Thursday, May 31, 2012

House rejects sex-selection abortion ban -- which would have saved many unborn female babies from premature death in the womb.

 By JIM ABRAMS / May 31, 2012 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Thursday fell short in an effort to ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus as Republicans and Democrats made an election-year appeal for women’s votes.
The legislation would have made it a federal crime to perform or force a woman to undergo a sex-based abortion, a practice most common in some Asian countries where families wanting sons abort female fetuses.
It was a rare social issue to reach the House floor in a year when the economy has dominated the political conversation, and Republicans, besieged by Democratic claims that they are waging a war on women, struck back by trying to depict the vote as a women’s rights issue.
“It is violence against women,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., of abortions of female fetuses. “This is the real war on women.”
The White House, most Democrats, abortion rights groups and some Asian-American organizations opposed the bill, saying it could lead to racial profiling of Asian-American women and subject doctors who do not report suspected sex-selection abortions to criminal charges.
“The administration opposes gender discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision,” White House spokeswoman Jamie Smith said in a statement. “The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.”
The bill had little chance of becoming law. The Democratic-controlled Senate would likely have ignored it, and the House brought it up under a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The vote was 246-168 — 30 votes short of that majority. Twenty Democrats voted for it, while seven Republicans opposed it.
The bill’s author, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said before the vote that regardless of the outcome, the point would be made. “When people vote on this, the world will know where they really stand.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House’s No. 2 Democrat, said he thought the bill was introduced because “somebody decided politically that this was a difficult place to put people in.”
The legislation would have made it a federal offense, subject to up to five years in prison, to perform, solicit funds for or coerce a woman into having a sex-selection abortion. Bringing a woman into the country to obtain such an abortion would also be punishable by up to five years in prison. While doctors would not have an affirmative responsibility to ask a woman her motivations for an abortion, health workers could be imprisoned for up to a year for not reporting known or suspected violations of the ban on sex-based abortions.
An earlier version of the bill also made it illegal to abort a fetus based on race.
“We are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn’t restrict sex-selection abortion in any way,” said Franks, who has also collided with abortion-rights groups recently over a bill he supports to ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Franks and others say there is evidence of sex-selection abortions in the United States among certain ethnic groups from countries where there is a traditional preference for sons. The bill notes that while the United States has no federal law against such abortions, countries such as India and China, where the practice has contributed to lopsided boy-girl ratios, have enacted bans on the practice.
Lawmakers “who recently have embraced contrived political rhetoric asserting that they are resisting a ‘war on women’ must reflect on whether they now wish to be recorded as being defenders of the escalating war on baby girls,” said National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson.
His group, in a letter to lawmakers, said there are credible estimates that 160 million women and girls are missing from the world due to sex selection.
But the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that favors abortion rights, said evidence of sex selection in the United States is limited and inconclusive. It said that while there is census data showing some evidence of son preference among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families when older children are daughters, the overall U.S. sex ratio at birth in 2005 was 105 boys to 100 girls, “squarely within biologically normal parameters.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan said that while her group has long opposed reproductive coercion, “the Franks bill exploits the very real problem of sex discrimination and gender inequity while failing to offer any genuine solutions that would eliminate disparities in health care access and information.”
Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, said the bill fosters discrimination by “subjecting women from certain racial and ethnic backgrounds to additional scrutiny about their decision to terminate a pregnancy.”
“Doctors would be forced to police their patients, read their minds and conceal information from them,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
Republicans also used the bill to continue their ongoing criticism of Planned Parenthood, citing a video taken by the group Live Action purporting to show a Planned Parenthood social worker advising a woman on how to determine if her fetus was female before she terminated the pregnancy.

Civitas Poll: NC Voters Say, 'Drill, Baby, Drill'

May 31, 2012
CONTACT: Jim Tynen (919) 834-2099

The newest Civitas Poll reveals widespread support for developing North Carolina’s oil and natural gas resources.

Over two-thirds (68 percent) of likely voters support some type of drilling with nearly half (48 percent) of them saying the state should drill both offshore and on land for oil and natural gas. Another 10 percent favor drilling only on land, with the same amount favoring offshore drilling alone. Only 23 percent of those polled were opposed to both kinds of drilling.

“The voters  of North Carolina understand the benefits of using the natural resources found right here,” Civitas President Francis De Luca said. “Energy exploration means good jobs now and plentiful energy in the future. The General Assembly should listen to the voters and ignore propaganda from a clique of special interests trying to prohibit the use of natural resources found right here.”

