I rushed to an office supply store to purchase ink before Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay at home” order canceling gatherings and closing all non-essential businesses went into effect. The store had implemented social distancing policies by taping red squares near the checkout counter to prohibit customers from standing too close to one another. Despite some retail stores proactively implementing safety measures, many are now closed because of their non-essential status. The governor did allow what his administration considers essential businesses to remain open, but they must follow his policy of keeping people at least six feet away from others.

But there is one industry that is refusing to comply – the abortion industry. It is appalling that these abortion facilities are considered by the Murphy administration to be essential. As normal, our state government has made an allowance for those who profit off the destruction of human life. Informed medical consent laws and parental consent laws do not apply to the abortion industry in NJ. Apparently, neither do social distancing guidelines.

According to state media, the Governor has been irate that people have been disregarding his “stay at home” order by continuing their social gatherings and thereby increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially in close spaces. To more effectively enforce public safety, Attorney General Gurbir Singh Grewal has said, “[T]here will be criminal consequences. . .The time for warnings is over. And the time to ensure compliance by using all of the tools available to us is here.” This includes up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in prison.

This past Saturday, the Pilgrim Medical Center abortion clinic in Montclair, NJ, had 49 women plus companions crammed into their small space – a clear violation of social distancing safeguards that essential businesses must follow. This is just another example of the abortion industry putting its bottom line above all else, including public safety amid a pandemic!

Governor Phil Murphy and his administration are to blame for risking the spread of COVID-19 at abortion clinics across this state. Therefore, we must contact the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judith M. Persichilli, and express our disappointment and concern for these women who are at a higher risk of exposure in these tight spaces.

Will you take action and sign this petition that will be delivered to Dr. Persichilli?

In protection of life,

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

Part 2 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”

In the bleak of winter, on January 22, 1973, it looked like the issue of abortion had been decided. The Supreme Court had ruled in Roe v. Wade, so what more was there to say?

And, what’s worse, Christians remained largely silent—at first.

But then, state legislatures slowly started to do what seemed impossible—they started chipping away at the infamous “right to abortion” ruling, proving that courts don’t get the final say. The people, families like yours across our country, get the final say through their elected leaders. As pressure mounted from the grassroots when believers of all denominations started calling on their government leaders to protect the sanctity of human life, laws in states began to change more quickly and more significantly.

Now, in 2018 as we approach the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, our nation looks dramatically different than it did in 1973, with the youngest generation now the most prolife generation yet. And, the variety of laws states have passed to protect life demonstrates more than anything else that all hope was not lost with that Court ruling 45 years ago.

We put together a snapshot of the primary types of laws states passed to save lives and chip away at the Roe v. Wade ruling. In this second part of our 4-part series on “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion,” we focus on laws clearly aimed toward recognizing the humanity of an unborn child and regulating abortion procedures, and those that directly impact abortionists and abortion facilities.

In Part 3 of our series, we’ll look at laws that protect mothers’ and parents’ right to know, as well as those that protect the religious freedom of healthcare providers who don’t want to be forced to provide an abortion.

Do you know whether your state has enacted any of these important laws?

Laws Recognizing the Humanity of the Unborn

In 2010, Nebraska became the first state to pass a law banning abortions after 20 weeks, following the legalization of abortion. Today, 21 states have passed late-term abortion laws and Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Representative Trent Franks (Arizona, ) have introduced similar legislation on the federal level with a promise from President Trump to sign the bills if passed. These laws recognize the truth  that at 20 weeks in utero,  a baby is capable of feeling pain.

States and Congress have also considered banning abortions based on the sex or disability of the baby—recognizing that aborting a child for reasons based on genetics is a wrong and dangerous practice. In fact, Ohio just passed a new law that bans abortions if the decision is based on a test result that indicates the pre-born child has down syndrome.

Recently, states have also started working to end the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion, where an unborn child is torn apart and then removed from the uterus. So far, eight states ban this practice.

Most states also have laws criminalizing the acts of others that result in killing an unborn child—further recognizing that both mothers and their unborn children can be victims of violent crimes.

Though it’s hard to believe laws like this are needed, about 30 states also have laws that require proper medical treatment and care be given to any infant who survives a botched abortion. Legislators worked to enact these laws after horrific stories surfaced of babies born alive after a failed abortion were left to suffer and die alone or even thrown out as medical waste.

Laws Regulating Abortion Facilities and Abortionists

The most well-known and best law regulating abortion clinics in order to protect both unborn babies and their mothers was passed in Texas in 2013. The law simply required that abortion facilities be required to operate under the same standards as other out-patient medical facilities, including a requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby facility in case of complications during an abortion. Of course, the Left strongly opposed this law because they want abortion-on-demand readily available and challenged the law in Court.

Sadly, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ law in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, but fifteen other states have laws similar to Texas, protecting women in their states. And, the Court’s ruling doesn’t mean that states can’t continue to regulate abortion facilities.

