By / Jun 1

In a span of just 10 days, the United States was rocked by the news of two mass shootings. The first, a racially motivated crime, occurred in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people. The most recent tragedy occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and resulted in the deaths of 19 students and 2 adults. The nation finds itself, once more, discussing and debating what policies and prevention are needed to stop these atrocities and how to do so in a way that respects our Second Amendment rights. Christians should be ready to enter into those complex discussions with a perspective that is governed by a desire to honor God through obedience to Christ and protect the vulnerable. In the midst of these crucial conversations, it’s also important that we weep with those who weep while being forced to reckon with the inevitability of our own deaths.

Weeping in the face of sorrow 

Undoubtedly, when Paul instructed the churches in Romans 12:15 to “weep with those who weep,” he envisioned the example of Jesus at Lazarus’ tomb. While the Son of Man fully trusted in the Father and did not waver regarding his goodness and sovereignty—even amid the suffering and loss of Lazarus—he still wept. Jesus’ perfect knowledge did not prevent him from expressing perfect compassion and grief in the face of deep personal loss. As those who follow the Savior who wept over the brokenness that sin brought into the world, we too, when we take sin and its effect on our world seriously, will be moved to mourn with the mourners. In doing so, we imitate Christ, the Incarnate God who is near to those who are brokenhearted (Ps. 43:18) grappling with suffering that is impossible for our finite minds to make sense of. 

While we weep with those who weep and seek to bring comfort to others as those who have been comforted by the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-4), we will inevitably be reminded of our own mortality as we come face to face with the reality of death. And, if we are not, Jesus believed we should be. This is seen in a passage from Luke’s Gospel. When Jesus encountered a group of people asking questions about the fate of the Galileans who perished at Pilate’s hand (Luke 13:1-5), he quickly redirected their inquiries. 

Facing our mortality 

As one reads the passage, an underlying assumption about the crowd emerges. Based on Jesus’ answer, it would appear that the crowd presumed that there was something inherently defective about those who suffer in this world. Otherwise, in their mind, why would such a horrible thing be allowed to happen? That was the only way they could think to make sense of such a tragedy. Jesus, however, answered by saying that there was nothing substantive or morally different between the Galileans who perished under Pilate and those who did not. The evil committed by Pilate against those Galileans was not due to something wrong with them. 

Jesus then went on to make the same point in the passage by highlighting another tragic accident in Siloam, where a tower had fallen on a group of 18 people, killing all of them. Those that survived in Siloam were not more righteous than those who perished. In other words, one’s goodness or badness is not the sum total explanation for “why” any given tragedy occurs. Jesus rebuked the people for what was implied in their search for an answer to the evil they experienced and turned their question on its head by ending his comments with a warning of repentance. 

Those that addressed Jesus were hoping that they could establish criteria for the type of people that bad things happen to, but Jesus wouldn’t allow it. He would not let them rest in the idea that somehow they could, through their own decisions and effort, avoid the horrors of this life in a fallen world. Instead, what they could do is repent and prepare for eternity so that they would not perish forever. In the Old Testament, the author of Ecclesiastes emphasizes the importance of considering our mortality: “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart” (7:2). The solace of understanding this on the other side of the cross is that those who trust in Christ will ultimately pass through the valley of death into a life of neverending feasting and joy (Ps. 23; Ps. 16:11). 

Hope amid the horror 

While we dwell in this broken world and weep with those who weep, we must not assume that somehow we are or can be immune to the sufferings that others experience. Mankind’s rebellion against God has resulted in a good world gone bad because of the curse of sin. Our only hope of escaping the curse that sin has brought is for someone to bear the curse for us. This is what Jesus, the Son of God, born of woman, born under the law, does for all who would place their trust in him (Gal. 4:4). And this is the truth we point to as we love others and meet their physical needs in the midst of terrible sorrow. 

Jesus, as the only sinless, innocent, stainless human to ever live, came and took on our sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him (1 Cor. 5:21). He bids us to come to him in our grief and under the weight of unbearable burdens (Matt. 11:28). He alone has conquered death, and the precious promise we have is that all who are in him will be raised like him when he returns. It is from this posture of hope amid the horrors of this world that we can face our mortality and come alongside others to minister to them and mourn with them in their darkest moments. 

