By / Jan 10

NASHVILLE (BP) – The Supreme Court will rule on a case involving an Idaho law that bans nearly all abortions in the state.

The high court agreed to hear a challenge to the law, known as the Defense of Life Act, which makes it a felony for doctors to perform most abortions, with an exception for procedures performed when necessary to save the life of the mother.

Last Friday (Jan. 5), the Supreme Court ruled Idaho can enforce the law while the case involving the legislation is being resolved. The court is expected to hear the case in April, and a decision is expected by early summer.

The Friday ruling put on hold a lower court ruling which blocked the Idaho law, based upon a lawsuit filed by the Biden administration.

Brent Leatherwood, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said the lawsuit filed by the Biden administration against the state of Idaho is a wrongful “twist” of federal law seeking to “thwart” the state’s legislation.

Despite what some activists and parts of culture want you to believe, abortion is not health care. In fact, it turns the entire notion of health care on its head. Equally alarming are those who, in the furtherance of abortion, seek to twist federal law to mandate that doctors violate their conscience in the medical care they provide. All of this is preposterous, and the Supreme Court should see through this backdoor attempt by the Biden Administration to thwart Idaho’s ‘Defense of Life’ state law.

Emergency room doctors are more than capable of quickly managing life-threatening situations for mothers like ectopic pregnancies with the utmost care. But they should never be forced to perform elective abortions that terminate the life of a preborn child. The Supreme Court’s decision to review this case is potentially a positive step to both uphold a state’s action to protect life and rebuke the federal government for doing Planned Parenthood’s bidding.

Brent Leatherwood

In a similar case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that ER physicians in Texas were not required to perform emergency abortion care under EMTALA, in a decision announced just days before the high court agreed to rule on Idaho’s law barring abortion.

Leatherwood noted the importance of continuing to fight for the pro-life cause amid these ongoing legal battles.

It is imperative for all of us who care about the lives of preborn children, their mothers and families to make it clear that abortion is wrong, and the ability to end a defenseless life is no freedom at all.

Brent Leatherwood

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Jan 19

Where do we go from here? Sometimes that phrase is heard after a family tragedy or a moment that upends our life or business. Many Kentucky Baptists and their neighbors were asking that very question after the historic west Kentucky tornadoes on Dec. 10, 2021, and the eastern Kentucky flooding this past July.  

But in this case, the question was being asked after the Yes for Life Amendment (Constitutional Amendment 2) failed to pass in Kentucky’s voting booths Nov. 8, 2022. The amendment stated, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” The result of the vote was disappointing for those who worked diligently to see this amendment passed.  

Much prayer and sacrifice went into the drafting and promotion of this historic amendment. Many elected leaders, as well as pastors and church leaders, put their own names on the line to defend the preborn in our state. Kentucky Baptist pastors and associational and ministry leaders were “all in” on promoting the passage of Amendment 2, and Kentucky Baptists showed up and voted for the amendment. We should give thanks for those who provided leadership to speak up for the preborn.  

We are disappointed in the defeat of Amendment 2. Legalized abortion is the greatest human rights atrocity of our day, and Kentucky Baptists will continue to work and pray that it remains illegal in our state. We are grateful that Attorney General Daniel Cameron has proven that he will fight to uphold Kentucky’s pro-life laws in court, and we encourage our state legislators to continue passing legislation that protects preborn children made in the image of God. 

What’s next for pro-life Kentuckians? 

But, where do we go from here? Here are five actions to consider:  

1. We continue to pray for abortion to be abolished in Kentucky. Abolitionist William Wilberforce fought tirelessly against the inhumane slave trade in Great Britain. He suffered defeat after defeat before finally experiencing victory. Our cause is one worthy of continued effort and prayer. This defeat gives each of us an opportunity to sharpen our pro-life apologetics and get to work convincing and persuading others of the rightness of our position.  

2. We continue to care for women and families with unplanned pregnancies. Forty-nine pregnancy resource centers in Kentucky are connected to the Kentucky Baptist Convention. You can learn more here. The leaders and volunteers at these bastions of compassion woke up on Wednesday morning following the election and went to work doing what they do every day—serving women and families experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We can help them with their work.  

3. We continue to encourage elected leaders who defend life. I was so proud of many of Kentucky’s elected House and Senate members and constitutional officers who put their own popularity on the line to defend preborn children in Kentucky. The disrespectful chant that says “politicians look for a parade and get in front of it” does not fit these courageous leaders. In Kentucky, we have strong pro-life laws and an attorney general who will vigorously defend them before the Supreme Court. Continue to pray for the Kentucky Supreme Court as it heard arguments on Nov. 15t, 2022, about a challenge to the state’s pre-Roe trigger law which has currently banned abortion. We pray that they will uphold the ban which is currently in effect.

