Rep. Justin Pierce Puts the Life Issue in Perspective

The Mother’s Health and Safety Act, HB 2838, was heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee last week.

One of the most powerful moments came when Representative Justin Pierce shared the story of his brother’s family, and how despite pressure from doctors, they chose life and now have a beautiful 3 year old son.

This is a must-see video for anyone in the life debate…

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Implications for Arizona

On Tuesday, two judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the California marriage amendment approved by a vote of the people is unconstitutional. Once again, we see judges making law, not interpreting law. Read the opinion here. Incredibly the judges can find no “rational basis” for Californians to uphold marriage.

Thankfully, this is not the final chapter in the fight to protect marriage. Let’s all remember that this is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – the most overturned circuit court in the country. Shortly after the decision was released, our friends at Alliance Defense Fund and ProtectMarriage.com announced they would be appealing the decision.

There are two key “take-aways” from the opinion:

  1. When states adopt laws granting legal status and other recognition to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, the courts are more likely to say you can’t define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. This is one problem with civil unions, domestic partnerships, and so-called non-discrimination policies. These laws set up the argument that you cannot grant special legal recognition to persons on the basis of their sexual orientation yet deny them marriage. CAP continues to oppose efforts at the legislature to pass such laws.
  2. The U.S. President nominates and the U.S. Senate confirms the judges who sit on the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Courts. When you cast your vote in 2012, know your vote counts in deciding who gets to nominate and confirm judges.

Check out the Marriage Counterfeits Issue Brief on AZPolicyPages.com to learn more about this topic.

Now We’re Rolling
We had a full week at the state legislature. Six CAP-supported bills were heard either in committee or on the House or Senate Floor. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The “wrongful life” bill was heard in the Senate Health committee. Sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, SB 1359 prohibits so-called “wrongful life” and “wrongful birth” lawsuits against medical professionals for not diagnosing a birth defect of a preborn child, which, if known, would have led to the child being aborted. This bill is about ensuring that every life – whether born with a disability or not – is valued. CAP Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby testified in support, drawing many questions from those who favor abortion. The bill passed 3-2.
  • The Senate Government Reform Committee passed by a 4-2-1 vote legislation to protect the rights of conscience of individuals who are licensed or certified by the state. Sponsored by Senator Steve Yarbrough, SB 1365 ensures no professional licensed by the state can be discriminated against because of the practice of his or her faith. I testified in support of the bill, along with ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joe Infanco.
  • Deborah also testified for another CAP-supported bill passed with bi-partisan support in the House Education Committee. HB 2770 passed 7-1 and protects college and university professors from being denied tenure because of their religious convictions or political beliefs. Read more about why Rep. Tom Forese sponsored this legislation in the East Valley Tribune.

The other big news of the week is the CAP-supported Mother’s Health and Safety Act introduced by Representative Kimberly Yee. You can read more about HB 2838 from the Associated Press. And, be sure to check out CAP’s Bill Tracker for current status on our bills and to access our Fact Sheets. Several more bills will be heard in committees next week. We’d appreciate your prayers as we work these bills through the legislative process.

Good News! 16 CAP-Supported Bills Become Law

Today is a great day for everyone who calls Arizona home.

It’s been 90 days since the end of the 2011 legislative session, which means 16 Center for Arizona Policy (CAP)-supported bills take effect today. That’s 101 CAP-supported bills enacted into law since 1995!

These new laws make significant progress towards advancing the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty in our state.

Victories like these never come without hard work, the support and prayers of people across Arizona, and the Lord’s blessing. Today would also be impossible if it wasn’t for the amazing 2010 elections, in which a two-thirds majority of pro-life, pro-family leaders were elected to the state House, Senate, and the governor’s office.

I’d like to share with you a very special message from two legislators who stand on the front lines every day at the state Capitol with CAP to promote and defend foundational principles.

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In His Hands,


 

Cathi Herrod
President, Center for Arizona Policy