By / May 27

In this episode, Brent and Lindsay discuss the finding from  Sexual Abuse Task Force report on the sexual abuse cover-up in the SBC Executive Committee. They also lament the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

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  • Dobbs Resource Page Prayer Guide | Right now, the Supreme Court is considering a major Mississippi abortion case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The ERLC and other pro-life organizations filed an amicus brief in this case urging the Supreme Court to overturn the disatrous Roe v. Wade decision. Members of our team also joined pro-life advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court when oral arguments were heard last December. As we approach the Supreme Court’s final decision in June of this year, it’s important for Christians to pray for this landmark case and begin preparing our churches to serve vulnerable women and children in a potential post-Roe world. Download our free prayer guide at
  • Dobbs Resource Page | Many Christians are aware that an important case about abortion is being decided at the Supreme Court this June. But for many, this case is confusing and wrapped in a lot of legal jargon. The ERLC wants to help with that, so we’ve created a resource page that will help you and your church understand what this case means, what could happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and how your church can prepare to serve vulnerable women and children in the aftermath. To learn more about the Dobbs case and how you can pray, visit
By / Dec 13

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued two rulings dealing with Texas’ Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), or the Texas Heartbeat Act.  In Whole Woman’s Health v Jackson, the court considered whether the petitioners (abortion providers) may pursue a pre-enforcement challenge to SB8. In United States v. Texas the court addressed the federal government’s separate challenge of SB8. 

SB 8, which prohibits physicians from “knowingly perform[ing] or induc[ing] an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child” unless a medical emergency prevents compliance, was allowed to go into effect in September, after SCOTUS declined to issue an injunction requested by abortion providers in Texas. This challenge, known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, made its way back up to SCOTUS in the October docket, to determine if abortion providers may challenge the constitutionality of SB8. 

Last week, the court issued its opinion in Whole Woman’s Health v Jackson, concluding “that a pre-enforcement challenge to SB 8 under the Federal Constitution may proceed past the motion to dismiss stage against certain of the named defendants but not others.” The ruling stated that some of the named defendants in the case, including specific judges and clerks, could not be sued for enforcing SB8 under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which protects government actors from being sued for carrying out their duties. Other defendants in the case, including Texas Medical licensing officials, are allowed to be sued. 

Ultimately, the ruling means that for now SB 8 still stands, but abortion providers are now able to continue to challenge the law in the lower courts. The opinion by Justice Gorsuch stresses “the ultimate merits question” of whether the Texas law is constitutional “is not before the Court.”  

At the same time, the Court also released its opinion in United States v Texas. The case originated on Sept. 9, when U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Department of Justice was filing suit in federal court against the state of Texas over SB 8. The suit sought a “declaratory judgment that (the law) is invalid under the Supremacy Clause and Fourteenth Amendment, is preempted by federal law, and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity.” The suit sought to enjoin the “State of Texas, including its officers, employees, and agents, including private parties” who would bring a suit under SB 8. 

The court ruled that the federal challenge of SB 8 “as improvidently granted,” meaning the court should not have initially accepted the case. 

What does the law do?

SB 8 bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs anywhere between five and eight weeks into a pregnancy. There are no exceptions made for rape or incest, but there is an exemption made for “medical emergencies.”

The Texas Legislature passed SB 8, and Gov. Greg Abbott signed the legislation into law in May. The bill took effect on Sept. 1, 2021. Of note, ERLC trustee Kelly Hancock, a state senator in Texas, was a primary sponsor of this legislation.

What makes this different from other attempts to limit abortion?

A number of states have introduced fetal heartbeat bills, but until now, they have been blocked by the courts. While the Texas Heartbeat Act’s aim is similar to the other heartbeat bills, the enforcement mechanisms are different.

The law takes a novel legal approach to limit abortion by tasking enforcement of the measure “exclusively through private civil actions.” Essentially, the law allows any private citizen to bring a civil lawsuit against any individual who “performs or induces” an abortion, or “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets” an abortion, including the payment for or reimbursing the costs for an abortion. Individuals who prevail in their lawsuit will be awarded “statutory damages in an amount of not less than $10,000.”

Rebecca Parma, a senior legislative associate with Texas Right to Life, notes, “No heartbeat law passed by another state has taken this strategy. Additionally, the bill does not punish women who obtain abortions.” 

What does this mean for the Court’s abortion jurisprudence?

