Congratulations to Tennessee Right to Life (TRL) on a major pro-life victory in Tennessee. After 14 years of planning and laying the groundwork, Tennessee Amendment 1, which clears the way for the Tennessee Legislature to enact modest regulations on the abortion industry, passed with 52.6% of the vote.
Special kudos to TRL President Brian Harris and all of the TRL chapters who made this big win possible with an outstanding grassroots effort that reached into every county in the state.
The abortion industry spent more than $4,000,000 on clever and often deceptive advertising, even claiming that Amendment 1 would ban abortion in the state (which is ludicrous because Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton prevents a state from banning abortion).
In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court struck down abortion regulations that were passed with bipartisan support in a legislature still controlled by Democrats at that time. The Court invented a right to abortion that simply is not present in the Tennessee Constitution. As a result, the citizens of Tennessee were forced to pass this amendment, which only clarifies that the Tennessee Constitution contains no right to abortion.
The kind of regulations which might now be considered by the Legislature cannot effectively prohibit abortions, but they have been shown to save babies and moms in other states. Of course, any regulations passed by the Legislature will be subject to the limitations of Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton, and any judgments of the Federal courts.
It is unclear at this time whether (1) the restrictions passed 15 years ago will go into effect immediately, now that the “Constitutional” prohibition has been eliminated, or (2) new regulations will have to be passed by the Legislature.
Mike Huckabee and Andy Andrews remind us to get out and vote on Election Day!
The Knoxville News Sentinel printed part of my letter, but here is the entire letter.
The abortion debate is usually quite polarized, so people are always asking me, “Isn’t there some room for common ground between pro-life and pro-choice?” I never thought so until now, but clearly, Amendment 1 is that common ground.
People on both sides agree that abortion facilities should be licensed and inspected. Amendment 1 allows that to happen.
People on both sides agree that women should never be coerced into having abortions, yet the Elliot Institute reports that as many as 60% of abortions are coerced (Forced Abortion in America, accessed online). Amendment 1 allows measures to curtail unwanted coercion.
People on both sides agree that women should be given all the information regarding medical risks and alternatives to abortion, yet the Elliot Institute reports that 79% of women were not told of available resources.
If you follow the money, the big money against Amendment 1 is coming from the abortion industry. Go figure. But most people agree that regulatory oversight is important and necessary to ensure women’s health.
Because you support CBR. the University at Buffalo Students for Life (UB SFL) are displaying abortion victim photos at strategic locations around campus.
UB SFL member Cristina Lauria reports
We get lots of positive comments from people walking by. Although, of course, there are those who get angry at the pictures and stomp on by them. Interesting how they won’t look at what they support.
Way to go!!!! Keep up the good work!
by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
Tennessee is one of the best-managed states in the nation. Our budget is balanced every year, we have cut taxes and our recent education reforms are the envy of other states.
Due to its many attractive qualities, Tennessee has become a great magnet: for retirees looking for a place to spend their golden years, for working people looking to escape states that bleed their earning through state income taxes and for entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of our business-friendly environment.
Unfortunately, there is another reason people come to Tennessee that is not cause for celebration: our liberal abortion laws.
In fact, just a few days ago, the New York Times asked in a headline whether Tennessee was the “abortion capital of the bible belt.” It is my hope that Tennesseans will go to the polls Nov. 4 and vote YES on Amendment 1 so that question will never be asked again — rhetorically or otherwise.
The origin of this amendment is rooted in a Tennessee Supreme Court decision which asserted Tennessee’s Constitution prevents the legislature from passing common-sense laws regarding abortion. Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist (2000) resulted in the removal of three protections passed by the General Assembly: informed consent, a 48-hour waiting period and a requirement that late term abortions be performed in a hospital setting. A fourth protection passed after the ruling that would have required state inspection of abortion facilities and licensure of providers was also struck down.
So in Tennessee, hairdressers and exterminators are licensed and inspected – but there is no oversight of people who perform abortions.
