Earlier today, on the National Day of Prayer and during the White House Rose Garden Ceremony, President Trump announced the finalization of a federal rule that would protect the right of health care workers, providers, and employers to refuse to participate in acts that violate their religious and moral convictions.
The President underscored the importance of the new rule stating, “Every citizen has the absolute right to live according to the teachings of their faith and the convictions of their heart. This is the bedrock of American life. To protect this heritage my Administration has strongly defended religious liberty.”
The long-awaited 400- paged rule, was published by the Department of Health and Human Services today and will ensure those working in the health care industry are not persecuted or fired for their faith. This means if you’re a hospital you can’t be forced to provide abortions; if you’re a doctor you can’t be required to prescribe assisted suicide drugs; if you’re an employer you can’t be forced to provide insurance coverage for controversial operations. The best thing is the Final Conscience Rule Protecting Health Care Entities and Individuals makes certain the government has the power to remove federal funding from violators who refuse to comply.
Roger Severino, Director of the Office of Civil Rights at DHHS, declared today it is an appalling injustice for a government to “require religious organizations and hospitals to place their religious identity on the shelf when it is often their religious identity that drives them to offer their gifts to the world [like] giving free health services with love and care to those that need it most.”
This truly is an answer to prayer on this National Day of Prayer for all Americans in the health care field. They will no longer feel required to check their beliefs at the door when they go to work every morning or be forced to make a choice between professional accreditation or religious conviction.
We applaud the herculean efforts of DHHS to write a thorough and robust rule that will ensure the constitutional rights of all citizens in the health field are protected in a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
The Wounds No One Wants to Talk About
“Health first” helped me survive
“The health of my patient will be my first consideration.”
This simple line in the Physician’s Oath is what we expect from our doctors—that they will put our health first. As someone who survived a life-threating illness earlier this year, this pledge presented some challenges for me.
It meant that my desire to go home would not be adhered to. It meant that my requests for more pain medication, after multiple surgeries, would not always be fulfilled. It also meant that as much as I loathe needles, I would need to endure multiple IVs, shots, and blood tests so that my doctors could help me heal.
I endured all of this because my health–not my desires, whims or wants—was the primary concern of the doctor.
Yet, the radical left disagrees.
“Surgery won’t cure my self-loathing, but I want it anyway”
Recently, the New York Times published the article, “My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy”.
A man, “Andrea” (who identifies as a woman), declared he is entitled to a sex-reassignment surgery. He forcefully argued that his “grief, self-loathing, shame [and] regret” were a “human right” and genital-mutilating “surgery’s only prerequisite should be a simple demonstration of want.” “Andrea” believes doctors should be forced to make his body undergo a horrific process, by removing a functional, working body part and replacing it with a faux-part that will never work, and which will certainly not make him a woman. His body will treat this faux-part as a wound for the rest of his life because the body understands biology better than the Leftist agenda. This faux-part will need constant daily-care, and will be prone to rejection, a high risk of complications, and various infections (harboring harmful bacteria, fungi, mold and more).
But “Andrea” doesn’t want to be cured of his grief and depression, he wants a vagina, and at all costs.
There is a path to hope
What’s even more intolerable, is the Left demands children have access to these permanently sterilizing, genital-mutilating surgeries. These procedures do not alleviate pain—they cause it. They do not make it easier for the body to heal—they make it impossible.
“Andrea” has accepted all transgender people must live with hating themselves for life, even after surgery—piling deep emotional wounds on top of the physical ones.
Family Policy Alliance wants more for “Andrea” and others struggling with gender-identity, especially for children. We know they can find a path to complete healing. Studies show 80-95% of children struggling with gender dysphoria do not maintain these identities as adults. There is hope!
As compassionate Christians, we must oppose medical practices that undermine the health of patients and do irreparable harm to children. The most loving thing Family Policy Alliance can do is support policies that provide mental healthcare and emotional support, not open the door for a drastic and irreversible surgery that will compound the challenges they face throughout their life.
My friends, this topic is unpleasant. It’s not one that many would choose to think about or discuss around the dinner table. But, if we look the other way, we are rejecting the biblical mandate to love our neighbor.
Let’s lift those who are struggling up in prayer while working to establish policies that will provide truly compassionate and beneficial solutions.
Because we care,
President & Executive Director
Family Policy Alliance of Georgia
Stephanie Curry, Esq.
Family Policy Alliance
By John Paulton, manager of grassroots mobilization for Family Policy Alliance®
If you’ve followed the saga of Baby Oliver – the British baby with the life-threatening heart tumor – you’ll be glad to know that the good ‘ol U.S. of A. came to this young Brit’s rescue. But how it happened is an amazing saga – and also very instructive to some left-wing American politicians … or at least to their constituents.
