The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Archive for May 2008

Pro-Choice No Longer

leave a comment »

I have read a fair number of arguments for abortion, but rarely do I see such a vitriolic stump against life as I did with Bettijaine Burger’s article (Gazette/Mail, 5/18/08, “Situations Justify Abortions”) last week.

Those of us who advocate for life do so because we believe that no one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless. It was my thought that those calling themselves “pro-choice” were at least impliedly committed to life every once in a while. But, if Ms. Burger is any indication, it seems that they are increasingly becoming outright proponents of death.

Ms. Burger spends the majority of her article lamenting the stagnating lines of children waiting to be adopted, the false lack of concern pro-lifers have toward starvation and child abuse, while punting the documented racial motivations of groups like Planned Parenthood altogether.

But such emotionally charged arguments do not concern me nearly as much as her proposed solution – indeed, the solution for which she leads the cheers! According to Ms. Burger, how do we prevent starvation, abuse, and the dreaded inexperienced mom?

In a word: kill.

Rather than risk a teen-mother defy all odds and prove all detractors of her maturity wrong, Ms. Burger advocates killing the child within her.

Rather than risk potential starvation and the increased strain on welfare, Ms. Burger suggests we remove life from the lips of those who have been fed only via an umbilical cord.

Rather than risk post-partum depression, our teen girls should be, she says, encouraged to delete any life within them with impunity.

It strains credulity! What Ms. Burger has done has been to remove the politically palatable moniker of “pro-choice” from those who are actually proponents of death.

Madam, taking one life because you think it might improve another life is never justified.


Written by Jeremy Dys

May 22, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Life

Partial Birth Abortion

leave a comment »

Two articles came to our attention today that make an intriguing juxtaposition. By linking to and discussing these stories, we intend only to highlight the philosophical issues found in each and do not intend to endorse or detract from any political figure.

Story 1: Michelle Obama backs partial-birth abortion in a 2004 letter in support of her husband’s Senate bid. From the article:

The letter contends the federal ban on partial-birth abortions “is clearly unconstitutional” and “a flawed law.”

Though the three-day-long partial-birth abortion procedure involves the partial birth of a baby during the middle trimester of pregnancy and the jamming of scissors into the back of her head to kill her, Obama’s wife describes it as “legitimate” medicine.

“The fact remains, with no provision to protect the heath of the mother, this ban on a legitimate medical procedure is clearly unconstitutional and must be overturned,” Michelle Obama writes in the letter.

Story 2: Late-term aborted babies left to die slowly in UK. From the article:

The venerable Spectator, a leading British magazine of political news and commentary, has published excerpts from a letter from a British nurse who, in 2005, described babies surviving late-term abortions who are left to “gasp for breath for ten minutes on the side of a sink” until they die.

The nurse, identified only as “Kay” in a newspaper column, said, “I know of two nurses who went off work with stress as a result of their experience with late terminations. I suffered horrendous nightmares and guilt for months. The guilt comes from the fact that you as a nurse cut the umbilical cord and, as dramatic as it sounds, we felt like murderers.” In Britain, late term is defined as those abortions committed after 20 weeks gestation


In her letter, Kay said, “It is all too easy for people to picture a clump of cells or mush. People don’t want to picture perfectly-formed miniature babies and I don’t blame them, I was once the same.”

Is there really any need for additional commentary?

Written by Jeremy Dys

May 22, 2008 at 3:38 am

Posted in Life

Public Invocations

leave a comment »

By now, you may have heard that the Family Policy Council of WV and the Alliance Defense Fund issued a letter to the Charles Town City Council earlier this week.  (If you have not, visit our website where you can download both the letter and accompanying model policy.)

Our letter was far from condemnatory of the council’s action to insert a moment of silence, rather than their traditional opening prayer.  Instead, it is our intent to provide city councils and county commissions throughout West Virginia with a model policy that we believe will survive constitutional scrutiny, while allowing our leader to acknowledge West Virginia’s religious history.

While it appears that the ACLU or Americans United for the Separation of Church and State were not involved in this situation, their regular letters of intimidation addressed to local leaders nationwide is becoming more and more regular.  We can be sure that such plans are afoot.  Rather than wait for the inevitable, we recommend that our local leaders be prepared by adopting policies like the one sent to the Charles Town City Council this week.

Just because a Christian prays it does not mean prayers in public violate the Constitution.  On the contrary, the First Amendment allows our leaders to encourage public expressions of faith.

Written by Jeremy Dys

May 21, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Posted in Religious Freedom

ADF and FPC WV: WV Town Does Not Need to Abandon Invocations

leave a comment »

Letter sent to city officials proposes policy that will allow officials
to continue opening public meetings with prayer

CHARLES TOWN, W.V. — The Family Policy Council of West Virginia mailed a model prayer policy designed by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys to Charles Town officials Friday in the wake of a recent complaint over the city council’s tradition of starting its meetings with an invocation. Numerous communities across the nation have adopted the model policy.

“A prayer in public meetings shouldn’t be banned just because a Christian or religious person delivers it. The First Amendment allows public officials to acknowledge our nation’s religious heritage,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson. “The practice of opening public meetings with prayer has always been lawful. The Constitution protects public officials who choose to invoke divine guidance and blessings upon their work.”

The Charles Town City Council recently moved to allow for a moment of silence instead of a prayer after receipt of a complaint from one resident of the town.

“Just because someone claims they are ‘offended’ by hearing a public prayer does not mean the prayer has to be silenced,” said Jeremy Dys, president and general counsel of the FPC of West Virginia ( “Public officials throughout our country need to be encouraged and reminded that such invocations do not violate the Constitution. This policy, which is also available for other communities, equips them to continue the cherished tradition of public invocations in a constitutional manner.”

Because of increasing attacks against the tradition of opening government meetings with a public prayer, ADF attorneys have crafted a model invocations policy that addresses any constitutional concerns regarding such prayers. Versions of this policy have been adopted by government bodies in Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

To download a copy of the letter sent to the Charles Town City Council, along with the model policy for public invocations, visit our website:

Written by Jeremy Dys

May 20, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Posted in Religious Freedom

Phill Kline Interview, parts 2 and 3

leave a comment »

Written by Jeremy Dys

May 17, 2008 at 3:32 am

Posted in Life

Statement on Decision of the California Supreme Court

leave a comment »

Statement of Jeremiah G. Dys, President and General Counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, on the California Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Proposition 22:

“There are 36 million people in California. Eight years ago, 4 million of them voted – 61.4% of the vote – to define marriage as, “between a man and a woman.” On Thursday, 4 Californians defied millions of votes and petitions to redefine marriage.

I have not had the opportunity to read all 172 pages of the court’s decision. But, I did find these two sentences from the majority opinion quite telling:

We cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest. Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.

Friends, if marriage is not a “compelling interest” for the state, what is?

What is especially troubling to me, as a West Virginian, is to think that the law the people of California voted to be governed by and that was struck down by judges, mirrors the language of the law protecting our marriages in West Virginia. When judges make law instead of abiding by the laws written by those who put them in office, families are put squarely at risk.

The only solution to affirmatively defend marriage is to amend the Constitution of the State of West Virginia to define marriage as between one man and one woman. We must elect leaders – judges included – who will make the family the first priority. Not an afterthought.”

Written by Jeremy Dys

May 16, 2008 at 1:59 am

Posted in Marriage

Phill Kline: Abortion Prosecutor

leave a comment »

You may not be familiar with the name Phill Kline, but he is quickly becoming the stuff of legends.

While in the Kansas legislature, Kline discovered evidence that George Tiller, infamous Kansan abortionist, was performing abortions in violation of Kansas law. When he presented this evidence to Kansas prosecutors and the Kansas attorney general, they refused to prosecute. So, Kline got himself elected as attorney general. Soon thereafter, he filed suit against Planned Parenthood and George Tiller – indicting them on several grounds ranging from simple violations of record-keeping to obstruction of justice.

Pro-abortion groups outside of Kansas then poured millions of dollars to oust Kline from office and put in his place a county prosecutor. In an odd twist of fate, Kline then ran for and secured the office just vacated by the county prosecutor. They switched places. Not only did they switch places, they switched prosecutions. The new attorney general dismissed the indictments Kline had filed. Kline, newly coiffed
in his county prosecutors office, re-indicted Planned Parenthood and George Tiller. The litigation continues today.

Posted below is part 1 in a series of 3 video interviews of Phill Kline by Focus on the Family news video commentary series, “Turn Signal.” Parts 2 and 3 will be posted here as they are made public.

Take the time to watch and listen to this man’s brave legal battle. You will be moved. (Link takes you to video on

A Kansas Attorney Takes on the Abortion Industry (Part 1 of 3)

Written by Jeremy Dys

May 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Life