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Opinion: The News Media’s Selective Moral Outrage

A Texas law concerning services provided by faith-based adoption agencies went into effect on September 1st. The bill extends additional legal protections to providers who refuse services to prospective families on the basis of “sincerely-held religious beliefs.” Many faith-based adoption agencies receiving taxpayer funds through state contracts had already been engaging in these practices. As faith-based service providers, they consider it important to weigh their religious beliefs in decisions to deny or allow adoptions or foster placement.

Sen. Charles Perry, the bill’s sponsor, had previously asserted that the legislation is not intended to discriminate against anyone. Instead, he had merely intended to ensure that faith-based providers would not be alienated from helping to place children in good homes during the current state foster care crisis.

Rather than honestly report the intentions of those legislators who voted in favor of the bill, the mainstream media smeared the bill as a direct attack on the LGBTQ community. HuffPost included it in a round-up of legislation nestled under the headline, “With All Eyes On Trump, Texas May Soon Pass Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Laws.” Likewise, a headline from The New York Times, “Texas Bill Would Let Adoption Agencies Reject Families on Religious Grounds,” conveniently ignored the fact that this practice already occurs.

It is interesting to compare the news media’s treatment of this bill with the way the mainstream media treated a 2013 Texas law requiring abortion facilities to meet hospital-like building and operational standards for the sake of women’s health and safety.

In that instance, Mother Jones cited the law within a piece titled, “The War on Women is Over and Women Lost.” A headline from USA Today, “States’ abortion limits erode right to choose: Our view,” chose to portray it as a restriction of access to abortion rather than a crackdown on women’s health clinics that don’t meet basic health and safety requirements, such as guaranteeing access to emergency care.

In addition to revealing the news media’s willingness to misrepresent public policy debates, these headlines also reveal the selective moral outrage of reporters as a result of their bias for certain lifestyle choices.

The mainstream media wants to smear any group or individual who asserts their constitutional rights, even in those cases where those groups and individuals may be helping to alleviate a serious statewide social crisis. On the other hand, if you lead a secular lifestyle and you want abortion on-demand, the media will act as if your actions should be completely unrestrained, even by legitimate concerns for health and safety.

For a more local example, look no further than the media’s coverage of the recent fight over crisis pregnancy centers after the King County Board of Health implemented a rule requiring them to post signs telling women that the centers aren’t healthcare facilities.

It is a dangerous state of affairs when the news media operates under such an irrational moral framework.  The founding fathers intended a free press to serve the people as both a check-and-balance on government power and as the megaphone of strong cultural values. By these standards, in the case of Texas, the media has completely failed us.

Federal Judge Blocks Obama Bathroom Mandate

 

A federal judge in Texas has issued an order blocking the enforcement of the Obama Administration’s federal action forcing schools to open locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms for students, regardless of their biological status.

Earlier this summer, 13 states sued the Obama administration after its Education and Justice Departments had told schools to comply with the “guidance” or risk federal funding.  It appears, for the time being, that that issue is moot; however, it is expected that the Obama Administration will appeal the ruling.

The judge cited the government’s failure to give the public an opportunity to comment as his justification for the block.  The judge also took an opportunity to look at the intent of federal non-discrimination laws, arguing in his decision that “the plain meaning of the term sex meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth,” and not transgender students, as the Obama Administration has tried to interpret.

This ruling means that schools will not be in jeopardy of losing federal funding this fall if they implement policies to protect students’ privacy and safety.  You can read the Press Release from Texas Values here.

We’ll keep you updated on this story, and through a potential appeals process, here at FPIW.org and on our Facebook page.

Macy’s Employee Fired After Questioning Man in Women’s Bathroom

 

Javier Chavez, a Macy’s employee in Queens, New York, has been fired over his questioning of a man entering the women’s bathroom.

A concerned customer and her daughter had reported that a man had entered into the women’s bathroom.  They sought out Chavez, the store’s Senior Detective, to check on the situation and ask the man to leave the women’s bathroom.  Upon being questioned about his intentions, the man informed Chavez that he was really a transgendered woman, and promptly reported the Senior Detective’s “insensitivity” to the store’s managers.

The store’s management sided with the man who granted himself access to the women’s bathroom and fired their 26-year detective, Javier Chavez, on the grounds that he had broken the company’s policy of inclusion.

