As we approach the end of 2018, it’s amazing to look back and see the victories—all of which you made possible through your prayers and support of Family Policy Alliance and our state allies. Thank you!
1. For Life!
This past year, there have been huge steps forward in the pro-life movement on both the national and state fronts. President Trump listened to your voice and is standing up for the rights of the preborn. Whether or not you voted for this President, his stand for life is unparalleled in recent administrations.>/mark>
President Trump became the first sitting president to address the March for Life. Under his administration, the Department of Health and Human Services is working to finalize a new rule that prevents taxpayer’s dollars (through Title X family planning funds) from going to abortion providers. These Title X dollars are currently Planned Parenthood’s second-largest funding stream. He reinstated and expanded the “Mexico City Policy” that blocks $9 billion in foreign aid from being used for abortions. And with his first nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Gorsuch, the Court dismantled an unconstitutional law passed by California that would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers to become advertisers for the abortion industry.
Because of your support, states are continuing to creatively chip away at Roe v. Wade with new laws that protect women’s health, increase requirements on abortion providers to ensure they are taking care of women and recognize the humanity of preborn babies.
Idaho passed a law that requires health care professionals to report information about complications from abortions. Nebraska passed a law that provides birth certificates to families who have lost babies through a miscarriage. Eight states have passed laws that ban dismemberment abortions. Over 20 states ban abortion past a certain number of weeks based on the ability of the preborn baby to feel pain.
A recent initiative seeks to ban abortions based on a Down syndrome or disability diagnosis. Ohio and Louisiana passed this type of law, and several other states considered bills. This happened largely because people of faith like you have shared your stories about how people with disabilities have shaped lives for good.
“Whether a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome before or after birth, disability rights start at diagnosis. All human life should be valued and respected— especially in the womb. And the targeting of babies solely for the possible diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be permitted here in Pennsylvania,” said Michael Geer, president of Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Idaho and Indiana passed bills that require information about abortion-pill reversals be available to women. Over a dozen states have cut taxpayer funding streams from Planned Parenthood.
There is still much to be done in protecting life in our country, but because of your voice—joined with the voices of other biblical citizens—leaders in our country are listening and taking action.
2. The Heart of Adoption
Most of us believe strongly in the right of Christians to live out our biblical citizenship by looking after orphans—children in need of loving parents. This is why thousands of biblical citizens like you urged state legislatures, through email and phone calls, to protect the constitutional rights of faith-based adoption agencies—so those agencies can do what they excel at: placing hard-to-place children in forever families.
Your efforts resulted in a spectacular victory in Kansas this past session. LGBT lobbyists poured money into Topeka, and the leading national LGBT advocacy organization even sent its president to convince legislators to vote against religious freedom for private, faith-based adoption agencies—even if that meant those agencies would have to shut their doors rather than violate their beliefs. Family Policy Alliance of Kansas rallied pro-family Kansans to speak up—resulting in not only a win for children who need homes, but also a win for religious freedom. Similar laws also passed in Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota, again thanks to biblical citizenship!
3. Keeping the Gospel Free in California
California’s wildly controversial legislation, AB 2943, targeted religious beliefs in a truly unprecedented manner. It would have prohibited millions of people from purchasing services and resources that declare the power of Christ can overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles. This bill was passed by the California Assembly and Senate, and was one formality away from being signed by the Governor. In an astonishing twist that no one anticipated, Assemblyman Evan Low pulled his own bill after tens of thousands of biblical citizens from California and across the nation reached out to him to share stories of hope and change.
Jonathan Keller, the executive director of our state ally California Family Council, which worked tirelessly to keep the Gospel free in California, declared, “We are inexpressibly grateful to Assemblyman Low for meeting personally with faith leaders over the last several months and sincerely listening to our concerns.” Praise God!
4. Protecting Male and Female
The Gender Identity issue continues to sweep across the nation in unprecedented ways. States have sought to give individuals special protections in the law based upon their “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” status. Schools have been opening their bathrooms and locker rooms to the opposite sex if a student claims they feel like the opposite sex. State administrative agencies have been caught attempting to expose our most vulnerable children to “gender transition” services. And therapists have been targeted for trying to help our children overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles.
Yet, the voices of biblical citizens like you, speaking compassionate truth that our sex is innate and cannot change at will, have had a significant impact everywhere—from school officials all the way to the Trump Administration. Here are some of the ways your prayers, financial support and taking action have led to big victories:
- Our alliance of state-based policy organizations has stopped bills targeting therapists in over 20 states, including Idaho, Kansas, Maine and Colorado.
