WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - APRIL 19, 2023
In this week's Intersect, read about:
U.S. Supreme Court Stays Ruling That Suspended Abortion-Pill Approval
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a federal court’s ruling that suspended the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill. Justice Alito issued the administrative stay of U.S. District Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling dealing with the circulation of mifepristone, one of two drugs commonly involved in a chemical abortion regime. Mifepristone, a progesterone blocker, kills the unborn baby by depriving it of nutrients, and misoprostol causes uterine contractions to empty the uterus. Over half of all abortions in the U.S. are done using the two-drug combination. The stay applies until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday.” read more at National Review
- Last week we reported on the headline of competing rulings regarding access to the abortion pill. The Biden administration went quickly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, asking that court to keep Kacsmaryk’s order on hold while it appealed. In an opinion issued late Wednesday night, the 5th Circuit gave the Biden administration only part of the relief it sought. The court of appeals temporarily blocked the portion of Kacsmaryk’s order that suspended the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone. But it left in place the rest of Kacsmaryk’s order, which invalidated the FDA’s changes to the conditions on the drug’s use, such as not requiring an in-person doctor visit in order to prescribe the pills. The 5th Circuit also fast-tracked the administration’s appeal.
- Citing the “unprecedented lower court orders countermanding FDA’s scientific judgment and unleashing regulatory chaos by suspending the existing FDA-approved conditions of use for mifepristone,” the Biden administration came to the Supreme Court on Friday morning, asking the justices to put Kacsmaryk’s ruling on hold.
- Justice Samuel Alito, who fields emergency requests from the 5th Circuit, put Kacsmaryk’s order on hold until 11:59 p.m., EDT, on Wednesday, April 19. Alito’s order, known as an administrative stay, preserves the status quo until the justices can rule on the requests from the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories; it does not reflect the justices’ views on the merits of those requests.
- My Faith Votes quickly joined a coalition that submitted a brief to SCOTUS yesterday, urging the Court to uphold the district court’s order staying the FDA’s unlawful approval of the drug. The FDA’s approval of the abortion pill was itself tainted by politics. There is evidence that the FDA ignored safety problems and failed to properly study the risks of mifepristone. First approved under the Clinton administration, mifepristone is used to abort unborn babies up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy – although some abortionists use it later. A recent study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015.
- Pregnancy is not an illness to be cured. The abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease. The pill is specifically designed and intended to kill preborn children and it was raced to the market with devastating consequences
With the SCOTUS deadline today, pray for the justices as they consider what is before them. There are so many moving parts to these cases so it’s important to keep in constant prayer for all those involved as lives hang in the balance to these decisions. America’s founding creed proclaims, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” The Declaration says we are “created” equal, not “born” equal. We are endowed by our “Creator”—not our mother—with “certain inalienable rights,” the first of which is “life.” May our justice system honor what God set forth and what our Declaration proclaims.
Today, we see everything that has to do with life and godliness being arbitrated through the court systems. It's challenging to understand how judges and justices are placed into positions of authority and how they’ve come to have so much influence over our daily lives. Download and share this free resource we’ve created for you that helps you understand and pray for the American Justice Systems.
Pentagon Leak Sparks Debate Over Security Clearances, Classified Information
“Amid fallout from a major leak of U.S. classified military intelligence, voices across the spectrum are questioning why a 21-year-old Air Force National Guardsman had access to such sensitive information. Jack Teixeira was arrested Thursday on suspicion of leaking intelligence; he reportedly shared the documents in a private online group chat with 20-30 other people. Teixeira worked as a cyber transport systems specialist in the National Guard. An FBI affidavit in his case reportedly states that he ‘holds a Top-Secret security clearance, which was granted in 2021.’” read more at AllSides
- Attorney General Merrick Garland, in announcing the arrest on Thursday, did not explain how a junior airman would have gained access to these documents. Pentagon officials also have emphasized that the department has strict guidelines on how to safeguard classified documents.
