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Maine Woman Bans Gun Owners and Supporters from Restaurants, and I Support Her

 

A Maine woman is refusing to serve customers who don’t agree with her beliefs and values system.  And I support her.

I support her right to choose who she serves or doesn’t serve, and for what reasons, at her restaurant(s). It doesn’t matter if I believe her views are right or wrong, or think she’s ‘on the wrong side of history’. She worked hard to build her businesses, and she should have the freedom to operate them as she sees fit. Period.

This same freedom should be extended to bakers, florists, and photographers who don’t want to provide services for a gay wedding.  It should be given to a print shop that doesn’t want to print posters for the Westboro Baptist Church.  It should be given to doctors, nurses, and hospitals who don’t want to provide abortions.  It should be given to Muslim catering companies who don’t want to serve pork or Jewish people who don’t want to work on the Sabbath.  

This is freedom.  Get outside the groupthink and apply some consistency.

Our politics have led us to a place of many divisions. Our social balance hangs, in many cases, upon a thread.  People find offense at nearly every word spoken.  Protests are held in abundance, around the clock, for any and every reason.  Our world is a tinderbox, ready to catch on fire at the drop of a hat.  We couldn’t get along if our very lives depended on it.

Perhaps the last thing that we all have in common is that we all want to be free.

We should all be willing to fight for others’ freedom of conscience, even if we disagree with their beliefs, and even if we think the Constitution should require them to serve us.

Losing freedom is a lot more expensive than being forced to go eat a meal somewhere else.

Zachary Freeman is the Communications Director for FPIW.  You can follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZacharyGFreeman.

Statistics Show Delaying Marriage Hurts Families, Incomes

Not only are married men healthier and happier than their single peers, but statistics show they are also more financially successful.

“Becoming a husband means growing up, making a transition from prolonged semi-adolescence to true male adulthood,” says Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and the author of a study exploring the relationship between marriage and poverty in America.

Holding other variables constant, men earn 0.9 percent higher wages for each year they are married. After being married for ten years, husbands earn 17 to 20 percent more than unmarried peers with the same characteristics.

These statistics reveal an economic phenomenon that economists have termed the marriage premium. Entering into marriage seems to cause men to be more productive and receive higher earnings, after controlling for variables such as the unemployment rate, age, race/ethnicity, education, and mother’s characteristics.

Men who delay or forego marriage lose out on the marriage premium. For each year that a man resists tying the knot, he falls further behind his married peers professionally and financially, sacrificing the significant bump in wages and productivity that he would have received otherwise.

The effect of the marriage premium on a man’s financial condition becomes more pronounced over time. After decades of receiving the 0.9 percent annual increase in wages that is caused by entering into marriage, married men are often making tens of thousands of dollars more per year than their single peers.

Even less-educated men benefit from the marriage premium. The marriage premium among married men with a high school diploma or less is at least $17,000. This helps substantiate conclusions from Brookings Institution researchers that indicate getting married is more effective in preventing and reducing poverty than getting more education.

Many millennials want to wed but are delaying marriage until they have achieved financial security. However, the marriage premium phenomenon seems to indicate that marriage allows for the financial security millennials are seeking.

Marriage also has a strong effect upon poverty. A 2003 study released by the Brookings Institution found that the poverty rate would be reduced from 13 to 9.5 percent if the marriage rate among families had remained unchanged from 1970 to 2001.

Why does the marriage premium exist? Married men are healthier and happier. They tend to live more stable lives, move less often, and demonstrate more responsibility. Their wives provide them with emotional support and professional advice, as well as support around the house. All of these characteristics make for better employees that are more productive at work and highly valued by employers.

The idea that young adults should pursue financial stability before getting married increases the likelihood of poverty and makes it more difficult for men to achieve financial success.  The marriage rate among millennials is significantly lower than previous generations, and fewer young adults are getting married than ever before. As long as this trend continues, men will continue to suffer from missing out on the marriage premium.

Men do better when culture promotes marriage. Families are more resilient when men are healthy, happy, and professionally successful – and marriage is the ideal first step.


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington.  He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Opinion: Why Schools Aren’t the Place to Learn About Transgenderism

 

The state’s new health and physical education standards have provoked a strong backlash from parents and citizens who are outraged that children will be taught about gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation in elementary school. For example, children in third grade will now be taught that they can choose their own gender. Their fourth grade peers will learn about the range of sexual orientation.