The Court recently heard a challenge to Mississippi’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks in a case titled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. However, Mississippi has asked the Court to completely overturn both the Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions that have protected abortion for the last 50 years. The Court’s decision to not intervene in this instance, where a state law circumvents Roe, could reasonably be seen as an indication the new conservative majority may change direction as it relates to abortion. However, there are still several challenges to SB 8 working their way through the court system that could affect the law.

The ERLC submitted an amicus brief in the Dobbs case stating that the U.S. Constitution “does not create a right to an abortion of an unborn child before viability or at any other stage of pregnancy. An asserted right to abortion has no basis in constitutional text or in American history and tradition.”

How should Christians think about this development?

As we have articulated elsewhere, every committed pro-life Christian wants the immediate end and eradication of abortion. In fact, we want to strive for a culture where abortion is illegal and unthinkable. As laws are introduced and litigated, Christians can and should be on the frontlines of caring for vulnerable women and their preborn babies. We have the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ and share the good news of the gospel by tangibly serving women in crisis. 

While we work toward that objective, we should appreciate every step that can be taken –– whether accomplished through legislative channels, court decisions, or cultural developments –– to save one additional preborn life. Until that day arrives, the ERLC will always stand for life in the public square, before the courts, and before Congress.

By / Nov 4

Through my work with Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, I have shared publicly what it’s like to be offered a medically necessary abortion at 25 weeks pregnant. And I have shared what it’s like to walk with my sister through her grief over an abortion she experienced alone. 

I have had a specific vantage point to observe some of the many issues involved. The choice to abort never occurs in a vacuum, and if Christians want to have a true impact on the issue of abortion, we must carefully work to eliminate why abortion seems the best choice, not merely make it an illegal choice. 

How local churches can respond

On Sept. 1, 2021, my home, Texas, became as close as the United States has seen in decades to a state where abortion is banned. The law that enabled this ban, SB 8 (or the Texas Heartbeat bill), is now under consideration by the Supreme Court. 

Our gospel witness demands we prepare to rise to this occasion as a watching world looks to Texas to see how churches will respond if the laws they’ve so vocally called for and supported become a reality. 

The good news is there is not a need to reinvent the wheel. The crisis pregnancy ministries that have worked tirelessly before now continue to be the boots on the ground. They are strategic partners for churches wanting to do more. Churches are uniquely capable and equipped to be able to help alleviate much of the reasons women believe abortion is the best option. With more churches now considering and looking to be a positive resource for women, there are several paths forward: 

Expanding network currency. Churches wanting to be more involved in crisis pregnancy ministries can begin by partnering with established organizations in great need of more resources. This could mean financial support (which is sorely needed), but it could also mean helping connect the passions, interests, and skills of the church members. Although resources are not one-size-fits-all, most Dallas and Fort Worth based crisis pregnancy centers share a need for help with the following: 

  • Mental health 
  • Language and communication (especially bilingual skills)  
  • Sewing skills (for blankets, socks, etc.)
  • Childcare opportunities (VBS/Parent’s night out/stay & plays could all be great resources for pregnancy centers to share with clients).
  • GED/ESL opportunities 
  • Print supplies/office resources 

Help make easier on-ramps to existing ministries. The problem is not a lack of resources; it is connecting the right resources with the people who need them. Churches are crucial ministry partners for many pregnancy centers. This is an opportunity for churches to strengthen their communication efforts with pregnancy ministries. It is especially helpful to provide welcoming points of entrance into the church beyond a Sunday morning service, which can be threatening and overwhelming to a woman facing a difficult situation. If your church has childcare nights, or evening sporting events, or other community/relationship-building events, those would be an ideal opportunity to invite people who are in need of community and Christ’s love right now. 

Support the boots on the ground: Oswald Chambers once said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.”  Pray for your local pregnancy centers, and let them know. These ministries have been and will continue to serve, love, and minister to women and children, but they are also on the receiving end of much anger, misinformation, and hostility as the Texas bill works its way through the legal system. Many of them are tired and in need of encouragement. While SB 8 continues to attract national attention, our centers need our vocal prayer and support. 

