Tag: pro life

Ordinary Christians Will End Abortion: Eight Ways You Can Help

When the Romans would leave unwanted newborns out to die, it was the Christians who would rescue and raise them. May our history become our legacy.

Our nation has been shocked in recent months by extreme abortion laws that seem to be hitting us one after the other, starting with New York passing a sweeping abortion law that loosened the requirement for who can be an abortionist, removed protections for unborn babies involved in violent crimes, and allowed abortions through all nine months of pregnancy.

Days later, the governor of Virginia talked about a bill that was in committee, and then calmly discussed how a survivor of a late-term abortion could be killed if the mother and doctor agreed. Then Senator Ben Sasse fast-tracked a bill protecting babies born alive during late-term abortions, saying that all US senators should be able to go on record against infanticide. It was shut down and continues to be.

I’m a pastor in Vermont, where we have been facing our own bill in state government, which some have called the most radical abortion legislation in the world. It has zero restrictions on abortion. Now they are working on passing a state constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion as a right that “shall not be denied or infringed.” If only Vermont were alone in this. Multiple states now are considering similar legislation, even as other states are trying to protect preborn babies more.

How to Fight Such Evil

As Christians, who believe that God creates each human being — born or unborn — in his image, with the right to be protected, these swift events can be overwhelming. What can an ordinary Christian do in the face of so much evil?

1. Pray.

This is first and foremost. Let’s not dismiss this as a throwaway step to get to the real change. God, in answer to our prayers, does the impossible. Let’s continually ask him to do what only he can.

2. Study the Scriptures.

Recently, I made a list of fifteen sections of Scripture especially relevant to the pro-life cause to help me be better attuned with God’s heart on this subject before I would speak out against it: Genesis 1:27Exodus 1:16–224:1121:22–25Job 10:11–1231:15Psalm 14:422:9–10127:3–5139:13–16Isaiah 45:9–1149:15Jeremiah 1:5Luke 1:41–44Galatians 1:15. I found myself in tears as the weight and impact of Scripture built conviction, holy anger, love, and grace in my mind and heart. Let’s go deep in our Scriptures before we go wide in airing our beliefs.

In particular, Isaiah 45:9–11 hit me in a fresh way in light of legislation being considered around the nation that acts as if a fetus is not a human baby until he or she begins to breathe — or even later. At one point, God says through the prophet, “Woe to him who says . . . to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’” (Isaiah 45:10). Everybody knows that a pregnant woman is pregnant with a baby, a human being — regardless of what some of our legislators are proclaiming. Let’s have God’s word feed our minds and hearts, move our hands and feet, and open our mouths to speak for the unborn (Proverbs 31:8).

3. Share Scripture and your story.

Recently I had the opportunity to testify before a House committee. I not only shared Scripture with them, but I focused on the implications for those scriptural principles in our time and place. There is a time for legislators — as well as friends, relatives, or your fellow church members — to be educated on what God says about life before birth.

But we need also to think about how the fact that all human beings are created in God’s image impacts principles of law: like whether or not an abused pregnant woman should be able to seek justice for her baby, and whether or not insurance companies should be required to provide life-saving medicine and procedures to babies in the womb.

The House committee hearing was so impactful not because every person who spoke was a pastor (there were many), but also because of so many others who shared their story and expertise: women who regretted their abortion and had found forgiveness in Christ, nurses and doctors explaining their professional concerns, a lady who was conceived in rape explaining that her life matters and that the law helped her birth mom to do the right thing, and another mother, a social worker, who spoke to why women in poverty need to be encouraged toward the hope of adoption and motherhood.

4. Go testify, write, and visit your legislators.

If there is a public hearing, go on record in defense of the unborn, whether by written testimony or public speaking. I had never spoken in front of a government committee until recently. I was nervous before I got up to speak at the hearing. But when I began to talk about how the unborn have value given to us by God based on being human, not based on what they can offer, I was able to look the two co-writers of the bill in the eye confidently, and publicly declare that it is wrong to say that preborn babies have no rights. God will give you strength.

It is easy to write or call your government officials when abortion legislation is on the docket. If it is state legislation, go visit your elected legislators. When abortion decisions are being made at the US Supreme Court level, we feel there is nothing we can do other than to pray. But the new territory in the fight for life is now in your own neighborhood. You can go talk to your representatives and senators in person.

