Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.


Ruth Institute Makes History

On Feb. 21st “We’ll Make History”

Ruth Institute to Present Its Make-The-Family-Great-Again Petition to State Dept. Commission

“On February 21st the Ruth Institute will make history,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “We will present our petition to Make the Family Great Again to the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. This petition is historic because, for the first time, we explain how and why the family itself has human rights. And we demonstrate to the State Department that a worldwide coalition supports this view.”

Morse explained: “The Commission was appointed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to advise the Department on how to make authentic human rights the basis of its dealings with international bodies and foreign governments. As the Commission’s Chairman, he appointed Dr. Mary Ann Glendon, a distinguished Harvard Law Professor well-known for her thoughtful articulation of genuine human rights, including the right to life.”


Pro-family leaders from five continents have signed the Ruth Institute’s petition. Dr. Morse explained, “Pro-family leaders from around the world have seen first-hand the destructive results of international policies undertaken in the name of ‘rights.’ All too often, the United States government has facilitated policies that undermine the rights of children to their parents, and parents' rights and responsibilities toward their children. These pro-family leaders are keenly interested in the deliberations of this Commission.” (See below for a partial list of leadership signers.)

The Ruth Institute Petition urges the State Department to work for the recognition of:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy
  • The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents
  • The right to life from conception to natural death
  • The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

Morse noted: “President Trump campaigned on a promise to Make America Great Again. Only by making the family great again can he fulfill that promise. The Ruth Institute and its international interfaith coalition whole-heartedly support the cause of making the family great again, worldwide.”

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The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

The Ruth Institute collaborated with Life Petitions to create and circulate this petition, which can be found here.

Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, contact media@ruthinstitute.org.

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Leadership signers include: Gary Bauer (President, American Values), Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (Author, Columnist and Speaker), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute), Robert George (Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University), Jor-El Godsey (President, Heartbeat International), Governor Mike Huckabee (former Governor of Arkansas and commentator), Alveda King (Author and Activist), Michael Pakaluk (Professor, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America), Tom Morrison (Representative, Ill. District 54), Steve Mosher (President and Founder, Population Research Institute), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International), Steven Smoot (President, Family First Foundation), Mathew D. Staver, Esq. (Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel) and Michael Voris (Founder and President, St. Michael’s Media).

Signers from outside the United States include: Rebekah Ali-Gouveia (Pro-Family Leader, Trinidad), Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (Former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Silvio Dalla Valle (Executive Director, Association for the Defense of Christian Values, Italy), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (Board Member, Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Gwen Landolt (First Vice President, REAL Women of Canada), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Dr. Theresa Okafor (Director, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage, FACH, Nigeria), Fr. Boniface Ssenteza, (Youth Chaplain for the Kasana-Luweero Diocese and National Scouting Chaplain, Uganda), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom) and Levan Vasadez (Pro-Life Activist, Republic of Georgia).


Pro-Life Movement Needs Its Own ‘Seamless Garment’

 
COMMENTARY: The pro-life movement really has matured from a single-issue battle, fought in a single way, to a multi-issue movement. (Unsplash/Register illustration)
 
by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published February 13, 2020, at NCRegister.com.

Committed pro-life activists are often accused of being too focused on abortion: “If you really cared about babies, you would also care about Issue X!”

True, children need many things to survive and thrive, and pro-lifers should work on those issues as well as the abortion issue. But the “Seamless Garment,” as a rhetorical strategy, is often perceived by pro-lifers as a subtle or not-so-subtle attempt to undermine them. All too often, these suspicions are well-founded. So my next statement may surprise you: The pro-life movement needs a Seamless Garment of its own. Let me explain.


The Ruth Institute conducted a survey of pro-life student opinion at the Students for Life Pro-Life Summit on Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C. More than 3,000 people attended this summit the day after the 47th-annual national March for Life. Nearly 10% of the attendees stopped by the Ruth Institute booth and took our survey. Their ages ranged from 12 through 76, with an average of 28. The respondents were 71% women and 77% Catholic.

We asked them: “What other related issues concern you? Check all that apply.” Of the 305 people who answered, the following percentages flagged these issues:

  • 83% said they were concerned about euthanasia.
  • 83% said they were concerned about the decline of marriage.
  • 66% said they were concerned about contraception.
  • 59% said they were concerned about comprehensive sexuality education.
  • 50% said they were concerned about surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation.
  • 47% said they were concerned about the worldwide decline of fertility.

True enough, these are not the issues that advocates of the Seamless Garment generally mention. Back when Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago popularized the Seamless Garment, the issues included government programs supporting the material needs of children.

Today, the issues are more apt to be climate change or immigration, but the subtle accusation is clear enough: “If pro-lifers really cared about children, they would care about them after birth.” So let us look at our survey of the Students for Life participants through this lens of children’s needs after they are born.

Of course, everyone knows that children need food and shelter and clothing. But children also need love. The “failure to thrive” syndrome shows that, in some way, the non-material needs of children are more important than their physical needs. Children who “fail to thrive” have their material needs met. They have food, shelter, clothing and medical care. But they do not grow. They may even die. The commonly accepted explanation for failure to thrive is that kids need more than food. They also need to be fed and nurtured, by a person who holds them, rocks them, looks into their eyes and loves them.

In other words, kids need their parents. Mom rocks the baby. Dad supports Mom while she rocks the baby. She can’t get it done alone.

