Official Launch of March for Life Action

 

I have some really big news to share with you.

I am excited to announce the official launch of March for Life Action!

mfl-action

March for Life Action is a certified 501(c)4 entity, which will operate as a sister organization to our 501(c)3, March for Life Education and Defense Fund. The difference between the two organizations is that March for Life Action will allow YOUR VOICE — in combination with the collective voices of the millions of pro-life Americans — to advocate for specific pro-life policies at the federal and state level.

I am deeply convinced that March for Life Action is needed for such a time as this. Our country is truly facing a divisive crossroad on issues related to life and the inherent dignity of the unborn.

While a culture of life has advanced legislatively in many states over the past few years, the June Supreme Court decision striking down Texas’ common-sense safety regulations for abortion centers endangers not only women’s health but also pro-life advances and laws across the country.

Then in late July, the Democrat National Committee introduced the most radical pro-abortion platform ever, advocating for abortion, on demand, at any time during pregnancy, paid for by your tax dollars.

The Democratic Presidential Candidate and other pro-abortion advocates have even called for a repeal of the long-standing bipartisan Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from paying for abortion through Medicaid.

While March for Life Action is non-partisan like its sister organization, the sad reality is that the Democratic Presidential Candidate and Democratic Platform are extreme and out of touch with mainstream America.

>>>> ICYMI, check out my op-ed in the Daily Caller on the Democrat Party’s Radical New Abortion Stance.

Here’s where March for Life Action comes in.

We have a very exciting project to share with you very soon, but we are asking that you would help us first by following March for Life Action on social media and asking your friends to do so also.

We are grateful for this new opportunity to expand our cultural influence more directly into the policy arena. And we are excited to amplify YOUR voice on the most pressing issue of our time, the inherent dignity and goodness of life, not only as we march up Constitution Avenue every January, but moreover, every day of the year.

Reflections on Recent Decisions

 

As we prepare for Independence Day weekend, I want to share with you some of my thoughts on the events that have transpired this past week.

Not all of it has grabbed headlines, but several significant legal and legislative actions took place this week, which will impact the causes of life and freedom of conscience for years to come.

Here’s what happened:

  • In a decision striking down parts of Texas’ abortion legislation, HB 2, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that clinics that perform abortions don’t have to follow standard health and safety codes that any other healthcare facility is required to follow.

>>> Read the March for Life’s full press release reacting to the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision.

  • By refusing to hear a case about a Washington state pharmacist who objected to prescribing abortion-inducing drugs, the Supreme Court opened the door to pharmacies across the country being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices regardless of personal or faith-based objections.

>>> Read the March for Life’s full press release reacting to Stormans v. Weisman.

  • On Capitol Hill, the Senate Democrats defeated the House-passed Zika Prevention legislation that would have provided emergency funds to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus for women and babies. They objected because only hospitals and community health centers in Puerto Rico would receive funding, not Planned Parenthood.

>>> Read the March for Life’s statement regarding the bill’s defeat.

>>> Read an op-ed about the Zika Prevention bill by our Assistant Director, Bethany Goodman.

The Whole Women’s Health decision threatens other pro-life state legislative initiatives and indicates the hostile territory the Supreme Court has become to the rule of law when it comes to abortion-related decisions.

Furthermore in the Stormans decision, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists shared this dire reflection: “This Court has set the stage for unfettered state coercion; a coercion that extends even to forcing American citizens to have to participate in the killing of other human beings.” In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.”

MFL_MEMES_JUNE27-01This is especially troubling as we prepare to celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s birth. Freedom of conscience, and the protection of life and liberty were paramount to the founding of the United States of America.

While this turn of events is disheartening, we know that there are millions of pro-life Americans who still hold those values dear. Here at the March for Life we are unequivocally committed to protecting life. Furthermore, we must remember that the fight for life is not just a political/legal/legislative battle, but it is more deeply a cultural and spiritual battle. We must remain relentless in praying for a culture of life and working to build a culture where abortion is unthinkable.

We have the truth on our side and we will not back down. We will not stop fighting for what is right for women, babies, and our country.

Sensible Fetal Pain Laws

 

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley recently signed a law restricting abortion after 19 weeks of pregnancy. Citing fetal pain science, South Carolina joins 16 other states that have passed legal protections for unborn babies halfway through pregnancy. The first state to pass such a law was Nebraska, in 2010.

