Family Policy Alliance believes we can live in a nation where life is cherished, and we strive toward that goal every day. Here is a short list of some powerful and encouraging news that has come out over the past few weeks:
Recently, Family Policy Alliance Manager of Public Policy, Stephanie Curry, was interviewed by Tucker Carlson about her article on Planned Parenthood’s appalling and intentional targeting of Black mothers and their babies – a dark practice the organization has engaged in since its racist inception in the early 1900’s. Watch the Tucker Carlson interview below!
National Review ran a powerful piece by David French entitled The South is a Pro-Life Stronghold. French wrote “the American South is the home of America’s original sin . . the tyranny of slavery. . . .” He acknowledges the abhorrent history that led Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, to introduce pills that would prevent Blacks and others from procreating. But French explains in his encouraging article, when it comes to life today, the heart of the South represents a transformed generation forging a new destiny that “all life is precious.” Read the poignant article here.
Finally, our state ally, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico summed up decades of pro-life victories in their article Pro-Life—Winning in the States and the Court (of Public Opinion). President Vince Torres provides a run-down of exactly how many pro-life victories our nation has experienced and reconfirms David French’s point, the times are changing—for the better and for life!
Continue to partner with us as we cherish all life, from fertilization to natural end!
By Stephanie Curry, an attorney and policy manager for Family Policy Alliance
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion-related case since the appointment of Neil Gorsuch. The case, NIFLA v. Becerra, will have enormous implications for the nation and the pro-life movement. As we discussed in the article “Should Pregnancy Centers Be Forced to Become Abortion Advertisers?,” the major question Supreme Court Justices will be addressing is whether the state of California can force pro-life, crisis pregnancy centers to advertise state-sponsored abortion clinics.
There are well over 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers throughout the U.S. that provide free resources to women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. These centers support the life of the mother and child by providing free resources like ultrasounds, maternity clothing, baby clothes, parenting classes and much more.
One service most pregnancy centers provide, which has been the subject of this recent controversy, are referrals. Pregnancy centers offer referrals for housing, career development, counseling or adoption.
But one referral you won’t find at most pregnancy centers is a referral for an abortion. The mission of most pregnancy resource centers is to provide encouragement, love, and support to a woman who is experiencing anxiety or fear because of an unplanned pregnancy. These centers fill in a gap offering prenatal care and real family planning services to help women that might feel their only alternative is an abortion.
Yet, in October 2015, California’s “Reproductive FACT Act” was enacted, requiring that life-supporting pregnancy centers provide women and families a referral to state-sponsored abortion clinics. Pro-life pregnancy centers would also be required to post large signs on their walls offering “free or low-cost access” to abortions. If the pregnancy centers refuse to post a sign, they could be fined and sued by the State of California. Many pregnancy centers are faith-based, and their very mission is to protect the life of the baby by providing referrals for alternatives to abortion, like adoption.
It is not only outrageous, but also unthinkable – based on our First Amendment – that pro-life organizations can be forced by the state to promote values that directly oppose their very reason for being.
That’s why Family Policy Alliance and dozens of our state allies joined in producing and presenting a powerful legal brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of this case being heard. That effort was led by California Family Council, our allied organization in the Golden State.
As our legal brief states: “It is hard to imagine a greater imposition on individual conscience. It is hard to imagine a more repugnant form of forced speech” than one that forces life-giving organizations to give referrals to abortion clinics.
We stand with our state allies to fight for religious freedom and the rights of organizations like NIFLA to be free to practice their First Amendment rights. We especially stand for the right to life and the ability of pregnancy centers to strengthen families. For many years, Family Policy Alliance and our state allies have fought in state legislatures to protect and honor the work of pro-life pregnancy centers—and with your help, we won’t stop advocating for these amazing ministries.
What You Can Do: Please pray for the Supreme Court hearing today. Pray that a majority of the justices will rule based on the weight of the legal arguments in the Alliance’s brief and in the oral presentation by our ally, attorney Michael Farris with Alliance Defending Freedom. Please also continue to partner with Family Policy Alliance as we work to protect prolife organizations in your state and every state.
