Cathi Herrod’s statement on the veto of SB 1062

PHOENIX – “Today’s veto of SB 1062 marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.

SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.

Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.

When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.

SB 1062 made certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest–a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993.

The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth.”

Senator Jon Kyl to Head Policy Group for Doug Ducey Exploratory Committee

Doug Ducey

Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey announced today that former Senator Jon Kyl has agreed to lead a group of policy advisers for his recently-announced exploratory committee for the 2014 governor’s race.

“Throughout his career Jon Kyl has proven himself to be one of the most thoughtful, perceptive and patriotic public servants in the country,” said Ducey. “His entire public life is built on substance and solutions, and I’m delighted that he is standing with us, providing the benefits of his knowledge and wisdom in the days ahead.”

“Doug Ducey’s leadership style is to first ground himself in the substance of the critical issues facing our state. I respect that,” said Senator Kyl. “His skills, his knowledge of business management, his conservative credentials, and his proven record as State Treasurer are precisely what are needed for Arizona.”

Senator Kyl will be leading a policy group for Ducey 2014 that includes:

    • Cathi Herrod, highly respected lawyer and Arizona’s leading advocate for the foundational values of life, traditional marriage and family, and religious liberty.
    • The Honorable Robert Fannin, former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, former Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, and a highly respected leader in business and law.
    • The Honorable Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney. A West Point Graduate who received the Bronze Star for his service in the Gulf War. He then graduated Magna Cum Laude from the ASU College of Law receiving the Order of the Coif.
    • Lea Marquez Peterson, an entrepreneur and advocate for the Southern Arizona business community. Lea runs the largest Latino business organization in the State of Arizona.
    • Randy Kendrick, lawyer, founder and past president of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, health care policy expert, and philanthropist.

Ducey added, “I’m fortunate to have such policy grounded leaders advising me, and I’m grateful to each of them for giving time and energy to my exploratory committee for governor.”

# # #

Statement from CAP President Cathi Herrod on the SCOTUS Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8

Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8

“The key message for Arizonans from the U.S. Supreme Court today is this: Your right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is preserved. It’s important to note that the Court did not find a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Neither did the Court declare same-sex marriage a civil right on the order of ethnicity or nationality.” 

Though Center for Arizona Policy disagrees with aspects of the Court’s decision, we are grateful that the Court did not undermine the will of Arizona voters who strongly supported our state’s 2008 marriage amendment. In DOMA, CAP believes that the court erred in claiming that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government for purposes of federal marriage laws. 

In Prop 8, the court has ensured that the state-by-state debate about marriage is allowed to continue. Truly the debate over marriage has just begun.           

Marriage is more than just a personal promise, it serves a public purpose. It is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Social science data has proved this time and time again. 

Center for Arizona Policy is committed to continuing to stand for marriage and to defeat any efforts to redefine this essential union.”

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family and religious liberty. CAP led the 2008 effort to constitutionally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in Arizona. 

Pro-Life Activists Alert! – Inhuman: Stop the Killing Rally

Phoenix, AZ: — Live Action and Center for Arizona Policy will be hosting a rally outside of the Phoenix abortion clinic Family Planning Associates to discuss the findings of Live Action’s latest investigation into the abortion industry, specifically the grotesque and shocking activity perpetrated at this facility. As is illustrated in the investigative findings, even when performed according to legal standards, the abortion procedure itself is inhumanly brutal and gruesome. Even worse, Family Planning Associates said in no uncertain terms that should a baby be born alive after a failed abortion, “they will not resuscitate.”

At the rally, Live Action, Center for Arizona Policy and state lawmakers will call upon the legislature to pass legislation allowing for the Department of Health Services to perform unannounced inspections at abortion clinics. Currently, abortion clinics are the only medical facilities in the state that are not allowed to have these types of inspections.

Live Action’s latest investigation, Inhuman, has incited a rising tide of alarm and disgust at how our country treats its women and its weakest children.  This rally will call for true protection and empowerment of women, and the revocation of Family Planning Associates Medical Group’s license.

What: Rally outside Phoenix abortion clinic Family Planning Associates  

Who: Live Action, Center for Arizona Policy, and state legislators

            Speakers will include:

·      Lila Rose; President and founder of the pro-life group, Live Action.

·      Cathi Herrod; President of Center for Arizona Policy

·      Senator Nancy Barto, Legislative District 15

·      Melanie Pritchard; Executive Director, Foundation for Life and Love

·      Vanessa Tedesco, Post-Abortive speaker with Silent No More

·      Jason Walsh, Executive Director of Arizona Right to Life 

Where: Family Planning Associates Medical Group, 1331 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85006

When: Thursday, June 6, at noon.

Live Action is a new media movement dedicated to ending abortion and building a culture of life.  We use new media to educate the public about the humanity of the pre-born children and investigative journalism to expose threats against the vulnerable and defenseless.

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty. For more information visit azpolicy.org.