The lies told by those who oppose Amendment 1 are cynical and misleading. They insinuate the amendment could end legal abortion in Tennessee. It does no such thing. The amendment would merely allow the legislature to pass common sense laws regarding abortion that many, many other states have passed. Nothing more.
These measures have widespread support. While the extreme liberal activists at the Tennessee Democratic Party are spreading half-truths and conspiracy theories, the fact is Amendment 1 has support across ideological and party lines. Amendment 1 passed the legislature by wide margins.
That means legislators, Democrat and Republican, pro-life and pro-choice, believe Tennesseans should have the final say.
Those who support unrestricted, unregulated abortion on demand are trying to make Amendment 1 a litmus test on whether one believes in legal abortion. It is not.
This issue is beyond simplistic labels. Personally, I am pro-life and believe that abortion is the killing of an innocent human life. But even those who believe abortion should remain legal think the practice should be safe, legal and rare.
This amendment does not eliminate the right to choose; it simply allows us to join with other states to pass common sense laws that protect women and ensure their safety.
Many Tennesseans are decidedly pro-life and some are militantly pro-abortion but a plurality are somewhere in between. Polls indicate that nearly half of the electorate falls somewhere between the two polar extremes. This amendment not only brings us in line with a majority of other states, it allows us to put safeguards in place on which most reasonable people can agree.
According to the Department of Health, nearly one-fourth of women having abortions in Tennessee were from out of state. Tennessee should be known for its scenic vistas and pro-business economy, not for having the most liberal abortion laws in the southeast.
Vote Yes on Amendment 1 and bring common sense back to the abortion discussion in Tennessee.
FAB contributor Ron Ramsey also serves as the Tennessee Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate … in his spare time.
Great op-ed piece that appeared in the University at Buffalo (UB) Spectrum soon after our GAP visit to that campus. It was written by Anne Mulrooney, a regular columnist for the Spectrum. Piece: Graphic images are necessary to anti-abortion movement.
I do this for a living, but Ms. Mulrooney found another example of the use of images that was completely new to me:
During the late 1800s, King Leopold II of Belgium beat, enslaved, mutilated and brutally killed citizens in the Congo when Belgium’s production quotas for rubber and ivory were not met. Had his actions not been exposed through the photography of Alice Seeley Harris and her husband John Harris – missionaries in the Congo during the 1900s - these horrific abuses might never have been exposed.
Entire op-ed piece here.
Pro-lifers voted for Gov. Haslam in 2010 and would do it again. But this year, many will skip the Tennessee governor’s race altogether. Why?
Because a vote for governor (any candidate) will be a half-vote against pro-life Amendment 1. The Tennessean explains in this article. According to the Tennessean … and have no fear, they are correct this time …:
That logic … hinges on a provision in the state constitution that outlines the threshold an amendment must get for it to succeed — a majority of the votes cast in the gubernatorial election regardless of the number of votes cast on the amendment.
Watch this video and pass it on!
The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), Southeast Region Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kendra Wright as our newest (and youngest) Project Director in Virginia.
Kendra resides in Staunton, Virginia. (That’s pronounced STAN-ton, not STAWN-ton, for all you people in Rio Linda.)
Kendra’s family moved from Denver, Colorado to Staunton when she was 4. She told FAB,
Four-year old Kendra was a strong-willed rebel and continued to live in her stubborn ways until God grabbed her heart 9 years later. The Lord is now using my strong will for His glory.
[Side note: Some might say that, in fact, God grabbed her heart before the foundation of the world was laid. You see, although some of us at FAB were predestined to be Arminian, others chose to be Calvinist of their own free will. But, I digress. Anyway, ...]
Kendra finished high school a year early and then graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey in less than two years … at only nineteen years old! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.
In her spare time, Kendra enjoys strumming her guitar, singing, and spending time with friends and her five siblings. Active in her church, she leads worship and leads children to the Lord as well.
Kendra’s passion for pro-life activism stems from her own personal testimony of narrowly escaping abortion at five weeks gestation. Her mother was a rare case of a woman walking out of her abortion appointment. God spared Kendra’s life so she could rescue others!
