Florida School Drops Common Core – Soars To Number One
A school in Florida has soared to the number one position in the State’s top schools list, after it ditched the Common Core program in favor of traditional teaching methods, according to government statistics.
The charter school, Mason Classical Academy, in Naples, Florida, decided against forcing kids to learn using the Common Core method of teaching endorsed by Obama.
Teachers at the school rejected the Common Core State Standards Initiative due to the way it deliberately dumbs down children, creating unnecessary and complicated techniques for working out relatively simple problems.
Natural News reports: They have rejected the backward approach of Common Core, which sees kids memorize entire words in kindergarten before later being introduced to phonics once they are in elementary school.
By that point, their brains are already used to whole words, which makes grasping the concept of phonics and applying it far more difficult than it needs to be.
What does the classical approach embraced by the Academy entail? According to their website, language-focused learning based on written and spoken words makes the brain work harder to convert words into concepts, while image-based approaches encourage passivity.
VEGAN CORY BOOKER SAYS MEAT EATERS’ DAYS ARE NUMBERED
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker is not only a potential 2020 presidential candidate; he’s a vegan who says the world “can’t sustain” people eating meat.
Booker told the February issue of VegNews that he became a vegetarian in 1992 when, after a few days of trying the new lifestyle, he said, “Oh my gosh, I will never go back to eating meat.” He made the decision to go vegan in 2014
If Booker manages to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination and then the general election, he’d be the first vegan to do so.
The potential candidate is also a fan of New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, which would like to eliminate “farting cows” from the American landscape. He compared the widely lampooned and sweeping environmental plan to winning WWII.
In their response to the the Green New Deal, the Food & Environment Reporting Network favorably mentioned the document’s commitment to ”investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health” and “building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.”
The progressive senator doesn’t think veganism is just appropriate for his private life; he’d like everyone to embrace the diet because he believes the world can’t keep providing enough beef and pork to satisfy meat cravings.
“The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact. It’s just not possible, as China, as Africa move toward consuming meat the same way America does because we just don’t have enough land.”
In addition to convincing the masses to give up meat, Booker has other legislative goals that would interfere with America’s eating habits.
“Legislatively, I want to continue to be a part of a movement of folk who are fighting against corporate interests that are undermining the public good and the public welfare,” he said.
Booker went on to explain that he aims “to continue supporting bills that are about public health, whether it is pumping in all these antibiotics into animals that are literally threatening the safety of Americans.”
He also believes cramming too many pigs into barns “is harmful and violates our collective values as a country.
Americans have long understood that children are best cared for by their parents. The state should only intervene in the family when there is demonstrable evidence of abuse and neglect.
This has long been established in our laws. But now, transgender ideology is silencing doctors and challenging the way courts define parental abuse and neglect.
Last year in Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements. The Cincinnati Children’s gender clinic recommended these treatments for gender dysphoria (the condition of being distressed with one’s biological sex).
When her parents wanted to treat her with counseling instead, Hamilton County Job and Family Services charged them with abuse and neglect, while transgender activists and pro-trans doctors compared their decision to denying treatment for asthma or even cancer patients.
The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>
That all happened without federal legislation.
But now, one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top legislative priorities, the Equality Act, could give the transgender community a vice grip over the medical profession. It could open the floodgates for lawsuits against doctors who don’t fall in line with transgender ideology.
Politicizing the medical treatment of gender dysphoria could lead to more prosecutions against parents who refuse to aid in the sterilization of their children. As more doctors recommend that children take puberty blockers at age 11, cross-sex hormones at 16, and undergo “sex-reassignment” surgeries at 18, parents who resist could face charges of child abuse and lose custody of their children.
The tragedy in Ohio could be repeated in families across America.
Turning the Law Into a Sword Against Doctors
The transgender movement wants to dominate the field of medicine, and to do so it is threatening doctors and hospitals with penalties.
Some states have already passed laws similar to Pelosi’s Equality Act. In New Jersey and California, transgender activists have sued Catholic hospitals for “discrimination” on the basis of gender identity because they wouldn’t perform sex-change surgeries for patients with gender dysphoria.
These lawsuits may seem preposterous, but they were enabled by state anti-discrimination laws that treat sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes and health care facilities as public accommodations. The text of the Equality Act that was introduced in the 115th Congress does the same.
Pelosi’s bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, making hospitals and doctors across America vulnerable to costly litigation if they don’t follow the medical recommendations of the transgender movement. It would turn anti-discrimination law—which was meant to protect disenfranchised minority groups—into a coercive sword to threaten doctors into submission to transgender ideology.
Does Transgender Ideology Make for Good Medicine?
Part of the reason some doctors resist transgender ideology is that it is incompatible with good medicine and would harm rather than help their patients.
The American Psychological Association’s manual of mental disorders classifies gender dysphoria as a mental illness. Research shows that 75 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria who go through puberty without any transgender treatments actually become comfortable with their bodies.
But the transgender movement ignores these statistics, aggressively pushing for gender-dysphoric children to be treated with non-FDA-approved uses of drugs, even though side effects can include loss of bone density, decline of cognitive ability, and infertility.
Transgender activists have already tried to silence doctors who warned patients about these dangers. The Human Rights Campaign—a leading LGBT group—devotes an entire website to trying to discredit Dr. Paul McHugh, the former lead psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University Hospital who put a stop to the hospital’s sex-reassignment surgeries. McHugh says the surgeries were “fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness.”
Trans Activists Are Putting Children and Doctors in the Driver’s Seat
Transgender activists and pro-trans physicians often seek to exclude parents from the process of medical decision-making. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic says parents may be excluded from interviews because they might make their children feel uncomfortable asking questions.
