Update from the Detroit News:
“[T]he judge left intact conspiracy and obstruction charges that could send Nagarwala and three others to federal prison for decades.”
This story has me thinking about the powers of the State vs. the Federal government.
I am a firm believer that the individual States should regulate and enforce both criminal law and the practice of medicine.
States may make what I might consider errors in their specific codes and punishments. However, the 50 States act as individual laboratories for laws and law enforcement. As long as the States rather than the Federal government regulate these areas, citizens have a better access to the Legislators who make the laws and the bureaucracy that implement and enforce them. The voters can speak directly to their legislators in person and at the ballot box and, if truly unhappy or unwilling to wait for often slow legal changes, they can move to a State with laws they like.
These cases involve two doctors and multiple accomplices who conspired to bring girls across State lines in order to carry out Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The procedure is described in words and pictures at the link above and at the World Health Organization report(in .pdf), but here’s the short, least-horrifying-I-could-come-up-with version:
Pre-pubertal girls (two of the girls in this case were 7 years old at the time) are subjected to some degree of cutting in their genital area. The procedure may be anywhere between a minor cutting sufficient to cause bleeding without permanent structural or functional change, to removal of the entire labia majora and minora, along with the entire clitoris, with the vaginal opening sewn almost completely closed, only to be opened (obviously, traumatically) at marriage to allow vaginal intercourse and at childbirth.
The clitoris is a sensitive organ and very much an important part of the sexual function of the female body. The cutting site, the scarring, and the consequences of obstructed urine and menstrual flow can be life long. The actual reported goal is to make the girl chaste and impair her ability to engage in illicit sex and blunt her sexual pleasure.
FGM is a criminal act and should most certainly be malpractice under State’s medical codes. These sorts of cases would normally best be brought before the State courts.
The reason that these particular cases should be prosecuted (also prosecuted?) in Federal Court is that the girls were transported across State lines. In addition, they were irreversibly mutilated solely because they are females. If this latter doesn’t come under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause, I need a lawyer to explain that protection. In slow, simple language, please.
Now, I know some people will ask how I can oppose what is most likely a religious act and one that seems to come under both parental rights protection and the penumbra of “right to privacy.” And what about male circumcision?
The right to freedom of religion. Parental rights, and privacy do not have precedence over the rights not to be permanently harmed. Unlike male circumcision, there’s no medical reason to perform FGM, FGM directly impairs multiple bodily functions, and carries a significant risk of life long pain, repetitive infections, and even death.
It’s the legitimate function of government under our US Constitution and supported by the Declaration of Independence to protect the rights of individuals from being placed in harm’s way. These cases of mutilation are nothing but harmful for life, were performed on minors who are too young to consent, and were accomplished by conspiracy, using federally regulated telecommunications to make appointments, taking the girls across State lines, and utilized State licensed personnel, equipment, and medications.
I hope the Federal appeals overturn this ruling. Quickly!
“”1 Most people with the capacity to become pregnant identify as women. Historically, both jurisprudence and public health data have focused on women when addressing reproductive rights and health. But there is an emerging recognition in the law and society more generally that not all people who may become pregnant identify as women. See generally Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312, 1316-19 (11th Cir. 2011)(holding, consistent with the weight of authority, that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender nonconformity”) (collecting cases); Robin Marantz Henig, How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender, National Geographic (2017), https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/01/how-science-helps-us-understand-gender-identity/. The Constitution protects the rightof all individuals to end an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of gender identity.”
“Lawyers have told a judge that he had been biologically able to become pregnant but had legally become a man when the child was born.
“Explaining their unusual parenting arrangements, Amy said: “We went through a lot of fertility treatments, until we finally reached a point where we needed to make a decision as to whether we were going to do more medical intervention or if we were going to switch bodies. (emphasis mine)
“We were fortunate enough to have two uteruses. So, after a lot of thought and emotion and difficulties we switched to Chris.
“And while Chris lived as a man and didn’t feel female, he was willing to use his womb for the good of their family.”
About that private Christian high school that refused to allow a girl to walk at graduation. Okay, I get it: you have rules and worry about the influence on younger students.
Yeah, ’cause if your teaching about sin doesn’t prevent other students from premarital sex, not getting to walk at graduation will! Or at least not to let you know about it.
Well, for one thing, this girl has already proven that actions have consequences!
How about the one without sin casting the first stone? Is there no place in your world view for, “Go, and sin no more?”
You’re not celebrating her pregnancy. You’re celebrating her fulfilment of the requirements for graduation. And demonstrating what it means to follow Christ.
