This Saturday, March 29, is HOBBY LOBBY DAY: Show Your Support for Religious Freedom

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard two very important religious liberty cases – Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the Hahn family, owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, are taking a stand against the HHS mandate, a controversial portion of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that forces employers to provide abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives to their employees against their firmly held religious convictions. Both companies face fines of up to $100 per day per employee if the mandate is upheld.

The SCOTUS decision on these cases is not expected until at least June.  Family Research Council provides a summary of the SCOTUS hearings HERE.

This Saturday, March 29, is national “Hobby Lobby Day.”  Show your support for the Greene family and others who are courageously taking a stand for religious freedom.

HOW YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT:

  1. Make a purchase from Hobby Lobby on Saturday, March 29 (on-line or in the store). go shopping with friends!  Say “thank you” with a card from your family; make your own, or download and print one HERE.
  2. Change your Facebook profile picture to show your support.  Get your “twibbon” HERE.
  3. Do you have a Twitter account? Tweet your support using hashtags #HobbyLobbyDay starting now and throughout the day on March 29th!
  4. Update your Facebook cover using the graphic HERE.
  5. Pray for a positive outcome from the SCOTUS decision for these companies, and for religious liberty in the United States.

Congress Did the Right Thing; Quit Insulting Women

VICTORY FOR LIFE! This week, the House voted 227-188 to ban taxpayer funding of abortions under HR7.

ImageWisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling applauds Congress, “It’s encouraging to see a bill of this nature pass in Congress.  At a minimum, taxpayer money should not be used to pay for this procedure.  Abortion is not health care, and we need to quit insulting women by pretending that it is.”

HOW WISCONSIN VOTED:

The Wisconsin delegation voted along party lines, with 4 Republicans voting in favor and the 3 Democrats voting against the bill. Republican Tom Petri did not vote.

Paul Ryan – Yes

Mark Pocan – No

Ron Kind – No

Gwen Moore – No

Tom Petri – Did not vote

Jim Sensenbrenner – Yes

Sean Duffy – Yes

Reid Ribble – Yes

State Group Pleased with Assembly’s Pro-Life, Pro-Liberty Actions: Good Day for Wisconsin

Wisconsin Family Action supports the 3 bills the State Assembly Moved Forward

MADISON — “We moved the pro-life, pro-liberty ball forward yesterday in Wisconsin,” says Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.

ImageThe State Assembly yesterday passed three bills that Wisconsin Family Action supported.  Among the bills was Senate Bill 206, known as Sonya’s Law.  This bill requires that a woman seeking an abortion in Wisconsin have an ultrasound prior to the abortion.

Appling explains, “Sonya’s Law is about making sure women in a crisis situation are fully informed about the baby they are carrying before they take the final step in what is nearly always an irreversible decision.”

An unofficial survey of various places around Wisconsin that offer free ultrasounds to pregnant women shows that an abdominal ultrasound is readily available. 

Senate Bill was authored by Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and Representative Pat Strachota (R-West Bend) and passed on party line votes in both the Senate and the Assembly. The bill is awaiting gubernatorial action.

The Assembly also took up Assembly Bill 216 or the “Conscience bill,” authored by Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) and Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend).  This bill restores religious freedom protection for certain religious institutions that want to provide insurance coverage that does not include abortion and/or contraception. Current law requires any insurance company to provide an insurance plan that includes abortion and contraception, with no religious exemption.  This bill also prohibits taxpayer funds from paying for abortions for state/public employees.

Assembly Bill 217, authored by Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) and Representative Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) prohibits sex-selective abortions in Wisconsin, meaning a woman cannot have an abortion simply because she is not happy with the sex of the baby. 

Both Assembly Bill 216 and Assembly Bill 217 passed on party-line votes in the Assembly. The Senate has had public hearings on both bills, but neither bill has been scheduled for a vote.

“Anytime we protect human life and respect religious freedom in our state legislature, it’s a good day for Wisconsin,” noted Appling. 

.

Wisconsin Family Action Testifies in Favor of Two Pro-Life Bills

Julaine Appling testifies in support of two pro-life bills, AB 216 and AB 217, on May 29, 2013.