Oliver Cameron, in case you weren’t following the limited coverage here in America, is a baby boy born with cardiac fibroma – a large, non-cancerous tumor on the heart. Without surgery, his life would be measured in mere months.
But the National Health Service (NHS), the U.K.’s socialized health care system, informed Oliver’s parents that they didn’t have a single doctor who could do the surgery. Instead, he would be placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant that – even if it came to pass – would probably not extend his life to adulthood.
That’s when his parents, Lydia and Tim, began looking for alternatives. Eventually, they found an answer – in America. Boston Children’s Hospital had successfully performed such a surgery, and the doctors there said Oliver was a good candidate for the same surgery.
Problem solved, right? Hardly. First, the government denied the request to cover the cost of Oliver having surgery in Boston. Then, they denied the request to have the Boston surgeons perform the surgery in the U.K.
So Lydia and Tim took the bull by the horns and began raising donations through an online site to cover the quarter-million-dollar cost. By the time they had raised two-thirds of the money, the NHS decided that they needed to fund the surgery to avoid a public relations nightmare – especially in the aftermath of the death of Charlie Gard, the British boy for whom the NHS had denied free offers of help from international sources, including the Vatican.
The surgery was a complete success. Baby Oliver is reportedly doing exceptionally well.
But his entire episode – particularly on the heels of the Charlie Gard disaster – raises serious questions about why some American politicians want to bring the same, single-payer, government-run health system to our shores.
From Boulder congressman Jared Polis (who is running for Colorado governor) to the latest socialist sensation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx, the Left’s calls for a government takeover of medicine in America are becoming widespread.
But if that happens, where will the Baby Olivers of the world go? The calls for government-run, single-payer healthcare are cloaked in the language of compassion. But as Baby Oliver and Charlie Gard remind us, the real result is cold-hearted government control.
Credit to dailywire.com and The American Spectator for portions of the information contained in this report.
By Stephanie Curry, Esq., policy manager for Family Policy Alliance
The image above commands our attention as a powerful symbol of a government standing between Baby Alfie and life.
This photo shows the British police guarding Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the UK Hospital where Baby Alfie died over the weekend. The police were ostensibly there to ensure the hundreds of protestors supporting baby Alfie didn’t charge into the hospital after a court decided that the hospital could remove Baby Alfie’s ventilator, against his parents’ wishes. The hospital argued keeping Alfie on a ventilator was futile and his condition was beyond hope.
Interestingly enough, the Judge writing the decision to remove Alfie’s life support wrote that Alfie’s father’s “core dilemma” was that he was, “unable to relinquish hope.” Alfie’s father, Tom, passionately argued “no stone should be left unturned” in pursuing treatment for his child, and ultimately Alfie is “our child and a child of God.”
Tom didn’t know what the future held for his son, but he certainly knew the value of his son’s life must not be in the hands of the government.
Tom had the support of a hospital in Rome, ready to take over Alfie’s care and continue his life support—even standing by to provide a full air ambulance to Italy. And if that didn’t work out, Alfie’s parents were prepared to take him to Germany. If that didn’t work, they asked the judge if they could take him home.
Yet, the UK government, both literally and figuratively, stood between Alfie and his chance of life. They denied all of Tom’s requests to remove Alfie from Alder Hey—even his request to take his son home. The judge agreed with Alder Hey that a journey to Italy or even Germany would be too risky. In other words, Alder Hey argued on one side that death would be a merciful end to Alfie’s life, but yet refused to allow him to be transported to a different hospital because there was a risk of death.
Unlike the United States, the UK government has multiple years of bad law leading up to this moment, where the government has been handed the power to use force to ensure a child’s death. British parents no longer decide the best interests of their child –the government does. And when the government decides the value of a child’s life, children lose. Children like Alfie Evans, Charlie Gard, and Isaiah Haastrup.
Here in America, we still have an opportunity to ask –are these children in the care of the government, or their parents? The American legal system still considers the parent-child relationship one of the most protected and fundamental rights in the United States. Period. In the United States, our children are not the government’s kids.
But, we’re starting to see bills that resemble laws in the UK, allowing courts to overrule parents’ wishes—bills with attractive titles like “Children’s Bill of Rights.” These types of laws would remove parental considerations in determining the best interests of a child, just like in the UK.
Parents and lawmakers in America must learn from what’s happening to these precious children in the UK. Laws that proponents claimed would protect children are now being used to strip parents of their rights and devalue the relationship between a parent and child.
Family Policy Alliance is working to pass laws like Simon’s Law, that ensure parental rights are protected in the most critical moments of their child’s life. We hope you will partner with us in protecting parental rights in America.
During the summer, our team of attorneys works to draft good bills that will help protect parental rights. Please consider donating to support these efforts.