Why not turn this into a lesson on loving the sinner, on promoting life, on the fact that her life isn’t over and even though it will be harder, she can achieve, even without killing her child by intentional interventional elective abortion?
This tops every gender protectionist rant I’ve seen.
The April, 2016, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published a “Pediatrics Perspective titled “The Unintended Consequences of Invoking the ‘Natural’ in Breastfeeding Promotion.” The authors invoked a concern that promoting “natural” as superior might enforce objections to vaccines. But then, they call the promotion of breastfeeding “ethically problematic” to “support biologically deterministic arguments about the roles of men and women in the family.”
I’ll say it again, biology isn’t destiny, but it does have consequences. Besides, men can lactate, too. Under certain circumstances.
Liberty is not simply the freedom to act, it’s the more fundamental freedom not to act. Remember the proverb that “The right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose?” True liberty includes the right *not* to make a fist at all. To force the hand of a person against his will other than to defend the higher-priority right to life is to enslave him.
The same sex marriage ruling and protected status for “sexual orientation” is the latest socialist infringement on the inalienable right to liberty. In the name of “equality,” “fairness” and even “liberty,” they attempt to give government the ownership of all property and the means to earn it.
In particular, they demand that people of conscience either deny their faith or get out of government and public activities, including business and earning a living. (For real life examples, read the earliest few comments, here. Or here.)
People who want what they want, when they want it, and from whom they want it seem to have no problem forcing other citizens to act against their will. In order to devalue the right of conscience and religion they deny the rights in the First Amendment of the Constitution – or the very existence of inalienable rights at all.
The Board of Labor of Oregon just gave us a perfect example just this week. Brad Avakian, the judge in the Sweet Cakes Bakery case, has slapped the couple with a gag order. He would deny them free speech as well as the free exercise of their religion.
Here’s the justification for that order.
(Thanks to Kelsey Harkness!)
The Supreme Court of the United States, States and local governments cannot create a world of gumdrops and lollipops, where everyone likes everyone and everything they do. There is no right not to be inconvenienced, much less the right not to be offended. The right to liberty of anyone may not be infringed for the benefit of another person’s pursuit of happiness without significant distress to society and government.
Read the Declaration of Independence to see what happens when governments attempt to do so.
Wells Fargo is celebrating “diversity” in their new ad showing two women learning sign language. The story reveals that the women are a lesbian couple, about to be the “new mommies” to an adopted girl who is deaf.
(Oh, look! The gay couple are doing such a good thing! Celebrate their goodness! Ignore the political and spiritual realities! And attack anyone who points out those realities!)
Wells Fargo could have simply depicted a traditional married couple, a man and woman, a doing the same thing — perhaps even learning a language in order to do mission work. Instead, they went out of their way to celebrate a small population that a much larger population considers to be practicing a sinful lifestyle.
How I wish the company had used their advertising dollars to give attention to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that is “Helping others in Jesus’ name.” Talk about diversity! Take a look at how they are helping mommies around the world.
Ignoring the law, another County Clerk unilaterally decides to issue marriage licenses. This is how the law has been undermined in California and other States. (And why it’s important to vote “down-ballot.”
That was on display in Colorado on Wednesday afternoon, when the county clerk in the liberal city of Boulder announced she would issue same-sex marriage licenses even though the 10th Circuit — which along with Colorado and Utah includes, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming — stayed its decision pending appeal. The state’s attorney general declared the licenses invalid because Colorado’s gay marriage prohibition is still the law, but Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall said she would continue to issue them until stopped by a court.
**The Texas Solution as it appeared in the final 2012 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas:
The Texas Solution – Because of decades-long failure of the federal government to secure our borders and address the immigration issue, there are now upwards of 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States today, each of whom entered and remain here under different circumstances. Mass deportation of these individuals would neither be equitable nor practical; while blanket amnesty, as occurred with the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986, would only encourage future violations of the law. We seek common ground to develop and advance a conservative, market- and law-based approach to our nation’s immigration issues by following these principles:
1. Secure Our Borders – The U.S. Border must be secured immediately! We demand the application of effective, practical and reasonable measures to secure our borders and to bring safety and security for all Americans along the border and throughout the nation.
2. Modernize the United States Social Security Card – We support the improvement of our 1936 Social Security card to use contemporary anti-counterfeit technology. The social security card will not be considered a National ID card for U.S. citizens.
