Some people still try to convince us that it’s a good thing that children have people other than their parents living in the home, in spite of the evidence.
This woman wants out of the contract she agreed to when she got the divorce that was the end of another contract: her marriage. Can’t help but wonder whether a case like this will this be the end of true marriage in Texas. And the end of the rule of law and honoring contracts.
They also said in the statement that the clause “is a burden on parents, regardless of their sexual orientation, that takes away and unreasonably limits their ability to make parental decisions of whom their children may be around and unreasonably limits what the United State Supreme Court has identified as the liberty of thought, belief and expression.”
For a mega-study using data from the CDC, see this article, Blackwell DL. “Family structure and children’s health in the United States: Findings from the National Health Interview Survey, 2001–2007.” National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(246). 2010.
The 83rd Legislature of the State of Texas still has a couple of weeks to go, and it ain’t over ’till both the House and Senate are sine die, but it appears that SB 303 did die over the weekend.
Representative Susan King, who broke her leg last Sunday, just the day before the marathon meeting of the House Public Health Committee, has done an incredible job of working with Senator (Dr.) Bob Duell in their attempt to reform our State’s Advance Directive Act through SB 303.
The Committee Substitute which Representative King presented in the Committee had all of the benefits I wrote about last week, as well as a revision to prohibit a doctor from writing a DNR order against the wishes off a competent patient.
(Talk about unintended consequences: current law is silent on “DNRs,” so it’s apparently legal for a doctor to order that resuscitation not be performed on a competent patient without any discussion with the patient, much less obtain consent! I have sincere doubts that any doctor would do so, but there have been allegations. Even though the ones who claim to have knowledge – and who have not produced one iota of proof – are the same disingenuous cynical scaremongers (I’ll call them “CS2″) I’ve mentioned before, this reform would be a good. And should be accepted on its face.)
Because of the egregious misrepresentations of the CS2, Committee Chair Lois Kolkhorst declined to allow SB303 out of the Committee as it was written. Rep. King tried one more time, with a bare bones CS1 containing the protection against DNRs for competent patients and the prohibition against withdrawal of Artificial Hydration and Nutrition, except when it would harm the patient or hasten his death.
So, for the next two years, when you hear the CS2 complain about Texas “death panels” or read a plea for funds to fight “secret DNRs” and withdrawal of food and water in Texas hospitals, remember the CS2 who killed pro-life reform in the 83rd Legislature.
If we can still believe scientific journals, Cell reports in the June 6, 2013 issue indicate that scientists have succeeded in cloning human embryos.
The term used for cloning by the group is “reprogramming” fibroblasts using somatic cell nuclear transplantation. However, there’s no longer an attempt by the authors or members of the scientific press to create a new “unfertilized blastocyst” or pre-embryo: the embryos are called embryos, morula, and blastocysts.In recognition that these are not quite the same as embryonic stem cells derived from embryos produced by direct fertilization, the stem cells derived from the cloned blastocysts are designated as “Nuclear Transfer Embryonic Stem Cells” or NT-ESC.
Tachibana’s group obtained well over a 100 oocytes from women who underwent ovarian stimulation and transvaginal retrieval.
The growth of four embryos to the blastocyst stage resulted in NT-ESC, after differentiation into a blastocyst with a trophoblast (precursor of the placenta) and the inner cell mass (the part that will develops into the actual body of the human). These embryos were destroyed to harvest the ICM.
The report details years of research to find the optimum technique for cloning human embryos. It was found that the mitotic stage of the oocytes, MII, is critical. The researchers further developed a protocol utilizing caffeine and electrical stimulation to induce activation of the fused nucleus from the skin cell and donor oocyte. In addition, the authors found that “higher quality oocytes,” those more likely to form viable embryos, resulted when the ovarian stimulation yielded fewer than ten oocytes. If larger numbers of oocytes were produced due to the ovarian stimulation, somatic cell nuclear transfer was less likely. In fact, the first four clones that developed far enough to produce NT-ESC came from one woman who donated eight oocytes in one cycle, resulting in the production of five cloned embryos.
There are several ethical problems which surround this research.
First, as strongly noted by the Center for Bioethics and Culture, the ovarian stimulation risks abuse of women who might be placed at risk due to the hormones administered to induce ovulation. As noted in the paper,
“In the context of generating patient-specific pluripotent stem cells, reproducible results with various patient-derived somatic cells and with different egg donors are a necessity.”
Although the donation is called voluntary and anonymous, the women were compensated for their “time, effort, discomfort, and inconvenience associated with the donation process.” I can’t help but wonder about how long the anonymity will last for the one woman whose oocytes yielded those first four successful clones and NT-ESCs or for the two women whose oocytes yielded the clones confirming the reproducibility of their method, in the second stage of the research. Or how much pressure they will face to continue to donate “voluntarily.”
The lack of concern for the women involved is revealed in this interview with the authors at The Scientist,
““I was worried that we might need a couple of thousand eggs to make all these optimizations, to find that winning combination. But it actually took just 128 [eggs], which is a surprisingly low number to make 6 [hESC] lines.””
6 NT-ESC lines were derived from 128 harvested oocytes, for a yield of 4.6% In later stages, the success rate was still 2 NT-ESC lines from 7 embryos and 15 oocytes, or 13% of oocytes.
The primary objection is that 100% of the human embryos were created in harm’s way and must be destroyed to harvest the NT-ESCs.
These embryos are delayed human twins, artificially induced. Although the first cell of these embryos began in the lab, as the result of highly technical and involved procedures, they are human embryos and near-identical twins of the somatic cell nucleus. There is indirect acknowledgement that the embryos are twins of the donor of the fibroblasts by the reporting that tests of the chromosomes of the cloned embryos show that the DNA matches that of the donor of the fibroblasts, a patient with Leigh’s syndrome.
The sources of fibroblast nuclei raise other ethical dilemmas. The first research was carried out using female fetal fibroblasts. Later research involved creating human embryos with Leigh’s syndrome. Leigh’s syndrome results from a genetic defect of the mitochondria, the cell “power plant,” which is inherited from the mother and only found in the cell cytoplasm, not the nucleus. Reports are already ignoring the fact that the donor’s twins were produced with the express intention of destroying them for their inner cell mass. At least one is predicting that this is a technique which can be used to create future children for mothers who have the abnormal mitochondria.
The report, Tachibana et al., “Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer,” Cell (2013),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.006, is available on-line and in PDF (as of today).
Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the Kermit Gosnell verdict:
This trial and verdict shed light on a detestable and gruesome industry that takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of babies every year in communities across our nation. Those of us who believe in the sanctity of life will continue to fight for the day when abortion is nothing more than a sad footnote in American history.
The people who have commented on the news article overwhelmingly agree with the patient’s family’s decision.
I believe I would try to talk the family into a trial of venom, but the law gave them final say. Here in Texas, I could refuse to honor their wishes – after going through the ethics committee process, at least 2 days.
Richard Flora, 76, was bitten by an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake on Thursday out the front of his daughter’s home in Hobe Sound, Florida
Family decided not to give him anti-venom and he died at hospital 11 hours later
Man was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and hated the disease, his daughters said
The opponents of Senate Bill 303 may not realize it, but they are promoting the very thing they claim to oppose: elevating the patient’s right to determine his own care above the doctor’s conscience will result in doctors who practice medicine without consciences.
The consequences of elevating autonomy above non-maleficence (“first do not harm”) go to the very heart of medical ethics. In fact, the promotion of patient autonomy is the common justification for euthanasia and elective abortion on demand.
The doctor is the one whose hands, conscience, and medical judgment will be writing the orders for or actually carrying out the resuscitation. Just as it’s not ethical to force doctors to cause the death of patients, it’s not ethical to demand that doctors write orders and perform interventions when their medical judgment indicates that the intervention will not be successful and will increase pain and suffering while prolonging the process of death.
As ethicist Gilbert Meilaendar noted at the President’s Bioethics Council Meeting in September 12, 2008,
[T]he reason for a physician being willing to risk his life in an epidemic was precisely that he didn’t think staying alive was the most important thing, that there was something else that was morally more compelling and obligatory even than preserving his existence. And that would have something to do with the personal integrity that you seem willing to think may be — one should be willing to set aside in embracing what one thinks is evil.
If there’s no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil, why are we arguing in the first place?
If you crack the egg of a bird on the Endangered Species List, it won’t matter that the bird was a fetus or embryo. You’ve still broken Federal law. Why is the species of an (unhatched) animal so clear cut under law, but human embryos have no protection under current law? Legal follies such as this underscore our lack of seriousness and consistency when contemplating our children of tomorrow. My concern is that we are not teaching them why they should treat us kindly, much less giving them a good example.
Bioethics dilemmas and most political disputes may seem to be new problems, but they’re not. Every “new” problem is another facet of the potential to deny the existence of right and wrong or to infringe on the inalienable rights of our fellow humans. Knowledge of the basics can guide decisions and actions.
If there’s no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil, why are we arguing in the first place? These truths transcend relative social considerations and laws, including religious beliefs, ideology, or the wants and wishes of the powerful or majority. They even transcend time and space: if you take a close look at the big debates, the speakers aren’t simply talking to each other: we’re arguing with the great thinkers of the past and trying to convince people who come along after us.
The unique nature of the species Homo sapiens sapiens is the source and the definition of “human dignity,” and the reason that all members of the species and our offspring are human beings who should be valued equally, without discrimination.
And of course, we are unique, since It looks like we’re the only species having this conversation. We’re the only species that, when an individual has safety, food and sex, doesn’t just go to sleep. Our species makes art, records history, and argues about the nature of the universe. Humans seem to naturally “know” “that’s not fair,” even at 3 or 4 years old. We seek Unconditional Justice, Truth, Love, Beauty and Knowledge. And we value Unconditional Love most of all.
The Negative rights to Life, Liberty and Property are owned and endowed upon individuals; they are not the property of or gift of societies or governments. These exist in a necessary order; a hierarchy of importance and power to call on society for protection. The right not to be killed trumps the right not to be enslaved, which precedes the right not to have your property taken from you by force or fraud. If they can kill you, there are no limits on how much they can enslave you or take from you. We must be secure that others won’t take our property against our will, because earning and owning property is how we avoid enslavement to others and how we make plans and lay by the staples of life to support the lives of ourselves and our families, both immediately while we can earn, and later when we are unable to work.
Society and government must protect these “inalienable” rights of individuals, but only as far as to ensure equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome. These are protections against the actions of others, not against words or thoughts. It is not protection or promotion of someone’s personal tastes and not the right to not be offended. We must be very, very careful when we tax and even more careful if we presume to force the actions of others.
Good politics and science cannot exist in a moral vacuum. The powerful, the majority, the surging mob. the man with the biggest gun or governments cannot do good when their actions infringe on the life, liberty or property of the individual. To claim that people must act or give up property indefinitely for the greater good – Utilitarianism – ends in domination without measurable or objective limits.
And yet, to function in society carries responsibilities. Extraordinary privileges like those given to lawmakers, doctors, and scientists to do good, may also result in extraordinary power to do evil through abuse of unequal power of weapons, tools, numbers or even knowledge and skill. This is where conscience and the first principle of “first do no harm” come in. The right of conscience is a function of the liberty of an individual not to be forced to act against his understanding of good and evil, right and wrong.
Medicine and science have held a unique position to advocate for the protection of human rights, at least since Hippocrates, who formalized the now 2500 year old oath to “heal when possible, but First, do no harm” Non-maleficence, or not acting in order to avoid harm, must precede and be incorporated in the desire to do good or beneficence.
Once again, we come back to that first point: all of our offspring, descendants deserve the same value and protection of their rights to life, liberty and property without discrimination. It’s possible that we already have offspring among us who are not of our species. Science has created human embryos with more than two biological parents and others who have been the subject of genetic manipulation. Also out there are is the Humanity+ or Transhumanism movement in all its permutations, along with more accessible enhancement of the human mind and body through technology, medicine, machines, and manipulation at the nano-level.
We must consider how our children of tomorrow will consider us. It is true that humans aren’t perfect, we will make mistakes, and some humans will purposefully infringe on the rights of others. However, what values and principles will the pattern of our governments and individual action reflect? Will it be our respect and love for one another? Will they respect and love us or will they look back in horror or disgust?
(I want to thank Robert Spitzer, who wrote “Healing the Culture,” one of the best Ethics books in existence.)
This is a March, 2011 post from LifeEthics. org. Why Ethics? | LifeEthics. Edited 5/10/13 to move to top of the list.
Should all girls “of child bearing age” be able to walk into the corner pharmacy and buy Plan B without ID, age restrictions or parental supervision? I don’t think so!
However, my professional organization, the American Academy of Family Practice, issued a statement this week advocating for just that. Our online newsletter included my comments in an article published today:
On the other hand, family physician Beverly Nuckols, M.D., of New Braunfels, Texas, said she has issues with the Academy statement because it is inconsistent with its own Family Medicine, Scope and Philosophical Statement.
