Thomas More Law Center Will Provide Legal Assistance To Students On National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is again collaborating with American Life League’s annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day which will take place this Friday, April 20, 2018. TMLC lawyers will defend, without charge, the right for students to wear their pro-life t-shirts. Students requiring legal assistance from TMLC should contact Margaret at Life Defenders via email at mhaislmaier@all.org or by phone at 571-398-9904.

American Life League has spearheaded National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day (“NPLTD”) for over two decades. The goal of NPLTD is to empower young people to witness to the dignity of all human beings by wearing their favorite t-shirt with a pro-life message. Students are encouraged to post pictures on social media wearing their t-shirts and use the hashtag #NPLTD18.

This year’s featured t-shirt, pictured above, was designed by two teenage brothers, who created the shirt to resemble a nutrition label found on most packaged food products. The purpose of the design is to show the value of the preborn, the elderly and people of all abilities as being worthy of the right to life. The design features the “ingredients” as virtues needed to be pro-life: courage, compassion, charity, hope, understanding, and perseverance.

TMLC proudly stands with American Life League to support the students choosing to participate in the National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day.

Californians Not So Keen on Marijuana Industry

The Southern California News Group and other Digital First newspapers have compiled a database tracking citizens’ acceptance of the marijuana industry voted into existence by Proposition 64 in 2016 and implemented as of January 1, 2018. Prop 64 made it legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow it at home, but the law also gives California cities and counties the right to restrict or ban pot businesses within their boundaries.

So far, fewer than one-third of the state’s 482 cities and only 18 of its counties allow any kind of marijuana business to operate within their borders.

The database scores each jurisdiction according to how lenient they are in allowing pot commerce. To get above 96 points, jurisdictions must allow licenses for medical and recreational marijuana sales, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and testing. To get 100 points they must also allow marijuana lounges or festivals, meaning use in public, which nearly all recreational states ban.

More than five dozen cities score zero on the scale, banning all pot businesses, not allowing residents to grow outdoors for personal use, and requiring residents to obtain a permit to grow indoors for personal use.

The database can be accessed from this article. Read “Database of Marijuana Rules from Every City and County in California Shows Slow Acceptance of Prop. 64” here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Opioids Kill: Here’s How an Overdose Shuts Down Your Body – Science News

Planned Parenthood Gets the Ax in Nebraska Budget!

There might not be a more unpopular idea in Nebraska than sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. At last check, only 19 percent of voters thought the state should sign another check to America’s biggest abortion business. And late last week, legislators made it clear they were listening.

For the first time since Congress gave back control over their Title X “family planning” dollars to states, Nebraska used it — ending its $2 million partnership with Planned Parenthood in its new budget. For the next two years, taxpayers can relax, knowing that local dollars aren’t going to a group that thinks abortion is the best form of birth control.

Governor Pete Ricketts (R), who had fought for the budget to “reflect our values,” inked his name to the bill late last week. To the cheers of Nebraskans, he announced, “The budget adjustments I have signed help to further control state spending. Additionally, these bills contain important new budget language, which ensures that Title X taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion services, including abortion referrals, at any clinic in Nebraska.”

But even with voters’ support, this was no easy task. As Nebraska Radio Network points out, Governor Ricketts really had to stick his neck out to change the budget.

Controversy engulfed the budget when Ricketts inserted language restricting the use of federal family planning funds. The language directs the money only to clinics which provide family planning services without performing abortions, effectively carving Planned Parenthood out of the budget. Supporters had to overcome a filibuster which derailed approval of the budget twice. It passed only when a handful of legislators negotiated a compromise, which changed the language, but left the restrictions in place.

Fortunately for the state, Governor Ricketts knows that life is worth fighting for. And, like us, he’s grateful for the president’s leadership on the issue. If it weren’t for Trump and the GOP leaders in Congress, Obama’s rules would still be in place — making it almost impossible for states to defund Planned Parenthood. Let’s hope that Ricketts’s courage inspires other governors to do the same!


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

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Haley’s Comment: Ambassador Takes China to Task

FRC in the Spotlight…

There Is No Solid Evidence of Genetic Basis for Trans Identity

A new study into the genes of those who identify as transgender has picked up decent amount of media attention.

The Times in the United Kingdom hailed what it called a genetic “discovery” with the headline “Science pinpoints DNA behind gender identity.” LGBTQ Nation ran a more inconclusive headline: “Scientists discover DNA that could be responsible for gender identity.”

The Times should have paid more attention to Dr. John Theisen, the lead researcher, who said the genes they identified pointed to a “possibility, not a fact.” He cautioned that his research, still in its early stages, used only a small sample size (30 people) and has yet to be peer reviewed—both reasons for exercising major caution when interpreting the results.

In fact, closer examination of the abstract from the research paper reveals that finding a genetic basis for transgender identity wasn’t even the intended purpose of the study. The purpose was much narrower in scope: to identify genes that might point to a potential biological basis so future research could know where to focus its efforts.

In the conclusion, the researchers say, “We identified genetic variants in 20 genes that may play a role in transgender identity.” Words are important, and the word “may” indicates a possibility, not a fact.

Another much larger study is being conducted to explore whether transgender identity has any biological basis. That study, which includes 10,000 participants, is looking to the genome—a person’s complete set of DNA—for clues about whether transgender identity has a biological basis. The findings are years away, though, and completion of the project depends on securing more funding.

In the meantime, no absolute conclusions can be made about a genetic basis for transgender identity.

Some of the difficulty in fashioning a study to find a biological link to transgender identities arises from the definition of the term “transgender.” Medically speaking, a transgender person is defined as someone who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress arising from a mismatch between their biological sex and internal sense of gender identity.

The problem is that transgender identity is based solely on subjective criteria. There is no objective, robust physical test to prove whether “transgender persons” exist beyond a person strongly insisting that he or she is a transgender person.

It’s difficult to even discern who truly has gender dysphoria. Those who self-identify as “transgender” represent a challenging cross-section of individuals. They may be simple cross-dressers, transvestites, or drag queens, yet they may or may not have gender dysphoria.

Many transgender persons are suffering emotionally, psychologically, or psychiatrically, sometimes due to early childhood trauma or co-existing mental disorders. Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of people diagnosed with gender dysphoria also suffer from a wide variety of co-existing disorders that often go undiagnosed and untreated.

With no medical proof to help diagnose gender dysphoria, and with most who identify as transgender having other issues that need treatment, one could argue that too many people are being gathered under the blanket term “transgender” and being inappropriately directed toward cross-gender hormone therapies and surgeries.

The original advocates of gender change started a social experiment in the 1960s that continues today. Alfred Kinsey, Dr. Harry Benjamin, and Dr. John Money fell short in providing proof that cross-gender hormone therapies and surgeries provide long-term, effective results for gender disorders. The 50 years of reported suicides and a suicide attempt rate of 40 percent suggest that treatments have failed the gender distressed population.

As a young person, I was correctly diagnosed with gender dysphoria and then approved for hormones and surgery by Dr. Paul Walker, the original author of the “Harry Benjamin International Standards of Care.” The treatment was not effective.