Remarkably, this clinic has deemed 100 percent of the patients seeking care to be “appropriate candidates for continued gender treatment.” Even the Ohio judge who terminated one couple’s parental rights expressed “concern” at this astoundingly high approval rate.
Transgender advocates dismiss these concerns by sounding an alarm that gender-dysphoric children will be at higher risk of suicide if they don’t receive hormone treatment.
But the evidence suggests transgender treatments can actually increase the likelihood of suicide. A study in Sweden on adults who underwent sex-reassignment surgeries showed they were 19 times more likely than the general population to commit suicide after undergoing operations. This is particularly noteworthy because in Sweden, cultural support for those who identify as transgender is very strong, so social stigma is less likely to account for the suicides.
We should be particularly cautious with experimental treatments on children because the long-term effects of transgender treatments have yet to be seen. Even the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid under the Obama administration pointed out that “mortality from this patient population did not become apparent until after 10 years.”
Endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw also warns that the long-term harms to kids may not show up until years later when as young adults, they start asking: “’How come I can’t have children at this point?’ Well, it’s because their fertility was destroyed by some combination of puberty blockers, wrong sex hormones, and surgery.”
And Dr. Stephen B. Levine, professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, asks the pertinent question: Are children really capable of comprehending the way that hormone treatments will alter their lives and render them unable to have their own children? There’s a reason we have informed consent laws—to protect people, like children, from being taken advantage of.
Expediting a Bad Trend
In this cultural and political climate, doctors and courts are more and more likely to seek to exclude parents from life-changing decisions about their children.
America has seen an explosion of “gender clinics” and diagnoses of “gender dysphoria” in just the past few years. In 2013, America had only three gender clinics. Today, there are more than 41. These clinics report 400 percent increases in children and teens identifying as trans.
The Equality Act would expedite this trend by giving the transgender movement a powerful legal weapon to drive medical consensus that could undermine the rights of parents.
As more parents wrestle with finding the most loving and helpful solutions for their children struggling with gender dysphoria, the government must support them—not undermine them. Parents must remain central to the decision-making process when it comes to the medical care of children suffering from gender dysphoria.
This article has been corrected to reflect that it was Hamilton County Job and Family Services—not the prosecutor—that charged the parents in Ohio with abuse and neglect.
Netflix Paid a Record-Breaking Amount For an Award-Winning Film Starring Ocasio-Cortez
On Wednesday, Netflix purchased the rights to Sundance Film Festival Audience Winner film "Knock Down The House." The film followed four progressive candidates who challenged incumbents during the 2018 midterm elections. And the star of the documentary was none other than Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the only candidate in the film who won her election bid.
This is a synopsis of the film:
When tragedy struck her family in the midst of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts in a restaurant to save her home from foreclosure. After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn't know what to do with the anger she felt about America's broken health care system. Cori Bush was drawn into the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood. Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer and die from the environmental effects of the coal industry. At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, Knock Down the House follows these four women as they decide to fight back despite having no political experience, setting themselves on a grassroots journey that will change their lives and their country forever.
Netflix paid a record-breaking amount for the documentary: a whopping $10 million, Bloomberg reported. Other major players, including NEON, Focus, Hulu and Amazon also tried to buy the rights to the movie but Netflix eventually came out on top, The Daily Mail reported. And executives couldn't be more thrilled about the acquisition.
“It is a transcendent moment when skilled filmmakers are able to train their lens on a major transformation,”Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentaries for Netflix, said in a statement. “With intimacy and immediacy, Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnik, bring viewers to the front lines of a movement, as four women find their voice, their power and their purpose, allowing all of us to witness the promise of true democracy in action."
Here Are Ocasio-Cortez’s Latest Idiotic Remarks About Illegal Aliens And Immigration Enforcement
This isn’t about the Green New Deal, but we’ll get to that later today. It still has to deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her ongoing crusade against Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Her push to abolish ICE is partially what fueled her meteoric rise to Washington. Ocasio-Cortez took out longtime Democrat Joe Crowley in an upset primary that had many saying it was the Democratic version of what Republican Congressman David Brat did to then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia.
We all know the game here. First, we need immigration enforcement. We need federal agents working in tandem with local officials to do it. This isn’t a serious proposal, but it gets the far left riled up. And because it isn’t a serious proposal, you get half-baked jargon from the people peddling it. Yesterday, Ocasio-Cortez declared that Latinos couldn’t be declared illegal because…they’re descendants of native people (via Free Beacon).
Eliminating cows, and 4 more bold promises in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) highly anticipated Green New Deal is here, and it's packed with some very lofty goals.
The freshman congresswoman, along with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass), unveiled a plan to revamp the U.S. economy and eliminate carbon emissions on Thursday, suggesting in an NPR interview that deficit spending might be the best way to pay for it. Here are 5 bold moves the Green New Deal and its accompanying FAQ calls for.
1. "Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States." Yep, that's all 5.6 million commercial buildings in America, not to mention millions of residential buildings on top of that.
2. "Build[ing] out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary." That's in the FAQ. The actual resolution just calls for "overhauling transportation systems ... to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions," including by building railways.
3. "Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage ... to all people of the United States." Which is only a small chunk of the biggest promise...
4. "Providing all members of society with high-quality health care, affordable, safe and adequate housing, economic security, and access to clean water, air, healthy and affordable food, and nature." That means accounting for the census-projected 360 million people anticipated to make up the U.S. in 2030.