- You helped stop over 95% of sexual orientation and gender identity bills—one of the biggest tools the Left uses to attack religious freedom and free speech.
- Under the Trump Administration, multiple executive agencies—including the Departments of Defense and Education, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons— have reversed Obama-era policies that required the placement of transgender individuals with those of the opposite sex,>/mark> finding these policies to be a violation of privacy, safety and dignity.
We have made major strides this year and with your support, we will continue to stand firm in the biblical truth that God has created men and women in His image, male and female, and that our biological sex is no accident. 5. The Story You Helped Write in the 2018 Election
With your help – and with our theme verse on our lips (“The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Daniel 11:32) – Family Policy Alliance stood firm and took strategic action on key races where voter data and on-the-ground reports indicated that we could have an impact. You helped make possible more than a million communications with voters in those targeted races!
And the results were encouraging. On a night that brought lots of sobering news, Family Policy Alliance won nearly two-thirds of targeted races. Since most of those were state-level races that don’t get as much attention, let me share a few highlights of how your support for Family Policy Alliance paid dividends.
As you may know, our sister organization, Family Policy Foundation®, trains on-the-rise Christian legislators and candidates at the annual Statesmen Academy®. Some of those Statesmen alumni need help winning difficult elections, so we provided assistance in 17 key Statesmen races.
Thankfully, our supported Statesmen won 14 of those races. That’s an 82 percent win rate! Now, a total of 52 Statesmen, equipped Christian men and women, will be serving you in elected office starting in January 2019!
You also helped us engage in several U.S. Senate races – most notably in North Dakota, where Family Policy Alliance’s on-the-ground presence made our work especially strategic.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® identified 35,000 pro-life North Dakotans who are inconsistent about getting to the polls, especially in non-presidential years. They reached those voters with live phone calls from volunteers, with mailers, and with targeted digital ads that featured a strong video exposing the radical pro-abortion record of the incumbent senator, Heidi Heitkamp.
The result was a resounding win for Kevin Cramer. Pro-lifers around the nation will benefit from having a new pro-life champion in the U.S. Senate!
As you can see, it’s been a big year for believers who care about restoring a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
We look back on 2018 with hearts full of gratitude for all God has done—and for all He has done through you.
And His calling doesn’t stop with the end of the year! Next week, we plan to share with you what to expect as we ring in the new year!
We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and support of Family Policy Alliance.
May God bless you and your family,
President & CEO
We usually hear about “eugenics” in history lessons on Nazi Germany, but could we be seeing a new brand of eugenics here in the U.S.? Check out our latest Facebook Live video with Stephanie Curry & Brittany Jones, attorneys and public policy managers with Family Policy Alliance to learn more!
And don’t forget to sign the pro-life pledge in our Action Center.
By Brittany Jones, Policy Manager
We celebrated World Down Syndrome Day on Wednesday. My social media feeds were full of friends and family celebrating the lives of people with Down syndrome. Yet, “fetal abnormalities” seems to be the one time that even some conservative churches are ok with abortion. When a prenatal screening or test seems to indicate that a baby in the womb may have some sort of disability or abnormality, the church often sits silently by as parents process the news. Their thoughts may wander to whether abortion may be acceptable in their situation—because it will be difficult to raise a child with a disability, because of the burden on the parents or society, because the child won’t have a “full life.” But this means that the Church has also bought into the lie that some lives are more valuable than others.
Ideas have consequences. Activists like Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, and W.E.B Du Bois claimed to build a better society by weeding out those who they saw as a “drain:” “No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective. No matter how much they desire children, no man and woman have a right to bring into the world those who are to suffer from mental or physical affliction. It condemns the child to a life of misery and places upon the community the burden of caring for it, probably for its defective descendants for many generations.”
As we discussed in A Life Worth Living, this misplaced and deluded compassion wrought heartbreaking consequences because even in the United States, 67% of babies who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are still aborted.
Sadly, even many in the Church have accepted some of this ideology in an attempt to show compassion to parents who are facing a difficult pregnancy. My good friend Hannah was supposed to be born with Down syndrome, and her Christian parents were encouraged to abort her.
“Finding out you were supposed to be born with Down syndrome is one of those path-changing moments in life. When you start to realize that your life could have been vastly different, or not even at all, you begin to understand that you were given a gift, an opportunity. I could have been another nameless number someone hears about on the news or reads about in an article. Instead, I have a voice, and I intend to use it for all those nameless numbers who will never have the opportunity to experience life.”