The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina.  For more information on Civitas polling, see

Full text of question:
Currently in North Carolina there is a total ban on drilling for Natural Gas and Oil. The legislature is considering lifting that ban. Would you support lifting the ban to allow:
10%     Offshore drilling for oil and natural gas
10%     Drilling for Natural Gas on land
48%     Both
23%     Neither
9%       Don’t Know

For the full results and crosstabs, click here.
This poll of 600 registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina was conducted May 19-20, 2012 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ.  All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina.  For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past three general elections (2006, 2008, 2010) or be newly registered to vote since November 2, 2010.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in at least one of the past three general elections or is newly registered since November 2, 2010.

More information on the Civitas Institute is available at, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099.

This message was sent to from:
Civitas Institute | 100 South Harrington Street | Raleigh, NC 27603

Monday, May 28, 2012

I've Learned: No Taboo Topics with God

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / May 27, 2012

by GodLife on May 27, 2012
From the series Prayer Letter

Scripture: "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." Hebrews 4:16

Tiptoeing around God

What's taboo in your household? For my mom's family, you couldn't talk about politics. It would just get too heated. For some it's religion, for others it's money, and so on. Everyone has their list of things you "just shouldn't talk about." The problem is we transfer that over to God...maybe more so even than anyone else. We think God is easily offended or only wants to hear certain praises over and over again. And so we only talk to Him about certain things, and the depth of our relationship isn't that, well...deep. But that's not how David saw Him, and David was the one person God called "a man after My own heart." Acts 13:22
In fact, here's just some of the things David talked about to God:
  • the gruesome details of his physical ailments Psalm 31
  • how depressed he was Psalm 38
  • how he wanted God to defend him against his enemies Psalm 35
  • his deep regret for sins he had committed Psalm 51
  • his wonder and amazement at God's creation Psalm 8

Your Perfect Parent

David knew—and God wants you to know—there's nothing too taboo to talk about with Him. God Himself, in the Bible, talks about sex, religion, politics, health, money, relationships, hopes, dreams, emotions, and more. One of the things I love about my mom is that I can talk to her about any emotion. Deep depression, extreme anxiety, fear, jealousy: there's nothing to which she says, "Oh no! I can't handle that!" Instead, she lets me vent, empathizes with me, and then helps me. And with my dad, there's no problem I could bring him that he wouldn't be big enough to help me with. Now that's just a miniscule picture of how incredibly loving and all-powerful God is!
Like a compassionate mother, God says: "Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!" Isaiah 49:15
And like a "Can-do-anything father", God says: "I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

Feeling like Esther?

He wants you to come to Him as the loving and powerful God He is—everyday, for every need you have! But you might feel like Esther did, when she was facing her scariest moment. Her people were about to be exterminated, but she was so afraid to tell her husband, the king, because they hadn't talked in a while and she didn't know how he'd react. Maybe you feel that way with God: not having talked in a while and not knowing how He will receive you. But Mordecai, her uncle, pushed her to go talk to him, and here's what happened:
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Then the king asked, "What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you." (Esther 5:1-3)

God's Open-door Policy

I am pleased with you. What can I do for you? That is exactly what God says to you when you come to Him. He loves when you come to talk to Him, no matter what it's about. Maybe it's your brother's illness, or your broken heart, or what to do about a new job. There's no issue that's either too hard for God or too ugly. He has a completely open-door policy with you, His beloved child, and wants you to talk to Him! Jesus said to His followers, "At that time you won't need to ask Me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and He will grant your request because you use My name." John 16:33

Come to Him Today!

What do you need to talk to God about today? Don't be afraid like Esther. The king was more than happy to grant her request! And your King, God, is even more happy to have you approach His throne and ask for what you need. I want you to picture God as your King on a great golden throne, and you coming in down a long runway to approach Him. Maybe you're nervous and don't know how He'll react. But then I want you to imagine a great big smile spreading across His face and Him saying, "I'm so happy to see you! What is it that you need? I love you so much!" How do you feel? And what would you say?
Take a moment right now in the Comments to tell your King what you need from Him—the thing that's on your heart that maybe you've been afraid to talk about. Remember: there's nothing too taboo for God, and there's no bad time to approach Him. He loves you so much and wants you to feel comfortable talking to Him—all the time, starting today!
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