5. Eliminating cows. The FAQ document very reasonably acknowledges that "we aren't sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes" in the next ten years. But that insinuates that bovines may be eliminated eventually, seeing as livestock account for a solid sliver of America's carbon emissions.
In Ocasio-Cortez’s District, MS-13 Kills While She Calls To Disband ICE
Last Sunday, a stunning murder on a subway platform occurred in Elmhurst, Queens. The shooting, captured on video, was committed by members of the MS-13 gang, against members of the 18th Street gang. Both gangs, though created decades ago in Los Angeles, have deep roots in Central America. Police announced this week that the shooter, who is in custody, is in the United States illegally, and had prior arrests.
One would assume that lawmakers in the neighborhood would want to crack down on these violent gangs, but its most famous legislator, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, seems far more interested in destroying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), one of the agencies charged with deporting dangerous criminals such as Sunday’s shooter.
While some have tried to downplay the dangers posed by these gangs, the brazen shooting shows exactly how dangerous they really are. The issue here isn’t Trump’s alleged fearmongering over MS-13, but rather gunshots ringing around a subway platform. Millions of New Yorkers take the subways including children, the only right way to view this incident, and the underlying gang issues, is as incredibly dangerous.
More broadly, the idea that these gangs only target each other is the same baseless excuse people used to defend the Italian mafia. It was a lie then, and it’s a lie now. According to reporting in The New York Times, both MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang engage in widespread illegal activity, including murder, drug dealing, prostitution, gun running, extortion, and in the case of the latter, dealing in forged documents. Those forged documents, of course, are essential to helping illegal immigrants, including violent criminals, stay in the United States. It truly is a vicious cycle.
Importantly, many, if not most of the victims of these gangs are themselves immigrants, often people who are too afraid to go to authorities, in part because of over-the-top rhetoric regarding those authorities, offered by progressives like Ocasio-Cortez.
Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli, writing in the New York Daily News, points out that, “The NYPD’s own data shows that while crime is on the decline citywide, the 110th Precinct, comprising Corona and Elmhurst, still holds some of the most significant pockets of criminal activity in New York.” Borelli listed several successful interventions by ICE and told the Federalist, “It’s abundantly clear that a ‘cooperate with ICE’ movement has already noted significant positive results for New York City. Trying to abolish an agency that has already proved its worth is beyond absurd, even for AOC.”
Amid all of this, Ocasio-Cortez should have the good sense to realize that her deeply unserious calls to abolish ICE are doing far more harm than good in battling her district’s problems. If ICE really is involved in widespread human rights abuses, the proper course is congressional oversight, not abolition.
Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez has been completely unclear about what she would replace ICE with or whether a new organization should be in place when ICE is abolished. This is madness. Federal authorities have not only the right, but also, the responsibility to control our borders and to investigate multi-state criminal syndicates.
Few (if any) law enforcement agencies are entirely free of corruption and abuse. But throwing the baby out with the bathwater by taking away a crucial tool in fighting these gangs away can’t be the answer. If ICE is broken, fix it, don’t destroy it and give international criminal organizations an advantage in terrorizing Queens.
Given her radical position on ICE, Ocasio-Cortez should make clear what she believes should have happened to the Elmhurst shooter who was released on bail for felony charges in December. This was his fourth arrest. Does Ocasio-Cortez believe that shooter should have been in the United States? Or should he have been deported? If we abolish ICE who will make such decisions? Anyone? Do we have a right to deport criminals here illegally, at all?
Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal offers 'economic security' for those 'unwilling to work'
The Green New Deal that Democrats proposed Thursday looks to create a more environmentally sound country with economic benefits for everyone — even those who don't want to work.
An overview circulated by proponents states the plan seeks a "massive transformation of our society" that could rid the country of fossil fuels and "create millions of family supporting-wage [sic] union jobs."
But for those not interested in working, there's something in the plan as well.
The overview notes that the Green New Deal aims to provide "economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work."
While the resolution patterns itself after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which was aimed at rescuing the country from the Great Depression, the FDR plan did not include a proviso for those willingly idle. The Green New Deal seeks to shift the U.S. to all renewable energy in 10 years.
It’s been about nine years since the Obama administration lured states into adopting Common Core sight unseen, with promises it would improve student achievement. Like President Obama’s other big promises — “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” — this one’s been proven a scam.
“If you set and enforce rigorous and challenging standards and assessments; if you put outstanding teachers at the front of the classroom; if you turn around failing schools — your state can win a Race to the Top grant that will not only help students outcompete workers around the world, but let them fulfill their God-given potential,” President Obama said in July 2009.
He went on to state his faith that Common Core — at that point unwritten — would “not only make America’s entire education system the envy of the world, but we will launch a Race to the Top that will prepare every child, everywhere in America, for the challenges of the 21st century.” Race to the Top was a $4 billion money pot inside the 2009 stimulus that helped bribe states into Common Core.
So here we are, nine years later. Common Core has been officially rolled out into U.S. public and even many private schools for at least three to five years now. Are American children increasingly prepared for the “the challenges of the 21st century”? We’re actually seeing the opposite. They’re increasingly less prepared. And there’s mounting evidence that Common Core deserves some of the blame.
Student Achievement Largely Down or Flat
ACT scores released earlier this month show that students’ math achievement is at a 20-year low. The latest English ACT scores are slightly down since 2007, and students’ readiness for college-level English was at its lowest level since ACT’s creators began measuring that item, in 2002. Students’ preparedness for college-level math is at its lowest point since 2004.
