The latest news from around the globe, curated by the editor for the Alliance Alert.
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February 12, 2016

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Today: Abortion and euthanasia all over the world, Georgia considers religious expression in schools, and you should probably take your valentine to church.

Sanctity of Life: Planned Parenthood in Ohio, Abortion in the U.K., and Liberal Arguments Against Euthanasia
We'll start in Ohio, where the House sent legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood to Governor Kasich. Ohio Right to Life celebrated the move. Their executive director, Stephanie Ranade Krider, had this to say: "Thanks to the thoughtful, careful work of the Ohio House and Senate, the taxpayer dollars of pro-life Ohioans like myself will now be shielded from the abortion industry." That's good news, we'd reckon.

So what is Ohio going to do with the money it used to send to Planned Parenthood? Redirect the money to "healthcare facilities that prioritize primary and preventative care for women." Here's what our attorneys Casey Mattox and Thomas O'Ban had to say:

"Word is getting out that federally-funded healthcare facilities actually prioritize primary and preventive care for women and outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities nearly 20 -1 (Visit to find one near you). And for every Planned Parenthood facility, there are hundreds of federally qualified health center locations, rural health facilities, and other healthcare facilities that provide contraception and far more services than Planned Parenthood, while also accepting Medicaid patients."

We've spent quite a bit of time talking about Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt (which you might remember as Whole Woman's Health v. Cole), and now other groups are talking about the case."

Over at ERLC, Barrett Duke points out the strange position of a self-described proponent of "women's reproductive health" that would oppose women's health:

"Incredibly, the pro-abortion community promotes abortion in the name of women’s reproductive health. They insist that abortion helps women. However, abortion does not benefit women’s health. It harms women physically, emotionally and spiritually. And there is no way to protect women from much of abortion’s harm because it is inherent in the act itself. The best thing a woman can do to avoid the harm of abortion is to choose life for her baby. But for those who choose abortion, some harm can be prevented and some mitigated by commonsense regulations."

In Northern Ireland, a proposal to allow abortion in the case of a fatal fetal abnormality was defeated. This despite some strong opposition, including some representatives saying that a failure to pass the proposal is a case of "abdicating [their] duties as representatives."

In Scotland, the Moderator of the General Assembly was appalled that "intelligent people are campaigning for the 'right' to kill the baby in the womb." 

Alright, let's talk about assisted suicide for just a bit. First, BBC made minor adjustments to the documentary they recently aired. The original cut showed the actual dead body of the man who killed himself, and included footage of an expert talking about what the life-ending drugs actually does to a body. The edited version omits the corpse and edits the discussions. Despite the edits, some 1.2 million people watched the film and found it moving (enough that many were "left in floods of tears"). The doctor continues to say that he does what he does because it is "best" for his patients.

Finally, over at Public Discourse a liberal argues against euthanasia, hoping to persuade conservatives to change some of their tactics. I'm just happy that opposition to euthanasia can be a bipartisan issue.
Freedom: Prayer in Schools and Consciences in Pharmacies
Georgia is considering a law that would allow prayers in public schools. Well, sort of. Here's what Georgia's bill is actually called: Georgia Student Religious Liberties Act of 2016. Prayer would be included under "voluntary religious expression in public schools," certainly, but the bill mostly makes sure that students have the ability to create and maintain religious clubs in public schools, that their rights to religious expression are not curbed, and that they are not forced to suppress their religious views during school assignments.

That said, check out this story from Epoch Times. Note the characterization of the bill. The story says that the bill will "reinsert religious expression in school activities, such as in school assignments." The bill says nothing of making sure religious expression is inserted into school assignments, only that "school systems shall allow religious expression in class assignments." Couple that with only quoting folks opposed to the bill (that is, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia), and we've got a recipe for a story that makes it sound as though Georgia is attempting to run all public schools under the hard rule of religion.

And, let's be frank here. If kids learn that religious expression is appropriate in a pluralistic society, maybe we'd see more understanding when it comes to the public square later in life.

Instead, we're seeing cases of conscience rise to the U.S. Supreme Court. Recently, 43 members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Stormans v. Wiesman, an ADF case
This Valentine's Day, You Should Go to Church
Over at Family Studies, new research suggests that religious attendance can be a significant factor in predicting divorce rates. The most significant stat? If the man in the relationship attends a religious service. Possible reasons that it seems to matter more if the man attends than if the woman does?

"Perhaps women who are highly religious are more likely to look for spiritual communion with their partners than devout men, and to be disappointed when it is not forthcoming. Maybe solo-attending women are more likely to be seeking religious help with a difficult relationship than are solo-attending men. It might also be that men are especially likely to benefit from the normative and practical emphasis that religious institutions tend to put on family life and marital fidelity, insofar as men typically devote less time and attention to family life than women, and are more likely than women to be unfaithful. In other words, religious services may be particularly effective in turning the hearts and minds of men towards their partner’s welfare and the relationship more generally. Finally, it’s possible that religious participation increases women’s expectations of their partner’s behavior. When these expectations are not realized—perhaps because the men in question are not themselves religiously engaged—the relationship suffers. Still, we are not entirely sure why his solo attendance is linked to better relationship outcomes, whereas her solo attendance is linked to the worst outcomes for contemporary couples."

Time reported on the story, as did The Federalist.
On the Blog

See More Blogs

For Oklahoma Wesleyan, the Call to Honor God is Louder than the Obama Administration's Threats

"The desire to honor God and live out their faith isn't just a nice idea at Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU)—it’s a genuine way of life. The University has built its reputation upon four key pillars: the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom. Their motto, "Impacting culture with the Lordship of Jesus Christ," reflects the true spirit of the university."

by Marissa Poulson

Ohio’s Choice: Re-direct Planned Parenthood’s Funds to More Worthy Healthcare Providers

"Today, Ohio became – pending Governor John Kasich’s signature – the ninth state since July to cut Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer subsidies. But aren’t they late to the party?"

by Thomas O'Ban and Casey Mattox

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More News

Emotive debate on abortion continues in the Assembly
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Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in Florida Shuts Down
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Stormont 'neglecting women's rights' as abortion law amendment rejected
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Pro-life group warns Scotland would become abortion hotspot
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Georgia Considers Passing a Law that Allows Prayer in Public Schools
Epoch News
Members Of Congress Ask Supreme Court To Hear Crucial Case Involving Rights Of Conscience
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Review examines euthanasia, assisted suicide practices among patients with psychiatric disorders
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Abortion Clinic escort on ultrasound: women know what’s in there
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Kentucky could have 2 marriage licenses
My vote today will be a vote in defence of all babies
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Kentucky Governor signs in new pro-life law
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Australian IVF clinics under scrutiny for misleading clients on success rates
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On her husband's assisted suicide
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Portugal overturns presidential veto to legalise same-sex adoption
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Is Twitter Censoring Non-Politically Correct Viewpoints?
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Abortion: MLAs vote against legalisation in fatal foetal abnormality cases
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Better Together: Religious Attendance, Gender, and Relationship Quality
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Ohio House Sends Legislation to De-fund Planned Parenthood to Governor Kasich
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What Conservatives Can Learn from the Liberal Case against Assisted Suicide
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Protecting women from abortion’s harm
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How Views of Sex Have Changed Since 2005
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