4 Reasons Suicide Is Increasing Among Young Adults

Suicide is back in the news again.

After seven of its students committed suicide, a Colorado school district last month temporarily pulled from its libraries 13 Reasons Why, the young adult fiction book turned Netflix television teen drama that critics say glamorizes suicide.

The book chronicles the suicide of Hannah Baker, a high school junior who leaves behind thirteen cassette tapes explaining her reasons for committing suicide.

Like Hannah Baker, many young adults are turning to suicide as an escape from the pressures of life. From 2000 to 2015, the suicide rate increased 27% among those aged 20 to 35 (the U.S. average suicide rate among all age groups increased by almost 21% during the same time period). Washington State’s suicide rate is 16% higher than the national average.

 

Two Factors That Fail To Explain The Increasing Suicide Rate

Many experts blame increased economic hardship and inadequate mental health services for the recent rise in suicide. However, these easy explanations misrepresent available data and fall short of adequately explaining the troubling trend.

From a material perspective, life on earth has never been better. Thanks to global trade and extraordinary technological advances, Americans today enjoy a higher standard of living, greater economic security, longer life expectancy, less crime, and more leisure than any other people throughout history. Even the poorest among us live far more prosperous lives than our richest grandparents could have imagined. And let us not forget that Americans living in poverty still boast a higher living standard than the average European.

Additionally, the recent increase in suicide cannot be blamed on undersupplied mental health services. Both federal and state governments have progressively increased mental health funding over recent decades (paradoxically, the inefficient and inflexible bureaucracy created to administer mental health programs and treatments may make it more difficult for those struggling with mental health conditions to receive the care they need).

In exclusively focusing on economic circumstances and mental health funding, we ignore profound cultural shifts that better explain rising suicide rates.

 

Four Reasons Suicide Is Increasing Among Young Adults

Here are four factors likely contributing to the significant increase in suicide among young Americans:

Delayed Marriage: More than ever before, young people are choosing to delay marriage or forgo it entirely. In 1960, the median age at first marriage was 22.8 for men and 20.3 for women, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, the median age at first marriage has increased to 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women. Almost half of 34-year-olds have never been married.

These unmarried millennials sacrifice the benefits that come with being united to a committed partner in marriage. A survey of scientific literature conducted by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute found that married individuals are healthier, happier, and more financially secure than their unmarried peers. They experience greater emotional and psychological well-being than those who are unmarried. Notably, married individuals are less likely to commit suicide.

Increased Worker Mobility: Americans move for work more often than Europeans. Although greater worker mobility boosts the economy and results in better matching of employees and jobs, it can also cause individuals to become detached from communities that help provide belonging, happiness, and emotional and financial support.

Researchers have discovered a link between residential mobility and suicide. “Indeed, residential mobility can be associated with higher levels of stress, crime, poor health, and what sociologists call ‘social disorganization,’” writes Ryan McMaken for the Mises Institute.

Decreased Religiosity: Young Americans have increasingly disconnected from religious institutions over the last few decades, choosing instead to live according to their own “personalized spirituality” or rejecting religion entirely.

A Pew Research Center study published two years ago found that only 28% of millennials born between 1981 and 1996 attend religious services weekly, significantly less than 51% of the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945). Younger millennials are also less likely to believe in God (80%) and consider religion to be an important part of their lives (38%).

Unfortunately, by eschewing involvement in religious communities, millennials sacrifice the kinship and solidarity those communities provide. Religion helps provide meaning to life, and religious communities equip individuals with the relationships and support necessary to withstand life’s treacherous seas.

Unsurprisingly, religiously unaffiliated individuals had “significantly more lifetime suicide attempts” than their religiously affiliated peers, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The study’s authors also concluded that “subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide.”

Postmodernism: Millennials attain higher levels of education than previous generations. This makes them more susceptible to postmodernism, the prevailing worldview taught in higher education.

