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Missouri Family E-News

June 16, 2015

Court Says Pro-Life Message is "Offensive"  

A federal appeals court has ruled that the State of New York may prohibit the issuance of "Choose Life" license plates.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decided that plates with the message "Choose Life" could be considered "patently offensive."

A pro-adoption group called the Children First Foundation had applied to the New York Division of Motor Vehicles for approval of a specialty license plate with the "Choose Life" message.

Like similar plates in other states including Missouri, the design of the plate includes a drawing of the faces of a boy and a girl in front of a yellow sun.

New York motor vehicle officials denied the application, saying that they wished "to avoid any appearance of governmental support for either side in the divisive national abortion debate."

The Department also invoked a policy that allows it to deny plates that are "patently offensive" in their content.  Such regulations are usually established to prohibit messages that are obscene or pornographic.

The State also claimed their action was necessary to prevent road rage.  Officials stated they "will not place an instrument on public roadways which may engender violent discourse among drivers."

The 2nd Circuit panel has now upheld that decision in a 2-1 ruling.  Judge Rosemary Pooler wrote in her decision that many residents of New York were likely to find the pro-life message "patently offensive."

Judge Pooler also stated in her opinion that residents of New York who wanted to communicate their pro-life sentiments were free to affix a bumper sticker to their vehicle.

Judge Debra Ann Livingston dissented from the ruling.  She argued that the federal court was granting Department of Motor Vehicles officials the authority to suppress any viewpoints they don't like.

Jeremy Tedesco, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, decried the court's ruling.  "The state doesn't have the authority to target [these] specialty license plates for censorship based on their life-affirming viewpoint."

"Pro-adoption organizations should have the same speech rights as any other organization," Tedesco continued.  "The circuit court has denied free speech in favor of government censorship."

The 2nd Circuit decision does not impact the continuing issuance of "Choose Life" license plates in Missouri.  The design of the Missouri plate is somewhat different, depicting a young boy and a young girl holding hands.

You can learn more about how to obtain a "Choose Life" license plate in our state by visiting this website:
Choose Life Missouri 

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U.S. Blood Supply
In Jeopardy from
FDA Rule Change

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is plowing forward with plans to jeopardize the nation's blood supply by allowing homosexual men to become blood donors.

The FDA has proposed new rules that would eliminate the current policy that prohibits blood donations by men who have sex with other men, which has been in place since 1977.  The policy was instituted during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.

Under pressure from the "gay rights" activists, the FDA is planning to relax current restrictions to allow donations from homosexual men who claim they have "abstained" from homosexual conduct during the prior year.  The FDA has is receiving public comments on the policy change through July, at which time the agency will be free to implement the new guidelines.

The public health reasons for the FDA's current policy are stated clearly on the agency's own website.  "FDA's primary responsibility with regard to blood and blood products is to assure the safety of patients who receive these life-saving products...Men who have sex with men are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B, and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion."

The FDA's own website further explains that while men who have sex with men represent approximately 2% of the U.S. population,  they account for at least 61% of all new HIV infections in the United States.  77% of all diagnosed HIV infections in males were attributable to "male-to-male sexual contact."  The website further points out that the largest increases in HIV incidence are among homosexuals aged 13 to 24 years, an age group more likely to donate blood.

Despite all of this evidence, groups like the American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and America's Blood Centers support the change.  They argue that the ban on homosexual blood donors is somehow "medically and scientifically unwarranted."  They contend that all blood donations in the United States are screened for HIV infection.

However, medicine and science tell us there is approximately 10-day window of time between infection and when the virus can be detected in the bloodstream.   The FDA's own website states that during the window period, "current HIV testing methods cannot detect all infections...A person could test negative, even when they are actually HIV positive and infectious."

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for public policy studies at the Family Research Council, says that the FDA's actions are irresponsible.  "It is shocking that the FDA rushing to a politically correct decision demanded by homosexual activist groups.  The risks [of HIV infection] certainly justify the highest level of vigilance, and political and social concerns must not be allowed to trump the public health."
Not surprisingly, homosexual rights groups are unhappy with the policy revision, saying that it doesn't go far enough.  "Some may believe this is a step forward, but in reality, requiring celibacy for a year is a de facto lifetime ban," says the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization.

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, says the current rule is not a matter of prejudice, but of precaution.  "A growing chorus of liberals is willing to taint the U.S. blood banks to make a political point.  If the FDA wants to protect people's health, it has to be selective.  The government cannot afford to contaminate the blood that homosexuals feel 'more accepted' in society."

Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says that the proposal to lift the ban is "public policy madness."  "Rather than deal with the elephant in the room--actual homosexual conduct, which should be discouraged as a health hazard--politicians and bureaucratic elites, pressured by LGBT activists, are willing to risk the best interest of society."

Corey Durbin, founder of a group called the Committee of Ten Thousand, says that repeal of the ban is "a leap of faith" because "too many questions in science are unanswerable."  Corey's group is composed mainly of persons with hemophilia who contracted HIV/AIDS from tainted blood products.

You can comment on the FDA's proposed rule change for blood donations by using this link to the FDA website:
FDA Website

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