Over the years, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® has received many questions. I thought it would be helpful to answer a few of these, since for every question asked, there are likely many others who have the same question but have not asked it.

What is your overall goal? A state and nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

That’s nice, but what do you actually do? We work towards this goal in many ways, but the major ones are: training and helping elect Christian candidates, creating and advancing bills during legislative session, speaking at churches and with other groups to inspire people to get involved with expressing their faith through the political process, and working together with allied organizations who share our vision for North Dakota.

What is your position on LGBTQ issues as they relate to family values? We firmly believe that all people are created by God and therefore have inherent worth and dignity, regardless of their beliefs on things such as LGBTQ issues. That said, not unlike the freedom of beliefs afforded LGBTQ individuals, we are free to believe that sexually is determined biologically at birth and that marriage is between one man and one woman. We are also opposed to favoring one group at the expense of the religious freedoms of other citizens.

Are you one of those radical anti-abortion groups? No, we are not. We believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. However, we advance these biblically based beliefs in peaceful and primarily policy methods. We do this by working closely with other strongly pro-life North Dakota groups such as the Catholic Conference, Concerned Women for America, and North Dakota Right to Life to advance bills, lobby for pro-life causes, and speak to outside groups to advance a biblical understanding of life issues.

How can you impose your morality on other North Dakotans? All policy and laws are based on some form of morality, from vandalism laws to DUI prevention efforts to Roe v. Wade. Our moral stance happens to be based on biblical principles.

Besides abortion and LGBTQ issues, what else do you work on? Other areas of work include stopping human trafficking, protecting religious freedom for businesses, ensuring parental rights on education issues, curtailing sports gambling, and many more.

Are you Christian? Yes, we are a Christian organization.

Are you affiliated with a particular party? We are nonpartisan.

How are you funded? We are funded by the generous giving of people such as yourself. We have no other source of funding.

Are you a big or small nonprofit? We are a small nonprofit. While we do receive administrative support from our central organization in Colorado Springs, we have just one person in North Dakota. With more funding, we would like to expand our reach by hiring a person focused on church relations and another on policy. We also make use of volunteers, as appropriate.

Are my donations to you tax deductible? You can choose! Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is not tax exempt, in part because IRS requirements don’t allow this if a nonprofit engages in things like elections [link to c(4) page]. However, our sister organization Family Policy Foundation of North Dakota is tax exempt and many of our operations are funded this way [link to c(3) page]. Donations to either of these entities help us accomplish our mission.

I’m confused by your giving cards. Why does the address say Colorado Springs? Processing of all donations is done by our support services in Colorado Springs, so eventually every donation gets processed there. They have the data tools, computing systems, and staff to do this much more efficiently than here in North Dakota. However, regardless of address on a return card or online form being used, our procedures ensure that all donations given by anyone living in North Dakota go directly to fund the work here in our state.

If you value our work, please consider donating a tax deductible or nondeductible financial gift. Thank you for your support, and may God bless all of us as we fight for biblical principles.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

The third-year nursing student and college cheerleader had found out just days before that she was unexpectedly pregnant, and now, in the abortion clinic with her boyfriend, she was facing pressure from doctors and nurses. They were telling her that she was “doing the right thing” by getting an abortion. After all, as the doctor said, “It’s not the right time” to have this baby—and her boyfriend agreed.

Andrea knew she had reservations about what she was doing. In the days leading up to her trip to the abortion clinic, her mom had been begging her to reconsider her decision. This morning, Andrea had barely been able to keep back her tears in the waiting room while waiting for the clinic nurse to call her name.

When the doctor handed her the first of two abortion pills—an increasingly common method of abortion, called chemical abortion, performed during the first trimester of pregnancy—Andrea says she “froze.” The doctor, seeing her hesitation, said abruptly, “Now hurry up and take that pill before it melts in your hand, it’s very expensive.”

Suppressing that screaming inner voice telling her not to do it, Andrea swallowed the pill, then, wishing she hadn’t, tried to throw it up. The doctor reminded her to take the second abortion pill 24 hours later.

