Posts

Two Washington Congresswomen Attempting to Ban Same-Sex Attraction Therapy

 

A group of 28 U.S. Representatives and four U.S. Senators, including Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA), have requested that the federal government ban same-sex attraction therapy.

In a letter addressed February 10, the Senators said that they “urge the Federal Trade Commission to take decisive action to stop the unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent practice of conversion therapy under the authority provided to your agency in the Federal Trade Commission Act.”

Reparative therapy, also known as conversion therapy, same-sex attraction therapy, sexual reorientation therapy, or sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), has been successfully used by doctors and therapists to help patients overcome their same-sex attractions.

According to the Family Research Council, “Most ‘sexual reorientation therapy’ today consists of ‘talk therapy’ – a client simply talking with a counselor about his or her feelings, experiences, relationships with parents and peers, etc.”

Reparative therapy is detested by some secular health professionals who believe that all sexual orientations are normal and healthy. Despite reputable scientific research that demonstrates there is no evidence that people are born gay and that sexual orientation among young people often changes, opponents of reparative therapy allege that it, as well as other approaches that discourage homosexuality, are harmful to patients because it encourages them to reject their true sexual identity.

Parents should be able to seek medical help for their children who are struggling with their sexuality. Medical professionals subvert parental rights when they celebrate and encourage a child’s same-sex inclinations against the moral convictions of the parents.

Likewise, banning reparative therapy takes away the prerogative of families to seek treatment that is in the best interests of their children. Patients are also deprived of the means to seek and procure treatment that may help them overcome their struggles.

Sen. Murray and Rep. DelBene should not be able to prohibit loving parents from seeking treatment for their children. With the help of medical professionals and faith leaders, parents and patients – not politicians in Washington, D.C. – are in the best position to decide what is in the best interest of their children.

Legislation prohibiting this activity has been tried in Washington’s legislature before.  Will you stand with us to block it again?

Session Summary: What You Accomplished

On Monday, the Washington State Legislature passed a budget and the Governor signed it last night. This will be the end of the Legislature’s third special session.

We want to thank you for all your help calling, emailing, and visiting your legislators! There were numerous bills that you helped make a difference on. With your help:

  • A bill to facilitate the use of telemedicine was changed to prevent it from being used for webcam abortions
  • Parental notification for abortions was moved through the legislature the furthest in years
  • The Abortion Insurance Mandate was killed for the fourth year in a row
  • Parents still have a choice on whether their children receive immunizations or not
  • A bill to ban therapy that would help minors with unwanted same-sex attraction was defeated

Listed are some highlights of what was in the budget and also a summary of the bills we worked on this past session.

YOUR TEXT

BUDGET

A two-year $38.2 billion operating budget was passed to avoid a government shut-down. The House passed it 90-8, while the Senate passed it 38-10.

Budget Highlight: Funding for Abortions and Contraceptives for Illegal Immigrants
The abortion industry attempted to increase revenues by expanding a state program called Take Charge to illegal immigrants. The reasoning is if there are less babies being born, the State can save money on illegal immigrants’ “prenatal, birth, and postpartum services and medical coverage for newborns.” Read more here. However, this proposal was defeated in final budget negotiations.

Budget Lowlight: Funding for Planned Parenthood
While Planned Parenthood was not successful in their legislative policy priorities, they will continue to receive more than $20 million each year from Washington taxpayers. Although Planned Parenthood does not explicitly receive money in the budget, “family planning” is the term the government uses to describe the area where they allocate our tax dollars to pay for abortion and contraception.

YOUR TEXT

 LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

Planned Parenthood will still receive money from the state, however, as noted above, they were not successful in their legislative policy priorities. Thanks to the help of citizens all over the state, pro-life legislation made significant progress than in previous years and bad bills were once again killed before making it to the Governor’s office. Here are some of our collective legislative successes:

PASSED: SB 5175: Telemedicine & Webcam Abortions
This bill dealt with telemedicine and was defeated in the Senate last year after being approved by the House because of concerns that it would make it possible for telemedicine to be used to remotely prescribe chemical abortions.  This is especially problematic in a state like Washington that does not require parental notification for abortions. However, the version signed by the Governor limited the application of the bill to “essential benefits” under the Affordable Care Act, which excludes abortions.

