural values. From Hollywood to Wall Street, pressure is mounting on many leaders to oppose true marriage. So when politicians stand up and do what’s right, they must hear from us, and know that we support them.
First, I hope you take time today to send Attorney General Horne a quick note thanking him for taking action over Bisbee’s unconstitutional decision.
Second, I ask you to send Congressman Matt Salmon a note of thanks and encouragement. He made headlines this week because he reiterated his longstanding support for marriage between one man and one woman while also stating his love for his son who is homosexual.
Yet the headlines didn’t just highlight his belief in marriage, a story in the Huffington Post commended the congressman for his positive demeanor and positive approach to the issue. His love for his son is unwavering, yet that does not make his values any less true. His son also courageously spoke of his love for his father. Both men handled the issue incredibly well, emphasizing their love despite their differences on this issue.
This is what it will take to ultimately win the marriage debate! Not merely putting a good face on, but genuinely caring for opposition; and at the same time articulating our arguments in favor of marriage wisely and clearly.
Sadly, in the political discourse and media hype about marriage, the honest conversation about the meaning and purpose of this essential union is lost.
Yet the reality is that marriage is the engine that drives our country.
Now I know that may sound a little overstated, but it is in the union of one man and one woman that you'll find the ideal environment for personal independence, wealth creation, and most importantly, the nurturing of future generations, or in other words, our kids.
Here's an example of what I mean:
Joe and Sara have been married for 41 years. They raised their two kids in Arizona, and now their two kids have 11 children of their own.
By no means are Joe and Sara perfect parents; there's no such thing. But they compliment each other well as mother and father, husband and wife - each bringing something unique to the relationship and to the lives of their children.
Joe and Sara now are watching as their two kids work through the joys and trials of raising their own children.
It was because of the example set by Joe and Sara that one of their kids decided to adopt. Now four children who were left in desperate situations without a home are blessed with a mom and dad.
This isn't a blockbuster story, nor something that would get a lot of ratings on primetime TV. But the truth is, more than any great battle, any historic document, or pivotal court decision, stories like theirs have sustained and strengthened our nation through the generations.
The data backs this up. According to a study from Princeton University, kids raised in an intact house hold with a married mother and father do better in school, are less likely to live below the poverty level, are less likely to depend on government assistance, and are less likely to get in trouble with the law than children coming from any other environment.
As Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation puts it, "Marriage is society's least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children."
Similarly, marriage benefits the husband and wife more than any other arrangement. Did you know that married men and women have longer life expectancy? Or that median household incomes of married men rose 60% from 1970 to 2007 and unmarried men's income only rose by 16%?
This is why in 2008, 56% of Arizonans voted to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and why the U.S. Supreme Court absolutely cannot undermine the most essential cornerstone to our country's future.
There is much more on the line than most people realize when our nation's High Court considers Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act next week. For all the Joe's and Sara's in the past, present, and future, let's hope and pray the Court rules on the side of true marriage.
I invite you to join me Monday evening, 7:00 p.m. for a candlelight prayer vigil to pray for the restoration and preservation of the meaning of marriage for generations to come at the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal District Courthouse in downtown Phoenix. Details here.