When she left the clinic, Andrea says she ran “straight for the car where I fell to the ground crying and screaming for God to forgive me.” She knew she had to “fix” her “mistake,” so she called her mom, who took her to hospitals and doctors, hoping someone could offer a way to reverse the chemical abortion already in progress. Their search turned up empty, so Andrea, devastated, called her aunt to pray that God would save her baby despite her bad decision, and then went to bed.

When Andrea awoke the next morning, she stumbled upon an article about a doctor who had successfully reversed a chemical abortion. She immediately called a phone number, operated by Abortion Pill Rescue, a coalition of prolife OBGYNs who offer what is called “abortion pill reversal.” The compassionate voice that answered the phone put Andrea in touch with a local doctor, who told her to rush to the doctor’s office.

The doctor confirmed the baby’s heartbeat and immediately began the reversal procedure, which involves progesterone injections that can reverse the chemical abortion, stabilizing the pregnancy and allowing for a healthy baby.

Just like Andrea, many women enter abortion clinics unsure about the decision they’re making. These women immediately regret taking the first dosage of medication to end their pregnancy, yet they often don’t know where to turn or what options they have available to reverse what could be the worst decision of their lives.

Knowing this, North Dakota Rep. Daniel Johnston and other state legislators, with the help of Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota®, led a successful effort earlier this year to enact a state law requiring that women who receive chemical abortions be informed that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the medicine if they change their minds.

Unfortunately, pro-abortion activists are suing the state to overturn the North Dakota informed consent provision that empowers women like Andrea with the knowledge to make an informed decision about their chemical abortion. To make matters worse, a judge recently blocked the enforcement of the law.

As the director of advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho®, I’ve seen something comparable to what is taking place in North Dakota also play out in my state.

The Idaho legislature, with the help of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho and other pro-life organizations, passed a similar informed consent bill in 2018 that also faced legal challenges in the courts. Our informed consent law survived the court challenges, an outcome that should give hope to our friends in the Peace Garden State.

Informed consent for chemical abortion is supported by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which boasts a membership of over 2,500 medical professionals.

And these laws seem to be effective. Although it’s a relatively new medical practice, abortion pill reversal protocol has saved the lives of 750 babies so far, according to Heartbeat International. Sadly, too many mothers living in states without these informed consent laws don’t find out there’s a way to reverse their chemical abortion until it’s too late.

Remember Andrea, the cheerleader and nursing student? She gave birth to Gabriel, a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby boy. “I thank God and I thank my doctor, an angel sent from above to save precious little lives, and to save the lives of mothers, because without her, I don’t know where I would be today,” Andrea also wrote in an online testimony. Family Policy Alliance® talked to her in this video after Gabriel was born.

Please keep praying that the North Dakota informed consent provision survives its legal challenges in the courts. Laws like these are medically sound and legally defensible, furthering a compelling state interest to ensure women are adequately informed before undergoing medical procedures. But perhaps most importantly, these laws really do save lives—and save mothers from a lifetime of regret.

Standing with you for life,

Blaine Conzatti
Director of Advocacy
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho

It has been two years since our family moved to North Dakota. A lot has happened since then. I’m proud to say we fully embrace and love being North Dakotans!

Some of you have made comments over the past two years that may on the surface seem ordinary, but have meant a great deal to me. For example, the first time somebody said I was “a true NODAK”. Or the time I called a ministry partner and after I said only my name he stopped me and said, “You’re from Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota, aren’t you?”. Then there is the tendency of my wife and me to occasionally say “North Dakoota” in casual conversation (I’m not sure how to spell it, but you know what I mean). We still have some habits from other places we’ve lived, such as giving directions using I-94 exit numbers or complaining more than we should about our winters, but they are falling away little by little.

Out of nostalgia, I dug up my very first weekly email from 2016 and reread it. It was about unpacking boxes and how you appreciate the “small things in life” like chairs, when you move and have to sit on the floor to eat supper. However, there was one particular sentence that caught my attention. It said, “The ability to worship and express our constitutional right to vote our convictions is something most of us probably appreciate on election day, but the rest of the year it is likely ‘under the radar’”.

I did not know the circumstances we would be in as North Dakotans two years later with hugely important races hanging in the balance. Lord willing, all of us will vote our convictions on November 6, but let’s make sure we appreciate these foundational freedoms the rest of the year as well. We live in an amazing country, one to which our ancestors immigrated for a better life and often for religious freedom. Let’s never forget that fact, but remember that how we vote shapes those freedoms for the future.

