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Science versus Ideology – A matter of life and death

In the current iteration of its 2018-2022 strategic plan, the United States Department of Health and Human Services defines life as beginning at conception. The draft of the strategic plan reads:

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception…”

The current plan, drafted during the Obama administration, makes no reference to the sanctity of human life or a specific timeframe of when life begins. However, science has conclusively shown for some time now that life begins at conception (also known as fertilization).

Planned Parenthood and NARAL hate this language because naturally, it would hinder their profits. Liberal activists are claiming Trump will use this new idea as a way to somehow attack contraception, abortion, and IVF. Even further, some have atrociously criticized Objective 3.3 for saying HHS will “Protect women and their unborn children from harm.”

You may be surprised to know that at one time, even Democrats accepted that life begins at conception. In 1994, the Federal advisory board appointed by former President Bill Clinton affirmed that “The preimplantation human embryo warrants serious moral consideration as a developing form of human life.” [SOURCE]: National Institutes of Health, Report of the Human Embryo Research Panel (Sept. 1994), p. 2.

Unfortunately, present-day Democrats seem to have conveniently forgotten this fact. But that doesn’t change that it is a fact, one which medical professionals have reiterated time and again for years.

A 2014 research brief on the scientific view of when life begins, published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute stated:

“Human embryos from the one-cell (zygote) stage forward show uniquely integrated, organismal behavior that is unlike the behavior of mere human cells.  The zygote produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way.  Importantly, the cells, tissues and organs produced during development do not somehow “generate” the embryo (as if there were some unseen, mysterious “manufacturer” directing this process), they are produced by the embryo as it directs its own development to more mature stages of human life.  This organized, coordinated behavior of the embryo is the defining characteristic of a human organism.”

The research brief concluded in no uncertain terms:

“The conclusion that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications). Moreover, it is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos.”

The research brief makes an excellent point, demonstrating that the debate concerning when life begins is not a scientific one, but is instead usually a political debate.

A study published in March of this year by the American College of Pediatricians stated:

“The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization.  At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature.”

The study further noted that in 1965, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology attempted to redefine conception to mean implantation as opposed to the previous understanding that it becomes a life at the point of fertilization.

In reality, there is no scientific debate whatsoever about whether or not life begins at conception (fertilization).  A recent study published by Marta N. Shahbazi and colleagues from the UK demonstrates that an embryo, or the fertilized egg, is an autonomous living being at the point of conception. It is even programmed for survival.

You can call it whatever you wish – a zygote, a clump of cells, an embryo, a fetus, a fertilized egg, or a product of conception – but no amount of renaming can change the scientific fact that it is a human life. It should go without saying that every human has value no matter the stage or circumstances. The draft by the Department of Health and Human Services to publicly acknowledge this scientific fact is one that should be supported and applauded.

Josh Denton is a contributing writer for Family Policy Institute of Washington.

Seattle Storm Will Hold “Planned Parenthood Night” Tomorrow

When the Seattle Storm take on the Connecticut Sun tomorrow night at Key Arena, basketball won’t be the only activity on the agenda.

The Storm have declared tomorrow’s game “Planned Parenthood Night.” A rally in support of the notorious abortion corporation will be held before the game, and the basketball team will also donate $5 from the sale of each ticket and the proceeds from a silent auction to Planned Parenthood.

Auction items will include autographed and game-worn gear. In total, Planned Parenthood will likely bring in over $100,000 from the night’s events.

The rally begins at 5:15 p.m. The game, which will be nationally televised on ESPN2, will tipoff at 6:00 p.m.

This marks the first time a professional sports franchise has officially partnered with Planned Parenthood. Any attempt on the part of a professional sports franchise to intentionally associate with the abortion corporation is significant, but the Storm have gone above and beyond in their endorsement of the nation’s abortion provider.

The Storm released a PSA last week to raise awareness for “Planned Parenthood Night.” The PSA features some of the team’s basketball players declaring, “We stand with Planned Parenthood.”

In terms of timing, this move is unsurprising. Money might soon be in short supply for Planned Parenthood if Congress is able to pass legislation to defund them. Without government aid, Planned Parenthood will need corporate financial support to stay afloat.