Astonished by what their children will be taught under the new standards, parents are left wondering whether public schools are the appropriate forum for dialogue about gender identity and sexual orientation – especially in the elementary and middle school.

Parents should be concerned. The latest science supports what we used to regard as commonsense – that teaching young students about gender identity and alternative sexual lifestyles will be a confusing and harmful experience for them.

The American College of Pediatricians warns against parents, doctors, and teachers encouraging children to undergo gender transition.  “Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies, will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs.” The American College of Pediatricians likens the normalizing of transgenderism among children to “child abuse.”

Despite this, Washington’s public education system stands firmly behind its decision to push gender identity and gender expression on students as young as five years old, despite strong warnings from the medical community.

The vast majority of children who struggle with gender identity will eventually outgrow their confusion and accept their biological sex. According to statistics provided on page 455 of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, as many as 98% of boys and 88% of girls who struggle with gender dysphoria as children will no longer identify as the other gender after finishing puberty.

Cross-sex hormones present unsafe health risks for the individual undergoing transition. These hormone treatments increase the risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, and cancer. When children undergo cross-sex hormone therapy, their growth is often inhibited and their fertility is often irreversibly impaired.  The suicide rate among those who have undergone sex reassignment is twenty times higher than that of the general population.

Teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools normalizes the behavior. Once the behavior is normalized and students are told they can choose their own gender, we will undoubtedly see an increase in children pursuing harmful hormone therapies and irreversible gender reassignment surgeries.

If public schools rationalize gender dysphoria to young students, why are we to assume that more children won’t be subjected to the associated risks, as the statement by the pediatricians association suggests?  Children who would have otherwise never “struggled” with gender dysphoria may now be taught to question their own identity.

Moreover, teachers are rarely equipped to teach about topics relating to gender identity and sexual orientation.  Requiring them to teach this information may cause them to violate their own beliefs.  Additionally, how can parents be sure that their convictions and values will not be undermined by what their children are being taught in school?

Schools should heed the warnings from doctors and researchers. Children are harmed when they are taught that alternative gender identities and sexual orientations are normal. Conversations with children about gender identity and sexual orientation should be left to parents and doctors, not schools.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Alaska: Running Alongside the Lower 48 in Gender Inclusivity

 

Gender neutrality and transgenderism are certainly hot topics in the realm of bathroom and locker room policies, but high school sports are now starting to see the impact as well. Despite President Obama’s threat to remove federal funding from schools that did not facilitate gender neutral bathrooms, the official law as it relates to gender still differs from state to state.

For example, while a high school in Illinois is happy to have a biological female on their boys’ lacrosse team, a school district in Texas is implementing an amendment in August that would require students to “use their birth certificate when demonstrating their gender in regards to athletics.’

Despite its geographical distance from the rest of the lower 48, the state of Alaska is dealing with the same issue. Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, an 18-year old male, was allowed to compete in the girls’ track championships because he identifies internally as a woman.  Wangyot competed in the Class 3A girls’ sprints, placing third in the 200-meter dash with 27.3 seconds and placed fifth in the 100-meter dash with 13.36 seconds.

Wangyot’s time edged out female competitors, including Saskia Harrison.  “I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy with who they are. But competitively I don’t think it’s completely 100 percent fair.”

Peyton Young, another Alaskan high school athlete, echoed those sentiments. “I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with. It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”

Alaska Family Action was also in attendance to protest Wangyot’s competing in the girls’ division. The group shared that they were there to “protect their girls,” fearing that allowing males to compete against females diminished the chance for girls to win and get noticed for scholarships.  Track meets and similar sporting events are prime opportunities for athletic talent scouts to get a visual on prospective scholarship recipients. However, if males are able to compete against females, this may threaten the equal opportunity that exists for biological girls on the playing field.

When asked about its policy regarding athletics, Alaska Schools Activities Association Executive Director Billy Strickland cited “practicality,” as the reason that ASAA leaves the decision up to the individual school districts to decide if an athlete can compete in a gender-specific sport.  The ASAA doesn’t have a state-wide policy for transgendered athletes.

Wangyot was aware of the controversy brought about by his admission into the girls’ sporting events. “The people who are going to think, ‘It’s not fair to play with the boys’ — well, you don’t know that. It’s not easy. It’s not like I wake up and ‘OK, I’m a girl right now.” Wangyot’s own school has worked with him in order to allow him to continue enjoying sports on a team he feels that he identifies with better.  This past year, he was allowed to compete on the girls’ volleyball and basketball team.