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is continuing to call, canvass, endorse, and use social media to let you know what is at stake in the upcoming election and where candidates stand on the issues. This all takes resources over and above our normal operating costs, which is why we so appreciate your financial support of our election efforts. In addition, we are coming to the end of our organization’s fiscal year and want to “finish strong”, so your gift means that much more.

If you feel called to help us with our election activities, it’s easy. You can simply go our election donation page and donate, or if you prefer, give me a call at 701-355-6425 and we’ll figure out some other way to make it happen. We still have a dollar-for-dollar match available, so any election donation is doubled!

We are counting on you to help elect Godly men and women to key offices in Congress and here in North Dakota, and we know you will deliver on your solemn duty. Thank you for your devotion to family values and life at all stages. We are proud to represent and partner with you, my fellow North Dakotans!

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God and his country.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

I am asked on a regular basis what we do at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota. More specifically, I am asked what we do to represent and defend your pro-life and pro-family values.

There are many ways that we represent you, but I’d like to list a few of the more important ones. On an average day, we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota engage in some or all of these types of tasks on your behalf.

We perform this work on a daily basis, year-in and year-out, representing you and your family. I could provide more examples, but the video at the top of this email says it better than I can. Please take two minutes and hear from one family what Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota means to them.

All of this work takes resources. That’s why I’m asking you to prayerfully consider helping us fund our current primary focus: election activities. Our election work protecting your values will stretch for many months—right up to election day—and your support today will be stretched even further! Thanks to generous ministry partners, we have two matching grants, allowing you to TRIPLE your giving today!

AND…

Show Washington what values you and your family stand for!  Donate now and automatically get the appropriate match applied by going to our dedicated election fundraising website or contact me personally at 701-355-6425 if you’d like to donate by check or some other method.  Thank you so much for helping us ensure God-fearing candidates are elected this November!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

As you may recall, Measure 5 was placed on the ballot in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana in North Dakota.  Sadly, the measure passed.  While nobody is opposed to providing pain relief and other care for needy patients, there are many options available aside from medical marijuana.  That said, the most recent push to legalize marijuana in our state goes even further and would legalize recreational marijuana. As the Bismarck Tribune recently noted, “Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana use are about 2,500 signatures away from requirements for a measure to be placed on the November ballot.”

Let’s take a look at what the initiative would really do.  According to the Tribune, it would:

Are you surprised?  I’m not.  The progression from legalizing medical marijuana to legalizing recreational marijuana is becoming a commonly used tactic.  It happened in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Maine, and is shaping up to be repeated in many other states, including ours.

What is interesting is that most North Dakotans don’t want recreational marijuana.  A 2017 poll by the University of North Dakota found that 68 percent of our state’s residents either somewhat (5%) or strongly (63%) oppose recreational marijuana.  So why are we even debating this if two-thirds of North Dakotans think it’s a bad idea?

Let’s look at other states who have legalized recreational marijuana.

Does it sound like a good idea? Why take these risks? Let’s stop this proposed measure in its tracks. I don’t understand the logic if you want to risk experiencing the aforementioned problems just to afford a minority of North Dakotans the chance to “get stoned”.

We at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota stand with many other respected organizations opposing this measure. Please help us defeat this measure if it appears on the November ballot.  Remember, we are right now shaping the future for our children and grandchildren in North Dakota.  Let’s make sure they are able to live up to their God-given potential!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  I Corinthians 6:19

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President & Executive Director

The question I pose may be an affront to you, or at least you might consider it inappropriate, but the answer is critical. To those of us who are Christian, a girl is worth an infinite amount, because we believe that all people are created in the image of God. However, there are those who undoubtedly answer this by saying, “who cares?”

The “who cares?” answer denigrates the value of women and girls, and fundamentally gives rise to things like prostitution and human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. It represents one of the darkest, most deplorable aspects of our fallen world. Fortunately, North Dakota has strong laws in place to prevent it and to punish those engaged in human trafficking. However, you and I know that if there is the potential for huge illegal monetary gain, an industry – illegal drug trafficking for example – will be created to supply that demand, regardless of laws.