4. We continue to pray for pro-abortion advocates. During the recent Amendment 2 campaign, I was given a renewed passion for praying for and striving to persuade those who view preborn human beings differently than I do. I believe, according to God’s Word, that they are wrong in their position. I also believe they are people made in the image of God who need the gospel. 

5. We continue to promote the adoption of vulnerable children. While a vulnerable mom might not be up to the task of parenting her preborn child, someone else is. There are couples all over the commonwealth who would line up to adopt vulnerable children and give them a great life.  

So where do we go from here? We keep working toward the day when legalized elective abortion will be part of our terrible past, but not part of our more humane future.  

As of the writing of this article, there are no legalized elective abortions being performed in Kentucky. Please join me in praying that this will be our normal from now on. 

A version of this article first appeared here

By / Jan 13

In this episode, Lindsay and Brent discuss the South Carolina Supreme Court striking down the state’s 6-week abortion ban. They also talk about the pro-life organization and the March for Life happening next week.

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  • Dobbs Resource Page | The release of the Dobbs decision marks a true turning point in the pro-life movement, a moment that Christians, advocates and many others have worked toward tirelessly for 50 years. Let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities. To get more resources on this case, visit ERLC.com/Dobbs.
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By / Jan 5

In 2020, “medication” abortion—abortion via pills rather than surgery—accounted for the majority of all United States abortions for the first time in the pills’ 20-year history.1

Reinforcing access to these medication abortions was one of the Biden administration’s first responses to the fall of Roe. President Joe Biden “directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify all ways to ensure that mifepristone [one of the two drugs used in pill-based abortions] is as widely accessible as possible”2 in the very same statement in which he asserted a right to engage in interstate abortion trafficking.3 

These are the emergent twin frontiers of the pro-life legal battle: abortion pills and abortion trafficking. 

These abortions aren’t as “safe and effective” as they’re made out to be, either.4 Abortion pills are four times more likely to land vulnerable mothers in the emergency room than first-trimester surgical abortions.5 Surgical abortions pursued out-of-state can be risky, too, as the side effects can be severe for mothers. Women undergoing out-of-state abortions risk being stranded away from family or friends while they suffer potentially extreme pain, bleeding, 6 grief, or anxiety.7

However, these two abortion strategies have become the preferred ways for the federal government and regulatory agencies to advance abortion after the Dobbs ruling—thereby hampering pro-life legislators at the state level.8 

The text of the Dobbs decision was clear: the court sought ultimately to allow “each State to address abortion as it pleases.”9 It specifically rendered judgment that no “right to abortion” is derived from the U.S. Constitution. 

In other words, while it was a tremendous pro-life victory that allows elected officials to make laws protecting children in the womb, Dobbs emphatically did not end abortion in the United States. Much of the fight to protect vulnerable little ones remains with us.

Remembering why we advocate for abortion’s end

That’s why it is essential that legislators, activists, and Christians remember why we “address” abortion at all: to end the ongoing massacre of innocent, human life in the womb. 

As early as six weeks,10 a heartbeat of about 110 BPM is detectable in the womb—no matter how hard pro-abortion activists may fight to revise longstanding, uncontroversial medical consensus.11 By 12 weeks, all of the little human’s major body systems are present and reflexes begin to develop.12 At 18 weeks, children can hear their mothers’ heartbeat.13 In the last trimester, they can taste—and smile or grimace at—the flavors of the food their mother eats.14

This is not simply a political or campaign issue. This is not just the states’ legal responsibility. This is the gravest human rights abuse in our society. These are children. They always have been and always will be. Children were at the heart of the pro-life movement from its inception—as individuals sought to protect these vulnerable neighbors from the abortion provider’s hand—and they remain there to this day.

A legislation rundown

Yet there is legislation on the books in aggressively pro-abortion states to expand the legal killing of these children. Seven states have no gestational limit on abortion whatsoever,15 and another 26 states16 only limit abortions at or around the point of “fetal viability,” generally between 22 and 24 weeks.17

Given the fact that 91% of U.S. abortions occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy,18 viability protections translate into unrestricted abortion access for the vast majority of women who desire an abortion. In other words, many of the children who may have been killed under Roe may also be killed under Dobbs.