By Stephanie Curry, an attorney and Policy Manager for Family Policy Alliance
Last week, we shared the jarring news that the state of Ohio had removed a young girl (who identifies as a boy) from her home because her parents refused to allow their daughter to be subject to extreme and irreversible medical interventions in the name of “gender transitioning”.
The parents of this Ohio teen girl did their research and decided experimental sex-change hormones and surgery would harm their daughter for a lifetime. The parents instead opted to get their daughter basic talk therapy. They believed therapy could help their daughter work through her depression, anxiety, and gender identity issues.
Despite what the Left believes, parents are best at parenting.
Parents are in the unique position to offer the most protection, support, and love to their child. Not the government. Yet, the state government in Ohio thinks they know better. Ohio devastated this family by removing their daughter from the protection of her parents to place her with a family who would approve the use of experimental drugs and body-mutilating procedures. Does that sound like love?
It doesn’t end there. Ohio legislators also think they know children better than parents and are currently considering a Therapy Ban Bill (SB 126) that would make certain basic talk therapy illegal. The same therapy these Ohio parents sought for their daughter.
Put a different way, some elected officials have determined that basic talk therapy to help this Ohio girl learn to love herself as a girl should be banned, but permanently sterilizing and body-mutilating medical interventions are fine.
This isn’t just happening in Ohio. Washington, New York, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and fifteen other states are considering legislation that would make talk therapy affirming children’s own biological sex illegal. California is treading on dangerous ground by seeking to make this type of therapy illegal for some adults! It is incomprehensible that leftist activists believe a teen (or even adult) is entitled to make a decision about whether or not to drastically change their body chemically and physically, but teens and their parents can’t make a decision to see a licensed therapist to help them learn to love the body they were given.
Is your state considering banning therapy for children?
This map includes all the states currently considering a Therapy Ban Bill. Purple and red represent states that are considering a therapy ban bill as you read this, though the red states are in danger of becoming law. Blue states already have a therapy ban in law. As you look at this map, you may see an opportunity to join Family Policy Alliance in taking action to defeat these bills in your state. If your state is grey, be thankful. That means your legislators haven’t bought the lie the government knows best for our children.
Thank you for standing with Family Policy Alliance to protect our children.
Part 1 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”
By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
Over 200 years ago, our Founding Fathers acknowledged and declared life to be our first and greatest right. One that belongs to all. One that is inalienable, absolute, and unable to be taken away without violating the very source of our humanity. Yet, just 45 years ago, the Supreme Court delivered the seminal Roe v. Wade opinion that would contradict what many Americans have believed to be true since our founding: unborn children do not have a right to life, nor are they entitled to the full protection of the Constitution or the State from their own mothers. As you will see in our four-part series, “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion,” Roe v. Wade has become a disastrous example of why it is not the place of courts to decide issues of morality, set national policy, or invent constitutional rights to fit a political agenda.
In 1973, seven justices declared the right to privacy somehow included a mother’s right to have an abortion. The mother’s “right” doesn’t have to be balanced against the life of the child nor the interests of the father, and the Court restricted state interference based upon the unprecedented concept of trimesters. While Roe v. Wade alone was an astonishing departure from the Constitution and the moral perspective of the American people, the Court still couldn’t possibly have anticipated the waves of moral and political debate that would flood the courts and legislatures for decades afterwards.
For over 40 years the pro-life movement has evolved, becoming strategic in standing for the truth that all life is precious. Our people have come to understand elections matter at the local and state levels, and we all win when we place legislators in office who are not afraid to voice the truth that life is God-given, and therefore priceless and worth saving across all political parties, cultures, classes, and ages. Our elected legislators, not the courts, have been the ones on the frontlines, passing laws protecting pregnant mothers from coercion, deception, and unconscionable medical practices that became the results of Roe. Our legislators have protected pregnant minors, pregnant victims of crimes, and helped fund pregnancy centers that offer life-giving solutions to women in difficult circumstances. We will discuss the magnitude of what our movement has accomplished over the past 40 years in this four-part series and why we need the support of voices like yours now more than ever.