The immediate impact of this first fetal pain law was that the notorious late-term abortionist, Leroy Carhart, moved his practice from Nebraska to the less abortion restrictive state of Maryland. For the past six years, he has conducted abortions on babies that are fully five months of gestation or more at nearby Germantown Reproductive Health Services, about a twenty-minute drive from the Nation’s Capital.

In the early 2000s, Leroy Carhart became a “hero” and the “face” of partial-birth abortion and late term abortion as the plaintiff in two lawsuits, Stenberg v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Carhart. He has been quoted saying, “I … feel like I’m doing God’s work.” He once told a Kansas TV reporter: “I see the anti-choice movement as nothing different from the Taliban.”

The March for Life Education and Defense Fund exists to build a culture of life and love. Our goal is to defend and protect life at any stage, acknowledging that abortion takes the life of one and wounds the other. That said, late term abortion is physically much harder on women for obvious reasons; as the baby develops and the pregnancy progresses, the more difficult and risky the procedure becomes.

To that point, Carhart is currently under congressional investigation after reports recently became public that five women from his clinic over the course of six months needed to be hospitalized. Subpoenas have been issued to both Carhart and Germantown Reproductive Health Services so that more information can be ascertained.

Who is impacted by measures similar to South Carolina’s fetal pain bill? The large majority of abortions in our country occur before 12 weeks of gestation.  While the U.S. does not have abortion reporting requirements, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects voluntary data. The general estimate is that approximately 15,000-18,000 abortions occur after 21 weeks in the U.S. annually.

Why do women have abortions so far along in the pregnancy? The lack of government reporting requirements translate to very little hard public data but one source, Ron Fitzsimmons, former Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, in an interview with the New York Times estimated that in the majority of cases, abortions performed at 20 weeks or later are on a healthy baby and healthy mother.

Another important aspect of these laws is that they are reflective of what Americans want. Late-term abortion is not at all popular with the American people, even those who identify as pro-choice. A Marist poll from earlier this year revealed that as many as 8 out of 10 Americans believe that abortion should be limited to the first three months of pregnancy. And even for those who self-identify as pro-choice, a large majority —66%– agree that abortion should be limited at most to the first three months of pregnancy.

As the work of Leroy Carhart continues to come to the light through the congressional investigation, and as more states continue to enact laws limiting late-term abortion, let’s be honest that fetal pain laws are common sense – they protect women and babies and have the support of the majority of Americans.

Sometimes people ask if incremental laws have an impact. The proof is evident.

Exposing Planned Parenthood

 

As more videos continue to surface that expose Planned Parenthood’s egregious organ harvesting practices and blatant disregard for the dignity of the human person the time is now for Congress to stop using taxpayer funds to support the organization. Congress should divest from the organization at all levels of government and lead an investigation into the organization’s horrific practices.

M4L-Meme2The release of videos by the Center for Medical Progress has continued to expose the true practices of Planned Parenthood, along with their complete disrespect for and undignified treatment of human life. The practice of harvesting and selling baby parts is nauseating and illegal. No American should be forced to participate in this unsettling practice through taxpayer funding.

Americans are disgusted by what they’ve witnessed on these videos. Congress, state legislatures and city governments must act to bring to an end all federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

Thankfully, in addition to the waves of public outcry on social media this week, there are members of Congress who are speaking out as well. On July 21, Representative Sean Duffy hosted a special order about Planned Parenthood’s atrocities. Please take a few moments to watch some of these speeches and thank these members for their words and action.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), opening and closing
Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA)
Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and closing statement
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH)
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)

 

Good News! Abortion Rate Declines

 

Good News!

Isn’t it fun to celebrate when good things happen? For pro-life Americans, June has seen a handful of victories, including two just this week.

THF-2015-MarchForLife-0484First, the Associated Press announced on Monday, June 8 that they recently conducted a survey of available abortion-related data in most states since 2010. The consensus? Abortions are on the decrease (by 12% overall) in the United States! Read the full story HERE.

The best analysis I’ve seen of the survey is an article by Dr. Michael New who is cautiously optimistic about the decline but makes a necessary point that the U.S. Government does not require state health departments to track and report such data. Therefore, some caution is prudent when considering the decline.