The state-level response to Dobbs is varied, and a range of pro-life strategies are before the courts at this very moment.Thus far, six states responded by introducing “personhood amendments,” amendments to their state constitution that would permanently enshrine the human child in the womb as a legal person.19 The Dobbs decision explicitly sidestepped the question of fetal personhood, so these amendments—and the litigation battles they spawn—are breaking new legal ground.20

Other states, like Missouri, are exploring protecting children from abortion traffficking.21 Following a model like Texas’ novel S.B. 8 law, Republican Missouri Rep. Mary Coleman introduced legislation that would allow private citizens to sue anyone they knew had pursued an out-of-state abortion.22 

Additionally, 19 states required abortion pill providers be present for the administration of the first dose, making out-of-state “telemedicine” in these cases effectively illegal.23 Part of this provider requirement is often a guarantee of emergency care for women undergoing “self-managed” abortions—a surprising stipulation if they are in fact as safe as proponents make them out to be.24

However, international providers are untouchable by current federal regulation.25 One such provider, Aid Access, is based in Europe and provides medical abortions to Americans in states where life is protected.26 It’s run by a pro-abortion activist and was actively pursued by the Trump administration’s FDA for providing “unapproved” forms of the drugs used in medical abortion, but continues providing abortions-by-mail to this day.27 Aid Access claimed it received more than 10,000 requests for the abortion pill regimen in the week after the Dobbs decision.28 

International pills pose deep and dangerous risks for women who may not have consulted their own doctor who knows their medical history. An incorrect dose could lead to a hemorrhage, for example, or if a woman is Rh negative and doesn’t receive Rhogam at the time of her abortion, she could be putting herself at serious risk in future pregnancies. 

The work before us 

The future of the pro-life movement is growing much more complex. We are not merely fighting to protect women and children from a badly-reasoned 1973 Supreme Court precedent. We are fighting to defend them against international activists, other states, domestic activists, and even the current administration. Addressing the use or expansion of abortion pills and abortion trafficking, in all their forms, will become essential as we seek to protect human life in the womb in America. 

But there is another side to this picture. Legally protecting children in the womb alone fails to address the very real and pressing needs of vulnerable mothers all over the nation who are in desperate need of material, emotional, and social support. So—as voters, as members of the pro-life movement, and as Christians—we must rally around women, as well. 

We need to find a way to restore motherhood to its rightful status as a role to be celebrated, cherished, and protected. 

It will take charity, humility, and tireless work from all parts of the pro-life movement in order to do so: part legislative, part community-based, part spiritual ministry, and part prayer. 

But it is possible. And it is imperative that we work to realize it. Millions of children in the womb and their mothers depend upon us, now more than ever. The legacy of the pro-life movement hangs in the balance, and we cannot afford to lose momentum or clarity.

So work and pray. Pray in gratitude for each life rescued by existing abortion restrictions, many enacted by the Dobbs decision. And work fervently to rescue children in the many states where their lives are not yet protected or valued. The very fabric of our society depends upon it. 

View the latest issue of Light magazine here.

By / Dec 27
By / Dec 27

In 2020, “medication” abortion—abortion via pills rather than surgery—accounted for the majority of all United States abortions for the first time in the pills’ 20-year history.1https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/02/medication-abortion-now-accounts-more-half-all-us-abortions

Reinforcing access to these medication abortions was one of the Biden administration’s first responses to the fall of Roe. President Joe Biden “directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify all ways to ensure that mifepristone [one of the two drugs used in pill-based abortions] is as widely accessible as possible”2https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-actions-in-light-of-todays-supreme-court-decision-on-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization/ in the very same statement in which he asserted a right to engage in interstate abortion trafficking.3https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-actions-in-light-of-todays-supreme-court-decision-on-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization/ 

These are the emergent twin frontiers of the pro-life legal battle: abortion pills and abortion trafficking. 

These abortions aren’t as “safe and effective” as they’re made out to be, either.4https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/it-still-legal-me-get-abortion Abortion pills are four times more likely to land vulnerable mothers in the emergency room than first-trimester surgical abortions.5https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/new-study-finds-chemical-abortion-leads-to-higher-rate-of-er-visits/ Surgical abortions pursued out-of-state can be risky, too, as the side effects can be severe for mothers. Women undergoing out-of-state abortions risk being stranded away from family or friends while they suffer potentially extreme pain, bleeding, 6https://cspregnancycenter.com/side-effects-of-abortion.htm grief, or anxiety.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207970/

However, these two abortion strategies have become the preferred ways for the federal government and regulatory agencies to advance abortion after the Dobbs ruling—thereby hampering pro-life legislators at the state level.8https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf 

The text of the Dobbs decision was clear: the court sought ultimately to allow “each State to address abortion as it pleases.”9https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/is-it-legal-to-travel-for-abortion-after-dobbs It specifically rendered judgment that no “right to abortion” is derived from the U.S. Constitution. 