Postmodernism posits that reality is unknowable and meaningless. In attempting to overthrow traditional values, postmodernism dispenses with objective and transcendent truths that provide individuals with a realistic framework through which to perceive the world. Postmodernists sort everyone into one of two groups: the oppressors and the victims, the latter of which suffer from systemic societal and cultural oppression at the hands of the former.

Survey data indicate a considerable number of millennials have bought into the postmodern worldview propagated by their colleges and universities. Only 40% of those under age 35 believe “right and wrong never change,” and just 4% of millennials hold to a biblical worldview.

Philosopher Richard M. Weaver observed decades ago that “ideas have consequences.” Teaching the next generation that life is meaningless, truth is unknowable, and that tradition and conventional wisdom must be discarded yields predictable results. Such a corrosive worldview will only produce rotting fruit.

 

There Is No Easy Fix

Suicide is increasing because our culture has lost its moorings. We need to acknowledge that the exploding suicide rate among Americans and Washingtonians will not be solved through a growing economy or greater mental health funding. As long as individuals continue to disconnect from the relationships, communities, and truth that provide meaning to life, suicide will continue becoming more prevalent.

There is no easy fix. Reversing the trend depends on effectively confronting the lies accepted by culture and society fueling hopelessness and social disorganization. We must also work to ensure our communities can successfully provide for the material, emotional, and spiritual needs of their members.


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Under Trump, Fight Against Human Trafficking Intensifies

In the mainstream media’s recent mission to topple Trump’s presidency at any cost, some of his accomplishments have flown under the radar. One accomplishment that should be garnering considerable media coverage (but remains largely unreported) is recent success in the fight against human trafficking.

According to an article by Liz Crokin of Townhall.com, over 1,500 human trafficking arrests have been conducted by the FBI in the last two months alone. Naysayers are already contending that these arrests are in no way associated with the president. Some go as far as calling these victories “mythical.”

The facts seem to contradict the narrative proposed by the cynics. Some of the more prominent arrests for human trafficking include:

  • January: During the Detroit Auto Show Law Enforcement Officers made over a dozen arrests and rescued 14 adults and 2 underage victims
  • January 27: Operation Someone Like Me resulted in 42 arrests by LEOs in Tennessee
  • January 26-28: Operation Reclaim and Rebuild resulted in the arrest of 474 individuals with 27 adult victims and 28 underage victims rescued.
  • February 9 : Twenty-nine sex traffickers and 723 johns were arrested nationwide during the National John’s Suppression Initiative.
  • February 21: Nine individuals arrested with 11 women and 1 underage victim liberated in New Orleans.
  • March 7: San Joaquin County Sting resulted in 10 individuals arrested and 2 victims saved.
  • March 10: The Guardian Angel Human Trafficking Operation resulted in 9 arrested.

Law enforcement’s increased emphasis on reducing human trafficking has resulted in more arrests related to human trafficking than the entire 2014 calendar year (in which there were only 480 arrests) and the 2015 calendar year (750 arrests). Such a dramatic increase in arrests suggests that something has changed. It seems to me that Trump’s vociferous support of law enforcement since the first day of his term could be the catalyst.

In any event, we can certainly celebrate that our children and millions of children nationwide are safer due to the devotedness of local law enforcement and FBI agents. The media should leave politics aside and give mention to the success and dedication of those working to eliminate human trafficking.

 

Kyli Erickson is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog.

PP Abortionist Laughs About Dismemberment Abortions in New Undercover Video

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released new video footage yesterday of undercover conversations with high-ranking abortion industry executives. The recording depicts conversations that occurred at the North America Forum on Family Planning. In the video, former Planned Parenthood abortion provider DeShawn Taylor is prominently featured discussing the dismemberment abortions she performs.