5. Support your local crisis-pregnancy center.

Your local crisis-pregnancy center does not receive tax dollars as they counsel women to consider adoption, providing them hope and help. They need our support, they need our encouragement, they need our prayers, and they need our volunteer hours. They are on the frontlines. Let’s join them.

6. Get involved with foster care and adoption.

When a courageous woman does give birth to a child who was in danger of being aborted, she and the child often need our support through foster care or adoption. This is one way we care for orphans in the United States. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27).

7. Minister to women who have had abortions.

As a pastor, I have cried with women who tearfully have shared that they were deceived at some point in their life and had an abortion. It has been especially helpful to have women in the church who can be an additional listening ear and a reminder of Christ’s forgiveness to these women who need our love and support. Those who were considering abortion but made the brave decision to give birth also need our help in many practical ways.

8. Remember our duty to love.

Protecting the unborn is one way you can love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). But this also includes loving those we disagree with. Abortion is an emotional issue for both sides. But even as we confront those we disagree with, and don’t back down, we don’t call them names or ever threaten to harm them. They may be protecting the “right” to kill innocent children, but our duty to them is to tell them the truth, pray for them, and — as hard as it can be in this circumstance — to honor and love them (Romans 13:7–8). We also must never forget that the gospel ultimately is what changes hearts and minds.

Not to Act Is to Act

When I spoke to the House committee, I ended by telling them,

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor during the Nazi regime. Bonhoeffer pastored during a time that his government, the Nazis, claimed that an entire segment of humanity had no personhood. Bonhoeffer audaciously declared, “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

We are speaking, and we are acting today, and we will continue to do so for those you are saying are non-people. You will continue to hear from us until every baby is not just given their rights back, but has an opportunity to have a birthday.

The question for us as Christians is, Will we continue to pray? Will we continue to speak? Will we continue to act? As a result of the love of Christ poured into our lives and hearts, the killing of babies in the womb cannot become white noise to us.

 (@timothycounts) is married to his best friend, Melanie, and they are the proud parents of three children. He serves as the pastor of Northshire Baptist Church in Manchester Center, Vermont. Tim writes regularly at He Must Become Greater.

A Sad and Evil Day’: New York Legalizes Abortion Up to Baby’s Birth Day on Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Editor comment: This bill illustrates the increasing moral depravity of our country. We have so many euphemisms to hide the reality of what is happening. This is not “pro-choice” “reproductive rights” “empowerment of women” but this is murder of innocent babies. This is a brutal taking of a baby’s right to live for what reason? Sexual freedom? Inconvenience of having a child? Indifference to human life? There is no justification for a bill like this and may God have mercy on America as it continues to sink in the muck of evil.

New York legislators cheered and applauded Tuesday night after the state Senate removed restrictions on late-term abortions, allowing unborn babies to be aborted up until the day of birth.

The Reproductive Health Act passed with a 38-28 vote and was signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

The law erases New York’s previous limitations on abortion which restricted the fatal procedure past 24 weeks. Supporters say those late-term abortions are being allowed in order to protect the lives of women, but pro-life advocates say that’s just a ruse, pointing out that those late-term babies are clearly viable human lives who could otherwise survive outside the womb.

“RHA is an extreme bill sold to the public saying it merely ‘updates’ New York’s law, which is far from true.  RHA will expand abortion past 24 weeks through birth, make abortion a ‘fundamental right,’ and prohibit all limits, which Roe vs. Wade did *not* do,” New York State Right to Life said in a Facebook post.

Christina Fadden, chair of New York State Right to Life explained further, “RHA has expanded abortion-on-demand in New York past 24 weeks – well past when unborn children feel pain, are viable, and suffer during the course of an abortion – and up to birth. This is inhumane.”

The act states, “every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.”

The law also removes abortion from the definition of homicide and New York’s criminal code altogether. Previously, New York law treated the murder of an unborn child in its the third trimester as a felony offense punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The shocked response has been rolling in across the nation after Democrat lawmakers in the state of New York did the unthinkable Tuesday, legalizing the abortion of unborn babies all the way up until the point of birth.  The response on CBNNews.com has been stunning as more than a million readers simply can’t fathom why any state would allow viable babies to be killed.

Pro-life advocates point out the law is presented under the guise of protecting women’s health, but it permits late-term abortions of unborn babies who could otherwise survive outside the womb.

