TAKE ACTION NOW Against Bills That Funnel Taxpayer $ to Anti-Choice Fake Health Centers

Mirror bills HB2759 and S1547  just passed committee and will likely be heard on the floor this evening. We need your voice to stop them on the floor.
Please contact your own legislators as well as targeted Republicans Rep. Steve Pierce (LD-1) [602-926-5584 | spierce@azleg.gov] and Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (LD-28) [602-926-4486 | kbrophymcgee@azleg.gov] before the bill is heard on the floor this evening.
You may use Phone2Action here or call your lawmakers directly.
What are these bills? They appropriate $2.5M for three years (total $7.5M) to anti-abortion organizations providing services to pregnant women and women with young children. Read for yourself: apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/471431
We oppose the bills on these grounds:
  • They give away $7.5 million in taxpayer funds to unlicensed fake pregnancy centers— faux healthcare facilities designed only to convince women not to have abortions, often with misleading or inaccurate information.
  • The bills are only a few paragraphs long. They do not require the state to provide any oversight of how the money it is being spent, or how effective the programs are (even in stopping abortions).
  • The bills do not require the facilities to be licensed. (Most fake pregnancy centers are not.)
  • Similar programs have already proven extremely wasteful and ineffective, even from a pro-life standpoint. A similar Texas program providing millions to an anti-abortion organization known a Heidi Group was shut down last year and faces investigation into questionable billing after the group only served 5% of the number of women it promised.

Please make sure to indicate in your message any areas of expertise you may have. Keep in mind lawmakers are already familiar with anti-abortion rhetoric; our most effective messages this time will be about the bills’ extreme fiscal irresponsibility.