Chavez says that he was never told about the store’s policy that allowed men to utilize women’s facilities.  Initially, Chavez was suspended in the incident.  Even after informing the managers that he would submit to and abide by the policy, he was terminated after disclosing that his beliefs about sex and gender were faith-based.

“After my employer learned that I was a practicing Catholic, with religious concerns about this policy, I was terminated because of my religion, in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law.”

This is not the first time Macy’s has fired an employee over issues with men in designated women’s areas.  In 2011, Natalie Johnson, an employee at a San Antonio-area Macy’s was fired after blocking a transgendered person from using the women’s dressing rooms.

We’re living in a paradoxical time where our society will stand up, applaud, and affirm the speech and beliefs of some while standing against the beliefs and speech of others, and punishing those who object.  A major principle of the transgender movement is diversity and acceptance. However, it appears there is little acceptance by the LGBT community of those who hold beliefs which divert from their own.

Facilities laws being implemented all over our country aim to allow individuals to utilize whatever locker room, shower, or restroom they want without question, fear, or discomfort.  Again, it’s a paradox: our culture is passionately and adamantly against rape culture, as we should be.  Yet, we pass bills that invite biological men into women’s private areas.

If our nation really had respect for women and children, we’d do more than get #yesallwomen trending.  If we actually cared, we would fight these laws that directly and negatively impact the privacy of our women and children.

Opinion: ‘Knock Someone Up in Texas’ Tweet Displays Left’s Logical Fallacies

 

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that Texas cannot place restrictions on abortion clinics on the basis that it would create an “undue burden for women seeking an abortion.”  With that ruling, Texas’ HB2 was overturned.

Had this not been the outcome, opponents had said that Texas’ law would have shut down abortion clinics all over the state. Justice Ginsburg even insinuated that the law was intended to close options for abortion to women rather than provide them with safe and accessible facilities.

Since the ruling, numerous reproductive rights activists have expressed their delight and support of the ruling, calling it a “win” for women. Regardless of your perspective, it can be said that the ruling is one of the most significant and most progressive for the pro-choice movement since the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case.

Hillary Clinton and President Obama voiced their support of the SCOTUS decision immediately.

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tweeted out its own distasteful expression of support:

The left’s previous shouts of joy and tweets of approval were short-lived as the torrent of angry and agitated tweets began in response to The Daily Show’s joke. “Irresponsible” and “embracing rape culture” were some of the descriptors used among the countless tweets in response.

But the seemingly contradictory ideology of the pro-choice movement should be noticed.

If the upset pro-choicers were questioned whether or not The Daily Show was treating the SCOTUS ruling and sex with flippancy, their answer would most likely be a resounding “yes.”  Yet the people who are aggravated and upset about the flippancy with which The Daily Show is treating pregnancy or sexual intercourse are the same people who are themselves demeaning the sanctity of life.

Proponents of abortion might respond, “Sanctity of life? There’s no life in that womb. That’s not a person.” But studies show that as much as 20-35% of babies born at 23 weeks and even some at 20-22 weeks survive without major medical impairments. The idea that “there’s no life in that womb” isn’t feasible.

The question needs to be asked of those on the left: if pregnancy doesn’t matter, if abortion is a legitimate option for the sake of convenience and should be readily accessible, if biological consequences of sex are avoidable, then why does it matter if someone goes and “knock[s] someone up in Texas”?

Logically, it is unwise and hypocritical to use a particular line of reasoning in an argument and then become upset when someone else takes up the same reasoning – a logical fallacy known as ad hominem tu quoque.

Let’s be consistent.

Megan Gentleman is a student at Liberty University and serves as a summer intern at the Family Policy Institute of Washington.  

Conzatti: Supreme Court Disregards Own Standards in Abortion Ruling

 

In a devastating 5-3 loss for pro-life advocates, the Supreme Court just overturned two provisions of Texas’ HB 2 law that placed restrictions on abortion providers. The law was designed to improve the safety of women by requiring abortion providers to meet surgical center health and safety standards and maintain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down both of the law’s provisions, saying they placed an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion.