I conclude that authentic care for children must include care for their need to be loved by both their parents. We should provide systematic social structures to ensure that as many kids as possible get to grow up with their own parents who love them and each other. Children have a birthright to their own parents. That means a stable relationship with their biological parents wherever possible and stable, child-centered provision for adoption where the biological parents are permanently unavailable.

What might those structures look like? Adult society affirms that people should be having sex only with the person we are married to. We get married before having sex. We stay together unless someone does something really awful. We cut out petty criticism of our spouses. We have a social norm of patiently bearing with our spouse’s faults.

In other words, the most reliable systematic plan for ensuring that kids get to have the love and attention of both their parents is lifelong married love, supported by traditional Christian sexual ethics. The respondents to our survey at the Students for Life Summit seem to be quite well aware of this. “The decline of marriage” option comes in at the top of the list of their concerns, with more than 80% support.

Two-thirds of the activists mentioned contraception as an area of concern. Only an idiot can overlook the connection between the constant promotion of the contraceptive ideology and people’s casual choices of sex partners. If you care about kids, you should make it easier, not harder, for people to make good decisions about the identity of their child’s other parent.

Nearly 60% of the respondents were concerned about comprehensive sexuality education. This, too, shows that these activists are sensitive to the needs of children. Much of what passes for sex education amounts to propaganda for the sexual revolution, inflicted on small children, too young and impressionable to defend themselves.

Schools, public and private alike, convey to children that sex is a recreational activity: They safely can partake of it, as long as they use a condom every time. This message has no place in a Seamless Garment that treasures the rights of children to their parents, and therefore demands self-control from adults.

Half the survey participants were concerned about third-party reproduction issues. Is this because children of donated sperm or eggs are cut off from one of their biological parents? Or are these respondents mainly concerned about all of the death-dealing that goes on in the infertility industry, by discarding or freezing unwanted embryos? Either way, these pro-lifers’ care for babies extends well beyond the abortion issue.

When we conceived the idea for this survey, we just wanted to get an idea of where these participants at the Students for Life Summit stood on the Ruth Institute’s issues. Viewing the results reveals something more.

The pro-life movement really has matured from a single-issue battle, fought in a single way, to a multi-issue movement. The most committed participants in the movement understand that we need to defend the rights of children and parents to be in stable relationships with each other. Children have a birthright to their parents, as well as a birthright to be born in the first place.

And this survey also shows us that we are closer than we realized to having a pro-life Seamless Garment of our own.

 

 


Ruth Institute to Present “Make the Family Great Again” Petition to State Dept. Commission on Unalienable Rights

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, announced that she will present the signatures of the Institute’s petition to Make the Family Great Again at the next meeting of the State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights February 21.

Of the petition, co-partnered with Life Petitions, Morse said, “We’re greatly encouraged by the outpouring of support, including from many leaders and scholars.”

Morse noted: “President Trump campaigned on a promise to Make America Great Again. But only the family can help him fulfill that promise.”

In July, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo established the Commission to advise his department in its dealings with foreign governments and international organizations.

The Ruth Institute petition urges the Commission and the State Department to make certain fundamental principles the basis for articulating these unalienable rights, among them that:


 

  • Marriage and the family are universal institutions for the stability of society and the continuation of the human race.
  • Children need their mother and father.
  • Stable loving families provide the basis for strong societies, including thriving economies, national security and international peace.

The petition calls on the Commission to work for the recognition of:

  • The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  • The right to know the identity of one’s biological parents.
  • The right to life from conception to natural death.
  • The right of families to educate their children in their faith tradition and values, without being undermined by the state.

Leadership signers include: Gary Bauer (President, American Values), Brent Bozell (Founder and President, Media Research Center), Ted Baehr (Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission), Fr. Shenan Boquet (President, Human Life International), Janice Shaw Crouse (Author, Columnist and Speaker), Kari Curtin (National Director, Marriage Reality Movement), Pat Fagan (Director, Marriage and Religion Research Institute), Robert George (Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University), Jor-El Godsey (President, Heartbeat International), Governor Mike Huckabee (former Governorof Arkansas and talk show host), Alveda King (Author and Activist), Robert Knight (Washington Times columnist), Michael Pakaluk (Professor, Busch School of Business, Catholic University of America), Toni Morrison (Representative, Ill. District 54), Steve Mosher (President and Founder, Family First Foundation), C. Preston Noell (President, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property), Sharon Slater (President, Family Watch International), Steven Smoot (President, Family First Foundation), and Michael Voris (Founder and President, St. Michael’s Media).

Pro-family leaders from around the world have seen the destructive results of international policies that undermine the rights of children to their parents, and parents' rights and responsibilities toward their children.

Signers from outside the United States include: Rebekah Ali-Gouveia (Pro-Family Leader, Trinidad), Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (Bishop of Oyo, Nigeria), Moira Chimombo (Former Executive Director, Sub-Sahara Family Enrichment, Malawi), Ann Kioko (President, African Organization for Families, Kenya), Lech Kowalewski (Board Member, Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements), Christa Leonhard (Foundation for Family Values, Germany, and the Swiss Foundation for the Family), Gwen Landolt (First Vice President, REAL Women of Canada), Warwick and Allison Marsh (Founders, Dads4Kids, Australia), Christine Vollmer (Founder and President, Latin American Alliance for the Family, Venezuela), Andrea Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern, United Kingdom), Levan Vasadez (Pro-Life Activist, Republic of Georgia), and Fr. Boniface Ssenteza, (Youth Chaplain for the Kasana-Luweero Diocese and National Scouting Chaplain, Uganda).

