Family Research Council

September 05, 2013 - Thursday

At Clinics, Pro-Lifers Get Closure

No one likes to see a business close its doors -- unless that business is an abortion clinic! In states across America, pro-lifers have been all too happy to shutter facilities bent on misleading women and taking innocent lives. And that's no small number, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Since 2011, 58 of America's abortion clinics -- almost one in 10 -- have either pulled the plug on their abortion services or folded altogether.

In most cases, clinics are closing offices faster than they can open new ones. And that's just fine with the majority of Americans, who elected a record number of pro-lifers to state and local seats over the past two years. Now, months later, those efforts are paying off as more legislatures try to protect unborn children from pain and crackdown on the unsafe conditions endangering their mothers. A flood of health, safety, and funding regulations -- as many as 200 -- are hitting the abortion industry where it hurts most: in the wallet.

Whether leaders are targeting doctors' admitting privileges, Planned Parenthood funding, or facility upgrades, the results have been the same: a thinning of the clinics' ranks. What was once a 705-center nationwide network is shrinking at a historic pace -- to just 591 at last count. And, as Bloomberg points out, that number would be even lower if it weren't for the legal challenges blocking some states' laws.

Meanwhile, the tough new restrictions in Texas, Ohio, Kansas, and other states continue to squeeze out an industry that's already suffering from decreased demand. What's more, it's not just state leaders who are aggressively beating back the pro-abortion movement. Local towns and cities -- like Albuquerque -- are taking matters into their own hands. In New Mexico, pro-lifers collected enough signatures to put America's first local ban on abortions before voters in November. Local activists gathered a whopping 27,000 signatures in just 20 days, double the number the campaign needed, to block abortions at 20 weeks -- when babies feel pain.

Taken together, this wave of success all points back to one simple truth: elections do have consequences. For the first time since Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement has adopted a state-by-state strategy that includes more than clinic protests or sidewalk counseling (both of which are important). People are finally getting directly involved in the political process and electing candidates who will do more than make pro-life speeches -- they'll advance pro-life measures.

And so far, that change has paid off. As we've seen in dozens of states, leaders are using the system to incrementally move America back to a culture of life. Changing hearts is important -- but changing laws is vital too.

Everything's Bigger in Texas -- Including Controversy!

San Antonio is famous for last stands -- but local conservatives are hoping the battle over religious liberty won't be one of them. Today, after hundreds of residents weighed in, the city council passed (8-3) an outrageous ordinance that's attracted -- not just the state's attention -- but the nation's. What liberals have painted as a harmless non-discrimination measure is actually a vicious attack on conservative Christians that could be the first step to banning believers from local boards and commissions.

Unlike similar ordinance in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso, San Antonio's proposal would bar anyone who believes in natural marriage or biblical sexuality from doing business with the city. Not only does the measure contradict Texas's Constitution (which outlaws religious tests), it's a gross infringement on free speech for people serving in council-appointed positions. And Republicans across the state refuse to accept it. Everyone from Senator Ted Cruz to state Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Greg Abbott are swinging back with public statements, press releases, and letters to Mayor Julian Castro, blasting the city's contempt for the law.

"I oppose the proposed ordinance because it would not prevent discrimination, but impose it: stifling speech, repressing religious liberty, and imposing burdens on those who hold a traditional view on human relations," wrote Abbott. "Although the proposal has been couched in terms of liberty and equality, it would have the effect of inhibiting the liberty of expression and equality of opportunity for San Antonians." Adding insult to injury, Abbott explains, "By excluding businesses because of their owners' religious beliefs, or by forcing business owners to abandon their religious beliefs in order to do business with the city -- without an exception for sincerely held religious objections -- the policy raises serious constitutional concerns that will surely be the subject of extensive litigation." Most legal experts agree with Abbott's concern that the ordinance will be a magnet for lawsuits. While the country awaits the state's next move, we can all be encouraged that leaders and churches stepped up to challenge the city's lawlessness. Council members may not have done the right thing, but join us in thanking the ones who did: Greg Abbott and Senator Cruz, who stood up for the rights of Texans.

19 Speakers and Counting!

You've watched them on TLC, read their amazing story in The Duggars book, and this October you can see them live on stage at FRC Action's eighth annual Values Voter Summit. As cameras follow the family around for the smash hit reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," Jim Bob, Michelle, and the kids have been outspoken ambassadors for Christian values in a secular world. We look forward to welcoming them back to VVS, as they add to an all-star line-up that includes Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Governor Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Rick Santorum, Rep. Allen West, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Josh Duggar, Star Parker, Lila Rose, and more! Don't wait to register for the must-attend conservative event of the year! Join us in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham on October 11-13 by clicking here or calling 877-372-2808.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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