The fact that the Storm are willing to ally with Planned Parenthood is bad news for preborn children. In North Carolina, the NBA and NCAA effectively held the state hostage over HB 2, the common sense state law that protected the privacy rights and safety of women and children in locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms. North Carolina legislators repealed the law earlier this year to appease the NCAA and keep college sports championships in the state.

If the Storm’s partnership proves profitable, other franchises in progressive areas will likely follow suit. Ownership groups around the country are watching Seattle intently to see what kind of response the Storm get from the community and what happens to the Storm’s brand as a result of their decision to partner with the abortionists at Planned Parenthood.

This is bigger than just Seattle. Pro-life supporters need to make sure every sports franchise in America understands that funding Planned Parenthood will result in damage to both their brand and bottom line.

There will be a pro-life presence outside the arena. To make a powerful statement on behalf of preborn children, pro-life people need to get involved. Email me at j.silberman@ymail.com for more information.

If you oppose the killing of preborn children in violent and bloody fashion and you’re able to attend this protest, please make every effort to join us tomorrow afternoon.

Corporations are teaming up to bail out the abortion industry. Without a response from the pro-life community, they will likely succeed. Don’t let that happen. Be outside the arena at 5 p.m. on July 18th to protest the Storm’s support for Planned Parenthood and bring your friends and family with you.


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.

Trump Taps Rep. Tom Price, Pro-Life Doctor, for HHS Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump has selected pro-life champion Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

Price, a physician, is a known opponent of Obamacare, signaling the incoming administration’s intention of following through with its campaign promise to “repeal and replace.”

“Some Republicans have attacked the Affordable Care Act without proposing an alternative,” reported the New York Times. “Mr. Price, by contrast, has introduced bills offering a detailed, comprehensive replacement plan in every Congress since 2009, when Democrats started work on the legislation.”

Price’s piece of legislation, the Empowering Patients First Act, would repeal and replace Obamacare and create tax credits for the purchase of individual and family health insurance policies.  If passed, it would also create new incentives for people to contribute to health savings accounts, offer grants to states to subsidize insurance for “high-risk populations,” and promote competition by allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines.  His legislation also provides explicit protections for religious freedom and rights of conscience related to the practice of abortion and the dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs.

As an added bonus, Price has consistently — 100% of the time — voted to Defund Planned Parenthood.  He is an outspoken critic of abortion, calling it a “barbaric” practice.

Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocacy group NARAL seems concerned by the selection as well:

Price has been strong on all of FPIW’s issues in Congress, stating after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage that it was “not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”

Price must be confirmed by the incoming U.S. Senate next year before taking over the Department.  And of course, if confirmed, he would no longer be a member of Congress, meaning that his legislation would have to be picked up by another member of Congress. But with conservative majorities in the House and Senate, and a clear priority for the incoming Trump Administration to repeal and replace Obamacare, we don’t expect finding legislative sponsors to be an issue.

We’ll keep you updated through the confirmation process.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

States Begin Investigations of Planned Parenthood

Tuesday, Nebraska joined the list of states that have raided abortion facilities as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of abortion-harvested baby parts from Planned Parenthood and other abortion-providing facilities.

Last week, the Ohio State Senate passed a measure stripping government funding from the abortion provider.  Texas followed suit, and raided several Planned Parenthood clinics in the process, joining Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, and left-leaning New Hampshire on the list of states that have already successfully stopped taxpayers dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood.  Investigations into the wrongdoing have been launched in 13 states to date, as more videos emerge showing the extent of the issue.

In a video also released Tuesday, an abortionist at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas was filmed admitting to completing a partial-birth abortion, a federally-illegal procedure in which the baby’s life is terminated only after being partially removed from the mother.

Washington State is not on the list of states investigating Planned Parenthood.  Sign our petition today to demand Attorney General Bob Ferguson launch an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s activities here in our state!

U.S. House to Vote on Defunding Planned Parenthood on Friday

While efforts to completely defund Planned Parenthood appeared to have stalled, many members of Congress haven’t given up the fight just yet.

After passing the House Budget Committee over a week ago, H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015” has been scheduled for a full vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

This Friday, October 23rd, Congress will vote on the bill that, if passed, would halt funding to Planned Parenthood for a year and repeal numerous unlawful provisions of ObamaCare.