News of the new law sent shockwaves through the pro-life community. Many are grieving about what it will mean for lost human lives and pointing out the sheer hypocrisies behind what the Left has just done, especially as they try to claim the moral high ground on so many other cultural issues. The stunning developments out of New York appear to be galvanizing the pro-life movement to fight abortion with renewed fervor.

Dr. James Dobson is condemning the NY legislation as barbaric.

“It is not overstating the matter to say I am horrified by the New York State Senate’s vote to pass the euphemistic Reproductive Health Act (RHA). This bill is not about reproductive health at all. It is pure barbarism on a scale rarely seen since the Middle Ages,” Dobson says. “There is a battle raging for millions of lives preordained by God himself, and it is we who must stand for them so that they might have a chance at life.”

MORE: Stunned by NY’s Late-Term Abortion Law? Well, Prepare to Be Stunned Again

Dr. Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, says, “Those who are applauding the passage of New York’s so-dubbed Reproductive Health Act are not celebrating and promoting a step forward in women’s health rights. They are celebrating cold-blooded murder. This act is nothing short of a license to kill unborn babies, even when they could survive outside the womb.”

“That this law was received with such exuberance by so many people should spur us to action, realizing that it has never been more important to defend the sanctity of human life and to fight for those who cannot defend themselves,” he continued.

Former Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) laughed hysterically as they pushed to expand abortion rights in the New York state legislature in early January of 2019.

Janet Morana, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and executive director of @PriestsforLife tweeted:

“As a native New Yorker my heart is broken knowing precious babies can now be killed until birth for any reason. #abortion is nothing less than homicide and to expand its bloody reach on the anniversary of #RoeVWade is a disgrace. #prolife #WakeUpAmerica”

Janet Morana@JanetMorana

“NY Gov. Cuomo wants to regulate potentially poisonous chemicals in cleaning products… But champions the poisoning, dismemberment, and fatality of children in the womb during abortion.”

Alison H.Centofante@AlisonHowardC

But champions the poisoning, dismemberment, and fatality of children in the womb during abortion.

Andrew Cuomo

@NYGovCuomo

I am proposing mandatory labeling on products containing potentially hazardous chemicals.

The more we know about our exposure to chemicals, the more frightening the situation is. Consumers have the right to know what’s inside the products they use.https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-proposal-executive-budget-protect-new-yorkers-unknown-exposure-toxic 

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh blasted the Left for its hypocrisy on the life issue saying: “Trump is literally Hitler,” they said as they celebrated the mass murder of infants.

Matt Walsh

@MattWalshBlog

“Trump is literally Hitler,” they said as they celebrated the mass murder of infants

“How tragic: @NYGovCuomo orders World Trade Center to be lit pink to celebrate new law in New York permitting unborn babies to be killed by abortion up until birth… …while the WTC memorial below bears the names of 11 unborn children who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Susan B. Anthony List

@SBAList

How tragic: @NYGovCuomo orders World Trade Center to be lit pink to celebrate new law in New York permitting unborn babies to be killed by abortion up until birth…

…while the WTC memorial below bears the names of 11 unborn children who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks

And author and pro-life activist Bryan Kemper pointed out another shocking irony on Twitter:

“The Horrors of Auschwitz exhibit is coming to New York to make sure people don’t forget the destruction of life, yet New York just legalized the #Abortion holocaust up to birth. Blood is flowing in our streets as we continue to snuff out life in the womb. #reverseroe #prolife”

Bryan Kemper 🇺🇸@BryanKemper

The Horrors of Auschwitz exhibit is coming to New York to make sure people don’t forget the destruction of life, yet New York just legalized the holocaust up to birth. Blood is flowing in our streets as we continue to snuff out life in the womb.

and http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/january/hypocrisy-homicide-and-horrors-new-yorks-brand-new-license-to-kill-viable-babies-sparks-intense-outrage
See also: https://beautybeyondbones.com/2019/01/28/andrew-cuomo-nightmare-in-new-york/

“Gosnell” Movie Profiling Serial-Killer Abortionist Breaks Top 10 Nationally Despite Media Blackout

Despite a media blackout and virtually no coverage outside conservative media circles, the new movie “Gosnell” made the list of top 10 movies across the United States over the weekend. Coming in at the #10 spot, Gosnell came in ahead of other movies with much wider releases — as the film is appearing in just 673 theaters nationwide.