SB 5289: Parental Notification for Abortion
If passed, this bill would have required a 48 hour notice be given to parents before an abortion could be performed on a minor. This bill advanced in the legislative process the furthest is has in years! It received a hearing, was voted out of committee, and was moved all the way up to the Rules Committee.

 

Because of your help, these bad bills did NOT become law:

HB 1647: Abortion Insurance Mandate
This would have required all insurance providers to provide abortion insurance coverage. Pro-life business owners would have no choice but to provide abortion insurance for their employees. Every business, regardless of their religious convictions, would be required to subsidize abortions by paying for abortion coverage.

This is the fourth year that the legislature has tried to pass the Abortion Insurance Mandate and it was the fourth year it died before making it out of the House.

HB 2009: Immunization Exemptions
Current law allows children to be exempted from the immunization requirements for health reasons, religious reasons, or for the personal objection of the parents. This bill would have eliminated the personal objection exemption, which is cited in 70% of the cases in which exemptions are granted.

This bill was threatening to take away a parent’s right to chose what they thought was best for their children.  With support from parents across the state, this bill never made it out of committee.

SB 5870: Regarding Aversive Therapies
This bill banned licensed therapists from providing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors. It banned aversion therapy, which included ice baths and shock therapy (which we are all opposed to), but also talk therapy. Under this bill, minors would not have received help from therapists, even if the minor and the parents of the minor agreed that they wanted it, and it was in the best interest of the minor to get the therapy.

The Senate passed a version of this bill that would ban ice baths but still protect free speech. The House changed it to ban all forms of SOCE. Your taking action on this bill stopped the Senate from passing the version that limited free speech while protecting minors from abuse.

YOUR TEXT

These are just some of the bills that we worked on this session, but the success of them passing or failing to pass is credited to you. This progress could not have been possible without your participation and your prayers. Thank you for making a difference!

YOUR TEXT

Who Doesn’t Oppose Child Abuse?

“It’s child abuse,” they told us. “It must be stopped.”

It was the 2014 legislative session and we heard about kids being subjected to shock treatments or being put in ice baths and made to watch gay pornography in an effort to stop them from being gay.

Understandably, everyone was appalled.

These stories, we were told, are the reason it is so critical to support legislation that bans therapy to help a child deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.

Moments before the House of Representatives voted to pass the bill, Rep. Laurie Jinkins told an emotional story about her friend who was involuntarily institutionalized by her parents and subjected to shock treatments. “That is the kind of abuse that none of us wants to see for any child ever. And that is what this bill addresses.”

With that, the bill passed the House of Representatives and moved to the Senate.

After all, no one likes child abuse.

In the Senate, legislators starting paying just as much attention to the bill itself as the stories being told about child abuse.

And when they did, it became apparent that the bill did much more than protect kids from things like involuntary shock treatments.

In fact, it prohibited licensed therapists from using talk therapy to help a minor reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction. The ban even extended to church employees and pastors who happened to be licensed therapists.

Under the bill, church employees could have been professionally reprimanded for simply communicating their church’s understanding of human sexuality.

Furthermore, it would have taken choices away from clients and made it impossible for a minor to get help from a licensed therapist for unwanted same-sex attraction.

None of this had anything to do with stopping ice baths or shock therapy.

The bill failed to pass the Senate.

But at the beginning of this legislative session, the issue was reintroduced.

Built on the areas of agreement (let’s stop child abuse) while avoiding points of contention (let’s prohibit speech we dislike), the Senate advanced a narrower version of the bill (SB 5870) which prohibited aversive therapies like shock treatment and ice baths but did not attempt to restrict the kinds of talk therapy a client could request.

On March 11, it passed the Senate without opposition.

However, yesterday morning, when the House Health Care and Wellness Committee held a public hearing on the bill, something amazing happened.

The same people who spent the last year talking about the need to protect children from ice baths and shock therapy suddenly and strongly opposed a bill specifically designed for that purpose.