3. Birthright Citizenship – We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions.
4. Create an Effective and Efficient Temporary Worker Program – A national Temporary Worker Program should be implemented to bring skilled and unskilled workers into the United States for temporary periods of time when no U.S. workers are currently available. The program should also require:
• Self-funding through participation fees and fines;
• Applicants must pass a full criminal background check;
• Applicants with prior immigration violations would only qualify for the program if they paid the appropriate fines;
• Applicants and/or Employers must prove that they can afford and/or secure private health insurance;
• Applicants must waive any and all rights to apply for financial assistance from any public entitlement programs;
• Applicant must show a proficiency in the English language and complete an American civic class;
• Temporary Workers would only be able to work for employers that deduct and match payroll taxes;
• All participants would be issued an individual Temporary-Worker Biometric Identification ard that tracks all address changes and both civil and criminal court appearances as a defendant.
Down the slippery slope, we have a “throuple,” a three-woman marriage, performed in Massachusetts in August of last year. One of the women is now expecting a baby.
All men and women may take advantage of the “benefit’ of marriage. However, it required a redefinition of marriage for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman. Such a redefinition was never required to allow the black man and woman to drink from the water fountain or for a black man to marry a white woman or a black woman to marry a white man.
Once the redefinition began, what is there to stop anyone from making their own meaning?
I agree that freedom and the recognition of rights means that I will live among people who don’t agree with me. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for over forty years; I know that reality very well! However, I don’t have to sit quietly while throuples and others change laws to force me to involuntarily subsidize their choices. It is the duty of the ones desiring change to prove it beneficial or harmless *prior* to the change. Instead, we saw illegal acts by the mayors of San Francisco and other cities, lawsuit after lawsuit, after lawsuit . . . And suddenly: “it’s the law of the land!”
Edited – Added that last paragraph – BBN
We are beginning to hear how great for the State of Texas it is that Leticia San Miguel Van De Putte will be the Democrat nominee for Lieutenant Governor in November. The story is that she will cause more Latinos to register to vote in the hopes that she will represent the 38% of Texas voters better than the Anglo man who will be nominated by the Republican Party.
Think so? I don’t.
Democrat Senator Judith Zaphirini nominated Senator Leticia Van de Putte for Senate President Pro Tempore on the opening day of the Texas 83rd Legislature on January 8, 2013:
Move the cursor to 45 minutes in, when Senator Zaphirini introduces Leticia Van de Putte’s children and grandchildren. Listen to the words, watch the faces around her.
“Six children, six grandchildren! What blessings! I’m not sure at what point in time Senator Van De Putte became such an advocate for Planned Parenthood, but her children are so glad that it wasn’t earlier than it actually was.”
Just after posting the article about Great Britain’s new official exclusion of pro-life doctors, I received an email from AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-life OB/Gyns, referring to this article:
“In medicine, the vast majority of conscientious objection (CO) is exercised within the reproductive healthcare field – particularly for abortion and contraception. Current laws and practices in various countries around CO in reproductive healthcare show that it is unworkable and frequently abused, with harmful impacts on women’s healthcare and rights. CO in medicine is supposedly analogous to CO in the military, but in fact the two have little in common.
This paper argues that CO in reproductive health is not actually Conscientious Objection, but Dishonourable Disobedience (DD) to laws and ethical codes.”
Read the rest for more about the “dishonorable doctors” who follow their consciences and well over 2000 years of “First, do no harm.”
Edited: BBN to add corrected url,
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Great Britain have determined that any nurses or doctors who oppose any form of contraception may not complete training and will not receive certification in the specialty:
Doctors who oppose morning-after pill on conscience grounds face qualifications bar
Guidelines confirm that doctors and nurses who oppose controversial emergency contraception on ‘moral or religious’ grounds cannot receive key specialist qualifications
This is very possible in the US. Take a look here at some fairly recent history of attempts to keep docs from practicing with a conscience.
I wrote a very difficult letter today. I resigned from the organization that is supposed to support Family Physicians in our education, practice management and good medical care of our patients. Instead, the American Academy of Family Physicians too often strays toward forcing its members to be complicit with controversial policies such as condoning gun control and over-the-counter contraceptive drugs, and condemnation of “reparative therapy” for homosexual patients, even when those patients are unhappy with their sexuality. I write about my main conflicts and the “final straw” in the letter:
It is with great regret that I write this letter as notice that I have decided not to renew either my Texas or American Academy of Family Practice membership. While I am still a family doctor, neither the Texas Academy of Family Practice (TAFP) nor the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) represent my political or ethical views.
The political, social and ethical controversies were the main reason I remained in the Academy for the last few years since I left full time practice. I hoped that I could make a difference by volunteering my time and money as an active participant in the Texas Academy, the National Conference of Special Constituencies, the AAFP list serves, the Academy Legislative meetings in DC and our annual AAFP Congress of Delegates.
