Alaska Family Council and Alliance Defending Freedom are proud to present the 2015 Religious Liberty Town Halls. These Town Halls are built to equip Alaskan ministry, community, and business leaders with the information and strategies they need to lawfully, tactfully, and gracefully stand for truth in the public square.
Join AFC President Jim Minnery, ADF Senior Counsel Bradley Abramson, Media Trainer Bruce Smith, and special guest Dr. Jim Garlow, Pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, CA, for one of these fantastic events!
Fairbanks – Monday, September 14th at 8:00 am (Doors Open at 7:30am) – Register here!
Anchorage – Tuesday, September 15th at 8:00 am (Doors Open at 7:30am) – Register here!
Soldotna – Tuesday, September 15th at 5:30 pm (Hor d'oerves at 4:30pm) – Register here!
When Laura Einstein, Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, was asked by then Senator Fred Dyson in a legislative hearing what an elective abortion was, she paused awkwardly.
"We've heard of the term 'elective abortion' but we don't know what that means."
She really had no choice in her response. Whatever she identified as an elective abortion, the Alaska Supreme Court had made it clear that State Medicaid funds were not required to pay for them. Laura Einstein knew she had to testify that all abortions are "medically necessary."
The hearing was for SB49, a bill that would end the State's practice of paying for elective abortions through Medicaid. Medical experts and specialists in neonatology from across the country testified that in fact there are instances where an abortion is "medically necessary" and the mother's life would be in danger from carrying the baby to term. Very rare cases.
A comprehensive, medically verifiable list of conditions was identified and the bill was passed by the Alaska Legislature and signed into law by Governor Sean Parnell.
Fast forward to yesterday. One lawyer on the Alaska Superior Court arrogantly ruled that he was stronger and more constitutionally aware than the entire two other branches of Government.
Here's the most disturbing part.
As we've pointed out before, Judge John Suddock's former law firm, Suddock and Schleuss actually joined forces with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in a lawsuit against the State of Alaska regarding Medicaid payments for abortions.
JOHN SUDDOCK'S FORMER LAW FIRM REPRESENTED PLANNED PARENTHOOD ! Can you say conflict of interest ? Imagine a case before a judge regarding environmental regulations on the North Slope and the sitting judge's former law firm represented ConocoPhillips or Shell or BP. The other side would go ballistic. This epitomizes arrogance and irrationality. There is simply no way to defend Suddock staying on this case. He did exactly as Planned Parenthood wanted and expected.
Our next hope is that the State of Alaska will immediately appeal and this case will end up at the Alaska Supreme Court. We'll keep you posted as progress is made. Thanks for staying engaged.
A lot can happen without your knowledge in the many hours your kids are away from you at school.
As parents, we're not only ultimately responsible for our children's education, we're also accountable to God for how we direct the education of the children entrusted to us. It is absolutely critical for parents to be proactive when it comes to the education of their children.
As your kids head back to school this year, we hope you'll find these resources helpful as you prayerfully guard your children's hearts and minds. While this update is troubling, let's first and foremost remember that we all fall short of God's best for us. Students, adults and others dealing with sexual identity issues are made in His image as we are. They deserve our love and grace with the truth we are called to stand strong for. 1 Corinthians 16:13
Transgender Activism in Schools
Are you aware of the Anchorage School District's "Transgender and Gender Nonconforming" Administrative Guidelines ? Click HERE to read it and prepare to be shocked. Alaska Family Action is looking through the entire piece with legal experts and others to determine our next course of action. The best thing you can do right now is let School Superintendent Ed Graff know how disappointed you are with this policy. You can reach him at [email protected] or at 742-4312. Click HERE for a list of Anchorage School Board members. If you know of similar policies/guidelines at other school districts, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected] and we'll look into it.
The entire document is disturbing but here are a few parts worth reading now. Bathrooms/Locker rooms - "Schools may maintain separate restrooms and locker rooms for male and female students/employees. Access should be allowed based on the gender identity consistently expressed by the student or employee." Translation - a male adult employee "identifying" as a girl can use the same locker room or bathroom as your daughter. Let that settle in.
Parental Notification - "Generally, notification of a student's parent about his or her gender identity, expression or transition is unnecessary, as they are already aware and may be supportive. In some cases, however, notifying parents carries risk for the student if the family does not support the student's desire to transition. Prior to any notification of any parent or guardian regarding the transition process, school staff should work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent/guardian will be involved in the process, considering at all times, the health, well-being, and safety of the transitioning student." Translation - if you've been identified by the school as a parent with natural, traditional, Biblical views on sexuality, you are not invited to this party. It's between your child and those with more "advanced", "evolved" views. Your right to know stops at the school door.