What was the problem?

The bill didn’t go far enough. “It must restrict talk therapy”, they said.

Last year, not a word was uttered about the need to ban talk therapy because everyone was so horrified by the stories of involuntary shock therapy.

All they talked about was the need to protect kids from child abuse.

But now that they have been given the chance to stop involuntary shock therapy without the ability to regulate conversations…suddenly shock therapy isn’t such a big deal.

There are two things we can learn from this recent development.

First, the advocates of this bill have always been mostly interested in prohibiting conversations they dislike, not stopping physical forms of child abuse everyone opposes.

The attempt to focus on stories of abuse was just part of the bait and switch. People suspected as much before, but now they have admitted it.

Second, and maybe more importantly, the fact that they are willing to oppose a bill to stop child abuse in the hopes that they can pass a bill to ban conversations illustrates the depth of their conviction about this issue.

From their perspective, telling kids same-sex attraction is not necessarily permanent is child abuse. The harm of involuntary shock therapy and the “harm” of a child being told change is possible are the same.

If this tactic is successful now, it won’t just be the therapists who are affected.

If it is “child abuse” for a therapist to tell a child that sexual desires can be controlled or changed, why wouldn’t it be child abuse for someone else to say the same thing?

The only limits are political. You don’t limit “child abuse” selectively. All you pastors, unlicensed counselors, friends and parents who believe homosexuality is wrong and sexual desires can change be warned. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Nonsense, you say. The First Amendment protects my right to say whatever I want.

Arlene’s Flowers believed the First Amendment’s guarantee to the free exercise of religion protected her right to decide which events she celebrated in her business. And once upon a time it did. But now the courts say that the state’s “compelling interest” in stopping “discrimination” in public accommodations trumps the first amendment.

The state also has a compelling interest in stopping child abuse as well.

The First Amendment will be just a speed bump.

Unless we act to stand up for the therapists and the florists who are the current targets.

You can contact your legislators about this issue through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them here.

March 20, 2015 Legislative Update Conference Call

Hosted by: Joseph Backholm

Topics: Olympia 101Immunizations ExemptionsParental Notification,
Rights for Religious ObjectorsWrongful Life Awards, Employer Contraceptive Mandate, Internet Crimes Against ChildrenInformed Assisted Suicide,
Abortion Insurance MandateAversive Therapy (A.K.A. Sexual Orientation Change Therapy)Telemedicine

 

February 20, 2015 Legislative Update Conference Call

Hosted by: Joseph Backholm

Topics: Arlene’s Flowers court ruling, Abortion Insurance Mandate, Sexual Orientation Change Therapy, Immunizations Exemptions, Parental Notification, Employer Contraceptive Mandate.

 

 

 

February 13, 2015 Legislative Update Conference Call

Hosted by: Joseph Backholm

Topics: Abortion Insurance Mandate, Sexual Orientation Change Therapy Ban, Immunizations Exemptions, Parental Notification, Telemedicine & webcam abortions, Employer Contraceptive Mandate, Internet Crimes Against Children, Parental Notification, Abortion Insurance Mandate (upcoming hearing), Sexual Orientation Change Therapy, Telemedicine & Webcam Abortions, Employer Contraceptive Mandate

Therapy Ban Resurfaces in the Legislature

In the on-going quest to ban choices they disagree with, a handful of legislators in Olympia have re-introduced bills to prohibit Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy.

These bills (HB 1972 and SB 5870) would make it professional misconduct for a licensed therapist to help a minor reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction. As a result, a minor who is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction would be unable to get professional therapist.

A similar bill was introduced last year and passed the House of Representatives before dying in the Senate without a vote.

The politics behind this issue are not complicated. The homosexual lobby is deeply committed to marginalizing those who disagree with their view of human sexuality.

Generally, non-discrimination laws are the tools used to compel conformity. They have been used to sue florists, bakeries, photographers, and property owners who did not want to participate in a same-sex ceremony.

One counseling student was even kicked out of school for “discrimination” when she referred lesbian clients to another counselor she believed would be better able to help.