Kendra is a big-picture person who appreciates CBR’s vision of ending abortion altogether by exposing the truth of it. She is excited to win hearts, change minds, and save lives, by God’s grace and with your help.
Welcome aboard, Kendra! We’re expecting great things from you and and the rest of the Virginia staff!
If you’d like to support Kendra (or any of our staff members), it’s quick, easy, and secure to support CBR online. Whatever you can do will make a huge difference. To support Kendra’s work in Virginia, designate your gift for “Virginia Projects (SE-KPW).”
A few days ago, a federal district judge in Asheville, North Carolina declared the state’s marriage amendment to be unconstitutional. This amendment to the North Carolina constitution, passed in 2012 by a margin of roughly 61 to 39% of those voting, affirmed marriage to be between a man and a woman. The judge acted under an implied directive from the U.S. Supreme Court when it refused to accept an appeal from a decision of the 4th Federal Circuit Court, which overturned Virginia’s marriage amendment. North Carolina falls under the 4th Circuit’s authority.
Asheville, then, is ground zero of the moment for our state on this issue. And Asheville City Council, cheerleaders for “marriage equality”, hung a giant rainbow flag on the exterior of City Hall in celebration of the supposed legalization of unnatural marriage. It created quite a stir here.
Some local conservatives claimed that City Council broke laws regarding requirements for public meetings, since the decision to hang the flag was made informally. Another conservative leader (a former City Councilman) posted on his Facebook page a photo of City Hall with the rainbow flag next to a photo of City Hall hung with a Nazi swastika flag. It got lots of attention.
I took a different approach and filed a formal request to hang a pro-life banner on the building. What follows is text of the letter I sent to the mayor:
October 14, 2014
Mayor Esther Manheimer
City of Asheville
P.O. Box 7148
Asheville, NC 28802
Please consider this letter an application to display a Life Advocates banner on the side of Asheville City Hall on Friday, October 31, 2014, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The banner is approximately thirty feet long and four feet high. It is made of a durable vinyl fabric with a black background and white letters that say “STOP ABORTING CHILDREN!”
It is the same banner we carried in Asheville’s Sesquicentennial parade some years ago. Because abortion violently destroys the lives of millions of pre-natal human beings, and is government protected and sponsored, it is the foremost human rights issue of our day.
In an informal session, Asheville City Council recently designated the City Hall as a Limited Public Forum, making the exterior of the building accessible to the public for visual displays. Federal case law is consistently explicit that in these circumstances, government is prohibited from engaging in viewpoint discrimination.
We would like the banner displayed to the same extent and in the same position or higher on the west side of the building that a rainbow flag was displayed on Friday, October 10. With assistance and supervision of the City, we will ensure that the banner is affixed to the building in such a way as to be safe for the property and pedestrians.
The date for our requested use of the building coincides with a protest on the public sidewalks around Planned Parenthood’s proposed new killing site on 16 McDowell Street, which it expects to open within the next few months. The protest, which we call “A Presence of Truth and Prayer” will be Saturday, November 1, “All Saints Day” from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon.
Sincerely, Meredith Eugene Hunt
Copies sent to: City Councilmen and Vice Mayor, City Manager, Asheville Attorney, Parks and Recreation
LIFE ADVOCATES PO Box 19205 Asheville, NC 28815 828-575-7300
While a couple City Councilmen have expressed themselves on the matter, we have yet to receive an official response. A friend of mine made an inquiry and was told the City’s legal department is doing some research. I will file an update next week.
Note: a title for the monarch butterfly photo is “complexity in smallness”. I took it on the Blue Ridge Parkway this fall. Click to enlarge.
Mick Hunt is the Director of Life Advocates and a regular FAB contributor.
By Jonathan Darnel
If you want to see the American culture war up close and personal, in all its gritty reality, just go to a rock festival and promote pro-life values. That’s what CBR and Delaware Right to Life did June 20-21 at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware.
