Arizonans Should Decline To Sign The Arizona Abortion Access Amendment

Arizonans Should Decline To Sign The Arizona Abortion Access Amendment

By Katarina White |

Imagine a future where abortion is sanctioned until the very moment of birth, parental consent becomes a relic of the past, and taxpayers foot the bill for all abortions. This is not a distant dystopia; it is the gruesome reality that will unfold if a new controversial amendment—the Arizona Abortion Access Amendment—finds its way onto our state’s ballot this November. Now, Arizona voters stand at a crossroads—sign a petition to advance the possibility of this horrific amendment to the Arizona Constitution or decline to sign the petition and stand for the sanctity of life.

The heart of this matter lies in the proposed amendment’s language, asserting, “Every individual has a fundamental right to abortion…” This means that if it gets passed, the Arizona Constitution will be amended to make abortion a fundamental right for all individuals. The amendment’s text also explicitly states that the State shall not enact, adopt, or enforce any law, regulation, policy, or practice that “denies, restricts, or interferes with an abortion after fetal viability that, in the good faith judgment of a treating health care professional, is necessary to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual.”

This means that if this amendment passes, it will not only embed abortion as a fundamental right in our state Constitution, but it will remove any constraints on the abortion industry. Just read that direct quote from the proposed amendment again. The text explicitly bars the state from interfering with abortions after fetal viability, contingent upon the “judgment” of a health care professional. Is there any surprise as to why the abortion industry is championing this amendment so heavily? The removal of gestation limits offers abortion businesses unrestricted access to perform abortions at any stage without legal impediments, which will give them significant economic and financial benefits!

Analyzing the language of the amendment reveals three major implications:

  1. Abortion up until birth.
  2. Abortion with no requirement for parental knowledge and/or consent.
  3. Abortion completely funded by taxpayers.

Under this proposed amendment, a 15-year-old girl could abort her baby up until the time of birth, without her parent’s knowledge or consent, and send the bill to taxpayers. That’s not only dangerous, it’s insane.

Proponents of the Arizona Abortion Access Amendment assert that the amendment’s primary objective is to save the mother’s life; however, upon closer examination, the amendment intentionally misleads voters by instilling an urgent fear that the mother’s life is at risk. Anthony Levatino, MD, JD, a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist, challenges this perspective, stating, “There are several serious conditions that can arise or worsen typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or ‘terminating’ the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life-saving. But is abortion a viable treatment option in this setting? I maintain that it usually, if not always, is not.” While the amendment writers want the public to believe that this amendment is necessary to save the mother’s life, clearly it’s nothing more than a sympathetic tactic to garner support.

On September 12, 2023, the Arizona Abortion Access Amendment petition campaign began. If petitioners are successful in gathering 383,923 signatures by July 3, 2024, the amendment will appear on Arizona’s ballot this November.

We can’t let that happen.

That’s why it is imperative for Arizona voters, taxpayers, and citizens to take a stand. And many pro-life organizations are doing so right now by leading a grassroots effort to educate Arizonans about why they should “Decline to Sign” this petition.

“Decline to Sign” aims to prevent the Arizona Abortion Access Amendment from even reaching the ballot by engaging in extensive education and awareness efforts. Volunteers associated with this grassroots initiative are dedicated to approaching Arizona voters, taxpayers, and citizens with kindness and providing a comprehensive understanding of the proposed amendment’s potential consequences. “Decline to Sign” volunteers believe that once the proposed amendment’s true nature is revealed, Arizona voters, taxpayers, and citizens can make an educated and informed decision whether to support, or not to support, the proposed amendment. The “Decline to Sign” initiative challenges the proposed amendment’s false impression that it advocates solely for “women’s reproductive health.” The “Decline to Sign” initiative also seeks to shed light on the proposed amendment’s harsh and permanent implications.

The proposed Arizona Abortion Access Amendment presents a crucial juncture in the ongoing discourse about the sanctity of life. As the petition process unfolds, Arizona voters, taxpayers, and citizens face the responsibility to protect the sanctity of life in our state and ensure that the voices of all life within the community are heard.

Katarina White serves as Legislative District Co-Chair for Arizona Right to Life. To get involved and stay informed with the “Decline to Sign” initiative, visit the Arizona Right to Life website. Katarina also delves deeper into the proposed amendment through the “Conservative Seoul Show,” where she presents the “Sanctity Unveiled” segment. You can join her as she explores the challenges faced by the sanctity of life in the State of Arizona here.

The One Simple Reason Electric Vehicles Are Doomed To Fail

The One Simple Reason Electric Vehicles Are Doomed To Fail

By David Blackmon |

In a story that seems to be becoming increasingly common as time goes on, The Western Journal reported this week about a Canadian EV owner experiencing some massive sticker shock over the cost of replacing the damaged battery in his electric vehicle.