However, it is apparently difficult to accuse a therapist who is in the process of counseling a client of discriminating.

“But they disagree with us?” they protest. “They must be punished. What can we do?”

“I know, I know. If they’re not discriminating against gay people, we’ll make it professional misconduct to help a gay person with something we don’t think the gay person should want.”

“Brilliant, why didn’t we think of this before.”

The world of counseling is supposed to be a patient driven process. But this bill makes therapy a legislature driven process, where politicians get to decide if the therapy is politically correct enough to be allowed.

They don’t believe someone should want to change their sexual orientation so they want to make it illegal to try. Believing change is impossible, they are convinced the only possible outcome of such therapy is pain.

Never mind the fact that many people’s feelings have changed and others have made a conscious choice not to identify as gay. The idea that change is either possible or desirable hurts the feelings of some who have no interest in changing or have tried and failed. Since that is true, you should have the good sense to stop talking.

This is America. You’re not allowed to say things that hurt people’s feelings.

Supporters of the bill claim it will stop abuse of kids who identify as gay. They tell stories about shock therapy and children being forced to watch gay pornography from ice baths in an effort to make them associate pain with same-sex attraction.

While that kind of therapy unfortunately did occur in the 60’s and 70’s, those practices are widely condemned, exceedingly rare, and already prohibited as either unprofessionally coercive or simply abusive.

In two years, no evidence has been presented that the type of therapy described has happened anywhere in Washington in recent history. Actual instances of this kind of therapy are (thankfully) so uncommon that proponents in New Jersey were forced to make up stories about camps that abuse kids in an effort to generate sympathy for their position.

Curiously, proponents of this legislation have so far declined to support a bill that would ban aversive therapies like ice baths and shock therapy. Instead, they prefer legislation that regulates talk therapy.

This suggests the motive is less about protecting children from abuse and more about controlling speech they disagree with.

The effort to control speech is why these bills have significant constitutional concerns as well. In addition to prohibiting one perspective on the issue of homosexuality from being communicated, the House bill would also regulate what a pastor or church employee says inside their church, provided they are a licensed therapist.

There will be a hearing on Tuesday, February 17th in Senate Hearing Room 4 for SB 5870 at 10 AM.

If you are a therapist who has experience with this issue that would be willing to help educate children, or if you have personally benefited from this kind of therapy and would like to share your experience with legislators who have very little information about the subject generally, please let us know
by emailing us at info@fpiw.org.

You are encouraged to contact your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and share your thoughts on this or any other bill of interest to you. You can also email them by clicking here.

Your involvement is critical.

If we do nothing, we may fully embrace this brave new world where you can be expected to control your gender but not your impulses.

Mobilization Monday Update

ABORTION  INSURANCE  MANDATE
SB 5574 & HB 1647

House Bill 1647 – Concerning health plan coverage of reproductive health care.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Eileen Cody, 34th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

Senate Bill 5574 – Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Senator Steve Hobbs, 44th LD
Senate Committee: Health Care 

SUMMARY: It requires every insurance policy to cover every form of contraception, abortion, and sterilization and forbids the policy from charging a deductible or copay. Read the companion bill.

 

STATUS

SB 5574: 1/26/15, referred to Senate Health Care Committee on 1/26/15. No further movement, as of 2/9/15.

HB 1647: Scheduled for PUBLIC HEARING in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 8:00 AM,TOMORROW, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2015.

TOMORROW
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10
Hearing is 8:00 AM.
Arrive by 7:00 AM.
John L. O’Brien Building
Hearing Room A

 

ACTION: SHOW UP

  1. Attend House Legislative Committee on Health Care & Wellness Public Hearing on HB 1647
  2. CALL  1 (800) 562-6000     Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning HB 1647 and SB 5574 because these bills violate your right to conscience and threaten your religious freedoms.
  3. COMMENT ON THE BILL: HB 1647   Each bill page has a “Comment on the bill” link you can use to send comments to your legislators.
  4. WATCH THE HEARING LIVE ON TVW.ORG
RIGHTS  TO  RELIGIOUS  OBJECTORS
SB 5552 & HB 1968

Senate Bill 5552 – Accommodating the civil rights of religious objectors to mandatory payments to labor organizations.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Mike Padden, 4th LD
Senate Committee: Commerce & Labor, Rules  

House Bill 1968 – Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Representative Matt Shea, 4th LD 
House Committee: Labor

 

SUMMARY: Accommodating the civil rights of religious objectors to mandatory payments to labor organizations. Read the companion bill.

