Hearing Tuesday: “Free Abortions For All”

According to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Washington State is given an A+ rating for their abortion policy. That basically means the abortion industry thinks Washington State is the gold standard.

That being said, you can always make more money and kill more babies.

That seems to be the reason for SB 6219, which doesn’t make abortion any more legal than it already is but would ensure that abortions will never be paid for by the woman who actually receives the abortion.

As always, this is being done in the name of “access”.

In recent years, abortion industry advocates have proposed an Abortion Insurance Mandate which would have required an insurance policy that covers the birth of a baby to also cover a procedure to kill it.

This bill includes similar language but takes the additional step of creating a new program that pays for the abortions and contraception for those who enter the country illegally.

Unlike previous Abortion Insurance Mandate bills which had weak language claiming to protect conscience rights, this bill has no such pretense.  Religious organizations, including churches, would be compelled to pay for abortions through their insurance policies, as would every business and individual.

The Catholic Church alone employs tens of thousands of people in Washington State.

Regardless, even if you are not an employer, this bill would force everyone in Washington, through their taxes, to pay even more money for abortions by offering it, for free, to people who may not even be residents of Washington State or even citizens of the country.

The abortion industry, which already receives more than $500 million from government sources, is finding much of the country to be increasingly inhospitable.  While Congress has yet to take action to defund Planned Parenthood, the Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation against Planned Parenthood and their partners for trafficking in aborted baby body parts. At least fifteen states have taken steps to stop funding Planned Parenthood entirely.

In response, they are digging their heels in where they can and taking as much as they can get.

This bill does represent a redirection of sorts by abortion industry advocates. In past years, the Abortion Insurance Mandate was referred to euphemistically as the “Reproductive Parity Act” in an Orwellian effort to claim that it is unequal for an insurance policy to pay for a birth but not an abortion.

For better or worse, this bill is more honest.

While it will provide free abortions and contraception for anyone who wants them and a guarantee that they won’t have to share any of the associated costs, no such offer is being made to women who want to give their babies life.

No more pretending to care about “parity” or “equality”.   Abortion is clearly preferred.

In two decades, the abortion industry has moved from “safe, legal, and rare” to “anyone, anytime, show me the money.”

The public hearing on this bill will be held at 10 a.m. in the Health and Long-Term Care Committee on Tuesday, January 16th in the John A. Cherberg Building, Hearing Room 2.

Also at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 16th, will be a hearing on a bill to permit contract surrogacy (SB 6037 ) in the Senate Law & Justice Committee.  That meeting will be in the Cherberg Building in Hearing Room 4

One date, two hearings. One bill ensures more babies will be aborted, the other makes it possible for those who aren’t aborted to be sold by their parents.

Contact your legislators through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or send them an email by clicking here. Your address will identify who your elected officials are in both cases.  Then make plans to show up at the hearings and let your voice be heard.

Unless people of good will demand otherwise, these bills will become law. So visit your legislators, make a phone call, show up at a hearing.  Silence is consent.

 

What to Say to Your Elected Officials About Contract Surrogacy

By Katy Faust

The “Uniform Parentage Act” in Washington State is some of the most radical and dangerous legislation regarding the rights of children. PLEASE SHARE this post and tag your Washington friends.

According to Senate Bill 6037 there are no limits on the number, sex, marital status, or genetic connection of the adults who can become “parents” of a child. Six men could, for example, draft a contract, obtain or use their own sperm, purchase an egg, hire a poor woman to gestate the child, and walk out of the hospital with the full force of our State Government giving all six men parental authority over that baby.

You can contact your legislators by calling them at the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here.  Even if you don’t know who your legislators are, providing your address to the Hotline number or to the form in the link above will quickly identify your representatives and get the message to the right person.

Things you could say to your representative:

“I’ve never met a child who didn’t mourn their lost parent. This bill would normalize, incentivize, and promote that kind of life-long wound. And put the state’s seal of approval on it.”

“I don’t think that kids should be cut-and-pasted into the lives of just any adults who can acquire them. I think they have a right to be known and loved by their mother and father whenever possible. But this bill treats them as commodities which can be swapped and traded among adults.”

“I oppose any kind of monetary transition when it comes to creating babies. People should not be bought and sold.”

“I am an adoptive parent and I had to rightly undergo extensive vetting and background checks prior to having an unrelated child placed with me. This bill grants parental authority to biological strangers who do not have to undergo any kind screening to become parents. That is a dangerous double standard.”

“I never knew my father. And I wouldn’t wish that life on anyone. But instead of recognizing my scenario as a tragedy, this bill actually encourages the creation of fatherless children as long as the adults have a valid contract.”

“I love researching my genealogy and heritage. I love being part of a larger family story. I cannot imagine the law endorsing the loss of 50% or 100% of a child’s heritage as if it won’t matter to them.”

“I think it’s strange that biology matters enough to these adults who often create a child with a genetic connection to one of them. Yet they totally disregard the fact that the child probably cares about biology too and will seek out the other half of their biological identity.”

“Much of the rest of the world, especially poor developing countries, are running from surrogacy because it exploits women and children. This bill makes Washington a destination for commercial surrogacy tourism. No thanks. I want my state to be known for anti-trafficking efforts, not baby selling.”

“Even if you pass this bill, do you think you can legislate away a child’s yearning for their missing parent? Many adopted children who are well-loved by adoptive parents still desire to find and know their birth parents. Shouldn’t our laws reflect their primal needs not the desires of adults?”

“I didn’t know anything about this subject, but then I read some of the stories of kids who are intentionally mother- and fatherless because of donor-conception and surrogacy. If we pass this bill, we will be ignoring the most important voices on this issue- the children.”

For more statements from donor-conceived people, click here.

Banning “Conversion Therapy” For Kids: Talking Points v. Reality

Should people be able to choose the kind of therapy they want, or should legislators do that for them?

That is the question inherent in SB 5722 that claims to restrict “conversion therapy”.  According to the bill, the therapy that would be prohibited therapy that would “change behaviors or gender expressions,” or “eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions toward individuals of the same sex.”

I hope you didn’t miss that.

In the very same sentence, the bill tells therapists that they cannot help a client change their sexual desires or behaviors, but the only option is to help a client change their gender.

Why can you change your gender but not your sexual desires? No one knows.  At this point, it is progressive orthodoxy so critical thinking about the issue is not allowed.

Proponents of the bill claim that preventing “conversion therapy” prevents child abuse.  In recent years, they’ve told stories about children being subjected to ice baths and shock therapy in the name of stopping them from experiencing same-sex attraction.

Of course, abuse of this kind, if it were occurring, would be and should be universally condemned.

Significantly, in three years of legislative debate over this issue, those trying to ban these conversations have failed to identify a single therapist in Washington State who has ever used ice baths, shock therapy, or even abusive talk therapy in an effort to stop them from being gay or transgender.

Fortunately, coercion or abuse of a client by a therapist is already prohibited in any context.

As a result, the only change that would result from this bill is to prevent minors from getting certain kinds of help.

Does that make sense?

Tragically, we are familiar with the fact that the transgender community is much more likely to attempt suicide.  Are we unable to comprehend why a minor who experiences gender dysphoria might want help embracing and identify with his biological sex?

Besides, every study that has ever looked at the issue has found that gender dysphoria in minors goes away on its own in the vast majority of cases.  Shouldn’t we want children pursuing a path that is less likely to be harmful if they believe that’s what they want?

This bill doesn’t ban coercive counseling.  That’s already illegal.

Nor does it doesn’t ban abuse of children either. That’s illegal as well.

It simply prohibits kids from getting the kind of help they might want because the legislature doesn’t think they should want it.

Remember, in Washington State, minors can get an abortion without telling their parents. Old enough to get an abortion but not old enough to decide they want to live as their biological gender.

People are different.  We have different beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences.  Those differences inevitably inform not only what we do in life but also the things that we want in life.

Things that cause you great pain might not bother me at all.  If something bothers you, shouldn’t you have the freedom to try to change it?

This bill says no, but I think most reasonable people would say yes.

A public hearing on this bill is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th at 10 am in the Senate Law and Justice Committee in the Cherberg Building, Hearing Room 4.  Public hearings are always open to the public and the public is always welcome to testify.