From the time of Hillary Clinton’s closed meetings on healthcare to the endorsement of the passage of the ACA before it was written, the political actions of the AAFP leaders has disappointed me in Washington, DC. Our practice hassle factors have grown and grown, too often with the blessings of – and sometimes due to the experiments with alternative methods of practice by – the Academy.
The AAFP advocated for elective abortion before I joined as a Student member and I accepted that the burden of persuasion was on those of us who disagreed.
However, the Academy’s decision to advocate for the redefinition of marriage in 2012 and the refusal to reconsider the extracted Resolution on marriage neutrality at the 2013 Congress of Delegates in San Diego were the final proof that there’s no tolerance for family doctors who hold conservative politics or traditional ethics in the Academy.
Unfortunately, our TAFP spokesperson to the 2013 AAFP Reference Committee on Advocacy misrepresented the Texas Delegation’s instructions from the Directors on marriage. As I remember the discussion and vote, the intention was to allow the Texas delegates wide latitude in voting on any final form of the Resolution.
I hereby resign from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and as a Fellow of the AAFP.
I waited to resign after nearly 30-year membership until the last minute before being dropped (for lack of paying my annual dues). There were several reasons for my hesitancy. For one thing, I didn’t want to be an undue influence on other members when they considered whether or not to write that hefty annual check to the Academy. For another, while I will continue to work with the AAFP and the Christian Medical and Dental Association to protect the right to life, marriage, the conscience rights of doctors within the profession of medicine and the specialty of Family Medicine, I do believe that it is important to work to persuade from within the organization. The biggest problem with finally writing the letter was that I was looking for a way to somehow keep my integrity while allowing the Academy to claim to represent me.
However, now that I’ve resigned, please consider sharing my letter with your family doctor. Many of them are unaware of the policies that our professional organizations push on good doctors of today and the students and residents who will be our doctors of tomorrow.
Libertarians within the Republican Party and Republicans who are called “moderate” because they aren’t social Conservatives claim that we will win over more voters and that it’s hypocritical of small-government Conservatives to use government to define or license marriage.
Radio talk show host and commentator Dennis Prager destroyed the claim that Republicans could win elections by dropping our social conservative platform planks in his recent essay :
“To respond to the first argument, it is hard to believe that most people who call themselves fiscal conservatives and vote Democrat would abandon the Democratic Party if the Republican Party embraced same-sex marriage and abortion.
“The left and its political party will always create social issues that make Republicans and conservatives look “reactionary” on social issues. Today it is same-sex marriage, the next day it is the Republican “war on women,” and tomorrow it will be ending the objective male-female designation of Americans (Children should have the right to determine their gender and not have their parents and their genitalia determine it, even at birth). Or it will be animal rights, race-based affirmative action or an environmentalist issue.”
Contrary to the claims of those libertarians, traditional marriage of one man and one woman encourages smaller, not larger, government. State marriage licenses prevent the need for a formal legal contract (and a lawyer) before marriage in order to clarify the mutual duties and rights of spouses, inheritance, and a myriad of paternity/maternity rights within intact marriages, at death, and on dissolution of the marriage. Recognizing that not all marriages result in children, the laws do recognize the State’s “compelling interest” in defending the child’s right to life, liberty and property.
While some (on the Right, as well as the Left) might favor laws making entering into a marriage as burdensome and expensive as divorce, many people would simply cohabit. When they go their separate ways – or if one dies – without a marriage license, the Courts will still determine the separation of property and child custody. At best, the new burden will be added to the old. Or, more likely, whole new layers of court rulings and State or Federal legislation would have to be added to replace current law.
There are strong historic, biologic and societal reasons behind the support for defending the Conservative definition of marriage. The new definition is not clear-cut and has very little history. However, the proponents of gay marriage are seeking not only all of the legal – government – benefits and protections afforded traditional marriage, as well as special protection from those same governments to coerce everyone with a business license into participating in their nuptials. There’s nothing “small government” about “getting the State out of the marriage.”
Great news. If there must be abortion, and it’s “between a woman and her doctor,” shouldn’t the doctor have hospital privileges to care for complications? Or does he cease being “her doctor” when she needs him most?
A federal appeals panel on Thursday overturned a lower court decision that had deemed a portion of Texas’ controversial sweeping abortion restrictions as unconstitutional.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had already temporarily lifted a district court injunction that blocked a state provision requiring abortion doctors to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from going into effect.