SAT scores also dropped post-Common Core until it fully implemented a new version tailored for Common Core. How convenient. Even after the test was overhauled to match Common Core, average test scores increased by 0.7 percent in the most recent results. It represents almost no difference to pre-Common Core results, and the public can’t know exactly how the scores were recentered and altered, either.
Folks who claimed that declining ACT scores prove that Common Core isn't working: Will you reverse yourselves now that SAT scores are rising? Or can we agree that ACT & SAT scores are terrible measures of national progress or the lack thereof? Much less the impact of one policy?
Almost a year ago I wrote about the latest round of international tests that publish every five years. They showed U.S. fourth graders declining on reading achievement. The 2015 results on the most reliable nationwide U.S. test showed the “first ever significant decline of 2-3 points – about a quarter of a grade-level worth – in mathematics at both grades 4 and 8, and in grade 4 reading.” The next iteration of that test showed no gains again.
During the Obama administration, writes Harvard professor Paul Peterson, “No substantively significant nationwide gains were registered for any of the three racial and ethnic groupings in math or reading at either 4th or 8th grade.”
They Told Us Common Core Would Fix This Problem
We were promised that Common Core would reverse these trends. Think tankers Michael Petrilli and Robert Pondiscio wrote to West Virginians in 2015 that “The Common Core should help to boost college readiness — and college completion — by significantly raising expectations.” Jeb Bush wrote in National Review in 2013, “To compete with the rest of the world, we must produce competitive high-school graduates. That means we have to make sure that the skills they are learning are aligned with what employers and colleges expect high-school graduates to know…the Common Core State Standards, set an ambitious and voluntary goal line.”
“If young people today are to be productive adults in the knowledge economy, they need standards that truly prepare them for college and careers,” Obama education secretary Arne Duncan said in a 2010 speech touting Common Core. “We will end what has become a race to the bottom in our schools and instead spur a race to the top by encouraging better standards and assessments,” President Obama said in 2009. “Standards” is jargon for Common Core.
In fact, Common Core supporters used the same fail rates we still have almost a decade post-Common Core as a key argument to justify adopting, then keeping, Common Core. For example, Bush and former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein argued in the Wall Street Journal in 2011 that Common Core would help address ACT data showing “three-fourths of the young men and women entering colleges ‘were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses.'”
Instead, however, the evidence indicates that at best Common Core made negligible improvements, and at worst it’s reducedstudent achievement, all while soaking up huge amounts of time and money. The years of small but visible achievement growth under George W. Bush have been replaced by zero growth under and after Obama. The best evidence available indicates American kids have gotten all the academic boost they’re going to get out of Common Core already.
Learning Hasn’t Improved, But Indoctrination Is Amped
So if U.S. taxpayers spent billions of dollars and countless public employees’ man-hours switching schools to Common Core, what are we getting out of it? Certainly not academic achievement growth. What we do seem to be getting is plenty of political indoctrination.
Just recently, Rick Hess and Grant Addison wrote about what’s happened to people who have worked for and led organizations that received millions from Obama’s Common Core grants and from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which also bankrolled Common Core. At its annual Standards Institute, a prominent conference to teach teachers how to teach Common Core, the organization UnboundEd “slathers its Common Core workshops with race-based rancor and junk science,” providing a “snapshot…into the ongoing transformation of ‘school reform.'”
To keep their teaching licenses, many teachers have to regularly attend conferences like these for usually taxpayer-sponsored “professional development.” Nowadays teacher licensing mandates often specifically require teachers to learn Common Core-themed things. So basically, to keep their jobs, teachers have to learn more about Common Core.
The Standards Institute helps them fulfill that job requirement. It did so this year by using Common Core as a Trojan horse to insert wildly leftist, arguably racist, indoctrination. Here’s Hess and Addison describing some of their materials:
UnboundEd’s training in reading and math instruction is ‘grounded in conversations about the roles that race, bias and prejudice play in our schools and classrooms.’ Its Standards Institute prepares educators to be ‘Equity Change-Agents.’ To become one, participants are told, they must first acknowledge that ‘we are part of a systematically racist system of education.’
“If you are under the impression that there are good white people and bad white people, you’re wrong,” UnboundEd CEO Kate Gerson told the teachers this year, according to Hess and Addison. “Gerson informed her charges that racial biases are pervasive, universal, and something ‘you cannot be cured from.'”
Gerson used to be directly employed by New York taxpayers within the New York Department of Education’s project to create Common Core-compliant curriculum, EngageNY. The curricula she helped create didn’t stay in New York, however. It’s reached across the country because the Obama administration funded it to create one of the few earliest available and widely endorsed set of Common Core-compliant materials. So if you’re a taxpayer, you funded this under the guise of Common Core.
Funding Racism In the Name of Common Core
Items from EngageNY’s library of Common Core curricula had been downloaded 45 million times by 2016. Education Week reported “44 percent of elementary math teachers and 30 percent of secondary teachers in common-core states are using materials from EngageNY.” After its $28 million in federal funds dried up (which only took a few years, natch), EngageNY’s curriculum bank was spun off into UnboundEd’s control. So this organization now peddling wildly inflammatory and divisive political views has affected a third to a half of the country’s teachers, all oiled by packs of taxpayer cash.
“Once upon a time, Common Core critics were roundly mocked for fearing that the reading and math standards would somehow serve to promote sweeping ideological agendas; today, Gerson and her team are doing their best to vindicate those concerns,” write Hess and Addison.
To be sure, American education’s mediocrity and politicization predate Common Core, and would be present today if Common Core had never happened. But we were sold Common Core with the promise that it would improve learning for American kids. Just as the few independent analysts predicted, despite costing billions of dollars Common Core has proven to be of no overall benefit to children, teachers, families, or taxpayers.
