Pro-Life Round-up from Around the Country
BsideU, as a general rule, focuses more on ministering to women in need and not legislative or political activity surrounding the Sanctity of Life. But some current events are hard for us and our supporters to ignore, particularly during the month of January, Sanctity of Life Month. It gives us pause not only on events recently in the news, but brought to mind many things that have taken place in the last year.
The March for Life in Washington, DC always catches our attention, particularly this year, when President Trump chose to speak to the crowd in person, the first sitting U.S. President to do so (prior speaking Presidents did so by video). The March’s theme this year, “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman” was embodied in the video they released, seen here: https://youtu.be/9a4mEoX-bUs. The largest pro-life rally in the nation showed that participation continues to grow, especially among high school and college students.
Sometimes, our supporters are heartened (or disheartened!) by legislative developments. Here’s a summary of legislative activity over the past year around the country, demonstrating an increased focus on the issue of abortion:
- Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio each passed “Heartbeat” laws in 2019, which protect the most vulnerable in those states by making abortion illegal once the baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
- Arkansas, Missouri and Utah each passed laws that make abortion illegal past a certain stage of gestation, ranging from 8 to 20 weeks.
- Alabama took the strongest pro-life stance last year, making abortion illegal in all cases except when the mother’s health is at risk.
- The Kentucky General Assembly voted to ban abortion based on gender, race or disability.
- The Title X program was revised in February last year, requiring any organization receiving funding under Title X to keep abortion facilities separate from other healthcare facilities, and to not refer patients for abortions. Demonstrating their core focus, Planned Parenthood rejected about $60 million in annual federal funding as they refused to abide by the requirement.
On the disheartening side of current events, we note that:
- While the number of abortions performed continues to decline annually, the number of medication-facilitated abortions is climbing, and possibly higher than we can know due to women ordering unregulated pills online–despite the inherent risks and, in some cases life-threatening complications to the mother.
- New York and Illinois each passed a so-called “Reproductive Health Act” which denies the personhood of the unborn, and enables abortion at any stage of pregnancy. It also dials back qualifications required of medical practitioners who perform abortions.
Predictable but most discouraging, just last month Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky a provisional license to provide abortions, which they will begin in March. This was after being ordered to cease the procedure in 2016 due to failure to have transfer and transport agreements in place according to state law.
We ask you to join us in praying for our nation, states and cities as decisions are being made that affect the most vulnerable. We encourage you to listen to the prayer offered by Dr. Gary French, of Life Renewed Ministries Church, at Governor Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth address on January 14th, 2020: https://www.wave3.com/2020/01/15/gov-beshear-gives-first-state-commonwealth-address/ (click the second video listed, and fast forward to 6 minutes and 20 seconds). It is a reminder of the hope that we have based on our Creator and our national and state heritage, and is a challenge of how we should pray for our country.
Next month, we’ll focus on the status of Kentucky’s recent pro-life legislative efforts in the court system, because every pro-life law is challenged by pro-abortion activists.