This is the world we live in today. It is frustrating but we are called to be salt and light in a fallen culture. That happens, partly, by educating yourself. Click HERE for a great resource from Focus on the Family on talking with your kids about transgenderism.
Another way to stay engaged is to ask your child's school to make sure bathrooms & locker rooms continue to be separated based on biological sex. Talk with school officials about how they plan to handle requests from transgender students to use the facilities of the opposite biological sex. Although the Anchorage School District has distributed these guidelines to teachers and administrators, policies are set by the School Board.
Protecting Your Child's Religious Freedom in School
Do you know what your child's religious freedom rights are in school? What about yours as a parent? Our allied attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom have created a Guide to Religious Freedom in Public Schools. Students don't have to leave their faith at home when they head back to the classroom! Check out the Student Religious Freedom Guide HERE.
Before the Municipality of Anchorage Assembly election last year, Alaska Family Action asked candidate Bill Evans the following question in written format -
"As an Anchorage Assembly member, would you support or oppose adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the Municipal Code section regarding non-discrimination?"
His response, dated and signed March 23rd, 2014, stated that he would oppose such a measure. Based on his response, we endorsed Mr. Evans in his race.
A lot can happen in 18 months.
Assembly Member Evans recent introduction of the ordinance he said he would oppose if elected raises many concerns and even more questions by those of us who already view Anchorage as a tolerant city and see no reason to open up this hornet's nest again.
Anchorage resident overwhelmingly rejected Prop 5 back in 2012. Does Mr. Evans really believe our city has changed that much in a few short years and is now over run with homophobic bigots ?
There are of course the pitifully inadequate, religious exemptions in Mr. Evans ordinance (that we will address in detail in a future email) but the burning question I have for him now is this -
Would it have been that hard to reach out to groups like Alaska Family Action before you introduced the ordinance ?
According to the Alaska Dispatch story, you actively reached out to the LGBTQIA community. Where's the love Mr. Evans ?
If this was a "balanced approach" to find "common ground", I think we need to clarify what those terms mean. Seems the scales are tipped in a not so common direction when you move on this matter without the slightest effort to connect with groups representing the majority of Anchorage voters - especially in South Anchorage, the community you represent.
Stay tuned as this beast is unleashed and hopefully tamed.
Our Chance To Defund Planned Parenthood
Yesterday, the fourth in a series of videos uncovering Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of human baby organs came out and is the most shocking yet. In it, employees of Planned Parenthood, while discussing the dismemberment of an unborn baby they just aborted, announce “And another boy!” Almost in a giddy tone. A giddy, dark and horrible tone.
In the video, the Planned Parenthood representative seemingly admits that sometimes the baby is born alive, “…before we are able to see them for a procedure, intact.” The Planned Parenthood doctor then says, “We’d have to do a little bit of training with the providers or something to make sure that they don’t crush” the baby before they get the valuable organs. They also callously discuss procuring brains and other organs.
The Planned Parenthood representative also discusses how they would message the for-profit selling if the news ever became public.
Earlier this week, on the same day the third video was released, Politico reported that the $1 billion abortion behemoth has hired yet another big name PR firm to help it deal with the “crisis.” Interestingly,Politico reports that the firm “circulated a memo to reporters and producers late Monday that discouraged them from airing the undercover videos, arguing that they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy.” They are running but they are not hiding well.
Now Is Our Chance - 3 Things YOU Can Do
1) Contact Senator Lisa Murkowski. Her vote will be crucial.
This coming Monday,or possibly Tuesday, the U.S. Senate will be voting to prohibit the nation’s largest abortion provider from receiving taxpayer funds. According to their 2013-2014 annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million dollars of taxpayer money. Click HERE for an excellent article from our friends at Focus on the Family on the case for defunding Planned Parenthood.
This undercover investigation has given us a rare moment we cannot let escape. Our nation has been exposed to Planned Parenthood’s dangerous and deadly practices. Now is our chance to cut off their federal funding.
Senator Lisa Murkowski has been silent. Please CLICK HERE and let her know how important it is that public funding for Planned Parenthood must end. Ask her to vote YES on S. 1881. Let her know that she can remain pro-choice and still cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Remind her there are many, many other health clinics that can provide services to women. Remind her that Planned Parenthood clinics won't have to be shut down as Federal funding ends. They would still have roughly 60% of their operating budget.