1) The Numbers Tell the Story – Here are a few important numbers for you: 13, 51, 114.

  • 13 is the number of Center for Arizona Policy-supported bills that were signed into law this session. Simply put, Arizona is a better place for families today than it was 5 months ago because of these bills.
  • 51 is the number of CAP-supported bills signed into law since 2009 when Governor Brewer took office. These last 4 years show the difference we can make when we elect pro-life and pro-family leaders to the legislature and Governor’s office.
  • 114 is the number of CAP-supported bills signed into law since 1995. Each of these bills takes important steps to protect the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.

While our work is far from over, these numbers exemplify what the Lord can do when we engage in the political process and vote our values.

2) The Final Victories of the Session – Governor Jan Brewer signed the 3 remaining CAP-supported bills on her desk last Friday and Monday. These 3 bills were no minor pieces of legislation – they were bold policies that will have a tangible impact on the lives of Arizonans. Click here to read more about HB 2622, SB 1365, and HB 2625. Click here to read Governor Brewer’s news release on why she signed HB 2625 – one of the most attacked and distorted pieces of legislation this session.

While I am sincerely grateful to Governor Jan Brewer for signing these bills, I am also thankful for the many legislators that supported these and the other CAP-supported bills.

Earlier this week, we released our 2012 Family Issues Voting Record reporting on how every legislator voted on 12 key bills that impact life, marriage and family, and religious liberty. Take time today to find out how your legislator voted and send them a note with your thoughts. Please take time to send a note of thanks to the legislators who stood with us in defense of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty. You can be sure they have heard from those who oppose us.

3) An Unfounded Overreaction – From the time Rep. Justin Olson introduced HB 2800, which says federal family planning funds that pass through the state cannot go to abortion providers, to the time Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law, Planned Parenthood told every media outlet that would listen that this bill would deny low-income families access to medical care.

But as CAP Legislative Counsel Josh Kredit points out on the Foundations Blog, there are nearly 200 clinics across the state that low-income families can visit to access care. What’s more, the vast majority of these clinics actually offer more services than the 14 Planned Parenthood clinics in our state.

4) Don’t Believe the Polls – Recent polls nationwide show support for redefining marriage to supposedly be a 50/50 split with support for same-sex “marriage” growing. Yet as we all know, every time the people vote on marriage, they vote strongly in favor of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Then we hear, “Well, the younger generation doesn’t believe in marriage.” Yes, we do have significant challenges to restore the value of marriage in our culture. But don’t miss this fact tweeted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins yesterday: if the votes of everyone 45+ were discounted in NC, the marriage amendment would have still passed by 8 percentage points. Check out this analysis by American Enterprise Institute.

http://sonoranalliance.com/2012/05/18/28387/

As the Voters Stand For Marriage, the President Stands Opposite

On Tuesday, North Carolina became the 32nd state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. The amendment passed with a strong majority – 61 percent – voting in favor.

State marriage amendments are now 32 for 32 – in each state where the people have been able to vote on marriage, the people have said YES! to protecting marriage. Only through the courts and state legislatures have advocates in a small minority of states been able to redefine marriage to include same sex couples.

On Wednesday, after this historic vote in North Carolina, President Barack Obama made some history of his own, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to support redefining marriage, the cornerstone of our society.

The President’s announcement was no surprise to those who have followed his statements on marriage. It’s a relief to have the President finally state his position clearly so that no one can doubt or explain away how the President views marriage. I will leave it to the political pundits to dissect the President’s motivation and timing for his statement. This much is clear however — within hours, those favoring same-sex marriage began donating significant dollars to re-elect President Obama.

National Reaction

The backlash against the President’s flip flop on marriage has come from across the country.

Alliance Defense Fund’s Litigation Staff Counsel Jim Campbell said, “This shows that the Obama administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage – the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman – is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The President has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.”

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council said “The President’s announcement today that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) to giving taxpayer funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the President has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law.”

Hugh Hewitt pointed out how the President first was “for same sex marriage before he was against it and before he was for it again“, and that “marriage between a man and woman is ordained by God for the happiness of humankind and the building up of society, and that it is to be preferred to any other situation for the raising of children.”

In California, where they are in the midst of defending their marriage amendment in court, known as Proposition 8, Ron Prentice, the Executive Director of the California Family Council said, “The first chapter of the biblical book of James refers to a double-minded man as one who is unstable, “blown and tossed by the wind.” Thank God for the millions of Americans rejecting the president’s view of progress.”

Three Bills Remain on the Governor’s Desk

Three CAP-supported bills remain on the governor’s desk, awaiting her action:

  • HB 2622 enables children attending schools that have received “D” or “F” grades from the state and children adopted from foster homes to be eligible for Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program.
  • SB 1365 protects professionals from losing their state licenses for practicing their faith and strengthens protection for religious organizations that contract with the state.
  • HB 2625 protects religious employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by being forced into providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception.