With all the fight for gender neutrality, has the fight now posed a threat to high school females who rely on athletic programs for scholarship opportunities?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

OSPI Responds to Concerns About New Education Standards

 

It seems that the Office of State Public Instruction’s idea of damage control is using semantics to confuse the parents of students.

Last week, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released its health and physical education standards for the 2017-2018 school year.

The document clearly instructs public schools districts to begin teaching students — beginning in Kindergarten — about gender expression, gender identity, gender roles, and sexual orientation.  The state expects this area of education to be completed by the seventh grade, so that students are able to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”

OSPI Page 29

Predictably, parents were outraged.

Following the public discovery of these standards last week, OSPI Communications Manager Nathan Olson said that the specific learning outcomes outlined on page 29 of the standards are merely recommendations to local school districts, not requirements, and that all curriculum is determined by the local school districts.

“State learning standards are the required elements of instruction,” said Olson. “Outcomes provide the specificity to support school districts in meeting each standard in each grade level.”

Here is where OSPI is trying to hide: by stating that curricula are determined by the local school districts, which is true, they are deflecting attention from the fact that all public school districts must use OSPI’s standards and outcomes to determine what to teach students.

You can equate OSPI’s use of semantics to Henry Ford stating that you can buy any color car you want, so long as it’s black.

OSPI’s assertion that state education standards are simply recommendations does not comport with Washington state law or the Superintendent’s introduction to the health and physical education standards document. According to Washington law, district curriculum is expected to be aligned with the state’s education standards and outcomes.

According to RCW 28A.655.070,

“The superintendent of public instruction shall develop essential academic learning requirements that identify the knowledge and skills all public school students need to know and be able to do based on the student learning goals in RCW 28A.150.210.”

According to the health and physical education standards (emphasis added),

“The Washington state learning standards are the required elements of instruction and are worded broadly enough to allow for local decision-making.  Outcomes provide the specificity to support school districts in meeting each standard in each grade level. The 2016 health and physical education standards and outcomes provide the guidance to teach, reinforce, and apply all of the state’s learning goals” (Page 2).

“By implementing grade-level outcomes, educators will help students meet the learning standards. All districts, schools, and educators in Washington state are expected to implement the state learning standards and outcomes for all students” (Page 10).

While it is true that state education outcomes leave flexibility for schools to determine the best way to teach the required concepts, OSPI’s main concern is that students understand the concepts enumerated in the standards document.  School districts and local schools must use the state education outcomes to determine whether they are implementing the state learning standards, as they are required by the state to do.

OSPI is using the definitions of standards and outcomes to confuse you.  But make no mistake – come 2017, public schools across the state will be teaching students, beginning in kindergarten, about gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  It is foolish and deceptive for OSPI to claim that schools will not be expected to teach these concepts because these requirements are “outcomes” and not “standards,” hiding behind semantics as a means of avoiding public backlash.

OSPI conceded that it does not plan to issue a press release or otherwise inform parents of these radical changes.  By now, they must be aware of their overreach and are preparing for blowback from the parents of students across the state.

Sign the petition, and call OSPI State Superintendent Randy Dorn (360-725-6000) to let him know that you’re not on board with not being notified of these new standards.

‘Me Before You’ Celebrates Suicide, Insults Disabled

 

Me Before You, a recently released film adaptation of a book by the same name, is garnering attention for promoting the notion that disabilities so greatly encumber life that physician-assisted suicide is a brave and reasonable solution to be celebrated.

The story centers around Will, a young man from a wealthy family who had been injured in a motorcycle accident, and his caregiver Louisa, whose lack of ambition and humble lifestyle prevented her from experiencing all that life had to offer.

Though the two eventually fell in love, Will, who had attempted suicide months before, decided that life as a quadriplegic was not worth living. In the movie, he receives a lethal dose of medication from a Swedish suicide clinic and leaves Louisa an inheritance to pursue her dreams.

Disability rights advocates believe that the movie’s ending, which celebrates the death of Will so that Lou might boldly live life with an inheritance, implies that caring for Will would have been too great a burden on Louisa to make her life worthwhile.