Washington State residents can call their legislators through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here.

 

Six Reasons Why Washington State’s “Uniform Parentage Act” Should Die A Terrible Death

By Katy Faust

The Washington State legislature is planning to ring in the new year by violating children’s rights as they consider SB 6037, “The Uniform Parenting Act.”  

In discussions on family structure- whether you’re talking about marriage, divorce, or the booming fertility industry- the desire of adults takes center stage.  SB 6037 is no different. If you peruse the 55-page bill you’ll discover that any consideration of the rights or needs of children is shockingly absent.  But just because the bill fails to acknowledge their rights, it doesn’t mean that children don’t have them.

Here are six reasons why this bill is bad for kids and should be roundly rejected.

  1. According to SB 6037 Dead Unrelated Adults Have More Rights than Children

When it comes to family, children have universally-recognized rights. At the very top of the list; children have a natural right to a relationship with both biological parents whenever possible. The United Nations enshrined this childhood right in their Convention on the Rights of the Child—the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.  When these rights are respected and children are raised and loved by both biological parents, it maximizes their chances for a physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy life.  Child Trends reports, “..it is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support children’s development.”  

What happens when a child’s right to their mother and father is ignored?  SB 6037 shows us – children are objectified and put at risk. They become commodities that can be cut and pasted into any adult arrangement. Maybe one parent, or two or three or maybe more. Men and/or women. Married or unmarried. Genetically related or genetic strangers. Living or dead.  

I wish I were joking.  But, according to SB 6037, deceased unrelated adults who the child has never met but who “intended” to parent prior to their death, can be recognized as a child’s “parent.”

In other words, the desires of a dead adult matter more to the State than a child’s right.  

  1. It Replaces “Biology” with “Intent” as the Basis for Parenthood

Despite the fact that children have a right to (and often desperately long for) a relationship with both their biological mother and father, SB 6037 grants parental authority to any adult who intends to parent a child created through reproductive technologies, regardless of their biological relationship to the child.

Biological connection has been the foundation of parenthood in every society throughout history for good reason. The biological bond distinguishes the parent/child relationship from any other relationship. Parental rights expert Melissa Moschella explains,

“The relationship between children and their biological parents is intimate, permanent, and identity-constituting. It defines the biological aspect of the child’s identity—for if the child had different biological parents, he would not be the same person; indeed he would not exist at all. Children do not miss being loved by those with whom they have no intimate relationship; the unique, irreplaceable intimacy of the parent-child relationship manifests itself in the fact that a child can miss the specific love and care of an absent biological parent, even when he is well-loved by (say) adoptive parents.”

I am an adoptive mom and I will tell you that even a loving, well-intentioned adoptive parent cannot replace or fully compensate for the loss of a child’s biological parent. That’s why adult adoptees often search for their birth parents and many have been fighting for decades to obtain copies of their original birth certificates. It’s also why donor-conceived people are turning to DNA searches like Ancestery.com to find any biological relatives from fourth cousins to half-siblings or (the grand prize), their egg or sperm “donor” who many consider to be the parent they were never allowed to know.

While it is sometimes impossible to be raised by both biological parents, those situations are tragic for children and they should never be intentionally replicated through reproductive technologies. Further, to have such grievous circumstances normalized, encouraged or incentivized by government is appalling.  

  1. It’s Dangerous.

And by dangerous, I don’t mean in the abstract sense. Statistically, the most dangerous place for a child is in the home of an unrelated cohabiting male. Google the words “mother’s boyfriend” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s well established within the social science community that biological parents are statistically the safest adults in a child’s life. While there are certainly heroic step-parents out there (I’m honored to know several) the reality is neither a romantic relationship with one’s biological parent nor an “intent” to parent mitigates the increased risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment that children face from unrelated caregivers. That means donor-conceived people begin life, statistically, in a more risky family structure because there will always be at least one non-biological parent. In no way should such arrangements be sanctioned by government.

Social workers understand the risks that unrelated custodial adults pose to children and that’s why adoptive parents, like my husband and I, rightly undergo exhaustive vetting prior to placement. Adoption specialists know full well that “intent” alone does not a good parent make. Intent must be accompanied by fingerprints, background checks, references, parent training, and post-placement supervision. Acquiring unrelated children should never be easy. But SB 6037 makes it possible with the stroke of a pen.

