Kansas Family Policy Council News
January 10, 2014
News from across Kansas
and the nation
Your Weekly Update on Family Policy News
Wednesday January 22nd
Pompeo to Host Reception
The 41st March for Life is on Wednesday January 22nd in Washington DC. There is always a large contingent representing Kansas and we are sure this year will be no different.
Congressman Mike Pompeo has invited anyone who plans to march in Washington, DC on the 22 to visit his office for a Post-March Warm Up.
Immediately after the March for Life, warm up and relax with fellow Kansans over hot chocolate! This will be a great time to meet Congressman Pompeo's staff and discuss their fight to bring Kansas values to the nation's capital.
Date: Wednesday, January 22nd
Time: 2:30-4:30 (Immediately after the March!)
Place: Cannon House Office Building
(Corner of Independence & 1st St. SE)
Room 334 (3rd Floor)
Contact Congressman Pompeo's Washington DC office for more information by calling 202-225-6216.
|U.S. Supreme Court Halts Same-Sex Marriage in Utah - for Now
Bethany Monk - Citizenlink 1-6-14
The U.S. Supreme Court today temporarily halted a district court decision creating same-sex marriage in Utah. The order will remain in place until the case - seeking to redefine marriage - makes its way through the courts.
Federal Judge Richard Shelby ruled against Utah's voter-approved marriage amendment last month. But, in defiance of standard practice, he allowed his decision to go into effect even as the appeal is under way. Supporters of marriage made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court asking it to stop Shelby's decision from going into effect.
The next stop for the case is the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Focus on the Family Legal Analyst Bruce Hausknecht called the high court's order "momentous" and a "breath of fresh air."
|No More Gender: A Look into Sweden's Social Experiment
Trevin Wax The Gospel Coalition 12-6-13
In certain schools in Stockholm, teachers try not to use terms like "boys" or "girls." In an effort to reach a greater level of gender equality, the country of Sweden is pushing for gender neutrality. Pronouns like "he and she" are replaced with "hen," and children's books have protagonists who are not clearly male or female.
TIME Looks into Sweden's Social Experiment
TIME reported on this new development in "Boys Won't Be Boys," an interesting article that gives an inside look into Sweden's fight to "eradicate gender discrimination" and create "a society in which gender doesn't matter." The writer, Lisa Abend, describes the atmosphere in a Scandinavian school:
"The cozy library is carefully calibrated to contain the same number of books with female protagonists as those with male ones. Boys and girls alike twirl silken scarves during dance class, and they have equal access to pirate and princess costumes..."
How did educators convince parents to get on board with this kind of experiment?
"Once we made the decision to improve this, it wasn't hard to convince the parents," says Rajalin (educator). "I simply did this." She walks over to the whiteboard and draws a circle, then divides it in half. "On the right side are the things for girls" - she draws several lines inside the semicircle - "and on this are the things for boys. And then I asked, 'Do you want your child's life to be a half-circle or a whole one?"
Is the United States moving in Sweden's direction? A professor at the University of Washington thinks so:
"For the rest of the West, Sweden is laying the groundwork... They're sort of postgender now and are focusing more on humanism, on what - as humans - is going to bring us all closer to equal rights. Sweden is our future."
The TIME article seems conflicted about gender neutrality. The subtitle of the article calls it a "noble experiment" but also claims it is "political correctness gone overboard." Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the article is the description of feminism as a "state religion."
|Sugar and Spice and ... Sex-Selective Abortions?
Daniel Kuebler - The Witherspoon Institute 1-9-14
Advances in prenatal testing and in vitro fertilization are making it easier and easier for Americans to act on their preference for male children when birth rates are low. If the US is to avoid a destabilizing gender imbalance, we must ban sex-selective abortions.
For more than thirty years, the Chinese government has been carrying out one of the most massive social experiments in human history. In order to head off what officials believed to be an unsustainable rate of population growth, it enacted, and has often brutally enforced, a one-child policy. While the policy has slowed population growth in China, the side effect has been the creation of an unprecedented gender imbalance.
Ever since the early 1980s, when ultrasound examinations became widely available in China, the number of boy births per 100 girl births has soared. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, it reached a peak of 120 in 2008. Although that number dropped to 117 in 2012, it still remains well above the normal range of 103 to 107.