In other words, while it was a tremendous pro-life victory that allows elected officials to make laws protecting children in the womb, Dobbs emphatically did not end abortion in the United States. Much of the fight to protect vulnerable little ones remains with us.

Remembering Why We Advocate for Abortion’s End

That’s why it is essential that legislators, activists, and Christians remember why we “address” abortion at all: to end the ongoing massacre of innocent, human life in the womb. 

As early as six weeks,10https://lozierinstitute.org/science-at-6-weeks-unborn-babys-heart-rate-is-approximately-98-beats-per-minute/ a heartbeat of about 110 BPM is detectable in the womb—no matter how hard pro-abortion activists may fight to revise longstanding, uncontroversial medical consensus.11https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2022/september/a-flat-out-lie-doctor-dismantles-stacey-abrams-viral-claim-that-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-heartbeat-at-six-weeks By 12 weeks, all of the little human’s major body systems are present and reflexes begin to develop.12https://www.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/12-weeks-pregnant At 18 weeks, children can hear their mothers’ heartbeat.13https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/when-can-a-fetus-hear In the last trimester, they can taste—and smile or grimace at—the flavors of the food their mother eats.14https://www.insider.com/babies-smiled-at-carrots-grimaced-at-kale-taste-womb-study-2022-9

This is not simply a political or campaign issue. This is not just the states’ legal responsibility. This is the gravest human rights abuse in our society. These are children. They always have been and always will be. Children were at the heart of the pro-life movement from its inception—as individuals sought to protect these vulnerable neighbors from the abortion provider’s hand—and they remain there to this day.

A Legislation Rundown

Yet there is legislation on the books in aggressively pro-abortion states to expand the legal killing of these children. Seven states have no gestational limit on abortion whatsoever,15https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html and another 26 states16https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html only limit abortions at or around the point of “fetal viability,” generally between 22 and 24 weeks.17https://www.insider.com/guides/health/reproductive-health/fetal-viability

Given the fact that 91% of U.S. abortions occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy,18https://www.plannedparenthood.org/uploads/filer_public/99/41/9941f2a9-7738-4a8b-95f6-5680e59a45ac/pp_abortion_after_the_first_trimester.pdf viability protections translate into unrestricted abortion access for the vast majority of women who desire an abortion. In other words, many of the children who may have been killed under Roe may also be killed under Dobbs.

The state-level response to Dobbs is varied, and a range of pro-life strategies are before the courts at this very moment.Thus far, six states responded by introducing “personhood amendments,” amendments to their state constitution that would permanently enshrine the human child in the womb as a legal person.19https://time.com/6191886/fetal-personhood-laws-roe-abortion/ The Dobbs decision explicitly sidestepped the question of fetal personhood, so these amendments—and the litigation battles they spawn—are breaking new legal ground.20https://time.com/6191886/fetal-personhood-laws-roe-abortion/

Other states, like Missouri, are exploring protecting children from abortion traffficking.21https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/abortion-travel-bans-emerge-as-next-frontier-after-roes-end Following a model like Texas’ novel S.B. 8 law, Republican Missouri Rep. Mary Coleman introduced legislation that would allow private citizens to sue anyone they knew had pursued an out-of-state abortion.22https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/abortion-travel-bans-emerge-as-next-frontier-after-roes-end 

Additionally, 19 states required abortion pill providers be present for the administration of the first dose, making out-of-state “telemedicine” in these cases effectively illegal.23https://abcnews.go.com/Health/abortion-pill-restricted-state-bans/story?id=86069230 Part of this provider requirement is often a guarantee of emergency care for women undergoing “self-managed” abortions—a surprising stipulation if they are in fact as safe as proponents make them out to be.24https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/european-doctor-prescribes-abortion-pills-u-s-women-over-internet-n1012676 

However, international providers are untouchable by current federal regulation.25https://abcnews.go.com/Health/abortion-pill-restricted-state-bans/story?id=86069230 One such provider, Aid Access, is based in Europe and provides medical abortions to Americans in states where life is protected.26https://abcnews.go.com/Health/abortion-pill-restricted-state-bans/story?id=86069230 It’s run by a pro-abortion activist and was actively pursued by the Trump administration’s FDA for providing “unapproved” forms of the drugs used in medical abortion, but continues providing abortions-by-mail to this day.27https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/european-doctor-prescribes-abortion-pills-u-s-women-over-internet-n1012676 Aid Access claimed it received more than 10,000 requests for the abortion pill regimen in the week after the Dobbs decision.28https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/03/health/abortion-pill-access-roe-v-wade.html 

International pills pose deep and dangerous risks for women who may not have consulted their own doctor who knows their medical history. An incorrect dose could lead to a hemorrhage, for example, or if a woman is Rh negative and doesn’t receive Rhogam at the time of her abortion, she could be putting herself at serious risk in future pregnancies. 