She has until Tuesday to act on these bills. Follow our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Sine Die – Finally!

The Arizona Legislature adjourned last night, ending one of the most significant and successful sessions for Arizona families. Our CAP Team is grateful for the leadership shown by Governor Brewer and our pro-life, pro-family legislators. Next week, we will release the Family Issues Voting Record, which recaps how each legislator voted on CAP-supported bills, and the final tally of CAP-supported bills that were signed into law.

On the Governor’s Desk

Before adjournment, the legislature sent four CAP-supported bills to Governor Brewer. Legislation to defund Planned Parenthood (HB 2800), protect employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs (HB 2625), protect professionals licensed by the state from losing their certifications for the free exercise of their faith (SB 1365), and expand the Empowerment Scholarship Account Program (HB 2622) are all awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and education establishment have continued their campaign to encourage Gov. Brewer to veto these bills. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute today to send her a quick note in support of these four bills! And, take a few minutes to pray!

A Team Effort! A Time of Thanksgiving!

I live by the Proverb that we are to be prepared for the day of battle but victory belongs to the Lord.  The victories this legislative session indeed are by God’s Hand.   Thankfully, however, He has blessed our efforts with a team that includes allied organizations committed to foundational values including Arizona Catholic Conference, Alliance Defense Fund, Bioethics Defense Foundation, Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, and our school choice allies. I am incredibly grateful for everything they do to join us to stand for foundational values.

If space permitted, I would also thank each and every legislator who stood with us this session.  Alas, I will ask each one of you to do so when you receive the voting records next week for your two state representatives and state senator. For now, I do want to thank Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin for their leadership in making sure CAP-supported bills made it through the legislative process.  Take time to send those two leaders a quick thank-you email for their support – click on their names above to send them an email.

Finally, THANK YOU! It’s because you turned out to vote your values in the 2010 elections that we were blessed with the pro-life, pro-family majority in the state House and Senate.

National Day of Prayer
Our nation celebrated the National Day of Prayer yesterday. In conjunction with the National Day of Prayer, Governor Brewer once again declared yesterday the Arizona Day of Prayer, despite the ongoing legal attack against her from the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
Thank you, Gov. Brewer, for refusing to be pushed around by this out-of-state organization that is determined to rewrite our country’s history and First Amendment.

Praying Strategically

In recognition of the National Day of Prayer, CAP’s new Church Relations Director, Pastor Terry Anderson is writing a 3 part blog series on the Foundations blog about “praying strategically.” Terry shared this message with our staff last week and greatly blessed the CAP team. Click here to read it.

ICYMI: War on Women? The Undeniable Roots of Pro-Life Feminism

Our friends at the Susan B. Anthony List wrote an editorial in response to two pieces in the Arizona Republic.

On the Foundations blog, we share their editorial, but also point out that today’s pro-life movement is stronger – and more diverse – than ever before. This legislative session is an awesome example of women and men coming together to defend life, vulnerable women, and preborn children.

Defunding Planned Parenthood

The Legislature once again demonstrated why Arizona has become one of the most pro-life states in the country. On Wednesday, the Senate passed HB 2800, sponsored by Rep. Justin Olson. This bill prohibits federal dollars that pass through the state for family planning from going to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. Click here to see how your Senator voted. The bill now awaits Gov. Brewer’s signature.To no one’s surprise, of course, Planned Parenthood continues to attack the bill in two ways:

  1. They claim they do not use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Yet one taxpayer dollar that goes to Planned Parenthood for anything frees up another dollar to fund their abortion operation. Any funding to Planned Parenthood supports abortions.
  2. Despite being Arizona’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood claims this bill will deny women access to other medical procedures including cancer screenings and women’s health services. Once again, this is not true. The bill does not reduce the funding by one penny – it simply prioritizes the funding to healthcare providers who can provide more comprehensive services. There are plenty of options for women to access care in Arizona.

National Day of Prayer

Since our nation’s beginning, every leader has recognized the important role prayer plays in safeguarding our future.The National Day of Prayer is this Thursday, May 3. This year’s theme verse is Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the Lord.”

Our friends at BridgeBuilders are hosting a prayer event at the state Capitol that day. Check out other prayer events across the state at the National Day of Prayer website.

Take time on Thursday to lift Arizona and America up in prayer. Attend an event. Pray with your family, especially your children. Pray for wisdom and protection for our leaders at all levels of government. Ask for the church to stand up this election season and that the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty are protected and respected in our nation.

The National Movement

The Susan B. Anthony List has been working with state organizations across the country to defund Planned Parenthood. This year, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Oklahoma are considering legislation similar to Arizona’s HB 2800. We’re grateful to have been able to work with SBA List to see HB 2800 pass in Arizona.In 2011, eight states successfully defunded Planned Parenthood of more than $61.7 million.

