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FPIW Joins Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood in Congress

The Family Policy Institute of Washington has signed onto a letter authored by FRC President Tony Perkins, addressed to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn.  The letter, sent last week, expressed support for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, which has already passed the U.S. House and is awaiting debate in the U.S. Senate.  This bill, a reconciliation bill, is slightly different from other bills in that they are not subject to filibuster, meaning that a simple majority in each chamber passes the bill.

If passed, experts estimate that the bill would reduce Planned Parenthood’s federal funding by almost 89% next year.

FPIW’s response is at the requests of thousands of Washingtonians outraged at the continued funding of Planned Parenthood. While this bill is considered “privileged” and is likely to pass the U.S. Senate, President Obama is expected to veto it.

You can read the letter in its entirety at this link and sign the petition to Defund Planned Parenthood here.

Supreme Court to Hear Major Abortion Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will officially hear arguments on the appeal of H.B. 2, the law passed by the Texas legislature that requires abortion clinics meet the same health standards and regulations as other outpatient surgery centers, as well as require abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Sign the petition to Investigate Planned Parenthood in Washington!

After the law passed in Texas, abortion clinics in the state appealed to the Supreme Court claiming the law unconstitutionally burdens women’s access to abortion because it may result in the closure of a number of abortion facilities that would fail to meet the safety standards.

That’s kind of the point, no?

Texas led the way in its effort to make sure a woman’s health isn’t in jeopardy when visiting an abortion clinic.  By holding the facilities accountable to sanitation standards and by requiring the doctors performing abortions to have authorization to admit a woman to a hospital if anything goes wrong, it appears evident that Texas really does care most about women’s health.

Even with the existing framework thrust upon us by Roe v. Wade, the Court’s opinion was quite clear in making sure that states maintained the right to place reasonable requirements on clinics, especially when they were enacted in the interest of the health of the woman.  The Court’s opinion stated:

The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient. This interest obviously extends at least to the performing physician and his staff, to the facilities involved, to the availability of after-care, and to adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise.

It’s very hard to imagine how Texas’ efforts would have crossed a constitutional line. But nonetheless, a victory for Texas in June would be a major victory for the safety of women and the eventual abolition of abortion.

 

You can read more about the legal standards and precedents to will be examined here.

Sign the petition to Investigate Planned Parenthood in Washington!

 

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 Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

The U.S. House voted Friday morning 240-189 to defund Planned Parenthood for one year by way of a reconciliation vote.  (Click here to see how your Congressman voted.)

Experts estimate that this bill being signed into law would reduce Planned Parenthood’s federal funding by almost 89% next year.  Votes on reconciliation bills are not subject to filibuster, meaning that a simple majority in each chamber passes the bill.  While this bill is likely to pass the U.S. Senate, President Obama is expected to veto it.

We will continue the fight to defund Planned Parenthood until the goal is accomplished, and we are grateful for the convictions of legislators around the United States who are committed to making sure this issue is raised continually until government’s sanction of the murder of innocent children is halted.

Sign the Petition to Defund Planned Parenthood!

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).

Are Your Union Dues Funding Planned Parenthood?

This post was written by Jonathan Abel, an intern with our friends at the Freedom Foundation.


People of faith should be very concerned with the social agenda of major government unions. These unions collect hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year from their members, allegedly for the purpose of workplace representation. Unfortunately, most members have no clue where their money is really being spent and are being misled. In Washington State and across the nation, government unions use their members’ dues to support a far-left social agenda that seeks to undermine traditional marriage and promote abortion.

The Freedom Foundation recently analyzed the past three years of federal financial reports for just five of the major unions that represent public employees in Washington. We analyzed both the financial activity of the local, in-state unions as well as the contributions of the various national union headquarters that Washington workers also pay dues to support.

All told, public employees represented by these five major unions financially supported $10.7 million dollars in union contributions to organizations opposed to traditional marriage and supportive of abortion between 2012 and 2014.

Click image to enlarge.

Blog Post Graph - Main Totals

 

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – $4,064,000

International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) – $175,000

National Education Association (NEA) – $2,522,000

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – $2,481,000

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – $540,000

Teamsters (IBT) – $918,000

Total:  $10,700,000

 

These very conservative numbers only include union contributions made directly to pro-choice/anti-traditional marriage groups. Many more millions have been given to political candidates who fight to advance these same agendas. Also, the totals do not include contributions made by affiliated unions in other states. Lastly, they do not include all public-sector unions in Washington, some of which do not have to file federal reports, like the massive Washington Education Association.

Nevertheless, the amount is staggering, as is the number of progressive groups unions support with members’ dues. Just over the course of the past few years, these unions financially supported groups like Pride at Work, the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute and the American Unity Fund. In 2012, the unions gave $135,000 to Washington United for Marriage, the successful initiative campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.

In October 2014, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) moved its 2015 Women’s conference out of Indianapolis because of its opposition to Indiana’s new religious freedom restoration act intended to protect the rights of religious business owners  In a statement, AFSMCE President Lee Saunders claimed, “This un-American law allowing businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers sets Indiana and our nation back decades in the struggle for civil rights. It is an embarrassment and cannot be tolerated.”