Family Policy Alliance, in partnership with you and your families, will continue to advance pro-life bills, support the election of pro-life candidates, and educate future leaders on the biblical truth that life is an inalienable right that belongs to all.
READ PART 2 – The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say
READ PART 3 – Roe v. Wade Wasn’t the End…But So What?
READ PART 4 – After 45 Years, It’s Time to End Roe v. Wade!
By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager
He created them male and female and blessed them. Genesis 5:2 (NIV)
First Woman Mayor! Julie Lemieux elected “only female mayor in Tres-Saint-Redempteur’s 137 year history.”
Canadian headlines excitedly reported Julie’s “remarkable” accomplishment last month as the “first female mayor” in over a century. Yet, the sad reality is that a man who calls himself Julie and identifies as a woman was elected. Electing a male mayor in this Canadian municipality is not particularly noteworthy. And, a woman still has never been elected to this mayoral office.
Sadly, now a woman can never achieve the title of “First Woman Mayor” in Tres-Saint-Redempteur because a man stole the accomplishment. And, there are many more stories like this one. Allowing men to identify as women gives them permission to take opportunities (like scholarships, grants and clubs) and spaces (like locker rooms, showers, and restrooms) that have been specifically tailored for women. American law has put into place legal safeguards and protections to remedy centuries of preventing women from accessing the same opportunities as men.
With your help, Family Policy Alliance partnered with unlikely ally WoLF (Women’s Liberation Front), a radical feminist group, to make this very point. We submitted a brief to the Supreme Court together, helping the Court understand that erasing “woman” and redefining “sex” in the law is wrong and harmful to all. We may disagree with WoLF on many other issues, but we can join together when it comes to protecting women from being “legally erased” by gender identity politics.
Family Policy Alliance also works closely with our state allies to reinforce the truth that women are inextricably and historically linked to their biology, just as God designed us, and this reality cannot be appropriated by a man simply because he “feels” like a woman. This year, we tracked over 133 bills that would change the meaning of “sex” in the law and in society. These bills are all directly related to questions like whether men can enter female spaces such as bathrooms and locker rooms, be entitled to public funding for drastic surgeries to make their bodies more feminine, or take advantage of jobs intended for women all based on their feelings instead of biology. The good news is that with your partnership, our efforts to educate and equip families to stop these harmful bills, the hard work of our state allies advocating for families at capitols across the country, and with families like yours speaking out, only 5 of those 133 bills became law!
We, like you, believe women and men both reflect the image of God, have their own unique purpose in creation, and should remain free to pursue their purpose without fear of oppression or being erased by “gender identity politics.”
Thank you for partnering with us as Family Policy Alliance seeks to bring compassionate truth to this politically and emotionally charged issue so near to God’s heart and who He designed us to be.
By Stephanie Curry, policy manager for Family Policy Alliance
Abandoned at birth. . .
I was born in Los Angeles in 1984. The year marked the beginning of the crack-cocaine epidemic that would sweep the nation, springing from South Central LA. The Black community was hit hardest. The “Crack Epidemic” was a major factor in Black fetal deaths increasing by 25%, lower birth weights increasing by 10%, and the number of Black children being placed into foster care more than doubling.
This was the world my identical twin sister and I were born into. Our birth mother conceived twins at age 40, was rumored to be living in a garage in South Central, and was almost certainly addicted to crack. This would be her 8th pregnancy and final delivery – identical twin girls.
Our birth mother’s due date wasn’t until February, but a few weeks before Christmas, she went into labor. I don’t know the details of our birth, because I don’t know anyone who was there. But our birth certificate says my sister and I were born in Los Angeles County Hospital, at night, weighing a pound and a half each. Our birth certificate declares our given names. Names that hardly sounded like those of inner-city black kids born in the ‘80s.
But what our birth certificate doesn’t say is far more interesting.
Our birth certificate doesn’t say that our birth mother snuck out the hospital window shortly after our birth. It doesn’t say she was on drugs during her pregnancy and probably during delivery. It doesn’t say where she went or if she planned on returning. It doesn’t say that a nurse more than likely named us (another rumor I heard later in life). It doesn’t say my twin and I were in the hospital for months, suffering from withdrawal and recovering from surgical operations. It doesn’t say God was watching over us and had a plan to give us a future and hope.