Experts are coming out in droves now to discuss a post-Planned Parenthood America and how health care for women will actually be improved in that environment. This is the best article I've seen on it so far.
2) Spread the word! Tell your friends and family to contact Senator Murkowski. Forward this email, tweet Senator Murkowski using the hashtag #DefundPP and share this info through Facebook.
3) Pray! Pray this law passes, and that life is protected in America.
Ultimately, while the legalities of selling the organs of the unborn babies just killed has been the center of much of the debate, the videos are really a window into the reality of abortion and the abortion industry. “And another boy” that was just killed. It’s a human life that was just taken. Anyone with any kind of human conscience that watches these videos has to be outraged.
With few exceptions, it’s clear the mainstream media is not going to tell the truth about Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. It is never going to tell the truth about abortion itself. So we must. People need to know the reality of what is happening inside these abortion centers and the truth about Planned Parenthood.
Yesterday's rally in Anchorage, in concert with more than 60 other cities across the country, was a poignant reminder that Planned Parenthood is on very thin ice with the American public. Now infamous videos exposing the harvesting and sale of pre-born body parts have garnered unprecedented attention and disdain from U.S. Presidential candidates, Fortune 500 corporations and the general public.
U.S.Senate & House members, Governors, State legislators and Attorneys General far and wide are calling for the defunding of and investigation into Planned Parenthood. To be sure, the nation's largest abortion provider is on the ropes and we will do our part to continue to apply pressure and expose the reality of what "choice" really looks like.
What is Alaska doing ? We're expanding our relationship with Planned Parenthood. Governor Walker's recent decision to do an end-run on the State Legislature to expand Medicaid will provide additional funds and additional business to Planned Parenthood. That means more abortions. Paid by taxpayers. To Planned Parenthood.
Our hope is to sit down with Governor Walker and his team to see if this can be addressed. It must be addressed. Please take a few minutes to read the following short note from Dr. Michael New, a scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, who provided a thorough analysis about Medicaid expansion and abortions in Alaska. It's time to act.
Pro-life Concerns about the Pending Expansion of Medicaid in Alaska
Michael New, Ph.D. | July 22, 2015.
Last Thursday Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he would use his executive authority to expand Alaska’s state Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Walker’s proposal would extend Medicaid eligibility to all Alaskans earning less than 133 percent of the poverty line. Walker reported that he sent a letter to the Alaska legislature’s Budget and Audit Committee, giving legislators the required 45-day notice of his plan. The committee can make recommendations, but Walker said he has legal authority to move forward without the legislature’s approval.
This action by Governor Walker will likely prompt both a political and a legal battle. Earlier this summer, the Republican-controlled state legislature rejected Walker’s plan to expand Medicaid. They even included language in the state’s budget prohibiting any such move. However, opinions from both the Alaska Department of Law and from the legislature’s legal counsel declared that the effort to block Walker likely doesn’t adhere to the state’s constitution.
Additionally, Governor Walker has defended his decision. He stated that previous Alaska governors have used the same authority to accept money from sources outside the state’s general fund on seven prior occasions. Also, governors in other states, including Kentucky and Ohio, also have adopted the Medicaid expansion without new legislation.
Regardless, pro-lifers have strong grounds to oppose Medicaid expansion in Alaska. As I point out in a recently released Charlotte Lozier Institute policy analysis, Governor Walker’s proposal would place anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 women of childbearing age directly on to a Medicaid program which covers elective abortions. Alaska is one of 17 states that publicly fund abortions through their state Medicaid program. Additionally, over 40 percent of all abortions performed in Alaska are paid for by Medicaid. Putting more women of childbearing age onto a Medicaid plan which covers abortion – and funds a high percentage of abortion in Alaska — will almost certainly increase Alaska’s abortion rate.
Other implications of Medicaid expansion are of concern. Medicaid expansion would also induce some women who are on exchange plans which do not cover abortion to transfer to a Medicaid plan which does cover abortion. Finally, it would increase taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and a provider of a significant number of abortions in Alaska. Overall, the Alaska state legislature should be commended for rejecting efforts to expand Medicaid this summer. Any efforts to delay or block Governor Walker’s proposal merits public support.
Michael J. New is a Visiting Associate Professor at Ave Maria University and an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New.
The latest video of Planned Parenthood working in the pre-born baby parts for sale business has just been released.
CLICK HERE TO SEE IT NOW
It is gut wrenching to watch but another vivid and necessary reminder that we have true evil in our midst and it must be exposed and stopped.