Common Core sucked all the energy, money, and motivation right out of desperately needed potential reforms to U.S. public schools for a decade, and for nothing. It’s more money right down our nation’s gigantic debt hole, another generation lost to sickening ignorance, another set of corrupt bureaucrats‘ careers and bank accounts built out of the wreckage of American minds.
Advocates of the abortion bill that decriminalizes abortion in the state say it is needed in case Roe v. Wade is overturned, but pro-life supporters say it allows abortion-on-demand for any reason, taking away parental notification for minors and conscience protections from the state law.
"This bill is a Trojan horse backed by the national abortion lobby in order to establish abortion as a human right by removing so-called 'religious refusals' and turn every hospital, clinic and doctor's office into an abortion clinic or referral center," Elisa Martinez, executive director of New Mexico Alliance for Life, told Fox News.
Rep. Joanne Ferrary, a Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, said it "simply removes an antiquated law that criminalizes health care."
But opponents of the bill argue that beyond making abortion legal all nine months of pregnancy, it also forces medical professionals to perform abortions against their will.
“HB-51 is the most extreme bill in the nation because it keeps elective abortion-up-to-birth, and also seeks to force medical professionals to participate in this practice by stripping away explicit conscience protections from the current statute," Martinez said.
The proposed bill would scrap this language from state law:
"Criminal abortion consists of administering to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug or other substance, or using any method or means whereby an untimely termination of her pregnancy is produced or attempted to be produced, with the intent to destroy the fetus, and the termination is not a justified medical termination. Whoever commits criminal abortion is guilty of a fourth-degree felony. Whoever commits criminal abortion which results in the death of the woman is guilty of a second-degree felony."
Ferrary said that abortions would be able to be performed under this bill through all nine months, even if the mother and baby are healthy because "abortion is provided for health care" and the bill is intended to keep "abortion safe and legal."
Six Democrats voted against the bill, but it passed in the House and Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has vowed to sign it if it passes in the state Senate.
On Tuesday night, President Trump urged Congress to pass legislation "to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb" during the State of the Union address.
Unjust: Murder suspect gets lesser charge thanks to New York abortion law
New York resident Jennifer Irigoyen, 35, and her preborn child were murdered last Sunday. Neighbors heard her scream, “He’s going to kill the baby,” and when they got to her, she said she knew her attacker. She and her baby, whom most sources say was five months along, died at the hospital. Police spent days searching for Irigoyen’s boyfriend, Anthony Hobson, 48. Hobson was seen on surveillance video at about 1 a.m. on Sunday, dragging Irigoyen, who left behind another young child, from the hallway outside of her apartment to the stairwell. Then he stabbed her multiple times in the torso, neck, and abdomen. But though Irigoyen’s preborn baby was “wanted” and was not far from being considered viable, Hobson will be charged with murder, but not with second-degree abortion for the death of Irigoyen’s baby. Why? Because of New York’s expansive abortion law — The Reproductive Health Act (RHA).
While Americans were appalled that the law allows wholly unnecessary late-term abortion, they overlooked the fact that the RHA removed abortion from the criminal code. In order to protect abortion and abortionists, New York’s legislators betrayed victims of domestic violence.
Murder is the second leading cause of death for pregnant women, behind car accidents. New York sacrificed women’s safety to ensure that women can abort their preborn babies at any time for any reason, under the guise of “health of the mother.” In fact, New York’s governor cares so much about protecting the profitable abortion industry that he made sure no abortionist — or assailant — could be charged with the crime of killing a preborn child (or even a child who survives abortion) — even a “wanted” one.
The New York State Catholic Conference warned that the law would remove “accountability for those who would harm unborn children outside the context of a medical termination.” And they were right, and so were New York State senators who opposed the bill. State Sen. Catharine Young said removing abortion from the penal code was “an assault on a woman’s fundamental right to pregnancy.” State Sen. Andrew Lanza warned that the law change would mean that assaulting a non-pregnant woman would now be the equivalent of assaulting a pregnant woman in order to kill her child.
CNN Defends Killing Babies in Late-Term Abortions, Calls Pro-Life People “Extremists”
CNN Health published an article on Wednesday titled “Before judging ‘late-term abortion,’ understand what it means, doctors say.” This article hardly qualifies as balanced, if for no other reason than the doctors author Jessica Ravitz chose to interview. One doctor interviewed by Ravitz demonized opponents of late-term abortion as “anti-abortion extremists.” Fox News’s Laura Ingraham discussed the article on her show, The Ingraham Angle, Wednesday night; and invited a pro-life doctor on her show “since CNN wasn’t interested in an opposing view.”
One of the doctors interviewed by Ravitz, Jennifer Conti, works for an advocacy group titled “Physicians for Reproductive Health” and co-hosts a podcast called “The V Word.” Not surprisingly, Conti described the phrase “Late term” as an “invention of anti-abortion extremists to confuse, mislead, and increase stigma.” Conti also described “gestational age limits” as “ideologically motivated and not based in science” and complained that “your right to an abortion is now absolutely based on the accident of your ZIP code.”
The other doctor quoted in the article, Barbara Levy, serves as Vice President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; which “opposes undue interference of politics in medicine,” according to the article. Perhaps Levy should direct her opposition to “undue interference of politics in medicine” towards her fellow interviewee Dr. Conti, since the term “anti-abortion extremists” comes across as quite political.