I’ve often heard people state that human trafficking is a big problem in places such as the Bakken. While it is a problem there, let me fill you in on a secret: human trafficking is foremost a problem concentrated in urban areas around the state. If you think about it, it makes sense. Urban areas often place less importance on family values in line with yours and mine, and all other things held constant, the demand for trafficked girls is going to be proportionate to the number of people in an area.

So, what can you do to help stop human trafficking in our state? We need to be aware that this is happening right here in North Dakota – it is often too easy to assume this is a problem that happens somewhere else. We need to talk about it and raise the awareness of this awful crime. In the meantime, please pray for these young girls and women. They are vulnerable and need our Heavenly Father to help them escape this destructive practice.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well. Psalm 139:14

Sincerely,

President and Executive Director

P.S. Remember that we will be hosting our Annual Fargo Dessert Banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 10. We still have seats available, so please join us for an exciting evening and learn about the many ways you can help us preserve biblical values in North Dakota. Space is limited and advance reservations are required, so RSVP online or call 701.219.0948 to reserve your seat(s). We look forward to seeing you there!

This week I want to remind you that Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota will be hosting our Annual Fargo Dessert Banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 10. We know our dessert banquets have been very popular in past years, so we are very excited to again offer this opportunity to rally around pro-family and pro-life efforts in our state.

Our keynote speaker for the banquet will be Steve Deace. Steve hosts a daily show for CRTV, the online conservative network also featuring Mark Levin, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, and more. Each day he covers the intersection between culture and conservatism. He’s also a prolific writer, whose work has appeared in USA Today, Business Insider, Politico, Conservative Review, and Breitbart among others. His most recent book, A Nefarious Plot, will soon be adapted into a motion picture. Steve will have books available for purchase and will be sticking around to sign them as well after the banquet.

In addition to Steve Deace, we will have several other guests. Paul Weber, CEO of Family Policy Alliance, will provide a brief update on nation-wide family issues. I will have the opportunity to update you on what we’ve accomplished this past year and our plans for the future as we approach the November elections and 2019 state legislative session. We will also be presenting our first-ever Family Champion Award to a local business known for their commitment to faith, family and freedom. Finally, we will be blessed to have both a soloist and choir to provide inspirational music.

Please join us for an exciting evening and learn about the many ways you can help us preserve biblical values in North Dakota. Space is limited and advance reservations are required, so please make your reservation online today or call 701.219.0948 to reserve your seat(s).

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

 

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota partners with many other pro-family and pro-life organizations throughout the state to advance your most cherished values. A story highlighted by FirstChoice Clinic, one of our partners, caught my attention. FirstChoice Clinic staff experienced a “first” when they were able to guide a young pregnant woman through a chemical-abortion reversal, undoing the effects of the RU486 drug that would have ended the life of her baby.

This pregnant woman had been conflicted over her decision to abort her child through chemical means and began to have doubts after ingesting one of two pills given to her by the Red River Women’s Clinic (the abortion clinic in North Dakota that takes the lives of roughly 1,200 preborn children each year). The RU486 abortion process begins to take place when the first of two pills is taken by the mother.

Even though this young mother had taken the first of these, she regretted her decision and now wanted her child to live.

She called the abortion facility, but was told it was too late and that she should just consume the remaining pill and move forward with the abortion. She then contacted our partner, FirstChoice, and they told her the truth – that she could still stop the process – and they provided a prescription to undo the chemical abortion.

Shortly thereafter she had the joy of witnessing the ultrasound image of her beautiful baby safely tucked in her womb. She carried her preborn child to full term and her healthy little baby boy was born months later!

This story is important for a few reasons. First, it highlights the critical nature of the work of Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota and its allies like FirstChoice Clinic in protecting our children through efforts in the policy arena, providing medical services, and even reaching out firsthand to expectant mothers on the curb in front of our state’s abortion clinic.

Second, it shows to what lengths the abortion industry is willing to go to kill these children. They did not share the truth with a mother about a life-saving option for her child. If we cannot trust them to tell the truth to a young mother, it brings into question the other “information” they provide to these vulnerable women and the public at large.

Finally, it gives hope. Hope is a powerful thing, and when someone feels they are “at the end of their rope”, hope can seem very far away. But our hope is in Christ, and that hope conquers all. As it says in Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. God had a plan and future for this little child.

That young mother received hope, by God’s grace, and through that hope the precious life of her child was saved. May we continue to pray and trust in the Lord that all these young mothers considering abortion may find the hope they need to let these children live, and may we never give up electing and supporting leaders who cherish life and are willing to fight on behalf of these little ones.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota believes that parents have a God-given responsibility and right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Toward this end, we believe that education savings accounts (ESAs) are one option to consider when it comes to school choice.

What is an ESA? As described by EdChoice (formerly the Friedman Foundation), Education savings accounts (ESAs) allow parents to withdraw their children from public district or charter schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. Those funds—often distributed to families via debit card—can cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials.

Potential benefits of ESAs ESAs allow parents to fully tailor their child’s entire educational experience. Families know best what type of education children need to succeed, and ESAs give families the keys to unlock that experience for their children. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota wants to help launch children to success and access the education best suited for them to lay this critical foundation.

Have ESAs been tried before? states have already established some sort of successful ESA programs for their children, and many more are currently considering ESAs. At least thirteen other states so far this year have recognized the benefits of ESAs and have introduced legislation that would establish them.

How does the money work? If North Dakota were to implement ESAs, some percentage of the per-pupil state contribution to aid formula (75% suggested in a bill introduced during the 2017 legislative session) would go into an ESA for the student to be used by parents. The remaining amount (25% using the aforementioned example) would still go to the local school district, despite not incurring the variable costs associated with the student that no longer attends their institution. Based on a typical school year, this means that thousands of dollars would be allocated for each child whose parents utilize ESA contributions.

What are the downsides of ESAs? Parents are sometimes worried that receiving government funding in the form of ESAs will allow the state government to impose additional testing and related restrictions on their teaching methods. School districts worry that fixed school costs (e.g., school buildings) still need to be paid, even if they have lower enrollment and unused space. We believe that both of these potential problems can be addressed with the appropriately worded legislation, as has been successfully done in other states.

Are ESAs a good idea? Overall, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota believes that ESAs are in many ways an excellent option when it comes to school choice. They give a sizable amount of freedom to parents on how to best educate their children and ESAs explicitly recognize that educating our children is a parental responsibility, not the responsibly of the public educational system.

If you agree, please contact your legislators and let them know you support ESAs.

Your voice makes all the difference when it comes to protecting family values and school choice in North Dakota!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

As you are probably aware, our North Dakota legislature is not currently in session, unlike many others around the country.  Our state’s legislative session occurs every other year, with the last one concluding in 2017 and the next one beginning in January of 2019.  You trust us to represent your family values within the legislative process, which we certainly do, but I get asked regularly what Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is doing now, between sessions. Let me summarize some of our most important ongoing work on your behalf.

Elections: We research candidates’ qualifications and support of family values on the state and Congressional levels. Based on this research, we endorse and provide guidance on which candidates best uphold your beliefs.

Policy: We strategize on bills and other policy options to advance your biblical values on these types of key issues, and many more.

Relationships: Between sessions is a great time for us to strengthen relationships with you, our ministry partners, and state legislators, as well as develop relationships with new ministry partners. We also spend significant time forging relationships with the business and church communities, determining how we can best work together to advance biblical family values.

Banquet: We spend considerable time undertaking banquet planning. Banquets help us financially support our organization, inform ministry partners about our past wins and plans for the future. Banquets are also an opportunity to inspire attendees to exercise their biblical citizenship.

Fundraising: We are completely funded by generous donations from you, our financial supporters, so time is spent raising operating funds to keep Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota financially stable and able to carry out its mission.

As this brief summary highlights, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is involved in many activities and represents you on a wide variety of family issues – something that gives us a unique and comprehensive perspective.  Further, we have the ability to learn from the knowledge and experience of over 40 other state organizations like ours.

I want to thank you for allowing us to represent you year-round in many ways.  We will continue to be your voice on the comprehensive set of issues that affects your deeply held family values!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

P.S.  We are currently taking reservations for our Fargo Dessert Banquet to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 10.  You should have received a mailed invitation by now, but you can also register online at FPA-ND Fargo Banquet RSVP.  We hope to see you there!