An open letter to the Dallas Morning News and its columnist, Steve Blow:

HB2 is now 2 years old & likely headed to the US Supreme Court

HB2 is now 2 years old & likely headed to the US Supreme Court

In his 4th of July column, Steve Blow leveled hefty claims that public officials have been lying about protecting women’s health by regulating the abortion industry.

Among many false charges, Blow suggests that ultrasounds before abortion are medically unnecessary. Perhaps he should tell that to Planned Parenthood and the many clinics already requiring them before the law.

Chief among his errors is Blow’s assumption the abortion industry resembles the rest of the medical field. Before the sonogram law, Texas women seeking abortion never met the doctor in advance of the sedation or the procedure. There was zero opportunity for questions, zero doctor-patient relationship, and women were not allowed to see the sonogram. In case of complications, women are urged to bypass the clinic and head straight to the ER without the doctor.

Additional regulations have always been necessitated by an abortion industry that refuses to police itself. In 1997, Texas Health Department essentially wrote legislation designed to clean up an industry with an appalling record.

Pennsylvania’s Kermit Gosnell is a more recent example of the industry’s failure to police itself. Gosnell’s clinic, preying on low income immigrants, featured filthy instruments, broken emergency equipment, unaccredited staff administering anesthesia, snipping babies’ necks after birth and killing and maiming women. There is evidence the abortion industry knew of the horrors and did nothing. After Gosnell’s staff got jail time, the staff of Houston’s Douglas Karpan came forward with similar claims.

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a guest post by Valerie Huber, president of the National Abstinence Education Association

Honest citizens must resist the “safe-sex” propaganda and recognize this campaign for what it is: a deceptive crusade promising an easy solution to a complex problem.

Last week’s AP report on changes in state abortion numbers found that nearly all states experienced a drop in abortion since 2010. But what captured headlines was the 30-percent drop in Hawaii, the largest decrease of any state. Laurie Temple Field, a former associate of the ACLU and now a representative for Hawaii Planned Parenthood, lost no time giving significant credit for this dramatic decrease to Hawaii’s change toward Sexual Risk Reduction (SRR)—a contraceptive-focused sex-education approach.

Pro-teen-sex advocates are banking on the sticking power of a new twist in their messaging: “Implement our brand of sex education, and a state can expect to reduce abortion rates.” This messaging is designed to truncate support for Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education among an influential group of supporters: social conservatives and pro-life policymakers. While this might appear to be a compelling messaging campaign, it defies logic and intellectual honesty, especially upon the examination of state data and the myriad variables that affect abortion numbers.

Analysis of the AP’s latest data reveals three main problems with the causal statements made by Planned Parenthood and their partners. First, decreases in abortion are seen in states with liberal abortion laws as well as those with restrictive laws. Second, both red states and blue states saw decreases in abortion rates. Third, abortion rates decreased in states with SRR education and with SRA education. No matter how tempting the pro-SRR sound bites are, there are simply no easy answers.

Sexual Risk Reduction Programs Don’t Decrease Abortion

Dramatic changes in human behavior rarely can be explained by a simple or single explanation. Hawaii’s 30-percent drop in abortion from 2010 to 2014 is no exception. To suggest that a few hours of sex education should be credited for this unprecedented drop is almost laughable.

One needn’t dig too deep to find a gaping hole in the “SRR education = reduced abortion rates” argument. The AP report shows that the decrease in abortions in North Carolina is nearly as high as that in Hawaii. North Carolina’s state requirement for sex education, however, mandates that abstinence must be stressed.

Conversely, the state of California has an even more explicit sex education policy than Hawaii. The AP report did not record abortion numbers for the state, because the state does not aggregate abortion data. However, the most recent Guttmacher analysis found California abortion rates to be more than 20 percent higher than the national average. Ever since President Clinton signed the Title V Abstinence Education program into law as part of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, California has refused to implement an SRA sex education approach. Since then, state laws have become so hostile to the risk avoidance approach that some argue that SRA education is virtually outlawed in the state.

The SRR approach blankets the state with messages that normalize teen sex. The recent news of a math teacher in California assigning extra credit points to any student who would take a selfie with the sex toys and condoms she or he found in a parent’s bedroom is one example of how radical the sex promotion has become. So, if the logic holds that SRR sex education policy is a significant determinant of reduced abortion numbers, one would expect California to have some of the lowest numbers of abortion in the nation.

Yet, quite the opposite is true. In California, 23 percent of all pregnancies end in induced abortion. This rate is higher than that of Hawaii, higher than the national average, and nearly twice as high as the rate in neighboring Texas. And Texas, incidentally, has one of the strongest sex education laws supporting SRA of any state. Although it is frequently attacked for instituting policies to give youth the information and skills to avoid sexual risk, Texas has one of the lowest abortion rates in the nation.