She could have been aborted, but that is not her story. Instead, she will graduate law school in just eight short weeks. She is using her voice to speak up for those whose voices have been silenced.
When parents are given a challenging prenatal diagnosis, the family of believers should be ready to step up to the challenge with them. The answer for believers should always be to walk with one another through the trials and the joys, never to eliminate a child who is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of our amazing God.
Like Hannah, we have the opportunity to speak Truth and life into our states and nation. Will you pledge with us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves? Our Family Policy Alliance Team also pledges to you to keep you updated about opportunities to advance a culture of life in your state!
By Brittany Jones, an attorney and policy manager with Family Policy Alliance
Eliminating the undesirable in society. That sounds like a sentence that might have been used in Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, it is a phrase that is associated with abortion laws in the United States and in Europe. In Iceland, for example, nearly 100% of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Even in most states in the U.S., it is still legal to abort a baby simply because of concerns that the baby might have Down syndrome or some other abnormality. Between 60-70% of preborn babies with a potential Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted in the United States. Allowing these types of abortions makes no sense in light of our other laws that ban discrimination against persons who have disabilities.
That is why four states, North Dakota, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio have already passed laws that ban abortions based on fetal abnormalities or Down syndrome. Louisiana law requires that information about the different types of support available also be provided to women whose babies receive an in utero diagnosis of Down syndrome. These bills recognize that state law should always protect those who are among the most vulnerable and that Down syndrome is a life worth living.
Every day, families are recognizing that we cannot allow our nation to go the way of Iceland. At least nine states have introduced legislation this year, often known as Prenatal Nondiscrimination Acts, that would ban an abortion because of a diagnosis or belief the child would be born with Down syndrome or some other fetal abnormality. These bills have become a rallying cry for families, especially Christian families, who desire to protect life at every stage.
For example, this week our ally, Pennsylvania Family Institute, had an amazing turnout for the rally they held at their state capitol on this issue. Michael Geer, President of Pennsylvania Family Council and Family Policy Alliance board member, said: “Whether a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome before or after birth, disability rights start at diagnosis. All human life should be valued and respected – especially in the womb. And the targeting of babies solely for the possible diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be permitted here in Pennsylvania.”
At Family Policy Alliance we believe that every life should be protected no matter the stage or level of development. Stand with us and our allies by signing our pledge to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves in your state—and please share with others who believe every preborn child is a life worth living!
Babies with Down Syndrome are a ‘Horror’ Claims Philly Columnist
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Pennsylvania Family Institute and Family Council, one of our 40 state-based allies.
By Jeremy Samek – Pennsylvania Family Institute
I had to read this twice. I even showed it to my wife to make sure I was reading it right.
My colleague at the Pennsylvania Family Council had just emailed out a press release in support of new state legislation that would effectively protect babies from being aborted solely based on a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
One of the replies to this release was from an opinion columnist for a Philadelphia-based newspaper, which read in part,
“[Y]ou are compounding the emotionally overloaded abortion issue with the horror of Down syndrome babies.”
Horror. Of Down syndrome babies. Really?…..
READ MORE from our Pennsylvania Family Council Allies
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside our ally Pennsylvania Family Institute.
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and this year Pennsylvanians have a simple and direct opportunity to express support for children with Down syndrome.
Nineteen State Senators, led by Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) have sponsored Senate Resolution 174 (SR174), which calls for the respect and protection of children with Down syndrome in the wake of the CBS News report on Iceland “eradicating” Down syndrome babies by aborting them.
In support of SR174, watch and share this interview: A Father’s Joy – A conversation about children blessed with Down syndrome
A federal judge has blocked an Indiana law banning abortions on babies with genetic disorders, such as Down Syndrome. The Dignity for the Unborn law makes it illegal to perform abortions because of a genetic disability, the baby’s race or sex.
While the Indiana attorney general’s office said it will not appeal the temporary injunction, it will continue to fight for the law that protects preborn babies.
Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the attorney general, told the Associated Press that after review, there would be no appeal “at this point.” If the judge makes the injunction permanent, they “would likely appeal that.”
Indiana Right to Life isn’t surprised Judge Tanya Walton Pratt put a hold on the law.
“Abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood turn to activist judges anytime they believe their lucrative businesses are threatened,” Mike Fletcher said. “It is no surprise that a judge appointed by Obama with a history of ruling against pro-life measures would block the Dignity for the Unborn law.”