During its four day run, Firefly draws a crowd of more than 100,000 people, almost all between the ages of 16 and 30, many of whom camp out at the festival grounds for the duration. With alcohol flowing freely and illicit substances only a little less freely, many attendees in various stages of undress, and a Trojan condom advertisement streaming behind an airplane overhead, it was obvious that this crowd would be a challenge.
Into this morass descended CBR Maryland and Delaware Right to Life with our graphic victim images, portable loudspeaker, and literature asking the question “When is it right kill?” For more than four hours each day, these heroic men and women challenged the death-culture at its stronghold … attracting attention, sparking conversations, and yes, inviting persecution. Meanwhile, CBR’s 33-foot Truth Truck, blazoned with enormous photos of abortion carnage, circulated up and down the busiest street in Dover, just outside the festival grounds.
Pro-abortion sympathizers were noticeably more vocal at Firefly than many of the other venues CBR has visited. Verbal harassment was constant and physical harassment took place upon several occasions, resulting in at least three arrests. While this atmosphere might have been too much for ordinary pro-life advocates, our volunteers had previously participated in the Pro-Life Training Academy (PLTA) and were thus better prepared to both endure persecution and to answer the constant barrage of pro-abortion arguments. Surprisingly, a large number of concert attendees were quietly supportive and thanked us for being there. Post-abortive girls spilled their hearts in front of us and were, of course, ministered to.
The Firefly project took a lot of work. We spent months preparing literature and equipment, promoting the event, and coordinating with local police. To get to the display location, volunteers had to push/carry several hundred pounds of equipment over half a mile, and move everything back when finished. Yet it was well worth it.
We showed the grim reality of abortion to thousands, and every volunteer had multiple opportunities to explain the pro-life viewpoint to curious onlookers. Since living conditions at the Firefly campsite promote behavior that often leads to abortion, we believe that our unexpected presence at the festival is already bearing fruit, as new parents who might have chosen abortion cannot do so, our images and words being yet fresh in their memories.
Our volunteers were glowing about the experience:
At the very end a young man came past, yelling at us and very pro-abortion. We had a long talk and ran the gamut of the arguments. At the end he thanked us for being there and said we’d given him a lot to think about. (Bobbi, Delaware Right to Life)
On one occasion, I heard a group of young people admit that we were hitting our target demographic. Later, when one young man was berated by his friends for taking our literature, I heard him defend us and point out that he himself had been adopted. (Moira, Delaware Right to Life)
I specifically targeted couples who looked in love and who might face a crisis pregnancy later. Several were pro-choice and we talked a very long time. One couple in particular took our literature and said they would pass it out in the dormitories! They admitted that they really needed a new perspective on abortion, and thanked me for giving it to them!” (Eva, Delaware Right to Life)
Jonathan Darnel is a Project Director for CBR Maryland Operations.
CBR is at it again! We have launched our 2014 Key States Initiative (KSI), perhaps the most dramatic and effective pro-life voter education project every conceived!
CBR will drive large box trucks bearing graphic, oversize images of first-trimester aborted embryos and fetuses in major cities, as a way of educating voters about preborn children and what abortion does to them. CBR is operating the trucks in several states with tight U.S. Senate races to reach out to voters in advance of the November 4 elections.
These images are indispensable because they communicate to voters at a glance the crucial fact that abortion is a brutal act of violence that kills a baby.
The media describes pro-life candidates as “ultraconservative” and “extreme,” but they describe pro-abortion candidates as “moderate” on abortion. We will show voters the truth, so they will know that killing babies is extreme. Saving them is not extreme; it is compassionate.
If you would like to participate in this historic effort, please let us know. No special license is required. You must be 21 years old and have a good driving record.
Drivers must be available to travel to a nearby state, teeming with voters who need to know what abortion is and does. Immediate need for drivers willing to go to Arkansas and Louisiana. Alaska, North Carolina, and other states may also be targeted in the coming weeks.
Interested? Contact Lisa Olivier at 949-677-8697, or send us a message here.