Rushing Toward Adjournment

After a slow week at the Capitol, news comes late this week that the Legislature and Governor may have reached an agreement on the state budget. That means adjournment could happen early next week. Three key CAP-supported bills still need final votes in both houses: SB 1365 to protect the rights of conscience for individuals in employment, HB 2774 to clarify the property tax exemption for churches, and HB 2622 to expand and refine Arizona’s empowerment scholarship account program. Vetoed by Gov. Brewer a few weeks ago, the “ESA” bill has been modified to meet Gov. Brewer’s concerns. Stay up to date with CAP’s bill tracker.

Finding a Solution

The state Senate gave final approval to HB 2625, which exempts religiously affiliated employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by covering abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives in their insurance plans.The bill passed by a 19-9 vote and now heads to Gov. Brewer’s desk. Click here to see how your Senator voted.

While there is still work to be done to protect the religious conscience rights of all employers, this bill is an important step in the right direction.

Gov. Brewer Needs to Hear from You!

Now that these two important bills are heading to the Governor, she needs to hear from you that you support HB 2800 and HB 2625!

Click here to send Gov. Brewer a message online.

Chuck Colson’s Legacy

As word came these last few days that Chuck Colson may be near death, I’ve been reflecting on the legacy of this amazing leader. Like many of you I’m sure, I remember reading Born Again about his conversion to Christianity. Colson has dedicated his life to challenging believers to apply biblical principles to their everyday lives. The many ministries he’s inspired and led, including his renowned Prison Fellowship Ministry, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the Manhattan Declaration have been at the forefront of the national pro-life, pro-family movement.

In April 1985, Colson wrote these words that are even more appropriate to today’s challenges:

“Certainly evil is to be expected in a fallen world. What is not expected is for a holy people to accept it. If Christ is Lord of all, Christians must recapture their sense of moral outrage.”

I can think of no better way to honor Mr. Colson and his life’s work than by reading, signing, and sharing the Manhattan Declaration. The goal of the Manhattan Declaration is to build a movement of Catholic, Evangelical, and Eastern Orthodox Christians who will stand together alongside other men and women of goodwill to advance the sanctity of life, rebuild and revitalize the marriage culture, and protect religious liberty. And, if you haven’t, pick up a copy of Born Again or any of Colson’s many other books and be challenged and inspired by this man’s legacy.

Three In One!

Tuesday was a great day for family advocates at the Legislature – three CAP-supported bills were signed into law on the same day!

  • SB 1359 – Prohibits so-called “wrongful life” lawsuits against medical professionals for misdiagnosing or not diagnosing a birth defect of a preborn child, which, if known, would have led to the child being aborted. Sen. Nancy Barto sponsored this bill.
  • HB 2627 – Prohibits abortion providers from qualifying for Arizona’s Working Poor Tax Credit, including Planned Parenthood. Rep. Debbie Lesko sponsored this bill.
  • HB 2265 – Ensures that arts funding in Arizona is not used to deface religious objects or promote obscenity. Representative J.D. Mesnard sponsored this bill.

Citizenlink covered these victories – read their story here.

Religious Freedom Bill Still Alive

Because of the support of Arizonans across the state, HB 2625 is one vote away from heading to the Governor’s desk. This is the bill that protects religiously-affiliated employers from being forced to violate their religious convictions by covering abortion-inducing drugs or contraception in their insurance plans. Despite the distortions and attacks, the truth about this bill has been made known. Find out how your representative voted here.

You can track the progress of this and the remaining CAP-supported bills in action with our online Bill Tracker or on our Facebook page.

Intern with CAP this Summer

We are accepting applications to intern with us this summer in the policy and communications departments. In such a critical election year, interns will get frontline experience working to promote foundational values in public policy. Click here for information on how to apply.

Finishing Strong

Finishing Strong

Next week may be the last week of this legislative session. Now is when bills can very easily die if supporters aren’t persistent and vigilant to see them through to the finish line.

Through the hard work of the CAP team, our friends at the Legislature, and YOUR support, we experienced some very significant success this week.

As we reported yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer signed one of the most significant pro-life bills in Arizona’s history.

Please take a moment today to send Gov. Brewer an email, send her a message on her Facebook page, or send her a tweet @GovBrewer. She is definitely hearing from the pro-abortion side – let’s make sure she knows our gratitude for her stand in defense of preborn children and their mothers.

Of course, Gov. Brewer would not have had the opportunity to sign the bill if it hadn’t been for the many legislators that voted for and spoke out in support of the bill. On Tuesday, the House gave HB 2036 final approval before sending it on to the Governor. Led by bill sponsor Rep. Kimberly Yee, many gave very powerful speeches in support of the bill. Read more about this floor session on the Foundations blog. Watch the entire floor debate here.

Yesterday, Gov. Brewer also signed into law SB 1009. Led by our allies at Arizona Catholic Conference, SB 1009 requires that adoption and childbirth be presented as preferred options over abortion in any public school presentations.