Thursday’s ruling gives Texas the green light to continue enforcing the provision on a permanent basis.
An unelected Federal judge overturned the Texas Constitution’s definition of marriage, proving the Courts’ lack of respect for our Constitutional Republic – and democracy in general.
Marriage is what it is: the union between one man and one woman. No one, least of all a lawmaker in the form of an activist judge, can make two men or two women “one flesh,” literally or figuratively. Biology isn’t destiny, but it does have consequences. The biological reality is that the male form and the female form are complementary for both pleasurable sex and for procreation.
No one ever claimed that the design of water fountains made one fountain suitable for one race and another fountain suitable for the other. In contrast, there is an obvious biological and common sense suitability in the sexual union of the male and female body – as well as potential consequences of that union– that can’t be found in homosexual sex acts.
Even in polygamous marriage, the man enters into many marriages, each between himself and an individual woman. Polygamy doesn’t create a marriage between the man, his wives and that woman. There’s certainly more history in support of polygamy than for same sex “marriage.”
In their zeal to redefine marriage and restructure society, the Left and the US Federal Courts engage in the equivalent of LaMarckian experiments with the fundamental institution of social organization of our society and government.If, as the Left claims, our Nation has “evolved” toward their definition of marriage, why must the Courts turn over State Legislature after Legislature?
That the People and the States were to be sovereign over the United States Federal government is supported both by the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution and the original document’s provision for an orderly Amendment process. The Courts must stop acting as though the Constitution reserves the major decisions to the Federal Courts, while only allowing the People and our elected Legislatures to decide inconsequential matters.
Adryana Boyne is one of the most courageous, outspoken and well-spoken women I know – not only in Texas politics, but quite possibly in the world! What a blessing that she speaks for life, marriage and family and personal opportunity and responsibility! If you are in Texas House of Representatives District 102, you are blessed to have the opportunity to vote for Adryana to speak for you in Austin.
I’ll admit that I have longed for someone who can stand toe to toe with the minority women Democrats when they pull out the minority women victims’ card. Adryana, who is a naturalized citizen born in Mexico, educated at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, and former missionary, founding member of VocesAction, and a speaker for True The Vote and many other conservative organizations, can certainly do that.
However, she won’t ever play the victim card. There’s no need.
It wouldn’t matter if Adryana had been born in her district and, like me, could only speak a few words of Spanish. This wife of an engineer (a minister who has served the Lord as a missionary) and mother of two young men is a stalwart, steadfast and absolutely fearless defender of Conservative values. She and I have walked the halls of the Texas Capitol in the defense of the right to life and traditional marriage and I’ve witnessed her powerful voice and presence across our Nation as a speaker and advocate and as a moderator and participant on panels exploring current events and politics.
Please watch Adryana speaking on immigration and the 10th Amendment on Fox news (and watch Adryana overcome the effort of the Dem who tried to introduce a red herring), here. Take the time to read Adryana’s qualifications and blog posts at TexasGOPVote.Org and visit her campaign website to read the endorsements of other Texas leaders and her explanation about why her values moved her to run for office.
I hope everyone is looking carefully at the anti-incumbent candidates in the upcoming Republican Primary. Not all of them are as conservative as they would have you believe.
For instance, there’s the candidate running against conservative, prolife, pro-family Congressman Pete Sessions of the Texas Congressional District 32.
Katrina Pierson, who last achieved notoriety when she called an honorable man “deformed” due to his injuries as a Marine in Iraq.
However, few heard about Pierson’s anti-Conservative tweets on “social issues” and “homosexuality” which were the subject of a Wingright.org post a month later, just before the run-off in July, 2012.
(These Tweets are evidently still on her Twitter account, as I downloaded them anew, today, February 16, 2014. I wonder how long she’ll leave them up?)
It’s important that those voting know about how the candidates really feel about the “social issues,” don’t you think?
I’ve asked some supporters of Pierson to speak to her and get her on record as pro-life and pro-marriage, but haven’t heard back from them. I hope before you vote for her, you will ask her yourself.
First, I hope and (am praying) Marni begins to love her child and allows her to live.
The Texas Tribune has published an interview with a couple whose baby’s life has been spared – at least for a few days – by Texas law.
Here’s the interview:
However, she found 2 alternatives within 2 days, so her rights are not at all infringed upon.
Marni is mistaken about the number of abortions in Texas every year. There were 66,000, not 80,000 abortions in 2012. 72,000 in 2011, 77,500 in 2010, 77,850 in 2009.
