(Austin, Texas) Texas is a very large powerful state so at least the broad strokes of what is going on here should be of interest all over the country. The new Texas Freedom Caucus formed by a dozen members of the Texas Legislature definitely fit in the category of things worth watching nationally.
The Texas Freedom Caucus’ mission is to amplify the voice of liberty-minded grassroots Texans who want bold action to protect life, strengthen families, defend the bill of rights, restrain government and revitalize personal and economic freedoms in Texas.
The Texas Freedom Caucus (TFC) will be focused on first principles that are the hallmark of liberty-minded Texans. The policies supported by the TFC will be developed thru collaboration with grassroots leaders to identify priorities that are often dismissed in Austin.
“Go five blocks in any direction from the Texas Capitol, and you will see what interests are hard wired into the Austin establishment,” Caucus Chairman Rep. Matt Schaefer (Tyler) said. “The mission of the Texas Freedom Caucus will be to hard wire liberty-minded grassroots into policy making in Austin.”
The TFC will engage grassroots Texans on matters before session, during session, and long after session when policies are implemented at the agency level. The caucus is committed to restoring first principles – the right to life, liberty and property that are at the core of the freedom of America and the exceptionalism of Texas. The caucus will outline a set of legislative priorities after it holds a series of discussions with grassroots representatives from all across Texas. Thereafter, the TFC will support or oppose legislation in accordance with those principles.
“We don’t want our priorities to be determined from Austin down, but from the grassroots up. That includes taking things like the Texas Republican Party platform seriously,” said Schaefer. “There are thousands of people too busy working and raising their families to embed themselves in the legislative process. Their voices matter too, and we want to make sure they are heard, and their efforts are multiplied.”
The Texas Freedom Caucus will share many policy goals with other existing conservative organizations and caucuses, and it will buttress and complement rather than compete with those groups. The TFC will distinguish itself by providing a specific focal point for grassroots Texans interested in conservative policy-making in Austin.
The Vice Chair of the Caucus will be Rep. Bill Zedler (Arlington). The Policy Director will be Rep. Jeff Leach (Plano), the caucus Grassroots Liaison will be Rep. Matt Shaheen (Plano) and the Secretary-Treasurer will be Rep. Tony Tinderholt (Arlington). Other members include representatives Kyle Biedermann (New Braunfels), Briscoe Cain (Houston), Matt Krause (Fort Worth), Mike Lang (Granbury), Rep. Matt Rinaldi (Irving), Jonathan Stickland (Bedford) and Valoree Swanson (Spring).
James Bernsen will serve as Executive Director for the Texas Freedom Caucus.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Thomas More Society attorneys filed an appeal last week with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for undercover journalist David Daleiden, arguing for reversal of a preliminary injunction that bars Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress from publishing undercover videos from the 2014 and 2015 annual meetings of the National Abortion Federation (“NAF”). Daleiden’s appeal assails the lower court’s decree as a blatantly unconstitutional “prior restraint” on free speech, based on repeated Supreme Court precedents that condemn such gag orders, most notably the famous Pentagon Papers case in which the Justices refused the federal government’s plea to stop publication of top secret files discussing the Vietnam war which had been leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post. The appeal brief also argues that release of undercover video of significant (if not paramount) public interest should not be suppressed, in order to protect the public’s right to know – a critical element of our professed democratic self-governance as an open and free society. Indeed, the United States Congress, numerous state legislators, and criminal investigators have subpoenaed and relied on Daleiden’s video releases to instigate hearings, new legal and regulatory initiatives, defunding measures, and also possible civil and criminal enforcement actions against the abortion industry. Congress itself had subpoenaed the suppressed videos and the lower court upheld that subpoena, which in turn led to a public hearing by the House Select Committee on Infant Lives, held last week.
This prejudicial censorship targeted at civilian investigator Daleiden threatens undercover journalism at large, explained Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, a national non-profit law firm. “The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is working in tandem with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and promoters to suppress David Daleiden’s First Amendment rights and to shut down the resulting investigations focused on the abortion groups’ involvement in baby parts trafficking,” stated Brejcha.
The Society’s appeal, filed with California-based co-counsel, comes on the heels of the preliminary injunction entered by District Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. NAF had sought entry of this censorship in response to Daleiden’s public release of a series of videos exposing illegal and unsavory practices by Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry participants. NAF’s principal claim in its lawsuit, filed last summer, is that Daleiden and CMP violated the federal Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), a 1970 federal law designed to combat organized crime.