  1. Surrogacy or Trafficking? Depends on the Timing

One of the most shocking provisions in SB 6037, is the section on genetic surrogacy.  A genetic surrogate is a woman pregnant with her own biological child. A child that she can legally sell if she is in possession of a surrogacy contract signed prior to conception. Without a contract, that same transaction is considered child trafficking according to state and federal law.  In one case, she’s “helping someone become a parent.” In the other… she’s a felon.  Of course, the baby won’t understand that legal distinction; either way they lose their mother upon payment. Here’s what one surrogate-born man has to say about it:

“I don’t care why my parents or my mother did this. It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want… But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity. Babies are not commodities. Babies are human beings.”

Even if the child is born to a gestational surrogate (non-genetic mother), that woman is still the only parent that the child knows.  It’s her voice, her smell, her body that the baby craves.  Separation from that mother, regardless of the genetic connection, is traumatic for babies.  In any other circumstance, the separation of children from their mothers rightly elicits a response of outrage or grief.  Yet when we are shown pictures of children with their “intended parents” after they’ve been lifted from their surrogate mother’s body, we are supposed to celebrate.

I guarantee you, the baby isn’t celebrating.

  1. It Creates Government-Approved Stateless Children

When it comes to surrogacy, SB 6037 flips the state from “red” to “green.”  It overturns Washington’s prohibition on commercial surrogacy and makes the state an international surrogacy destination. To qualify as an approved Washington Surrogacy contract, the parties simply need to have one appointment in the state. That means “intended parents” can find a poor brown woman from abroad, impregnate her, fly her to Seattle for the weekend, send her back and “Viola!” they have a “Washington Surrogacy” contract.  Or, “intended parents” from countries like France and Germany (there’s no stipulation that any party needs to be a Washington resident) where surrogacy is banned could complete the initial medical evaluation in Spokane while other medical procedures and appointments take place (literally anywhere in the world that permits surrogacy contract/arrangements) overseas.  The result?  Another violation of children’s rights; their “right to a nationality” as the “intended parents” will be unable to bring the child into their country and/or make them a citizen.  After all, the “illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad” is also a violation of children’s rights.

No matter how it happens, surrogacy is fraught with ethical issues. That’s why so many countries are banning it outright.  Whether you are a feminist concerned with how surrogacy exploits vulnerable women or an activist fighting human trafficking, there is no shortage of reasons to object to this inhumane practice. The list of troubling surrogacy cases is endless; from pedophiles who custom-order children to abuse, to a single, mentally unstable, disabled man who used surrogacy to father triplets, to abandoned “defective” surrogate babies. Surrogacy isn’t something that Washington State (or any state) should be known for.

  1. A Growing Number of Donor-Conceived Adults Are Critical of Donor Conception

Many donor-conceived children aren’t children anymore.  They’re adults who strongly object to the practice of purchasing genetic material from one (or both) biological parents to manufacture children because:

  • It treats children as objects to be shopped for and sold: “I knew from an early age that I was purchased and selected from essentially a catalog. I knew that my blonde hair and blue eyes was somehow valued above other colorations —because my mother never fell in love with my father, he was never a full human being to her only a handful of breeding details… ” – Alana Newman
  • It intentionally denies children a relationship with one/both biological parents and extended family “Not only have I personally experienced what feels like the death of my biological father, but I also continue to grieve for the loss of the opportunity to know my biological half-siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents” –Kathleen LaBounty
  • It leads to identity struggles and strained family relationships: “The practice of “donor conception” left me with this tangible feeling of the ground constantly shifting under my feet, a never-ending stream of trust issues and a lost kinship with the first male role model in my young adult life.” – Nicholas Isel

The largest study ever conducted on children conceived via sperm donation found that on average they “are hurting more, are more confused, and feel more isolated from their families. They fare worse than their peers raised by biological parents on important outcomes such as depression, delinquency, and substance abuse.”

It’s no wonder more and more donor-conceived children oppose this “new way of making families.”  Or, as one donor-conceived woman puts it, this “new way of ripping families apart.”

Act Like Adults and Protect Kids by Rejecting SB 6037

Biology-based parenting views children as vulnerable humans with rights and around whom adults should orient their lives.  The intent-based parenthood outlined in SB 6037 treats children as commodities which can be legally swapped and traded, cut and pasted into any and every conceivable adult arrangement.  And statistically, no other “arrangement” offers children the level of benefits- or the biological identity- that being raised in the home of both biological parents will.

And let’s just say that our Senators ignore the rights of children and pass SB 6037- legally erasing their bond to one or both biological parents. They will make some adults very happy, but they won’t be able to legislate away a child’s longing for their mother and father.

If you’re in Washington State and think that children’s right should trump adult desires, instruct your senator to put Them (the kids) before Us (adults) and vote down SB 6037.

Katy Faust is the founder of  Them Before Us

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Children’s Rights, Parental Rights, and Therapists Rights In Cross-hairs as Session Begins

Earlier this week we told you about a bill that makes contract surrogacy legal in Washington State.  In doing so, the bill makes it illegal for courts to consider the best interest of the child in custody disputes that would arise out of surrogacy contracts. You can read more about that here.

Two other concerning bills will have public hearings in the first week of the legislative session, which begins Monday, January 8th.

Third-Party Visitation

Senate Bill 5598 would grant relatives, including but not limited to grandparents, the right to seek visitation with a child over the objection of the parents.

Unfortunately, family feuds often result in a child being used, for example, as a pawn between a child’s parents and grandparents.  Many of those stories are highly sympathetic and involve children losing the opportunity to see their grandparents who, in some cases, are the only parents they have ever known.

The bill would allow a relative or a parent, who has an “ongoing and substantial” relationship with the child a right to seek visitation and would be granted if the court found that the child will “suffer harm or substantial risk of harm” if visitation is denied.

Despite the sad family stories that bring rise to the bill, the bill has broad implications for parental rights generally.

Today in Washington State, a court is not allowed to insert its judgment as to what is best for a child until parents have been found by the court to be unfit.

This bill would change that standard so that a court could overrule the preferences of the parents without even an accusation of unfitness.  All the court would need is a different opinion about what the child needs.

We believe the government should not be allowed to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the parents simply because it believes it knows better.

It’s worth discussing the third-party visitation bill at the same time we discuss the surrogacy bill because of the inconsistent ways these bills use the “best interest of the child standard.”

The surrogacy bill makes it illegal to consider the interest of the best interest of the child if doing so would delay getting a child into the arms of adults who paid money for it. However, the third-party visitation bill forces the court to consider “the best interest of the child” when it means forced visitation with someone else over the objection of the parents.

Tragically, the unifying principle seems to be making it easier to separate kids from their parents.

As challenging as many family situations are, creating more opportunities for family members to sue each other is not likely going to lead to greater family harmony.

The hearing for SB 5598 is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9th at 10 am in the Senate Law and Justice Committee.  You are encouraged to attend and any member of the public is welcome to testify.

Ban on Life Change Therapy for Minors

Senate Bill 5722 is a bill aimed at prohibiting therapists from helping minors who experience unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

Proponents of the bill claim it is necessary to protect children from shock therapies and ice baths.  However, in three years of debate, proponents of the bill have failed to identify even a single therapist in Washington who has ever engaged in abusive or coercive practices in an effort to change someone’s sexual orientation.  Proponents of the bill also refused to pass legislation banning aversive therapies like ice baths and shock therapy generally.

Coercion of a patient for any reason is already professional misconduct.

The real purpose of the bill is to make it illegal for therapists to communicate the fact that it is possible to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction or overcome gender dysphoria.  Though true, these facts are offensive.

Therefore, this bill would create legal liability for professionals whose client’s might wish to identify with their birth gender or not act out on feelings of same-sex attraction.

As a result, it would be illegal for a minor to get the kind of help they want since the legislature would have determined that they should not want it.

It also interferes with parental rights by telling parents there are some kinds of therapy that you are now allowed to seek out for your child under any circumstances.

This is especially problematic as it applies to gender dysphoria. Every study that has ever looked into the question has concluded that a majority of minors who experience gender dysphoria will ultimately outgrow it.  Nevertheless, this bill would deny minors the ability to receive professional help that would affirm their identity as a member of their birth sex.

In fact, simply treating a child with gender dysphoria could create liability for therapists.  If the feelings disappear during the course of therapy, as it usually does eventually, the therapist could be accused of engaging in “conversion therapy” simply because the child came to identify more with their actual gender.

The bill would even restrict the speech of therapists who are pastors or full-time employees of a religious organization operating in a religious context.

The hearing for SB 5722 is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th, at 10 am in the Senate Health Care Committee.

If you are a therapist who might be impacted by this bill or a person who has gone through counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, and would be willing to share your story with lawmakers in person or in writing, please contact us.

To share your thoughts with your legislators about these or any other issues, call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here.

Once you’ve done your part, share this with a friend so they can too.

Selling Babies? Many Washington Legislators Say Yes

The legislative session hasn’t even begun here in Washington State, but it’s already off to a controversial start.

Senate Bill 6037, which is co-sponsored by 28 Senators, would make it legal to sell parental rights through commercial surrogacy.  Apparently, the arc of history now bends toward selling babies.

To understand what the bill does, and why its a problem,  you’ll need a little background.

We all know that babies come from women. But sometimes women agree to carry a baby for someone else. Often this is done to help a sister or best friend who may be unable to get pregnant.  This is called altruistic surrogacy.

In other cases, a woman gets paid to carry a baby for someone else. This is called contract surrogacy, or commercial surrogacy because a contract is formed and signed in which the woman surrenders her parental rights to her child for money before she gets pregnant.

While altruistic surrogacy is legal in Washington State, contract surrogacy, as in the vast majority of places around the world, is illegal.  If you take a surrogacy contract into court and ask a judge to enforce it, the court will refuse.  Because court’s don’t enforce them, surrogacy contracts are rare.

Some contracts aren’t enforced because we, as a community, have decided there are some types of contracts we don’t want people making. For example, we don’t want people contracting for the murder of their boss or for a truckload of cocaine.

If your hitman fails to perform but doesn’t give you your deposit back, good luck getting help from a judge.

In the same way, contracts for parental rights are illegal because we don’t want people selling their kids.

The reasons why may be obvious but are worth restating.

In a dispute over a car sale, the judge will resolve the dispute based on what the parties agreed to when the contract was signed.  The court won’t worry about which party will take better care of the car because it really doesn’t matter.  It’s just a car.

In disputes involving custody of a child, the court acknowledges the rights of the parents as well as the rights of the child, whose rights are actually paramount.

That brings us back to SB 6037.  It would turn a custody battle into a contract dispute in which only the rights and interests of the adults are allowed to be considered.

If it seems harsh, that’s because it is. But there is a sort of logic behind the bill.

The reason this bill exists is that some men in same-sex relationships want biological children. For most of the legislative sponsors, this bill is probably nothing more than a way to show they care about gay people. Yes, heterosexual couples use surrogates as well, but the political push for contract surrogacy is being made primarily by gay men.

Since gay men can’t have children on their own, they often pay women to carry a child for them.  This means they frequently end up in inconvenient and expensive custody disputes.

This bill would resolve those conflicts quickly and neatly in favor of the party with money by forbidding the court from considering the best interest of the child or circumstances that might have changed since the mother first entered into the agreement.

You learned that the intended parents are actually drug dealers with prior convictions for child molestation? Too bad.  You signed the contract and took the money.

Good luck kid.

If Washington State becomes a place that resolves custody disputes quickly rather than correctly, it would become a destination for people who want children through surrogacy.

As a result, more women in financial trouble will reluctantly agree to become surrogates, change their mind during their pregnancy, and then have the child they have bonded with ripped from them at birth.

Also, more children will be created for the purpose of being raised by someone who is not their biological parent.

For decades, countries like Cambodia, Thailand, and India, have been global destinations for people wanting surrogacy contracts. In just the last few years, all of them have either restricted it or outlawed it entirely.  Canada banned it in 2004.  It is illegal almost everywhere on the planet, though Iran and Ukraine are rare exceptions.

Why would we open ourselves up to all the trouble the rest of the world is trying to get away from?

We all love adoption, but adoption requires a lengthy process that includes home studies and background checks. Contract surrogacy lacks all those safeguards. The only thing required to get parental rights to someone else’s child through commercial surrogacy is money.

Even if no custody dispute arises from a surrogacy contract, there is still a victim.  Here’s what one man born of surrogacy had to say:

“How do you think we feel about being created specifically to be given away? You should all know that kids form their own opinions. I don’t care why my parents or my mother did this. It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want… But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. I don’t care if you think I am not your child, what about what I think! When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity. Babies are not commodities. Babies are human beings. How do you think this makes us feel to know that there was money exchanged for us?”

Are we a community where the adults exist to take care of the kids, or are we a community where children exist to meet the needs of the adults?

Whatever complications we adults are facing, making it legal to sell children is not the solution.

You can email your Washington State legislators by clicking here.  You can also call them through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to share your thoughts about SB 6037 or anything else.  Please be respectful but please be heard.  Once you do that, share this information with someone else who cares.  Knowledge is power but silence is consent.

Oregon Court Uphold $135,000 Fine Against Bakery

Thursday, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a $135,000 fine against a bakery had declined to bake a custom wedding cake for a civil union ceremony.

The case began in 2013 when Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer that they would not be able to bake a cake for their civil union.  In 2013, same-sex marriage did not exist in Oregon.

A complaint was filed against the bakery and the fine of $135,000 was assessed by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which included damages for “emotional distress.”

Sweet Cakes by Melissa has since closed.

The Kleins appealed the decision, arguing that it violated their rights as artists to free speech.  In their ruling, the court disagreed.

First Liberty Institute, which represented the Kleins, expressed their disappointment in the decision in a statement released by their president and CEO, Kelly Shackelford. “Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others. Today, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution’s promises of religious liberty and free speech.”

Through their attorney, Rachel and Laura Bowman-Cryer issued a statement saying, “It does not matter how you were born or who you love.  All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally.”

The challenge those on the left have with squaring decisions like this with the concept of “equality”, is that the application is anything but equal.  The outcome of this decision is that, in Oregon, it is illegal to decline to bake a cake saying same-sex marriage is good but legal to decline to bake a cake that says same-sex marriage is bad.

The backdrop to this decision is the fact that the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments heard in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Human Rights Commission and is expected to issue an opinion in June.  That case also involves a bakery who declined to decorate cakes for a same-sex wedding.

A decision in favor of the baker, in that case, would force reconsideration of this case in light their decision.

While the Kleins and anyone who cares about the First Amendment is undoubtedly disappointed by this decision, help could be on the way.

 

The Binary That Really Does Need to Go Away

The left today is waging a war on “the binary”.  The binary they want to destroy is the gender binary, which is the idea that everyone is either male or female.

They now argue, with a completely straight face, that there are infinite genders and you can be any gender you want or none at all.

Not only do they believe this new concept of gender is true, they also believe that people who disagree deserve scorn, ridicule, and harassment.

Therein lies the irony.

In their attempts to eliminate the gender binary, which is real and helpful, they have created a moral binary that is imaginary and harmful.

Their moral binary operates like this: there are two types of people, good people who believe in abortion and the sexual revolution and bad people who don’t.

The way this is working out in practice is just as ridiculous as it sounds in theory.

Leading up to Christmas, the LGBT mob protested a donut shop in Portland, Maine because they had partnered with the Salvation Army to identify needy families in the community they could help at Christmas.

Not seeing the problem?

Well, according to the mob, the Salvation Army is discriminatory because it is a Christian organization and, you know, sex stuff.  Therefore, the donut shop’s attempt to help needy families was actually bad because they were also helping the Salvation Army.

So let’s picket and leave a bunch of nasty reviews.

In Seattle, the Union Gospel Mission which has, for 85 years, helped meet the immediate and long-term needs of the homeless regardless of who they are, was sued because they wouldn’t hire someone who could not abide by their faith-based code of conduct.

Little Sisters of the Poor, is a nearly two-hundred-year-old nunnery. Their members take a vow of poverty and commit their lives to caring for the elderly.