10 Ways Fake Women’s Health Centers Cause Harm:

  1. LYING ABOUT MEDICAL FACTS: Fake women’s health centers give women false, incomplete, or inaccurate medical information, including claiming that abortions pose health risks such as infertility, breast cancer, and birth defects in future pregnancies. As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has repeatedly stated, there is no evidence whatsoever to support these medically inaccurate and deliberately misleading claims.
  2. SETTING UP SHOP NEAR REAL HEALTH CARE FACILITIES: Many fake women’s health centers set-up near comprehensive clinics that offer abortions, and choose similar names for themselves to confuse women and their families.
  3. PUSHING WOMEN PAST IMPORTANT DEADLINES: Decisions about a pregnancy are time-sensitive. Fake women’s health centers postpone appointments or give women inaccurate due dates, hoping to push people past the legal limit for abortion. They also tell women that they may not even need an abortion because 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, suggesting they wait it out.
  4. DECEPTIVE INTERIORS: After fake women’s health centers have successfully lured pregnant women to their facilities, they disguise their interiors to further deceive women that they will receive comprehensive care. Anti-choice leader Johnson also advised centers: “that waiting rooms should feel like ‘professional environments’ instead of ‘grandma’s house,’ and discouraged crucifixes, fake flowers, and mauve paint before showing slides of Planned Parenthood waiting rooms and encouraging staff to make their centers look just as ‘beautiful and up-to-date,’ especially if they have a ‘medical model,’ meaning they offer sonograms and other medical services. Johnson also said pregnancy center staff should mirror Planned Parenthood’s language.”
  5. DECEPTIVE WEBSITES: ​Fake women’s health centers use deceptive websites to trick women into believing they are comprehensive health care clinics, and particularly target
    women seeking out abortion services. Lauren Chenoweth, a former media specialist at Heartbeat International said, “[Women are] going to Google ‘abortion,’ or they’re going to Google ‘abortion services’ or ‘pregnancy help,’ and that’s why we want to focus on our websites…We want to be strategic in getting them to our centers​.”
  6. DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING: Fake women’s health centers use aggressive advertising tricks including geo-targeting and search optimization to lure women into their clinics. Anti-choice movement leader, Abby Johnson, said at a training for fake women’s health centers: “Women seeking abortions, women that are pregnant, that are vulnerable, they are going into Google and they are typing ‘pregnancy symptoms.’ There’s a way in Google where you can basically set that search to your website… We want to look professional… business-like. And, yeah, we do kind of want to look medical. The best client you ever get is one that thinks they’re walking into an abortion clinic.”
  7. HIDING AVAILABLE SERVICES: Even when directly asked, fake women’s health centers do not disclose that they do not offer abortion services. Instead, fake women’s health centers staff are trained to deflect the question. Some fake women’s health centers even market pre-abortion appointments, offering free ultrasounds to draw people to their clinics. However, in many states the pre-abortion ultrasound must take place at the abortion provider. Many also advertise that they provide “abortion counseling,” leading women to believe that they may be an abortion provider or refer women for abortion care.
  8. UNNECESSARY AND INVASIVE ULTRASOUNDS: Even the “licensed” fake women’s health centers provide minimal medical care – just pregnancy tests and invasive ultrasounds that are used to manipulate women by showing the fetus or detecting a heartbeat. Though the FDA warns that there are risks associated with ultrasounds and they should only be performed for medical purposes, fake women’s health centers ignore those risks and commonly subject women to unnecessary or duplicative ultrasounds, just for show. Some fake women’s health centers consider higher-energy Doppler or trans-vaginal ultrasounds — which provide audio or clearer imaging — their “Hail Mary” tool, even though these procedures are not routinely done by real doctors except when medically necessary. During the ultrasound, fake women’s health centers misrepresent how far along a pregnancy is as a way to mislead the patient on their options. The farther along you are the harder it is to get an abortion.
  9. SHIRK MEDICAL LIABILITY: Fake women’s health center clinics specifically avoid taking responsibility for women’s health outcomes after their initial appointments. In fact, fake women’s health centers are careful not to set up a formal “patient-physician relationship” in order to avoid liability. Heartbeat International, one of the largest Fake Women’s Health Center networks, advises its affiliates to avoid giving women the “expectation of continued services” and “clearly state that no follow-up care will be provided, and that the patient-physician relationship is terminated.” Other fake women’s health centers have required women to sign waivers that release them from any responsibility to provide accurate medical diagnoses.
  10. FOLLOW-UP HARASSMENT: After deceiving and scaring women and their families, some fake women’s health centers make women promise to not get an abortion. And, fake women’s health centers have been known to harass women who express an interest in abortion. “The woman from the [Fake Women’s Health Center] began calling her almost daily and telling her aggressively that she would die, or end up in hell, or get very sick, if she were to go through with the abortion. This woman would hide under the guise of ‘checking up on her.’”

#StopTheBans National Day of Action

Georgia. Ohio. Kentucky. Missouri. Alabama. ALL of these states’ Republican majorities have voted to effectively ban abortion in their states. And there are other states lining up to the be next state to “nearly or effectively ban abortion.”

Abortion bans impact everyone: women, transgender patients, people of color, LGBTQ people, undocumented folks, men, people with disabilities – the list goes on!

 JOIN US TO ON A NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION to #StopTheBans

 

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019 – 9:30 am

Arizona State Capitol

1700 W. Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ

 

Show up in PINK or your favorite vibrant Tuesday color and fight with us!

Secular AZ Asks AZ Congressional Delegates to Support Do No Harm Act of 2019

The Secular Coalition for Arizona requests that Arizona’s Congressional Delegates sponsor and support the Do No Harm Act of 2019, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Kamala Harris (S. 593) and in the House by Representative Joseph Kennedy (H.R. 1450).

What is the Do No Harm Act? Since our nation’s founding, the freedom to practice faith or non-faith as one desires has been a fundamental American value that provides a vital shield from discrimination and persecution, particularly for persons of minority faiths and non-believers. Unfortunately, employers, businesses and the courts are increasingly interpreting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) in opposition to our shared values and using RFRA as a license to discriminate and impose their personal religious views on others.

The Do No Harm Act restores the original intent of RFRA, protecting personal religious freedom from undue government influence, while also ensuring RFRA cannot be used by private entities to discriminate against or harm others. The Do No Harm Act makes clear that we do not need to sanction discrimination to protect the faith community.