“We’re honored to have such distinguished leaders among the petition’s signers,” Morse said. “Their support and that of more than 8,000 others should help the Commission to understand that the family is the foundation of these unalienable rights.”

Go here to sign the petition to Make the Family Great Again.


Super Bowl Halftime Show: Worse Than Tasteless, It’s Full-on Sexual Grooming

COMMENTARY: Do not shy away from making the connection between sexualized entertainment and sexual grooming.

by Jennifer Roback Morse 
 
This article was first posted February 4, 2020, at NCRegister.com.

I was outraged by the Super Bowl halftime show. I bet you were, too. I challenge you to do something with your outrage. Otherwise, it is a pointless waste of time.

First, I’m going to stir up your righteous anger even more. Then, I’m going to challenge you to do something with your anger.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show was not only pornographic — it was an internationally televised sexual grooming session.

As Catholics, we have had to ask ourselves, “How does sexual abuse go on for so long?” The answer: Perpetrators groom not only their victims, but often the entire community around the victim.

Clergy sex abuse survivors say perpetrators may victimize some children, but they groom the entire community. One survivor told me that the priest who abused him was a trusted friend of his family. The boy knew if he ever spoke up, the family would be more inclined to take the priest’s word over his.


I recently reviewed a book about public-school sexual abuse and harassment. The title of the book is Passing the Trash, with the dreadfully appropriate subtitle, “Covering Up Educators’ Sex Crimes — and How a Superintendent Was Caught after Decades of Lies.”

In the references to this book, I came across a 2017 publication from the U.S. Department of Education, “A Training Guide for Administrators and Educators on Addressing Adult Sexual Misconduct in the School Setting.” I discovered a section called “Grooming, Trolling and Exploiting.” On page 12, I read this:

Perpetrators methodically increase the attention and rewards they give to their targets. Grooming allows perpetrators to test their targets’ silence at each step. To nurture the relationship, perpetrators make the target feel “special” by, for example, brandishing gifts and/or spending extra time with the target in nonsexual ways, all in an effort to learn whether the target will keep silent. At the same time, the perpetrator is also testing the adults surrounding the child or school. … It is not uncommon for the behaviors to be done publicly so that the perpetrator can gauge reactions; share information (true or false) to manipulate how the behavior is interpreted by the adults; and further control the child victim. …

School personnel who engage in sexual jokes without being reprimanded might move on to making physical contact, such as touching a student’s hair or body. If the behavior goes unreported and unaddressed, the adult may grow bolder and escalate to increasingly sexualized behaviors.

Let’s return to the Super Bowl halftime show with this understanding in mind. Superstar pop singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed a sexually stimulating act in front of millions of people. The Children’s Voice Chorus of Miami, with 40 children, some pre-adolescent, appeared amid the show’s sexual gyrations. Around the choir of young girls was the symbol for female. Millions applauded. No one objected.

The lesson is clear: Immodesty is empowerment. Femininity means thrusting your private parts toward a camera. A girl will be rewarded with applause and accolades for sexually stimulating strangers.

If no one objects, the perpetrators can move to the next step of taking sexual advantage of the vulnerable. In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, sex trafficking surges. Last year, police arrested 169 in Atlanta on trafficking charges — including 34 with minors.

In preparation for this year’s Super Bowl, Miami hotel workers, ride-hailing service drivers and security personnel were given a crash course on combating human trafficking. The value of that well-intentioned training was certainly offset by the sexual stimulation of the halftime show.

Of course, the corporations responsible for the halftime show will never admit to being perpetrators of anything. They can find house feminists who will support them in saying the truly liberated modern woman is “sex positive.” Never mind all the other feminists and mothers and grandmothers and just plain normal people who do not agree at all. Their opinion doesn’t count. Support the sexualization of women and girls and you will be rewarded. Object and you will be denounced.

Now that I have you good and mad, what are we going to do about it? Let’s use our righteous anger and our platforms, limited though they may be, to express ourselves. Here’s a message we need to communicate loud and clear:

Corporate America, major media networks and the NFL, you have shown us that you are all-in for promoting the Sexual Revolution. Decision-makers at Pepsi, your halftime show equates overtly sexual displays as female empowerment and you roped young girls into performing. That’s sexual grooming!

NFL corporate executives, softening victims up to consent to sex more readily is sexual grooming. I hold you responsible for these decisions. You chose these performers. You have been making these types of decisions year after year. One can hardly believe this pattern is accidental.

Christian athletes, especially NFL players, we call on you to stop allowing your talent to be exploited. Let’s use Harrison Butker, kicker for the Super Bowl champs Kansas City Chiefs, as an example. He is a devout Catholic.

Dear Harrison,

Great job on winning the Super Bowl! I’m sure you are thrilled. I am writing to you about something else: the halftime show.

Harrison, you are a good Catholic man. The halftime show was pornographic. It was worse than that, actually. It was designed to sexually stimulate the massive crowd. This sets up the conditions for sexual exploitation. Harrison, the NFL ostensibly sells football. That means you and your talent. But behind the sale of football, they are also selling advertising. The Pepsi Company is evidently selling pornography along with their soft drinks. They are using you and your talent for this unseemly purpose. And they do this at the same time that the FBI has warned of an increase in sex trafficking in Super Bowl cities.