Pushing On

After HB 2625, which protects religious employers from being forced by governmental mandate to violate their religious beliefs by providing insurance coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, was voted down last week 13-17, CAP, the Arizona Catholic Conference, and Rep. Debbie Lesko worked with Senators on an agreement to bring the bill back yesterday. The bill now will be amended to protect religiously affiliated employers.

If you were to listen to opponents, you’d be led to believe HB 2625 was some extreme bill that would make Arizona an outlier among states. The reality is, this bill puts Arizona in line with a majority of states regarding insurance mandates. Read our news release from yesterday on the bill to find out its true impact, and take time to read this editorial from Senator Nancy Barto that clears up many of the misconceptions about the bill.

A Word About Our Opponents

During floor debates this week, legislators opposed to CAP-supported bills stood up to openly attack CAP and imply that legislators are blindly following our lead. Nothing could be further from the truth. We heard several recycled feminist rants about the abortion issue. You can listen to these rants here. First, I ask you to remember to pray for those who stand in opposition – that they would see the merits of these issues. Second, I ask you to commit now to engaging this election season. I have no doubt that the common sense bills on CAP’s legislative agenda reflect the core values of a strong majority of Arizonans. This vocal, fired-up minority, however, stands ready to “take back the Legislature” and go to battle this election season. Perseverance through prayer and action is necessary to maintain the breakthroughs for foundational principles that we’ve been able to accomplish these last few years.

Still Time to Join Del Tackett and Me in Tucson

There’s only a week left until Engage: Tucson with Dr. Del Tackett. Del will share how you can have an impact on our community by putting your biblical worldview into action. Click here for ticket details – hope to see you there!

Intern with CAP this Summer

We are accepting applications to intern with us this summer in the policy and communications departments. In such a critical election year, interns will get frontline experience working to promote foundational values in public policy. Click here for information on how to apply.

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Brewer Signs Bill Prohibiting Abortion After 20 Weeks

Gov. Brewer Signs Bill Prohibiting Abortion After 20 Weeks


Arizona Women Lead the Pro-Life March to Protect Mother’s Health and Safety

Governor Jan Brewer has signed HB 2036, which prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. The bill, sponsored by Representative Kimberly Yee and supported by Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), is a momentous victory for pro-life advocates in the state.

HB 2036, called “The Mother’s Health and Safety Act”:

  • Prohibits abortion after 20 weeks because of the safety risks to the mother and the pain endured by the preborn child.
  • Ensures women have an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to an abortion.
  • Establishes an informed consent website which details the facts about fetal development, risks of abortion, and services available.
  • Requires doctors performing surgical abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the abortion facility.

“Today, I applaud and thank Gov. Brewer, Representative Kimberly Yee, Senator Nancy Barto and the many strong, pro-life men and women who led the effort to enact this much-needed law,” said Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy. “HB 2036 provides for the health needs of women considering an abortion, ensuring that women have all the information they need when making this life-changing decision. Abortion not only ends the life of a preborn child, but it also seriously endangers the health and safety of women.”

While 7 states have similar laws that prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of a pregnancy, Arizona is the first in the nation to do so because abortion at this late stage presents a much greater risk to maternal health.

In signing this bill, Gov. Brewer has continued her record as the “pro-life Governor.” Since taking office, Gov. Brewer has signed a number of bills that protect women and the preborn, including legislation that requires women have an in-person consultation with a doctor 24 hours before the abortion, prohibits non-doctors from performing abortions, and requires written, notarized parental consent before a minor can have an abortion.

Please take time to email Gov. Jan Brewer to thank her for being our pro-life Governor.

First: The Wake-Up Call

On Wednesday, the Arizona Senate delivered a wake-up call to all Arizonans who value religious liberty. Religious liberty – a first freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment – is in jeopardy. The Arizona Senate failed to pass CAP-supported HB 2625that would amend current state law and stand against the Obama administration’s federal health care mandates, both of which compel employers who provide health insurance to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptive drugs even in violation of sincerely held religious beliefs.Proposed by our friends at Alliance Defense Fund and Arizona Catholic Conference, HB 2625 is crucial to protecting the religious freedom of faith-based organizations and employers that have a religious objection to contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, by simply allowing them to be exempt from the intrusive government mandate. The legislation does not block anyone from getting these medications. The debate centers on who will pay for it.

I’ve repeatedly said that CAP does not take a position on family planning or birth control. We do, however, take a very strong position in support and defense of religious liberty. Neither the government nor an individual should be able to compel anyone to violate his or her religious beliefs, and HB 2625 seeks to ensure that this does not occur.

Stand With Us For Religious Freedom
Yesterday Senator Nancy Barto moved to reconsider the HB 2625 vote, meaning that the Senate can vote again on the bill at a later date. Take time today to stand with us by taking the steps outlined in our Action Alert.