- What are the potential consequences? Because most of the leaked documents concern the war in Ukraine, it could complicate Ukraine’s spring offensive against Russia. It also potentially exposed America’s intelligence sources within Russia and other hostile nations. One document claims the U.S. has special forces inside Ukraine. The contents have sparked concern that the Biden Administration is not being honest with the American people about how involved the U.S. is with the war in Ukraine, and that this has turned into a proxy war without a formal declaration from Congress.
- My Faith Votes spokesman Lt. Col Allen West stated, “The leaking of classified information is a serious matter and threat to the security of our Nation. Having served 22 years in the military I held top level clearances and commanded soldiers who did as well. This is about standards as well as accountability and responsibility commensurate with respective duties. Perhaps our military should get back to the fundamentals of leadership and stop focusing on cultural Marxism along with some policies of gender dysphoria and now gender mutilation surgeries on military dependent children. This recent intelligence security breach and leak is a reflection on the diminishing good order and discipline in our Armed Forces.”
- It’s not just the military that can benefit from good order and discipline. In 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Paul instructs young Timothy, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him…” If we heed Paul’s instruction, we will walk in integrity in our personal and professional lives and leave an example for others.
Take this opportunity to pray for the men and women in our armed forces. Pray for their salvation, protection, integrity, courage, and wisdom. Pray for wisdom and discretion for our leaders, including Congress, regarding our military involvement.
Military service can create physical, mental, and spiritual injuries. Scripture engagement has proven to rebuild and restore resiliency, heal trauma, and offer hope. Armed Services Ministry, a part of the American Bible Society, offers free resources for the spiritual growth of service members and their families. Their goal is to guide spiritual transformation in the military community. Take a look and consider who might be blessed by these resources.
Rep. Mace: GOP Tone-Deaf on Abortion
“Republican politicians must stop burying their ‘heads in the sand’ about abortion if the party wants to win elections again, Rep. Nancy Mace told ‘Fox News Sunday.’ The South Carolina Republican said her colleagues must move to the center on the issue, particularly criticizing anti-abortion policies that don't give clear exceptions for rape and incest or that do not offer solutions for women seeking OB-GYN care. ‘We need to find a middle ground on this issue, and I have a great pro-life voting record,’ Mace said. ‘But some of the stances we take — and especially when it comes to rape and incest, protecting the life of the mother — it's so extreme that middle, independent voters, right of center, left of center, they cannot support us.’” read more at Newsmax
- Representative Mace’s argument for these exceptions is largely based on political strategy. Christians engaging in politics should be strategic (think, “wise as serpents”), but never at the expense of principle (“innocent as doves”). The problem with making exceptions for rape and incest is that it betrays the foundational principle supporting any pro-life law: the unborn are innocent human beings, and it is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
- This doesn’t mean it is necessarily wrong to vote for legislation with rape and incest exceptions if the alternative is no pro-life bill at all. However, to be truly, consistently pro-life, we can’t claim such exceptions are an acceptable middle ground and should work to eliminate them in the future.
- But what about the potential political consequences? I appreciate the name “My Faith Votes” because it reminds us to look to God in the midst of politics. The Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” mentions some political figures “who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice,” and achieved victories improbable without God’s help. It also mentions those who paid a price for their faith because their culture rejected God. We shouldn’t worry about which group we may fall into, but rather ask ourselves whether we belong in the “Hall of Faith” at all.
- Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Heartbeat Protection Act into law which prohibits abortions after six weeks with some exceptions, including rape, incest and if the life of the mother is in danger. It also includes $25 million to expand the Florida Pregnancy Care Network, which offers pregnancy support services statewide, and $5 million for programs that promote the use of contraception.
- Meanwhile, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly sadly vetoed a bill that would protect newborns who survive abortions from infanticide. However, this Born-Alive Infants Protection Act passed with bipartisan support, and the legislature may have enough votes to override Kelly’s veto. Our friends at the Abortion Survivors Network estimate that 1,734 babies live through abortions each year and a total of 85,817 have survived an abortion.
- In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to expand abortions and limit pregnancy resources that help mothers choose life for their unborn babies. He also signed a bill that censors pregnancy resource centers and denies women the life-saving abortion pill reversal treatment by subjecting medical providers to potential fines or loss of their medical licenses. However, a Catholic pro-life medical provider sued the state on religious liberty grounds, and a federal judge has blocked the provision from affecting that clinic while their case proceeds.
- Hot and cold, good and evil. Rich Lowry noted, “There has been a sorting out toward a new political and policy equilibrium, with red and blue states occupying different poles of the spectrum, and purple states up for grabs…There is broad sentiment for more restrictions than existed under Roe, but location and specifics matter immensely.”
Nearly thirteen million babies worldwide have lost their lives to abortion so far this year. This number is equivalent to the populations of West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming—combined. In the US, nearly 20 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. As you pray, remember that this is a spiritual battle. Pray against the deception that ensnares so many. And thank God for every victory.
Communicating the truth about life can be done in creative and impactful ways. Because of a new law passed this year, North Dakota students will be shown a medically accurate, high-definition video in their classroom on preborn human development. It is fascinating and beautifully produced. I encourage you to watch and share this video with your friends, especially the young people in your life.
Incidents of Teen Unrest Led to Violence in Chicago, Los Angeles
“A disturbance of teenagers on the streets of Southern California led to looting and vandalism at a nearby gas station, one of the multiple unrests across the country involving young people. A mob of roughly 100 teens broke into a Compton, California gas station early Sunday morning, filing in and grabbing everything in sight. In Chicago, hundreds of young people flooded streets downtown Friday and Saturday night, drawing a large police presence. Teens were seen jumping on cars and in at least two cases, punching and kicking someone on the ground. Amid the unrest, two teens were shot, and 15 were arrested.” read more at News Nation
- Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, who takes office May 15, was criticized for his statement about the mayhem, saying “In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw in the Loop and lakefront this weekend…However, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”
- Illinois state senator Robert Peters, who represents parts of Chicago, defended the Chicago "Teen Takeover" stating, “I would look at the behavior of young people as a political act and statement. It’s a mass protest against poverty and segregation.”
- Where were the parents? Outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot noted in a statement. “Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home.”
- Political theorist Hannah Arendt noted that every generation, civilization is invaded by barbarians – we call them children. She wasn’t making an excuse for their behavior but issuing a challenge to their parents. In Scripture, we read how parents are to called to hone their child’s passions and shape their character so that selfish barbarians might become selfless warriors.
- Politicians and pundits continue to misdiagnose the root cause of social collapse as an absence of goods and services. As Mayor-elect Johnson suggested, a solution to the problem is to “create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly.” They also neglect that fact it starts in the heart and at home.
- There is scholarly evidence that suggests that at the heart of the explosion of crime and unrest in America is the loss of the capacity of fathers and mothers to be responsible in caring for the children they bring into the world. This loss of love and guidance at the intimate levels of marriage and family has broad social consequences for children and for the wider community. Evidence shows that too many young men and women from broken families tend to have a much weaker sense of connection with their neighborhood and are prone to exploit its members to satisfy their unmet needs or desires. This contributes to a loss of a sense of community and to the disintegration of neighborhoods into social chaos and violent crime.
- Society doesn’t civilize the barbarians. The government doesn't either. That’s what families do. Other mediating institutions and organizations certainly do important work (like Pastor Corey Brooks in Chicago) and they can fix some of the problems that come from an unstable home life, but all you have to do is talk to any teacher or social worker to appreciate that everything starts in the home.
Lord, being a parent is an incredible blessing. Help parents to understand that our role isn’t simply to love, protect, and provide for our children but we also need to be faithfully instructing, correcting, disciplining, and guiding them. Help parents realize the weight of our role and that You will hold us accountable for how we love and lead the precious ones You put into our care. We ask You for wisdom, patience, and courage to raise children for Your glory.
We often forget that we have an enemy who will do everything in his power to destroy our families. We can’t sit idly by and watch it happen. It starts with each of us. If you're a parent with children still living at home, commit to removing the distractions (put the phone down, clear the calendar) on a regular basis to spend intentional, quality time together. Our children need us to model that for them. If you don’t have children at home, consider getting connected in some capacity with the youth at your church. The role of godly individuals in the life of a child cannot be understated! Ask your church how you can help…I’m sure they’ve got the perfect place for you to be serving in the body of Christ.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.