Many abortion clinics throughout the nation have closed as a result of failing to meet basic health standards such as cleanliness.  The most infamous example was the “house of horrors” – a Philadelphia clinic operated by abortionist Kermit Gosnell – where two female patients died.

All of these efforts are working to gradually limit the lethal effects of abortions. Indeed, studies show that pro-life legislation has significantly reduced the incidence of abortion, particularly among minors.

Each child in the womb has intrinsic value that ought to be recognized not only by the government but by every individual. Putting basic health restrictions on abortionists and their facilities protects not only the baby, should there be a failed abortion, but the regulations also protect the life of the woman as well.

As we head into the 2018 legislative session and Sanctity of Human Life month this January, we invite you to stand with us in support of legislation that will value the humanity of all those involved in this horrific industry. And, please be sure to sign up with us if you’d like to learn more about what prolife laws or pending bills your state has!

READ PART 1 – 45 Years Since Roe v. Wade

READ PART 3 – Roe v. Wade Wasn’t the End…But So What?

READ PART 4 – After 45 Years, It’s Time to End Roe v. Wade!

U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs ruled Missouri’s laws establishing health and safety standards for abortion clinics are likely unconstitutional. Sachs cited last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which said states cannot place restrictions that create an “undue burden” for women.

Missouri’s attorney general has vowed to appeal the ruling.

Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, one of Family Policy Alliance’s 40 state-based allies, sponsored one of the laws as a legislator and said the ruling has emboldened Planned Parenthood.

“Judge Sachs has demonstrated through this ruling his callous and cavalier disregard for the health of women who find themselves at the mercy of slipshod abortionists,” he said. “The laws struck down by Judge Sachs have been on the books for three decades in our state, and are consistent with reputable medical standards for outpatient surgical facilities.  Missouri currently has only one full-time abortion clinic that can meet those safety standards.  Now, we will see four new abortion clinics open in our state where the operators will have no obligation to provide responsible care to women who will often be victimized by unsafe and unsterile procedures.”

The ruling seems out of step at a time when more and more pro-life bills are being passed at the state level. Eric Teetsel, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, worries the ideology will spill over into his state.

“In the last several years, the Kansas Legislature has passed, and Gov. Sam Brownback has signed, at least 18 pro-life laws” he said. “Clearly, honoring the dignity of the unborn, safeguarding the health and safety of women, and preserving the rights of parents is of foremost importance to the citizens of our state. Yet, all too often, unelected judges have imposed their personal politics upon the voters. Such acts of raw judicial power are unjust and un-American.

“I stand with Gov. Greitens, Attorney General Hawley, and the people of Missouri as they push back against an example of such judicial activism in their state. May they prevail and provide a warning to judges elsewhere that the people will not stand by and watch as their will is ignored and undermined.”

Ask your lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood now.

The U.S. Supreme Court to decide on Texas law on abortion facilities standards

Abortion facilities should be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgical clinics. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a Texas law requiring those standards should be upheld.

CitizenLink, along with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Students for Life of America filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting tougher standards and citing the horrors that were found in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion facility. CitizenLink President and CEO Paul Weber said clinics that don’t meet basic health and safety standards should not be in operation in the first place.

“States should not be in the business of subsidizing inferior care for patients in order to make it easier for abortion providers to enter and remain in the market,” he said. “Abortion proponents say Texas’ regulations are ‘onerous.’ I say the families of the women killed at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion facility would disagree.”

Argue that abortion providers shouldn’t get a pass on basic health standards simply to keep them in the market.

Colorado Springs, CO, March 2, 2016– Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most important abortion case to reach the Court in 25 years. CitizenLink, along with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Students for Life of America, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of HB2, a Texas law that demands abortion providers be held to the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical centers.

The brief documents the decline in demand for abortions across the country over time, due to increases in the percentage of younger Americans identifying as pro life, as well as opting to carry their babies to term after an unexpected pregnancy. Charlotte Lozier Institute President Chuck Donovan said Texas abortion numbers track well with national trends.

“Moreover, Texas’ health standards are justifiable safeguards including treating abortion sites as ambulatory surgical centers,” he said, “a measure specifically recommended by the grand jury that reviewed the tragic errors Pennsylvania made in the Gosnell case.”

Clinics in Texas are closing because they fail to meet basic health and safety standards. Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America said HB2 may have contributed to those closings, but it is not the driving force.

“The abortion industry is in a freefall because they realize that they need to push abortion now more than ever,” she said, “and they are pushing it to a generation where the majority find abortion to be morally reprehensible.”

Paul Weber, president and CEO of CitizenLink, said clinics that don’t meet basic health and safety standards should not be in operation in the first place.

“States should not be in the business of subsidizing inferior care for patients in order to make it easier for abortion providers to enter and remain in the market,” he said. “Abortion proponents say Texas’ regulations are ‘onerous.’ I say the families of the women killed at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion facility would disagree.”

CitizenLink and its alliance of nearly 40 state-based family policy groups work to ensure a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.