Some helpful guiding principles

The future of the Texas Heartbeat Bill is yet to be determined. However, it is my firm belief that churches should begin envisioning now what a life without Roe v. Wade could look like and work toward that. At the Christian Life Commission, we have committed to following Micah 6:8 to be our guiding reference as we navigate public policy, culture, and the building of the kingdom of God. Working toward a world post-Roe, the principles of Micah help point us in the right direction. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Act justly: As believers, we confidently stand behind the truth of the dignity and worth of the unborn. Throughout Scripture we see God’s calling upon his people to care for and protect the marginalized and the vulnerable. This calling to justice extends to the unborn. We care deeply about their protection and believe to act justly means to advocate for their dignity and rights. 

Love kindness: There is plenty of space in Christianity for conviction and compassion. It is good to have conviction and passion for the vulnerable among us. But that should never stand apart from people who are hurting and also need compassion — to listen to their cries and needs — and follow the example of James 2 by showing our faith through our works. We must creatively pool resources to meet the moment of need in the mother’s life. The banning of abortion will not undo the host of issues that culminate in the choice to abort. A Christian response ought to be marked by true kindness. 

Walk humbly: Pride is never a good look in the life of the believer. As we craft our responses and attitudes toward this issue, a haughty spirit over the victory against abortion is not the way forward. We celebrate truth and justice, but we also weep with those who weep. The celebration of progress within the pro-life cause should spur us on to love and good deeds. If the fruit of our celebration is the humiliation and pain of others, we have done it incorrectly. It is crucial to remember that while laws may help regulate and provide protection for the vulnerable, the causes which lead up to abortion will still be with us. In humility, we ought to ask God for wisdom on how to help end abortion by working to alleviate it as the seemingly better choice.

As we move toward the possible reality of a post-Roe world, may God help us exemplify the truth and grace of Jesus and uphold the dignity of every life we encounter.

By / Oct 29

Last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of orders on Texas’ Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), a Texas law that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs anywhere between five and eight weeks into a pregnancy. The orders concern the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, a lawsuit brought by abortion providers, and the case United States v. Texas, which was filed by President Biden’s administration. 

The court gave the parties in the case until this past Wednesday to file their briefs. The cases are set for oral argument on Monday, November 1, 2021. This is an unusually expedited schedule, which signals the Court is eager to resolve the issue of whether these cases can be brought by the abortion clinics and the Biden administration. 

Who decides whether a case will be expedited by the Court?

In general, justices of the Supreme Court have sole discretion about which cases they will hear. No one—including Congress or the president—can force them to review a case that has been decided by an appeals court. There is also nothing that tells the justices how they must decide which cases they will take, so they rely on custom.

The Supreme Court has adopted the custom known as the “rule of four”—a case will be reviewed by the Court if four of the nine justices so decide. In the case of Ferguson v. Lines (1957), Justice Felix Frankfurter explained the rule of four:

“The ‘rule of four’ is not a command of Congress. It is a working rule devised by the Court as a practical mode of determining that a case is deserving of review, the theory being that if four Justices find that a legal question of general importance is raised, that is ample proof that the question has such importance. This is a fair enough rule of thumb on the assumption that four Justices find such importance on an individualized screening of the cases sought to be reviewed.”

If four justices decide they will take a case, they issue a writ of certiorari, an order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case that it will hear on appeal. The justices tend to only accept cases that will affect the entire country, rather than just the individuals involved, or that clarify legal issues that are of constitutional significance.

The Court hears oral arguments in cases from October through April, and are usually released beginning in June. All opinions of the Court are, typically, handed down by the last day of the Court’s term (the day in late June/early July when the Court recesses for the summer). With the exception of this deadline, there are no rules concerning when decisions must be released.

What are the issues the Court is looking at with SB 8?

The 1908 case of Ex Parte Young ruled that plaintiffs in lawsuits can seek injunctions against government officials charged with enforcing potentially unconstitutional laws. Based on this precedent, abortion providers attempeted to sue a numer of state officials in Texas for enforcing SB 8. But SB 8 was intentionally written so that the enforcement mechanism would be civil lawsuits brought by private citizens. 

The State of Texas therefore claims that it has no role in enforcement, and thus state officials cannot be sued. Since no state officer can enforce the law, it is unclear whether anyone can be sued to block the law from taking effect. 

The question the Supreme Court is being asked to consider in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson  is whether a state can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of an established constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil actions.

The question the Supreme Court is being asked to consider in United States v. Texas is whether the Biden administration may bring suit in federal court and obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against the state, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit Texas Senate Bill 8 from being enforced.