Marni specifically asks what sorts of “resources” the State and pro-life people have made available. She should have already known – and should ask their abortionist at her next appointment – about the Texas Woman’s Right to Know “Resource Directory.” She should have been given a copy at her first abortion consult appointment with Planned Parenthood. It’s also available online here., The file in pdf includes the information she asked about. The booklet lists agencies and assistance that’s available from the State, County, and private organizations for pregnant women in Travis County.
I’m not surprised that their comments are so political, and that John talks about politicians “shoring up their base,” etc., since that’s a common talking point for abortion advocates when they talk about pro-life politicians. I’m sure that someone at Planned Parenthood fed them the inaccurate statistics and coached them on the motives of people like me and the legislators who worked to protect life.
(I do have to wonder how Marni and John missed all the press leading up to the passage of HB2. You would think they’d have heard about Wendy Davis’ filibuster at least!)
Hopefully, when they see the way they’ve been misled about statistics, they will begin to understand that the prolife activists and politicians are as honest as we can be about our motives.
Victory on two levels! Many of Texas’ abortion facilities are closed today because they don’t have doctors with hospital privileges and today, the DC Court of Appeals ruled in favor of religious conscience rights, even for people who own businesses!
From The Hill, a blog out of Washington, DC:
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.
Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.
“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
It appears that Planned Parenthood doesn’t change teen pregnancy rates – it’s neither necessary nor effective:
The study uses pregnancy rates reported by the Texas Department of Health State Services.
In 1996, a year before opposition to Planned Parenthood began, the teen pregnancy rates across the panhandle was more than 43.6 per 1,000 girls.
Two years after all facilities had closed, teen pregnancy was at 24.1 per 1,000 girls. Researchers are claiming that this is a significant confirmation that Planned Parenthood\’s presence and its sex education programs are not a necessary tool in reducing teen pregnancy.
But that doesn\’t seem to be the case everywhere across the state.
NewsChannel 10 has done some more research of it\’s own. In other areas of Texas where Planned Parenthood is a part of sex education and teen pregnancy rates have also dropped.
Texans paid for this study by the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts, Texas Policy Evaluation Project, founded to “evaluate” the effect of the 2011 State budget cuts on Family Planning, ignoring the deep cuts on everything else the State funded. (Speaking of ignoring: the website hasn’t updated the information on Family Planning since the 2013 Legislature added over $200 Million dollars to the program.)
Tx-PEP, as they call themselves, got some publicity on a San Antonio radio station, WOAI, today, complaining that women will have to “go without” elective abortions.
A pro choice activist group says the strict new abortion restrictions which were approved by the Texas Legislature in July will result in more than 22,000 Texas women per year being unable to undergo an abortion, 1200 WOAI news reports.
“Women particularly in rural areas and outside of cities who want to terminate a pregnancy, will have no recourse because there will be no late term providers left,” Jody Jacobsen of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, told 1200 WOAI news.
Elective abortions are “elective.” These are not abortions to save the life of the mother. They are abortions due to “choice.”
Of course, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project doesn’t admit that none of the current abortionists are in rural areas. In other words, anyone seeking an elective abortion today must go to a big city and may be inconvenienced.
Forget any pretense at impartiality:
The laws do not cover women who are less than twenty weeks gestation, and abortions will still be available to them.
But Jacobsen says it’s all a matter of personal freedom.
“Who is Rick Perry to tell me what decisions I should or should not have made, or what any other woman should or should not have made,” she said.
“. . . graduate from high school, keep your first job for over 1 year, get married and stay married.”
Common sense, right? Okay, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3, and association doesn’t equal causation, but who would argue, right?
“Politifact Texas” would. The Politifact.com website claims to fact check political news and news makers’ comments, and has a Texas Edition. In my opinion, they tend to hit such comments from the Left of center. In this case, they seem to go out of their way to prove Texas Rail Road Commissioner Barry Smitherman wrong, but – even by stressing the importance of the economy in the equation – they prove him right.
Take a few steps, Barry Smitherman said, and you won’t live in poverty. Smitherman, seeking the 2014 Republican nomination for Texas attorney general, put his point this way in prepared remarks for an Aug. 26, 2013, appearance before the Texas Alliance for Life: “Several years ago, the Economist magazine published a piece which said that you only have to do three things to guarantee that you will live above the poverty line—graduate from high school, keep your first job for over 1 year, get married and stay married.”
The rest of the article traces the history of the publications that make the claims to which Commissioner Smitherman refers.
Conscience? More “Trust me, I’ll violate my conscience” news:
Tolerance. Diversity. Broad-mindedness. Those are the words.