After successfully resisting efforts from the Obama Administration to make them pay for birth control, several states have recently renewed the effort to make them do things that violate the beliefs that have led them to a life of service.

The lesson in all of this? Regardless of what you do in the course of your life, if you disagree with them about abortion, sexuality, or gender, you are a “bad person” and deserving of the scorn that comes with it.

That’s messed up.

There’s also a lot of irony in the fact that a movement that spent most of the last century railing against moral absolutes developing such an inflexible moral sense of right and wrong.

Though there may be a silver lining in the fact that they are now acknowledging that right and wrong actually exist.

Sometimes people do the right thing, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes we disagree about what the right thing is.

Regardless, the idea that everybody is either all good or all bad is something we need to move away from quickly.

That’s a binary we should be happy to get rid of.

Unconstitutional to fire Chief Cochran for beliefs, Judge says

The City of Atlanta fired their fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, because of a book he wrote that restated biblical teachings about human sexuality.  Despite never having faced accusations of creating a hostile work environment or discrimination in hiring or firing practices, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said at that time that “his actions and decision-making undermine his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce.”

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Atlanta violated chief Cochran’s Constitutional Rights.

While Chief Cochran claimed that he was fired because of his religious beliefs, the City of Atlanta argued he had been dismissed because he did not comply with the City’s pre-clearance rules for outside employment by writing a book on his own time without getting the city’s approval.

Concerning the city’s policy, the court said,

“This policy would prevent an employee from writing and selling a book on golf or badminton on his own time and, without prior approval, would subject him to firing. It is unclear to the Court how such an outside employment would ever affect the City’s ability to function, and the City provides no evidence to justify it…. The potential for stifled speech far outweighs an unsupported assertion of harm.”

Chief Cochran had previously been appointed by President Obama to serve as the Administrator of the United States Fire Administration.

Around the country, bakers, florists, counselors, print shops, churches, and firemen have faced challenges in the workplace because of their convictions. This decision is an encouraging sign that, in some quarters, there remains an appreciation that the First Amendment exists, in part, to prohibit the government from punishing people because of their beliefs.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Human Rights Commission of Colorado, in which the state of Colorado said a bakery is legally required to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.

A decision, in that case, is expected in June.

Hopefully, Chief Cochran’s case will signal a trend toward more tolerance of belief in the workplace.

Diversity is a good thing, right?

 

Are You a Highly Rejecting Parent?

A lot of people are concerned about new policies being adopted in schools around the country dealing with gender.

As gender hysteria continues its lap around the track, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that some people don’t want their kids being told that there is an infinite number of genders and they can pick anyone they want.

It is also true that schools are making plans to deal with uncooperative parents and, for the most part, parents have no idea.

With respect to a student who wants to change their gender, this policy from Massachusetts says:

In some cases, however, notifying parents carries risks for the student. Prior to notification of any parent or guardian regarding the transition process, school staff should work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the guardian will be involved in the process and must consider the physical and mental health, well-being, and safety of the transitioning student.”

That’s right, if your child is dealing with serious emotional and psychological issues at school, they’re going to consult with your child to determine whether you should be alerted.

The term they use for the wrong kind of parents? “Highly rejecting” parents.

We know Washington State schools are adopting the same policies. Multiple teachers in Washington have told us confidentially about mandatory meetings they were part of in which they were specifically instructed not to tell parents about a child who was transitioning in school from grade school up to high school.

There’s a long list of problems with this scenario.

We’ll start with the fact that the fact that the lefts own literature shows that somewhere between 60 and 97 percent of minors who experience gender dysphoria will ultimately outgrow it.

If it’s likely a temporary phenomenon, why make permanent, physical or social changes?  Do we really want to give puberty blockers to an 11 year-old when in all probability their feelings of gender dysphoria are temporary?

Beyond that, however, this development reinforces the need for families to reassert the truth that children belong to their parents, not the government.

I know we’re all busy, but parents need to acknowledge that schools across the country are plotting how to keep parents in the dark about what is happening in their child’s life.

Is it happening at your child’s school?

I don’t know, but you better find out.

Get to know your local superintendent and principle. Run for school board.  Whatever you do, do not feed your kids to a system that is convinced you are a problem they are going to solve.