Please join us TODAY at Noon at the Delaney Park Strip for a gathering of Alaskans who are saying clearly and firmly, Enough is Enough !
Click HERE for more details about the rally.
This is not just a rally. It is a true tipping point for an industry that has been deceiving and hurting generations of women and butchering innocent lives. It is a nationally organized and orchestrated call to action by the public to immediately investigate Planned Parenthood regarding their sale of human body parts and immediately place a moratorium on all Federal and State funding of this organization that receives more than $500 million a year in tax-payer funds.
Please join us today and stand for justice. For truth. For human life and dignity.
This is an urgent request to join us this coming Tuesday, July 28th at Noon at the far west end of the Park Strip in downtown Anchorage as we join more than 50 other U.S. cities having rallies in response to the recent Planned Parenthood videos showing top executives callously negotiating over the sale of pre-born baby parts.
Several Governors and State Attorney Generals have started investigations but it is crucially important to bring people together to call attention to this atrocity and hold this TAXPAYER-FUNDED organizational accountable. Students for Life is the national organizing group and we're honored to link arms with them. Local speakers are being finalized today. Please share this as far and wide as you can with your place of worship and encourage everyone you know to attend. As our friends and ministry partners at Alliance Defending Freedom have rightfully identified, this may indeed be a tipping point that brings this organization to it's knees.
Click HERE and get the word out to your friends and family and associates. It's time to step up and let our voices be heard !
A U.S. SENATOR WHO IS SERIOUS ABOUT OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
Please call or email Alaska U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan and thank him for recently coming on board as a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). S.1598
Now that the five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court have illegitimately prevented citizens from defining marriage, it's time for the other equal branch of Government to push back.
Similar to sensible legislation that prevents health care professionals from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions regarding abortions, FADA would prevent any agency from denying a federal tax exemption, grant, contract, accreditation, license, or certification to an individual or institution for acting on their religious belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
As Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his dissenting opinion, "Federal courts are blunt instruments when it comes to creating rights,” Roberts writes, because “they do not have the flexibility of legislatures to address concerns of parties not before the court or to anticipate problems that may arise from the exercise of a new right."
Public officials rarely hear from constituents when they have done something right. Please...let Senator Sullivan know how much you appreciate his willingness to stand in the gap.
Click HERE for his contact form or simply call 202-224-3004 now and say thanks for co-sponsoring the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) - S.1598
We are so privileged as a ministry to be in close partnership with some of the best minds and warriors in the country fighting for faith, family and freedom. Most importantly, they are engaged in the culture from a Christ-centered perspective. Grace, joy and compassion drive us to bring Truth into the public square. Click HERE to read more about the family policy council "movement."
I'm honored to pass along some timely and encouraging words from our friends and allies in Minnesota for "such a time as this."
Does this sound familiar ?
The Bible teaches clearly that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Sadly, civil governments and cultures have been celebrating and declaring "right" what God clearly declared wrong for centuries. Granted, this is somewhat new to America, but you may recall another big moment in our history when our government celebrated sin and even made it a constitutional "right."
The year was 1973, and the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional "right" in the infamous Roe v. Wade case. The Body of Christ in America rightly mourned.
But then, believers in America got to work. They refused to abandon God's Word and change their views on abortion simply because the Supreme Court invented a new constitutional "right" to murder unborn babies.
And then the Gospel changed hearts and lives, as it always does.
In the mid-1990's, Reverend Flip Benham, the father of our friends the Benham Brothers, baptized Norma McCorvey (the woman who was Jane Roe from the Roe v. Wade case). Reverend Benham built a friendship with Norma after he located his pro-life ministry next to the abortion clinic where Norma worked.
After an extremely difficult childhood, being raped as a teenager, agreeing to be the anonymous plaintiff in the infamous Roe case (though she never aborted her child), and living as a lesbian for years, Norma gave her life to Christ and became an outspoken prolife advocate.
And now today, Millennials are the most prolife generation, with abortion numbers increasingly dropping, and the number of Millennials who think abortion is "morally wrong" well above 50%. Read more!
You see, the Supreme Court didn't get the final word on abortion. Nor will it get the final word on marriage. God's design for marriage is intended to portray a beautiful picture of Christ's relationship with His Church, and the Supreme Court certainly has no authority over that!
So, get ready, we have lots of work to do! Will you joyfully say "Yes, Lord, here am I" with us?
Here in Alaska, we have a tremendous amount of work and opportunities ahead of us. We'll keep you posted as that unfolds. As always, your prayers and financial support are needed and appreciated.