Patrick has set himself apart by his consistent dedication to servant leadership, his Christian faith, and his integrity. He strongly believes in the dignity and value of every human life from cradle to grave and has fought to protect it. His biblical worldview is not limited to the issue of life but permeates his entire life.
Because of this we are proud to announce our endorsement of Patrick Penn for House District 85.
Patrick does not just believe in the values we hold dear; he has lived them out. As a former foster child, he recognizes how important it is to protect the religious liberty of foster families and adoption agencies.
As a business owner and fellow Wichitan, his dedication to raising his family in and growing our community are inspiring. He is a committed family man, with four children, so he understands how important it is to provide our kids with the best educational and career opportunities.
Patrick has served his country overseas in the United States Army. We believe that he will bring this same fighting spirit to protect your God-given freedoms. These skills and experiences uniquely position him to be to be a bridge builder and a difference maker in Topeka.
Patrick is the candidate who has the dedication to House District 85 that will represent you well in Topeka, the clear ability to not just vote for—but to champion—your values at the Capitol, and the servant leadership to build the team it will take to address the challenges facing our great state.
Allow me to introduce myself. As you may have read in Paul’s email last week, I will be serving as the Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Kansas. In my role, I will be working with our elected officials in Topeka to create good laws (and oppose bad ones) with the goal of ensuring Kansas is a state where God is honored, religious liberty flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. At Family Policy Alliance, I have served as a Policy Manager focusing on the issues of religious freedom, life, education, and pornography, and I am well-aware of the opportunities ahead of us.
As I learn more about Kansas, one thing that has impressed me is the state’s great legacy of protecting life at all stages of development. However, there are activist judges who are seeking to undermine some of your hard-won pro-life victories.
Just before the end of 2018, a district judge held that banning webcam abortions in the Kansas Telemedicine Act violated a “woman’s right to choose”. The bill was meant to protect women’s health by ensuring that they are seen by a doctor who is in the room with them and able to handle any emergencies that may arise.
The judge made his decision because he believes the law unduly burdens a woman’s ability to get an abortion. However, the government has a very good reason for passing and enforcing laws like ban on telemedicine abortions – because women’s lives and health are put at risk.
Telemedicine is also known as webcam medicine because it is practiced remotely by a doctor who is not in the same room with the patient. During a webcam abortion an abortionists can prescribe the abortion pill to a woman without ever seeing her in person or even being in the same state.
While telemedicine can be useful for certain medical issues, abortion should certainly not occur without a medical professional talking to and examining the woman because of the complex legal and mental health issues inherent in abortion.
From a legal perspective, Kansas law places many restrictions on abortion, such as not allowing them to occur after 20 weeks. Further, a woman cannot be forced to have an abortion and it is the medical staff’s duty to ensure that she is not being forced to have an abortion. These sorts of restrictions impact telemedicine because without a doctor being in the room it is difficult to know with certainty how far along the woman is or if she is being coerced.
From a safety perspective, abortions are inherently dangerous. And the farther along a woman is in her pregnancy the more dangerous they become. If a doctor is unable to correctly determine how far along a woman is, taking the pill could create an incredibly dangerous situation for the mother. Not having a doctor in the room could make it even harder to prevent this and ensure the safety of the woman.
For now, the law passed last year will not go into effect. There will likely be an appeal to this judge’s decision. Even as we work throughout this legislative session to protect life, we will keep you updated as this case moves forward. As we prepare for the coming legislative session, I look forward to working with all of you to continue to build a Kansas where life is cherished.
Proud to fight with you,
By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance
Yesterday was an amazing day for children and families in two states—and for the Christian and other faith-based adoption agencies who serve them.
Late last night, the Kansas Legislature passed the Adoption Protection Act, making Kansas the ninth state to protect the right of faith-based adoption agencies to continue their good work. Kansas followed Oklahoma, which also passed a similar measure yesterday.
You may be wondering why we need laws to protect faith-based adoption agencies. The reason is that radical Leftist activists like the ACLU and leading LGBT activist groups want to see faith-based adoption agencies shut down across the country. They believe that agencies whose mission is to place children without a family in a loving home with a mother and a father is “discriminatory.” They’d rather see these agencies forced to close down—resulting in less opportunities for children to find a forever family—than to let them continue to live out their faith in their adoption ministry.
This just further underscores how the Left values its political agenda over what’s best for children.
But, unlike states such as Massachusetts and Illinois that have already actively pushed out faith-based adoption providers, Kansas and Oklahoma joined the growing trend to protect faith-based agencies and the children they serve.