The Real Reasons for Hawaii’s Drop in Abortions

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Building on a landmark session from two years ago, pro-life advocates continued to achieve even greater successes in the 84th Texas Legislature in protecting and preserving life. Five pro-life bills passed, along with two budget riders, less money for Planned Parenthood and more money for abortion alternatives.

 
Some of the highlights included:

 
• Further eroding of funds to Planned Parenthood as a state grant recipients;
• Increased funding by more than a third to abortion alternative providers to $18 million over the biennium;
• Securing judicial bypass reform that closes many of the loopholes for minors to get abortions without parental involvement;
• Breaking a decade-long impasse to reform end-of-life care laws to require provision of food and water to critically ill patients at the end of life.

Unfortunately, a proposal to exclude abortion coverage in state and federal insurance programs stalled in the waning moments of the session, largely because of a high-stakes game of chicken in which one stakeholder insisted on all or nothing—and so we got nothing.

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Excluding Abortion from the Affordable Care Act

HB 3130 is authored by Rep. Marsha Farney (R) of Georgetown, TX. This bill would eliminate elective abortion from the insurance exchanges in Texas (part of the Affordable Care Act), which are heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Also known as Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act only passed in the U.S. House after President Obama signed an executive order assuring Congress abortion would not be in the plans. A recent GAO report has confirmed that abortion is being covered under some of these tax-subsidized plans. In Texas there are 5 plans covering elective abortion and another 14 that may (unknown).

Numerous polls have shown that two-thirds of Americans do not want abortions supported with tax dollars. Texas policy and law has long held that abortion should not be supported with taxpayer dollars.

Bills Relating to Sex Trafficking and Coerced Abortions

HB 416 is authored by Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) of Spring, TX. This bill would require abortion facility workers to complete training on how to recognize victims of sex trafficking. It will also require the workers to assist these minor girls and women and ensure that none are coerced into having an abortion.

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 Jacqueline C. Harvey, Ph.D., guest blogger

Breaking barrier indicates larger changes possible

After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years [1]. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows [2], has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer (pictured at left).

H.B. 3074 [3] simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable [4] in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law [5] allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food healthcare[6]and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty [6] whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code [7], “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled to access to suitable food and water.

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“It makes me feel like the wait is worth it and I should change my life.” Those are the words of a high school student who recently heard one of our abstinence presentations.

Each year, through our education arm, Texans for Life reaches thousands of teens with the life-saving message of sexual abstinence until marriage. The decision to wait for marriage is indeed life-saving. By choosing abstinence, countless unmarried young women are spared from experiencing unplanned pregnancies and the pain and regret that come with choosing one or more abortions. In addition, teens who choose abstinence are free from the heartache that results when sexually intimate relationships end, not to mention the threat of STDs.

In order for us to continue reaching teens in the DFW area, we need the help of dedicated volunteer speakers. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry, attend one of the following workshops:

 

Dallas Area:

Saturday, January 31, 2015 9:30 am until noon

University of Dallas, Art History Building (Bldg #11 on campus map, see link below)

Classroom # 112

1845 East Northgate Dr. Irving, TX 75062

http://www.udallas.edu/documents/pdf/campusmap2012.pdf

 

 

Fort Worth Area:

Saturday, February 7, 2015 9:30 am until noon

Staybridge Suites Hotel, meeting room

229 Clifford Center Dr.

Fort Worth, TX 76108

 

Another high school student wrote: “After this presentation I am more convinced now that I have made the right decision to wait.”

We provide our speakers with an outline to follow, training, and handouts for students. Through these presentations, our speakers can and do impact the lives of young people in a positive way, and you can be a part of that!

This event is FREE to attend, however reservations are REQUIRED since space is limited.

Please RSVP by January 26th if you plan to attend one of our upcoming workshops. Email me with any questions at lifedecisionstx@gmail.com or call our metro line: 972-399-1433.

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January of 2006 started off pretty rough for me. In the midst of helping to plan the annual Dallas March for Life, I came down with a bad case of the flu, which left me home and in bed for several days. The week of the march, I started feeling better and was eager to attend the event, but was not sure if I would be up to walking. Initially, I planned to attend the pre-march events and see how I was feeling when it came time to march.
As thousands of marchers headed toward the Federal Courthouse, I decided to join in. I remember very well standing at the courthouse building, surrounded by so many fellow pro-lifers, listening as we were lead in prayer and encouraged in our efforts to defend the most innocent among us, the unborn. As people began to head back for the reception, my friend Sue approached me, and quickly asked me, “Hey Terri, how old are you?” “32. Why?” I replied, a little perplexed. “Are you single or seeing someone?” After I told her that I was single, she said, “Great! You have to meet my friend Tim!”
My initial thought was that she would give this person my phone number, but much to my surprise, she walked away from me quickly and returned with her handsome friend at her side. “Terri, this is Tim. I have to run!” Sue was off to catch a flight to DC, and so, there we stood. To say I felt awkward would definitely be an understatement!

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