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Finally . . . Common Sense at UTSA

After months of deliberation, the University of Texas at San Antonio Career Center has agreed to post job announcements for a pro-life, Christian residential home for needy pregnant women.  UTSA originally declined to post the announcements on the ground that they were “discriminatory.”

Adoption Priorities is a Christian organization that provides adoption services.  It recently launched the Amaris Home project, through which Adoption Priorities will provide assistance to expectant mothers by providing a safe and compassionate home in which they may reside during their pregnancy.  Adoption Priorities hoped to hire “house parents” who would live at the facility, serve the needs of the residents, and act as Christian role models for them.

Amanda and Mitchell Way, Adoption Priorities’ leaders, hoped to post a job announcement at the Career Center of their alma mater, the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Current students and alumni use the Career Center to find jobs.  The announcement stated that Adoption Priorities was seeking a “pro-life married Christian couple” who would provide “care, oversight and spiritual guidance” to a group of up to four women living in the home.  One spouse was required to have Christian ministry experience.  UTSA rejected the announcement as written, indicating that requiring the house parents to be pro-life and Christian was impermissibly discriminatory.  Under the logic of UTSA’s position, Adoption Priorities could not post a job announcement at the Career Center unless it was willing to hire an atheist, pro-abortion, same-sex couple to serve as house parents.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys wrote a letter to UTSA, explaining that the school was violating legal protections of religious liberty by rejecting the announcement.  The letter also explained that both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the analogous Texas state statute exempt religious employers from their bans on religious discrimination.  UTSA refused to change its mind, and ADF attorneys sent a “notice of claim” under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  The subsequent communications between ADF attorneys and UTSA eventually caused UTSA to agree to post Adoption Priorities’ job announcements in their original form.  I applaud UTSA for getting it right . . . finally.

Texas allies Allan Parker of The Justice Foundation and Jeff Mateer and Hiram Sasser of Liberty Institute worked with ADF attorneys on this matter.

Author

ADF Senior Counsel - University Project

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and American Idol, Has Suffered Post Abortion Trauma

Posted on May 4th, 2011 Prolife,Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Steven Tyler, the front man for Aerosmith who has soared to new heights of fame on American Idol, has experienced post abortion trauma as a father who lost a child through abortion, according to Kevin Burke in an intriguing article in the National Review Online. Kevin Burke, LSW,  is co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries and a Pastoral Associate with Priests for Life.  Burke recounts how Tyler fathered children by several women, and kicked a massive drug habit in 1986.  Burke argues in the article that  post abortion trauma over the death of his son contributed to Tyler’s destructive behavior.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Years later, when Tyler married, and he and his wife were expecting their first child, he was still haunted by the abortion: “It affected me later. . . . I was afraid. I thought we’d give birth to a six-headed cow because of what I’d done with other women. The real-life guilt was very traumatic for me. Still hurts.”

At Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, we often see men and women many years after their abortion, when they are ready to take a look at this secret and shadowy corner of their souls. Most people cannot make sense of the fragmented, disjointed pieces of their post-abortive lives until they attend a healing program. Tragically, the spin doctors of our pro-abortion culture work overtime to make sure that these connections are never made.

Steven Tyler is the father of Liv Tyler, who appeared as Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Liv Tyler was born after the death of her half-brother by abortion.

Author

ADF Senior Vice President; Senior Counsel - University Project

Do Advertisers Now Think That Pro-life Consumers Should Be “Pampered?”

Posted on May 2nd, 2011 Prolife,Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

YouTube Preview ImageThis is a pretty amazing ad from Pampers, now on the front page of Youtube.  The ad unabashedly uses prolife concepts to sell its diapers.  It must demoralize the supporters of abortion to see ads like this, because they probably understand that they are losing the war of ideas on life with regular Americans, even after subjecting us to 37 years of the pro-abortion regime of Roe v. Wade.

Author

ADF Senior Vice President; Senior Counsel - University Project

Sinclair Community College Bans Distribution of Pro-Life Literature After Class

Posted on April 14th, 2011 Freedom of Speech,Prolife | 1 Comment »

FIRE has been putting the heat on Sinclair Community College (Ohio) after it punished a student for distributing pro-life literature after class.  According to FIRE’s report, a paralegal student distributed literature linking abortion and breast cancer to her fellow students after her Probate Law I class in October 2010.  (October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.)  She gave some flyers to students directly and placed other flyers on the desks of students who had left their seats. 

A couple weeks later, Sinclair’s Paralegal Program Chair met with the student about the flyers.  (Here’s where the story follows the usual university plot line.)  The Program Chair told the student that another student complained that the flyers were…drum roll please:  “offensive.”  (Where have we heard that before?)  Then the Program Chair told the student she could not distribute any literature in class. 

And he’s right, at least according to Sinclair policy.  The Student Code of Conduct bans the distribution of literature anywhere on Sinclair’s campus, except for registered student organizations that ”register with the appropriate college official” (The policy doesn’t tell us who that is).   So FIRE wrote to Sinclair and informed it of the many ways it was violating this student’s constitutional rights.  How did Sinclair respond?  By following the plot line, of course. 

Sinclair claims it has another policy that allows for some literature distribution, but just not in classrooms, hallways, and a few other campus locations.  Even if a student distributes flyers after class, when no disruption of the academic environment is possible, Sinclair prohibits it.  What’s more, Sinclair has not repudiated its Student Code policy that bans literature distribution everywhere on campus.  Which is convenient, if you’re trying to avoid the public spotlight, but also retain a complete lock-down on a protected form of speech. 

So what is it, Sinclair?  Do you allow literature distribution?  Or don’t you?  From what I can tell, your policies of convenience allow you to make that decision based on who’s speaking.  I hope FIRE turns up the heat and you restore freedom of speech on campus.

Know your rights on campus. Go to www.speakupmovement.org/university

Author

ADF Senior Legal Counsel - University Project

Mercury Pollution Harms Unborn Babies – And So Does Abortion

Posted on March 4th, 2011 Culture,Prolife | No Comments »

YouTube Preview Image        You know the culture is shifting in a prolife direction when environmental activists use prolife arguments to promote antipollution legislation in Congress.  The Environmental Defense Action Fund is urging restrictions on mercury exposure by pointing out that mercury harms unborn children.  And they use a video reminiscent of Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s video, “The Silent Scream” from the 1980s. Check out the video above!  I don’t know anything about the legislation, but I find it fascinating that the group uses a sonogram of an unborn child to advance its argument for limits on mercury exposure, and placed such a video in an ad on Politicoby explaining mercury’s harmful effect on unborn children.

      I noticed that in the successful  House of Representatives vote to block these restrictions on mercury exposure,  Republicans in the House largely voted to stop efforts  to limit mercury pollution, and the Democrats largely voted in favor of restricting mercury. Again, I know nothing about the pros and cons of this legislation, but I think this is an intriguing way for the environmentalists to appeal to the Republican House members to change their minds.  Many of these Republican House members are prolife on abortion, so the environmentalists are making a prolife appeal to them.  

       (Hat tip to Charmaine Yoest the president of Americans United for Life for pointing out this video).

Author

ADF Senior Vice President; Senior Counsel - University Project

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