Union executives are equally defensive of their pro-abortion liberal allies. When Republicans in Congress threatened to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry rushed to defend the nation’s largest abortion provider:

“We have seen attacks on working families in state after state, but now the extremist wing of the Republican Party has chosen a new target – women.  Planned Parenthood is an essential part of our nation’s healthcare system, yet a handful of ideologically driven members of Congress want to prevent millions of American women from receiving life-saving healthcare … simply put, Planned Parenthood saves lives.”

Recent revelations indicate that Planned Parenthood not only provides abortion services, but is also involved in the sale of body parts harvested from aborted infants.

But SEIU doesn’t just pay lip service to Planned Parenthood.  From 2012 to 2014, members of these five unions in Washington helped subsidize $115,000 in contributions to Planned Parenthood alone, not counting money sent to other pro-choice organizations. During this time, SEIU carried the weight of these contributions, giving $105,000. Furthermore, in 2012, it provided over $1 million in telemarketing services for Planned Parenthood, according to a 2012 Planned Parenthood 990. The ties between SEIU and Planned Parenthood extend beyond the political, financial and ideological, and extend even to the matrimonial. SEIU’s international executive vice president, Kirk Adams, is married to Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Many people of faith would never be comfortable knowing their union dues went to directly support these activities. Unions do not typically boast about such contributions, knowing that many of their members would not fully support such an agenda. Even the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) on its website admitted that, “…most members don’t feel that it is appropriate for their unions to take positions on controversial social and cultural issues (such as abortion and gun control).”

Washington union members who believe in traditional marriage and support the sanctity of life should be aware that their dues are being used to fund a far-left social agenda.

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.

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. 

Inlsee Stands with Planned Parenthood, Condemns “Extremist” Critics

It has been a bad month for Planned Parenthood. With the release of their fourth video today, the Center for Medical Progress continues to expose the reality of what the abortion industry is.

But one friend they have not lost is Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee.

In response to a request from seven state legislators calling on him to stop public funding to Planned Parenthood, Governor Inslee released the following statement:

“Planned Parenthood provides millions of women across the country access to a full range of affordable health care and family planning services. National extremist organizations are engaged in a concerted effort to discredit, and ultimately eliminate, an organization that so many women rely on.

“Here in Washington State, where we have long fought to protect women’s access to family planning services, Planned Parenthood is on the front lines of women’s health care. I stand with them in their efforts to ensure every woman needing access to safe and legal reproductive health care can get it.”

Gov. Inslee can’t even bring himself to acknowledge that the allegations are troubling.

No statement about the need to wait for all the facts to come in before rushing to judgment. Just an unambiguous defense.

He insults the intelligence of every woman in America by acting as if they are unable to distinguish between real women’s health care and financially profiting from the organs of babies that have been recently killed.

He is not outraged by what the videos reveal but by the fact that they were ever made.

One video at a time, the Center for Medical Progress is shocking the nation’s conscience. They are exposing the cavalier way in which Planned Parenthood executives negotiate the sale of body parts.

But some of us may no longer have a conscience.

In the video released today, one Planned Parenthood medical assistant declared, “And, another boy!” while sifting through the remains to assess the usefulness of the babies’ organs.

Not even Planned Parenthood is able to defend themselves. Their response to the videos has been to tell their friends in the media not to share the videos.

That’s not how you behave if you’re proud of what you do.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and sponsor of numerous abortion bills resorted to the “but it’s legal” defense. She said, “Planned Parenthood is actually allowed, is my understanding, for scientific research, to use fetal tissue and that is not illegal”.

If your best defense of your behavior is “it’s not illegal” you’re admitting that it’s wrong.

In an environment when many of the most pro-abortion leaders in the country can’t bring themselves to defend the indefensible, Governor Inslee walks out onto the fringe of the fringe by making an unqualified defense of Planned Parenthood and his desire to send them more of your money.

And he thinks you’re the extremist.

If you would like to share your thoughts with Governor Inslee on this issue, you can call him at 360-902-4111 or email him by clicking here.

You can email your legislators and tell them to stop public funding of Planned Parenthood by clicking here.

After you’ve done that, please share this with friends who want to be part of the solution. We are the solution.

Silence in the face of evil is evil. – Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

Legislators Ask Attorney General to Investigate Planned Parenthood

Last week, seven legislators sent a letter to Governor Inslee demanding that Washington State stop funding Planned Parenthood. Since then, 34 legislators have sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson requesting him to investigate whether Planned Parenthood in Washington has been selling organs from aborted babies for financial gain.  You can read the letter and see who signed it below.

If your legislators signed this letter, let them know you appreciate their efforts to investigate Planned Parenthood. If your legislators did not sign the letter, call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them here and ask them to join their colleagues in compelling the Governor and Attorney General to investigate and stop funding Planned Parenthood.

Then call Attorney General Ferguson’s office at 360-753-6200 and ask him to investigate Planned Parenthood. Be respectful, but please be heard.


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