According to LifeSite News, “House members plan to use a process known as reconciliation to stop most federal funds from flowing to Planned Parenthood,” adding that “[b]ills passed using reconciliation are not subject to filibuster, so they need only a simple majority to pass both Republican-controlled chambers of Congress.”  The Congressional Budget Office has also reported that passage of this bill would decrease budget deficits by approximately $130 billion over the next ten years.  You can read the bill in its entirety here.

This may be the best chance we’ve had to date at halting federal funding to Planned Parenthood.  Therefore, FPIW is urging Washingtonians to call their U.S. Representative, and all Washington representatives, to let them know how you feel about this bill.

To find out who your Congressman or Congresswoman is, click here.

Washington Congressmen and Congresswomen

Rep. Suzan K. DelBene (D – 01) 202-225-6311 https://delbene.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Rep. Rick Larsen (D – 02) 202-225-2605 https://larsen.house.gov/contact-rick/email-rick
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R – 03) 202-225-3536 http://herrerabeutler.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R – 04) 202-225-5816 https://newhouse.house.gov/contact/email
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R – 05) 202-225-2006 http://mcmorris.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D – 06) 202-225-5916 https://kilmer.house.gov/contact/email-me
Rep. Jim McDermott (D – 07)* 202-225-3106 https://forms.house.gov/mcdermott/webforms/new/contac …
Rep. Dave Reichert (R – 08) 202-225-7761 https://reichert.house.gov/contact-me
Rep. Adam Smith (D – 09) 202-225-8901 https://adamsmith.house.gov/contact
Representative Denny Heck (D – 10) 202-225-9740 https://dennyheck.house.gov/contact/email-me

* Rep. Jim McDermott sits on the House Budget Committee and voted “no” on 10/9 to refer this bill to the floor for a vote.  While unlikely to support the bill, we still encourage Washingtonians to call his office and share your thoughts on the bill with him.   

Again, the bill number is H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015,” and the sponsor is Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

Why Defend Planned Parenthood?

To date, the Center for Medical Progress has released nine videos. The most recent was released this morning.

They’ve been called “troubling.”

After all, the videos depict the CEO of Stem Express joking about what happens when lab technicians open up a box of baby heads, show planned Parenthood employees sifting through a pile of body parts declaring, “Another boy!“, and Planned Parenthood executives negotiating the appropriate price for each body part — or “specimen.”

“Troubling” is the word we use when something looks awful but we want to give the person involved a chance to defend themselves before we rush to the gallows.

“Perhaps there’s more to the story,” we tell ourselves.

Oddly, there are many who can’t even bring themselves to call these allegations “troubling.”

The White House referred to the videos (not the content in the videos) as “fraudulent” and rejected calls to stop public funding to Planned Parenthood. The videos, they say are the work of extremists. Extremists are not those who dissect babies and sell their parts, but those who have a problem with it.

The White House did not mention the fact that in 2012, Cecile Richard, the President of Planned Parenthood, took a leave of absence from her job to campaign for President Obama full-time.

Washington’s Governor, Jay Inslee, issued an unambiguous defense of Planned Parenthood and also condemned the “extremists” who were calling for an end to taxpayer funding of their practices.

His wife, Trudi, prominently features her volunteer work for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and Planned Parenthood on her state bio.

Even after the videos, Hillary Clinton is “proud to stand with Planned Parenthood” and cites the fact that they do other things besides kill and dissect babies. Apparently, that should make us feel better.

In every case, those defending Planned Parenthood point out that “tissue donation” programs are perfectly legal as long as the programs “recover costs” instead of generating a “profit.”

What makes one defend the indefensible?

Some consciences have been so seared that they genuinely don’t understand what the problem is. Others are so politically invested that truth just doesn’t matter.

But for millions of others, they understand the point.

It is becoming harder to deny the obvious. These are babies being killed.

The idea that babies can be killed if their mothers want them dead is not morally defensible. As those so outraged by the death of Cecil the Lion demonstrated, we all understand that just because something is legal does not make it right.

On the issue of abortion, the gap between legal and right is cavernous. That may be why more than 80% of Americans support “significant restrictions” on abortion.