“We are not ‘burdens’ whose best option is to commit suicide,” said John Kelly, regional director of Not Dead Yet, a national organization that opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia. “No one’s suicide should be treated as noble and inspirational. Our suicides should be viewed as tragedies like anyone else’s.”

Responding to criticism, Thea Sharrock, the film’s director, said, “This is a brave ending. It’s too easy to do it the other way. But this way… this is the more interesting way.” The movie, according to Sharrock, is “about how important the right to choose is.”

Thankfully, under Washington law, Will would have been unable to pursue the doctor-assisted suicide that he received in the film. Though Washington voters decided in favor of the Washington Death with Dignity Act (Initiative 1000) in 2008, the law requires that those seeking to end their life must be terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.

That a major Hollywood film is celebrating the suicide of a disabled man speaks loudly about the deteriorating moral condition of American culture. Generations ago, political philosophers like John Locke and William Blackstone, both of whom greatly influenced the philosophical ideas of the American founding, argued that suicide violated natural law and should therefore be illegal.

In his Second Treatise on Government, John Locke wrote,

“We are all the property of him who made us, and he made us to last as long as he chooses, not as long as we choose.”

Regarding the unnatural and illegal nature of suicide, William Blackstone wrote in his legal commentaries,

“[N]o man has a power to destroy life, but by commission from God, the author of it: and, as the suicide is guilty of a double offense; one spiritual, in invading the prerogative of the Almighty, and rushing into his immediate presence uncalled for; the other temporal, against the king, who has an interest in the preservation of all his subjects; the law has therefore ranked this among the highest, crimes, making it a peculiar species of felony, a felony committed on oneself.”

Until the last few decades, most states, influenced by the philosophy of Locke and Blackstone, classified the act of suicide as a felony.

How have things changed since then. By the end of this year, five states (Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, and Vermont) will allow some form of doctor-assisted suicide. According to Washington state records, in 2014 there were 176 “participants” who received medication from doctors to end their lives under the authority of the Washington Death with Dignity Act.

Contrary to what the Me Before You director says, suicide is anything but “brave.” Every single person, regardless of the disabilities and challenges they face, has inherent value and is created in the image of their Creator. Suicide, even when assisted by doctors, robs society of the incredible potential for good offered by each of its victims.

The fictional book from which the film takes its story was written by English author Jojo Moyes.  The movie, which was released to theaters on June 3, is produced and distributed by Hollywood production giants MGM and Warner Brothers.

Lesbian Minister in Spokane Says Christians Should Allow Men into Women’s Locker Rooms

 

An Associate Pastor at the Westminster United Church of Christ in Spokane has penned a Letter to the Editorpublished in Spokane’s Spokesman Review newspaper.  Jan Shannon, a licensed minister in the United Church of Christ, and a professed “same-gender loving granny,” offers her “Christian response” to the debate over men in the women’s locker rooms and showers.

“The idea of a person being born one gender but knowing themselves to be another can sound unusual at first,” she said, before concluding that, “Christians are called to love, and treat others as we want to be treated.”

Her letter, which you can read in its entirety below, serves as a great example of how the “love our neighbors” doctrine has been perverted to condone that which is evil in the eyes of our Creator, and what is dangerous as a matter of policy.

Pastor Shannon’s letter claims to represent the Christian position on this issue. Is this the message that you wish to be conveyed on your behalf?


As a Christian, I try to love our neighbors as ourselves, including those who may seem different from us.

Like many people, there was a time when I didn’t know what it meant to be transgender. The idea of a person being born one gender but knowing themselves to be another can sound unusual at first.

I first met a transgender person four years ago and learned of the discrimination they face. Now I see the suffering of these folks, people whom God loves. Initiative 1515 would roll back discrimination protections for transgender people, and discrimination is never OK with God.

New things can be scary, and when we’re scared, it’s important to know the facts. Washington law enforcement leaders and the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs say I-1515 will encourage strangers to confront anyone in public facilities and violate our privacy and safety.

As a pastor, I oppose I-1515. Christians are called to love, and treat others as we want to be treated. We’re all God’s children and we should all be treated equally under the law. Join Christians across the state against I-1515. Support Washington Won’t Discriminate.

Signed,

Jan Shannon

Spokane


Pastor Jan is right on one point: God does love transgender people.  But to imply that he’s created them to be transgender is a terrifying proposition.

What do you think?