Bullying. Discriminating. Compelling. Those are the deeds.
The contradictory words and deeds often come from one and the same individuals–and in a case I learned about today, companies. Turns out the words of tolerance, diversity and broad-mindedness only apply to those who comply with the dogma and submit to the will of the speakers.
Here’s an email I received this morning from a pharmacist member of the Christian Medical Association:
“Subject: Forced to resign over mandate to sell the morning after pill.
“Just to let you know that Rite-Aid corporation came out with a stricter policy on July 5, 2013 that requires all employees to accommodate the sale of the morning-after pill to all comers, of either gender and of any age.”
While I don’t believe that Plan B is an abortifacient, I do believe it’s a powerful drug and that adolescents shouldn’t be able to buy it over the counter. I also find it hard to trust someone who will agree to go against their conscience!
“They put the three of us up front like a “panel” discussion, and the reporters started asking us questions about our presentation, allowing us an opportunity to talk about what we came to present. About 20 minutes into the interview, the Secretary General of MIWA, a Canadian woman, burst into the room (I kid you not. …and all of this is on camera), and came up to the table and said “What presentation is this? Donna Harrison said “it’s not a presentation”. So she snarled “Why are you being interviewed? At that point, the answers were left to Anna, our host. Anna said that this was a requested interview by the press.
“The SecGen then said “Who gave you permission to interview these people?” And the reporters said “We are the press, we don’t need anyone’s permission. We have freedom of the press” And the Sec Gen snarled at Anna and said “Did you arrange this? Did you talk to the organizing committee?” And Anna said “I am on the organizing committee. I don’t need to talk to anyone.” And the Sec Gen stood in front of the camera, and refused to move, and said “The interview is over.” Then the reporters said “You can’t do this. We have the freedom of the press. You are interfering with the freedom of the press.” But the Sec Gen would not move and said “The interview is over.””
In spite of repetitive fraud, in spite of Texas’ laws prohibiting sending money to affiliates of abortionists, in spite of all our work.
Planned Parenthood clinics could be facing a legal fight that could keep them from receiving funding for impoverished Medicaid patients.
When the state passed the Women’s Health Program in 2005, legislators said the intent was to provide more family planning services, but not abortions, to low-income Medicaid patients.
State Sen. Bob Deuell said due to a loophole in the law, Planned Parenthood is part of the program, but thinks they shouldn’t be. As such, he has requested the attorney general clear up the matter.
While Sen. Deuell admits he isn’t in favor of Planned Parenthood, he said his “goal is to provide comprehensive care and — abortion issue aside — the Planned Parenthood clinics don’t provide comprehensive care.”
It could take Attorney General Greg Abbott months to give his opinion.
In a brief HHSC officials sent to Abbott, they told him if the agency limits providers based on the way the law currently reads, the state risks violating Medicaid rules. State health officials said that could result in a loss of federal funding for the program.
I wrote this to the San Antonio Express News, in response to an “Other Views” Commentary a couple of weeks ago that claimed our pro-life HB2 violated the “separation of church and state.” It was rife with errors, easily corrected:
1. Abortion isn’t “private.” It is performed by licensed doctors in licensed abortion facilities, under laws regulating the practice of medicine passed by the elected Legislature of the state of Texas.
2. Women’s health and family planning clinics that offer federal and state funded health and cancer screenings and contraception are prohibited by both state and federal law from performing elective abortion. These clinics aren’t licensed abortion facilities and aren’t affected by HB2.
3. After Pennsylvania, Virginia and Missouri passed laws requiring safety standards similar to those in HB2, most abortion facilities in those states remained open.
4. Abortion facilities are allowed 16 months to come up to standard. If abortion facilities close, it will be because business owners decide not to invest in their facilities.
5. HB2, like earlier Texas laws, protects the mother if her life is endangered by continuing the pregnancy.
6. HB2 doesn’t create any criminal charges for the mother, only for physicians who perform illegal abortions after five months.
HB2 does require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in case their patients have complications requiring hospitalization and abortion facilities to meet building standards known to improve patient safety.
More, including some philosophy, via Protect the right to life – San Antonio Express-News.
#Stand4Life: As only a woman with first-hand experience can tell us:
If a woman tells her doctor she wants to have a double mastectomy, the doctor won’t assume she’s made a sound decision. He or she will want to review her health history, get a detailed family history, find out if the woman has tested positive for the gene that will put her at increased risk, and so forth.
