As you know, efforts to legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico have been growing in recent years. Following the November election, advocates now believe 2019 will be the year that assisted suicide is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan-Grisham.
People on both sides of this issue agree on one thing—assisted suicide is a serious matter and it should not be addressed lightly. Consequently, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico has been working with other local allied organizations to help educate the public on the unintended and dangerous consequences of assisted suicide, and the slippery slope we have seen in other states and countries.
Take Canada for instance. Recently, it was reported that just two years after legalizing assisted suicide nationally, physicians from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children are already pursuing policies that would extend assisted suicide options to minor children, without parental notification or consent.
You read that right—assisted suicide for children, without parental input!
The unintended consequences of assisted suicide—including death after misdiagnosis and/or inaccurate prognosis; intimidation from family members; and/or abuse from profit-driven insurance companies—should be enough for us to reject this legislation come January. However, if more reason is needed, look to Canada’s slippery slope.
Friends—when a society determines that some lives are not worth living and that assisted suicide is a “dignified” and “compassionate” option, it is only a matter of time before that “option” is extended to more and more individuals.
There is a reason that our State Legislature has rejected this legislation every time it has been presented. There is a reason that the overwhelming majority of other states have consistently rejected this legislation. Because when it comes to caring for those facing serious illness and end of life, we can and should do much better than abandoning them to hopelessness and death.
Instead, let us work together to find solutions that offer genuine compassion and comfortable care to those when they need it most.
Every life is worth fighting for.
President and Executive Director
When you think of someone taking their life through assisted suicide, perhaps you think of an elderly person, or at least of a young adult with a terminal diagnosis.
But that’s not where assisted suicide is headed. All you have to do is look to Europe – or even Canada.
In Europe, advocates for assisted suicide have been fanatical in their efforts to make suicide “accessible” to all. This so-called “compassionate choice” is no longer presented as merely an option for the elderly with a terminal diagnosis.
In Switzerland, for example, assisted suicide is available for people who are perfectly healthy senior citizens, but are simply tired of living. The Netherlands grants assisted-suicide requests to people who are experiencing “unbearable and hopeless psychological suffering,” like schizophrenia and depression.
But now, Belgium has finally dared to go where this has been heading all along: assisted suicide for children.
A Belgium law allows “terminally ill children of unbearable suffering to choose to die.” Recently, the world discovered an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old were the youngest-ever victims of assisted suicide.
It’s tragic enough that these two young children no longer believed that their own lives were worth fighting for. It’s worse yet that the medical professionals charged with their care stopped fighting for them.
And, closer to home, a Canadian hospital just published proposed policies for handling physician-assisted suicide for children. Under the proposed policy, children would be allowed to choose assisted suicide on their own, without the parents even knowing. That is a mind-blowing violation of basic parental rights!
But, more fundamentally, how does a child even choose to die?
A 9-year-old can’t sign a contract for at least nine more years. A 9-year-old can’t vote. Many wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) leave a 9-year-old home alone. How in the world is a 9-year-old capable of requesting and “consenting” to their own death? And what genuinely compassionate physician would say yes?
It is one of humanity’s strongest instincts to protect the lives of our children. It is most certainly a parent’s. We can and must take responsibility for protecting those lives, and one way to do that is by voting! We must vote for policy makers who value life and who will support policies that better uphold life, like palliative care for the chronically ill. We must elect officials who will strictly prohibit the ability of a physician to “assist” in taking the life of a child, or any other person for that matter.
Voting pro-life is more than just a mantra. By voting for pro-life candidates on November 6 (or earlier), you are taking an important step to save lives.
Every life—especially those of young children—is worth fighting for.
The push to give drag queens personal face time with kids is becoming widespread, and Family Policy Alliance is calling on Americans like you to take action.
If you heard about Drag Queen Story Hour and thought it was limited to libraries in New York City and Los Angeles, it’s time to think again. A review by Family Policy Alliance has discovered that such events have already happened or are planned in at least 40 states.
With backing from the American Library Association, most of these events are happening in public libraries. The events feature one or more drag queens in full garb – reading stories and engaging in hands-on craft projects – all to push the message that their behavior and lifestyle is perfectly normal.
In Boston, the public library hosted the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – a group that mocks Catholics – for a presentation to children (photo at right).
But evangelicals aren’t left out either. Just this month, the Brooklyn Public Library hosted a story hour with drag queen Rev. Yolanda, known for “Rev. Yolanda’s Old-Time Gospel Hour.”
Perhaps most alarming is that the push for these events is now going national, with events happening in all but a handful of states.