I am asking you, as your sister in Christ, please do something about this. We ordinary fans and citizens do not know the inner workings of the corporate culture around the NFL. You are closer to it than we are. Please use your influence to put a stop to this. Because this needs to stop. What if it were your little daughter or sister being trafficked in the stadium parking lot?

Sincerely

Your friend,

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Write to your own favorite players. Do not shy away from making the connection between sexualized entertainment and sexual grooming.

When we are silent, the perpetrators move to the next step. Say it in your own words. But say something.

Picture credit: Photo by Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash.


Student Pro-life Activists NOT Single-Issue Voters!

Students Care About a Broad Range of Issues Related to the Sexual Revolution

Despite common stereotypes, most pro-life activists are NOT single-mindedly focused on abortion. The Ruth Institute conducted what may be the first survey of pro-life student opinion on other social issues at the Students for Life Pro-Life Summit on January 25 in Washington D.C. This Summit followed the annual National March for Life and was attended by more than 3,000.

Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., explained: “With almost 10% of those attending the Summit taking the survey, we believe we have a representative sampling of the attendees. Since they are the future of the pro-life movement, we wanted to learn what other issues concern them.”

Of the 252 who took the survey at the Ruth Institute booth:


  • 83% said they were concerned about euthanasia
  • 83% said they were troubled by the decline of marriage
  • 66% mentioned contraception as an area of concern
  • 59% said they were troubled by what’s called comprehensive sexuality education
  • 50% said they were concerned about surrogacy and
  • 47% named the worldwide decline of fertility

The ages of those who took the survey ranged from 12 through 76, with an average age of 28. The respondents were 71% women and 77% Catholic.

Dr. Morse observed: “Despite a general belief to the contrary, pro-lifers aren’t single-issue activists. They care about a broad range of issues which, like abortion, are related to the Sexual Revolution.”

Other questions on the Ruth Institute survey included:

  • 1.What brought you to the pro-life position?
  • 2.What do you think is the best argument to advance the pro-life cause?
  • 3.What is the best practical solution to abortion?

Morse said, “We were honored to be able to participate in the Summit. It was an exciting event that brought together student activists and leaders from across the country to learn and network. It also gave us the opportunity to conduct this important survey, perhaps the first of its kind.”


Ruth Institute Blasts NFL and FOX for “Sexual Grooming” in the Super Bowl Halftime Show

“An internationally televised grooming session.” That’s how Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., described the hyper-sexualized halftime show at Sunday’s Super Bowl. “Convincing prospective victims that overtly sexual displays are normal and empowering, softening victims up to ‘consent’ to sex more readily--these are the hallmarks of sexual grooming.”

Father Mark Hodges, an Orthodox priest and the Ruth Institute’s Dr. J Show producer, added, “The show included a series of bumps and grinds, which offered flashes of crotch and brazenly featured the performers’ buttocks.”


To make matters worse, the pre-game entertainment featured The Children’s Voice Chorus of Miami, with 40 children, some pre-adolescent. The kids stayed around for the game, including the halftime show’s sexual gyrations.

Fr. Hodges continued: "Around the huge choir of prepubescent girls was the symbol for female. But immodesty is not empowerment. Imagine watching that ‘family friendly’ broadcast with your little daughter. The lesson is that femininity means gyrating and thrusting your private parts toward the camera."

Morse also noted that Super Bowls generally include an upsurge of sex trafficking, including underage girls. “After giving some of the guys in Miami what amounted to a sex show, spectators were then turned loose on the streets.”

It’s estimated that each year 17,500 individuals are trafficked in the United States, 81% of them for sexual purposes.

In preparation for the Super Bowl, Miami hotel workers, ride-hailing service drivers, and security personnel were given a crash course on how to combat human trafficking. “The value of that well-intentioned training was more than offset by the sexual stimulation of the halftime show,” Morse observed.

To compliment the sleazy show, one Super Bowl ad featured drag queens, two former contestants on RuPaul’s ‘Drag Race.’ Meanwhile, Fox rejected an ad by a new group called Faces of Choice, featuring the survivors of botched abortions.

Morse commented, “While FOX insisted on inflicting drag queens hawking hummus on American families, it decided a pro-life ad – which contained nothing graphic -- was just too much for Middle America to handle.”

Morse stated, “Corporate America, including the major networks and the NFL, have shown us that they are ‘all in’ for promoting the Sexual Revolution. We call on Christian athletes, especially NFL players, to stop allowing their talent to be exploited for this purpose.”


Aborting the Wanted Child

by Paul Sullins

This article was first posted January 22, 2020, at The Public Discourse.

The unstated mythology of therapeutic “abortion care” is that pregnancies come in only two types: wanted pregnancies, all of which children are delivered, and unwanted pregnancies, all of which children are aborted. But that’s not true. At least one in seven abortions in the U.S. are of children that the mother reports were wanted. I recently found that the risk of depression, suicidality or anxiety disorders from such abortions was almost four times higher than for women who had aborted a child in an unwanted pregnancy. Mine is the first empirical study ever to examine these more distressing, invisible abortions.