By the pure and powerful grace of God, my sister and I were placed in foster care, together. We moved from home to home, together. And against all odds, in 1986, our Mom and Dad, Tommy and Theresa, took us home to an Air Force base in England, together. My parents changed our names to Jacqueline and Stephanie. Out of all my siblings, my sister and I were the only ones to be adopted.
My Mom, My Dad; my mom, my dad
I never got to know my birth mom. I met her once when I was five; she was drunk and fell out of a chair while holding my sister. We didn’t want to see her after that. We talked on the phone again when I was around 10. She said she would send us money for Christmas. My Mom told us not to believe her. I did anyway. Needless to say, the money never came. And that was it. She died from cancer in 2011. I never felt I needed anything deeper, because I already had a Mom.
Every night before bed, my Mom talked to my twin and me about life (I could do anything I wanted), adoption (we were “chosen”), my dream to drive a strawberry truck (after I graduated from college), and the love of Christ (we were so loved). She told us we were beautiful – and we could do all things through Christ, especially the impossible. And when my twin sister was diagnosed with cancer, she took care of her as only a Mommy can, loving us all through the most difficult times in our lives.
I didn’t get to know my birth father either – although he’s still around. While I was in law school, I did write to him for a few months – when he went to prison. He would send beautifully illustrated cards, with words that didn’t always make sense. But, it’s enough that I knew he was trying to apologize for not having been a dad to us. He would sign the cards sometimes with his full name, sometimes with his initials, but always with “Your Dad.”
But he wasn’t my Dad. My Dad is a military veteran, who bought my sister and me our first bikes and wrestled with us on the living room floor and braided our hair. My parents were with both my sister and me for the birth of our children — buying all three children their first car seats, while we were in labor.
At the age of 28, my identical twin sister was diagnosed with a rare cancer. She was already stage IV when they found it. She passed a year later. As I was pulling pictures from her Facebook page for her Home-Going Service, I saw a picture of us as babies, with our biological grandparents. I had never seen a baby photo of us, and I didn’t even know my biological grandparents had known us as babies, let alone held us long enough for someone to snap a picture. At my sister’s funeral, I learned from my biological father’s sister, that their father, my grandfather, had worked at the hospital where we were born. On his lunch breaks, she said, “He would go up to the nursery and pray for you guys every day. Every day.”
There it was. A powerful and essential piece of our life story, suddenly falling into place. A huge “why”’ was answered for me in that moment. Why my sister and I survived; Why we weren’t separated in foster care; Why we were the only ones out of all our biological siblings to be adopted. A loving God who answers prayer. It was in that moment that God, the Father, became so real to me. I truly understood what David was talking about when he says God lovingly knits us together in our mother’s womb. God had known and loved my sister and me from the beginning. He had a plan for us that no one could mess up. My biological grandfather lived long enough to see the twin granddaughters he prayed for be adopted into a loving family, and I’m sure God reassured him his legacy of faith would be grown and nurtured by my parents.
Beauty from Ashes
God has written into my life the very story of salvation. God himself takes the abandoned and broken and hopeless and turns them into something wanted, beautiful and priceless. He takes us in, wraps us in His arms, changes our names, and tells us who we really are. He becomes our Father, and we become His children. Through adoption, my parents took abandoned girls, broken and unwanted. They changed our names and gave us theirs. They gave us love and acceptance in spite of who we had been, in spite of where we had come from. They gave us a new and hopeful future.
I can’t express what adoption means to me. I truly believe it’s the calling of every Christian to carry the Spirit of Adoption with us, bringing hope and light to the broken and unwanted. Every day, ministries like Family Policy Alliance, and our state allies in over 40 states, fight for the right of families to bring children into their homes and love them with the love of Christ. These families give a future and a hope to children and tell them who they are and who they can be.