Washington Schools to Teach Gender Identity Curriculum in Kindergarten

 

Kindergarten used to be a place for children to learn how to add, subtract, and read.  Next year, Washington school children as young as five years old will instead be learning about gender fluidity and the differences between gender and sexual identity.

The newly-minted health and physical education standards, released by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), will be implemented in schools across the state for the 2017-2018 school year.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the new standards require students to learn about gender identity and expression beginning in kindergarten.

  • Beginning in Kindergarten, students will be taught about the many ways to express gender.  Gender expression education will include information about the manifestations of traits that are typically associated with one gender. Crossdressing is one form of gender expression.
  • Third graders will be introduced to the concept of gender identity.  These children will be taught that they can choose their own gender.
  • Fourth graders will be expected to “define sexual orientation,” which refers to whether a person identifies as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual; they’ll also be taught about HIV prevention.  Children in fourth grade will be told that they can choose their sexual orientation.
  • Fourth and fifth graders will learn about the relativity of gender roles and why such roles are social constructs that are not inherent to who we are as male or female human beings.
  • Seventh graders will be expected to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”
  • High school students will critically “evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.”

These changes to education standards will transform public schools into a conduit for promoting the latest gender theories plaguing universities across the country.

Perhaps the most concerning element about the new standards, however, is that OSPI has no plans to notify parents of these controversial changes.  In a phone call this morning with FPIW, OSPI communications manager Nathan Olsen confirmed the changes and said that the state does not plan to issue a press release or otherwise inform parents of the changes.

When asked by The Daily Caller “whether a student who rejects the idea that ‘gender identity’ is distinct from ‘biological sex’ could end up failing a course on account of their beliefs, Olson replied that it “would be handled at the district/school level.’”

Parents should be concerned about whether these standards are age-appropriate, as well as whether the manner in which these topics will be taught may undermine the values held by their family.  It is frightening to think that students who hold traditional beliefs about gender and sexual identity may have to choose between accepting politically correct talking points or failing assignments and being ostracized by school administrators.

We encourage all concerned parents to attend the next school board meeting in your school district (find information on your school district here).  Ask if your local school board plans to implement the state’s radical new curriculum for elementary school classes in your child’s school and, if you aren’t satisfied with the response you get from the school board, we’d encourage you to run for the school board and to let us know of your intention.

You can sign the petition to show your opposition at this link, and support FPIW as we work to return sanity to the classroom and culture.

Opinion: Internet Pact to ‘Combat All Forms of Intolerance’ Raises Concerns

 

In a move denounced by some as “Orwellian,” Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Microsoft have all pledged to review and remove illegal hate speech from their platforms within 24 hours of receiving notification.

This initiative signifies the beginning of a partnership between major tech giants and the European Commission, which is encouraging the tech companies to “combat all forms of intolerance” by cracking down on what the Commission considers to be hate speech.  The agreement also advises tech companies to promote and encourage “counter and alternatives narratives” that are presumably favored by the European Commission.

As private corporations, technology companies certainly have the right to issue guidelines for the use of their platforms and censor speech that does not conform to their guidelines. What is concerning, however, is the collusion between private companies and a governmental body.

Though officials from the European Commission and the tech companies involved insist that the purpose of the partnership is to restrict the ability of terrorists to disseminate their message through social media, many fear that speech deemed politically incorrect may also be censored.

In a statement, Janice Atkinson, an independent Member of European Parliament who represents Southeast England, called the partnership between the tech companies and the European Commission “Orwellian,” adding that, “anyone who has read 1984 sees it’s [sic] very re-enactment live.”

European Digital Rights, an international human rights advocacy organization headquartered in Brussels, also issued a statement against the partnership and decided to withdraw from further conversations with the European Commission.

The agreement, which directs tech companies to remove illegal hate speech online in Europe, fails to appreciate that the internet is global in nature. Posts, comments, and videos originating from the United States are accessible in Europe, and vice versa. It remains to be seen whether tech companies will differentiate between speech originating in Europe, where various forms of “hate speech” is illegal, and speech from elsewhere, where that same speech is not illegal.

Unlike much of Europe, the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, even protecting hate speech so long as it does not contain actual threats of illegal conduct.  In R.A.V. v. St. Paul (1992), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that ordinances which prohibit certain types of unfavorable and distasteful speech about race, creed, or gender are unconstitutional.