We ask that all Congressional Delegates from Arizona join with their colleagues to sponsor and support this key piece of legislation.

Click here to read our letter.

 

Religious Messaging on the Governor’s Official Social Media

Why does Governor Ducey appear to be using an official government Facebook page to promote explicit religious messaging?

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages. All governmental actions must: 1) have a secular purpose, 2) not have the effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and 3) not result in excessive entanglement between church and state. It is inappropriate for the state government to endorse a particular religion, one religion over another, or religion over non-religion according to both the State and Federal Constitutions.

Please read Secular AZ’s response.

“Be the Curators of Inspiration”: Listen to Robert People‘s Secular Invocation

Follow this link to watch Robert Peoples of the Affinis Humanity Coalition deliver a moving secular invocation before the AZ State Senate as a guest of Sen. Andrea Dalessandro and Secular AZ.

https://youtu.be/xHvVnrprETQ

For a transcript, visit Patheos Friendly Atheist Blog at: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/04/02/humanist-delivers-invocation-in-az-senate-be-the-curators-of-inspiration/?fbclid=IwAR07YMntqGvHQOcTk-1XdC-C8zfSEKJ7Z25YnXoTy3EVdwauaKG6ET5-2X0

“Be the Curators of Inspiration”: Listen to Robert People’s Secular Invocation

Follow this link to watch Robert Peoples of the Affinis Humanity Coalition deliver a moving secular invocation before the AZ State Senate as a guest of Sen. Andrea Dalessandro and Secular AZ.

https://youtu.be/xHvVnrprETQ

For a transcript, visit Patheos Friendly Atheist Blog at: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/04/02/humanist-delivers-invocation-in-az-senate-be-the-curators-of-inspiration/?fbclid=IwAR07YMntqGvHQOcTk-1XdC-C8zfSEKJ7Z25YnXoTy3EVdwauaKG6ET5-2X0

Your Donations Doubled & a Grant Competition

Right now, you have two unique opportunities to support Secular AZ! 

  1. Thanks to a generous Secular Supporter, all gifts will be matched up to $40,000

    and

  2. We’re participating in the “A Community Thrives” grant competition. Each week until April 12, non-profits compete to raise the most funds; winners receive additional grants!

Please help us by donating today; simply visit crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/secular-communities-for-arizona/secular-communities-for-arizona-inc.

Each week brings a different competition, so check back to see what’s going on until the competition ends on April 12th! Funds will go to support our new program, bringing civics education to AZ schools.

Remember, each gift you give will be doubled by a generous supporter. THANK YOU for supporting Secular AZ!

 

Secular AZ Responds to Camp Verde H.S. Bible Instruction

Please read Secular AZ’s letter to the Camp Verde Unified School District re: proposed bible instruction at Camp Verde High School.

It is well-settled that public schools may not advance or promote religion; the government must not encroach on personal religious freedom, which necessarily includes both the right to choose a religion or no religion at all. The Supreme Court has held that “the preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility and a choice committed to the private sphere.”  Further, school involvement in religious activity remains illegal even though the students’ attendance is “voluntary.”

(tl/dr: Allowing access to schoolchildren during school hours to proselytize and recruit for religious activities is a violation of the Establishment Clause)

Secular AZ’s letter to the Camp Verde Unified School District

Why is AZ Taxpayer Money Funding a Hate Group?

Hey Arizonans… Ever seen those “In God We Trust” license plates? Did you know that $17 for each plate sold goes to the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ, anti-reproductive rights organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center? Over the years, almost $1million in taxpayer money has been funneled to ADF!

Why are taxpayer dollars going to a hate group?

According to the SPLC, ADF:

  • supports the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. & criminalization abroad
  • defends state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad
  • links homosexuality to pedophilia
  • claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity & society
  • works to develop “religious liberty” legislation & case law to allow the denial of goods & services to LGBT people on the basis of religion

Arizona taxpayer money should not be funding hate and we are working to stop it. Together with the American Atheists, we’ve erected billboards in Phoenix and Tucson to raise awareness of this issue. 

Will you help us spread the word?