CDespite the more limited release, Gosnell outperformed A Simple Favor, The Nun,  and the blockbuster film Crazy Rich Asians. Every other movie except for one that appeared higher in the weekend top 10 list was shown to Americans in thousands of theaters. It was also the only movie to gain in audience on Sunday, with over $1.23 million in ticket sales though the weekend. Every other movie saw a Sunday dropoff.

Had Gosnell opened in 2,800 theaters like other movies in the top 10 list it would have finished in 7th place for the weekend — making it more popular per theater than The House With a Clock in Its Walls and Bad Times at the El Royale.

But those who are watching the movie are giving in tremendously high ratings. It has a 67% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and 99% of those viewing it said they liked it. Here are some of the reviews:

“Well-acted and compelling. Even without going full-on graphic, the film achieves real power,” says Mike McGranaghan.

“Perhaps we should be glad that mainstream Hollywood, just like the mainstream media, had no interest in this story. It’s almost impossible to believe they would have told it so well,” adds Megan Basham.

And Christian Toto adds: “Gosnell delivers one of the most chilling portraits of evil we’ve seen in ages.”

Gosnell unmasks the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Kermit Gosnell, a man who performed countless illegal, late-term abortions and murdered several born children as well.

He is the abortion practitioner who killed babies in live-birth abortions that were more akin to infanticide than abortion. The media virtually ignored Kermit Gosnell until the pro-life movement launched a concerned effort to call them out on their bias during the early stages of his trial for murder.

Now, Gosnell is prison, having been convicted of murder in the deaths of multiple babies,though he was accused of killing thousands of viable babies. Still, one report from Gallup showed a large percentage of Americans still have no idea who Gosnell is and what he did.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer opened nationwide on October 12 and stars Dean Cain as the detective who put Gosnell behind bars.

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https://players.brightcove.net/769341148/rJWoNu3gLM_default/index.html?videoId=5822575796001

Movie executive director Phelim McAleer previously told LifeNews that, despite the grisly, horrific nature of the case, what astounded him the most was the lack of a media presence covering Gosnell’s trial. “This is one of the biggest stories I’ve ever seen, I’ve ever heard about, and there was no coverage at all,” he said.

After the events of Gosnell’s case concluded, McAleer and his wife, fellow journalist and documentarian Ann McElhinney, decided to take matters into their own hands.

“I just assumed then once he [Gosnell] was convicted, that there was going to be a mega movie, because why wouldn’t you make a movie out of this?” McAleer said. “So I waited and waited and I realized, wow, no one’s making a movie out of this? That’s because they don’t want—Hollywood doesn’t want to touch this story or cover this story. So, if they’re not going to do it, then I should do it. We’ve done this before; we’ve been telling stories all of our lives. We’ll just make a movie, and we did.”

Once the idea was set, the next major task was to allocate money to make the film. McAleer decided to crowdfund, a strategy he has used for previous films. He and his wife initially went to Kickstarter to fundraise, but they faced censorship on that site.

“Kickstarter said ‘yeah, you can [fundraise] here, but you have to change the description of your project,” McAleer said.

McAleer was asked to remove terms like “murder,” “murdering babies,” and “stabbing babies” from the description of their project, because the words were deemed offensive to Kickstarter’s community values. Gosnell was, in fact, convicted of murdering three newborn babies, and witnesses who testified at the trial said he killed them by stabbing the backs of the babies’ necks with scissors.

“I don’t want to be part of a community that has standards that force you to lie,” McAleer said.

McAleer and McElhinney then pulled out of Kickstarter and proceeded to fundraise via Indiegogo, a similar fundraising website. Their campaign went well, to say the least. Nearly 30,000 people raised $2.3 million in 45 days for “Gosnell,” which broke the website’s fundraising record. Even though McAleer and his wife made Indiegogo history, there was little fanfare.

“No mainstream media has ever written a story on us. When they write nice puffy stories about crowdfunding, they seem to forget to include us. And you know, it’s a movie that exposes them, shows them off for the agenda-driven PACs that they are. Our movie is saying the things that they don’t want to talk about—the negative side of abortion and how the media covers things up,” he said.

“Gosnell” features some A-list names, including director Nick Searcy (“The Shape of Water”) and Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”). However, some actors were reluctant to accept roles, and after being cast, some stepped down.

“So Hollywood didn’t want to touch this film…You know Hollywood, they give themselves awards for bravery, but they’re not that brave,” McAleer said.

For more details, visit gosnellmovie.com.

