Last week 16 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing pro-life laws the Arkansas Legislature passed in 2017.
The coalition is led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The group consists of A.G.’s from New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
According to the amicus brief, the group opposes Arkansas’ new pro-life laws that prohibit dismemberment abortion; require aborted babies to be respectfully buried or cremated; expand reporting requirements for abortions performed on underage girls; and require abortion clinics to request part of a woman’s medical history before performing some abortions.
As we have written repeatedly, these laws are more than reasonable, but abortion proponents have tried to characterize them as extreme.
It’s worth noting that of the state attorneys general who filed the brief last week, only one — Iowa’s — is from the Eighth Circuit. The rest primarily are from the northeast and the west coast.
As I have said before, I don’t know of any attorney general in America who is doing more to fight for the right to life than Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Her team won some major victories in the Eighth Circuit last year, and I believe we will see others in 2018.
Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing such a desperate effort on the part of abortion advocates to squelch pro-life laws in the heartland of America.
Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Last summer the Trump Administration announced it no longer would fund the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. According to recent news reports, Planned Parenthood has joined with eight other entities to sue the federal government, claiming roughly $220 million in federal grant money was wrongfully terminated.
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program began under President Obama in 2010 as a way to provide federal grant money for evidence-based programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Under the program, organizations — including Planned Parenthood — were able to apply for federal funds to facilitate these teen pregnancy prevention programs.
While a few of the programs promoted abstinence, most generally focused on contraceptives, and they turned out to be ineffective at best.
For example, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest received $4 million in grant money to conduct a teen pregnancy prevention program. An official evaluation concluded,
After offering the program over nine months to middle and high school students during or after school, [youth who went through the program] were as likely as youth offered a four-hour alternative program, to report causing a pregnancy or becoming pregnant, having sexual intercourse, or having recent sexual intercourse without an effective method of birth control both immediately following the conclusion of the program, as well as in an assessment occurring 12 months later. . . . Immediately after the program, . . . females reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate than females receiving the alternative program.
In other words, not only was Planned Parenthood’s multi-million-dollar program ineffective; in some cases students who went through the program actually had higher pregnancy rates than students who did not.
Official reports show similar results elsewhere around the country. In 2016, researchers evaluating the different Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs determined most showed ineffective or inconclusive results, writing,
Many of the TPP evaluations saw positive impacts on measures such as knowledge and attitudes; however, these findings did not translate into positive behavioral changes.
We need to address teen pregnancy in America, but handing out federal tax dollars to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood simply is not the way to do it.
Photo Credit: By jordanuhl7 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A few years ago baby food company Gerber began an annual campaign to find real-life “Gerber babies.”
Gerber selects a different baby each year who will act as the company’s “spokesbaby.”
This year’s Gerber baby is a one-year-old boy named Lucas. Lucas is unique in that he is the first Gerber baby to have Downs Syndrome.
Writing at Breakpoint.org, John Stonestreet says,
In most Western countries, including Iceland, France, and even the U.S., the vast majority of precious children with Down syndrome are targeted for extinction through selective abortion. Even more, this is considered a good thing by many in the press, and even more in the academy. Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer has infamously argued that parents be allowed to kill children with disabilities like Down syndrome even after they’re born.
Gerber’s choice sends a crucial message, that children with disabilities are just as valuable as any other child, and they often bring love into their homes, communities, and churches that’s second-to-none. So may Lucas be an ambassador, not just for Gerber, but for the joy that comes from welcoming all lives.
Unfortunately, as Stonestreet notes, unborn babies with Downs Syndrome and other genetic anomalies are targeted all-too-often for abortion.
However, there is good news. Last month Arkansas Senator Trent Garner (R — El Dorado) tweeted that he is drafting a bill to prohibit abortion in cases of Down Syndrome. Sen. Garner said he hopes the final version of the bill will include additional protections for unborn children with other genetic defects as well.
As John Stonestreet points out, human life is sacred, and every child has intrinsic worth and dignity. You can read his entire commentary here.