The government has gradually loosened this policy over the last few years by allowing couples to have a second child in certain circumstances, but these changes will not untie China's current demographic knot-a knot brought about by thirty years of sex-selective abortions.
The skewed gender ratio in China has created a generation of young men without hope of finding a mate. The social consequences of this phenomenon are just beginning to be realized. Columbia University economist Lena Edlund has estimated that for every 1 percent increase in the gender imbalance, there is a 6 percent increase in violent crime and property crime. Too many young men deprived of the stabilizing influence of family life and familial responsibilities spell trouble for a society. With a rising number of unpaired males, it is not surprising that high-risk male-associated crimes such as gambling, drug abuse, and female trafficking are on the rise in China.
Could such a problem occur here? While there currently is no danger that our government will enact a one-child policy, Americans are already voluntarily inflicting such a policy on themselves.
|Adding a baby to new health law plans not easy
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar - AP 1-3-14
You were patient with the government's kooky website, and now you have your health insurance card. That's good, since your family is expecting a new baby.
But you may have jump through more hoops to get the child formally added to your policy. The Obama administration confirms there is no quick and easy way for consumers to update their coverage under the new health law for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.
With regular private insurance, parents just notify the health plan. Insurers still must cover new babies, officials say, but parents will also have to contact the government at some point later.
For now, the HealthCare.gov website can't handle new baby updates, along with a list of other life changes including marriage and divorce, a death in the family, a new job or a change in income, even moving to a different community.
Such changes affect not only coverage but also the financial assistance available under the law, so the government has to be brought into the loop. But the system's wiring for that vital federal function isn't yet fully connected.
|When Is an Abortion Not an Abortion? When the Media Says So.
By Drew Belsky & Dustin Siggins American Thinker 1-6-14
Shortly before the new year, a number of religious organizations were given protection from the HHS abortion and contraception mandate. While social conservatives and defenders of the First Amendment cheered, numerous prominent media organizations manipulated basic scientific facts to deny that the mandate -- required by federal law -- forces people to fund abortion-inducing drugs.
Media Matters did this at least twice, on January 1 and January 2, with the The New York Times and NBC News doing likewise. While Pew Research did not deny that the mandate requires abortion funding, its weaselly assessment of the debate surrounding the mandate was almost as bad. To wit, Pew stated that many with religious beliefs "oppose abortion and believe that using emergency contraception like the morning-after pill is akin to abortion" (emphasis added).
Like Pew, Politico tried to have its cake and eat it, too (emphasis added):
While the FDA calls those products [i.e., intrauterine devices (IUD) and "morning-after pills" like Plan B and ella] contraception, many organizations say that they could prevent the implantation of a fertilized embryo, which they consider akin to abortion.
These excerpts are symptomatic of the media's aggressive push to frame the HHS mandate as a contraception issue. But the coverage of potentially abortifacient drugs like Plan B and ella, as well as indisputably abortifacient intrauterine devices (IUD), makes this an abortion issue as well.
As pointed out at JustFactsDaily.com last February:
[R]egardless of whether Plan B, Next Choice, or ella cause abortion, the Obama administration is forcing insurers, and thus, their customers to pay for devices that destroy embryos before they implant, which many doctors, scientists, and citizens consider to be abortion.
|Christian Baker Files Religious-Freedom Appeal in Wedding-Cake Ruling
by Adelaide MenaCNA/EWTN News 01/09/2014
A Christian baker in Colorado is appealing a judge's ruling that he must violate his religious beliefs and bake a cake for a same-sex union ceremony.
"Jack simply exercised the long-cherished freedom to not speak by declining to promote a false view of marriage through his creative work," said lead counsel Nicolle Martin, who is allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit Christian legal defense organization.
She said, "It's outrageous that the government would turn its guns on Jack and threaten him with a potential jail sentence unless he says and does what the government demands."
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined in July 2012 to make a wedding cake for two men who had recently obtained a civil-marriage license in Massachusetts.
Phillips explained that his evangelical Christian faith prevented him from making a cake for a "gay wedding." In response, the two men filed a discrimination suit.
In December 2013, Colorado Judge Robert Spencer ruled that Phillips' actions constituted discrimination under Colorado law and do not fall under protected freedom of speech because the requested cake did not explicitly include text supporting "gay marriage."
Spencer also rejected Phillips claim that he has a right to live out his religious beliefs in his business decisions.