Ingraham began the segment on her show by accusing CNN of “providing cover for radical late-term abortion practices” and went on to read a quote from the article asserting that “misleading hypotheticals show disregard and contempt for people who have had an abortion later in pregnancy. People who have abortions deserve empathy and understanding, not judgment.”
Ingraham introduced her guest, Dr. Omar Hamada, who argued that the idea expressed by Conti in the article describing it as “nonsensical to legislate late-term abortions” is “crazy because what we’re doing is actually trying to protect the lives of both the moms and the babies.” Hamada stressed throughout the segment that “as obstetricians, we have two patients; we have the mom and we have the baby.” The segment concluded with Hamada declaring that the Hippocratic Oath, where doctors pledge to “do no harm,” has “gone out the window.”
The one-sided angle of the CNN Health article should not have come as that much of a surprise considering the fact that CNN has done its best to act as a PR firm for the pro-abortion movement; first by refusing to cover the radical abortion bill proposed in Virginia, and later by cutting off guest Stephen Moore when he wanted to bring it up.
ANALYSIS Article in Harvard Law Journal concludes: The preborn child is a constitutional person
Pro-lifers and honest pro-abortion legal scholars agree that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. But just how wrong is it? Is it bad law solely because it declares a right to something the Constitution is silent about, or does its judicial malpractice run deeper?
I have long argued that legal abortion violates not only the spirit of the Constitution, but the text itself – specifically, that the Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed equal protection of all people’s right to life has always applied to the preborn. Now, The Stream reports that the “Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy” has published an article written by Harvard law student (and former Live Action contributor) Josh Craddock that lays out the case in perhaps the most depth it’s ever received.
The first key point of Craddock’s work, critiquing the late, great Justice Antonin Scaliafrom the right, is an audacious undertaking, but here it’s warranted. You see, while Scalia was a committed originalist and clear opponent of Roe, he was also of the opinion that the Constitution is neutral toward abortion – that its use of the word “persons” “clearly means walking-around persons,” and therefore, states should be left free to set whatever abortion laws they want. Craddock notes several other pro-life judicial originalists who hold (or held) this view, though Scalia is the most recent and most revered modernly.
Craddock concedes that there is some basis for this thinking because “natural rights were not exhaustively enshrined in the federal Constitution” and “states have traditionally decided the question of personhood.” However, he rightfully maintains that a truly originalist answer to the question has to consider what the word “persons” was understood to mean when the Fourteenth Amendment was written and ratified.
He proceeds to explain that layman’s dictionaries treated the concepts of humanity and personhood interchangeably, and so did legal terminology – more explicitly so, in fact. As we’ve discussed in the past, Craddock notes that Blackstone expressly recognized that personhood and the right to life existed before birth with a simple and clear legal standard: “where life can be shown to exist, legal personhood exists” (emphasis added). This also perfectly explains why it’s irrelevant that past laws didn’t protect the preborn prior to quickening.
Craddock next shows that many of the states that voted to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment had also criminalized abortion, meaning they understood personhood then in much the same way that pro-lifers understand it now:
By the time of the Fourteenth Amendment’s adoption, “nearly every state had criminal legislation proscribing abortion,” and most of these statutes were classified among “offenses against the person.” The original public meaning of the term “person” thus incontestably included prenatal life. Indeed, “there can be no doubt whatsoever that the word ‘person’ referred to the fetus.” In twenty‐three states and six territories, laws referred to the preborn individual as a “child.” Is it reasonable to presume that these legislatures would have used this terminology if “they had not considered the fetus to be a ‘person’”?
The adoption of strict anti‐abortion measures in the mid‐nineteenth century was the natural development of a long common‐law history proscribing abortion. Beginning in the mid‐thirteenth century, the common law codified abortion as homicide as soon as the child came to life (animation) and appeared recognizably human (formation), which occurred approximately 40 days after fertilization. Lord Coke later cited the “formed and animated standard,” rearticulating it as “quick with childe.”
From there, Craddock explains how the quickening standard was little more than a practical evidentiary standard, not a meaningful commentary on prenatal life (or lack thereof). But interestingly, he points out that even by the mid-nineteenth century, courts and states alike were increasingly rejecting it as scientifically obsolete, and replacing it with – surprise! – fertilization.
When the Amendment was adopted in 1868, the states widely recognized children in utero as persons. Twenty‐three states and six territories referred to the fetus as a “child” in their statutes proscribing abortion. At least twenty‐eight jurisdictions labeled abortion as an “offense against the person” or an equivalent criminal classification. Nine of the ratifying states explicitly valued the lives of the preborn and their pregnant mothers equally by providing the same range of punishment for killing either during the commission of an abortion. The “only plausible explanation” for this phenomenon is that “the legislatures considered the mother and child to be equal in their personhood.” Furthermore, ten states (nine of which had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment) considered abortion to be either manslaughter, assault with intent to murder, or murder.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, Craddock examines the thinking of the Fourteenth Amendment’s drafters. There’s an understandable assumption that because the amendment’s primary purpose was extending citizenship to freed blacks after the Civil War, its effects shouldn’t be construed to extend beyond that purpose. But under the originalist principle of authorial intent, the first word is often the last word in resolving such confusion:
Senator Jacob Howard, who sponsored the Amendment in the Senate, declared the Amendment’s purpose to “disable a state from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty and property without due process.” Even the lowest and “most despised of the [human] race” were guaranteed equal protection. Representative Thaddeus Stevens called the Amendment “a superstructure of perfect equality of every human being before the law; of impartial protection to everyone in whose breast God had placed an immortal soul” […] The primary Framer of the Fourteenth Amendment, Representative John Bingham, intended it to ensure that “no state in the Union should deny to any human being . . . the equal protection of the laws.”