Your gift will help us spread the word accross the state! Together, we can end this despicable practice.

Read more:

Newsweek: License Plates In AZ Saying “In God We Trust” Found to Fund and Support Anti LGBTQ Group

Huffpost: Arizona’s ‘In God We Trust’ License Plates Found to Fund Anti-LGBTQ Group

Phoenix New Times: Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Claimes it’s the Victim of Atheist Arizona Lawmaker

The Hill: Arizona Dem Introduces Bill to Stop License Plates from Funding Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group

 

Meet FFRF’s Dan Barker

Meet FFRF’s Dan Barker

Please join Freedom From Religion Foundation- Valley of the Sun Chapter and Secular Communities for Arizona for a special event featuring Dan Barker. 

  • Thursday, March 14
  • 6p-9p
  • Humanist Community Center
  • 627 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa
Please RSVP here

Dan Barker, Co-president of FFRF National, will join us to talk about his new book Mere Morality.

“What drives us to be good? How do we even know how to be good? Philosophers and theologians have dealt with such questions for millennia, but Dan Barker thinks the answers are not so complicated. In Mere Morality, he argues there’s no need to appeal to supernatural commandments or the fear of some higher power when considering morality. Stripping “good” and “evil” down to the basics, he offers a simple compass for navigating life’s most difficult moral and ethical dilemmas.”

Nibbles and light refreshments will be provided. You may BYOB.

FFRF Valley of the Sun & Secular Communities for Arizona are co-sponsoring this special event. It is free and open to the public.

About Dan Barker / Minister Turned Atheist:

Dan became a teenage evangelist at age 15. At 16 he was choir librarian for faith-healer Kathryn Kuhlman’s Los Angeles appearances. He received a degree in Religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church, California, in 1975. (See ordination.) He served as associate pastor in three California churches: Arcadia Friend’s Church (Quaker), Glengrove Assembly of God (Hacienda Heights), and Standard Christian Center, an independent Charismatic church loosely affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ tradition) in Standard, California. Dan was a Protestant missionary in Mexico for a total of two years.

Dan preached for 19 years. He maintained an ongoing touring musical ministry, including eight years of full-time, cross-country evangelism. An accomplished pianist, record producer, arranger and songwriter, he worked with Christian music companies such as Manna Music and Word Music. For a few years, Dan wrote and produced the annual “Mini Musicale” for Gospel Light Publications’ Vacation Bible School curriculum.

For more than two decades, Dan was accompanist, arranger, and record producer for Manuel Bonilla, the leading Christian singer in the Spanish-speaking world. He accompanied on the piano such Christian personalities as Pat Boone, Jimmy Roberts (of the Lawrence Welk Show), and gospel songwriter Audrey Meier, and was a regular guest on Southern California’s “Praise The Lord” TV show (Spanish). One of Dan’s Christian songs, “There Is One,” was performed by Rev. Robert Schuller’s television choir on the “Hour of Power” broadcast. To this day, he receives royalties from his popular children’s Christian musicals, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (1977), and “His Fleece Was White As Snow” (1978), both published by Manna Music and performed in many countries.

Following five years of reading, Dan gradually outgrew his religious beliefs. “If I had limited myself to Christian authors, I’d still be a Christian today,” Dan says. “I just lost faith in faith.” He announced his atheism publicly in January, 1984. He tells his story in the books Losing Faith in Faith (1992) and Godless (2008).

Dan was PR Director of the Freedom From Religion Foundation from 1987 to 2004. He was elected co-president of the Foundation with Annie Laurie Gaylor in 2004, with whom he is co-host of Freethought Radio, a national weekly talk show. He is a contributing editor of Freethought Today and is involved with the Foundation’s state/church lawsuits. He regularly travels the country and the world giving lectures, performing concerts, and participating in debates with theists, many at college and university campuses.

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Director Position at Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, one of Secular AZ’s liaised organiztions, seeks an Executive Director. Please see attached file for more information.

If you are interested in this position, please email your resume and any additional information you would like to provide to hiring (at) hsgp.org.

Executive Director Position at Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix