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!
It is still National Adoption Month.
As we come to the close of November, we wanted to share with you one last story of how this amazing process blesses so many who need forever families and the families they join.
Jeremy Samek serves as Senior Legal Counsel with Family Policy Alliance’s state ally Pennsylvania Family Council. He and his wife, Sarah, share the story of adopting Maria Pearl, a precious little girl with Down Syndrome.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside our ally, Pennsylvania Family Council.
by Dan Bartkowiak
I hope you join me and everyone in the pro-life community in celebrating great news out of Reading, Pennsylvania. Not only are teens better off this school year but Planned Parenthood is really mad.
Let me explain:
Planned Parenthood made a push this summer to gain direct access to thousands of high school students in Reading – and to have you pay for it. But, after this proposal was brought to our attention from residents, we were able to rally together with other groups such as Students for Life of America, Berks Republican Women and Pro-Life Berks to show the school board that this was not the right choice for Reading.
I’m happy to tell you that the Reading School Board, in a 5-4 decision, voted against the proposal and to keep Planned Parenthood OUT of Reading High School.
Looking back, here are a few highlights:
1) Shocking statements from newspaper editor.
Ahead of the meeting, I received an email in response to a media advisory about this upcoming board vote, which included the following:
“At Planned Parenthood women can get free mammograms… very little abortions are performed.”
You can watch a short clip highlighting my response which points out:
- Planned Parenthood isn’t even licensed to perform mammograms in Pennsylvania
- Over half of all abortions in Pennsylvania are from Planned Parenthood.
You have to listen to these statements sent to us from a Pennsylvania newspaper editor. This video was recorded just before the victorious vote by the Reading School Board to NOT have Planned Parenthood staff an office in Reading High School.To help inform and educate others about the activities of Planned Parenthood: 1) Our Resource page: pafamily.org/resources (***Make sure to download our report "Extreme: Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania")2) Search our blog for a variety of stories on Planned Parenthood: pafamily.org/blog
Posted by Pennsylvania Family Council on Thursday, August 24, 2017
2) Diversity of the residents speaking out against this proposal.
People from both sides of this issue gathered at the door of the administration building where the vote was to take place. The school board meets in a small room and an overflow crowd spread out into the hallway.
What was striking is the first four residents to speak out; were all against the proposal: a mom who works for a teen organization in Reading, a high-school teenager, a former pregnancy center employee and a pastor.
Many of their comments were helpful, from the teenager pointing out how Planned Parenthood Keystone in Allentown failed three straight inspections – including the gruesome practice of disposing aborted babies down the sink – as well as the pastor pointing out the big business of abortion for Planned Parenthood and that the school should “stick to the business of education.”
3) Overwhelming majority against the proposal.
When it was time for the board members to discuss the proposal, several concerns were mentioned. One board member stated he counted all the emails he had received on this issue, totaling 585. He said the overwhelming majority were against the proposal.
Board members had other concerns such as the fact that no other proposal was considered, that Planned Parenthood is so close to the school (just two miles away) with no other school having such a program and that the board was never presented with evidence that showed Planned Parenthood’s proposal would actually work.
With all of these concerns, the board narrowly voted down the proposal by a 5-4 decision.
Watch this clip for more reaction after the board’s vote.
A brief recap after tonight's board meeting in Reading and the 5-4 decision to keep Planned Parenthood OUT of Reading High School. We still have work to do but certainly a tremendous victory.To be ready in the future for what Planned Parenthood might try next in PA, be sure you receive our email alerts: tinyurl.com/emailsignups
Posted by Pennsylvania Family Council on Wednesday, August 23, 2017
4) Statement by Planned Parenthood Keystone after the vote.
It appears that Planned Parenthood is fuming. Just read part of the statement they gave to WFMZ after the vote:
“These protesters don’t care about our children… They’re out-of-town bullies who used this vote to pursue a narrow political agenda without any care in the world for the young lives their actions affect.”
I’m not sure if anyone from Planned Parenthood was at the meeting, but I was there. I saw dozens of Reading residents holding signs outside against the proposal. The first four people to offer public comment were all from Reading and against this proposal.
There were also protesters yelling out in support of the proposal. Police were on the scene and the only time they had to yell to the crowd was when someone in support of the proposal was screaming at a pro-life supporter.
And if Planned Parenthood was there, they are the one’s proudly stating they are a political organization that gives millions of dollars to pro-abortion candidates.
But bottom line – thanks to this vote Planned Parenthood is not starting the school year in Reading High School being paid for by taxpayers.
Learn more about Pennsylvania Family Council.
Most moms and daughters would agree that boys in public schools do not belong in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms – and vice versa. And now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether common sense will prevail over President Obama’s misguided activism.
A school district in Gloucester County, Virginia, turned down a female student’s request to use the boys’ restrooms. The student says she identifies as a boy, and, under controversial new guidelines from the Department of Education, being willing to say so is all it takes.
The state chapter of the ACLU sued on behalf of the girl. A federal appeals court ruled against the school district. Recently, the nation’s highest court added the case to its list.
“Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Gary McCaleb. “In light of the right to bodily privacy, federal law should not be twisted to require that a male be given access to the girls’ facilities, or a female to the boys’ facilities.”
ADF filed a brief supporting the school district on behalf of nearly 9,000 parents, students, grandparents and members of the community, as well as more than 40 state family policy councils.
We know it’s possible to stop the so-called bathroom mandate. A similar effort in Pennsylvania successfully was pushed back, thanks in part to the efforts of Pennsylvania Family Council. The group collected petitions, coordinated phone calls and held a public rally.
“I’m a mom of three young girls,” said Carla D’Addesi, a spokeswoman for the Defend My Privacy Coalition. “I want to make sure that my children’s expectation of privacy and their safety is not being infringed upon.”
Family Policy Alliance launched the “Ask Me First” project to equip families across America with resources to help them stand up for their moms and daughters. We encourage you to view the real-life stories, and even share your own at AskMeFirstPlease.com