Now: the Praise Report – 4 Major Victories!
  • HB 2036 Passes Senate – The same Arizona Senate passed major, life-affirming legislation to prohibit abortions past 20 weeks and strengthening Arizona’s informed consent requirements. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 20-10 and now awaits a final House vote before going to Gov. Brewer.
  • HB 2626 to expand Arizona’s empowerment scholarship accounts program is on the Governor’s desk.
  • HB 2712, a bill to protect minors from harmful content on school and public library computers is also on the Governor’s desk.
  • HB 2770 to protect the religious liberty of university professors passed the Senate 21-9 and awaits a final House vote.

Things are moving fast – follow all the legislative action on our Facebook page or our Bill Tracker.

Dr. Tackett in Tucson!
On April 21, Dr. Del Tackett, creator of Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project, will be in Tucson for an exclusive CAP event at Victory Worship Center. Come explore God’s unique calling for you to engage to meet needs in the community around you and discover the specific opportunities you have to make a difference right where you live. Click here for details and to register.

A Movie Worth Seeing!
Take time this weekend to see the latest life-affirming movie, October Baby, now showing in 6 AZ theaters. This movie is the powerful story of a young woman in search of hope for the future, and what she finds is that life can be so much more than what you have planned.

I Saw the Light!

I cannot begin to express the gratitude my team and I feel towards all of the supporters that turned out this week for the CAP Family Dinners in Tucson and Scottsdale with Gov. Huckabee.

During one of the most contentious sessions of my lifetime at the state Capitol, I was truly blessed by the outpouring of love and encouragement from old and new friends.

Senator Nancy Barto summed up the evening well when she posted on Facebook:

Mike Huckabee at tonight’s CAP dinner was fantastic – so funny, but hit the main point: strong families prevent a whole host of social ills government spends its resources trying to fix. Thank you to everyone who supports CAP so Legislators can pass pro-family legislation.

This year’s CAP Family Dinner was unlike any other though, and here’s why:

Gov. Huckabee picked up a bass guitar and joined the Catalina Foothills Church praise and worship band on stage for a performance of “I Saw the Light” and “America the Beautiful.” It was the perfect conclusion to an inspiring evening.

Along with the many families and legislators that joined us, I want to especially thank my staff at CAP. I cannot think of another group of people who could have pulled off two successful events back-to-back in three weeks than the team we have here at CAP.

There was a lot that happened this week at the Capitol, and there’s a lot more coming next week. You can follow all of the action on Facebook. But today, let’s give thanks to the Lord for his grace, mercy, and abundant provision.

Let’s Clear a Few Things Up

What a week. I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed such baseless and false attacks on CAP-supported bills as I saw this week. While I understand that it may be more entertaining for some to blatantly lie about legislation, the people deserve to know the truth.

So I’m going to clear a few things up about CAP-supported bills and other issues that have been misconstrued in the press and liberal blogs this week.

HB 2625 – This simple bill protects the religious freedom of faith-based groups and other employers. No employer should be forced by the government to pay for contraception and abortifacients in their insurance plans when doing so would violate their First Amendment protected religious beliefs. The media has falsely picked up the opponents’ outrageous claims that the bill would force women to tell employers why they are taking birth control pills. Read the bill. That claim is not in the bill.

Center for Arizona Policy does not take a position on family planning or birth control. We do, however take a very strong position that faith-based institutions and employers who hold a religious belief regarding contraception should not be compelled to violate those beliefs and pay for the medication.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Debbie Lesko has done an incredible job in numerous media interviews explaining this point, like this interview with Greta Van Sustren. Take a moment to thank Rep. Lesko by emailing her.

SB 1359
– Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, this legislation is based on common sense and decency. It prohibits “wrongful life” and “wrongful birth” lawsuits. These lawsuits arise when a child is born with a disability, and the parents sue the doctor claiming that had they known their child had a disability, they would have had an abortion.

These lawsuits endorse the viewpoint that the life of a disabled child is worth less than the life of a child without a disability. Imagine what the children of the parents who file these lawsuits must feel when they get older and find out that their parents sued because they wish they would have had an abortion.

The attacks on this bill have truly been far-fetched. Some blogs claimed that this bill would allow doctors to knowingly withhold information from parents. Untrue. This bill does nothing to protect doctors that cause harm to preborn children, withhold information, or are grossly negligent.

Bullying, Part Two. Perhaps you’ve seen the attacks on me and CAP this week regarding the anti-bullying legislation I wrote about last week. I’ve been called a “legislative terrorist” and I’m sure a few other names by the time you read this.

While most of the attacks do not warrant a response, I do want to address one false statement made by State Senator David Schapira. He has claimed multiple times that I said SB 1462 is a “back door gay bill, no pun intended.” I would never say something so crass. Sen. Schapira – disagree with me if you want. But stop telling lies about what I supposedly said.

Click here to see a Channel 12 news clip attacking us for our position then click here to read the statement I issued to the press in response.

Pornographers coming to Arizona? – Several of you have written me recently about the California pornography industry threatening to come to Arizona because of new regulations in Los Angeles.

What wasn’t mentioned is the huge roadblock in their way: filming pornography in Arizona violates our prostitution laws.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery sent a clear message to pornographers this week when he released a statement explaining how virtually all of those involved in pornography could be subject to felony charges:

Under Arizona law, anyone paid to appear in a pornographic movie may be guilty of the crime of prostitution, which carries mandatory jail time as well as the possibility of other penalties. Furthermore, anyone involved in other aspects of producing pornographic movies, including soliciting individuals to appear, collecting a fee from the monies received by individuals solicited to appear by virtue of an agent relationship, transporting individuals from California to Arizona for the purpose of appearing in a pornographic movie, and/or establishing a venue for the filming and/or production of pornographic movies may be guilty of committing one or several felonies in the state of Arizona. Accordingly, Arizona law precludes the establishment of a “pornography industry” to any degree such as that present in California.

You can read his full statement here. After you read it, take a moment to thank Mr. Montgomery for standing up to the pornography industry.

Still Time to Join Me and Gov. Mike Huckabee
There is still time to get your tickets for the CAP Family Dinner with Gov. Mike Huckabee in Tucson on March 21 and Scottsdale on March 22. Visit our website to order your tickets or call our office at 602.424.2525. Hope you can make it!

The Bully Agenda

Many have personal experiences with bullies. For some, these experiences can be truly terrible, even life-threatening. Bullying in any form is wrong and unacceptable.

In recent years, concerns about bullying have garnered national attention. But when you look behind the curtain at what is driving this nationwide dialogue, you find out that the groups that are pushing the “anti-bullying” campaigns are the same organizations working to redefine marriage and to force cultural acceptance and affirmation of homosexual lifestyles.

Take the recent bill proposed in the Arizona legislature – SB 1462. On the surface, the bill seems well-intentioned. It prohibits bullying in schools, and requires teachers, school administrators, students, and parents to undergo annual training to prevent bullying.

The questions arise when one considers which organizations would provide the training and which organizations are behind the legislation. As a leading homosexual magazine in Arizona wrote, Equality Arizona, one n ten, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) were all in attendance at the bill’s committee hearing to support and see the legislation pass.

You see, groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have used the bullying issue in order to gain access to our public schools. These are the groups that supporters of the bill will bring into schools to teach the anti-bullying training to our students.

What concerns me is that this is already happening. I received an email from a parent whose 11-year-old daughter was forced to watch a documentary called Bullied during class time without any parental notification or consent. Taken directly off the tolerance.org website, “Bullied is a documentary film that chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools.” As this dad wrote:

Upon questioning my daughter I was able to determine the video presented was the documentary Bullied. My wife and I spent the next several minutes apologizing to her that she was forced by her school to view the material … I should note the school was diligent in requiring written parental approval for my daughter to view a specific rendition of Star Wars, but the Administration need not trouble the parents over [these] materials. The material was not all that timely for our child either since we had to define for her the terms “homo” and ”fag” at our dinner table.

There is no doubt about it; the “bullying” theme is agenda-driven propaganda. The irony is that groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have chosen this issue to bully you and me into allowing them access into our schools and to our children. To express concerns about anti-bullying bills is portrayed in the most unfavorable light.

These bullying bills are not sound public policy. Not only are they a thinly veiled attempt to allow political groups into our schools, they also divert the focus of our school system off the fundamentals. Class time should be for reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Parents—pay attention to what anti-bullying programs are being presented in your public schools. Check out the Arizona Senate vote in favor of SB 1462. Rest assured, CAP will be closely monitoring SB 1462, and will let you know if we need your help to ensure this bit of bad legislation never becomes law.

Legislative Line Up CAP-supported bills continue to move through the legislative process:

  • SB 1359 – Prohibits so-called “wrongful life” lawsuits against medical professionals for misdiagnosing or not diagnosing a birth defect of a preborn child, which, if known, would have led to the child being aborted. This bill will be heard in House Judiciary next Thursday.
  • HB 2800 – Bans federal dollars that pass through the state to go to organizations that provide abortions. This bill passed House and will be heard in Senate Health next Wednesday.
  • HB 2712 – Enhances public library policies to protect minors from being exposed to pornography. This bill passed the House and will be heard in Senate Education next Monday.

An Evening You Won’t Want to Miss  
The CAP Family Dinner with Gov. Mike Huckabee is quickly approaching. There is still time for you to get your ticket or table sponsorship. These dinners are always a memorable occasion, and this year promises to be extraordinary as we look ahead to the November Elections.

An Important Voice for These Times

This election year, one of the most interesting, engaging, thoughtful, and wise political voices is that of Gov. Mike Huckabee. Perhaps you catch his weekend show on Fox News or listen to his radio program.Well, plan now to join us for our CAP Family Dinner with Gov. Huckabee as the keynote speaker. Because of our growing statewide support, we’ve decided to take this show on the road and present the dinner in two locations: Tucson and Scottsdale. We need your help —- reserve your tables or tickets today and help us spread the word for this don’t miss event of the spring!

Join us for CAP Family Dinner in Tucson on March 21 and Scottsdale on March 22.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS AND SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION

Pro-Life Mother’s Health & Safety Act Advances CAP-supported HB 2036 passed out of committee this week. Once again, Planned Parenthood tried to distort and misrepresent the dangers of abortion and the facts of this bill. Yet, thanks to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Kimberly Yee, and the members of the Senate Judiciary committee, Planned Parenthood was not able to derail this important legislation.

The two-hour committee hearing is well-worth watching. One of the most powerful moments was when one pro-abortion supporter tried to claim that giving birth is more dangerous – and causes more deaths – than abortion. Senator Steve Yarbrough reminded the woman that this is impossible because there is always one death from abortion – the loss of the preborn child.

The most concerning aspect of the committee hearing however is Planned Parenthood’s complete denial of any risks of abortion. You and I know abortion not only takes the life of the preborn child but also poses significant risks to the mother. All of us know women who were harmed by an abortion. Take time today to read our Issue Brief on AZPolicyPages.com about how abortion harms women.

Big Week for Religious Freedom 
Several CAP-supported bills to protect our religious liberty continued to pass through the legislature this week.
  • SB 1365 passed the Senate; awaits House hearing March 6 – Protects professionals from losing their state licenses for practicing their faith and strengthens protection for religious organizations that contract with the state.
  • HB 2625 passed the House; awaits Senate hearing – Expands the definition of “religious employer” for the state’s prescription contraceptive coverage exemption and protects employers and employees from being forced to pay for abortifacient contraceptives against their religious beliefs.
  • HB 2770 passed the House; awaits Senate hearing – Protects college and university professors from being denied tenure because of their religious convictions or political beliefs.
  • HB 2774 passed the House; awaits Senate hearing – Affirms the religious liberty of churches by clarifying the statutes that exempt churches from property taxes.

An Important Message for Young Women  
In partnership with Arizona State University Students for Life, CAP hosted a screening of the documentary eggsploitation this week. Following the film, the students and CAP staff discussed the ads they’ve seen on campus soliciting young women for their eggs, and their concerns about the ethical issues involving egg donation.
ABC 15 came to the screening and aired this segment on the topic.

The Discussion Our Nation Needs to Have

I had “50-yard-line” seats at the Mesa Center for the Arts for the Presidential Debate this week. The conversation finally turned to a rarely discussed but very critical topic – the family and the economy.

With the eyes of the nation on the Arizona debate, the four candidates shared why our nation’s future is at risk when 40% of children are born out of wedlock.

We all must realize – this is not just a “social” issue – it’s an economic issue.

Our nation’s economy is only as strong as our families. For far too long public policy and our culture has weakened the family by attacking marriage and stifling any honest conversation about the importance of intact homes composed of a married mom and dad with children.

President Ronald Reagan described the three major interests of our nation as a three-legged stool: a strong economy, a strong foreign policy, and strong families. We need all three in order for our country to endure.

Call to Prayer

Marriage between a man and a woman is lifegiving, and a majority of Americans understand this.

Yet marriage is under constant assault. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled the California marriage amendment was unconstitutional. In Washington State, a bill was signed into law to completely redefine marriage. The New Jersey legislature passed legislation to do the same, but Governor Christie vetoed it. Maryland’s legislature recently passed similar legislation, and their governor has vowed to sign the bill.

The attacks are coming from all sides. In response, Alliance Defense Fund has called for a National Pray for Marriage Day this Sunday, February 26. This prayer guide offers suggestions to pray for a restoration of marriage in America. While there is much work to be done to protect marriage in America, we must always remember to go to the Lord first, because only He can bring us victory. Take time this Sunday to pray for marriage!

Legislative Victory! First CAP-supported Bill Heads to the Governor

SB 1047, which increases the amount individuals can receive in tax credits for donations to School Tuition Organizations to $500, and married couples to $1,000, is on Governor Brewer’s desk! These new scholarship dollars are solely designated for children on waiting lists who attend public schools and want to go to the private school of their parents’ choice.

Governor Brewer has 5 days to act on this bill. Be sure to follow our Facebook page and Bill Tracker to get the latest updates.

Have you ever been to the State Capitol?
We’ve hosted a number of Inside Looks at the Capitol since session began to give CAP supporters a peek into our daily work and how it is making Arizona a better place for families. These one-hour tours are free and allow you to interact with me and some of the other members of the CAP team. I hope you can join us and bring a friend on March 6 or March 21. The tours run from noon-1:00 p.m. You must RSVP in advance by emailing insidelook@azpolicy.org.