CBR staff and volunteers in Atlanta were holding “Choice” signs at a very busy intersection (near an interstate exit at rush hour). We reached tens of thousands of motorists with our message!
As we stood on the sidewalk, I was approached by Molly, who asked about our activity. I explained to her why we display photos of first-trimester abortion victims. We are used to dealing with every imaginable response, but her’s caught me off guard. She said, “So, if someone wanted to donate to you guys, how would they go about it?” (The answer is, “Click right here!”)
I told Molly that our work is based on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Just as American did not reject racism until American saw racism, America will not reject abortion until American sees abortion.
“Which is true!” Molly agreed, “because I’ve had an abortion… I knew it was wrong at the time I had it. But it wasn’t until I saw this video on the internet called ‘The Silent Scream’ that I realized just how wrong it was.” As a post-abortive mother, Molly supported our work, and not only with her words. She made a generous donation as well!
Who knows how many preborn children have been saved from decapitation and dismemberment because we reached their mothers first? Like Molly, these mothers can easily rationalize this horror, even thought it goes against their maternal instincts. Seeing victims of abortion can give them the resolve to save their children’s lives.
“What about post-abortive women?” is a common question … and a legitimate concern. People ask, “How can we do this in a way that is non-condemning?” It is a question we ask as well. We answer it by directing hurting people to seek out post-abortion healing ministries like Deeper Still.
Others raise this objection only as a way to suppress the truth. Their supposed “compassion” serves only to maintain the status quo … death for many and bondage for many more.
“But there are so many other ways to get the pro-life message across that are more positive,” they say.
Indeed, there are. Educating people about prenatal development will save children. Helping pregnant mothers will save children. But neither of these activities, as important as they are, will convince millions of Americans that abortion is so evil that it ought to be against the law.
That is our mission, to convince people (like Molly’s former self) that abortion is not just evil, but is so evil that it ought to be against the law. And because people are so apathetic about our message, we only get about 3 seconds to prove that point.
Abortion is legal because decapitating and dismembering preborn children has been relabeled with an obscure, meaningless word, abortion. As the main character of “The Giver” aptly states, “We haven’t eliminated murder, we just call it by another name.”
Lincoln Brandenburg is a project director for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and a frequent FAB contributor.
Interesting article by Tim Urban explains why young people, college age and a little older, are unhappy. It’s because they are (a) wildly ambitious, (b) delusional, and (c) taunted.
There is a lot of truth in the article, but some of it is just the normal process of growing up. We all have to manage our expectations.
What do you think?
Matt Barber explains how the Left intends to normalize pedophilia. Excerpts:
There is categorically a movement to normalize pedophilia. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and, despite “progressive” protestations to the contrary, the “pedophile rights” movement is inexorably linked to the so-called “gay rights” movement.
Two years ago I – along with the venerable child advocate Dr. Judith Reisman – attended a Maryland conference hosted by the pedophile group B4U-ACT. Around 50 individuals were in attendance, including a number of admitted pedophiles (or “minor-attracted persons,” as they euphemistically prefer). … Here are some highlights from the conference:
- Pedophiles are “unfairly stigmatized and demonized” by society.
- “We are not required to interfere with or inhibit our child’s sexuality.”
- “Children are not inherently unable to consent” to sex with an adult.
- An adult’s desire to have sex with children is “normative.”
- The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, ignores that pedophiles “have feelings of love and romance for children” in the same way adults love one another.
- The DSM should “focus on the needs” of the pedophile, and should have “a minimal focus on social control,” rather than obsessing about the “need to protect children.”
- Self-described “gay activist” and speaker Jacob Breslow said that children can properly be “the object of our attraction.” He further objectified children, suggesting that pedophiles needn’t gain consent from a child to have sex with “it” any more than we need consent from a shoe to wear it. He then used graphic, slang language to favorably describe the act of climaxing (ejaculating) “on or with” a child. No one in attendance objected to this explicit depiction of child sexual assault. There was even laughter.
See entire article here.