“Some context: One important caveat that received little attention in the article is that abortion data from state health departments can be unreliable. Abortion reporting standards vary greatly across states. Sometimes reported decreases are caused by less rigorous reporting rather than actual declines in the incidence of abortion. Secondly, the AP piece’s analysis would have been better if it had focused on abortion rates rather than the overall number of abortions, since some of the fluctuations in abortion numbers might have been affected by changes in population or demographics.”

A second piece of uplifting news this week relates to a 2013 Texas pro-life/women’s health law. On Tuesday, most of the law was upheld in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Included in this law is the policy that abortion clinics are held to “ambulatory facility standards,” which means that such clinics are expected to have the same health standards as other outpatient surgical facilities. Frankly, this part of the law should be a “win” not only for those of us working against the human rights abuse of abortion, but also for anyone advocating for women’s health.

Surprisingly, until recently most states did not regulate abortion clinics; they were held to lesser health standards than veterinarian clinics or beauty salons. In the wake of the horrific stories at the clinic of Kermit Gosnell, states began to introduce such laws in large part to further protect women. Sadly, often those who are advocating for abortion equate women’s health with greater access to abortion even if the clinics will be substandard.

For more on both stories, watch this clip where Brian Patrick interviewed me on EWTN News Nightly.

 

Nothing About Abortion is Luxurious

 

Recently, the Washington Post featured Carafem, a new abortion-pill facility in Montgomery County, Maryland, the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

With its natural wood floors and plush upholstery, Carafem aims to feel more like a spa than a medical clinic. But the slick ads set to go up in Metro stations across the Washington region leave nothing to doubt: “Abortion. Yeah, we do that.”

As a person who regularly comes into contact with women and men who deeply regret their abortions, I was saddened to read about DC’s newest business, a “luxury spa” chemical-abortion clinic in “Yes, they do abortions.”  The flippant nature in which this clinic is approaching a deeply personal and unnatural procedure is unsettling and misleading.  In the interest of informed consent, the clinic should let the women know that a chemical abortion is even more difficult on women than surgical abortions, physically and psychologically, according to peer-reviewed academic research.

I’ll never forget the conversation I had with the father of a 18 year-old beautiful young woman, Holly, who died as a result of a chemical abortion that was legally administered in a clinic.  Americans are increasingly pro-life not because of a bad marketing strategy by the abortion industry, but because of the inherently destructive “product” being sold.  An abortion is the furthest thing from a spa treatment as can be imagined.

** For information about the abortion bill reversal, click HERE.

What it Really Means to be Pro-Woman

Yesterday I had the distinct opportunity of participating in a conference with a remarkable group of women. These women have a wide variety of life experience and backgrounds– ranging from a young actress to a former Member of Congress, to a person considered the most powerful woman in business in America during a period of time.

 

What brought us all together yesterday is that we believe conservative ideals help women to most fully flourish. We also know that all issues are women’s issues, not just one. Below is a snippet from my remarks yesterday.

“As the President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, my organization’s goal is to help build a culture of life in the United States— a culture in which no woman in her right mind would ever choose abortion. A culture in which marriage, family, religious freedom are all respected. A culture that is about loving women, loving babies, and loving life. A place where people are encouraged and enabled to fully and  humanly flourish.

Sadly, in many ways this is not our current cultural reality. There are so many confusing messages out there especially about the issue of abortion. Of course we are all well aware of the false “war on women” rhetoric.

I’m of the mind that the real war on women is more about a crisis in what it means to be human; to be a person, and in particular, a woman. One might call it a crisis in anthropology. Which may sound very heady but I think it especially impacts our young women negatively by presenting very confusing messages to them.

On one hand, we are defined by our body — I saw a study of women recently – what makes you feel worse — losing a job; problems with friends; 10 extra pounds? The majority answered 10 extra pounds. We are in a culture that places a premium on looks from head to toe. . On one extreme– you are almost defined by your body and what you look like.

The other extreme is the belief that “what I do with my body; it doesn’t mean anything – it’s only physical.” As if just being “physical” also depletes emotion.  “It’s only physical” pops up in the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine – perpetuating the idea to women that just being “physical” doesn’t mean anything.