Julaine Appling testifies in support of two pro-life bills, AB 216 and AB 217, on May 29, 2013.

Wisconsin Family Action testified in support of two pro-life bills on Wednesday, May 29.  The Assembly Committee on Health held a public hearing on AB 216 and AB 217. Our friends at Wisconsin Right To Life were the lead pro-life group working on these bills.

AB 216, authored by Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere) and Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), protects taxpayers from paying for abortions for public employees and also establishes some protections for religious organizations in being able to offer health insurance that does not include abortion or contraception, if they elect not to do so based on their religious beliefs.

AB 217, authored by Rep. Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) and Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) bans and criminalizes sex-selective abortion in Wisconsin. It was more than a little interesting to watch the liberal representatives and pro-abortion groups defend their position against this bill.

Click here to read WFA’s testimony on AB 216 and 217.
Click here to watch the archive of the hearing on WisEye.

Several media outlets reported on the hearing:

May 29, 2013 – WFA quoted on pro-life bills under consideration in legislature.
San Francisco Chronicle (AP article picked up by many newspapers)
Wisconsin Public Rado
Madison.com

WFA Signs On to Letter in Support of Religious Liberty/”Health Care Conscience Rights” Bill

Along with numerous other pro-religious freedom organizations, Wisconsin Family Action has signed the letter to the U.S. House of Representatives urging the passage of the Health Care Conscience Rights ActImage (HCCRA) introduced by U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN).  Read this breaking press release from our friends at Family Research Council:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2013
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397

FRC Urges Congress to Pass Health Care Conscience Rights Act
March 05, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN – Family Research Council (FRC) hosted a news conference at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee today to discuss the need for conscience protections for religious business owners and individuals from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate on abortion-causing drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives. FRC President Tony Perkins and FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin were joined by Janet Parshall, radio host for Moody Radio, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. of Hope Christian Church and Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), to discuss the HHS mandate that employers cover abortion-causing drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives in their health insurance plans, even if those employers have religious convictions against such coverage.

During the press conference, Perkins expressed support for the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA), introduced yesterday by U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to protect the religious liberties of anyone who purchases health insurance, including non-profits, businesses and individuals, as well as providing greater protections for health care workers who refuse to participate in abortion. Rep. Black joined the press conference at NRB by video.

In a letter earlier this week FRC and other organizations urged U.S. House of Representatives leaders to include conscience protection language in the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently before Congress.

Of the conscience bill and the CR, Perkins said:

“We are disappointed that the Health Care Conscience Rights Act wasn’t placed in the Continuing Resolution, but we continue to urge Members to push for its inclusion. This bill’s language must be included in must-pass legislation to ensure that the First Amendment-guaranteed religious liberties of all Americans are protected. Failure to include it will result in thousands of religious organizations being forced to comply or face severe fines for maintaining their religious convictions.”

To hear audio of today’s press conference, click here.

To read the letter to U.S. House of Representatives leaders, click here.

Wisconsin Family Action Files with 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Grote v Sebelius

Press release from Wisconsin Family Action 02/27/2013:

Wisconsin Family Action Files Friend of Court Brief on 

HHS Contraceptive Mandates

Pro-family group files with 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Grote v. Sebelius

MADISON— Wisconsin Family Action late yesterday filed a friend of the court brief in Grote v. Sebelius, a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dealing with the federal abortion pill mandate.

This federal mandate requires that employee health plans, with some limited exceptions, include FDA-approved contraception, even “contraception” that can result in the death of a human embryo. Many religious business owners oppose being forced to facilitate contraception—particularly abortifacients—that are contrary to their religious conscience.

The government has been arguing vigorously that corporations don’t have the right to exercise religion.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, notes, “WFA lays out in this brief the legal and philosophical reasons supporting the position that First Amendment religious liberty is not just for purely religious organizations but is also for for-profit corporations run by people who have closely held religious beliefs. The federal government should not be violating the religious freedom of these business owners by mandating that they purchase health insurance that includes abortifacient drugs and even sterilization procedures for their employees.”

Read the brief here.