Psychologically, however, there is a step between knowing the truth and admitting the truth because when we admit we are wrong, we implicate ourselves.

Fifty-percent of Americaincluding the President, still haven’t seen the videos.

We have all chosen willful ignorance at one time or another in our lives. Whether we delayed opening our college rejection letter or avoided the call from the doctor, we want to hold on to the hope that the reality we fear may not be real.

But in this case it is real. Horrible things are happening to the most innocent while millions upon millions of us are celebrating it.

It may be a long time before President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Jay Inslee come around on this. They have too much invested in the tragedy.

But each day, millions of Americans are seeing the light and their hearts are changing in exactly the right way.

Those of us who are celebrating this progress must be careful we don’t stunt it with our gloating.

We have all had moments in our lives when we realized we were wrong about something. The last thing we needed at that moment was someone with their wrists on their hips tapping their toes indignantly saying, “I told you so.”

If we are pro-life, we are also pro-hope. We are hopeful that even bad decisions and difficult circumstances can have beautiful endings. Let’s be consistent.

America’s embrace of abortion will never be something to be proud of, but our collective realization that we were wrong can be.

As our friends and neighbors come to the realization of how evil the abortion industry is, may our words and actions always communicate that we understand what it means to be forgiven despite being wrong. May our kindness also lead others to repentance.

If we turn them away, they may just decide to continue defending Planned Parenthood.

Please continue to contact your legislators about these videos and about the public funding of Planned Parenthood. You can call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or you can email them here.

Be kind and respectful, but be heard.

Statewide Protests of Planned Parenthood This Saturday

As we reported on Monday, an organized effort was launched last month in order to get people all over the nation to protest the illegal selling of baby body parts at Planned Parenthood. As the result, hundreds of people have been showing up at various locations around Washington. Yesterday, over 100 pro-life citizens converged on the State Capitol steps in Olympia, and marched to Attorney General Bob Feruguson’s Office, across the street, to call for a full investigation of Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, another video was released yesterday, and 12 more protests scheduled Saturday, August 22nd (see below for locations)! Please plan to attend one near you or consider leading one in your area if the existing locations aren’t feasible.

   . 
Bellingham
Planned Parenthood, 1530 Ellis Street (map)
Contact the local leader
  . 
Bremerton – Anti-Choice Project
Planned Parenthood, 723 N.E. Riddell Road (map)
Note: This protest will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Contact the local leader
  . 
Bremerton – Pro-Life Kitsap “Rally for Life”
Planned Parenthood, 723 N.E. Riddell Road (map)
Note: This protest will be from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Contact: karend.km@gmail.com
 . 
Everett
Planned Parenthood, 1509 32nd Street (map)
Sponsor: Living Hope
Note: This protest will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Contact the local leader
  . 
Kennewick
  . 
Kent
Planned Parenthood, 10056 SE 240th (map)
Sponsor: St. Stephen Respect Life Committee

Contact the local leader
  . 
Pullman
Planned Parenthood, 1525 SE King Drive (map)
Contact the local leader
  . 
Seattle
Planned Parenthood, 2001 East Madison Street (map)
Note: This protest will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

RSVP on Facebook
Contact the local leader
  . 
Spokane
Planned Parenthood, 123 E. Indiana Avenue (map)
Sponsor: Selkirk Pro-Life Alliance
Note: This protest will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  . 
Spokane Valley
Planned Parenthood, 12104 E. Main Avenue (map)
Sponsor: Selkirk Pro-Life Alliance

Contact the local leader
  . 
Vancouver
Planned Parenthood, 11516 SE Mill Plain Boulevard (map)
Contact the local leader
  . 
Walla Walla
Planned Parenthood, 828 S. 1st Avenue (map)
Contact the local leader
  . 
Wenatchee
Corner of Chelan Avenue and Orondo Street (map)
Sponsor: Wenatchee Right to Life

Contact the local leader
 . 

An Open Letter to WA Governor Jay Inslee

The following letter was hand delivered to Governor Jay Inslee’s Office and read aloud on August 18, 2015, at the Olympia Women Betrayed Speak Out Day Rally. The letter is in response to the Governor’s continued steadfast support of Planned Parenthood, in spite of the recent revelations about their exploitation of women and profiting off the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

.