 

STATUS

SB 5552: 2/5/15, passed to Senate Rules Committee for Second Reading.

HB 1968: 2/4/15, First reading, referred to House Labor Committee.

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-600   Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning SB 5552 & HB 1968 because religious objectors should not be forced to join labor organizations that violate their values and conscience.
TELEMEDICINE  COVERAGE
SB 5175 & HB 1403

Senate Bill 5175 – Regarding Telemedicine.
Prime Sponsors: Senator Randi Becker, 2nd LD
Senate Committees: Health Care, Rules  

House Bill 1403 – Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Representative Steve Bergquist, 11th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness, Rules

 

AMENDED* SUMMARY: Telemedicine is generally seen as an advance in health care because it makes it easier for people who live in rural areas to access health care.

*The language in SB 5175 and HB 1403 bills have been modified to not allow webcam chemical abortions. Read the companion bills.

 

STATUS

SB 5175: 2/6/15, passed to Senate Rules for Second Reading (?).
2/5/15, executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Health Care.

HB 1403: 2/5/15, referred to House Rules Committee.
2/3/15, executive action taken in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.

 

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-6000  Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning HB 1403 & SB 5175, regarding telemedicine.
INTERNET  CRIMES  AGAINST  CHILDREN
SB 5215

Senate Bill 5215 – Establishing the Washington Internet crimes against children account. 
Prime Sponsor: Senator Pam Roach, 30th LD
Senate Committee: Senate Law & Justice

SUMMARY: Creates the Washington internet crimes against children account and requires expenditures from the account to be used exclusively by the Washington internet crimes against children task force and its affiliate agencies. Read the bill.

 

STATUS: 2/5/15 – Public hearing held in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice. No further movement, as of 2/9/15.

 

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-6000  Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning SB 5215.
SEXUAL  ORIENTATION  CHANGE  EFFORT
HB 1972 and SB 5870

House Bill 1972 – Restricting the practice of sexual orientation change efforts. 
Prime Sponsor: Representative Laurie Jinkins, 27th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

Senate Bill 5870 – Prohibiting the use of aversion therapy in the treatment of minors. 
Prime Sponsor: Senator Marko Liias, 21st LD 
Senate Committee: Health Care

 

SUMMARY: These bills would ban licensed therapists from providing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors. Under these bills, minors can not receive help from the therapist, even if the minor and the parents of the minor agreed that they wanted it, and it was in the best interest of the minor to get the therapy. Read the bills: SB 5870 & HB 1972.

 

STATUS

HB 1972 – 2/4/15 – Referred to House Health Care & Wellness Committee.

SB 5870 – 2/6/15 – Referred to Senate Committee on Heath Care.

 

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-600  Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning HB 1972 & SB 5870, .
  2. Remain on standby and be prepared to take further action, including SHOWING UP on short notice in the event that a Senate or House hearing is scheduled for HB 1972 and/or SB 5870.
PARENTAL  NOTIFICATION  FOR  ABORTIONS
SB 5289 & HB 1493

Senate Bill 5289 – Requiring notification to parents or guardians in cases of abortion. 
Prime Sponsor: Senator Mike Padden, 4th LD
Senate Committee: Law & Justice

House Bill 1493 – Establishing parental notification requirements for abortion. 
Prime Sponsor: Representative Matt Shea, 4th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

 

SUMMARY: Protects minors against their own immaturity by also protecting the constitutional rights of parents to rear and make decisions for their children who are members of their household. Read the bills: SB 5289 & HB 1493.