Or, please consider supporting the Statesmen Academy, a program through our Foundation that trains lawmakers to uphold the principles of protecting life and parental rights in the laws they pass. Right now, every gift to the Statesmen Academy is being doubled up to $80,000, thanks to a generous Christian family.
While families send their children back to school each fall, for Family Policy Alliance our “back to school” time comes in January— when Congress and state legislatures go back into session. All summer and fall, we’ve been preparing and training for the new legislative session. Now, we can protect your family and advance your values.
As we anticipate January 2018, we wanted to share with you both the policy threats that you need to be aware of for your family, as well as some key opportunities where your partnership will protect and strengthen families.
This year, the world watched with shock and heartbreak as U.K. baby Charlie Gard’s parents were denied their right to fight for his life. Parents everywhere felt their grief—What if Charlie were my son?
We’ve seen decisions about medical care for children taken out of parents’ hands here in the U.S., too, with doctors placing “do not resuscitate” orders on children’s medical files or performing abortions on underage girls without even notifying parents. Even in the world of mental health care, LGBT activist groups are pushing to prevent families from accessing basic talk therapy for children struggling with sexual integrity—bringing their sexual orientation or gender identity into alignment with their faith and values.
We believe parents are best equipped to love and protect their children. That’s why we’re working to protect your rights as a parent and to prevent a Charlie Gard tragedy here in the U.S.
No two children are alike—not even twins—and God has a calling and a purpose for each one. That’s why we’re working to make sure policies guard the right of parents to guide their children toward their calling—and to prevent any political agendas or red tape from getting in children’s way as they launch into their calling. In 2018, we will work with our state allies to enhance school choice opportunities for families, protect Christian colleges from being forced to violate their faith so that students can choose a higher education that aligns with their values, and prevent state licensing bodies from restricting students who go on to get professional licenses (such as medical, legal or technical) from living out their faith in their professional calling.
January 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Despite that sober reminder of millions of preborn babies lost, we have much to be thankful for. We are now living among the most pro-life generation since Roe, and we have a new Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, who values the sanctity of life. We continue to work with our state-based allies to strategically chip away at Roe until we live in a nation where every life is cherished.
Our fight for life doesn’t stop at Roe, though. We also defeated dangerous assisted suicide legislation in all 27 states where it was introduced this year. In 2018, we will continue our work opposing assisted suicide and instead work to pass legislation affirming that every life is worth fighting for—regardless of health condition, disability or socioeconomic status.
Your faithful partnership with Family Policy Foundation—especially at year-end—is key to educating pro-family Americans about these (and many more) issues, and equipping them with the tools they need to make their voices heard at just the right time.
by Stephanie Curry
If your child has a terminal illness and stops breathing in a hospital, should a doctor have the right to refuse to administer CPR against the parents’ wishes? We believe the answer to this is a resounding No. It is parents who love their children who shoulder the overriding responsibility of guarding their child’s health and very life. As we discussed in Part II of this series, hospitals should work in partnership with families to fight for the life of a child, no matter their prognosis.
When life and death decisions regarding your child’s health are at stake, it seems obvious parents should be involved. But, should your child be able to make decisions about their own care that are far more routine? Consider a simple physical for school, an appointment for glasses, or receiving antibiotics for a sinus infection. Should your 15-year-old be able to make an appointment and get treatment for these things without your consent? Without your knowledge? For legislatures, the answer to these questions are becoming more ambiguous.
Over the past several years, states have begun muddying the waters as to how involved a parent should be in their child’s health care decisions. Most states allow children to receive contraceptives or treatment for substance abuse at ages far younger than 18, without their parents even knowing their child is being treated. In Wisconsin, a child of 12 can receive treatment for a drug addiction. In Oregon, all children 15 and older can consent to medical treatment — from physicals to abortions. In Alabama, the age of consent is 14, and in Idaho, any age child who comprehends the risks of treatment can consent to their own medical care.
While Family Policy Alliance recognizes there are situations in which parental involvement may not be desirable, we believe most parents are in the best position to know and support their child’s healthcare journey and aid in their child’s medical care long-term. We believe healing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Family, not government, is an integral part of a child’s journey to health and healing. In that vein, Family Policy Alliance will continue to fight alongside parents who want to be free to love and protect their children the way they know best.
This is part 3 of 5 in our Let Parents Parent series on the importance of protecting parental rights for families.
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.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Jeff Laszloffy and the Montana Family Foundation, one of our 40 state-based allies with whom we collaborate to elect pro-family statesmen and to advance pro-family policy.
You’ve heard of “wrongful death” lawsuits. Well, a Montana couple actually filed a “wrongful birth” lawsuit with ominous implications for life and for healthcare. That’s when the Montana Family Foundation jumped into action.
Stuart Shepard explains how the Obama Administration went to the Supreme Court to “protest” you – whether you’re Baptist, Catholic, Wesleyan or Nazarene.