Danille A. Turissini

August 18, 2015

Dear Governor Inslee,

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, when the Oso landslide roared down the mountain into the valley below, ripping apart the lives and limbs of unsuspecting innocent people, you stood strong for the value of every human life entombed in that mud.

You showed up day and night to comfort the families and offer your unfettered support and assurances that you would not give up until every missing person was found.

I couldn’t have been prouder of our Governor at that moment. Your leadership was exceptional. The authenticity of your actions touched my heart. I wanted to be there to stand with you, and to help, but I couldn’t. I was comforted to have you there on our behalf.

Today, August 18, 2015, we are in the midst of yet another landslide issue. Only, this time the victims are being buried under a filthy lie, that Planned Parenthood exists to “ensure every woman has access to safe and legal reproductive health care”.

We know from the recent revelations about Planned Parenthood that they have been systematically deceiving women about their procedures and illegally profiting off the dissected body parts of their aborted human babies. Women are supposed to support each other, not sell each other out for profit.

Planned Parenthood’s own top doctor, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, admitted that Planned Parenthood alters the abortion procedure, turning the baby to a breech position, in order to get the baby body parts intact and fill the orders for the day when needed. This is a risky procedure for the mother.

All things considered, Governor Inslee, I’m writing to you today because I’m kind of confused about your continued support of Planned Parenthood.

I sincerely do not understand how you can you be so passionate about the value of every human life buried in the Oso landslide, and yet so dispassionate and incapable of seeing and acknowledging how troubling the allegations against Planned Parenthood are.

How can you in good conscience vow to stand steadfast with an organization like Planned Parenthood whose representatives have, in their own words, so clearly stated their betrayal of women?

How can we take you seriously when you talk about children being our future, for wanting to protect the environment for them and give them the best education ever, when you stand for a an organization like Planned Parenthood that views women, both born and unborn, as commodities to be marketed and sold?

How can you continue to offer your unfettered support and assurances to fund an organization like Planned Parenthood that’s been caught in the act of doing the exact opposite of what you claim to support them for?

Governor Inslee, I have seen your contempt in the face of what you deem unjust and your sincere compassion in extraordinary situations. Women facing unplanned pregnancies need genuine support and empowerment. There are 8,000 federally funded Community Health Centers and thousands of pregnancy resource centers that offer free support and resources to pregnant women in need.

It’s time to DEFUND Planned Parenthood and invest our Washington State tax dollars in real healthcare for women.

I’m sincerely praying you will have the courage to do the right thing.

When you do, I will be here to stand with you, and to help, but I can’t until you are standing for what’s truly in the best interest of women.

Respectfully yours,

 

Danille Turissini

 

 

 

Intact Fetuses are “Just a Matter of Line Items”

“Just a matter of line items.”  That’s how one Planned Parenthood executive referred to the parts of an intact cadaver from an abortion they performed in the fifth video was released today by the Center for Medical Progress.

This video may be the worst one yet.

In it, Planned Parenthood representatives discuss altering the method of abortion as a way to obtain “intact fetal cadavers.”

Despite the fact that it is illegal to sell fetal remains, Melissa Farrrell, Director of Research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast refers to the fetal tissue program as a “diversification of the revenue stream.”

Planned Parenthood has maintained they don’t “sell” them but just take “reimbursement for costs.”

However, Planned Parenthood would not view the program as a way of diversifying their revenue stream if the revenues simply covered actual costs.

Still, the worst part of the video is not the callous way they refer to the parts of babies as items of commerce, but the images of the remains the Planned Parenthood employees sift through which clearly show arms and legs that were attached to growing babies only hours before.

This video is disturbing in ways that holocaust imagery is disturbing.  It is shocking to the conscience that people can behave this way and still believe themselves to be civilized. But the good news is, what has for decades been hidden is now being exposed.

Allowing the world to see the reality of the abortion industry is the only way to stop it.

Please don’t let this truth stop with you.

The first step is defunding, but that cannot be the last step.

Washington State gives approximately $25 million each year to Planned Parenthood.

If this is not the way you want your tax dollars used, contact your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or contact them via email by clicking here.