Perhaps it is the case that the body has significance and much to “teach” about how we were made and how we will find fulfillment; the body can’t be detached from me. Our bodies make clear that women are completely, intrinsically, different but complementary, to a man. So a woman’s capacity to be a mom falls well within this.

Recently Gloria Steinem, famed feminist, was quoted saying that “if we [women] didn’t have wombs we’d be fine.” In doing so she is perpetuating the idea “don’t define me by my capacity to have children”. My question to women is: is it a good thing to view a woman’s capacity to bear a child as a form of slavery or bondage that she needs to be freed from or at the very least in control of? I think not. To pretend that a woman’s capacity to bear children is insignificant is not empowering to women. It’s the opposite.

What we really need is be pro-women without leaving out any part of her, like the amazing beautiful fact that she can be a mom.

A pro-abortion industry has influenced our culture so much that abortions are almost glorified in Hollywood. We need a culture that values life in this country and we need to move beyond the ways that liberals define women.”

For a full recap of the event, click here to read out our Storify story.  A full album of pictures from the event, are available by clicking here.

Irreplaceable: Don’t Miss It!

What are you doing on Tuesday, May 6th?

Consider taking a trip to your local movie theater to see Focus on the Family’s “Irreplaceable,” which will be in 700+ theaters nationwide for a one-night event.

Irreplaceable is a powerful documentary on the state of the family in our society, and how this impacts each of us, personally. The filmmakers include academic research as well as many poignant personal interviews. While acknowledging the depth of wounded-ness (culturally and personally) in these areas, the viewer is still left with tremendous hope. In the words of one of the filmmakers, “It is better to be a redeemed family than a perfect family.”

More information and tickets can be found at IrreplaceableTheMovie.com.

Below is just one of the thought-provoking clips on society’s commodification of babies and children.

 

You won’t want to miss it!  And bring a friend – it’s a powerful way to impact our culture. 

Obamacare, the Supreme Court and the March for Life

It has been rightly said that Obamacare is the largest expansion of abortion in the United States since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. One aspect of that abortion expansion is what is now infamously called the “HHS Mandate,” forcing all companies to carry the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, including a number of drugs and devices that can destroy life in its early stages.  

Tomorrow our Supreme Court will hear historic arguments on this unjust mandate forcing business owners to defy their deeply held conscience and religious convictions. Conestoga Wood and Hobby Lobby will fight for the religious and conscience freedoms which until now have always been protected in our country.  

This is a defining moment in our culture! The March for Life will be speaking on behalf of pro-life America during a press conference at the Supreme Court. Please consider attending or participating remotely through social media and prayer.

Here are the details:

EVENT: Vigil and Rally at the Supreme Court

WHEN: Tuesday, March 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

WHERE: U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St NE, Washington D.C.

We’ll be meeting on First Street, right in front of the court steps. You can get a map and more details here: http://standuprally.com/2014/march25

Please make every effort to make it out to the steps of the Supreme Court. The prayer vigil starts at 9:30 a.m., but many supporters of life and religious freedom will be showing up at 8 a.m. to counter-protest a big rally by Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates.

If you can’t be there yourself, please help spread the word about this hugely important public display of support for life and religious freedom! Get Facebook graphics, sample tweets and other ways to help right here: http://standuprally.com/2014/march25

Analyzing the Data on the Abortion Rate Decline

Today the Guttmacher Institute, originally the research arm of Planned Parenthood, released a report “Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2011” showing that abortion rates are at their all-time low since 1973. The March for Life Education and Defense Fund warmly receives this news that has so many positive ramifications for our culture, in particular for women.

A question that everyone is asking is to what the decrease can be attributed. Unfortunately, the report does not provide statistics (the data is not yet available) to be able to make conclusions about this. The authors do make statements tying the decrease to contraception use, yet do not support this with data. The authors were however, reluctant to tie the decrease in abortion to the 106 popular pro-life laws (parental consent/notification, health clinic standards, informed consent laws) enacted at the level of the states between the years of 2008-2011. In fact the authors appear to do everything possible to disconnect these positive, popular state laws to the decrease in abortion.  

One less positive part of the article is the increased use of chemical abortion, which is much harder on women physically and psychologically. The March for Life also takes serious issue with the underlying concept that access to abortion is equated with women’s health. We are pro-women and pro-babies. Abortion clinics with the health standards equivalent to veterinary clinics or beauty parlors are not good for women.