The Work Before Us 

The future of the pro-life movement is growing much more complex. We are not merely fighting to protect women and children from a badly-reasoned 1973 Supreme Court precedent. We are fighting to defend them against international activists, other states, domestic activists, and even the current administration. Addressing the use or expansion of abortion pills and abortion trafficking, in all their forms, will become essential as we seek to protect human life in the womb in America. 

But there is another side to this picture. Legally protecting children in the womb alone fails to address the very real and pressing needs of vulnerable mothers all over the nation who are in desperate need of material, emotional, and social support. So—as voters, as members of the pro-life movement, and as Christians—we must rally around women, as well. 

We need to find a way to restore motherhood to its rightful status as a role to be celebrated, cherished, and protected. 

It will take charity, humility, and tireless work from all parts of the pro-life movement in order to do so: part legislative, part community-based, part spiritual ministry, and part prayer. 

But it is possible. And it is imperative that we work to realize it. Millions of children in the womb and their mothers depend upon us, now more than ever. The legacy of the pro-life movement hangs in the balance, and we cannot afford to lose momentum or clarity.

So work and pray. Pray in gratitude for each life rescued by existing abortion restrictions, many enacted by the Dobbs decision. And work fervently to rescue children in the many states where their lives are not yet protected or valued. The very fabric of our society depends upon it. 

  • 1
    https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/02/medication-abortion-now-accounts-more-half-all-us-abortions
  • 2
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-actions-in-light-of-todays-supreme-court-decision-on-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization/
  • 3
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-actions-in-light-of-todays-supreme-court-decision-on-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization/
  • 4
    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/it-still-legal-me-get-abortion
  • 5
    https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/new-study-finds-chemical-abortion-leads-to-higher-rate-of-er-visits/
  • 6
    https://cspregnancycenter.com/side-effects-of-abortion.htm
  • 7
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207970/
  • 8
    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf
  • 9
    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/is-it-legal-to-travel-for-abortion-after-dobbs
  • 10
    https://lozierinstitute.org/science-at-6-weeks-unborn-babys-heart-rate-is-approximately-98-beats-per-minute/
  • 11
    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2022/september/a-flat-out-lie-doctor-dismantles-stacey-abrams-viral-claim-that-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-heartbeat-at-six-weeks
  • 12
    https://www.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/12-weeks-pregnant
  • 13
    https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/when-can-a-fetus-hear
  • 14
    https://www.insider.com/babies-smiled-at-carrots-grimaced-at-kale-taste-womb-study-2022-9
  • 15
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html
  • 16
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html
  • 17
    https://www.insider.com/guides/health/reproductive-health/fetal-viability
  • 18
    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/uploads/filer_public/99/41/9941f2a9-7738-4a8b-95f6-5680e59a45ac/pp_abortion_after_the_first_trimester.pdf
  • 19
    https://time.com/6191886/fetal-personhood-laws-roe-abortion/
  • 20
    https://time.com/6191886/fetal-personhood-laws-roe-abortion/
  • 21
    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/abortion-travel-bans-emerge-as-next-frontier-after-roes-end
  • 22
    https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/abortion-travel-bans-emerge-as-next-frontier-after-roes-end
  • 23
    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/abortion-pill-restricted-state-bans/story?id=86069230
  • 24
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/european-doctor-prescribes-abortion-pills-u-s-women-over-internet-n1012676 
  • 25
    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/abortion-pill-restricted-state-bans/story?id=86069230
  • 26
    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/abortion-pill-restricted-state-bans/story?id=86069230
  • 27
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/european-doctor-prescribes-abortion-pills-u-s-women-over-internet-n1012676
  • 28
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/03/health/abortion-pill-access-roe-v-wade.html
By / Dec 27

It rarely happens to me, but I could not speak. I just sat in a kind of stunned silence when I heard the news. Then, I felt like crying, which is also rare for me. My tears, however, were tears of joy. It should not be this way, but I was surprised that God had positively answered a prayer I had been praying for 32 years since I became a Christian. Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision with a 6-3 ruling. No longer is the purposeful destruction of life in the womb counted as a federally protected right. 

I have been reminded in the ensuing days of many of the tireless heroes I have known who have been on the front lines, relentlessly fighting for the end of Roe. Most of these people are ordinary Americans from all walks of life, full of faith and hope. They are people whose compassion compels them to be champions for life, from womb to tomb. The coalition looks nothing like the cartoonish caricatures some on the cultural left attempt to make them out to be. Their chief weapons in this battle have been kindness, generosity, and persistence. 

More recently, my thoughts have turned to the fact that our pro-life coalition, while rightly rejoicing in a significant victory, must not grow weary in well-doing (Gal. 6:9). The toppling of Roe did not make abortion illegal across the nation but rather turned the issue back to the states. There is work to be done—more work, not less—in every state across the nation in defending and caring for life.

What legislation is like in a more pro-life state

My state, Kentucky, faces a far different situation than my brothers and sisters in California. While our governor, Andy Beshear, is radically pro-abortion, the state is not. During statewide COVID lockdowns, the governor’s edict called for only life-saving medical procedures to be permitted, but he made an exception for the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the state’s only abortion clinic. Nevertheless, the Kentucky General Assembly preemptively passed a trigger law in 2019 to take effect immediately upon the overturning of Roe. The trigger law bans abortion in the state with an exception to save the life of the mother. Attorney General Daniel Cameron has clarified that he will enforce Kentucky’s pro-life laws. Kentucky was one of 13 states to pass post-Roe trigger laws.1https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/06/13-states-have-abortion-trigger-bans-heres-what-happens-when-roe-overturned

However, Kentucky is not a state free of pro-life concerns. In the recent November general elections, Kentuckians were asked to pass Constitutional Amendment 2.

The one-sentence amendment stated, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” The amendment was already passed by the state legislature in November 2021.

Constitutional Amendment 2 was simply worded to prevent activist judges from “finding” a right to abortion in Kentucky’s Constitution and ensures that the state’s abortion policy will be set exclusively by the citizens of the Commonwealth and its elected representatives. The amendment would have ensured that the citizens of Kentucky would not be coerced into funding the destruction of babies’ lives in the womb.2https://www.kentucky.com/news/state/kentucky/article267183231.html Though the pro-life coalition in Kentucky advocated strongly for the bill, it failed to garner the support necessary. This demonstrates that end of Roe was but a new beginning for the work of the pro-life movement.

These legislative battles are strategically important in post-Roe America. No Christian should minimize their importance in the least. In our federal democratic republic, the sword is placed in each of our hands, and we must wield it faithfully to the glory of Christ. Nevertheless, with equal vehemence, we must assert that legislative battles are only a part of the story for the church in our post-Roe world. Our gaze must stretch from ballot initiatives all the way to the consummation of Christ’s kingdom. 

Advocating for life made in God’s image

For Christians, our pro-life commitment is rooted in the fact that we are all made in the image of our Creator God. Any thought of life, for the Christian, should always prompt thoughts about eternal life. There is always more to the story for believers than any particular cultural moment. The truth is, the bulk of on-the-ground pro-lifers I have known throughout my life as a follower of Jesus have lived this reality. The power of the pro-life cause has been that most pro-lifers have not viewed their cultural opponents as enemies. I have known many people won to the pro-life cause because of how they were served and loved by someone they viewed as an enemy. 

I will never forget when a woman came up to me after a morning church service and said, “I want to introduce you to my child. My child is only alive because of your church.” Then she told me about the day she headed to the abortion clinic where people were pleading with her to keep her baby and offering to pray for her. She said she screamed, “You do not care about this baby’s life! Just its birth!” Those people, members of the church I pastor, gave her money to get on her feet, paid for the baby’s needs, and helped her get a job. 

You know what? I still do not know who the particular members of my church were that served and loved this confused and frightened woman. I do not know because they did not do it so that others would know. They did it because they love Christ and love the people made in his image. I do not know if that woman is a Christian today, but I do know she heard the gospel and has been shown love in Christ’s name. I also know that every time she sees her child she is reminded of that love.

I thank God for the fall of Roe, and I pray that my beloved state of Kentucky will become a state where abortion is unthinkable. We must continue to work on legislative measures that will end government-sponsored predation on women in moments of crisis and confusion by legally protecting something so egregiously wrong. But I also know this: regardless, there will still be confused and frightened women in Kentucky and around the nation facing a pregnancy who will need believers to show them the love of Christ. 

Our fight against the deceitful culture of death will continue until that ancient serpent of old is thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:2, 10). The Evil One has hated babies and sought their destruction since the first gospel promise that one born of woman will bring his demise (Genesis 3:15). Supreme courts matter, elected officials matter, but the Messiah and his church transcends all. The Church must understand that the pro-life movement did not begin in the 1960s; it began in the garden, and its ultimate victory is not in courts, but in a New Heavens and New Earth.

  • 1
    https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/06/13-states-have-abortion-trigger-bans-heres-what-happens-when-roe-overturned
  • 2
    https://www.kentucky.com/news/state/kentucky/article267183231.html
By / Aug 5

In this episode, Brent and Lindsay discuss the failure of the Kansas pro-life amendment, voter priorities and abortion, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. They also talk about the Indiana representative and staff members killed in a car crash. 

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  • Dobbs Resource Page | The release of the Dobbs decision marks a true turning point in the pro-life movement, a moment that Christians, advocates and many others have worked toward tirelessly for 50 years. Let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities. To get more resources on this case, visit ERLC.com/Dobbs.
  • Sexual Ethics Resource Page | Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of entertainment and messages that challenge the Bible’s teachings on sexual ethics? It often feels like we’re walking through uncharted terrority. But no matter what we face in our ever-shifting culture, God’s design for human sexuality has never changed. The ERLC’s new sexual ethics resource page is full of helpful articles, videos, and explainers that will equip you to navigate these important issues with truth and grace. Get these free resources at ERLC.com/sexualethics.
By / Aug 5

On Tuesday, voters in Kansas rejected a proposed amendment to their state constitution that would have given state legislators the authority to pass future laws restricting abortion. 

The “No State Constitutional Right to Abortion and Legislative Power to Regulate Abortion Amendment” (also called the “Value Them Both” amendment) was on the ballot in Kansas as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. A vote in favor of the amendment would have added language stating that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion and that the legislature has the authority to pass laws regarding abortion. By rejecting the proposal, the current legal precedent established in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt (2019) remains in effect. That ruling states that the Kansas Bill of Rights provides a right to abortion.

Almost 60% of voters opposed the amendment (538,410 votes against and 375,850 in favor), but less than 1-in-3 registered voters in the state turned out to vote this year. Yet despite the low overall turnout, it was still the most votes ever in a Kansas primary.

According to Politico, “The referendum’s result particularly shocked the state because the pro-amendment campaign had some structural advantages heading into Tuesday, and they were ahead in recent polls.” The general assumption was that the pro-life measure would be approved since the state has been solidly Republican for decades (the state has more than 850,000 registered Republicans compared to 495,000 registered Democrats). 

Because this was the first opportunity voters had to directly vote on the issue of abortion since the Dobbs decision overturned Roe, it is being trumpted as an unequicoal win for the pro-abortion forces, and a bellweather for how voters will respond when given the choice. That belief will soon be put to the test. Currently, there are four other ballot measures addressing abortion—the most on record for a single year—that will be voted on in 2022. Measures have been certified for the ballot in California, Kentucky, Montana, and Vermont.

This vote may also confirm what many pro-life activists have suspected: that most Americans are both pro-life and pro-choice—that is, they believe abortion is wrong and yet also believe the choice of whether to have an abortion should be left to the woman, especially in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Though according to a recent poll, the majority of Americans are not in favor of abortion without restrictions. Seventy-two percent of those polled support an abortion ban after 15 weeks

A more pessimistic assessment is that Americans simply aren’t as opposed to abortion as we would hope. Even among demographics that are often considered pro-life stalwarts, significant numbers self-identify as “pro-choice.” A Gallup poll taken earlier this year found that more than 1-in-4 who identify as Republican (28%) or conservative (28%) say they are pro-choice. The same is true for those who attend religious services weekly (26%), and is even higher for those who attend nearly weekly/monthly (52%). 

While the Kansas vote and some of these other statistics feel like a setback, pro-life Christians can take comfort in the realization that this is what many within the movement expected. “If we held national referenda, one on abolishing Roe in favor of some policy regime [to be determined in the future] would almost certainly have lost in most states,” says Ramesh Ponnuru. “Pro-lifers by and large understood that the polls in favor of Roe didn’t mean Americans were deeply committed to an abortion regime as expansive as the one Roe actually entailed.”

What this means is that we still have considerable work to do to convince our fellow Americans—and even some of those who claim the name of Christ—of the need to protect the most vulnerable humans among us. In our churches and our communities, we lovingly and boldly proclaim the truth of God’s Word and demonstrate the inherent dignity belonging to all of our neighbors, even the youngest and most dependent among us. 

“This is how we proceed,” said Jordan Wootten in a recent ERLC article on American’s view of abortion. “By walking in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25) and bearing his fruit, we perform this needed work with love, kindness, and gentleness, patiently enduring hardships, and hoping for the day when abortion becomes illegal and unthinkable to all Americans all across this country.”

By / Jul 29

Demand for abortion pills has increased significantly since the recent Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to put greater restrictions on abortion. Axios reports that organizations that provide information about or access to abortion pill has skyrocketed in the weeks since the Dobbs decision was released. The result is that chemical abortion is likely to become even more common in the near future. Over half of abortions in the U.S. (54%) in 2020 were medication-induced, up from 39% in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports access to abortion.