I discovered firsthand that society wasn’t the cause of transgender suicide and suicide attempts. The cause was an unfulfilled expectation that cross-gender hormones and surgery would effectively resolve gender distress.

I remain open to the possibility that a biological predisposition to transgender identities may be found. Whether it is found or not, my hope is that today’s barbaric, mutilating gender-change procedures will be replaced by an effective treatment that eliminates the high rate of suicide ideation and brings long-lasting relief to those with gender dysphoria.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about those who regret gender change and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Altayb/Getty Images.

Has the Republican Controlled Florida Legislature Protected Florida’s Legal Workers?

Answer: NO!

Before I show you the proof let me give you some background information. Back in 2007 I joined with a group of Patriots out of South Florida looking to find a solution to end the invasion by illegal aliens to Florida.

The consensus we reached was the invasion would stop if we could get mandatory E-Verify passed into law so only legal workers could get jobs. Any reasonable person would say that should be doable. In 2007 the cost to taxpayers at that time to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens was $1,850,000,000.00 ($1.85 Billion).

We began attending meetings, sending emails and letters to the Florida Legislators to get mandatory E-Verify passed. In 2010 Rick Scott, a successful Businessman, ran for governor.

We backed him 100% since he stated:

“We have over 700,000 illegal immigrants in the state. They’re costing us billions of dollars, and they’re taking legal residents’ jobs.”

“Rick will require all Florida employers to use the free E-Verify system to ensure that their workers are legal.”

Immediately after taking office Governor Scott ordered all state offices to use E-Verify in dealing with State contractors but was silent about his campaign promise to protect legal workers. However:

On June 12, 2012 Governor Scott stated at a meeting of the Florida Citrus Mutual in Bonita Springs,

“Now, with the regard to E-Verify, as you know we did it for people who do business with state government but we’ve got to have a national E-Verify program because I don’t want to put Florida businesses at a competitive disadvantage.”
Scott lied to Florida’s voters!

Since then two bills regarding immigration have passed into law. One was to give illegal aliens instate tuition and the second was to allow an illegal alien passed the bar exam to practice law in Florida.

Last year the cost to Taxpayers educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens was $6,300,000,000.00 ($6.3 Billion), more than triple the cost in 2007.

Here is a list of all the failed legislation for the past ten years. Please keep in mind during that time the republicans have held super majorities in both houses and could pass any legislation they wanted.

2008 Session

HB 73 Illegal Immigration
General Bill by: Brown

Last Event: Friday, May 02, 2008 – Died in Committee on State Affairs

HB 159 Enforcement of Immigration Laws
General Bill by: Adams

Last Event: Friday, May 02, 2008 – Died in Committee on State Affairs

SB 388 Security and Immigration Compliance Act [LPCC]
General Bill by: Fasano

Last Event: Monday, May 05, 2008 – 05/02/08 S Died in Committee on Military Affairs and Domestic Security

SB 540 Felons/Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws [LPCC]
General Bill by: Baker

Last Event: Monday, May 05, 2008 – 05/02/08 S Died in Committee on Criminal Justice

HB 571 Illegal Aliens
General Bill by: Kravitz

Last Event: Friday, May 02, 2008 – Died in Committee on State Affairs

HB 577 Illegal or Undocumented Aliens
General Bill by: Williams, T.

Last Event: Friday, May 02, 2008 – Died in Committee on State Affairs

HB 821 Illegal Immigration
General Bill by: Harrell

Last Event: Friday, May 02, 2008 – Died in Committee on State Affairs

CS/SB 1086 Illegal or Undocumented Aliens/DOC [LPCC]
General Bill by: Criminal Justice, Bennett

Last Event: Monday, May 05, 2008 – 05/02/08 S Died on Calendar

HB 1247 Immigration Status of Inmates
General Bill by: Gelber

Last Event: Friday, May 02, 2008 – Died in Committee on State Affairs

SB 1364 Immigration [LPCC]
General Bill by: Villalobos

Last Event: Monday, May 05, 2008 – 05/02/08 S Died in Committee on Criminal Justice

SB 2738 Immigration Status of Inmates [LPCC]
General Bill by: Deutch

Last Event: Monday, May 05, 2008 – 05/02/08 S Died in Committee on Criminal Justice

2009 Session

HB 163 Illegal Aliens in the Correctional System
General Bill by: Williams, T.

Last Event: Saturday, May 02, 2009 – Died in Public Safety & Domestic Security Policy Committee

CS/SB 352 Inmates/Illegal or Undocumented Aliens/Deportation [SPSC]
General Bill by: Judiciary, Bennett

Last Event: Saturday, May 02, 2009 – 05/02/09 S Died in Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations

CS/HB 567 Illegal Immigration
General Bill by: Economic Development & Community Affairs Policy Council, Schenck

Last Event: Saturday, May 02, 2009 – Died on Second Reading Calendar

CS/HB 915 Enforcement of Immigration Laws
General Bill by: Governmental Affairs Policy Committee, Adams

Last Event: Saturday, May 02, 2009 – Died in Economic Development & Community Affairs Policy Council

SB 1532 Illegal Immigration [GPSC]
General Bill by: Storms

Last Event: Saturday, May 02, 2009 – 05/02/09 S Died in Committee on Military Affairs and Domestic Security

SB 1890 Illegal Aliens [SPSC]
General Bill by: Storms

Last Event: Saturday, May 02, 2009 – 05/02/09 S Died in Committee on Criminal Justice

2010 Session

CS/CS/HB 219 Immigration
General Bill by: Economic Development & Community Affairs Policy Council, Governmental Affairs Policy Committee, Adams

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – 04/30/10 S Died in Messages

HB 421 Immigration
General Bill by: Adkins

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – Died in Governmental Affairs Policy Committee

HB 503 Illegal Immigration
General Bill by: Schenck

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – Died in Policy Council

SB 600 Inmates/Illegal or Undocumented Aliens/Deportation [SPSC]
General Bill by: Bennett

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – 04/30/10 S Died in Committee on Judiciary

SB 856 Immigration [CPSC]
General Bill by: Baker

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – 04/30/10 S Died in Committee on Regulated Industries

HB 919 Illegal or Undocumented Aliens
General Bill by: Roberson, K.

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – Died in Governmental Affairs Policy Committee

SB 1880 Enforcement of Immigration Laws [GPSC]
General Bill by: Detert

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – 04/30/10 S Died in Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability

SB 2162 Illegal Aliens [SPSC]
General Bill by: Storms

Last Event: Friday, April 30, 2010 – 04/30/10 S Died in Committee on Criminal Justice

SB 2368 Illegal Immigration [GPSC]
General Bill by: Storms

Last Event: Monday, May 03, 2010 – 04/30/10 S Died in Committee on Military Affairs and Domestic Security

2011 Session

HB 691 Verification of Employment Eligibility
General Bill by: Harrell

Last Event: 05/07/11 Died in Government Operations Subcommittee

SB 518 Verification of Employment Eligibility
General Bill by: Hays

Last Event: 05/09/11 Died in Judiciary

CS/SB 2040 Enforcement of Immigration Laws
General Bill by: Judiciary/SB 2040 – Enforcement of Immigration Laws

Last Event: Saturday, May 07, 2011 – Died in Messages

CS/HB 7089 Enforcement of Immigration Laws
General Bill by: Economics Affairs Committee, Judiciary Committee, Snyder

Last Event: Saturday, May 07, 2011- Died pending review of CS under Rule

2012 Session

HB 1315 Verification of Employment Eligibility
General Bill by: Harrell

Last Event: 05/12/12 Died in Government Operations Subcommittee

SB 1638 Verification of Employment Eligibility
General Bill by: Altman

Last Event: 05/12/12 Died in Judiciary

2016 Session

CS/CS/HB 675: Federal Immigration Enforcement
General Bill by Metz

Last Action: 3/11/2016 Senate – Died in Judiciary

SB 872: Federal Immigration Enforcement
General Bill by Bean

Last Action: 3/11/2016 Senate – Died in Judiciary

SB 150: Offenses by Illegal Immigrants
General Bill by Hutson

Last Action: 3/11/2016 Senate – Died in Criminal Justice

2017 Session

SB 82: Postsecondary Education Tuition and Fee Waivers
General Bill by Steube ;

Last Action: 5/5/2017 Senate – Died in Education

CS/HB 83: Offenses by Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States
General Bill by Eagle

Last Action: 5/5/2017 House – Died in Judiciary Committee

CS/SB 120: Offenses by Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States
General Bill Hutson

Last Action: 5/5/2017 Senate – Died in Appropriations

CS/HB 427: Refugee Assistance Programs
General Bill by Santiago

Last Action: 5/5/2017 House – Died in Health and Human Services Committee

SB 1674: Enforcement of Federal Laws
General Bill by Torres

Last Action: 5/5/2017 Senate – Died in Judiciary

SB 1358: Reentry into the State by Certain Persons
General Bill by Steube

Last Action: 5/5/2017 Senate – Died in Judiciary

HB 1407: Enforcement of Federal Laws
General Bill by Smith ; Jacquet

Last Action: 5/5/2017 House – Died in Criminal Justice Subcommittee

HB 443: Verification of Employment Eligibility
General Bill by Gruters

Last Action: 5/5/2017 House – Died in Careers and Competition Subcommittee

CS/HB 83: Offenses by Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States
General Bill by Eagle

Last Action: 5/5/2017 House – Died in Judiciary Committee

CS/HB 697: Federal Immigration Enforcement
General Bill by Metz

Last Action: 5/5/2017 Senate – Died in Judiciary

SB 786: Federal Immigration Enforcement
General Bill by Bean

Last Action: 5/5/2017 Senate – Died in Judiciary

2018 Session

CS/HB 9: Federal Immigration Enforcement
General Bill by Metz

Last Action: 3/10/2018 Senate – Died in Judiciary

SB 308: Federal Immigration Enforcement
General Bill by Bean

Last Action: 3/10/2018 Senate – Died in Judiciary

Time to drain the Tallahassee Swamp!

Calling BS on Marijuana Research + Video on Effects of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado

Politicizing Research?

A slew of news articles flooded the print, broadcast, and internet media this week about two new studies published in Monday’s online issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

One study found that states with medical marijuana laws are associated with reductions in Medicare Part D opioid prescriptions, compared to states that do not have such laws. The other found a similar association in states with both medical and recreational marijuana laws in the Medicaid population.

Lead author of the first study is David Bradford, PhD, at the School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Georgia. UGA sent out a press release promoting Dr. Bradford’s study with this title: “SPIA Professor Pens New Study: Legalized Medical Cannabis Lowers Opioid Use.”

Not quite.

Dr. Bradford’s study finds a correlation between states with medical marijuana laws and a reduction in opioid prescriptions, not use. And only in the Medicare Part D population, not the whole population. Dr. Bradford himself notes this when citing the study’s limitations in his journal article. Yet many of the news stories picked up his university’s headline.

And he pushed this misinformation along in interviews he gave to the press, telling the Cox Media Group, “’There are substantial reductions in opiate use’ in states that have initiated dispensaries for medical marijuana,” when in fact there are significant reductions in opioid prescriptions rather than use.

Dr. Bradford also tells his interviewers that the 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) review of the marijuana literature found “conclusive evidence that there are benefits to cannabis for chronic pain in adults, for nausea associated with chemotherapy, and for spasticity and seizures.” He doesn’t understand that all of the evidence for the last three conditions and most of it for chronic pain came from randomized controlled trials of purified cannabinoids rather the kinds of marijuana states have legalized for medical use.

He tells AP reporter Malcolm Ritter that the NAS report presents evidence that is “hard to ignore” and therefore federal laws should be changed to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for pain treatment.

An accompanying editorial in the journal by two physicians not affiliated with these studies notes that other studies find legal marijuana increases opioid use. They warn than marijuana policy has gotten far ahead of marijuana science and we must remedy this quickly.

Perhaps people with chronic pain will get more relief from purified cannabinoids than opioids, but we won’t know that until randomized, controlled trials are conducted to find out if that’s true. At best, ecological studies like the two published this week can push us towards research, but certainly not policy.

Read “Association Between US State Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescribing in the Medicare Part D Population” here.

Read “Association of Medical and Adult-Use Marijuana Laws With Opioid Prescribing for Medicaid Enrollees” here.

Read “The Role of Cannabis Legalization in the Opioid Crisis” here.


Marijuana May Lead Nonsmokers to Cigarettes

A study from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health finds that while cigarette smoking has been on the decline for many years, marijuana use is on the rise—and may end that decline.

The study found that marijuana use may

  • Increase the initiation of smoking cigarettes among nonsmokers.
  • Make it harder for smokers who also use marijuana to stop smoking cigarettes, and
  • Make former smokers who use marijuana more likely to relapse to cigarette smoking.

These findings came from an analysis of data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005 via responses from 36,639 individuals asked about marijuana use and smoking. The effects occurred among all marijuana users, not just those with marijuana use disorders.

Read study here.


New Film on YouTube Shows Effects of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado

Curious about what marijuana legalization looks like in Colorado? View Marijuana Xhere. Filmmaker Michael De Leon has put his director’s cut on YouTube so that you can watch this movie free of charge.

To view, click picture or here.


EDITORS NOTE: The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation. Subscribe to The Marijuana Report.

This Incident Shows How Heeding Warning Signs of a School Shooter Works Better Than Gun Control

All of the glaring red flags surrounding the Parkland shooter were ignored.

Authorities failed to connect the dots through years of bad behavior, incidents on and off campus, as well as reports from concerned citizens that the shooter was displaying worrisome behavior.

According to a CNN report, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter even used to introduce himself to people by saying, “Hi, I’m Nick. I’m a school shooter.”

He should never have been able to pass a background check when he acquired his weapon if he had any kind of criminal record that seemed to be highly warranted.

Though protests and media coverage have focused almost entirely on the issue of gun control, it’s not hard to see how had other measures been taken the shooter could have been stopped well before he was able to commit mass murder.

A recent case in Kentucky shows how we can sometimes stop these incidents long before violence takes place, and without stripping people of their constitutionally protected rights.

Police arrested a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, in February after they identified a series of warning signs about his behavior.

The case began when the police received an “anonymous tip to a school safety tipline,” according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

The tipster told police that the student, Timothy Felker, had been making threats to shoot himself, specific students, and people at his school more generally.

Sound familiar?

Felker was also otherwise behaving erratically.

After allegedly purchasing a firearm with money his mother gave him for a tattoo, he posted pictures on social media of putting a gun in his mouth.

Police arrested Felker at an airport after getting a mental health petition, and authorities charged him with “terroristic threatening,” WKYT reported.

Unlike with the Parkland shooting, authorities followed up on warning signs, and arrested a clearly troubled teen before an incident took place.

“This is an example of best practices in action,” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said, according to the Herald Leader. “It’s about connections with students and multi-agency collaboration. The speed at which we’re able to share information is a reflection of the systems we have built to link students, school, and district administrators with law enforcement officers at the school, city, and federal level.”

The laws worked and concerned citizens and authorities intervened.

It was the anti-Parkland.

The Kentucky situation gets to the point that to prevent violence at schools, we need to do better as a society in identifying the warning signs and cultural maladies that are leading people to commit these horrible crimes.

As Amy Swearer, The Heritage Foundation’s visiting legal fellow at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, wrote, there are three common traits of school shooters.

The first common trait is that they are often people with a serious mental illness.

“It is not uncommon for a school attacker to have acted in increasingly disruptive and violent ways before the shooting,” Swearer wrote. “But for a variety of reasons, these individuals are often not involuntarily committed to a mental health institution or ordered by a court to receive mental health treatment.”

The second trait is fatherlessness and broken homes.

As Emilie Kao, The Heritage Foundation’s director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society, wrote:

Among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a pre-eminent expert on school shooters, found that most came from incredibly broken homes of not just divorce and separation, but also infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and child abuse.

The third trait is economic insecurity, as Swearer explained: “A major study by criminologists at Northwestern University looked at the effect of economic conditions on the prevalence of school shootings and concluded that there is a significant correlation between periods of increased economic insecurity and periods of increased gun violence at schools.”

Unfortunately, very little was said about these issues at the March for Our Lives rally. Protesters blamed the National Rifle Association and gun ownership for violence rather than the killers themselves, or the cultural dysfunction that may be feeding their lives of crime.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Concealed Carry on Campus Is More Common, and Useful, Than You Thought

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. (Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/TNS/Newscom)

VIDEO: Watch a Man Who Lived as a Woman Reject the Lies of LGBT Activists

Walt Heyer, who used to live as a transgender woman, now travels the country speaking about his experiences and reaching out to those who regret their own gender change.

The Daily Signal spoke with Heyer on camera about his story, as well as the lies he says society and the media tell young people today about gender. An edited transcript of the interview is below the video.

Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today by Walt Heyer, a former transgender person. And he’s here today to tell us a little bit about his story. Can you run through the highlights of where you were at years ago, and then why you are here today at a pro-life conference talking about your story?

Walt Heyer:  Yeah, well, I started out as a transgender kid, at least they would say that today, at 4 years old. The problem is that they’re diagnosing kids like I was with gender dysphoria when they don’t have gender dysphoria; they’re just curious about gender, which we all should be, curious about gender.

And so it led me to a point of thinking that I needed a gender change. And then one of these experts in gender dysphoria diagnosed me with gender dysphoria and said I needed hormone therapy and surgery. As you can see from standing here, they were totally wrong because I was born a boy.

And I went through all the surgery and became Laura Jensen and lived eight years as a female to discover that nobody needs to change genders. It’s absolutely a totally bogus procedure, not only from the standpoint of hormone therapy and surgery. The people are suffering from comorbid disorders that need to be addressed and treated; and if they did so, we wouldn’t have any transgenders.

Del Guidice: We see the media highlighting stories all the time of LBGT activists and others.  … Their stories are championed, about them kind of rejecting who they were and becoming a different person, another gender. Would you say that you have a similar experience with media paying attention to your story? 

Heyer: The media doesn’t pay any attention to me at all, because it doesn’t fit their narrative. And so it’s much more fun for them to promote LGBT activist people and put them on the front cover of magazines and make a big to-do about it.

The fact of the matter is, there isn’t one person, not one doctor, not one psychiatrist, not anybody [who] can even prove one transgender even exists beyond the fact that they say they are. Which is why it’s a psychological disorder and it’s not a medical disorder, and it doesn’t require medical surgery to treat. They just need psychotherapy.

Del Guidice: What would be your message to youth today? As a child you were taught that you were a girl, and you were not. And so many youth today are bombarded with this message that they should be a different gender. What is your message to them?

Heyer: Well, I realized that schools have popularized changing genders, and it’s more of a fad today than a reality in terms of people actually having gender dysphoria. So I think the kids need to get sharp.

I mean, kids are really sharp and if they sit down and look and ask for the information on what proof does anybody have that gender dysphoria exists … the youth themselves in our schools could actually end this nonsense in a heartbeat.

INTERVIEW BY

Portrait of Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Walt Heyer is courtesy of Walt Heyer.

This Real Disney Princess Has a Pro-Life Message for Planned Parenthood

Earlier this week, a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Pennsylvania called for “a disney princess who’s had an abortion” on Twitter:

We need a disney princess who’s had an abortion

We need a disney princess who’s pro-choice

We need a disney princess who’s an undocumented immigrant

We need a disney princess who’s actually a union worker

We need a disney princess who’s trans

The tweet was quickly taken down, but Deanna Falchook, a former singer and dancer at Disneyworld in California, responded with a heartbreaking personal story:

She writes:

At the age of 18, I became pregnant and had an abortion to keep my job as a singing princess. There was no pressure from the company or management to abort my baby. I didn’t tell them. But I made a decision on my own that I quickly lived to regret.

In the immediate days following my abortion, I struggled deeply. I continued to sing songs in front of the castle about dreams coming true, but eventually had to quit my dream job due to my inability to reconcile my decision within myself. I wanted to die.

Eventually, I found healing. It was an arduous struggle to navigate my personal grief. But by the grace of God, I am living an amazing life.

Now, Falchook and her husband not only have two children of their own, but they have adopted five children from around the world.

She refutes Planned Parenthood’s agenda in one sentence: “Abortion doesn’t empower.”

Click hear to read the rest of Falchook’s post.

And Falchook is right. Planned Parenthood’s abortion business doesn’t just end the lives of over 300,000 innocent babies every year; the overall abortion industry is complicit in providing cover for sex trafficking and rampant exploitation connected to the pornography business.

The abortion giant deleted the tweet above after even its own supporters found the content distasteful and claimed  the point might not have been “appropriate.” However, Planned Parenthood’s mistake was not a matter of appropriateness, but a matter of revealing its true agenda of normalizing abortion in the minds of young people.

Sadly, that’s an agenda that many corporations have no problem supporting with the dollars you spend. For the complete list, make sure you see our list of companies that directly fund Planned Parenthood here.

Help us continue holding corporations and non-profits accountable for their activism by becoming a 2ndVote Member today!

Anchor-rage in Alaska: Locals Take Aim at Bathroom Policy

Imagine your daughter walking in from swim practice to find a half-naked man in her locker room. Parents in Washington State don’t have to imagine. They experienced it.

When staff members confronted the man, he resisted, saying the law had been changed and he “had the right to use the locker room of his choice.” That’s just one of the traumatic stories playing out in states across America. In Anchorage, Alaska, the locals are open-minded. But not so open-minded that they think their privacy should be threatened. Unfortunately for them, city leaders didn’t care about their safety, forcing through a radical gender-free policy without ever asking.

Now, months later, the residents are fighting back. And next week, they’ll finally get the say they’ve been asking for in a mail-in proposition to roll back the devastating policy. For most of Anchorage, this is déjà vu. After all, they’d already rejected a liberal ordinance like this in 2012 — by 58 percent! Despite that, the mayor pressed on, adding the measure on sexual orientation/gender identity to the city guidelines in 2015.

So far, that decision has had a devastating effect. At a downtown homeless shelter, a man who goes by the name Samantha tried to enter the Hope Center, where the women sleep on the floor, inches apart. Two times, the shelter, a faith-based operation, turned him away. “Many of the women who the Hope Center shelters have escaped the horrendous conditions of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. It would be wholly irresponsible and potentially dangerous for Hope Center to house biological males in its shelter overnight with the population of abused and battered women who stay at the shelter,” staffers said.

Angry, “Samantha” filed a complaint with the city’s Equal Rights Commission, determined to shut the battered women’s shelter down. Monica Burke, writing for the Daily Signal, was appalled. “Finding accommodations for transgender individuals need not come at the cost of bodily privacy and safety for people across the board, especially that of women. Broad ‘equal access’ policies such as this one put the most vulnerable citizens at risk.” In a few days, Anchorage has an opportunity to make things right.

Not everyone is so lucky. In Colorado, legislators are having trouble even passing a weak compromise on religious freedom called the “Live and Let Live” bill. Any attempt to protect conservatives’ conscience is smeared as “mean-spirited” or “outright discriminatory.” (Nevermind that the same state is before the Supreme Court for being, as Justice Anthony Kennedy put it, “neither tolerant nor respectful” of Christians’ beliefs.)

Thanks to Obergefell, legislatures everywhere are having to deal with the fallout of the redefinition of marriage. Like abortion, which is as fiercely controversial today as it was 45 years ago, the court’s ruling didn’t settle anything. They can make same-sex marriage legal. They can even take away our freedom. But they can never make it right.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Students’ Plan for Pro-Life Walkout Challenges Apparent Double Standard

Students at a California high school plan to respond to the national movement of school walkouts to push for new gun controls with a pro-life walkout of their own.

They decided to do so after one of their teachers was placed on leave for questioning whether some protests were treated more favorably than others.

Using the hashtag #life, organizer Brandon Gillespie, a student at Rocklin High School in Rocklin, California, near Sacramento, said he wants to help spread the pro-life message and question the easy availability of abortion by organizing a walkout April 11 at 10 a.m.

Gillespie said he wants “to honor all the lives of aborted babies, pretty much—all the millions of aborted babies every year.”

Gillespie said his history teacher, Julianne Benzel, inspired him to organize the event after she was placed on paid administrative leave for questioning, after a national gun-control student walkout March 14, whether Rocklin High also would allow a pro-life walkout by students.

Students and adults organized the nationwide walkouts a month after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which a 19-year-old with a rifle killed 17 and wounded 17 others.

“If schools, not only just our school and our administration, but across the country, are going to allow one group of students to get up during class and walk out to protest one issue, would they still give the same courtesy to another group of students who wanted to protest … abortion?” Benzel said on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.”

While the teacher questioned the potential double standard, she did not  discourage students from participating in the national gun-control walkout.

“We had a dialogue in class about [the walkouts] … and [then] I received the call. So, I am aghast,” Benzel said, according to the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, adding:

I just kind of used the example … I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time—a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion. Would that be allowed by our administration?

Benzel said she didn’t receive any backlash from her students.

“All my students totally understood that there could not be a double standard,” she said.

Rocklin High’s principal has met with Gillespie to discuss the pro-life walkout, which will occur on school grounds.

“I would like to see if there really is a double standard, and what will come of that,” he said.

Nick Wade, who participated in the gun-control walkout and is a student of Benzel’s, said he also wants to know if there will be a double standard.

“I feel like if we were to go to school and say something like, ‘I want to walk out, maybe for abortion rights,’ then you know they probably wouldn’t let us, because that’s more of a conservative push. But someone wants to say, ‘Let’s walk out for gun control,’ then the school’s going to go with it, because it’s more of a popular view,” Wade said.

Benzel said that she hopes the walkouts will prompt a bigger conversation, about not only gun rights in the Second Amendment, but free speech rights in the First Amendment, too.

“If you’re going to allow students to walk up and get out of class without penalty, then you have to allow any group of students that wants to protest,” she said.

COMMENTARY BY:

Kyle Perisic

Kyle Perisic is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

The Goal is to ‘Make Abortion Unthinkable’

Abby Johnson

I attended the Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Center gala dinner on March 22nd, 2018. The featured speaker was Abby Johnson. Abby is the mother of seven children, one of which was adopted. She is a born again Christian. Abby is the author of two books. Her books are The Walls Are Talking and unPlanned.

For eight years she was the director of a Planned Parenthood Clinic. Abby writes on her website:

I started working at Planned Parenthood because I believed I was genuinely helping women make the best choices for their lives. I didn’t grow up believing that abortion was a good choice for women, but since it was legal, I thought it must be okay. I thought it would certainly be better for a woman to have a legal abortion rather than an illegal abortion. I thought that Planned Parenthood really believed in reducing the amount of unintended pregnancies; and therefore reducing the amount of abortions. I thought I was doing the right thing. I defended what I was doing. I believed in what I was doing. I was a true advocate of “choice.” I argued with the people on the other side of the fence. I would argue abortion rights with anyone who would listen. I was rising up the Planned Parenthood corporate ladder. I was the Planned Parenthood 2008 “Employee of the Year.” This was my life. I loved my job. I loved the patients we served.

Then Abby’s life changed, she was transformed.

On September 26, 2009 Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She stood by and watched in horror as a 13 week baby boy fought, and ultimately lost, his life at the hand of an abortionist. It was at that moment, as she stood there in silence and did nothing to save that baby boy, that she changed her life by becoming pro-life.

During her very personal testimony Abby struck me with the following statement about the ultimate goal of the pro-life movement:

The goal is not to make abortion illegal. That is a short term goal. The true goal is the make abortion unthinkable.

Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 300 workers leave the abortion industry. Abby lives in Texas with her husband and seven precious children.

Abby was an inspiration. But more importantly she is a mother who loves life.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Whole Woman’s Health Exposed

For Planned Parenthood, Abortion Is a Black and White Issue

Why Abortion is Not a Woman’s Choice

RELATED VIDEO: Eighteen year old Hannah Victoria’s company Expressionistic Studiosreleased on YouTube a short video which shines a light on the magnitude of damage each and every abortion could have on the world. The film is titled MITOSIS.

Healthcare Report 2018: Best & Worst States for Healthcare

Healthcare has been a significant topic in the recent U.S. Presidential election. There is controversy among which form of health care should be implemented. However, it’s likely that this issue will not be sorted for quite some time. As the country is looking forward towards what form of healthcare it should have, many Americans are beginning to research how good America’s healthcare is currently. Is the answer to that is a complicated one. Although all states in America are to be treated equal, they are not. Each state in the U.S. is provided with different healthcare regulations and guidelines. It’s important to understand which states provide excellent healthcare and which don’t.

There are multiple ways to determine if a state has good healthcare. The three main points that define its quality is affordability, availability, and result.

States Healthcare Affordability (2018)Healthcare’s Affordability

Affordability is the piece of healthcare that most people care about. Most people view all healthcare as basically the same thing, and the only thing that is different is the price. This is the wrong way to view healthcare. However, the price of the healthcare is essential because it is the first thing that must be considered. It doesn’t matter if the healthcare is available to everyone, or if it’s useful if people cannot afford it. Seeing if a healthcare system is affordable is very important to ensure its success. If a healthcare is too expensive, people won’t be as interested in even looking at what benefits the system may have.

States Healthcare Availability (2018)Healthcare’s Availability

Availability isn’t a part of healthcare that many people think of. However, it is immensely valuable. Contrary to popular belief, even if healthcare is cheap, it doesn’t mean that you qualify. There are healthcare systems like Hawaii’s that are incredibly cheap. However, many citizens are unable to receive the healthcare because it’s very exclusive. Healthcare is available when it is opening up its benefits to many other people; showing that is it a system that cares about its citizens.

States Healthcare Outcomes (2018)Healthcare’s Results, Outcome

There are healthcare systems out there that are cheap and available, yet are not effective. Some states try to make health care affordable so much that the healthcare setting in place is one that can’t help people to its full extent due to lack of financial resources. This proves to be a significant issue. People may be excited that the healthcare they found is cheap, and they qualify. However, they’d be disappointed to know that the healthcare is one that is not effective in providing healthcare to people.

These three characteristics are the most vital pieces to consider when viewing healthcare. That’s why this ranking has been set in place. It lists each state’s overall healthcare quality in comparison to each other. The results of this ranking of the states have been produced due to the sources listed at the bottom of the article. Most sources are from government sites that display public information on healthcare in individual states.

Best & Worst States for Healthcare 2018

Best States Healthcare (2018)Individual State’s Healthcare

  1. Minnesota: (Affordability 5th, Availability 11th, Result 8th). Minnesota is tied for the second-best healthcare in the country (along with Iowa). Although Minnesota is thriving with pneumonia and frostbite, the state makes it a priority that their citizens can access an effective healthcare at an affordable price.
  2. Iowa(Affordability 2nd, Availability 29th, Result 13th). Ranking 2nd in both cost and overall healthcare quality, Iowa is a magnificent model of a proper healthcare system. Iowa’s primary focus is on making the healthcare affordable, like D.C. However, the outcomes that come from Iowa’s healthcare are better than D.C.’s ranking 13th in results.
  3. Hawaii: (Affordability 3rd, Availability 42nd, Result 1st). Hawaii is arguably the state with the best healthcare. While ranking 3rd in cost and 1st in the outcome, Hawaii appears to be the perfect place for healthcare. However, before people begin to pack their bags and book their flights it’s important to know that it is extremely difficult to attain Hawaiian healthcare. The issue is that the majority of health services are on Oahu. Meaning that due to the geography of the state, many citizens are unable to receive medical aid.
  4. New Hampshire: (Affordability 16th, Availability 4th, Result 7th). New Hampshire’s      healthcare is one that is extremely reliable and available to almost all its citizens. The price of the healthcare is what stops New Hampshire from being the best.
  5. District of Columbia: (Affordability 1st, Availability 6th, Result 37th). It’s no surprise that the capitol of the United States possesses one of the best healthcare systems in the country. It is the most affordable healthcare and is available to most citizens. The downfall of D.C. healthcare is that it produces poor results.
  6. Connecticut: (Affordability 30th, Availability 2nd, Results 5th). Connecticut’s healthcare is an expensive one, yet produces impressive results. Next to Maine, Connecticut is also the state that makes its healthcare most available to citizens.
  7. South Dakota: (Affordability 7th, Availability 5th, Results 24th). Besides being known for Mount Rushmore, South Dakota is known for possessing a great healthcare system. It’s both cheap and available to citizens. However, it proves not to be very useful.
  8. Vermont: (Affordability 20th, Availability 18th, Results 3rd). Vermont is one of those states that provides excellent healthcare to few people. The system focuses on making the healthcare very efficient. However, that does come at a cost, seeing as that healthcare costs more than about 20 other states.
  9. Massachusetts: (Affordability 41st, Availability 3rd, Results 2nd). Massachusetts is the place to go for the wealthy. They provide some of the best healthcare in the country. However, the cost is quite high.
  10. Rhode Island: (Affordability 15th, Availability 13th, Results 10th). Rhode Island is one of the view states that have an excellent all-around system of healthcare. All components (Affordability, availability, and results) place very well in the listings.
  11. Maryland: (Affordability 4th, Availability 22nd, Results 23rd). Opposite of Massachusetts, Maryland is the perfect place to go for the not-so-wealthy. Maryland’s system focusses on making healthcare affordable. Even while the healthcare is cheap, it still provides adequate outcomes and is available to most residents.
  12. Kansas: (Affordability 6th, Availability 15th, Results 21st). Like Maryland, Kansas is excellent at providing affordable healthcare that is decent in delivering results and being available to most citizens.
  13. Colorado: (Affordability 23rd, Availability 20th, Results 4th). Colorado is known for having an incredibly diverse geography. From deserts to snowy mountains, Colorado’s healthcare provides one of the best results in the entire country.
  14. Maine: (Affordability 17th, Availability 1st, Results 26th). While their healthcare does not produce great results, Maine is known for having healthcare that is the most accessible in the country.
  15. Utah: (Affordability 13th, Availability 33rd, Results 6th). Utah’s healthcare is one that is not available to many residents. However, the healthcare produces excellent results.
  16. North Dakota: (Affordability 12th, Availability 21st, Results 18th). North Dakota is an evenly balanced in their healthcare system. They focus on providing adequate pricing, availability, and results.
  17. Nebraska: (Affordability 21st, Availability 10th, Results 19th). Nebraska’s healthcare is slightly above average. The price for the healthcare is definitely worth the results, but there is nothing noteworthy about this state’s healthcare.
  18. Pennsylvania: (Affordability 14th, Availability 8th, Results 31st). Although being known for its gorgeous mountains and lively history, Pennsylvania also has a good healthcare system. The government focusses on providing healthcare to as many citizens as possible.
  19. Illinois: (Affordability 10th, Availability 24th, Results 29th). Illinois’’ healthcare system is one that focusses on making healthcare affordable. However, the healthcare does not produce great results.
  20. Virginia: (Affordability 18th, Availability 30th, Results 20th). Healthcare in Virginia is one that is affordable, yet not that available. The system is one that is not very effective.
  21. Wisconsin: (Affordability 25th, Availability 16th, Results 22nd). Wisconsin’s best part of its healthcare is its availability. With availability ranked as 16th, affordability and results are lacking in comparison.
  22. Ohio: (Affordability 9th, Availability 14th, Results 38th). Being the 7th most populated state, Ohio is a place that should have great healthcare. However, the system focusses on making healthcare affordable and available, but the results are poor.
  23. Delaware: (Affordability 8th, Availability 25th, Results 40th). Delaware’s healthcare is quite like Ohio’s. The healthcare is affordable but produces great results.
  24. New Jersey: (Affordability 29th, Availability 39th, Results 12th). New Jersey focusses on making their healthcare produces great results. However, that does come at a cost.
  25. California: (Affordability 22nd, Availability 48th, Results 9th). Same as New Jersey, California’s healthcare system focusses on producing quality healthcare but is relatively expensive.
  26. Washington: (Affordability 31st, Availability 41st, Results 11th). Located in the Pacific Northwest, Washington produces healthcare that is available to very few people, yet is very useful.
  27. Michigan: (Affordability 19th, Availability 12th, Results 39th). Michigan’s healthcare is focused on providing healthcare to as many people as possible. However, the healthcare produces terrible results.
  28. New York: (Affordability 46th, Availability 9th, Results 25th). While New York’s healthcare is available to most citizens, it is also one of the most expensive healthcare’s in the country.
  29. New Mexico: (Affordability 34th, Availability 28th, Results 27th). New Mexico’s healthcare system seems to be the most mundane healthcare in the country. All three components are placed in the “average” level.
  30. Indiana: (Affordability 26th, Availability 27th, Results 34th). Indiana’s healthcare is very similar to New Mexico’s. The system is focused on making healthcare affordable.
  31. Wyoming: (Affordability 39th, Availability 36th, Results 17th). Wyoming’s healthcare is poorly rated due to it being expensive and not very available. However, the healthcare does produce good results.
  32. Arizona: (Affordability 33rd, Availability 46th, Results 16th). Similar to Wyoming’s, Arizona’s healthcare is expensive and hard to be a part of. However, the healthcare produces great results.
  33. Idaho: (Affordability 36th, Availability 47th, Results 14th). Idaho’s healthcare is one of the most exclusive healthcare’s in the entire country. However, the system provides excellent results.
  34. Oregon: (Affordability 37th, Availability 45th, Results 15th). Oregon’s healthcare is an expensive one. However, the results that Oregon’s healthcare produces are amazing.
  35. Montana: (Affordability 35th, Availability 32nd, Results 32nd). Being a farmland, Montana doesn’t have many people. However, for those who do live there they have to deal with an expensive healthcare system that doesn’t have great results.
  36. Kentucky: (Affordability 11th, Availability 17th, Results 47th). Kentucky’s healthcare produces one of the worst results in the country. However, the healthcare is cheap and easy to access.
  37. Missouri: (Affordability 24th, Availability 23rd, Results 41st). Missouri produces average costs and availability for their healthcare. However, the healthcare provides some of the worst results in the country.
  38. West Virginia: (Affordability 27th, Availability 7th, Results 48th). West Virginia has one of the most available healthcare in the country. However, the healthcare is expensive and produces terrible results.
  39. Oklahoma: (Affordability 28th, Availability 29th, Results 46th). Healthcare in Oklahoma is terrible in comparison to many other states. Its results are terrible, and the healthcare is not cheap.
  40. Tennessee: (Affordability 40th, Availability 26th, Results 44th). Tennessee’s healthcare system is both expensive and produces awful results. While their system is inadequate, the government attempts to make healthcare available to as many people as they can.
  41. Texas: (Affordability 44th, Availability 51st, Results 30th). Texas is ranked the worst state that makes its healthcare available to citizens. Although the Texan healthcare is hard to receive, it is a reasonably efficient system.
  42. Nevada: (Affordability 47th, Availability 50th, Results 28th). Nevada has the second most expensive healthcare next to Texas. However, the healthcare that few citizens receive works well.
  43. Florida: (Affordability 48th, Availability 40th, Results 35th). Healthcare in Florida is a significant issue. Florida has the 4th most expensive healthcare systems, yet has multiple problems. First, it is hard to qualify for the healthcare. And second, the healthcare does not work very well.
  44. Alabama: (Affordability 32nd, Availability 43rd, Results 45th). The healthcare in Alabama is poorly established. The system is expensive, exclusive, and produces poor results.
  45. South Carolina: (Affordability 45th, Availability 37th, Results 42nd). South Carolina’s healthcare is expensive and ineffective. The state does, however, focus on making healthcare available to all citizens.
  46. Georgia: (Affordability 38th, Availability 49th, Results 43rd). Georgia has the 3rd most exclusive healthcare in the country. Most people would think that’s because the state has great healthcare. However, the healthcare is both expensive and does not show excellent results.
  47. North Carolina: (Affordability 50th, Availability 44th, Results 36th). Ranking just two places under its counterpart, South Carolina is a state that has terrible healthcare. The system is the 2nd most expensive one and is not effective at all.
  48. Arkansas: (Affordability 42nd, Availability 34th, Results 49th). Arkansas’ healthcare produces the 3rd worst healthcare outcomes in the country. However, the state is focusing on making the healthcare accessible to as many people it can.
  49. Alaska: (Affordability 51st, Availability 38th, Results 33rd). Healthcare in Alaska is a major issue. The state provides the most expensive healthcare, and the healthcare isn’t even that accessible or effective.
  50. Mississippi: (Affordability 43rd, Availability 31st, Results 51st). While Mississippi does focus on providing healthcare to most of its citizens, it doesn’t have a very effective system. Ranking at 51st in results, Mississippi has the least adequate healthcare in the country.
  51. Louisiana: (Affordability 49th, Availability 35th, Results 50th). Louisiana’s healthcare is by far the worst in the country. While there is the effort made into making the healthcare accessible, there isn’t much for citizens to access. The state has the 3rd most expensive healthcare and has the 2nd least effective one. This is by far the worst healthcare that any state holds.

The state has the 3rd most expensive healthcare and has the 2nd least effective one. This is by far the worst healthcare that any state holds. Healthcare is an essential part of an American’s life. It is critical for everyone to be aware of the quality of healthcare that their country provides, and what can be done to improve it.

United States: A Medical Tourist Destination

Today, United States is a leading medical tourism destination where figures from around the world travel to the United States to pursue the latest healthcare advancements and technology. According to Patients Beyond Borders, the United States is the 3rd leading destination for medical tourism, hosting over 800,000 patients per year. Another medical tourism destination is Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Mexico hosts tens of thousands of yearly visitors seeking affordable medical treatments including dental, cancer, weight loss surgery, and more.

More Rankings, Related:

References:

Help protect pro-life doctors

Earlier this year President Donald Trump’s administration established a new division under the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This new division, the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, was established to restore the enforcement of federal laws protecting religious freedom and rights of conscience.

Through this new division, the Department has issued a proposed regulation to enforce the protection of religious freedom that President Obama’s administration shockingly ignored and violated. For example, Obama failed to enforce federal laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious liberty of those in California and Washington whose states mandated abortion coverage.

Tell the HHS you support the proposed regulation.

This new action will provide “conscience-based protections for individuals and entities with objections to [abortion] based on religious belief and moral convictions.”

As part of the process of establishing new regulations like this, HHS provides an opportunity for public comment on proposed regulation. Pro-abortion groups are lashing out against the proposed rule because they want your tax dollars to be used to force Christian health care workers to perform and participate in abortion.

HHS needs to hear the truth about life and religious liberty from you. I urge you to share this message with friends and family via email and social media to help ‘button up’ the years of Obama-era, anti-life violations.

The director for the Office of Civil Rights at HHS, Roger Severino, recently issued a refreshing statement about religious liberty. He said, “Conscience protection is a civil right guaranteed by laws that too often haven’t been enforced. Today’s proposed rule will provide our new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division with enforcement tools that will make sure our conscience laws are not empty words on paper, but guarantees of justice to victims of unlawful discrimination.”

Health care professionals and churches purchasing health insurance should not be forced to participate in abortions.

Send a message of thanks to the HHS for standing for religious liberty and urge them stay the course.

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Key Exchanges as Supreme Court Hears Case of Pregnancy Centers Forced to Promote Abortion

EDITORS NOTE: If the American Family Association mission resonates with you, please consider supporting our work financially with a tax-deductible donation. The easiest way to do that is through online giving. It is easy to use, and most of all, it is secure.

States Win Another Major Case Against Obamacare

In a decision that has gotten almost no media attention, six states led by Texas have won another round against the Obama administration implementation of Obamacare.

Judge Reed O’Connor, a federal judge in Texas, threw out the Obama administration’s imposition of a federal fee or tax on states as a condition of continuing to receive Medicaid funds. O’Conner ruled March 5 that the fee violates the non-delegation doctrine of the Constitution and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The 2010 Obamacare law imposed a “health insurance providers fee” on medical insurers to help pay for the subsidies provided by the federal government to individuals purchasing health insurance. However, the law specifically exempted states from having to pay this fee.

Texas and the other states who filed this lawsuit against the federal government in 2015 provide a majority of Medicaid services for their residents by contracting with, and paying a monthly fee to, managed care organizations, which then provide health care to eligible Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a component of the Department of Health and Human Services, must approve all such state contracts for health care services. In 2014, the agency promulgated a regulation that requires that states pay managed care organizations an “actuarially sound rate.”

However, the regulation delegates the decision of what is an “actuarially sound rate” to a private organization, the Actuarial Standards Board, which sets practice standards for private actuaries.

Ignoring the statutory exemption from paying the fee that was provided to the states in the Obamacare law, the Actuarial Standards Board enacted a rule stating that the “actuarially sound rate” paid by the states to their Medicaid-managed care organizations must include their portion of the health insurance providers fee.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services refused to approve any state contract that did not comply with this requirement.

We are talking substantial sums of money here. According to the judge in this case, Texas alone appropriated $244 million to pay this fee in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Other states in the lawsuit “likewise provide Medicaid to millions of their citizens at the cost of a considerable portion of their annual budgets.”

O’Connor found that over “the next decade, the federal government will collect between $13 and $14.9 billion” from all 50 states paying the fee. According to the IRS, Congress placed a moratorium on the fee for 2017 and 2019, but not for 2018. So the fee remains on the books.

While the court found that the health insurance providers fee, which O’Connor labeled a “tax,” is constitutional, the regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that delegated “to a private entity the authority to decide who must pay this tax” violates the non-delegation doctrine.

O’Connor goes through a very interesting and illustrative history of the non-delegation doctrine, which “remains a cornerstone in the constitutional architecture of free government” to the frustration of “modern liberals.”

In essence, the non-delegation doctrine “stems from the very first clause of the Constitution, which reads: ‘All legislative Powers … shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.’” Thus, Congress cannot delegate or transfer to others its “essential legislative function.”

This “structural feature of the Constitution … exists to protect democratic deliberation, executive accountability, and individual liberty.” The framers “enshrined” this doctrine in “our charter because the framers, drawing from the deep wells of their Western heritage, recognized it as an axiom of just government.”

The most difficult determination of whether the non-delegation doctrine has been violated is when courts are reviewing the actions of federal agencies under their authorizing statutes. In those cases, “courts must distinguish between unlawful delegation of legislative power and lawful delegation of policy judgement,” according to O’Connor. It “is inherently difficult to draw this distinction and identify an unlawful legislative delegation by Congress to an executive agency.”

However, this case does not present such a dilemma concluded O’Connor because here, the power to determine whether a tax should be imposed was delegated to a private party. In such cases, “there is not even a fig leaf of constitutional delegation.”

While legislative delegations to executive agencies “threaten liberty by undermining democratic accountability … legislative delegations to private entities are even more dangerous” because they “create a double layer of unaccountability.”

The legislative power of Congress has been passed “to an unelected agency, and then by the agency to an unelected private entity.” And that “private entity is not subject to term limits, appropriations, impeachment, or removal, and neither holds a commission nor takes an oath to uphold the Constitution.”

In addition to this constitutional violation, O’Connor found that the imposition of this tax violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the promulgation of rules and regulations by federal agencies.

According to O’Connor, the tax went beyond the statutory authority of the Obamacare law: “there is no genuine dispute of material fact that [the regulation] is ‘in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right.’”

This ruling wipes out the ability of the federal government to collect billions of dollars from the states that it has been using to subsidize Obamacare. And this is not the end of the story.

A new lawsuit has just been filed—in the same federal court where O’Connor presides—by 20 states alleging that Obamacare is no longer constitutional because the tax cut bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 22, 2017, eliminated the tax penalty imposed on individuals who don’t comply with the individual mandate.

Because the Supreme Court only upheld Obamacare as constitutional based on the taxing authority of Congress, the states argue that its constitutional underpinning is gone.

Piece by piece, year by year, Obamacare is slowly being taken apart by both litigation and legislation like the 2017 tax cut bill that eliminated the tax penalty on the individual mandate.

But members of Congress would do well to return to their abandoned effort to repeal Obamacare in its entirety in order to provide Americans with a replacement that supports their needs.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

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