In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the “decision exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency ‘to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue,’” quoting the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Texas legislators had been careful to ensure that their law conformed to the ‘undue burden standard’ proposed by the Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). According to a summary by Public Discourse, the undue burden standard allows legislators to “regulate pre-viability abortions for the health and safety of the woman, provided the regulation does not create a substantial obstacle to the abortion right.”

In its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court has now disregarded its own undue burden standard. According to Justice Thomas, the scrutiny applied by the majority to the Texas law “bears little resemblance to the undue-burden test the Court articulated” in Casey.

Since Texas law requires physicians performing surgical births like caesarean sections to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals, applying this standard to physicians that perform abortions should not be controversial. Even the prochoice National Abortion Federation (NAF) recommends that “[i]n the case of emergency, the doctor [performing the abortion] should be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital (no more than 20 minutes away).” HB2 mandated doctors to have hospital admitting privileges at hospitals no more than 30 minutes away – a standard even lower than the one advocated by NAF.

By overturning the health and operating standards required by HB2, the Supreme Court has not only overruled the will of the Texas legislature, but it has also made abortion less safe for women.

An estimated 3,180 women were hospitalized for complications resulting from an abortion in 2011. Requiring abortion clinics to comply with the same medical standards for other forms of surgeries ensures that women will receive necessary medical care when complications arise.

“Our main concern is the safety of Texas women. We will continue to stand for women to keep them safe so they are not maimed or die in abortion clinics,” Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, said in a statement.

The plaintiff in the case, abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health, had repeatedly been cited for safety and health violations in its clinics. In its yearly inspections of Whole Woman’s Health clinics, the Texas Department of State Health Services noted reoccurring safety violations, including the staff’s failure to maintain sterile surgical instruments, expired supplies and medication, rusty machines used on patients, dilapidated facilities, and concerns of rodents. It concluded that “the facility failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment,” remarking that the staff, which had not been trained in CPR, “did not know what a sterilization indicator was” and did not know how to properly use equipment.

Whole Woman’s Health’s terrible record of unsanitary and unsafe conditions demonstrates the importance of laws like HB2. Unfortunately, by siding with unscrupulous abortion providers, the Supreme Court disregarded the best interests of women.

Women deserve better.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Abortion Case

Just two weeks after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on the biggest abortion challenge in 25 years.

The case tests the Constitutionality of Texas’ common-sense regulations on clinics that provide abortions within their state.  In 2013, Texas moved to ensure that clinics had admitting privileges at hospitals, in the event that something went wrong during the procedure.  They reasoned, correctly, that abortion providers shouldn’t get a pass on basic state health standards simply to keep them in the market.

While deliberations in this case were likely to take months anyway, the complications arising from Justice Scalia’s death are undeniable.  Until a successor to Scalia is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the Court is likely to be split on many issues, though this isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has had to operate with an even number of justices.

Still, states, including Washington, shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing inferior care in order to make it easier for abortionists to enter & stay in the market.

We stand with Texas in their fight to protect women from dangerous and negligent practices, and urge Washington’s lawmakers to take similar steps.

Follow @FPIW on Twitter for updates.

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!

 

Daycare Workers Fired for Refusing to Call Little Girl a Boy

As reported this morning by Breitbart, two daycare workers at the Childrens’ Lighthouse Learning Center in Katy, Texas have been fired for refusing to use male pronouns to refer to a little girl who sometimes says she identifies as a boy.

The girl, who has two male parents, is just six years old.

“I don’t think [daycare workers] should be talking to other people’s children who are under the age of 18 about being transgender,” said Madeline Kirksey, one of the fired daycare workers.  She said that the girl sometimes refers to herself as a little boy, but sometimes tells the other children not to call her a boy or refer to her as “John.”

Following her firing, Kirksey called Texas Child Protective Services expressing concern that the girl’s gender confusion might have been aggressively pushed on the small child by the two male partners.

This story breaks just as nearby Houston, Texas made national headlines for the landslide defeat of a city ordinance that would have allowed people to enter bathrooms for the gender in which they identified that day, with no questions asked.

Why is it acceptable for anyone — especially those who have parental rights — to persuade a young, impressionable six-year old child to question her very existence and genetic makeup?  Under what context would a parent think that a young child could even begin to understand the deep, psychological, and emotional subject of human sexuality?

Read the rest of the story here, and share your thoughts below.