Courtesy of lifenews.com

Twitter Restricts Pro-life Advertisements Again, Backtracks Amid Media Scrutiny

Twitter has again suspended a pro-life organization from running ads on its site only to then backpedal upon receiving questions from conservative media about their actions.

The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that they contacted Twitter after it became known that the social media giant had removed three ads from the pro-life group Human Coalition. Twitter placed the nonprofit organization’s advertising privileges “under review” because they had supposedly violated the company’s policy forbidding “inappropriate” content.

Twitter reportedly told Human Coalition that they would be notified by email upon completion of the review. Last Thursday Human Coalition received that email informing them they were suspended from running any advertisements on Twitter.

One of three ads that were moved contained messages explaining that abortion is not healthcare and intentionally killing another human being contradicts the Hippocratic oath. Another mentioned how abortion is the leading cause of death in the African-American community but almost never comes up in the national discourse about racism, and that 80 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics operate in racial minority neighborhoods.

The third removed ad mentioned that Planned Parenthood aborts more than 900 babies daily and argued that there is “no moral, social, cultural, or health reason” for the abortion giant to exist.

Earlier this week the Daily Caller contacted Twitter to inquire about the suspension and asked why Planned Parenthood was not banned from running ads while the Human Coalition was restricted.

Only two hours after the conservative news outlet made the request, Twitter contacted Human Coalition to tell them they had lifted the suspension and that their tweets were approved.

“Twitter claims to believe in ‘free expression’ and to think that ‘every voice has the power to impact the world.’ I believe Twitter does think that every voice has the power to change the world — and I believe that is exactly why they suppressed Human Coalition and others who proclaim the pro-life worldview,” Human Coalition spokesperson Lauren Enriquez said in a statement.

“The fact that Twitter ideologues actively suppress Human Coalition’s pro-life expressions betrays their fear of how we are changing the world. And we don’t plan to stop changing the world any time soon.”

Human Coalition is not the first pro-life group to have its content regarded as offensive and censored.

Pro-life investigative group Live Action and the pro-life political action committee the Susan B. Anthony List have both tangled with Twitter for the ability to run ads containing messages opposed to abortion and Planned Parenthood.

Likewise, as The Christian Post previously reported, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee currently vying to replace retiring Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate, faced similar issues in October. In her introductory campaign ad she highlighted her role in leading the Congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood, speaking specifically how they “stopped the sale of baby body parts—thank God.”

When Twitter pulled the ad they insisted she remove the Planned Parenthood reference because it was “inflammatory,” but Blackburn refused and demanded an apology. Twitter ultimately relented and allowed the ad amid outcry.

Follow Brandon Showalter on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalter

Follow Brandon Showalter on Twitter: @BrandonMShow

Courtesy of https://www.christianpost.com/news/twitter-restricts-pro-life-advertisements-again-backtracks-amid-media-scrutiny-222260/

Liberty Counsel Condemns the Inhuman Treatment of Unborn Children

ATLANTA, GA — Today Liberty Counsel files an amicus brief in the case of West Alabama Women’s Center v. Miller defending the Alabama law that prohibits dismemberment abortions of live unborn babies, known as Dilation and Extraction (D&E), based on the medical evidence of their ability to feel intense pain.

Liberty Counsel’s brief lists ample evidence that unborn babies feel pain. “[I]t is entirely uncontested that a fetus experiences pain in some capacity, from as early as 8 weeks of development.” testified Dr. Maureen Condic before U.S. legislators. Early on in fetal development pain transmitters in the spinal cord are abundant, but pain inhibitors are sparse until later, according to Dr. Colleen Malloy. This medical information shows that premature infants have greater pain sensitivity than do full-term infants. Another demonstration of this is how premature babies actually require greater concentrations of medication to maintain effective anesthesia during surgery than full-term babies, as explained in the book Neonatal Pain.

If the vilest criminal has human dignity that protects him from an inhuman, painful punishment, then how much more should our laws protect an innocent unborn child that science proves is inherently human and experiences significant pain? Dr. Condic states “[I]gnoring the pain experienced by another human individual for any reason is barbaric.”

Doctors performing the D&E abortions are acutely affected by the child’s humanity and experience deep emotions and even nightmares. One deeply pro-choice abortionist was brought to tears when her own unborn child kicked at the exact same time that she severed another’s foot in a D&E abortion. “Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes” said Dr. Lisa Harris. “It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics.”