Similarly, when a woman expresses her desire to have an abortion, the health care provider should not assume she’s making a sound decision. It is their duty to make sure she understands her Carbaby’s development, including a way for her to see an image of her baby. And if that’s not possible, at least an image of a baby at the same developmental stage. Pregnant women deserve exposure to as much information as possible. I would argue that there is no more serious matter than the creation of a new life, save the destruction of it. This is no time to withhold vital information and resources.
As a point of comparison, several years ago my routine screening mammogram showed something abnormal. The immediate follow up diagnostic mammogram confirmed an abnormal mass. The radiologist brought me into her office to discuss the images with me. She showed me the area of concern. Explained the difference in color and shadow and what that meant. She also discussed why the image suggested a mass that was hard, and why that added to her concern. She recommended we move forward with an ultrasound and a fine needle aspiration. Throughout the entire discussion she checked in to make sure I understood everything. She invited questions. During the fine needle aspiration, she showed me the image on the monitor as she was guided with the needle to the area in question. When she withdrew the contents of the mass, she showed it to me and explained, to our great relief, that it appeared that I had nothing more than a benign cyst.
Looking back, I now realize that I knew more about the cyst in my breast than the 3-month old baby who once grew inside me. And that is dreadfully wrong. Not because I knew too much about the cyst. But because I knew too little about my baby.
Edited – title for typo – 8/1/13 at 7:45 AM — BBN
(Or, how I ensure that I never run for office in San Antonio.)
For the last few months, the San Antonio City Council has been considering a “Non-discrimination ordinance” in which they pretty much discriminate against the First Amendment rights of free speech or free exercise of religion. If passed, it would prevent anyone in the City of San Antonio from running for office or being appointed to a citizens’ committee – or from holding office if elected – who advocates for traditional marriage or speaks or writes about their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. It also looks like a great way to slide into a San Francisco-style attempt to give out same sex marriage licenses.
Sec. 2-552. – Appointed Officials, Boards and Commissions.
(a) Appointments to Boards and Commissions.
When making appointments to boards and commissions, the City shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or handicap disability.
(b) Prior Discriminatory Acts.
No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or handicap disability.
(c) Discrimination by Appointed Officials – Malfeasance.
(1) No appointed official or member of a board or commission shall engage in discrimination or demonstrate a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group of persons, or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or handicap disability, while serving in such public position.
(2) Violation of this standard shall be considered malfeasance in office, and the City Council shall be authorized to take action as provided by law to remove the offending person from office.
Once the City tramples on the First Amendment, it’s not so hard to take (more) control of what should be private property and the free citizen’s means to make a living.
Property owners in San Antonio are no different from those in most cities. They don’t really own their property. They merely pay rent in the form of taxes and fees for the right to use it until a majority of their neighbors – or their elected representatives – decide to take control of a portion of it. If you don’t believe me, just try to build a home 1 foot higher than City ordinance allows or buy a house across the street from Schlitterbahn in my town of New Braunfels with the intention of renting it by the night or week to tourists.
But the new San Antonio ordinance goes a little farther. It doesn’t just prohibit action – it forces action by creating a new Class C misdemeanor for discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. So, everyone who sells their home, rents their property or makes a living as a wedding photographer would now be forced to rent or sell to, or work for people engaged in activities that goes against their religion.
SECTION 10. Discriminatory practices in the provision of public accommodations and housing shall be a Class C misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punishable in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 1-5 of the City Code. The penalties contained herein are non-exclusive and the City shall have any and all remedies to which it may be entitled in law or in equity. The exercise of any penalty or remedy by City shall not be deemed as a waiver of any other remedy to which the CITY may be entitled.
City Council member Diego Bernal has said he plans to take out the section about bias. However, nothing’s official, yet. If you would like to let the Council know how you feel before they consider the ordinance on August 2, you can read the actual ordinance, here. That link also has the names of Council members and their phone numbers.
What is PP doing with the $13 Million grant that the Obama Administration awarded them? Last March, the spokeswoman for the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas was crowing about the future use of the funds.
One thing it’s not doing is funding services in Bryan/College Station, Huntsville, and Lufkin, Texas.
In the meantime, everyone who is worried about low cost or free birth control and family planning should check into the Texas Women’s Health Program. For the most accurate and largest number of TWHP qualified doctors and clinics in your area, Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services has a search engine available here. More information, here. Use the “Advanced Search,” then choose Plan type:”Traditional Medicaid,” Provider type: “Specialist” (although this will actually bring up family physicians and other primary care docs). If you qualified at PP, you should qualify under this program, even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid. These docs give a 6 month or 12 month prescription, and the State will pay for screening, family planning.