“Family physicians not only treat the patient within the context of her family, we also strive to treat the whole patient — ‘biological, behavioral (and) social,’” Nuckols said. “In this case, the ‘disease’ we are trying to prevent is the high-risk behavior of unprotected sex. Parental involvement is vital to the health of children and is the best prevention for high-risk behavior, including adolescent sexual activity.
“The AAFP normally and correctly advocates parental involvement and intervention to prevent other high-risk activity, such as driving without a license, the use of guns without adult supervision, smoking, or overeating, etc.,” she said. “What is the rationale for treating adolescent sexual activity any differently than we would treat other risky behavior or preventable risk factor?”
Nuckols, who serves as chair of the Christian Medical & Dental Association’s Family Medicine Section, said she also has concerns about OTC Plan B One-Step because there are few controlled, randomized studies that prove levonorgestrel to be medically safe and effective for adolescents at the dosage given.
“The published data on emergency contraception don’t break out the numbers of adolescent girls, but the numbers appear to be low,” she said. “The closest I’ve found are small studies for treatment of menstrual disorders and inherited bleeding disorders by chronic use of oral or intrauterine levonorgestrel, with the youngest age at 14.”
(BTW, The author quoted my written statement, exactly, so any errors are mine. I goofed in identifying myself to the author: Much to my relief, our CMDA Family Medicine Section elected a new Chair and I’m now the Past-Chair. I didn’t realize we had passed the turn-over date. Oh, and “data” really is plural, so “data … don’t” is not terrible grammar, just awkward.)
A team of researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) have discovered that adult brain cell production might be determined, in part, by the early parental environment. The study suggests that dual parenting may be more beneficial than single parenting.
Scientists studied mouse pups that were raised by either dual or single parents and found that adult cell production in the brain might be triggered by early life experiences. The scientists also found that the increased adult brain cell production varied based on gender. Specifically, female pups raised by two parents had enhanced white matter production as adults, increasing motor coordination and sociability. Male pups raised by dual parents displayed more grey matter production as an adult, which improves learning and memory.
“Our new work adds to a growing body of knowledge, which indicates that early, supportive experiences have long lasting, positive impact on adult brain function,” says Samuel Weiss, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the HBI.
Surprisingly, the advantages of dual parenting were also passed along when these two groups reproduced, even if their offspring were raised by one female. The advantages of dual parenting were thus passed along to the next generation.
To conduct the study, scientists divided mice into three groups i) pups raised to adulthood by one female ii) pups raised to adulthood by one female and one male and iii) pups raised to adulthood by two females. Researchers then waited for the offspring to reach adulthood to find out if there was any impact on brain cell production.
Scientists say that this research provides evidence that, in the mouse model, parenting and the environment directly impact adult brain cell production. While it’s not known at this point, it is possible that similar effects could be seen in other mammals, such as humans. The study is published in the May 1 edition of PLOS ONE. It was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
The research paper can be read online: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062701.
Government could decree that “East” is now “North.” After all, they’re just arbitrary names for concepts, right? However, until all the old signs and maps (and compasses!) are replaced and gone forever, a lot of people will be lost and possibly hurt in transportation accidents.
Changing the family structure by government laws and regulations on marriage is reckless social experimentation, more like changing “up” to “down,” than “East” to “North.”
Rand Paul, (small-l)ibertarian Republican junior Senator from Kentucky and the son of perennial Presidential candidate Ron Paul, told the National Review that the Republican Party’s “problem” with gay marriage could be solved by changes eliminating references (and benefits) to marriage in the tax codes.
However, as an editorial in The Hill commentary noted,
Paul did not address in the interview how he might deal with other advantage and privileges extended to legally wed heterosexual couples, like federal spousal benefits, pension plans, health care, and Social Security survivors benefits.
And Paul ignores the societal consequences on our children of tomorrow.
Research confirms that the best environment for children is to live in a home with their married biological parents. When the ideal is not possible, statistics still favor stable, traditional marriage and the 2 parent home for the successful adult child of blended families and adoption. Please take a look at peer-reviewed studies published on the effects of stable families on children, here and here.
Want proof that government interference can change society for the worse? Look at the harm government has done to lower income families all those years when benefits were denied to families when the father was in the home. Or the negative influence of housing subsidies on marriage. (I can email the full article.)
Society and government ignore facts at the risk of harming the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of future generations. Don’t expect me to vote for or pay for dangerous societal experimentation – or even to sit quietly while someone outlines his intention to play social engineer.
Update: see this post from May 5, 2013, showing more evidence for the benefit to children of being reared in the home with their biological parents.
Just after I hit “publish” on yesterday’s effort to explain the mechanism of Plan B and why we still shouldn’t allow minor girls to buy it over the counter, I found the news that the Obama Administration has decided that the FDA will appeal the ruling by a New York Federal Judge Edward Korman that gave the FDA 30 days to remove all age restrictions on Plan B, the “morning after pill.” This will not change this week’s decision to move the age requirement down to 15 years of age, it is a good, if minor, move.
USA Today has an article that’s typical for those who object to the appeal, written by Cecile Richards, the former National president of Planned Parenthood (and the daughter of the late Texas Governor Ann Richards).
The comments on CBS News’ coverage of the appeal point out one big problem that teens who have unplanned sex may also have: the “emergency” aspect of “emergency contraception.” One person suggests that Plan B should be available in vending machines and restrooms, as condoms often are. Several readers are concerned that teens who have unprotected sex plan won’t ahead or be able to find a pharmacy open when they need it..
Obviously, the writer of that comment doesn’t understand that the pill can be useful up to 5 days — and is still very effective (if it’s going to be) for at least a day or two. As I responded, there is a difference between a condom and Plan B: the latter is ingested and will have an effect, however small, on the hormonal balance of whoever takes it. Condoms don’t make people nauseous or throw up!
Update 5/02/13: The Obama Administration has decided to appeal the judge’s ruling that the age restrictions must be removed completely from Plan B sales.
Because of a ruling by a Court in New York on April 5, 2013 and the April 30, 2013 announcement that the Obama Administration has published its intent to allow 15 year olds to buy Plan B over the counter without a prescription or adult supervision, the news is full of the controversy about whether or not Plan B is an abortifacient because it kills the embryo or blocks implantation.
(How about that: she’s old enough to buy over the counter emergency contraception, but she’s still young enough for her parents to buy her insurance until she’s 26!)