The footage shows CMP activists, posing as fetal tissue buyers, talking with Taylor about the importance of intact fetal tissue to scientific research. Abortionists often manipulate the position of the fetus during pregnancy to maintain the monetary and research value of intact fetal tissue, which is alluded to by the undercover buyer:

Buyer: Breech position [delivery of child feet first] is great, I’ll just throw that out there.

Taylor: Part of the issue is, it’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I’ve got to worry about my staff and people’s feelings of it coming out looking like a baby.

Here’s a good rule of thumb for Taylor: If he or she looks like a baby, they’re probably a baby.

Taylor also talks about the “creepiness” of aborted fetuses being referred to as babies:

Taylor: Arizona is so conservative, I just don’t even want to send a full fetus for cremation or any of that. The people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates, they email us calling them “babies.” “Baby” this, “baby” that, “baby so-and-so.” And I’m like, “that’s creepy.”

It’s actually a good sign that Taylor retains some semblance of a conscience. The idea of killing babies is “creepy” to her, but she still has enough cognitive dissonance to allow herself to deny the reality that these are indeed babies that she is dismembering.

At this point, the conversation transitions from the immoral to the illegal:

Taylor: In Arizona, if the fetus comes out with any signs of life, we’re supposed to transport it to a hospital.

Buyer: Is there any standard procedure for verifying signs of life?

Taylor: …I mean, the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?… Because the thing is the law states that you’re not supposed to do any maneuvers after the fact to try to cause demise, so it’s really tricky… It’s really tricky, so most of the time we do [use digoxin] and it usually works, and then we don’t have to worry about that because Arizona state law says if there’s signs of life, then we’re supposed to transport them to the hospital. [Laughter]

Taylor is referencing Arizona Revised Statute 36-2301, which states, “If an abortion is performed and a human fetus or embryo is delivered alive, it is the duty of any physician performing such abortion and any additional physician in attendance as required . . . to see that all available means and medical skills are used to promote, preserve and maintain the life of such fetus or embryo.”

Taylor’s comments seem to be a blatant admission of criminal activity. Per her own words, if those in the room are alright with allowing a living child to die—despite it being as much illegal as it is depraved—then Taylor is, too.

Next, they discuss the difficulty of pulling the limbs from a child’s body during dismemberment abortions, also known as dilatation and evacuation (D&E) abortions. This is a technique where a sopher clamp is used to remove the child from the womb one limb at a time.

Taylor: Research shows that [digoxen] doesn’t make the procedure easier in someone who is well-trained, but I have to tell you anecdotally, my biceps appreciate when the [digoxen] works. [Laughter]

Buyer: Really? It’s in the biceps? When you’re doing a D&E?

Taylor: It does not take me any longer to complete the procedure, but it takes more force.

Buyer: Really? So when you’re doing a non-[digoxen] D&E…

Taylor: It takes a bit more. It takes a bit more. Yeah.

Buyer: Wow.

Taylor: So I remember when I was a Fellow and I was in training, I was like, “Oh I have to hit the gym for this. [Laughter.]

Man, the life of an abortionist is tough, am I right? All that muscle strain from having to rip off the arms and legs of human babies as they try to squirm out of your clamps? The humanity!

The release of this video yesterday comes one day after David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress were charged with 15 felony counts for their undercover investigations. In April 2016, the California Department of Justice raided Daleiden’s home for footage. The timing of yesterday’s release indicates that CMP wanted to preempt these recordings from being seized.

The work of CMP is incredibly important because the abortion industry relies on the fact that many in our society dehumanize the unborn. While footage like this—which plainly show the inhumanity of abortionists speaking about the difficulty of dismembering human beings and allowing crying, born-alive babies to die on the table—is an incredibly effective way to restore dignity to those being slaughtered, it is only effective if people see the footage.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media will not spread these recordings for us, and the little coverage they will dedicate to the story will almost certainly demonize the journalists and defend Planned Parenthood. After all, that’s what they’ve done with every CMP video so far.