However, there is reason to believe that with organized opposition, some of these attacks on kids, families and faith can be stopped. Libraries in some communities have been reticent to host these events – forcing organizers to look for other sites. And a major library in Phoenix even cancelled an event after facing opposition from local residents.
Please join Family Policy Alliance in taking a stand against these events. Here’s what you can do:
- Send a message to the American Library Association, urging them to stop their support of Drag Queen Story Hours. Your state legislators will also be copied so that they are aware and can take appropriate action. It only takes seconds to send the pre-drafted message on our Action Center.
- Talk to your local library officials and urge them to resist the push to bring these events to your community.
- Please share this message widely so that libraries and policy makers hear the message loud and strong!
Thank you for speaking up for our kids!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
by Stephanie Curry
Every night, I talk with my four-year old twin boys before bed. Everyone gets a turn to share and any topic is on the table. The other night, my sons wanted to talk about a fire-car with wings, driving on the sun. We raced each other, but then all burned up. That was memorable. I cover a lot of topics — the difference between respect and disrespect, gardens and deserts, hot and cold. But one thing I make sure to tell them every night is how much joy they bring me. If my boys forget everything else, they’ll remember they’re the most important thing in our lives. Of course, like most parents, my husband and I would sacrifice anything to protect them, and we work daily to make sure they know they are loved.
All parents love their children and spend their child’s entire life learning to know them and sacrificing to protect them. When you first lay eyes on your child’s face, you know right away your child has been given to you, to be known and protected by you and you alone.
As parents, we have considerable freedom in directing the nurturing, education and upbringing of our children, but the government can still make laws about what our children can or cannot do, regardless of our personal feelings. This is simply because children lack the decision-making capability of their parents. We see this government influence every day — when we sign medical paperwork for our children, fill out school forms or buy them cough syrup. Though the government creates laws to protect the greater majority of children, only we, as parents, are in a unique position to protect our children from more immediate and personal harms.
In continuing to safeguard your ability to protect your children, Family Policy Alliance is making it a top priority to fight for your right to continue to make decisions that protect your children. In the coming months, you’ll see us working on two specific areas to protect the integrity of your family: health care and education.
Our Children. Our Health Care.
Families are the gatekeepers of health, and parents are on the frontlines of keeping our children healthy. I don’t want anyone else able to make major medical decisions for my twin boys other than their Dad and me. I’m sure you agree, and Family Policy Alliance wants to see your family thrive by ensuring the state honors your role as the primary decision-maker for your child’s health care.
Our Children. Our Education.
Family is the launchpad of a child’s success. I value the freedom of choosing educational opportunities for my sons. Family Policy Alliance wants to support your ability to guide your child’s upbringing and make pivotal educational decisions on behalf of your child.
Our Children. Our Gift.
We believe children are given to us by God. They thrive when they are known and protected by their parents. Family Policy Alliance will continue to be a voice for your family’s right to make loving decisions on behalf of your child. We hope you’ll partner with us as we fight for policies that let parents parent in states across the country.
This is part 1 of 5 in a series on the importance of protecting parental rights for families.
Jayson started struggling with same-sex attractions after being abused as a child. Thankfully, he was able to get professional counseling and coaching that continues to help him align his life with the heartfelt convictions of his faith.
But now, the ACLU and their allies are working to ban such professional counseling for minors. They want to make counseling on sexual orientation a one-way street — toward homosexuality.
Family Policy Alliance is fighting these bans and supporting our freedoms in state after state.
“This fight is for vulnerable kids — just like I was at eight years old,” says Jayson. “Family Policy Alliance is uniquely positioned to win, with 40 state groups and proven strategies to mobilize citizens effectively. I encourage everyone who cares about protecting children and parents’ rights to support the work of Family Policy Alliance.”
by Autumn Leva
I’ve always loved talking with my husband, but one thing that’s surprised me most in our eight-month-long marriage is how much there is to talk about — from lively discussions over the household budget to negotiations over who washes the dinner dishes to choosing a home church. Since we’re both lawyers, that probably contributes to the length of our conversations.
We talk about kids fairly regularly — and if we were to forget to discuss this, my in-laws helpfully remind us. We wonder whether our kids will love football as much as my husband — or if they’ll defy us both and choose baseball. But mostly we talk about our deep desire for our kids to follow God and to love Jesus.
But you know what kid-related topic never has come up? We’ve never discussed what we would do if the state took our kids away.
It turns out this is something we, and other Christian parents and future parents, need to discuss. Up in Canada, the Ontario Legislature just passed a law (with minimal opposition) that would allow child protective services and judges to consider factors such as a child’s “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” when deciding whether to strip parents of custody.
Let me explain how this new law would play out in the real world using my husband and me as an example: Say we give birth to a baby girl whom we raise in the church, praying with her and reading her Bible stories every night. We send her off to kindergarten, and she comes home one day telling us she wishes she were a boy. My husband and I lovingly explain that God created her to be exactly who she is, that both male and female are made in His image, reflecting His nature. Our daughter returns to school and informs her teacher we won’t let her dress or act like a boy. From there, the state takes over, questions my husband and me about our faith, and removes her from our home. We then enter into a long legal battle to regain custody of our child.
For anyone who may be thinking “that’s just Canada,” this is already being discussed in the U.S. For example, the Massachusetts Legislature has a bill (SB 62) that would put counselors at risk of losing their licenses for helping a little girl understand how God has fearfully and wonderfully made her female (and not male), and, even worse, would label parents as “child abusers” when they affirm their little girl’s wishes to seek counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-identity issues.
The most haunting quote I’ve seen from Canada about their new law was directed at the Catholic Church: “Why has the most powerful spiritual body in this province, (the Church), not lifted a finger nor raised a voice to oppose this tyranny against Christian families, and those from other faiths? The lack of spiritual leadership is killing us… We hear nothing but silence from the Church. This has to stop.” (emphasis added)
We’ve reached a place where parents have to think about what to do if our government labels us “child abusers,” because of our faith, and takes away our kids. No parent should have to worry about this. Churches may be nervous or unsure about wading into political issues, but surely when Christian parents are at risk of losing the right to parent according to their faith, the time has come for churches to reclaim their bright lights and saltiness.
May we as believers in the Only One True God never be accused of being silent here in America.
If you and your church are ready to flood a thirsty culture with the Living Water, Family Policy Alliance and our network of 40 state-based family policy groups are ready and eager to help! Our Alliance can make sure you have the latest news on what policies, like the one in Massachusetts, that may affect your family in your state. We’d love to help train you and your church how to be salt and light on the “mission field” of your state capitol. And, if you feel called, we can even get you training in how to talk to the media and testify before the legislature.
Please let us know how we can help at email@example.com!
Do you believe that boys should have access to girls’ locker rooms, showers and bathrooms? President Obama does. His “bathroom mandate” is using Title IX federal funding to force public schools to allow just that.
Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, tells us why we’ve formed an unusual alliance to make our voice heard at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Download a copy of the amicus brief as filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work with nearly 40 state-based family policy councils, including The Family Foundation of Virginia. Victoria Cobb is president of the organization. This op-ed appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Stephanie is the adoptive mother of two girls who were sexually assaulted, each of whom suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. In a raw and powerful letter addressed to members of the Virginia General Assembly telling her story, she wrote: “A particular risk to my daughters is exposure to the anatomy of the opposite sex. To my daughters, the male anatomy is a weapon by which they were assaulted. But the risk extends to even being in the presence of biological males in situations where my daughters feel vulnerable, such as when they are using the bathroom, changing clothes, or showering.”
Now, according to a federal court, assault victims like her daughters will just have to deal with that horrible fear.
Are we really willing to force sexual assault victims into situations like these?
Even for most adults, preferring to shower or dress in the most private atmosphere possible is completely rational. Remarkably, that natural desire for physical privacy in public restrooms, locker rooms and showers shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans is being attacked as unreasonable, discriminatory — even bigoted. Worse, some are attempting to force our school children into vulnerable interactions with kids of the opposite sex in restrooms, locker rooms and showers, in addition to those who have suffered sexual abuse.
Last week the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opined that a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools should be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Despite erroneous media reports, the court did not mandate that schools immediately require access for students to restrooms of the opposite sex, despite a request by the plaintiff and ACLU for just that. Instead, the case was sent back to the lower court for further proceedings.
Yet for the first time, rather than following the plain language of law, a court concluded that the term “sex” no longer refers to the reality of biological differences between males and females. Rather, it refers to an individual’s subjective and changing feelings of “gender identity.” No other court in the country has come to this conclusion.
More important, as Judge Paul Niemeyer said in his dissent, the decision “overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety. . . . An individual has a legitimate and important interest in bodily privacy such that his or her nude or partially nude body . . . (is) not exposed to persons of the opposite biological sex. Indeed, courts have consistently recognized that the need for such privacy is inherent in the nature and dignity of humankind.”
The court argues that ignoring the realities of biological sex is necessary because the plaintiff may feel “irreparable harm” at not being able to use the restroom of her choice.
But what about the irreparable harm and humiliation children might feel being exposed to someone of the opposite sex in a locker room or shower? Is their humiliation and discomfort at having their bodies exposed to someone of the opposite sex irrational?
And while the ACLU may argue this case involves only restrooms and not locker rooms and showers, logic dictates — as Judge Niemeyer rightly stated in his dissent — the new definition of sex cannot be compartmentalized and must be applied to showers and locker rooms.
Unfortunately, the court failed to properly consider the vast harms that will result from allowing boys to share private facilities with girls. Students from all walks of life find it deeply humiliating and offensive to be forced to share showers, restrooms and locker rooms with the opposite sex.
For those students, there is no “appropriate use” that justifies the deeply harmful intrusion on their privacy. This is especially true for victims of sexual abuse, which some reports put at 1 out of 10 students under the age of 18, and for whom the very presence of a biological male in a female restroom will trigger psychological and emotional harm.
The privacy rights and safety of vulnerable school children shouldn’t be cast aside or used as a political pawn for special-interest groups that desire to impose a genderless society.
Remarkably, the court seems to have concluded that a single student’s need for public affirmation trumps the desire inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, dismissing even the fear of sexual assault victims. Hopefully, a reasonable court will step in and reaffirm that our children have the dignity of basic privacy rights in bathrooms and showers. Anything short of that will put vulnerable children at tremendous emotional, physical and developmental risk.
A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a transgender teen. It’s the first time a court has ruled that the term “sex” no longer applies to the biological differences between men and women, but rather how a person feels about their “gender identity.”
Victoria Cobb is president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, one of Family Policy Alliance’s nearly 40 state-based groups. She says the ruling simply puts women and children at risk.
“Even for most adults, preferring to shower or dress in the most private atmosphere possible is completely rational,” she wrote in an op-ed for the Richmond Times. “Remarkably, that natural desire for physical privacy in public restrooms, locker rooms and showers shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans is being attacked as unreasonable, discriminatory — even bigoted. Worse, some are attempting to force our school children into vulnerable interactions with kids of the opposite sex in restrooms, locker rooms and showers, in addition to those who have suffered sexual abuse.”
Target’s decision to publicly share a long-standing policy allowing men entrance into women’s restrooms and changing rooms brought a chorus of opposition from parents and concerned citizens.
The American Family Association has more than 600,000 signatures on a petition pledging to boycott because of the policy.
“Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims,” AFA wrote on their website. “And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?”
Izzy Avraham talked to his young daughter about Target’s policy and suggested they go to the store and speak to the manager about it.
“We kept talking and I explained to her that we should be kind and loving to everyone,” he said, “because everybody is a person with a heart and feelings. But that you can also disagree with the way they’re acting, and think it’s weird.”
The Avrahams were disappointed with the manager’s response, but thousands of people on Facebook shared his post and used his hashtag, #byetarget.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute, Family Policy Alliance’s allied group in that state, shared a video from Defend My Privacy showing a mom and her daughter cutting up their Target REDCard because of the announcement. The video has gotten thousands of views and shares and continues to make the rounds on social media. You can view it through the link below.
By some estimates, one in 10 women have been the victim of sexual abuse. That leaves them particularly vulnerable to situations that make them feel unsafe. Stephanie, an adoptive mom of two girls in Virginia, says her daughters are at risk because of their abusive background.
“A particular risk to my daughters is exposure to the anatomy of the opposite sex,” she said. “To my daughters, the male anatomy is a weapon by which they were assaulted. But the risk extends to even being in the presence of biological males in situations where my daughters feel vulnerable, such as when they are using the bathroom, changing clothes, or showering.”
Despite the pushback, homosexual activist groups continue to push for bathroom policies that are uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.
“The privacy rights and safety of vulnerable school children shouldn’t be cast aside or used as a political pawn for special-interest groups that desire to impose a genderless society,” Cobb wrote. “Hopefully, a reasonable court will step in and reaffirm that our children have the dignity of basic privacy rights in bathrooms and showers. Anything short of that will put vulnerable children at tremendous emotional, physical and developmental risk.”
Sign the petition asking Target to rethink their policy or see less of us in the future!
If you use Twitter, please use the hashtag #iexpectmore in your tweets.
You can see the Defend My Privacy video on our Facebook page.
The privacy and safety of women and children protected
North Carolina lawmakers are protecting the privacy and safety of women and children. They unanimously passed a bill that would prevent men from entering women’s restrooms, locker rooms and showers. The governor has already signed it into law.
This is good news for North Carolina families – and all families – but the need to protect women and children doesn’t stop here. CitizenLink and our family policy alliance are working hard in legislatures across the nation to safeguard families – including yours. But that’s only possible with your support.