CONSOLIDATED BILL STATUS: WATCHING

No further movement, as of 2/2/15

EMPLOYER  CONTRACEPTIVE  MANDATE
SB 5026 & HB 1502

Senate Bill 5026 – Employee Reproductive Choice Act
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jamie Pedersen, 43rd LD
Senate Committee: Law & Justice 

House Bill 1502 –  Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Representative Laurie Jenkins, 27th LD
House Committee: Judiciary

 SUMMARY: Would require employers in Washington State who the Supreme Court said could not be forced by the federal government to be forced to pay for contraceptives that violate their beliefs, to be forced by the Washington State government to pay for contraceptives that violate their beliefs. Read the companion bill.

PROHIBITS  ‘WRONGFUL  BIRTH’  AWARDS
SB 5747

Senate Bill 5747 – Prohibiting actions for wrongful life and wrongful birth, and expanding the beneficiaries in an action for wrongful death.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Mike Padden, 4th LD
Senate Committee: Senate Law & Justice

SUMMARY: Prohibits a person from maintaining a civil cause of action or from receiving an award of damages for wrongful life or wrongful birth based on the claim that, but for an act or omission of another person, the person would not or should not have been born. Expands the list of beneficiaries in wrongful death actions. Read the bill.

THIRD – PARTY  (GRANDPARENT)  VISITATION
SB 5005

Senate Bill 5005 – Concerning Grandparent Visitation Rights.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jan Angel, 26th LD

Committee: Senate Law & Justice Committee

SUMMARY: This bill would allow grandparents to petition the courts for visitation of children against the will of a fit parent. Read the bill.

WASHINGTON  STATE  LIFE  AT CONCEPTION  ACT
HB 1687

House Bill 1687 – Declaring that the right to life begins at the moment the individual comes into being. 
Prime Sponsor: Representative Elizabeth Scott, 39th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

SUMMARY: This bill affirms the right to life, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and Washington State, and is thereby vested in each human being beginning at the moment at which an individual comes into being. Read the bill.

2015 Session: Bills to Watch For

On Monday, a newly elected Washington State legislature will begin the new legislative session. The Washington State Senate continues to be controlled by a 26-23 Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) majority. Where last year, that majority was comprised of 24 Republicans and 2 Democrats, this year it is comprised of 25 Republicans and 1 Democrat.

The Washington State House has a 51-47 Democrat majority, a gain of four seats for the Republicans.

The primary task of each new legislative session is to pass a budget that will fund operations through 2017. Last month, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a budget that includes $1.4 billion in new taxes, including a new state capital gains tax. That proposal has already been met with some skepticism in the Senate.

But every session involves debates over non-budgetary matters. The influence of the abortion industry and the homosexual lobby is felt every year in Olympia. Thanks to the persistence of citizens like you and the courage of many legislators, their worst ideas have been stopped in the legislature for several years.

But here is a look at four issues we think could be debated in the legislature in the upcoming session.

Abortion Insurance Mandate: Senate Bill 5026 would require every private insurance company in Washington State to cover abortion. Every insurer already offers abortion, but under current law individuals and companies are free to purchase insurance that does not cover it if they prefer. This bill has been defeated in the Senate for the last three years.

Forcing Religious Hospitals to Perform Abortions: The abortion industry is increasingly concerned with the fact that Catholic hospitals are merging with public hospitals because Catholic hospitals are unwilling to perform abortions. Groups supportive of the abortion industry held a number of community events around the state over the summer and circulated a petition in support of legislation that would require religious hospitals to perform abortions in violation of their beliefs. We are not yet aware of specific legislation to address this issue but are preparing for it.

Payment for Webcam Abortions: This bill would facilitate payments from state sources for telemedicine, or medical consultations done remotely via computer. While this would be an efficiency in most cases, the abortion industry wants to be able to charge the state for prescribing chemical abortions remotely. They have used a similar strategy to increase their revenues in other states because it allows fewer medical staff to prescribe more abortions. Encouraging abortion providers to prescribe abortions remotely is especially problematic in Washington State where there is no requirement that parents know about a minor’s abortion. As a result, encouraging remote chemical abortions would create a situation in which minors are getting an abortion without their parent’s awareness and without any medical professionals nearby. In light of the fact that chemical abortions have killed women and frequently cause severe abdominal pain and bleeding, this would be a dangerous situation for the girls involved.

Banning Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) Therapy: In 2014, an effort was made to make it professional misconduct for a licensed therapist to help a minor reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction. The bill passed the House in 2014 but failed to pass the Senate. Proponents of the legislation claim that ice baths and shock therapy have been used in this therapy. Proponents have provided no evidence that it has happened recently—if ever—and it is widely condemned. It is also worth noting that imposing therapeutic goals on a client for any reason anyway is already professional misconduct. The real purpose of this legislation is to create legal liability for counselors who communicate the fact that it is possible for some people to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction. Previous version of this bill would have regulated licensed therapists, even if they are pastors or employees of churches working inside the church, making it a threat to individual liberty, parental rights, as well as religious freedom and free speech.

There will undoubtedly be other issues to deal with as well and we will keep you informed of all the developments affecting marriage, life, religious freedom, and parental rights.

You are encouraged to contact your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 anytime you have a thoughts to share or questions to ask.

Save the number as “Olympia” so you can easily share your thoughts.

Remember, in the legislature, without your involvement good things can’t happen. It doesn’t matter who has the better idea, but who has the most people behind their idea.

If you want to influence the policy that is made, make sure good policy is also good politics.

Your contribution of $5 or more allows us to do what we do. Thank you for your support.

To Change or Not to Change

To change or not to change. That is the question.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services departed from a long-standing policy when they agreed to use taxpayer dollars to pay for the sex change operation of a 74 year old Army Veteran who wants to be a woman.

While the decision does not create a right to have taxpayers fund sex-change operations, it opens the door for those who want to make the request and paves the way for the argument that sex changes are medically necessary and therefore must be funded.

Marissa Richman, the secretary of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, in response to the decision said that, “Everybody here is just really excited and elated that we are going to be able to help a lot of people who couldn’t get help and might have suffered depression or even tried to commit suicide because they didn’t have the resources to fulfill their dreams.”

The argument is that sex change operations reduce stress for those who want them by helping their body conform to their perception of themselves.

The facts don’t seem to support the premise though.

A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden followed 324 people who had sex change surgery and found that after 10 years, those who had sex change operations are twenty times more likely to commit suicide than the comparable non-transgender population.

Johns Hopkins Hospitals stopped doing sex change operations in the 1970’s because their studies found that psycho-social adjustments after surgery were no better than those who dealt with gender identity issues but didn’t have surgery.

In other words, it didn’t help people feel better.

Still, the fact that sex-change operations don’t actually help anyone isn’t the most concerning thing about this movement.

You may recall that earlier this year there was a significant effort in the Washington State legislature to outlaw therapy to help minors eliminate or reduce unwanted same-sex attraction.  This bill, which passed the House of Representatives, would have outlawed this kind of counseling from a licensed therapist even if it was from a church employee or pastor, inside a church building, and done at the request of the client.

Both New Jersey and California have already banned the practice.

We have apparently reached the place where gender is fluid but our sexual impulses are unchangeable; we need not submit to our DNA but we must submit to our feelings.

We are told that it is wrong to prevent someone from changing their gender but it is equally wrong to help someone change their sexual desires.

These positions can only be reconciled if we believe that reality is defined by how we feel.

But is it?

One of the things that separates us from animals is the ability to have rational thoughts about what is good, true, and beautiful separate from what we feel.  However, the entire effort to redefine marriage, family, gender, and parenthood is built on the premise that reality is defined by how you feel and how you feel cannot change.

That isn’t simply a disservice to people who struggle with their sexuality or gender, it’s a disservice to all of us because everyone struggles with impulses that, if acted upon, will ruin their lives and the lives of those around them.

Those who never learned to distinguish between how they feel and what they ought to do fill our prisons and asylums.

Those who did are honored in our monuments and museums.

We honor them because we acknowledge that the ability to distinguish between reality and how we feel is not only possible, but the only path to the kind of world we want to be part of.