Daleiden, Merritt, and the team at CMP have done the hard part, and now they are being attacked with the full force of leftist politicians. We have an easier job. Share the video they worked so hard to obtain. Do your part and show this video to as many people as you can. Lives depend on it.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

Abortion Supporter and Professing Conservative Tomi Lahren Doesn’t Understand Conservatism

Conservative firebrand and TheBlaze TV host Tomi Lahren appeared on ABC’s The View this past Friday, discussing Trump, terrorism, Russia, and other political issues. Most notably, however, Lahren admitted to The View’s audience that she is “pro-choice.”

Regarding abortion, Lahren said:

“I am pro-choice, and here’s why. I’m a constitutional [conservative], someone that loves the Constitution. I am someone that’s for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say that I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies… I’m for limited government. So stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”

Aside from the fact that “pro-choice” is a dishonest phrase to convey the pro-abortion position, Lahren displays an astounding ignorance of the Constitution and the philosophy of limited government.

Objectively speaking, the right to abortion does not exist in the constitution. The alleged right to abortion was invented by seven Supreme Court justices in Roe v. Wade (1973). The right to life, on the other hand, is declared in the Declaration of Independence and protected in the Constitution. Indeed, the right to life is the first inalienable right enshrined by the founders.

Lahren also grossly misunderstands the implications of the limited government philosophy. Limiting government does not require the abolition of government or provide the absolute freedom to do whatever we want with our bodies. In a society built upon the principles of limited government, the state still has an important role: upholding the inalienable rights of each of its citizens, beginning with the right to life.

As previously mentioned, the right to life is first among all rights. In fact, without the right to not be killed, the concept of inalienable rights ceases to exist. The right to speak freely, believe freely, bear arms, and all other fundamental rights depend on someone first being alive to exercise those rights. If the right to life can be taken from us, so can all the others.

For this reason, opposing abortion is foundational to limited government ideology. Legal abortion undermines the very principle of inalienable rights. Without inalienable rights, government growth is inevitable, effectively making limited government impossible. A government that strips human beings of the inalienable right to life is not a limited government. It is a tyrannical and violent government. Any constitutionalist would know that.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

It Doesn’t Matter Whether Margaret Sanger Was a Racist

It is accepted truth on the left that Margaret Sanger was a patron saint of feminism and all-things-good-in-the-world. It is accepted truth on the right that she was a vicious racist. There isn’t a more polarizing figure in all of politics, which in the era of Trump is saying something.

In this debate, there seems to be no middle ground between the two polar opposite positions, and neither side is willing to acknowledge any evidence that might moderate their view.

The quotes that are typically used to show Sanger’s possible racism are the following (although this is by no means an exhaustive list of her writings and speeches that seem to flirt with racism):

On page 108 of the April 1932 edition of Sanger’s magazine Birth Control Review, she wrote, “Birth control must ultimately lead to a cleaner race.” She often spoke of race, even naming one of her books Women and the New Race.

In a 1939 letter to fellow eugenics advocate Clarence Gamble, she wrote, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Here, Sanger is writing about what she called her “Negro Project,” through which Sanger and other eugenicists were attempting to implement population control in communities of color. As her comments indicate, Sanger and others realized needed the support of black clergymen to be effective.

In 1926, she spoke to members of the Ku Klux Klan about eugenics and population control.

In her 1932 speech for to the New History Society, Sanger said that America must “keep the doors of Immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feeble-minded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others.”

On the other hand, the progressive defenses of Sanger’s views may have some merit. When Sanger spoke of race, she may have been advocating the eradication of bad genes in general, not specifically some inferior race of people based on skin color. Sanger very well may have written that she didn’t “want word to get out that we want to exterminate the negro population,” because that’s not what she was trying to do. She may have gone to the KKK because they were an influential group and she wanted their backing, regardless of whether or not she agreed with their cause of racial supremacy. I actually have no idea how a progressive would defend her statements about immigrants, but I’m sure they’d find a way for that as well.