“We give our pets greater legal protections than we provide to the future citizens of America who have proven their humanity and their sensitivity to pain,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.  “Alabama’s law is a common sense solution to a barbaric and gruesome procedure,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

Pro-life, Religious Groups Resist Illegal DC bills; ADF Ready to Defend Those affected

Baby-with-TearWASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom and other pro-life organizations released a joint statement Monday as a District of Columbia law is set to go into effect that could force such groups to operate contrary to their missions and beliefs.

Partly due to the agreement of many people, including the former D.C. mayor, that the law raises serious concerns under the First Amendment and federal law, the D.C. Council retreated from its original purpose for the law and passed a temporary measure stating that it will not require any employer in the District to provide insurance coverage for abortion, contraceptives, or any other “reproductive health decision.” The temporary measure will expire in 225 days, however, and therefore leaves pro-life employers open to unconstitutional treatment by the government.

“Pro-life organizations in our nation’s capital should not be forced to pay for abortions or hire those who oppose their pro-life beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “While the D.C. Council has retreated from this law’s original goal, which was to force pro-life organizations to pay for abortions in violation of their conscience, RHNDA remains an unnecessary and illegal attack on pro-life conscience that Congress must stop and that we will fight, if necessary, in the courts.”

In addition to ADF, the signers of the joint statement include representatives from the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Americans United for Life, Americans United for Life Action, March for Life, Concerned Women for America, Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, and the Association of Christian Schools International.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 still prohibits even pro-life and religious organizations from “discriminating” against employees and potential employees for any “reproductive health” decision, including elective abortions. If the District does not make its temporary amendment to the law permanent, it could also force employers to provide health insurance for elective abortions regardless of the organization’s religious beliefs or pro-life mission.

“That the House of Representatives took the extraordinary step of formally disapproving this bill demonstrates just how unprecedented and illegal RHNDA is. We will continue to resist, and encourage Congress to address, the District’s egregious violation of the First Amendment and federal law…,” the joint statement says. “We are nonsectarian pro-life organizations and religious ministries that make the nation’s capital our home. Despite the enactment of this unjust law, we will continue to hire employees who share our commitment to the dignity of every member of the human family. We will not abandon the purpose of our organizations in order to comply with this illegal and unjust law. We will vigorously resist any effort under RHNDA to violate our constitutionally protected fundamental rights.”

The District’s Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014 is also set to go into effect. HRAA overturns decades-old law and requires faith-based educational institutions to endorse and to provide school resources to individuals and groups who oppose the schools’ religious teachings on human sexuality. ADF attorneys say that both laws violate constitutionally protected freedoms and federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that ADF will be available to legally represent organizations that are negatively impacted by either law.

“ADF stands ready to protect the freedom that schools have not to support student groups whose objectives clearly contradict the schools’ religious values,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “The government should not be in the business of forcing people to act contrary to their beliefs when it has no compelling reason for doing so. Federal law and numerous court decisions support that point.”

As a federal district, D.C. laws are subject to review by Congress before they go into effect. Some members of Congress introduced resolutions to disapprove the bills, but they failed to pass. President Obama threatened to veto the resolutions if Congress passed them.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

University of South Alabama Restricts Freedom of Speech

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MOBILE, Ala. — Alliance Defending Freedom filed an amended complaint Friday in a pro-life student organization’s lawsuit against the University of South Alabama.

The university relegated the group’s pro-life display to a small speech zone on campus because it deemed the nature of the event “controversial.” Under the university’s policies, students must also obtain a permit 72 hours in advance in order to use the speech zone.

“Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “Free speech should not be censored or limited to a ridiculously small area on campus, nor should students need permission to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom of speech. The First Amendment protects speech for all students in the outdoor areas of campus, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”

Last October, Students for Life USA requested permission to a hold a “Cemetery of the Innocents” event, which consists of students placing small crosses in the ground to represent the innocent lives lost to abortion. University officials denied the request and said it would need to be held in the campus’s speech zone, even though other groups have exercised free speech on other portions of the campus. At the time, the speech zone was restricted to the Student Center, which was less than one percent of the college’s main campus. Although the university has since expanded its speech zone, it still restricts speech throughout the campus.

The lawsuit, Students for Life USA v. Waldrop, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, explains that the university’s speech policy violates the First Amendment and gives university officials “unbridled discretionary power to limit student speech in advance of such expression on campus and to do so based on the content and viewpoint of the speech.”

“Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,” added ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “We hope that the University of South Alabama will revise its policy so that its students can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”