In light of this evidence and reasoning (as well as rebuttals to possible objections I have skipped, but which you should take the time to read), Craddock concludes that there is only one proper constitutional approach to abortion:
If prenatal life is to be protected under the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress or the courts must intervene in states that do not guarantee equal protection and due process to preborn human beings. After all, “the [Fourteenth] amendment was designed to limit state power and authorize Congress to enforce such limitations.” Should a state refuse to protect prenatal life, it would be a violation of equal protection[.]
Exactly, and it’s not “statist” or “big government” or “judicial activism” to say so. The principle of limited government means the government mustn’t exceed its constitutional purposes, but protecting the right to life is its most basic purpose – and a national-level responsibility. While the Founding Fathers wanted federalism to leave states free to decide a wide range of policy decisions for themselves (so America’s large, diverse, spread out population could live in harmony under a single flag while expressing different secondary values and experimenting with different ideas), they also believed that a select few principles, like our most fundamental rights, require a uniform standard.
Craddock concludes on a pessimistic note, predicting that the Supreme Court is unlikely to abandon Roe anytime soon, making a human life amendment to the Constitution politically necessary even though it’s not legally necessary. That’s true for the time being…but it doesn’t have to be.
The past four decades’ worth of abortion jurisprudence has nothing to do with legal merit and almost everything to do with the partisan politics of the presidents who nominated judges and the senators who reviewed them. So while this rot has been allowed to fester for a long time, there are no legal barriers keeping us from challenging it – we need only the will and imagination to change our tactics.
Syrian Christians have shared how they converted from Islam to Christianity after witnessing the brutality of Islamic extremist groups like ISIS, who carried out barbaric acts in the name of Allah.
Members of the recently-established Church of the Brethren in Kobani — the first local Christian place of worship for decades — shared with NBC News how Christianity appealed to them after living under Sharia law.
Farhad Jasim, 23, who works as a mechanic, converted to Christianity late last year. He told NBC he was jailed by ISIS for six months in early 2016 after the militants discovered he didn't know the basics of Islam. During his time in captivity, he was tortured and forced to read the Quran.
"After I witnessed their brutality with my own eyes, I started to be skeptical about my belief," Jasim said.
After hearing about the Church of the Brethren, which opened in September and is part of a denomination that dates back to 18th-century Germany, Jasim decided to visit: "It didn't take me long to discover that Christianity was the religion I was searching for," he said.
Jasim told the outlet his family has rejected him because of his newfound faith and expressed hope that one day, his loved ones will not only forgive him but embrace Christianity, too.
"If ISIS represents Islam, I don't want to be a Muslim anymore," he said. "Their God is not my God."
Firas, a 47-year-old farmer, told NBC he converted to Christianity after living under ISIS for two years. He recalled how militants would terrorize anyone who didn't adhere to their particular brand of Islam.
"I saw men and young teenagers being whipped on the streets because they were caught smoking. I saw dead bodies of young men being thrown from high buildings for being gay," Firas said. "This was their Islam."
"If heaven is made for ISIS and their belief, I would choose hell for myself instead of being again with them in the same place, even if it's paradise," he added.
While ISIS was driven out of the city, located along the Syrian-Turkish border, over four years ago, converting to Christianity remains taboo — and even dangerous — in the Muslim-majority region. Persecution watchdog Open Doors notes that even in more secure parts of Syria, Christians who have converted from Islam face pressure and discrimination from their communities. Kobani is home to about 300 Christians, according to estimates.
Omar, 38, who serves as church administrator, said that even before ISIS overtook the region, it was strictly forbidden to change religion from Islam to Christianity. But under ISIS, converting to Christianity "wasn't even imaginable," he said, adding: "ISIS would kill you immediately."
"Most of the brothers here converted or come to church as a result of what ISIS did to them and to their families," he said. "No one is forced to convert. Our weapon is the prayer, the spreading of spirit of love, brotherhood and tolerance."
Currently, just 4.6 percent of Syrians are believed to be Christian, according to a report by Aid to the Church in Need. Additionally, about 700,000 Christians are believed to have left Syria since the civil war began in 2011.
In December, President Donald Trump announced that US troops would withdraw from Syria, stating, "We have won against ISIS. We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly. We've taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come back home."
However, amid concerns that pulling U.S. troops out of Syria will put persecuted Christians, Kurds and other ethnic minorities at risk, Trump later clarified he would send U.S. forces back if ISIS and other terror groups regain their strength.
"The President's made clear that we support Christians, that we support the Kurds," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders recently told CBN News. "He's made that clear to Turkey, he's made that clear publicly on a number of fronts, and just one of the reasons that the President has been tough on Iran is to make sure that people don't feel threatened. We've supported the safe zones that are going to be very important, and the idea that the President is just stepping away and ignoring any potential problem doesn't understand the fundamental decision that he's made."
Parents Refuse To Abort ‘Deformed’ Baby, See His Amazing Pictures Now
With recent change in abortion laws in our country, we must look to the Bible for answers on what God says about it. An unborn baby is not simply a bunch of tissue; he or she is a human being in the eyes of God.
It was during this time, that their doctor gave them the option of abortion,but these chose to keep the baby nevertheless and trusted God with Brody’s life. Sara said, “It is okay to be proud of your baby no matter the circumstances. We wanted to change what ultrasound/newborn/first year pictures on our Facebook/Instagram accounts looked like. We wanted to spread awareness of cleft lips and palates,” Sara said
Things were not easy for little Brody because simple things like eating, drinking, smiling were hard for him to do, but Sara and Chris are on a mission to raise awareness among parents of kids who have deformities and defects in newborns.