About the RICO claims, Brejcha said, “These are totally inapposite charges in this scenario – charges that have been decisively rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. Equally as other investigative journalists for so-called mainstream news media, such as CBS’s Sixty Minutes, regularly resort to undercover journalism tactics to ferret out hidden crime, citizen journalists like David Daleiden have every right to penetrate the criminal underworld to bring to light and open to public scrutiny evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing.”
Find additional background on the case at the following links:
- Thomas More Society Attorneys Defend Citizen Journalist Daleiden in Abusive Raid and Seizure (April 7, 2016)
- Planned Parenthood Files New Federal “RICO” (Racketeering) Lawsuit against David Daleiden (January 20, 2016)
- National Abortion Federation Lawsuit against David Daleiden Threatens Undercover Journalism at Large (December 17, 2015)
- Thomas More Society Defends David Daleiden as He Uncovers Abortion Industry’s Sale of Fetal Body Parts (August 27, 2015)
The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago, the Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.
Jan. 21, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Since November 2014, Indiana’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program has served 11,036 clients at 24,162 support service visits in Indiana. The taxpayer-funded program exists to offer women counseling and mentoring support as an alternative to abortion.
Real Alternatives is the statewide administrator for the program. Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternatives said, “Thanks to this state program, Indiana women who are alone and facing an unexpected pregnancy have another person to assist them which empowers them to overcome obstacles and pressures so they can choose life for their preborn baby.” Real Alternatives uses a growing network of 19 pregnancy support centers and social service agencies in Indiana to provide caring, compassionate, and trained counselors who offer free pregnancy support and parenting education services to women.
In the program’s first fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, 8,737 women from 47 counties were provided comprehensive counseling, mentoring, education, and support services for up to nine (9) months of pregnancy and twelve (12) months after the birth of their baby. The northern regional pilot program received funding of $1.0 million that fiscal year through the Indiana State Department of Health. The Program’s administrative cost ratio, including start-up, was a very low 8.12%. Due to its rapid success, the Program has been increased to $3.5 million to provide services statewide to Indiana women.
In July 2015, the Indiana State Department of Health reported that the number of resident abortions performed in Indiana in the year 2014 rose slightly to 7,621 from the previous year. Real Alternatives Vice President, Thomas Lang pointed out, “With the difficult economic times we have experienced the last couple of years, comes increased pressure to abort. For women who come to our Program pressured by others to abort, 87% no longer consider abortion after receiving services in our Program.”
Real Alternatives has been providing life-affirming pregnancy support services for 20 years in Pennsylvania. That high performance and fiscally accountable program has assisted over 260,000 women in need who sought out the Program’s services.
Its not surprising that Real Alternatives has assisted 12 other states with starting taxpayer-funded programs to reach out to women facing unexpected pregnancies in their states. Real Alternatives administers statewide Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Programs in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan. Women in those states can receive services by going to
www.realalternatives.org/PressKit/Video-PACrowd.htm or by calling 1-888-LIFE-AID.
( Katy, Texas) Today a gunman held police at bay for several hours at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. At the end at least 3 people including one police officer, and two civilians were killed. up to nine more were injured. Five of the injured are also police officers. All of the injured are now said to be in good condition. While the incident was still unfolding the Conservative, and Pro-Life communities were already condemning what was taking place.
Among the first were Operation Rescue, and Christian Defense Coalition. Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue released the following statement, “Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies. We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone,” He was joined by Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney who serves as Director of the Washington D.C. based Christian Defense Coalition. Mahoney framed his groups reaction this way, “Although we don’t know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels,”
Later in the day the Family Research Council also based in Washington D. C. joined in condemning the shooting. The group’s President Tony Perkins stated the group’s view of today’s events in the following statement,
“While the investigation into the shooting at the Planned Parenthood center continues, regardless of what the motive is determined to be, we strongly condemn this violence. As the target of domestic terrorism inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the staff of the Family Research Council empathize with all the victims of this violence. All of us at the Family Research Council join with the pro-life movement in praying for the injured officers and victims of these deplorable acts.
“Only through peaceful means –not violence— can we truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn,” concluded Perkins.
After these statements were made the gunman was identified as Robert Lewis Dear. No information on his motive has yet been released. Even without knowing his motive, we at FaithInspire.Org condemn his actions in the strongest possible terms. Such violence is not how we as Christians should solve our disputes. There will be an ongoing need for prayer stemming from this tragedy. We should and shall encourage all our followers and supporters to make sure that the people, families, and police officers impacted by this tragedy remain in our prayers.
School calls for “Safe Zones” to protect students from being “unhappy”
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 13, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — First students at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio tried knocking over our signs. Then one student recruited a “bed sheet brigade” to try to cover our pictures of abortion victims. Another stood in the street in front of our Truth Truck and JumboTV trailer to stop it from reaching the campus. Now, when all else has failed, Otterbein is going to even greater lengths to censor our First Amendment rights.
Otterbein360, the campus newspaper, reports the student government of the liberal arts university is considering a proposal to purchase the public sidewalk where we conduct outreach to stop our free speech.
“Yale, University of Missouri, and now Otterbein reveal an epidemic on our campuses of adults being treated like babies who need to be coddled and sheltered from difficult subjects. These students are our future leaders and decision-makers. It is imperative they be exposed to differing viewpoints. Political correctness has run amok. Created Equal will not stop expressing our God given rights to free speech.” — Mark Harrington, National Director, Created Equal
Preferring censorship to robust debate, this vocal minority is indicative of a generation not only too weak to deal with inconvenient truths but also too willing to punish whistleblowers . . . Our campuses are turning into a nightmare from Neverland—with children who “won’t grow up” habitually playing the victim card—rather than centers of vigorous discourse. . . . Peter Pan’s incessant “I won’t grow up” mantra may make for pleasant entertainment for our kids, but it is nothing less than horrifying when it becomes the drumbeat of those aspiring to be adults.
One Life Saved Prior to Official Campaign.
PITTSBURGH, Penn., June 14, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — This week Vision for Life — Pittsburgh, in partnership with national pro-life media specialists Heroic Media, launches a campaign aimed to help African-American women facing unplanned pregnancies. One life has already been saved through this campaign as a local woman contacted the online help page last week, visited a local pregnancy center and is receiving ongoing care and assistance for her growing family. The campaign includes advertising on cable channels BET and MTV, the Internet, bus shelters and bus interiors.
While African-Americans represent about 11 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, 42 percent of Pennsylvania abortions are performed on African-American women. In the ad airing on BET, “Ultimatum”, a young black woman tells the viewer that, though her baby’s daddy says, “It’s me or the baby,” there are people ready to help. The ad ends with a phone number and Web address that connect callers to Pittsburgh’s Women’s Choice Network, where they can access free services, including ultrasound, and receive practical support throughout their pregnancy.
Television ads will air locally on BET and MTV over 250 times during June, July and August. Coordinated ads on the Internet, as well as bus shelters and in bus interiors, will be on display through the end of September.
Vision for Life — Pittsburgh, a local Christian 501(c)3 non-profit, ran a six-week, life-saving TV ad campaign in early 2011 which generated 1,300 contacts to a pro-life support call center. Executive Director Chris Humphrey comments, “Many women have said that they regret the abortion they had, oftentimes under pressure; I don’t know any women who say they regret having their baby. Thanks to Pittsburghers’ generosity, hundreds of women will become aware that abortion is not the only choice, and that there are people willing to help through to birth and beyond.”
Heroic Media, an international, faith-based nonprofit organization, uses the power of media to connect women facing unexpected pregnancies with life-affirming resources and build a culture of Life. In 2011, Heroic Media television, Internet and outdoor ads generated over 146,000 responses, connecting women nationwide with life-affirming resources and information.
Marissa Gabrysch, Director of Marketing, Research and Communications for Heroic Media, remarked, “Heroic Media believes that women deserve to learn about hopeful alternatives to abortion and we are thankful for the opportunity to work alongside Vision for Life to reach women in Pittsburgh. One local woman has already responded and received compassionate assistance, and we look forward to seeing many more women served through the course of this campaign.”
- Vatican academy mulls how pro-life is pro-life enough (ncronline.org)
- Canada’s pro-life movement gets a slick, youthful rebranding (thestar.com)
- Church Wants To Build Pro-Life Memorial In Wichita (wibw.com)