I think it’s safe to say that although she didn’t think highly of people of color, there does not seem to be enough strong evidence to claim that she was, or was not, racist. The evidence is ambiguous and to claim definitively either way is speculation.

What we do know with absolute certainty about Sanger is that she advocated for horrible things. When she writes in a 1923 article for The Thinker that “[Birth control] means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks—those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization,” both sides of the debate get caught up arguing whether or not by “human weeds” she is referring to people of color. Let’s say she wasn’t. She’s still referring to the “poor”, the “dysgenic”, the “imbecile” and the “criminal” as human weeds to be eliminated. Regardless of whether or not she was talking about specific ethnic groups, this is a patently inhumane thing to say.

In her speech to the New History Society, Sanger said that America should establish a population congress that would “apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization, and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” Whether she was referring specific ethnic groups for segregation and sterilization is beside the point – she was advocating for the compulsory segregation and sterilization of American citizens. Her plans were carried out in some areas to devastating effect.

Sanger wrote in Women and the New Race that “the most compassionate thing a large family can do to a small child is to kill it.” Regardless of how her supporters may attempt to justify such comments, attitudes like this are indicative of the incredibly dark worldview from which Sanger was operating.

The pro-life movement would do well to refrain from making the claim that Sanger was a racist, even if the evidence indicates that she likely was. Doing so gives abortion supporters plausible deniability to our argument and distracts everyone from the universal horror of Sanger’s ideas, whether or not they were rooted in racism. There’s no need for pro-lifers to make uncertain assumptions about the existence of racist motives. Putting charges of racism aside, Margaret Sanger, as the face of the eugenics movement, is among the most nefarious characters in American history.

If pro-lifers can stay away from debatable charges of racism and stick to the fact that Sanger spoke of the poor, disabled, criminal and illiterate as “human weeds,” campaigned to exterminate the lower class, and advocated, with some success, for some of the worst human rights violations since slavery, then Sanger’s supporters can go nowhere to hide from the truth.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

#DefundPP Rallies in Washington State

On Saturday, February 11th, pro-life Americans across the nation gathered at local Planned Parenthood locations to show their support for defunding the abortion giant.

The #DefundPP rallies, which were organized by the #ProtestPP coalition, boasts backers like the Pro-Life Action League, 40 Days for Life, and over 60 other pro-life organizations.

According to the Pro-Life Action League, the rallies were initially going to be postponed until the fall of 2017, but the GOP’s announcement that they would work to defund Planned Parenthood caused the Coalition to push up the date to show public support for the congressional effort.

Those attending the rallies proposed redirecting federal funds for women’s health services to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FHQCs) instead of Planned Parenthood.

When reporting on the topic of defunding Planned Parenthood, news outlets conveniently forget to mention the thousands of Federally Qualified Health Centers that offer many women’s health services except for abortions. In fact, the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that these FQHCs served eight times more individuals than Planned Parenthood in fiscal years 2010-2012. The Institute also found that there are 9,170 FQHCs, compared to the 700 Planned Parenthood locations around the United States.  In reality, defunding Planned Parenthood would not restrict access or funding to true women’s health services.

Overall, the rallies were a resounding success. Over 228 rallies were held in 45 states. In Washington, rallies were held in Kennewick, Kent, Olympia, Pullman, Seattle, and Wenatchee (Spokane’s rally had to be pushed back due to inclement weather). The Wenatchee rally counted 125 people in attendance with approximately 10 who showed up in opposition to the rally.

Environmentalist: Support Abortion for Population Control

On his nightly news show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had an interesting exchange with a top environmental lobbyist. Carlson asked Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, what the organization’s abortion advocacy had to do with protecting the environment. Brune’s response:

“We believe in empowering women’s rights,” Brune said. “We believe that women who have rights and who have the ability to have choice about their reproductive—make their own reproductive choices—will help to produce strong families and will help to protect the environment at the same time. Sierra Club is pro-choice.”