She had posted a picture of Brody with his cleft deformity on social media and had received many anxious replies from people, she said, “I decided to educate rather than create a confrontation because that is what I want Brody to do in the future,” she revealed. “I will want him to educate, to be an advocate for younger cleft kids who don’t have their own voice yet.”
We salute Sara and Chris for standing by their resolve to not abort their baby but rather to trust in the word of God for He never fails.
The Moment Trump Shut Down AOC in the Middle of His Speech
There were many great moments from Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, but one of the best may have been President Donald Trump dashing leftist dreams of abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE, as you probably know, has been in the cross-hairs of several prominent Democrats over the last few months. One of the loudest voices calling for the law enforcement agency to be disbanded is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman socialist representative from New York.
“One of these days, I hope people realize that the idea that ICE should be scrapped isn’t so crazy after all,” she recently posted on Twitter. She has previously called for ICE offices to be “occupied,” essentially making it more difficult for the agency to do important work including stopping sex traffickers.
But it isn’t just wide-eyed Ocasio-Cortez who wants the agency axed. “Democrats in Congress are introducing legislation to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency,” The Associated Press reported in July.
“The bill from Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democratic leader of the progressive caucus, would give Congress a year to develop a more ‘humane immigration enforcement system’ and terminate ICE,” the news service continued.
Conservatives and law enforcement experts have pushed back against those calls, and on Tuesday evening Trump addressed it directly.
“I pledge to you tonight that I will never abolish our heroes from ICE,” he firmly stated during the State of the Union address, almost certainly jabbing at Ocasio-Cortez and her leftist allies.
“Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border,” Trump also declared, pushing the issue of border security and immigration enforcement.
“In the last two years, our brave ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults. 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings or murders,” he explained.
The president singled out one particular person for praise, a Hispanic special agent who works with ICE to enforce America’s laws.
POTUS Reunites Holocaust Survivor with the American Soldier Who Liberated Him in Touching SOTU Moment
During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump took a moment to honor both a Holocaust survivor in the audience and the American soldier and World War II veteran who helped free him.
“Joshua Kaufman was a inmate at Dachau,” the president introduced him. “He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks.”
President Trump went on to share how Kaufman told him, “The American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.”
“I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the second World War,” he continued before revealing an unexpected surprise. “One of them was Herman Zeitchik. But there is more to Herman’s story. A year after he stormed the beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of those American soldiers who helped liberate Dachau.”
“He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on Earth,” President Trump said. “Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight — seated side-by-side, here in the home of American freedom. Herman and Joshua, your presence this evening is very much appreciated. Thank you very much.”
Earlier in his address, the president gave a shout out to another Holocaust survivor, Judah Samet, who also survived the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
Angel Mom Rips Dems Over SOTU Guest List: They Care More About Games Than Americans’ Safety
“Angel Mom” Mary Ann Mendoza, who lost her son Brandon because of a drunk driving illegal immigrant, just ripped congressional Democrats in an opinion column for Fox News, pointing out how the left’s priorities are revealed by the composition of their list of invitees to the State of the Union address.
Mendoza praised President Donald Trump for his compassion toward “Angel Families” like hers, and noted that he invited the surviving family of a married couple who were murdered by an illegal immigrant to the speech.
Not so for the Democrats, however. Not a single Democrat invited an Angel mom or Angel family as their guest, nor will most even meet with them at any other time, despite concerted efforts to arrange meetings by the Angel families.
Mendoza explained that in 2014 an illegal immigrant with a criminal record killed her son, and how the loss of Brandon still pains her to this day and will for the rest of her life.
She noted how Trump stands up on behalf of Americans like her, but pointed out that, “Democrats, however, have a different agenda.”
“Their guest list for the State of the Union proves that they care more about political gamesmanship than they do about the safety and security of the American people,” Mendoza wrote.
“Just as they did last year, congressional Democrats are inviting illegal immigrants to attend the prestigious event,” she continued. “The ploy is directed at President Trump, but it’s a slap in the face to the thousands of Americans whose loved ones have died at the hands of criminal illegal immigrants.”
The grieving mother noted that Democrats are quick to shed a tear for the plight of poor migrants attempting to enter the country, but seemingly steel themselves and show no emotion or sympathy for the American citizens who suffer because of illegal immigration, whether that suffering comes by way of crime or economic impacts on their communities, or as a result of the opioid and illicit drug epidemic.
“While my son might be little more than an inconvenient statistic to Nancy Pelosi, he was more a genuine patriot than she’ll ever be,” Mendoza wrote. “Brandon was a police officer who selflessly devoted his life to enforce the laws of our land — the very laws that Pelosi and the Democrats are actively encouraging foreigners to defy.”
Trump rips into Democrats for controversial abortion comments, pushes for 20-week ban
President Trump during his State of the Union address Tuesday blasted Democrats for authorizing "a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb" and allowing doctors to "execute a baby after birth," urging Congress to pass a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb," Trump said.
The president's comments come after New York loosened restrictions on abortion and as Democrats are under fire for controversial comments regarding late-term abortion.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and state Del. Kathy Tran, both Democrats, last week said they supported a state bill that appeared to allow abortion at the time of birth. Tran later said she misspoke about when abortion would be permitted and Northam’s office later released a statement saying that the governor’s comments were mischaracterized and had been intended in cases in which a baby wouldn’t survive birth because of deformity or another health issue.
In his State of the Union address, Trump called the remarks "chilling."
"Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth," Trump said. "These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth."