With the close of the two-year legislative session, the Republican majority in the Assembly and the Senate failed once again to pass legislation prohibiting the trade and use of the body parts of aborted babies and promoting ethical alternatives.
Heal Without Harm (HWH), a coalition of the state’s major pro-life organizations and their tens of thousands of pro-life voters, is dismayed that Republican leaders took such pains to block the advancement of the pioneering bill package known as the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative. This was a betrayal of their pro-life constituents.
Despite this failure, the HWH Coalition is extremely proud of the authors and key medical researchers for their advocacy. Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) authored two complementary bills, the “Fetal Remains Respect Act” (SB 423/AB 549) and the “Unborn Child Disposition and Anatomical Gift Act” (SB 424/AB 550). These bills would have banned the sale and use of body parts from aborted babies and informed parents about the ability to donate their miscarried or stillborn child’s tissue for research. The HWH Coalition also commends Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie), and the 36 additional co-sponsors for their tireless advocacy, both publicly and behind the scenes.
The HWH Coalition applauds the courage of medical experts Dr. Tara Sander Lee, Dr. Maria Feeney, and Dr. Kathleen Schmainda, who demonstrated that Wisconsin can indeed support groundbreaking research by using ethical alternatives to abortion-derived tissue.
Passing the HWH Initiative remains vital. The continued dependence on abortion-derived tissue legitimizes abortion, creates a demand for it, and further embeds it into our educational and medical institutions. Aborted children must never be treated as a means to an end, however noble. Likewise, no patient should ever have to face the choice of using or refusing an unethically-derived treatment.
The pro-life community is pro-medical research, but all human life must be respected and protected. In the next legislative session, the HWH Coalition will continue its efforts to inform the public and persuade legislators to make Wisconsin a leader in ethical, innovative, and effective biomedical research. We call on all those who support this goal to work together, and we urge legislators to heed the will of their constituents.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) released its second annual report comparing school academic performance across Wisconsin, apples to apples. In this new peer-reviewed study, control variables—such as student economic status and demographics—are included to level the playing field and make the clearest possible comparisons between schools for policymakers and parents.
Also included for the first time is WILL’s Performance Ranking, which ranks the performance of every K-12 school in the state from all sectors while controlling for socio-economic status. The report shows that schools participating in the Parental Choice Programs are doing quite well in several areas.
WFA president Julaine Appling sends accolades, “Thanks to WILL for doing this analysis of school performance data. Its release is very timely since the deadline for parents to apply to be part of one of the parental choice programs—the voucher programs—is this Friday. It’s good to see these private schools that are so often maligned by liberals doing well in their first priority: educating children.”
CLICK HERE to visit the Department of Instruction Online Parent Application for School Choice.
It’s a terribly stubborn demographic truism: Somewhere close to 100 percent of babies never born will never become customers of your business. This is true of the more than 55 million American babies who never made it past the womb since abortion was legalized in 1973. It’s true of the untold millions who were never conceived because a potential mom and dad thought they had better things to do.
Of course, there is an inestimable, inherent worth and dignity to every human life, but we cannot ignore the social significance at play here as well. These invaluable lives-never-realized are a whole lot of missing customers. Not good for business. Not good. Nor will they be paying into social security or pensions to provide your part when that time comes either.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says, “Fertility really matters. Wisconsin, with its 40-plus year history of low birth rates, needs more good fertility to ensure its demographic and economic future. Good fertility is that which happens within marriages. Promoting and protecting marriage and childbirth within marriage is one of the best things that could happen in the Badger State.”
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald wants to close two strip clubs in Dodge County, part of his district, after reports of human trafficking in the case of a 45-year-old Hartford man charged in federal court.
“I am horrified at the accounts of serial abuse and trafficking at strip clubs in Clyman, Juneau and Lebanon,” Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in a press release. “With the recent federal investigations resulting in evidence that criminal activity is rampant, I am asking for the sheriff and district attorney to immediately investigate anyone on premises.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says, “For several years we have warned that these sexually-exploitative businesses are involved in sex trafficking. I’m glad Senator Fitzgerald is joining us in working to close them down. They are at a minimum a blight on any community, and now we have proof they often promote and shelter illegal activity that destroys human lives. Tolerating these places is dangerous; they need to go.”
On Wednesday Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett signed an ordinance that bans “conversion” or reparative therapy and counseling for minors. This is counseling used by many Christians that offers help and hope to persons struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender identity issues. The ordinance says it applies to licensed mental health professionals who charge for their services and also indicates the only therapy or counseling they can give minors is that which affirms and encourages same-sex attraction and biological gender-rejection.
At a minimum this ordinance robs parents of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interest of their children. They are also ominous for churches and pastors, something many pastors in Milwaukee have recognized. Such freedom-robbing, wrong-headed laws are sweeping the nation. Unfortunately, in Wisconsin, those pushing this agenda are picking off our cities one by one.
See press release from Tony Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center below:
The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center Applauds Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council for Protecting LGBT Youth by Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors
MILWAUKEE – The Center and the LGBT Community thank Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council for passing and signing a law that prohibits the use of conversion therapy on minors. Milwaukee is the first municipality in Wisconsin to pass such a measure and joins a growing number of municipalities across the country, including cities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.
Organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association and many others reject the use of conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
“We are very pleased that Milwaukee has banned the use of conversion therapy on minors and thank Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council for taking this important step. We hope Milwaukee will prove to be just the first of many municipalities in Wisconsin to ban this harmful and discredited practice that uses rejection, shame and psychological abuse aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Studies conducted by major mental health organizations and personal testimony from LGBT youth have shown that conversion therapy can create dangerous and even life-threatening effects, including depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and suicidal behavior. We are especially grateful for Alderman Cavalier Johnson’s legislative leadership and sponsorship of the ordinance,” said Center Executive Director Tony Snell.
The City of Milwaukee ordinance prohibits licensed mental health professionals, those who charge for the service, from engaging in conversion therapy with minors, carrying a civil penalty for each violation.
About the Center
The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center is dedicated to serving the needs of LGBTQ people and to making the Greater Milwaukee area safer and more inclusive, visit www.mkelgbt.org.
The wording of the question as it appears on ballots statewide
QUESTION 1: “Elimination of state treasurer. Shall sections 1 and 3 of article VI and sections 7 and 8 of article X of the constitution be amended, and section 17 of article XIV of the constitution be created, to eliminate the office of state treasurer from the constitution and to replace the state treasurer with the lieutenant governor as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands?”
What a “yes” vote means
A “yes” vote means you want to change Wisconsin’s constitution to eliminate the office of state treasurer. A “yes” vote also means you want to have the lieutenant governor, rather than the state treasurer, be a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. This position is currently part of the duties of the state treasurer. Other duties of the state treasurer will be divvyed up among other state officials.
What a “no” vote means
A “no” vote means you want to keep things as they are, which in this situation means you want to keep the office of state treasurer. Because you want to keep the office of state treasurer, that means the state treasurer will continue as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. (Putting the lieutenant governor on that Board would only be necessary if there is no state treasurer.)
How Wisconsin Family Action views this referendum
This is not a referendum with any kind of “moral” implications. Whether we eliminate the office of state treasurer isn’t “right” or “wrong.” It’s a personal preference. Those wanting to eliminate the office of state treasurer allege that the office is unnecessary and getting rid of it would save the state and its taxpayers some money and reduce the size of government, albeit not by much because not many people work in the office of state treasurer. They maintain the few responsibilities the state treasurer has can be easily absorbed by other government officials.
Others believe that more consolidation of power—in other words, giving fewer people more authority—isn’t in the best interest of our state. These folks maintain it is better for our system of checks and balances to spread power/authority out over more people. These folks will vote “no” on the question.
Each voter will need to decide where he/she lands on this question. Frankly, at WFA, we can live easily with either way the vote goes. Some of us at WFA will vote “yes” and some will vote “no,” based entirely on our personal preference, not as a moral judgment on the issue.
Wisconsin Family Action has signed on to a very important friend-of-the-court brief alongside many of our allies urging the Supreme Court to strike down the regulations that force pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech. Oral arguments will be heard tomorrow, 3/19/2018.
Our allies at Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) will be reporting directly from the U.S. Supreme Court on this case that has great implications for the pro-life movement and freedom of speech. WFA will be sharing live updates through FPIW on our Facebook page HERE starting at 7:30 a.m. (CST).
When you know that an election day is coming up but are unfamiliar with what’s on your ballot or who to vote for, there are a number of ways you can find the information you’re looking for. Often you may want to know what you can do to help a candidate that you’d like to see elected to office. Wisconsin Family Action stands ready to help during election season and all year round. Here is a helpful list of questions with answers that will hopefully provide all you need before you enter your polling place:
Q: How do I find out what is on my ballot?
A: Visit myvote.wi.gov and simply enter your address. You’ll be able to view a sample ballot with all your local and statewide races/referendums.
Q: How do I learn more about a candidate?
A: There are a number of ways to do this –
Do a “Google” search of the candidate’s name to find out if they have a website. Since most candidates have websites, this will be the best place to find out information about him/her.
Check Facebook to see if a candidate has a Facebook page. Search for the candidate’s name in your Facebook search bar. Oftentimes if a candidate has a Facebook page it is interactive and you may ask questions of them via a Facebook post.
If you use Twitter you can search for a candidate to find out if a Twitter account exists. Candidates use Twitter to send out messages, share endorsements and more.
If you don’t have access to Internet, listen to your local radio station or pick up a newspaper to check for information about a candidate.
Don’t throw away those flyers and mailers that come to your door. Read them first and determine which candidates appeal most to your core values.
Talk to friends and family members who are “politically aware.” Glean information from people you trust.
Attend local forums and debates. These events are free and open to the public.
If you are unable to attend a forum or debate, check your local community cable station. They frequently host interviews and debates on local races.
Talk to the candidate. If a candidate shows up at your door, take the time to talk to him or her. Take their literature and ask them questions.
Be alert for yard signs. Notice where they are placed. If you know the person who has a sign on their property or in their yard, check to see if they are really supporting the candidate or are just letting them borrow yard space.
Q: How can I help a candidate as he/she runs for office?
A: If you would like to assist a candidate in a run for office, here are some helpful ideas:
Pray for them.
Offer to drop off literature at homes or other locations.
Offer to place a sign in your yard.
Offer to lend financial assistance. Flyers, gas, yard signs all cost a good bit of money.
Send a note of encouragement.
Q: How do I find out information on absentee voting, election dates and times, polling places, etc.?
A: Wisconsin Family Action has created your Election Central where you can find the answers to these and other questions you may have about voting in Wisconsin. CLICK HERE to access Election Central.
Troubling public health news in the city of Milwaukee shows an increase in new cases of HIV and syphilis —including an infant in 2017. That’s why the Milwaukee Health Department launched a commute campaign with MCTS to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases.
julaine Appling, WFA president, shares, “While this report is sad, this is a problem with a solution. Abstinence is not a dirty word. It’s the future-saving, sometimes even life-saving message teens and young adults need to hear. Schools that truly care about kids will stop sex ed programs that promote dangerous promiscuity and start promoting sexual abstinence until and only within marriage.”
When Texas passed SB 8 in 2017, requiring the humane disposition of fetal remains, there ought to have been broad support across the political spectrum. Instead, politics as usual has colored the rhetoric of pro-abortion partisans. And, at the end of January 2018, a US District Court delivered a victory for pro-abortion forces in issuing a preliminary injunction of the law. Among other things, the opinion held that abortion providers had a “substantial likelihood of success” in demonstrating their constitutional claim that Texas’s law violates the Due Process Clause.
But Texas’s humane disposition provisions are not only constitutional (even under the legal regime of Casey), but also a morally laudable response to gruesome revelations about how the abortion industry disposes of fetal remains.
WFA president Julaine Appling weighs in, “Part of our Heal Without Harm Initiative deals with final disposition of aborted babies, as well as making sure parents who experience a stillbirth or miscarriage know they can make appropriate final arrangements for their baby. Sadly, these bills have been intentionally killed this session by Republican senate and assembly leadership whose pro-life walk doesn’t match their pro-life talk.”
KENOSHA, Wisc. — A number of Christian displays have been removed from an elementary school classroom in Wisconsin after one of the nation’s most conspicuous atheist activist organizations sent a letter asserting that the posters and symbols were unconstitutional.
Rob Moore, the local chapter president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), told WTMJ-TV that he had complained for months about the displays in his son’s fourth grade classroom at Pleasant Prairie Elementary School in Kenosha. Earlier this month, the organization’s headquarters sent a letter to the school district to request an investigation.
“I don’t want someone’s personal myth-ark enforced in the classroom,” Moore, an atheist, told the outlet.
It appears that the Freedom From Religion Foundation is specifically targeting the Kenosha School District – read more HERE.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, weighs in, “I’m not exactly sure what the law is on the particulars of this situation. But what I do know is Freedom From Religion is doing its dead-level best to eradicate Christianity from the public square, with the US Supreme Court complicit over the last 50-plus years. Our society is reeling from the absence of the Bible and the Gospel. We need more of God, not less, especially in our schools.”
“In both the United Kingdom and the United States, the fundamental rights of parents have dangerously eroded, undermining the ability of parents to protect the welfare of their children, instill moral values, and pass on religious beliefs and practices.”
Parental rights are foundational to a strong Wisconsin and a strong America. We support the parental rights amendment at the federal level, but that’s a long, hard process. In the meantime, we need to do what we can here. That’s why we are not too keen on bills that are being passed in our state legislature that cut parents out of knowing what their children are doing.
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock, endorsed by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, was the top vote-getter in yesterday’s Spring Nonpartisan Primary Election. WFA president Julaine Appling stated, “We believe he is exactly the kind of person we need on the Supreme Court. His background and family life, community involvement, legal experience, and judicial philosophy all align with what we are looking for in a judicial candidate.” Screnock currently serves as Sauk County Circuit Judge and will face off against Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet in the General Election on April 3. Congratulations to Judge Michael Screnock!
NATIONAL MARRIAGE WEEK USA is this week, February 7-14. It is a campaign to promote the benefits of traditional marriage, increase marriage education nationwide and build more marital success, which reduces poverty and benefits children.
Goals of National Marriage Week USA
To elevate marriage as a national issue in the media and with policy leaders.
To promote the benefits of marriage, that stronger marriages bring economic stability to individuals and to the nation, and provides the best environment for thriving children.
To create a national calendar for existing, trusted marriage classes, conferences and events where people can find the help they need, or reach out to help others.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, shares, “It’s February. Hallmark tells us it’s time to think about love. It’s also when we celebrate National Marriage Week. With that in mind, thinking about what real love is and about God’s design for marriage is important. Young, in-love couples need to know crises will happen to them in their marriage, but true, godly love endures and grows through these crises.”
Without notice, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has moved two fetal tissue bills out of their original committees and into the Committee on Assembly Organization. These bills make up the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative, (SB 423/AB 549 and SB 424/AB 550), authored by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), that would ban the sale and use of body parts from aborted babies and inform parents about the ability to donate their miscarried or stillborn child’s tissue.
If Speaker Vos and the Committee on Assembly Organization do not advance the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative, then it can only be assumed that this move is intended to kill these bills.
The Heal Without Harm (HWH) Legislative Initiative – SB 423/AB 549 and SB 424/AB 550 (Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, and Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc) – would ban the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies and instead encourage the donation of tissue for research from children who are stillborn or miscarried.
Without notice, AB 549 and AB 550 have been pulled from their previously assigned committees and put into the Committee on Assembly Organization.
The public has a right to know why these bills were moved and if the committee has any intention of sending them to the floor for a vote.
CLICK HERE for your downloadable
Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Primary Election Information Publication!
Less than 20% of voters actually vote in the primary elections in their state. Yet did you know…
• Primaries determine the election?
• In the case of low-voter-turnout elections, your vote matters more than ever?
Wisconsin’s Primary Election is Tuesday, February 20.
That’s less than 3 weeks away! How do you know who to vote for? Who are the candidates? How have incumbents voted in the past?
Click for your Wisconsin Voter Guide. It’s a combination of:
• Voting records/ratings
• Financial contributions
• Candidate website
Each candidate is evaluated by a panel of volunteers, people like you, who are dedicated to helping others vote wisely.
For general voter information and to see if you have a primary on your ballot, click here.
How Can You Help?
• Access the Voter Publication TODAY. Take a close look.
• Print off and be prepared for the Wisconsin Primary Election on February 20!
• Share this Voter Publication with everyone you know who is eligible to vote in Wisconsin! Print and distribute copies to neighbors and others in your voting district.
• Share this page on your social media (see icons below)
“I am disappointed that tonight, 46 Senators voted against a motion that would have respected the
majority of Americans’ convictions- including those of President Trump- by refusing to
advance a bill that would restrict abortions on babies
when they are capable of feeling pain”. – Vice President Mike Pence
“On January 29, the U.S. Senate voted 51-46 on the question of whether to proceed with the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill needed 60 votes cast to continue, but failed to find that number. Sponsors of the bill’s House version had called for doing away with the 60-vote requirement.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) estimated that the federal bill, if passed, would save 12,000-18,000 babies annually. The bill would have protected preborn children at 20 weeks and after from painful late-term abortion procedures, such as the D&E procedure.”
Abortionists kill about 13,000 babies every single year through late-term abortions when, according to overwhelming evidence, the babies can feel excruciating pain. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.2111) would have brought this gruesome practice to an end.
The rejection of this life-saving bill is both tragic and irresponsible.
State Representative Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) of the 20th Assembly District sent out an email this week which reads as follows:
Rep. Sinicki is planning to submit a request today to the Joint Legislative Council Committee requesting a Legislative Study Committee to review Wisconsin’s 1984 Home Schooling Law.
Please let us know by 4 pm today if you would like your name added to this request.
About 20,000 children in Wisconsin are homeschooled, according to one estimate. The opportunity to homeschool can provide valuable flexibility for parents and children, and many students flourish in a homeschool environment. Some child welfare advocates argue, however, that lax oversight of homeschooling can allow some abused or poorly educated children to slip through the cracks.
Oversight of homeschooling varies widely among states, and some have far more stringent requirements for parents than does Wisconsin. For example, a number of states require standardized tests, portfolio reviews, or other check-ins, while Wisconsin requires only that homeschoolers register with DPI. Some advocates argue that additional oversight could help authorities identify children who are being abused, neglected, or underserved by their parents or guardians.
With these thoughts in mind, we are calling for a Study Committee to review the 1984 Homeschooling Law. The Study Committee would include stakeholders from the homeschooling community. The intention is not to pass anti-homeschooling legislation, but to review this 34-year old law to see how it is working and what could be improved upon.
Today the U.S. Senate Will Vote on S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Call Senator Ron Johnson at 202-224-5323 and Senator Tammy Baldwin at 202-224-5653 to ask them to support S. 2311. We must protect unborn babies from painful, late-term abortions.
This bill will protect the lives of the unborn, especially when substantial medical evidence indicates that the child is capable of feeling pain during an abortion procedure. By 20 weeks gestation, an unborn child has pain receptors all over his or her body.
As Congressman Chris Smith said, “Abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember, and chemically poison babies each and every day.” He called this bill a “modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old.”
CALL NOW! Vote is said to be scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. CST.
It’s been 45 years since Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life movement is stronger than ever.
Last week, thousands of pro-life Americans took a stand for life at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme, “Love Saves Lives,” reminds us that women facing unplanned pregnancies have options besides abortion—like adoption—that protect life and demonstrate love.
“Including the “first freedom,” as our founders called freedom of religion, as a part of the pro-life movement really is critical,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president, “For the sake of children, faith-based adoption agencies need to flourish, not operate under the threat of having the government close their doors. A private enterprise acting consistently on a set of religious beliefs should not even be questioned, let alone threatened.”