Eric Teetsel is President of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, our ally in the Sunflower State, who helped lead the efforts on the Adoption Protection Act in Kansas. He shared with us what the bill means for his state:
“While other states shut down faith-based providers by establishing a radical, left-wing sexual litmus test, Kansas has made clear: everyone is welcome here.”
Eric also described how God worked in an amazing way to make the bill’s passage possible—even after the nation’s leading LGBT advocacy group falsely claimed that over 80 businesses opposed protecting faith-based adoption agencies and sent its president personally to the state to lobby against the bill!
“Getting the Adoption Protection Act over the line was a battle from the beginning, and – on the final day – needed four separate votes to pass.
On the first of those votes, we got the 60 we needed, but knew we had to get to 63 on “final action.” Weeks and weeks of work and we had just a few hours to find 3 more votes. But, do you know what yesterday was? National Day of Prayer.
And – get this – just before the critical House vote, a troupe of bagpipers and drummers began to play under the Capitol dome. The tune? Amazing Grace.
Isn’t that incredible?
We give God all the glory for the victories in Kansas and Oklahoma!
You can help!
If you would like to join us in helping faith-based adoption agencies, we are looking for Believers to urge their U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to pass a federal bill that will protect these incredible and selfless faith-based adoption providers across the country!
Through our Action Center, you can send an instant message to your own lawmakers.
Thank you for your help as we work together to keep kids first!
I have a confession: I got mad at a pastor this week.
Family Policy Alliance of Kansas is working with a coalition of pro-life, pro-family groups on new legislation that will protect the right of faith-based adoption and foster care service providers to contract with the state of Kansas to help kids in need. Sadly, these legal protections have become necessary after several states passed laws banning contractors whose work is guided by faith.
As part of our planning, we sought testimonies from people who have adopted or fostered through a faith-based service. I was introduced to one local pastor and invited him to participate.
He said no. “We don’t want to be political,” he explained.
My blood pressure spiked. I wanted to email him back and ask, “WHAT KIND OF PASTOR CARES MORE ABOUT AVOIDING POLITICS THAN HELPING KIDS WHO NEED A FAMILY?”
Thankfully, I didn’t let my frustration get the best of me; but I didn’t let it go, either. After some time, I wrote back:
I understand why you feel reluctant to get involved in the political realm. You and I don’t know each other, but I sense we share a common concern. In my view, too often the Church’s witness has been compromised by a misplaced focus on the power of politics to bring about social change rather than the power of the Gospel to enact change in the hearts of men.
I say that as someone who works in public policy and politics! So, why do this work?
Jeremiah wrote to the Jews in exile and instructed them to “seek the welfare of the city in which they live, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7). Jesus’ call to love our neighbor as we love ourselves bears witness to this same principle. As Christians, we understand our role as agents of renewal. Our faith isn’t merely focused on the “Kingdom come,” but on bringing light to this world, now.
Politics and policy isn’t the only way to do this, but it’s one way. Our laws will either be rooted in and reflective of God’s created order and His wisdom or not. Where they are, by common grace we can expect flourishing; where they aren’t, we expect calamity. We see evidence of this all around us.
Nothing provides more support of the principle than the family. Where families are honored and upheld, children tend to flourish and communities, too. Where divorce, infidelity, abuse and other ills prevail, the people suffer. So, it is love for others that compels us to vie for the family.
My hope is that adoption and foster care will be a nonpartisan issue. In a saner world, we could all agree that helping kids is more important than whatever policy disagreements might divide us. Sadly, there are those who would drive others out of the business of helping kids because their sexual politics are their priority.
Our project aims to say kids matter most. The diverse coalition of groups behind the effort doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. If you understand that sexual politics shouldn’t get in the way of helping kids in need, we will work with you.
I hope this explanation clarifies what we are about and that you will reconsider your answer. But, if not, thank you anyway. We will proceed and, hopefully, more families will be allowed to have the experience you had.
Many believers share the opinion of the pastor. They don’t want to get involved in politics. My mission – the reason I’m so excited and honored to work at Family Policy Alliance of Kansas – is to meet them where they are and find some way to convince them of the necessity of engagement.
Did my email work? Not yet. Maybe it won’t. Whatever the case, I’ll keep trying. Thank you for being with me in the fight.
President and Executive Director
Family Policy Alliance of Kansas
P.S. As we near the Christmas season (can you believe it?) you may be looking at making year-end charitable gifts. Tax-deductible gifts to our sister organization Family Policy Foundation of Kansas are a great way to fulfill that desire!