There are over a half-million children in foster care in America each year. States desperately need the support of private adoption agencies to place children with loving, supportive families. Instead, many are closing their doors, because of laws that restrict the rights of agencies to place children according to religious values and morals. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and South Dakota are trailblazers in protecting these vital charities that are critical for quicker placement of children into forever homes and families. At the federal level, Rep. Mike Kelly (Pennsylvania’s 3rd House District) introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, a bill similar to those passed at the state level, to protect faith-based adoption agencies from being discriminated against by the government.
Help support the spirit of adoption by standing with us is in fighting for the religious freedom of private adoption agencies throughout our nation. Urge your U.S. Representative to support the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, and if your state does not have a similar protection in place, work with your state-based family policy group to help get one enacted.
by Stephanie Curry
Can you imagine a time when the state can come into your home and take away your child – because you loved your child enough to help him find counseling to work through unwanted same-sex attraction? Can you imagine a place where the state can put your daughter in foster care, because together you hired a therapist to help her heal from feeling like she was born in the wrong body? Currently, that time and place is right now in Canada, and rapidly approaching the United States.
This year, many states proposed and passed bills that would prohibit children from receiving counseling from licensed mental healthcare professionals for unwanted same-sex attraction or feeling like they were born the wrong sex. The Left deceptively refers to it as “conversion therapy”. Under such therapy ban laws, mental healthcare professionals can only provide counseling that is supportive or encouraging of a child’s same-sex attraction or gender confusion.
A few months back, Family Policy Alliance shared the story of Carlton. In his childhood, Carlton was abused by a male church leader, and for many years he wasn’t able to discern that his feelings of same-sex attraction had been forced upon him by his abuser. Therapy ban laws prevent parents from allowing their child to seek out a professional to discover why their child is experiencing gender and sexual identity struggles beyond the one size-fits-all, “born this way” approach. Even worse, some Massachusetts legislators are arguing that counselors who provide access to faith-affirming therapy for children to work through feelings of same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles should be reported and treated as child abusers. We believe children should have the unequivocal right to find licensed mental healthcare that is in line with their moral and religious beliefs.
Family Policy Alliance needs your continued support in striving to protect a time and place where parents are able to freely act to shield their child from emotional and psychological harm. The state should not be stepping into the place of parents when it comes to our children’s mental health.
This is part 4 of 5 in our Let Parents Parent series on the importance of protecting parental rights for families.
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
Recently, two families burst into the international spotlight because the law did not defend the parents’ ultimate rights to protect the very lives of their children.
The first story centers around infant Charlie Gard, who was born with a fatal genetic disorder in London. The hospital treating Charlie refused to allow his parents to move him to the U.S. to seek pioneering medical treatment. The hospital aggressively argued it would be inhumane to keep Charlie alive because of his condition, and life-sustaining treatment was withheld despite his parents’ desperate battle in court. Charlie died at 11 months old, after his ventilator was removed by medical workers.
The second story involves Simon Crosier, who was born in Missouri with a genetic condition. Like Charlie, treatment for Simon’s disorder was considered by doctors to be “futile,” and he was not expected to live long. At three months, he struggled to breathe. His oxygen levels plummeted. Yet, no one rushed to his aid. Hospital staff remained eerily quiet and distant as Simon’s parents watched him die. Simon’s doctors, without his parents’ knowledge or consent, had placed a “do not resuscitate” order into his file. The Crosiers were stunned when they discovered that doctors could secretly decide their son’s life was not theirs to protect. Since that time, the Crosiers have worked diligently to pass laws that will give parents the legal right to make the final decision regarding life-sustaining treatment for their child.
In fact, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas worked with allies in that state to pass the very first “Simon’s Law” earlier this year. It will protect babies like Simon.
Family Policy Alliance and our state allies will be working hard in 2018 to ensure children can be lovingly protected by their parents through “Simon’s Law” legislation. If Charlie’s parents or Simon’s parents had had the benefit of such laws, they would have had the final word on their child’s life-giving medical care – not hospitals.
We believe children are given by God to, intimately known by, and lovingly protected by their parents — first and foremost. That means it is the parents’ God-given responsibility to protect and preserve the lives of their children. Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we fight to let parents parent across the country.
This is part 2 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.