Are abortions psychologically harmful for women? Today’s foremost medical and scientific agencies, including the American Psychological Association (APA), American Medical Association (AMA), National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and Britain’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC), assure us that they are not, in a series of similarly-worded position statements advising that (in the words of the NAS) “women who have an abortion [do not] experience more mental health problems than women who deliver an unwanted pregnancy.”
But posing the question as one of abortion versus birth for an unwanted pregnancy overlooks a well-documented but seldom acknowledged fact: many abortions—at least one in seven in the U.S.—are of children in pregnancies that the mother reports were wanted, not unwanted. If these abortions are more troubling for women than those in unwanted pregnancies, then by ignoring them our public health agencies are subtly understating the true level of possible post-abortion psychological harm for women.

I recently examined data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to see if wanting a pregnancy affected women’s level of psychological distress following an abortion. My results were published late last year in a study in the European medical journal Medicina. Add Health, widely acknowledged to be among the best representative data we have on the U.S. population, has been used in thousands of empirical scholarly studies. In addition to extensive measures of psychological health drawn from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), Add Health asked almost 4,000 women at three points in time—ages 15, 22, and 28—whether they had ever been pregnant, how the pregnancy ended, and whether they wanted to have a child when they became pregnant.

Putting these together, I found that by age 28 the risk of affective psychological disorder—meaning depression, anxiety disorder, or serious thoughts of suicide—was almost four times higher (69 percent versus 18 percent) for women who had aborted a child in a wanted rather than an unwanted pregnancy, compared to those who had delivered children in such pregnancies. Clearly, the abortions of children in wanted pregnancies are much more disturbing for women, and their births much happier, than is the case with unwanted pregnancies.

Wanted-pregnancy abortions most often occur because the mother may want the child, while others involved do not. In the Add Health data I examined in the study, one in five women who had ever had an abortion said that they had aborted a pregnancy by which they had wanted to have a child. In patient surveys by abortion providers, over a third of women reported that they were acceding to the wishes of their partner or parents in having the abortion. A research review by the pro-life Elliott Institute estimates that “30 to 60 percent of women having abortions feel pressured to do so by other persons.”

There can be other pressures as well. In follow-up surveys that asked about their experience at a clinic, most women reported feeling uncertain or rushed to have an abortion, and two thirds reported little or no counseling. Last year’s movie Unplanned, based on the first-person account of former abortion-clinic director Abby Johnson, chillingly dramatized a typical clinic intake process, that more closely resembled sales pressure to have an abortion than it did a careful screening for certainty or potential mental-health concerns. Many women may understandably come to have a sense of buyer’s remorse or regret about their decision to have an abortion.

Remarkably, mine is the first empirical study ever to examine abortions of children in wanted pregnancies. For most researchers in this area, such abortions are invisible because they do not conform to the unstated binary mythology of “abortion care,” in which pregnancies come in only two types: wanted pregnancies, all of which children are delivered, and unwanted pregnancies, all of which children are aborted.

Reviewers and editors repeatedly reported that they “lacked a sense of” or were “perplexed” by the idea that women could look back and say that they actually had wanted to deliver a child they had aborted; although they acknowledged that women routinely deliver children in unwanted pregnancies, and that “very many women express some degree of ambivalence” at the clinic. More than one told me that women who had obtained an abortion must not have wanted their pregnancy by definition, and thus, in the Add Health interviews, they could not have responded the way they clearly did respond. The position-statement review by the AMRC codified this bias, explicitly presuming that all aborted pregnancies were unwanted, and thus defining the most distressing abortions out of existence.

Whitewashing away the most troubling abortions is not the only blind spot of our medical experts. Even if it were true that women did not “experience more mental health problems” with abortion compared to delivery, such statements crucially miss the point. The mental-health premise for widespread legal abortion was not merely that it would not do more psychological harm to women, but that it would benefit them, compared to having to deliver the child.

Although researchers have long disputed whether mental-health problems for women after abortion are disconcertingly large or insignificantly small, so far, after forty-five years of research, not a single study (to my knowledge) has ever found a statistically significant psychological benefit for women having abortions rather than childbirth. The declarations of “no harm” fail even to consider the fact that the idea of a “therapeutic abortion” to improve a woman’s mental health—which is the premise of the Roe/Doe decisions in the U.S., and the justification for legal abortion in most Western countries—has no basis in evidence.

What does benefit pregnant women’s mental health, research repeatedly finds, is childbirth. In my study, the risk of affective distress was 29 percent lower up to 13 years after the birth of one or more children in wanted pregnancies, and 12 percent lower even after delivering a child from an unwanted pregnancy. The full psychological toll of an abortion, therefore, must be measured not just by the absolute pain a woman may (or may not) feel, but also by the opportunity cost of missing the psychological benefit—the joy, growth, and even struggle—of the child she did not have.

 


Ruth Institute Petition Asks South Dakota Governor to Protect Children from Those Who Call Puberty a Disease

A Ruth Institute petition urges South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to support legislation to protect minors from puberty blockers, sterilization, disfiguring surgeries, and other medical “gender-modification” attempts.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Ruth Institute Founder and President, said, “The pharmaceuticals used to block puberty have not been approved for this purpose by the FDA. They have numerous well-documented side effects. The surgeries that attempt to change the sex of the body are irreversible.”

Morse further explained: “So-called transgenderism has no objective definition. No blood test, genetic testing, or brain imaging scans can confirm or deny the existence of a ‘transgender’ condition. Yet some medical professionals are giving harmful pharmaceuticals to, or performing irreversible surgeries on, confused children.”