Here is what you should know about abortion pills. 

What is an abortion pill?

The abortion pill is the most common type of chemical abortion. 

The two broad methods for legal abortions in the U.S. are chemical and surgical. A chemical abortion (sometimes referred to as a medication abortion, medical abortion, or pharmaceutical abortion) is a method that uses an abortifacient to stimulate uterine contractions and end the pregnancy in a process similar to miscarriage. An abortifacient is a chemical or drug that causes embryonic death by either killing the child directly or by preventing implantation of the embryonic child in the uterine lining.

While all abortion pills are abortifacients, not all drugs that have, or may have, an abortifacient effect are classified as abortion pills, which have an abortifacient intent. For example, some forms of “emergency contraceptive” may prevent implantation and therefore cause the death of an embryo, but because their intent is not to cause abortion, they are not generally considered abortion pills.

How do abortion pills work?

The method approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for chemical abortions is a two-step process involving the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone (brand name Mifeprex) ends a pregnancy by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is needed to maintain a pregnancy. Because this hormone is blocked, the uterine lining begins to shed, removing the child (in the embryonic state) that was attached. The second step, which occurs 24 to 48 hours later, requires taking misoprostol which causes the woman to expel the child and the uterine lining in a matter similar to a miscarriage.

How do abortion pills differ from “emergency contraceptives”?

Emergency contraception—sometimes also known as the “morning after pill”—is a method of contraception that is taken after sexual intercourse with the intention of preventing pregnancy by delaying ovulation (i.e., the process in which a mature egg is released from the ovary).

There are three main types of emergency contraception approved for use in the United States. The first type uses Levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, After Pill, Take Action, and My Way). As with oral contraception, it is unclear whether this drug can ever have an abortifacient effect.

What is Mifeprex (RU-486)?

The most common drug used for medical abortion is Mifeprex, the brand name for mifepristone, a drug that was formerly known as RU-486. The drug was developed in France in the 1980s and banned by President George H.W. Bush Administration’s FDA in 1989. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked the FDA to review the ban, which was lifted in 2000.

Currently, the drug is approved by the FDA provided it is “dispensed in certain healthcare settings, specifically, clinics, medical offices and hospitals, by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber.” In 2016, the FDA extended the time the abortion pill could be taken to 70 days into a pregnancy. In December 2021, the FDA relaxed some of the rules on mifepristone, allowing patients to pick up the drug at their pharmacy or receive it in the mail.

(Despite how the name might sound—“Are you for 86?” (“86” being slang for ejecting something or someone—RU-486 was derived from the initials of the French pharmaceutical company that patented the drug (Roussel Uclaf) and the serial number (486).)

Is the ‘abortion pill’ restricted by state bans?

It’s currently unclear whether states have the power to restrict abortion pills. After the Dobbs ruling, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “States may not ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”

Greer Donley, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, said that Garland’s statement “was really a nod to the idea that state abortion bans theoretically have to have an exception that allows the dispensing of medication abortion.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 32 states require that the provider who administers a medication abortion be a physician. If abortion is illegal within a state, a physician licensed within the state would be unable to prescribe an abortion pill. 

How do telemedicine restrictions limit the use of the abortion pill?

Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications and software to provide medical services that are usually offered in a clinic without an in-person visit. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the popularity of telemedicine, and it became increasingly possible to visit a physician by phone or computer and have a abortion pill mailed to one’s home.

Organizations that provide telemedicine in the U.S., however, are subject to state laws. Currently, 19 states require the person (doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) providing a medication abortion to be present when the patient takes mifepristone. This prohibits the use of telemedicine for the procedure and prevents doctors from other states from prescribing the abortion pill. More states that ban abortion may choose to implement such restrictions in the future. 

However, women seeking chemical abortions in states that ban the procedure are already finding ways to get around the laws. For example, there has been an increase in the use of telemedicine organizations that operate in foreign countries, which are able to circumvent state and federal laws and mail the abortion pill directly to anyone in the U.S. 

Women seeking a chemical abortion may also be able to use telemedicine within a state that allows abortion and have the abortion pill sent to someone they know in the state or remailed from an in-state address to their own home. 

Thus, Christians must work to ensure that they do not confuse the passing of pro-life legislation or the overturning of the precedents in Roe and Casey as the end of the fight against abortion. Important as that is, if people still desire abortions, these pills will be available. Christians must work tirelessly to proclaim the dignity of every human life and address those factors that lead women to consider abortion.