There is quite a lot of evidence that Plan B does not interfere with the embryo if fertilization occurs and none that it does. If, as the evidence supports, it doesn’t cause the death of the human embryo, before or after implantation, Plan B is not an “abortion pill.”
But it still shouldn’t be sold over the counter to minors.
I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s healthy for 12, 14 or 15 years olds to have sex – whether boys or girls. While Texas does have the “Romeo and Juliet” defense ( when there’s no force, both are over 14 years old, opposite sex and within 3 years of the same age), 15 year olds can’t legally consent to sex. Texas law deems it a “crime of indecency” to have sex with a minor under 17. Our State has also decided that 15 year olds can’t drink alcohol, can’t buy tobacco or Sudafed, and they usually can’t get a driver’s license.
We do this to protect them, because we know that they are not prepared to make good decisions. Their brains are not mature enough and they don’t have the experience and knowledge to adequately judge the difference between immediate gratification and future benefit. The fact is that most parents are their children’s best protectors and advocates. We are legally responsible for our children, but we are also morally responsible for them. We love them and don’t want them to hurt!
Parents need – and have the right – to know what our dependent children are doing and what medicines they are taking. By changing these regulations, the Federal government is moving between the parent and child — a much more sacred relationship than “a woman and her doctor.”
There is very strong evidence from good scientific experiments published in the last 10 years that Plan B does not interfere with the implantation or development of an embryo.
Plan B only works, when it works, by preventing fertilization for 4-5 days in the middle of the month – before ovulation – it delays ovulation so there is no egg to fertilize and by preventing the sperm from getting to the egg.
Plan B is a high dose of progesterone, the main hormone produced by the ovaries during the second half of a woman’s monthly cycle. Before ovulation, Progesterone or Plan B delays ovulation (the release of the egg from the ovary) and makes it difficult for the sperm to get to the egg. At or after ovulation, progesterone appears to slow the sperm’s travel to the egg (prevents fertilization) In nature, this prevents fertilization of an old egg – and its effect is one of the signs used by women who use “Natural Family Planning.” Progesterone normally encourages the development of the lining of the womb after ovulation. In fact, doctors sometimes give Progesterone to women who have repeated miscarriages.
It wouldn’t be ethical to conduct experiments on women who are ovulating and having sex, because those women might be carrying a human embryo that hasn’t implanted or who could be harmed. While it is true that there have been no experiments on women who might be pregnant, there are good studies which were done on ovulating women who have their tubes tied or who agree to abstain from sex during the experiment. Then, they were studied by checking repeat exams, blood work, ultrasounds and biopsies of the womb. No evidence that Plan B interferes with implantation or damages the embryo has been found.
Current evidence is that Plan B decreases the risk of pregnancy for those women who take it properly, Plan B cuts the risk of pregnancy by 50- 70%. At the population level, it does not decrease either the pregnancy rate or the abortion rate. In fact, even women who have the pills in their medicine cabinet – who don’t have to pay $45 when they have unprotected sex – don’t use the pills consistently. This is true in countries like Scotland, the UK and Jamaica where teen girls can obtain the medication without a prescription or are provided the medication in advance of need.
I am a pro-life doctor who, like Texas law, believes that the individual begins at fertilization. I spend much of my time advocating for laws that protect the human right not to be killed and for traditional medical ethics. Yes, I am a Christian , but I prefer to make my arguments from the science side because I’m convinced that science will prove me right in the long run. After all, the “Nature’s Creator “ cited in the Declaration of Independence created science!
For the science, see these articles:
Added 8:00 PM 5/2/13 One of the best and oldest. I can email a copy of the entire article to anyone who needs it http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824%2805%2900045-4/abstract
Using words such as “egregious,” “cynical,” “outrageous,” and “deceive,” the Texas Catholic Bishops Conference have published the letter that they sent to Texas Legislators concerning the actions of Texas Right to Life concerning Senate Bill 303 and its companion, House Bill 1444 on April 15, 2013.
Since employees and representatives of TRL continue to “stoke fear through ridiculous claims,” (and to harass those who support the Bills) here’s the letter (I’ve reproduced the emphasis is in the original):
The Texas Catholic Conference is compelled to publicly correct the misstatements and fabrications that continue to be perpetuated by the Texas Right to Life organization against legislation to improve end-of-life care by reforming the Texas Advance Directives Act.
It has been said that all is fair in love, war and Texas politics. However, the actions of Texas Right to Life have been so egregious and cynical, especially when comes to misrepresenting the moral and theological doctrine of the Catholic Church, that the TCC cannot stay silent.
Texas’ Advance Directives Act needs reform. Current law lacks clarity given the complexity of end-of-life care, contains definitions that could permit the withdrawal of care for patients – including food and water – and permits unilateral Do Not Resuscitate Orders without the permission of, or even consultation with, the family.
Senate Bill 303 and House Bill 1444 are based on Catholic moral principles and reasonable medical standards for defending human life and protecting the conscience of both families and physicians. Both billsprevent unilateral DNRs, improve communication between medical providers and families, ensure a clear and balanced process for resolving differences, and give families the right to challenge Do Not Resuscitate Orders before a medical ethics committee.
In both its materials and communications with legislative offices and staff, Texas Right to Life has tried to stoke fear through ridiculous claims of nonexistent “death panels” and assertions that doctors are “secretly trying to kill patients.” Both claims are absurd. The truth is, many factors are involved in the sausage-grinding process of public policymaking. Some have less to do with making good laws and more about individual personalities and fundraising opportunities of organizations.
It is outrageous that an organization purportedly committed to the rights and dignity of life would resort to such disingenuous tactics that deceive honest and caring people. What is worse is doing so in a way that perpetuates current law and may cause unnecessary patient suffering.
Texas Right to Life has no authority to articulate Catholic moral teaching, and certainly does not have permission to represent the views of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the Texas Catholic Conference. We are more than happy to answer any questions or provide the Texas Catholic Bishops’ position on any issue before the Legislature.
(Edited for spelling and grammar, 4/25/13 BBN)
We’ve all been hearing about the supposed “War on Women” by Conservative law makers – and, by extension, voters – in Texas. Well, President Obama and Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebellius just fired another shot in the war against Texas and State’s rights.
UPDATE: In an emailed statement, Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams says that the agency just received notice that it will lose the Title X grant and is “reviewing the information to get a sense of the full impact.” The agency hopes the transition is smooth and the provider base remains strong, she wrote.
EARLIER: The federal government has pulled from the state of Texas millions in family planning funding, granting the money instead to a coalition led by the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, which says it can serve a greater number of women with the available funds.
For more than four decades, federal Title X funding has been dedicated to funding family planning services and covering clinics’ infrastructure costs. The funds are generally granted to providers (like Planned Parenthood) and/or to state health agencies. In Texas since 1980, the majority of the funding has been administered by the Department of State Health Services — roughly $18 million in 2012, for example; since 2009, DSHS has been the sole grantor of Title X funds.
(Edit, maybe it’s only half of that.)
Before this year, Federal tax dollars came back to Texas in two major funds: the Women’s Health Program and Family Planning, or Title X funds. Texas “matched” a certain amount and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services administered the dispersion of the money. Because the money paid for or freed up other funds for staff, marketing, and “infrastructure” or office overhead, PP was helped to keep their abortion clinics running. The overall effect was that State matching tax dollars helped PP to funnel patients, if not dollars, to their abortion clinics.
Texas was forced to make severe Budget cuts across the board in 2011, including Family Planning funds. This led to prioritizing what little money we had:
“State lawmakers cut funding for family planning services by two-thirds in the last legislative session, dropping the two-year family planning budget from $111 million to $37.9 million for the 2012-13 biennium. They also approved a tiered budget system for family planning funds, which gives funding priority to public health clinics, such as federally qualified health centers and comprehensive clinics that provide primary and preventative care over clinics that only provide family planning services.”
6:05/8:18 Farrar: “So, so, this diagnosis is missed, they
have a fetal anomaly, the spine’s outside the body or something, you say you would not have an exception for that situation.”
Watch the video at 6:05 (See below ++) of the April 10, 2013 Texas House State Affairs Committee meeting hearing on HB 2364, by Representative Jodi Laubenberg, as State Representative Jessica Farrar challenges a practicing OB/Gyn about his belief that abortion should not be performed when babies are found to have non-lethal “anomalies” after 20 weeks post-fertilization (or 22 weeks since last period).
I wonder how of you have heard of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell* in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Most people, whether pro-choice or pro-life, are horrified by the way Dr. Gosnell and his staff treated the babies they delivered both alive and dead.
We also squirm at the intentional killing of children who could otherwise live.
The limit of viability for the unborn, using current medical technology, is 20 to 23 weeks gestation. There have been reports of survivors born before this time. Who will be surprised when the limit moves even farther back? What will history say about us?
In fact, here in Texas, we have made it clear with our Prenatal Protection Act of 2003, spurred on by the deaths of Lacy and Connor Peterson, that our definition of individual (or person) includes all humans from fertilization to natural death.
*(Gosnell is accused of killing the babies who survive, of committing abortions after the legal age limit, and of mutilating the bodies of the babies after they were dead. One gruesome account is here.)
Talking about Texas’s history of conservative pro-life and pro-family laws.
By the way, the victim’s name is Leo Johnson.
FRC’s Tony Perkins again calls on SPLC to Stop Reckless Labeling of Christian Organizations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, Floyd Lee Corkins, II, pleaded guilty to three charges including a District of Columbia charge of committing an act of terrorism. The charges stem from the August 15, 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council’s headquarters.
Today’s hearing also revealed that in the interview with the FBI right after the shooting, the shooter admitted his guilt, which was captured on video. He said he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” The prosecutor said they reviewed the family computer and found that he identified his targets on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s web site.
Lest we forget, as Senator Zaffirini reminded us this afternoon, Leticia Van de Putte is a rabid advocate for Planned Parenthood. And, here’s who she was in 2003, when she ran away with the other Democrats to thwart the will of the voters of Texas on redistricting. (Edit - She’s the one who suggested to the 82nd Legislature that traditional marriage would be strengthened if the State passed a law requiring all marriages to include “some sex.” — clarified for context. BBN)
Here’s the story I wrote in 2003, published online at the time by the Washington Dispatch and on FreeRepublic.com
Racism in Texas Politics? Exclusive commentary by Beverly Nuckols
Aug 7, 2003
From the Op-Ed pages of the Houston Chronicle on August 6, 2003:
To paraphrase one of the greatest civil rights activists of the 20th century, “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Fannie Lou Hamer uttered these infamous words during her crusade in the 1960s and 1970s to encourage political participation and the right to vote by African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities.
“We and our fellow senators are in Albuquerque, N.M., because the same important issue faces the citizens and state of Texas.”
These words were written by three Houston Democrats: State Senators Rodney Ellis, Mario Gallegos and John Whitmire. They are members of a mixed-race, single-party gang of eleven Texas State Senators who fled across the border to Albuquerque, New Mexico in order to shut down the legislative process of Texas by denying the State Senate a quorum. The group, alternately called the “Killer D’s,” “Chicken D’s,”or “AlbuTurkeys”, panicked Monday afternoon, July 28th, and left the Austin Capitol Building to board two private jets provided by wealthy Texas businessmen, David Rogers, whose family owns the First National Bank of Edinburg, and Greg LaMantia, a partner in L&F Distributors for Anheuser-Busch in McAllen. They have set up camp in $150 to $200 per day rooms and suites at the Marriott Pyramid. The Chair of the 2004 Democratic Convention, who just happens to be New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson, immediately sent State Troopers to provide round-the-clock protection so that the Senators would be safe to make statements such as this to the media. Virtually every news article printed, and most of the television or radio reports, about the attempted-coup-by-flying-the-coop quote the flock of eleven about the races of the voters in Texas, but never a word is said about the racial diversity of their own group, much less about the divisive nature of their comments.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who is the current Senate Democratic Caucus, former Chair of the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus and the apparent gang leader of the runaways, engaged in similar rhetoric when I met with her at her hotel hideout on Sunday, August 3. (I drove and stayed in a much cheaper room in the same hotel.) Senator Van de Putte admitted that her constituency in the Bexar County area will not be touched by any of the proposed redistricting maps, because the Hispanic population is protected under Civil Rights laws and locked in by court rulings. However, the Senator with the Dutch surname repeatedly talked about her interests as “Hispanic” “Latino” and “minority,” while using the term, “Anglo” to represent those who oppose her and/or any group of people that she believed I would support. The Senator didn’t know that her use of the word “Anglo” would offend me, because of her own bias. She also doesn’t know how proud I am of my Cherokee ancestry, which gave me a great ability to tan instead of sunburn, and which made my eyes as dark as hers. And she evidently prefers to ignore the fact that 44% of Hispanic voters voted for the brown-eyed Republican Governor Rick Perry in 2002.
And then later, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram contains this little tidbit:
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, recalled that in 1993, Senate Democrats were pushing a resolution to have state judges elected from Texas House districts rather than running in countywide elections. At the time, the House had a solid Democratic majority while Republicans were winning countywide elections in many urban areas.
When the resolution came up for a vote in the Senate, most of the Republicans had left the floor, which left the body short of the 21 members it needed for a quorum.
“They didn’t leave the state; they just left the Senate,” Ellis recalled. “But they did succeed in shutting the place down, even if it was just for a day. I remember somebody asking me if it was like the Killer Bees (the nickname for the Senate Democrats who fled for four days in 1979), and I said it was more like the Killer WASPs.” (emphasis mine)
As a citizen of the State of Texas and an American, I am sick and tired of the racist comments and views of the eleven Democrat rogues who have run away to New Mexico in an act of extortion against the Governor and Lieutenant Governor who are only responding to the will of the voting majority. These cowardly partisans seem determined to divide the State along racial lines and blur their own political agenda. They have waged a campaign in the media to deliberately imply that the State’s redistricting effort is an attempt to take the votes from certain racial groups. In fact, the actions of the Democrats – now and in May when 51 Democrats hired buses to take them to Ardmore, Oklahoma – steal the power of the votes of the majority of Texans: those who voted for the Legislators who did show up for work when they were supposed to.
Beverly B. Nuckols, MD is a pro-life pro-human rights Family Practitioner from New Braunfels, Texas. Beverly can be contacted by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that the providers are up to date and much more widespread than the few PP clinics. The numbers of patients served in 2011 are all before the new program was established along with the outreach by DSHS to contract with more doctors and clinics.
The dots represent approved state women’s health program providers as of October, such as clinics or private physician practices. Many have more than than one doctor at the location.The color designates the number of Medicaid Women’s Health Program clients the provider saw in fiscal 2011, the most recent year data is available.
Just in time for all those same-sex newly-weds in the state of Washington, the Obama Administration and Democrat-pushed ObamaCare taxes will kick in, taxing married couples as one for the first time since Social Security and Medicare taxes were instituted as “payroll taxes.”
From the New York Times:
Among the most affluent fifth of households, those affected will see tax increases averaging $6,000 next year, economists estimate.
To help finance Medicare, employees and employers each now pay a hospital insurance tax equal to 1.45 percent on all wages. Starting in January, the health care law will require workers to pay an additional tax equal to 0.9 percent of any wages over $200,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.
The new taxes on wages and investment income are expected to raise $318 billion over 10 years, or about half of all the new revenue collected under the health care law.
Ruth M. Wimer, a tax lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery, said the taxes came with “a shockingly inequitable marriage penalty.” If a single man and a single woman each earn $200,000, she said, neither would owe any additional Medicare payroll tax. But, she said, if they are married, they would owe $1,350. The extra tax is 0.9 percent of their earnings over the $250,000 threshold.
Since the creation of Social Security in the 1930s, payroll taxes have been levied on the wages of each worker as an individual. The new Medicare payroll is different. It will be imposed on the combined earnings of a married couple.
The NYT article advises us all, that since our employers may not (!) know how much our spouses make, we need to make sure our employers take out enough taxes each pay period or to begin making extra estimated payments on our own.
Next stop: getting our money back from the Feds!
Granted a legal victory Thursday by a federal appeals court, state officials said they will begin working quickly to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program, which provides contraceptives and health care to low-income women.
The state also reversed course on funding for the health program, saying it would seek to have the federal government continue funding it, rather than switching to a state-funded program as planned.
“In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice,” Gov. Rick Perry said.
Thursday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was expected because it reaffirmed an August opinion that said Texas could legally exclude Planned Parenthood — or any organization that provides abortions or promotes the procedure — from the program.
But in a new wrinkle, state officials said the court victory will prompt them to press the federal government to continue providing money for the program — a reversal of U.S. policy that could save tens of millions of dollars in state money but is unlikely to happen without a fight.
The first day of early voting in Comal County yielded double the voter turn out on the same day in 2008, with more than 3100 voters compared to 1700.
I voted on the second day, and was pleased to find that the Comal County Voting Center on Landa Street in New Braunfels was up to the task. The County has designed an efficient and organized Center, with fast moving lines and 3 stations set up to check in voters.
I cast my first “straight Party” ticket since 1992, today. The first “page of the electronic ballot offers the option to vote for one Party or the other, and a vote for Republicans took me through each page of all the candidates and offices, allowing me to review and view the names of each candidate I voted for and to see who I wasn’t voting for. I hope that those of you who are tempted to just vote the top of the ticket or for a few candidates will consider taking my endorsement of the Republican candidates all up and down the ballot, with the ease of the straight Party vote! You’ll get the well known candidates, like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Donna Campbell for SD 25, Susan Narvaiz for Congressional District 35 and Kevin Webb for Comal County Commissioner, Pct 3, and you also support judges like Scott Fields, Jeff Rose and Bob Pemberton!
No matter where you live in Comal County, or where your regular voting place is, you can cast your ballot at any of the early voting places or times. Here’s the early voting opportunities in Comal County:
• New Braunfels: 345 Landa, Suite 101. Oct. 23-26, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Oct. 27, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oct. 29 — Nov. 2, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Canyon Lake: CRRC Community Center, 125 Mabel Jones Dr. Oct. 23-26, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Oct. 27, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oct. 29 — Nov. 1, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Nov. 2, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Bulverde: Bulverde / Spring Branch Library, 131 Bulverde Crossing. Oct. 23-26, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Oct. 27, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Nov. 2, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Garden Ridge: City Hall, 9400 Municipal Parkway. Oct. 23-26, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Oct. 27, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oct. 29 — Nov. 1, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Nov. 2, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WingRight reported on the harassment of Mark Regnerus, a University of Texas at Austin Professor of Sociology, for his study on the differences in the adult children of homosexual parents. Dr. Regnerus was subjected to an investigation by the University, which confiscated his computer and emails.
The University has exonerated the Professor, and released this statement on September 12, 2012:
“The University of Texas at Austin has determined that no formal investigation is warranted into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged against associate professor Mark Regnerus regarding his July article in the journal Social Science Research,” the school said in a statement. “As with much university research, Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study touches on a controversial and highly personal issue that is currently being debated by society at large.”The university expects the scholarly community will continue to evaluate and report on the findings of the Regnerus article and supports such discussion,” the statement concluded.
Women Defy “We Are Women” Rally Claims; Say Let Women Speak For Themselves
Washington DC, August 18—As some women gather at the Nation’s Capitol today for the “We Are Women” rally, members of the advocacy group, Women Speak For Themselves (WSFT; womenspeakforthemselves.com) are making their own voices heard. WSFT began with an open letter to the White House, Congress and Secretary Sebelius in February 2012, demanding respect both for religious freedom and for an understanding of woman’s freedom and equality that goes beyond “free contraception.” It now has over 31 thousand signatories from every state.
“It defies reason that a few groups could speak for all women on issues of life, family, sex and religion,” said WSFT founder, Helen Alvaré.
“The 31,000 plus women who have signed onto our open letter will no longer sit silently by while a few political figures and their allies insist that religious freedom has to bow to the theory, the ideology really, that the centerpiece of women’s freedom is sexual expression without commitment,” continued Alvaré.
Catherine, a woman in her twenties living in New York City and a signatory, wrote to WSFT: “Out of respect for themselves and others, many women choose to live a life of sexual integrity…Many of my girlfriends and I have found this approach to our sexuality to be freeing, empowering, and constitutive of a deep sense of happiness.”
“I’m a pro-choice woman who respects the rights of other women to hold different views,” wrote another WSFT member Carol, from Vermont. “More specifically I expect the government, in compliance with the Constitution, to protect every person from being coerced into acting in a manner contrary to his or her conscience. The HHS mandates are a fundamental violation of our rights to free speech and religion.”
Hundreds more women wrote to WSFT to express their strong opposition to the message of the Saturday rally.
“Our women come from diverse political, ideological and religious backgrounds,” Alvaré explained. “But they are united in their opposition to a ‘one size fits all’ version of what women really want, particularly a version contradicted by decades of data and women’s experience in the new sex, dating and marriage markets formed by the idea that contraception, with abortion as the backup, is the sum and substance of women’s equality.“
Jennifer from Indiana, for example, a signatory to the WSFT letter says:
”Women and reproduction are not things that need to be fixed, medicated, sterilized. To equate women’s rights and health to these things is to do an incredible disservice to the rights and health issues that women do face today.”
“An honest ‘We Are Women’ rally would acknowledge the diverse views held by women. It would acknowledge the science about the decline in women’s well-being associated with the world view this rally represents.” Alvaré says. “No one speaks for all women on these issues. Let women speak for themselves.”
“Hate speech,” right? Only if you advocate for divorce and serial monogamy — or practice media abuse.
I went searching for the original interview and found it, here:
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
A person has to try very hard to find hate in that comment or the others recorded in the piece about a radio interview that Mr. Cathy gave to the Biblical Recorder’s K. Allan Blume, and later published in the Baptist Press. In my opinion, your world view – or your agenda – must be pretty narrow to turn Mr. Cathy’s comments about the family and marriage into “anti” anything!
Here’s the part of the story that supposedly was “anti-gay:”
The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.
It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.
“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.
“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
As a “first wife,” I’m probably biased, but I like that he thanks the Lord for his marriage! And I don’t see any mention of gays, at all!
The San Antonio Express News published an editorial August 9th, by O. Ricardo Pimentel, entitled, “Texas tries to get between you, your doctor:”
For them, the issue isn’t abortion; it’s about the doctor-patient relationship, patient health and the ability to put everything on the table that needs to be discussed. Even if it’s abortion.
In a recent letter to the state, the Texas Medical Association, joined by other medical groups, said Texas is about to embark on a plan for providing medical care to low-income women that will impose a “gag order” on discussing abortion even on doctors working with patients not in the program.
Other groups, weighing in during the public comment period on proposed state rules, have similar concerns.
It’s a plan, they say, that will ensure not enough doctors for this program willing to provide care, including family planning services. And this, they say, will guarantee more unintended pregnancies, more abortions and more illness that might have been prevented for low-income women.
Among those also commenting on the rules were the Center for Public Policy Priorities, and leaders of Planned Parenthood entities in the state, South Texas groups among them.
Trust me, for everyone who is mentioned above, it’s about abortion. The law doesn’t stop anyone from discussing or even promoting true contraception that doesn’t end the life of our youngest children of tomorrow.
And it is about “elective abortions:” those that are performed on health babies in healthy mothers. We’re not talking about the more controversial abortions in cases of rape and incest, much less in the cases of congenital disorders that are “not compatible with life outside the womb and certainly not in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Since when do elective abortions “need to be discussed?“
How difficult is it to understand that Texas taxpayers should not pay for “promotion” of abortion? Or that we most certainly do not want our State tax funds to go to doctors who perform elective abortions on healthy babies and healthy mothers?
While I don’t speak for the Society, I am an elected delegate for my County Medical Society to the TMA House of Delegates and I believe that most of our members would agree with me on this. I am very much in favor of restricting payment from our limited State funds to only those doctors and organizations that provide comprehensive and continuing medical care for the whole woman and her whole family. With Texas Family Doctors, Internal Medicine Docs, Pediatricians and OB/Gyns reeling from the lack of increasing fees from Medicare and decreases in Medicaid funding, why not help keep them in business by adding the availability of billing the State for screening tests like pap smears, exams for breast masses, diabetes and high blood pressure?
In fact, that’s what the Legislature decided: that money would be prioritized. First come the comprehensive care docs, hospitals, and county and city clinics. Planned Parenthood is never mentioned, although there is a section of the law that absolutely prohibits the State from contracting with anyone who “promotes” abortion *if there are other qualified providers available.*
Texas DHS has already identified more than enough doctors and clinics that qualify under the law. These doctors can actually treat the diseases for which the Texas Women’s Health Plan screens. Our Texas Legislature made a wise decision when they agreed that it doesn’t make sense to send our few dollars to a clinic that treats a very narrow medical spectrum in an intermittent manner.
And the law has already saved human lives: Austin city and Travis County taxes once paid for 400 elective abortions each year. A year ago, the law achieved what the taxpayers who protested this use of their money couldn’t do: Austin and Travis County health clinics were forced to stop funding those abortions.
If you have a family doctor, consider a polite call to his or her front desk asking them to let the TMA know their views on using Texas’ tax funds to support Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
You might also consider contacting Texas Alliance for Life and/or you local Crisis Pregnancy Center to let them know that you support their efforts to keep your State (and federal) tax funds from paying for the ending of lives of our Texans of tomorrow.