 


 

The Vulnerable Child Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Fred Deutsch, prohibits the following interventions on minor children:

  • Surgeries including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, vaginoplasty, and mastectomy
  • Prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications that block normal puberty, giving testosterone to females or giving estrogen to males
  • Removing a healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue

The petition asks Governor Noem to support South Dakota’s HB 1057, which protects vulnerable children and their families from medical professionals who would treat puberty as a disease.

Morse noted: “Studies show that 85% of gender-confused children eventually become comfortable with the sex of their bodies. For God’s sake, give children the chance to develop normally and make life-altering decisions for themselves as they mature.”

Sign the petition on LifePetitions here.  

Read more on the South Dakota bill here.

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love. Find more information on The Ruth Institute here. The Institute will have an exhibit at the 2020 National Pro-life Summit in Washington, D.C. January 25.

Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse, email media@ruthinstitute.org.

 


Ruth Institute to be Part of the Largest Pro-life Student Conference in the Nation

The Ruth Institute will be an exhibitor at this year’s National Pro-life Summit, organized by Students for Life America in Washington D.C. January 25, the day after the National March for Life.

The Institute brings a unique perspective to the pro-life cause. Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., explains: “Our mission to strengthen marriage goes hand in hand with the pro-life cause.”

Morse noted: “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among single women, 27% of all pregnancies end in abortion. But among married women, only 4% of pregnancies result in abortion. In other words, 96% of married pregnant women choose life.”


Morse continued: “Marriage is one of the few things that truly has the power to prevent abortion. We hope to recruit many pro-lifers to join our mission of building a civilization of love, which includes lifelong married love as a cornerstone.”

Along with Students for Life America, sponsors of the 2020 Summit include such prominent pro-life and pro-family organizations as Alliance Defending Freedom, The Heritage Foundation, Heartbeat International, the Susan B. Anthony List, and Live Action.

Students for Life America has been organizing the Summit for 12 years. More than 3,100 are expected to attend this year’s sold-out conference.

“We are honored to participate in the Summit,” Morse said. “It’s an exciting event that brings together student activists and leaders from across the country to learn and network to advance the pro-life cause.”

The Ruth Institute is a global interfaith non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

Dr. Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives.

In December she returned from her first speech in Africa, at the Uganda National Youth Conference.

Find more information on The Ruth Institute here.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse or other Ruth Institute spokesmen or spokeswomen, email  media@ruthinstitute.org.



The Sexual Deep State

By Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published December 10, 2019, at American Mind.

The Sexual Revolution was never about freedom. It was always about control.

America is no longer governed by the Constitution in the sense the Founders understood. Instead, we are governed by a collection of unelected, unaccountable administrative agencies. Readers of this site are likely familiar with the concept of the Administrative State.

Readers of this site are also familiar with the concept of the Deep State. The Deep State goes beyond this bureaucracy to include other structures of society that are not strictly part of the government, but which support and promote and protect it in various ways. Media, academia, entertainment, corporations, charitable foundations, and even professional sports have become part of the interlocking structures that constrain people’s behavior and thinking. The “Deep State” is deep in the sense of being pervasive, powerful, and largely hidden.


In this article, I build on these concepts and propose the additional concept of the Sexual State. The sexual regime under which we all live shares key features of the Deep State and relies on and supports the Administrative State. This claim has vast political and personal ramifications.

The Sexual State

Despite appearances, the Sexual Revolution has nothing to do with enhancing individual freedom. On the contrary, cultural elites commandeered the power of the State to implement their utopian social-sexual vision. The Sexual Revolution serves the interests of this elite ruling class. The Sexual Revolution did not arise from a spontaneous upwelling of “cultural change” or the inexorable “March of History.”

To illustrate this point, consider the sexual revolutionary issue du jour: inventing and securing rights for the so-called transgender person. Boys who say they are girls must be allowed to participate in girls’ athletic competitions. Public libraries must host drag queens reading to toddlers. Men who say they’re women must be admitted to domestic violence shelters and incarcerated in women’s prisons. No serious person can maintain that ordinary people are organically demanding these policies, each more bizarre and aggressive than the next.

Although some are True Believers and are motivated by their abstract ideological commitments, for the most part the elites are foisting these ideas on the public to serve a combination of their ideological, financial, and personal interests—to satisfy their raw desire for power.

Pharmaceutical companies, for instance, have a financial interest in the transgender ideology. People who attempt to live as the opposite sex will require a lifetime of medical care, including expensive drugs and hormone replacements.

The enforcers of “politically correct” pronoun usage will need ever-increasing amounts of legal, as well as cultural power. These enforcers include but are not limited to functionaries of the State. The arbiters of taste and public opinion will have their status enhanced. They can announce new standards of behavior, invent new offenses (called “micro-aggressions”), and form twitter mobs to attack violators. No doubt many of them enjoy the rush of power that arises from the socially sanctioned ability to inflict harm on others.

Like the Bolsheviks, the True Believers in the Sexual Revolution have given their lives to an irrational ideology that has no chance of actually working, if by “working” we mean implementation without the continued destruction of what remains of our civilization. But the irrationality of their fantasy does not deter them. They convince themselves that the nobility of their objectives justifies everything and anything. They think they only require more raw State power, and the manipulative power of propaganda, in order to succeed.

The Sexual Revolution Defined

The ideology of the Sexual Revolution includes three elements.

1. The first marker of a “good” and “decent” and “progressive” society is the separation of sex from babies.

Contraception must not only be legally available, but also subsidized and actively promoted. Of course, abortion on demand is a requirement too, as a back-up plan in the event of contraceptive failure. I call this the Contraceptive Ideology.

2. The second idea is that a “good” society should separate both sex and babies from marriage.

A person doesn’t have to be married before having sex or having a baby. Behind this is the deeper idea that kids don’t really need both parents. Kids are resilient. They can survive despite multiple changes in their parents’ choice of sexual partners and living arrangements. In fact, the kids might even benefit, because the kids will be happy as long as their parents are happy. I call this the Divorce Ideology.

3. The third idea is that a “good” society tries to eradicate the significance of differences between men and women.

Certain types of feminism blazed the trail for this ideology. In its early form, it asserted that differences between men and women were socially constructed and almost certain evidence of injustice. The ideology has morphed into transgenderism, which asserts that technology and social engineering can overwrite the sex of the body. In both versions, the sex of the body is insubstantial and can be changed at will. I call this the Gender Ideology.

In fact, we might say that this is the defining feature of the entire Sexual Revolution: human will can override physical realities of sex and reproduction.

This ideology asserts: not only can we obliterate the sex of the body, but we can also build an entire society in which sexual activity is sterile—a society in which child-free sex is the default setting. Reproduction occurs only at the will of the individual parents, and on their terms. The Divorce Ideology insists that we can override the most basic human attachments, that between a child and his or her mother and father. We attempt to convince our children and ourselves that the biological bonds between us are unimportant.

This assertion of human will over nature is the first significant overlap between the Administrative State and the Sexual Revolution.

As Claremont Institute Senior Fellow John Marini, one of the most important theorists of the Administrative State, argues, this shift from reason and natural law to the raw will of the political class is one of the hallmarks of the move away from constitutional governance and toward the current regime of rule by administrative agencies. Marini argues that rule by the elite technocratic class began with Woodrow Wilson in the original “Progressive Era.” It came to full fruition with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Congress announces a vision, and tasks the bureaucracy with its implementation.

The natural feedback loops that might correct wildly unreasonable objectives do not operate. Ordinary folk who are subjected to the Administrative State cannot vote it out of office, as they might under a constitutional regime. Nor can they take their money elsewhere, as they might in a market setting. Whether the government’s vision be reasonable or not, whether it be chosen by the people or not, the bureaucracy chugs along.

Let us look at a few recent examples of the Sexual State in action, to see how it fits in with Marini’s analysis.

The Sexual Deep State at Work

#SaveJames: James Younger and the lawlessness of the family courts

A divorced father in Texas wishes to raise his twin sons both as boys. Their mother treats one of the boys as a girl, calls him by a girl’s name, dresses him in girl’s clothing and sends him to school as a girl. The family court had given full decision-making rights to the mother, excluding the father’s input into decision-making about medical and psychological care. Due to a public outcry over the case, the judge backed away from the original decision and is now giving the father shared rights.

Most of the discussion has centered on the transgender aspect of the case. I wish to call attention to the power of the family court in regulating the life of a law-abiding father.

In court documents from this case, we see the mother’s “wish list.” She asks that the father be enjoined from cutting his son’s hair, using the “wrong” pronoun, or calling him by the “wrong” name. At one point, the mother requested that the father be prevented from going within 500 ft of the children’s school. The mother complained that the father might attend a parents’ event at the school, and “out” the boy as a boy to people who had only known him as a girl.

The transgender aspects of this case are built upon existing divorce law. The courts have had this kind of authority over the lives of law-abiding parents for a long time. Family courts regulate the minutiae of family life, including their finances, how they spend their time, where the children go to school, and yes, even the children’s haircuts.

Family courts are an example of the Administrative State on steroids. They are accountable to no one. Often, their proceedings take place in secret. The judge in the Younger case placed a gag order on both parents, preventing them from talking to the media until the boys turn 18. In fact, the documents alluded to above are posted on a website called www.gagthis.org created by friends of the father.

Marini observes that the Administrative State robs citizens of the power of self-government and lodges it in the hands of experts. Family courts and the administrative apparatus around them will say that they decide issues “in the best interests of the child.” The truth is that “the best interests of the child” is for them to live with both parents in a lifelong union of love and fidelity.

Many well-meaning people suppose that “no-fault” divorce means mutual consent divorce. This is not the case. Our divorce regime is a unilateral divorce regime. Anyone who wants a divorce gets to have one: The State always takes sides with the party who wants the marriage the least. The State incentivizes disloyalty and infidelity between spouses. And when things go wrong, the State empowers itself to clean up the mess.

The injustices of the unilateral divorce regime have been known for a long time. The Deep State could, at any time, enact divorce by mutual consent. Yet, they do not. The most reasonable explanation is that they like the system exactly the way it is.

David Daleiden: The Deep State circles the wagons around abortion

Undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt recorded Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of body parts from aborted babies. These journalists believed they were “investigating violent felonies committed against children born alive in Planned Parenthood facilities.”

Planned Parenthood filed a civil suit, alleging that Daleiden and his team committed illegal wiretapping, trespassing, breaches of confidentiality, and more. As one analyst put it, Planned Parenthood attorneys must walk a fine line “to make the case that Daleiden and his team illegally recorded private conversations, without admitting what exactly those conversations were about.”

Planned Parenthood won their civil suit with the help of a cooperative judge. U.S. District Judge William Orrick III has ties to Planned Parenthood: he served as secretary and counsel to one of their affiliates, and his wife made inflammatory public statements against the defendants. He did not recuse himself, nor did the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals compel Orrick to recuse himself.

Orrick steered the case away from First-Amendment freedom of speech and freedom of the press issues that would normally be at play in a case involving investigative journalism. He cut off testimony and evidence that called attention to “exactly what the conversations were about.” He refused to let the jury see most of the videos in question. He instructed the jury to find the defendants guilty of trespass. The only question for the jury in his courtroom was the amount of the damages to be awarded.

This case illustrates the elements of the Deep State working together. Abortion being legal is not enough for the Deep State. The Abortion Industry must be beyond criticism. And why is that? Because, despite their continual claims to the contrary, abortion is not “just another medical procedure.” If it were, the Abortion Industry and its cheerleaders would not object to health and safety regulations. Nor would the Ruling Elites object to the Abortion Industry being investigated for potential felonies.

Abortion must be protected because it is the ultimate guarantor of the position that sex is a sterile activity. Every person old enough to give meaningful consent is entitled to unlimited, child-free, problem-free, guilt-free sex. If abortion has serious side effects, even if only for some people, publicizing that fact undermines the “right” to sex. If the Abortion Industry is out for its own financial gain and should not be trusted, that too undermines the belief that inconvenient conceptions can always be undone.

That is why keeping abortion “safe, legal, and rare” has never been enough.

This brings us to the personal interests of many in the Elite classes. Delaying childbearing has become the cost of entering the professions. That means many of our most successful and visible and influential people have used contraception or abortion. They literally cannot imagine what their lives would be without it. Journalists, lawyers, foundation officers, business executives, and politicians all join hands to protect the Abortion Industry from skeptics like David Daleiden.

Incidentally, the Abortion Industry makes a lot of money, including millions from tax-payers.

Jeffrey Epstein: tying it all together.

The recent arrest and “suicide” of Jeffrey Epstein brings together all the key features of the Sexual Deep State.

As everyone now knows, Jeffrey Epstein was guilty of a lifetime of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable young “adult” women. He provided these young girls and women to powerful men in the top echelons of society, including government and academia. We can be fairly sure that top media executives covered for him. Epstein blackmailed the men while he was exploiting the victims. Elites from multiple sectors conspired against the weak. What made it possible, beyond the use of raw power?

Reports from the victims tell us that he preyed upon fatherless girls and girls from foster homes. This is a revealing fact. The fatherless girl is a sitting duck for predators. Fathers are natural authority figures. The ideology of “feminism”—which now holds that all men are potential rapists and not to be trusted—delegitimized fathers in this very role: as authority figures. Between that psychological reframing, and terrible public policies, fathers have been systematically removed from the home—and particularly from the homes of the poorest and most vulnerable. The functions they used to perform are now performed by the State and its functionaries, or not performed at all.

This dynamic has parallels throughout our society.

Law enforcement is now constantly undermined; police officers are ceaselessly delegitimized. Sowing distrust of lawfully constituted law enforcement creates a void in public safety. A paid rent-a-mob steps into the void, with the tacit approval of elected officials. The likes of Antifa are answerable to no lawful authority, only to whoever is paying them and whoever is permitting them to operate with impunity. But as Angelo Codevilla has observed, Antifa violence is only a problem in places where the city fathers allow it to be a problem. Without the protection of local elected officials, “Antifa’s numbers and their capacity for mayhem are no match for ordinary police forces—nor for armed citizens.”

The Sexual Revolution also creates and promotes the Ideology of self-indulgence, conveying the unmistakable message that everyone is entitled to do whatever they can get away with. Prosecutors said Epstein had three active US passports and owned multiple jets and houses around the world, including his own private island. Witnesses and victims feared Epstein’s retaliation and blackmail. This is the sort of man who can get away with a lot.

But the ideology of the Sexual Deep State relieves people of nagging consciences. Epstein’s conscience is malformed, to put it mildly. In 2011, he told the New York Post, “I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an ‘offender.’ It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.” He once allegedly received three 12-year-old girls as a birthday present. No ideology should justify the actions of a man like that. But the Sexual Revolution provides just such excuses.

Conclusion

I cite many other examples in my book, The Sexual State.

The Sexual Revolution has been a power grab. This is why I capitalize the term “Sexual Revolution.” No matter what one’s opinion of it may be, I think we must give it the historical dignity it deserves. The Sexual Revolution has been every bit as significant in reshaping society as the French Revolution, or the Bolshevik Revolution.

The “social conservatives” are not the ones trying to “impose their morality” on an unwitting society. The Sexual Revolutionaries are enforcing their morality upon our citizenry with impunity. The “social issues” are not just soft, fluffy issues, unworthy of the attention of serious thinkers. Undermining and replacing the regime of the natural family is serious business, with the capacity to undermine everything else traditional America and conservatism claims to hold dear, including fiscal responsibility, the limits of government power, and the primacy of reason itself.

That is why relegating “social issues” to the margins is a big mistake for the future of a free society. The Sexual Deep State needs to be seen for what it is: an essential part of the ruling ideology of the political class and its tyrannical administrative state.

 


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