Now, those of us who have always driven internal combustion engine (ICE) cars have at one time or another been faced with big repair bills for some of those vehicles. I can remember spending $4,000 on a new radiator for a 10-year-old Infiniti QX 50 with 220,000 miles on it that I just couldn’t bear to part with several years back. I did finally retire that wonderful vehicle when faced with the prospect of a $6,000 tag for a rebuilt transmission.

So, all cars will eventually cost you or your insurance company big money to repair — no one is saying that’s unique to EVs. But where EVs are concerned, it’s the magnitude of the price for replacing a damaged or worn-out battery that is often quite eye-popping.

I wrote a story in September about a fellow in the U.S. deciding to junk his paid-off EV when he got an estimate of $30k to replace his battery. We now see frequent reports that auto insurance companies are charging higher rates for EVs than for comparable ICE cars due in large part to this extravagant battery replacement cost.

If you think that $30,000 is extravagant, well, get ready, because it apparently isn’t even close to the worst-case scenario. Per the Western Journal, a Canadian man, Kyle Hsu, paid roughly $55,000 Canadian ($41,583 US) in 2022 to buy a brand new Hyundai IONIQ 5. But, less than a year later, Mr. Hsu was involved in what seemed to be a minor accident resulting in superficial damage to his beautiful EV.

Unfortunately for Hsu, it turned out that the battery protector cover on his car’s undercarriage was warped, a problem that could in certain instances cause the battery to explode. This meant that he would have to replace his car’s battery pack in addition to fixing its structural damage. Hsu says he was shocked when the estimate to replace the battery came in at $61,000 Canadian, or about $46,000 in US dollars. That’s almost $6,000 more than he paid for the car when he purchased it brand new.

Even worse, because the damage was caused by an accident, the bill was not covered by the car’s warranty, leaving Hsu with the alternative of filing a claim with his insurance carrier. But the resulting insurance implications were enormous, with Mr. Hsu facing a rate increase of up to 50% if he filed the claim. His only other choice would be to foot the repair bill himself and now have over $87,000 US dollars invested in a $41,000 car.

This is insane. This is not sustainable. The EV industry simply cannot have stories like this one popping up with increasing frequency and hope to sustain growing demand for its products.

When you combine horror stories like this one with:

  • range anxiety that pops up any time the weather isn’t perfect;
  • the lack of charging infrastructure;
  • the unreliability of the infrastructure that does exist;
  • the non-recyclability of the battery materials;
  • the increasing restrictions on charging due to the massive load EVs place on the grid;
  • and all the other significant issues EV makers have yet to address,

you see an industry that is almost doomed to failure before it really gets up and running.

I frequently remind readers that EVs have been around since the 1880s. They are not a new idea in any sense of that word. If they were really the answer to displacing ICE cars at societal scale, it seems likely they would have already done so. What we see popping up with increasing frequency now in the form of stories like this one are simply manifestations of the reasons why that has not already happened.

EVs today are what they have always been: A niche product, a luxury item suitable to fill discreet purposes for the upper 5% or so elites in any society. The technology simply is not there yet to make them anything more than that.

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Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

David Blackmon is a contributor to The Daily Caller News Foundation, an energy writer, and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

Arizona’s Minimum Wage Could Be $18 Per Hour Soon

Arizona’s Minimum Wage Could Be $18 Per Hour Soon

By Carson Carpenter |

Arizona’s minimum wage was $13.85 in 2023, up from $12.80 per hour in 2022. On January 1, 2024, minimum wage in State 48 will be raised another 50 cents to $14.35 per hour. This increase will happen despite the fact that Arizona’s inflation rate in 2023 was lower than the national average. That’s because Arizona is a state that raises minimum wage following the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI). This means that our state follows the inflation rate of the entire country instead of the localized state-level inflation rate. But now, a new group is pushing to ensure that Arizona’s minimum wage grows astronomically higher.

Back on November 7, 2022, a group named Raise the Wage AZ introduced a measure called The One Fair Wage Act. This state-initiated statute, which could be on the ballot in 2024, proposes raising the minimum wage to a staggering $18 per hour. Within this act, it explicitly states, “The One Fair Wage Act raises the minimum wage by $1 over cost of living increases in 2025 and 2026 and leaves cost of living increases in place thereafter.” By 2025 and 2026, the cost of living in Arizona could very well be one of the highest in the nation because of the Phoenix metro area.

Another part of the act is something that will leave many small business owners feeling extremely concerned. It states: “The Act gradually reduces the amount of the employer’s offset due to tips until the employer is required to pay the full minimum wage and employees keep all of their tips on top of that wage.” This will diminish profit margins directly for small businesses and therefore increase product costs to consumers.

It’s bad enough that small businesses have been left behind for the past three years because of mismanagement of fiscal policy and ignorance at the highest level within the federal government. They shouldn’t be expected to face another dramatic increase in minimum wage. Our state cannot fall into the same trap that California and New York fell into, letting large cities dominate secondary cities and smaller towns.

On top of this, the Biden Administration’s neglect of the southern border and immigration policy will leave people that are crossing illegally even more dependent on taxpayer-funded programs—pushing overall costs at a local level even higher. Now is not the time to raise minimum wage by such an extreme margin. This is an unfortunate initiative, because it fails to address any of these other concerns that will end up affecting Arizonans.

The reality is that The One Fair Wage Act is bad for Arizona. If this ballot initiative passes, rural Arizona will be left behind as prices increase dramatically. Small businesses will go dormant. Phoenix will become the Los Angeles of the desert. And the bar of entry to start a business in Arizona will continue to grow higher for everyday Arizonans.

Carson Carpenter is a student at Arizona State University, majoring in Political Science. He is the Vice President of ASU College Republicans and has interned for Reps. Gosar and Crane. You can follow him on Twitter here.

DEI Is Destroying American Universities

DEI Is Destroying American Universities

By Douglas Carswell |

Any sensible person can see that there is something seriously wrong with many American universities.

For several decades many of our most prestigious seats of learning have become hostile to free speech and genuine inquiry. Speech codes have been introduced to prevent so-called ‘microaggressions.’

Speakers that do not subscribe to ‘woke’ orthodoxies have been ‘de-platformed.’ Those that do get invited on to campus risk being mobbed, as recently happened to a federal judge at Stanford and Riley Gaines at San Francisco State.

Intellectual inquiry, too, has narrowed. Anyone presenting ideas outside the approved parameters risks having their career terminated. (See what happened to Harvard’s then-president, Larry Summers, in 2006 when he suggested that genetics might help explain why there are more male than female scientists.)

Then on October 7th, Hamas slaughtered over a thousand Israelis, most of them civilians. Far from condemning the massacre, student groups at Harvard, Cornell and other universities rushed to issue statements attacking Israel.

Anti-Israel protesters on campus made statements and chanted slogans that went beyond being merely rude or unpleasant. Some seemed antisemitic. Others sounded like they were calling for a Jewish genocide.

How come those campus speech codes suddenly no longer applied? Having spent years policing what could be said to avoid ‘microaggressions,’ where were the university authorities when Jewish students faced actual aggression?

Giving evidence before a Congressional committee the other week, Claudine Gay of Harvard appeared to suggest that however unpalatable the protesters might be, it was all part of their right to freedom of speech. “Our university embraces a commitment to free expression” she said. Both she, and Liz Magill of Penn, failed to confirm that calls for genocide of Jews violated the university’s code of conduct.

Free speech appears to apply at these universities when you want to call for genocide, but not if you want to talk about genetics.

Watching both Gay and Magill give evidence, they both appeared out of their depth. I may not have been the only person left wondering how either of them was appointed to their respective roles in the first place. (Some have unkindly suggested it may have something to do with ‘woke’ hiring practices.)

The problems at US universities run deeper than just a handful of poor appointments.

Many US universities, including some right here in Mississippi, have DEI, or Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, programs. This needs to stop. Now.

DEI can sound entirely harmless. Who could possibly be against supporting different groups of individuals, including people of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations? Pretty soon, however, DEI proves to be something much more sinister.

In the name of diversity, some US universities have been systematically discriminating against some Americans on the basis of their race, limiting admissions to ‘overrepresented’ groups. In the name of equity, US universities have set out to address structural inequalities – historic and current – that advantage some and disadvantage others. In the name of inclusion, those with the wrong views are excluded.

DEI is flawed because it demands we think in terms of groups of individuals, rather than just individuals. Universities that apply DEI no longer treat everyone on campus equally, but on the basis of their immutable characteristics. DEI is a fundamentally un-American ideal.

DEI is also a formula almost guaranteed to produce institutional incompetence. Imagine, for a moment, that your favorite football or basketball team was to be run on the basis of DEI. If they recruited players on the basis of something other than their ability to play the game, they would lose. It makes no sense to run a public university that way.

What is to be done?

Last week, the Governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, showed the way. He issued an executive order banning DEI programs in public universities. Mississippi needs to do something similar.

An executive order in Mississippi could prohibit public universities from using state funds, property or resources for DEI initiatives.

To be sure, if the Governor was to do this in Mississippi there would be howls of protests. Various pundits would whine. It is what pundits do. Some will scream “supremacist!” There is nothing supremacist about insisting every American is treated equally. Others will warn that unless we continue to pay DEI staff six figure salaries Mississippi will somehow regress.

I suspect most Mississippi parents wanting the best for their children would breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the sort of scenes we witnessed at some of those so-called ‘elite’ institutions never happen here.

If we want to stop the ‘woke’ takeover of our institutions, we need to act now.

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Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Douglas Carswell is a contributor to the Daily Caller News Foundation and President & CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

The High Cost Of Unlimited Illegal Immigration

The High Cost Of Unlimited Illegal Immigration

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Governor Katie Hobbs has had a change of heart over the immigration crisis on Arizona’s southern border. She recently reversed an earlier decision against deploying the National Guard, now sending over 200 Tucson sector troops and committing up to $5 million in Arizona taxpayer money to send troops to the Lukeville Port of Entry.

Hobbs also demanded the federal government reimburse Arizona $512.5 million for “migrant transportation, drug interdiction and law enforcement” expenses incurred under the Biden administration. She also promised to seek reimbursement “regularly” from the feds for Arizona’s border crisis mitigation.

What sparked the flurry of activity from our heretofore passive chief? Finally, the direct expenses to Arizona could no longer be ignored. They’re affecting Arizona’s budget and future financial viability.

For Hobbs and scores of other Democrat mayors and governors, compassionate sympathy with the plight of illegal immigrants was a good image so long as the expense was borne elsewhere. Hundreds of sanctuary cities were formed. Mayors from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities basked in assuring that theirs was an open, caring place.

Like Biden himself, they welcomed illegal immigrants to our shores. Sure, they heard the reports of complaints from border communities suffering from growing hordes of needy illegal immigrants, but those were mostly just red state conservatives anyway.

However, when the influx of visitors became so overwhelming that they had to be exported around the country, perspectives changed. Too late, Hobbs and the others realized the growth was out of control and the fiscal demands truly unsustainable. Their pleas for help from the feds were ignored.

It’s a good thing that our governor now acknowledges there is a problem, but she whiffed on her response. In fact, we don’t need more money, we don’t need more troops, we need to have the resolve to enforce the law against unauthorized entries into our country.

Instead, we advertise to the world that America welcomes all migrants and those who make it here will be admitted under the clever scheme of supposedly seeking asylum. They will be provided with transportation into the country, food, shelter, medical care, education, and social services.

We are then shocked when millions from the third world’s underclass stream in. Hobbs claimed the additional funds were necessary to “manage the influx of migrants” thereby unwittingly admitting the mistake. New money flowing to the border has been used not to stem the flow but to expedite the process of admitting even more invaders.

We desperately need a policy of admitting only those who are legally qualified for admission and turning away the rest. It’s not that complicated nor costly. It would save money and possibly the future of our nation.

The downsides of unlimited entry go far beyond the expenses borne by local governments faced with accommodating the immigrants’ short-term needs. We have had an estimated 15 to 20 million people illegally enter our country this century, 6.6 million processed through in Biden’s three years alone.

These are mostly undereducated, untrained people who are unlikely to attain self-sufficiency anytime soon. Most don’t mean us any harm, but others are terrorists, criminals, and foreign agents. Immigration errors, unlike some other policy areas, can’t be reversed. Our new residents are not going to leave – ever.

America is facing some daunting challenges. Most of our schools are failing to improve the education of underprivileged children. Public spending and our crushing debt load cast a black cloud over our future. Waves of lawlessness and organized criminal behavior plague us. The influence of Marxist-inspired social theories threatens to drive Americans, once believers in e pluribus unum, into warring identity enclaves.

Simply put, America is not in a position to spend more money or take on more problems, let alone accommodate a tsunami of 20 million illegal immigrants who will exacerbate every one of them.

America is famously a nation defined not by “blood and soil” but by the values on which we were founded – equality of all before the law, representative government, rule of law, limited government, and individual rights. The illegal immigration of tens of millions who don’t know or love America will change forever who we are and what America means to the world.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

The Corporation Commission’s Decision To Roll Back EV Subsidies Is A Big Win For Ratepayers

The Corporation Commission’s Decision To Roll Back EV Subsidies Is A Big Win For Ratepayers

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

If someone wants to own an electric vehicle (EV), it is perfectly within their right to do so. That’s what it means to have freedom. But EV owners should be the ones to bear the burden of any costs associated with the necessary infrastructure improvements. And they should absolutely be responsible for paying for any excessive demand placed on the grid.

But that’s not the way the left sees it.

As part of its Green New Deal dream, the left has been pushing an agenda that significantly increases the amount of EVs on the road despite slowing demand from consumers and companies like Ford losing billions on them just this year. And Arizona utilities have fallen right in line, planning for 1 million EVs by 2030 while APS alone plans to have a 100% “carbon free” vehicle fleet as part of its commitment to go “Net Zero” by 2050.

So, how exactly was APS planning to do this?