Carlson, sensing that Brune was evading his question, pushed for a specific answer.

“It helps to address the number of people that we have on this planet,” Brune replied. “We feel that one of the ways that we can get to a sustainable population is to empower women to make choices about their own families.”

There are a couple things to notice. First, it is a bit of a shock hearing an abortion-supporter so candidly speak of abortion as population control. Many are of the opinion that this kind of thinking died out with the eugenicists, but alas, here it is, indicating that the grisly ideas of the eugenicists are still influencing Americans.

Second, it doesn’t take a logician to see the horror in what Brune is saying. He’s not prescribing population control through contraception or other means of preventing human life from coming into existence, but the taking of existent human life. If ending human lives is a moral good because it’s good for the environment, mass human suicide or euthanasia would seem to be a moral good as well. That may seem like a stretch, but that is Brune’s ideas taken to their logical conclusion.

Unfortunately, this save-the-trees-but-kill-the-babies reasoning is not outside of mainstream progressivism. This is a worldview that puts an extremely low value on human life, especially in comparison with the Judeo-Christian worldview. As Dennis Prager (who will be the special guest at our 2017 Annual Dinner) puts it, “As ironic as it may sound, the God-based Judeo-Christian value system renders humans infinitely more valuable than any humanistic value system.

This is because without God, humans, born and unborn, are quite literally just clumps of cells, ultimately worth nothing more than the matter they are composed of. On the other hand, the Judeo-Christian worldview acknowledges the special place human life occupies within creation.

Both the Judeo-Christian worldview and the intersectional environmentalist worldview hold that the beauty of nature is not to be squandered. However, the Judeo-Christian worldview also posits the value of protecting human life as society’s greatest good. The earth and its resources were created to serve human life—not the other way around.

 

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

House Committee Debates Bringing Obamacare Mandates to Washington

Should controversial mandates from Obamacare—which many believe are on the way out in Washington, D.C.—be made a permanent part of Washington State law?

That is the question the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee considered this morning.  The committee heard public testimony on HB 1523, which would require all health insurance plans to cover all preventative services required under federal law as of December 31, 2016.  It also bans plans that would share the cost of any of those services with employees.

Even before public testimony was heard, members of the committee expressed concern about the details of the bill.  The one-page bill is remarkably short.  However, it incorporates hundreds of pages of federal law and an untold volume of “guidance” into Washington State law.  No one seemed to have an understanding of exactly what the mandates do and do not cover.

Some of those who came to Olympia today to express concerns about HB 1523. From left to right: Brett Kinney, Electric Mirror; Michael Pauley, Human Life of Washington, Arina Grossu, Family Research Council, Luke Esser, Washington State Catholic Conference

Proponents of the bill argued that mandatory coverage for “preventative care” would make it easier to detect diseases like cancer at a time when it was most treatable.

But concerns about the legislation focused on very different issues.

Arina Grossu, from the Family Research Council, testified that the mandate to cover “preventative services” includes requirements to pay for abortifacients like Plan B and Ella, which destroy human embryos and are therefore objected to as a matter of conscience by many.

Brett Kinney, Director of Business Operations for Everett-based manufacturer Electric Mirror, explained the concerns of businesses owners in being forced to pay for a product that violates the beliefs of business owners:

“We offer a comprehensive affordable medical plan to our nearly 400 employees that does not include abortifacients. Not once have we heard complaints that our medical plan or the prescriptive drug plan was not adequate to serve the needs of our employees which includes over 100 women ages 18 to 70.  This bill is trying to solve a problem that is not a problem and forcing us the employer to add cost which reduces our ability to grow our business and put more people to work.”

The Washington State Catholic Conference also offered testimony stating that they will not comply with legislation that forces them to pay for abortifacients, regardless of what the law says.

In addition to concerns about conscience rights, insurance industry representatives expressed concern that the bill appears to be an attempt to preempt a change in federal law before those changes actually take place.  They expressed a preference for waiting to see what happens in Washington, D.C., before reacting to it.

Obamacare mandates involving abortifacients led businesses like Hobby Lobby to sue the federal government, claiming that such mandates violate their religious beliefs.  In the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court held that the mandates were invalid because they violated the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  However, Washington State does not have a state RFRA, which means the protections for conscience rights in Washington State are less robust than those that restrain actions of the federal government.

To advance, this bill needs the support of a majority of the members of the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee.

If that happens, it would need to receive passage from the entire House of Representatives before moving to the Senate for consideration.

Please contact your legislators and share your thoughts about this and any other issue through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here. 

As always, be respectful but be heard.  If you don’t speak for yourself, someone will speak for you.

 

 

FPIW Signs Letter Asking Congress to Adopt Pro-life Healthcare Reforms

Recognizing the potential for unprecedented action on healthcare reform during the 115th US Congress, several pro-life organizations have delivered a letter to legislators, calling on them to ensure that any healthcare reforms prohibit federal taxpayer dollars from being used for abortion.

Joseph Backholm, President of Family Policy Institute of Washington, signed on to the letter, joining representatives from Family Research Council, Priests for Life, American Center for Law and Justice, National Right to Life, Christian Medical Association, Students for Life of America, and dozens of other pro-life organizations.

Congress is currently considering several legislative proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The letter, which was delivered to Republican Members of Congress today, reminds them that “any bill funding healthcare must carry restrictions on abortion funding or it will end up funding the brutal practice of abortion.”

“We are greatly encouraged by the many Republican healthcare proposals that embrace the principle that abortion is not healthcare and should not be incentivized through federal healthcare programs including tax credits for health insurance,” the letter says.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

 

 

“Pro-Choice” Should Be “Pro-Abortion”

In a recent discussion with an abortion supporter, I apparently made the mistake of calling her “pro-abortion.” She gasped and emphatically made me aware that she was not pro-abortion, just “pro-choice.”

This begs the question: what choice was she talking about? Was she talking about school choice? Health care choice? Where-to-go-for-dinner choice?

I support the Second Amendment. I think the right of an individual to choose whether they want to own a firearm for self-defense is crucial to the prevention of an abusive government. It would be reasonable to label my position pro-second amendment or pro-gun rights or simply pro-gun. Likewise, it would be very unreasonable and rather pointless to label my position “pro-choice.” That doesn’t explain what choice I am advocating.

The same goes for abortion. The phrase “I am pro-choice” is an incomplete sentence. To be intellectually honest, the speaker must specify what choice they are advocating. Just as I am pro-gun, pro-abortion is the appropriate term to describe the position of the abortion supporter.

When considering the nature of the debate, it’s easy to understand why abortion advocates so fervently demand to be called “pro-choice” rather than something which accurately defines their position: they do this because their position is ghastly.

In a legislative hearing in Florida in 2013, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. It is Planned Parenthood’s position that children born as a result of botched abortions should be left alone on the table to die if still unwanted. When asked to defend this position, Snow’s response was, “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, the family, and the physician.”

Snow redirects the discussion to the issue of “choice” because no one can win a debate from a platform of “pro-leaving the baby to die on the table.” This goes for the killing of an unborn child as well. Pre-birth abortions entail the use of clamps to remove the child from the womb one limb at a time. Several other violent techniques are also used, including saline solution, which is used to dissolve away his or her skin. “Pro-human dismemberment” and “pro-burning the skin of a baby until his or her internal organs fall out” are not winning slogans.

It will be ‘game over’ for the abortion industry if the debate over abortion becomes focused on what abortion actually entails. That’s why they work so hard to make the debate revolve around euphemisms like “choice” without regard for the choice being discussed.

So, the next time someone tells you they’re pro-choice, ask them, “What choice?”

James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.