Based on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of our United States is designed to secure our rights to life, liberty and property for every human being, not just the ones who can speak out. Those of us who can speak, should join in the effort to protect the rights of all, including the unborn children of tomorrow, male and female, and everyone who objects to government-sponsored efforts to end their lives. The recent Obama mandate that infringes on the First Amendment protection of the right of free exercise of religion and their on-going efforts to force Texas to fund Planned Parenthood with State taxes is in direct violation of the Bill of Rights.
I received an email tonight from the group, “Women Speak for Themselves” asking for comments on next Saturday’s Washington, DC rally sponsored by pro-abortion, anti-family and anti-First Amendment rights groups:
This Saturday, on the National Capitol lawn, Think Progress (a George Soros funded group) is hosting a “We Are Women” rally. Soros’ group, along with some of their co-sponsors, the usual—the National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, and the National Women’s Political Caucus—along with some more peculiar groups—Rock The Slut Vote, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Reformed Whores entertainers, among others—have a specific goal in mind.
“Our mission,” their website reads, “is to bring national attention to the ongoing war on women’s rights…”
Not surprisingly, the language on their website gives the appearance that they’re claiming to speak for all women on matters of healthcare, family, and freedom…which makes this just the type of event at which we need to make our voices heard! And so, here’s where YOU come in.
Prior to the rally, we’ll be releasing a statement to the press, informing them that there are women with alternative views on these matters, should the press wish to include us in the discussion. We’d like to add YOUR voices to that statement.
Send us a brief statement (2-3 sentences), articulating why as a woman you stand for and believe freedom includes protection for life, family, and/or religion. Be sure to include your full name, city and state, and your occupation, if you’d like—along with permission for us to include your information and quote in our press release.
If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to use our two sets of talking points for ideas (though your statement need not be solely focused on the HHS mandate), and try to stay focused on why you’re FOR our view of women’s freedom, as opposed to AGAINST the view of women’s freedom being put forth by Soros and cohorts.
Thanks for your help with this….I look forward to your statements!
My best to you,
P.S. I’m told some pro-lifers will be gathering at the North Capitol Lawn on Saturday, to hold a counter protest. The rally starts at 11am, I believe, so feel free to head on over, with signs and pro-life gear, if you’d like to be a joyful example of the alternative.
I wish I could attend the counter protest, but I’m committed to a meeting for the Christian Medical and Dental Association that day. If you can attend, please do. Either way, send a message to http://womenspeakforthemselves.com/ or @womenspeak2012!
And anyone who supports his views is at risk, too.
In June, WingRight.org reported on the publication of Mark Regnerus‘ article, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” in Social Science Research. The adults reported more problems when compared to adult children of “intact biological families.” The early complaints from critics were that the data didn’t distinguish between types of homosexual relationships in the same way that it did among heterosexual families. The adult subjects were designated as having Lesbian Mothers (LM) or gay fathers (GF), without breaking out smaller groups by how long or stable the relationships of the parents were. This was a weakness in the study that was recognized by the author.
Legitimate criticism was rare. One article, here, by Walter Olson under “Gay Voices” at least looks at the data itself, although dismissing much of it and declaring the author’s own bias. Critics repeatedly point to a very few small studies of carefully chosen – often self-selected -upper-middle class LM families that are written by very biased authors, who openly advocate for same-sex marriage and parenting. Somehow, they believe that bias in favor is not significant, but any data or mention that there might be negative consequences from alternative families – or documentation of positive outcomes from intact biological families – is immediately dismissed as bigoted and discriminatory.
However, instead of focusing on the problems described and noting that adult children of divorced and step families also fared poorly compared to IBFs, the conversation in the media and on line quickly became attacks on Dr. Regnerus, the source of the funding, the Witherspoon Institute, and the connections between the leaders of the Institute and the National Organization for Marriage.
An article in “The New Civil Rights Movement,” an online site devoted to “gay rights and issues and marriage equality,” very literally attacks not only Dr. Regnerus, Witherspoon and NOM, but also tears apart the motives and history of a man who came forward to tell his story after the Regnerus piece was published. The author, gay rights activist Scott Rosensweig who writes under the name Scott Rose, is most certainly biased. His piece is loaded with emotional rants, using words such as the repeated use of “gay-bashing”personal attacks on the author of the Witherspoon essay.
And now, the heat is on the University of Texas to somehow censor or censure Dr. Regnerus. Due to a “formal” complaint by Rosensweig, author of the article above, UT is conducting an inquiry to determine whether to fully investigate Dr. Regnerus and his methods. Rosensweig’s letter evidently charged that “Your employee, Professor Mark Regnerus, is shaming and disgracing your institution by violating your university’s academic honor code,” he wrote. “If you take no stand against Regnerus’ coordinated political anti-gay hate campaign then you are leaving your institution’s reputation in a garbage-bin of iniquity.”
I’m forwarding my own essay to the University and suggest that those of you with an interest in the issue, or who pay taxes in Texas, send them your own polite informative notes. President Bill Power’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
You wouldn’t know it from most of the headlines, however. Most of the mainstream news articles say that Federal Judge Alan C Kay ruled against gay marriage, “refuses to legalize gay marriage” or “upholds” a “ban” on gay marriage. One article at “Think Progress,” is even titled, “Reagan-Appointed Judge Upholds Marriage Discrimination In Hawaii.“
In fact, what the judge ruled was that the Courts shouldn’t overturn State Constitutional amendments passed by a popular vote of the people and/or laws passed by the State Legislature without good reason:
If the traditional institution of marriage is to be restructured, as sought by Plaintiffs, it should be done by a democratically-elected legislature or the people through a constitutional amendment, not through judicial legislation that would inappropriately preempt democratic deliberation regarding whether or not to authorize same-sex marriage.
Rational basis review does not authorize “the judiciary [to] sit as a
superlegislature to judge the wisdom or desirability of
legislative policy determinations made in areas that neither
affect fundamental rights nor proceed along suspect lines.” Jackson, Kleid, &Bradley v. Ambercrombie & Fudder ruling by Alan C. Kaye for District Court in Hawaii.
The judge does explore the history of marriage and, indeed, concludes that marriage has traditionally included a man and a woman and that the Supreme Court and Circuit Court rulings have never considere marriage to be anything else. He also noted that homosexuals are not a “suspect class” that is protected from discrimination and that the law does not discriminate based on gender.
In an odd twist, the Governor of Hawaii, Democrat Neil Ambercrombie, was not only a defendant in the case,he testified for the plaintiffs, and against traditional marriage.