WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - AUGUST 23, 2023
In this week's Intersect, read about:
US Appeals Court Backs Abortion Pill Restrictions; Supreme Court Appeal Planned
“Access to the abortion pill mifepristone must be restricted, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday, ordering a ban on telemedicine prescriptions and shipments of the drug by mail, though the decision will not immediately take effect. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped short of ruling that the drug must be pulled off the market altogether, as a lower court had done. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice said that the Biden administration will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.” read more at Reuters
- Numerous pro-life organizations, including My Faith Votes, had urged the Fifth Circuit to uphold a district court ruling that rescinded the FDA’s approval of mifepristone entirely. Unfortunately, their ruling did not go that far. Although one of the three judges said he would have pulled the abortion pill from the market, the other two judges believed it was too late to challenge the FDA’s approval from 2000.
- Even though this ruling will not take effect until the Supreme Court reviews it, it is a massively consequential step in the fight for life since the abortion pill is now the most common method of killing an unborn child. Dr. Ingrid Skop, a board-certified OB/GYN related that she has personally treated many women for complications from the abortion pill regimen. “The evidence that abortion pills are dangerous is overwhelming—and by approving them, the FDA chose a radical political agenda over women's health,” she wrote. Her extensive research on the harm caused by the abortion pill, as well as the real-world data ignored by the FDA, formed the basis of the primary scientific amicus brief filed in this lawsuit.
- This is an area where public sentiment might be swayed with more information. Polling conducted by CRC Research for Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America shows that 56% of registered voters consider the FDA “untrustworthy” after discovering the agency fast-tracked the abortion pill regimen using its accelerated drug approval authority by calling pregnancy a “life-threatening illness.”
Join me in praying that in the months to come the Supreme Court will rule rightly in this case, that many lives will be saved, and hearts will be changed. “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)
Jason Yates, My Faith Votes CEO, recently talked with Dr. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician for over 30 years. Dr. Skop has seen women who have been harmed by abortion, including chemical abortion. In this eye-opening conversation you will be confronted with the reality of what mifepristone does to the baby in the womb and the mother. This “safe as Tylenol” pill is truly a prescription that kills the baby and harms the mother. Please watch and share the video; this is how we begin to change minds.
1,000 School Districts Adopt Policies to Hide Students' Chosen Gender Identities from Parents
“More than 1,000 school districts across the United States have adopted policies that permit or advise personnel to withhold information from parents about their child's desire to identify as trans or nonbinary, according to the advocacy group Parents Defending Education. At least 1,040 districts, representing 18,335 schools with more than 10.7 million students, have ‘Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Policies’ that openly state district personnel can or should keep a student’s gender identity status hidden from parents, says the report.” read more at the Christian Post
- Why would anyone want to keep parents from knowing that their child is questioning his or her gender? Should we believe school personnel know what’s right for children better than their own parents? Who did God entrust with the responsibility of raising children: the government, or parents?
- “[I]f we have the ability to do so, we must engage with people and systems that view this parental deception as good for children,” Meg Kilgannon of Family Research Council stated. “Obviously, something is very wrong if some people can believe the answer is government first, parents second or never.”
- One of the most effective ways to engage is through voting in your state and local elections. North Carolina scored an encouraging win for families last week: lawmakers in the state legislature overrode democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s vetoes on three measures protecting children from the harms of gender confusion. Two of them related to school policy.
- Sometimes, protection for parental rights is won at the state level. Other times, at the district level. While continuing to vote all the way down your ballot, prayerfully consider where God might be calling you to go beyond voting in defense of our God-given rights for the good of children.
As we say often, behind every political battle is a spiritual battle. Let’s take Ephesians 6:18 seriously, praying “at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” As we enter the school year, I strongly encourage you to download our resource to help you prayer walk your school with fellow believers. It includes many prayer prompts to help you specifically intercede for parents, students, and teachers.
We’ve created a free eBook, Know Your Child’s School, to help Christian parents and grandparents like you understand the changing landscape of public education. We also provide you with practical steps you can take to identify what is happening in your child’s school and position you to influence the governance of your local public school(s) and protect your children. Download and share this free eBook today!
Congress Races Against Time to Prevent Government Shutdown Amid Recess and Rising Partisanship
“Lawmakers are running down to the wire to come to an agreement on government funding bills before a shutdown as both chambers are in recess, which will leave the House with about three weeks to find and pass the 12 appropriations bills that fund the government before the deadline. Congress has until Sept. 30 to reach a deal to fund the government through the next fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1.” read more at WHAM News
- The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers in the House, outlined Monday what conditions would need to be met for it to vote for a new spending bill. The group said spending bills should include provisions on border security, the “unprecedented weaponization” of the Justice Department and the FBI, and the Pentagon’s “cancerous woke policies.” The conservative lawmakers also oppose “any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill.” The Freedom Caucus specifically is calling for any spending bill to include the Secure the Border Act, which passed the House in May on a largely party-line vote of 219-213.
- House Speaker McCarthy has repeatedly vowed that he won’t take up an “omnibus” spending package — when all 12 spending bills are rolled into one mammoth piece of legislation. But he hasn’t ruled out pairing some bills together into several smaller packages. The short-term spending fix has looked increasingly necessary as the House struggled to clear funding legislation in July. The chamber passed only one of its 12 full-year bills and had to punt a second amid divisions within the conference.
- Here we go again. This seems to be a dangerous standard that our government has set. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, since Congress introduced the modern budget process in 1976, there have been 20 “funding gaps” and 4 “true” shutdowns where operations were affected for more than one business day. The fourth shutdown in December 2018 and January 2019 centered on a dispute over border wall funding and was the longest-lasting shutdown at 35 days.
Pray for our elected representatives in Congress to find common ground to solve both the funding bills to avoid a government shutdown and the security crisis at the border. Pray they would put any pride, or efforts for political gain aside and instead act in the best interest of the American people.
Take 2 minutes and send a message to your US Representative and Senators, letting them know that border security should be a top priority as they consider spending. You can use this easy tool right here.
Trump Says He Won't Take Part in Republican Debates
“Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would skip the upcoming Republican primary debates, citing his large lead in opinion polls as evidence that he was already well-known and liked by voters ahead of the 2024 election. Trump has for months suggested he would likely pass on Wednesday night's debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, arguing that it did not make sense to give his Republican rivals a chance to attack him given his sizeable lead in national polls.” read more at Reuters
- The first debate kicks off tonight, August 23, at 9pm ET on FOX News Media platforms. FL Gov. Ron DeSantis, former SC Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, former NJ Gov. Chris Christie, SC Sen. Tim Scott, conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, ND Gov. Doug Burgum and former AR Gov. Asa Hutchinson have qualified to participate. To qualify, candidates needed to meet polling and donor requirements set by the RNC, as well as sign a loyalty pledge vowing that they will support the eventual Republican nominee in 2024.
- Research indicates that political debates generally don’t change the opinions of the electorate, but they do remind people why they like their candidate. But beware of being consumed by politics. David Brooks recently highlighted research that found Americans are increasingly finding their purpose and worth in politics. “In psychically healthy societies, people fight over the politics of distribution: How high should taxes be? How much money should go to social programs for the poor and the elderly? We’ve shifted focus from the politics of redistribution to the politics of recognition. Political movements are fueled by resentment, by feelings that society does not respect or recognize me…The person practicing the politics of recognition is not trying to get resources for himself or his constituency; he is trying to admire himself. He’s trying to use politics to fill the hole in his soul. It doesn’t work.” Our worth isn’t tied to our political victories but rather to the God who has already declared victory. This doesn’t mean we abstain from the political process, but it does mean we should approach the public square with a different mentality–one of service to God and others.
- Tonight, during the debate we’ll be live-posting with our commentary on X, formerly known as Twitter. You can find us and join along here.
Pray for God to give you and Christians across the nation His wisdom as we listen to all of the proposals and policies presented by the presidential candidates (James 1:5). Pray for Christians to think about issues not from a partisan perspective but from a biblical perspective.
More than 15 million Christians in the United States are not even registered to vote. Now is the time to change that by engaging Christians at your church. It’s not too late to approach your pastor or church leadership about participating in National Voter Registration Sunday on September 17, 2023. That day is also Constitution Day, providing one more reason to celebrate our freedoms by ensuring Christians are registered to vote. Download your free toolkit here.
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.