Facebook found itself in the midst of controversy earlier this month when former employees alleged that the social media juggernaut was removing news stories published by conservative organizations from its “trending” news section. In 2013, the company received criticism for blocking the personal page of Fox News contributor Todd Starnes after he posted a status in which he mentioned Paula Deen, Cracker Barrel, Chick-fil-A, and the Bible. Other examples of Facebook’s perceived discrimination against conservatives can be found here.

What do you think? Chime in using the comments section below.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL Surveys Call For Restrictions on Crisis Pregnancy Centers

 

Planned Parenthood and NARAL have distributed their surveys for the upcoming election cycle to candidates seeking political office here in Washington.  The content of the questions demonstrates the radical policy positions advocated by two of the more prominent pro-abortion groups and the candidates they will ultimately decide to support.

Political advocacy organizations use candidate surveys to gauge a candidate’s position on the issues.  The survey responses enable these special interest groups to determine which candidates they will endorse and support financially. But the questions on these surveys also give us insight into the worldview of the survey creators.

What are the priorities of Planned Parenthood and NARAL in this upcoming legislative session?  The apparent vision for pro-abortion groups seems to be circumventing parental rights, discouraging pregnant women from making an informed decision about their pregnancies, and violating conscience rights of health care providers.

NARAL’s survey asks candidates whether they will oppose legislation that requires parental notification and consent for minors under age 18 to access abortion or contraception.  Planned Parenthood’s survey similarly remarks that parental notification and consent requirements “undermine Washington’s efforts to reduce teen pregnancy.”  Planned Parenthood and NARAL’s view on parental notification and consent seeks to undermine parental rights and ignores what is in the best interest of a minor’s health.

Parents should not be excluded from the health care decisions of their children, nor should it be legal for abortion clinics to perform secret abortions on young girls — who, under the law, have limited capacity in decision making — without the knowledge and consent of their parents.  Children in Washington cannot attend an ‘R’ rated movie or open a bank account without the consent of their parents, but Planned Parenthood and NARAL want these children to be able to avoid notifying their parents when obtaining abortions or acquiring birth control.

Both organizations’ surveys also ask whether the candidate supports sexual health education that promotes birth control usage and contraceptive methods.  Many parents object to their children’s schools providing resources that promote abortion and birth control, which is presumably why these organizations maintain such an interest in cutting parents out of the decision-making process on such sensitive issues.

When it comes to conscience rights and religious freedom, candidates are asked in both surveys if they agree that health care providers who have moral objections should be forced to provide abortions and contraceptives.  Planned Parenthood’s survey attacks the forty percent of Washington’s hospitals that are managed by Catholic health systems, claiming that these religiously-affiliated health providers “undermine patients’ rights” and “interfere with their ability to obtain a full range of health services.”

The conscience and religious rights of health care providers are increasingly under attack. A U.S. district court in Michigan recently dismissed a lawsuit against a Catholic nonprofit that operates 86 hospitals in 21 states. The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit, wanted to force these religiously affiliated hospitals to change its policy that prohibits doctors from performing abortions.

NARAL’s candidate survey additionally seeks to determine whether candidates share the organization’s opposition to crisis pregnancy centers – which NARAL calls “anti-choice fake ‘clinics’” – and other resources for pregnant women that do not include abortion.  Crisis pregnancy centers are clinics that offer resources and support to mothers and infants free of charge, but do not perform abortions. Despite pro-abortion activists’ claims to the contrary, their opposition to crisis pregnancy centers makes it apparent that these organizations do not support a woman’s ‘right to choose’ if that choice involves an informed decision to not pursue an abortion.

NARAL also objects to legislation that requires women undergo ultrasounds before receiving an abortion. Administering ultrasounds before receiving an abortion allows women to make an informed decision about their pregnancy. One Iowa pregnancy resource center reports that “90% of women who see their baby by ultrasound choose life.”

No wonder NARAL refers to ultrasounds as “unnecessary” in its survey.

The candidate surveys distributed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL make it clear that these organizations are promoting a radical pro-abortion agenda that wishes to undermine the rights of parents and healthcare providers, and restrict the ability of pregnant women to make informed decisions about their pregnancies.  As the election nears, Washington voters must educate themselves on which candidates share the abortion lobby’s agenda.

FPIW’s Washington voter guide is scheduled to be released in early July.

You can see the full survey from Planned Parenthood here, and the full survey from NARAL here.