How does this affect SB 8?

It doesn’t—at least for now. As Justice Sotomayor lamented in her dissent when the recent order was handed down, the Court has once again decided not to block SB 8 from being enforced. The law will remain in effect at least until a decision is handed down on these pending cases. 

How soon could the Court rule on this issue with SB 8?

The Court could hand down a ruling within a few weeks at the earliest. At the latest, the Court could decide to hold the ruling till the end of its term in late June or early July. 

How does this affect the future of abortion?

Although SB 8 has received the most attention lately, it is not the primary case that will determine the future of abortion in America. The Supreme Court will also be hearing the state of Mississippi’s petition in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That case involves a 2018 law passed in Mississippi called the Gestational Age Act, which allows abortions after 15 weeks of gestational age only in medical emergencies or instances of severe fetal abnormality.

While the law has been blocked by lower courts as inconsistent with current precedent related to abortion, the court agreed to take up the question of whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. If pre-viability prohibitions are declared constitutional, then lawmakers could essentially overturn Roe v. Wade and make laws such as SB 8 unnecessary. 

By / Oct 8

In this episode, Lindsay and Brent discuss a new ruling by a federal judge to block the Texas Heartbeat law, the final vote result by the SBC Executive Committee initiating the independent investigation into sexual abuse, a new request for approval on COVID-19 vaccines for children, news about a last-minute agreement on the debt ceiling from Capitol Hill, and beginning of the Atlanta Braves pursuit of a world championship in the Major League Baseball postseason. They also give a rundown of this week’s ERLC content about the parameters God sets for our lives and why they’re good, the Supreme Court cases we’re watching, and our interview with SBC president Ed Litton. Finally, Lindsay and Brent do their best James Bonds impressions.

ERLC Content


  1. A federal judge blocks SB 8
  2. SBC EC votes to waive attorney-client privilege in sexual abuse investigation
  3. Pfizer and BioNTech seeking FDA emergency use authorization for COVID vaccine for ages 5–11
  4. Nearly 30,000 children were admitted to hospitals with COVID in August
  5.  Agreement to extend the debt limit through early December announced
  6. Baseball playoffs have begun
  7. Facebook: This week’s blackout and The Wall Street Journal report 


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  • Mere Evangelism by Randy Newman | | C.S. Lewis was used by God in the conversions of countless people, but evangelism is an extraordinary task to most people. You may feel inadequate, but in this book evangelist Randy Newman skillfully helps us to apply some of the famous methods Lewis used in our own conversations with unbelievers, whatever their attitude towards the Christian faith. 
  • Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer by Laura Wifler, co-founder of Risen Motherhood | | This beautifully illustrated Bible storybook takes children on a journey from the start of the Bible story to the end. Children will learn a biblical understanding of prayer, why it’s amazing, and that they can enjoy talking with God about anything, anytime, anywhere.
By / Sep 8

By now, the controversy in Texas over the Supreme Court allowing its near total ban on abortion to take effect has become part of the public ether. For some, the current moment offers a foretaste of what a post-Roe world could look like. For others, it is a dystopic descent into a religious theocracy. But in this intervening period where the Texas Heartbeat Act is in effect, it is worth wondering if the threat of financial ruin brought on by the prospect of the law will lead to the continuation or a decrease in abortion. Whether it continues or abates is a valuable opportunity to unearth what is really at the center of abortion and why abortion receives the degree of protection it does in our country. In short, it’s a question of justice. Is abortion a natural right worthy of pursuit and protection no matter the cost, or is it something else?

Abortion, justice, and civil rights

There is no right to an abortion before God or before the Constitution. Legal rights are enacted to protect natural rights. Natural rights are those attributes of human personality so essential to human happiness and human flourishing that to deny the exercise of these faculties is to deny citizens their right to basic self-constitution. Abortion fundamentally negates this. Rather than allowing life, it ends a life. In the Christian tradition, abortion is never a right, and the only reason it is in our public lexicon is because “rights” talk has been completely severed from its Christian beginnings.

But that brings us to our central concern: If abortion is not happening with the frequency its proponents demand is essential, it raises the question of whether the cause of abortion is grounded in the sacrosanct category of a right, or whether access to abortion is about something more fundamental, namely, profit.

If abortion access is about a so-called “right” to reproductive justice, it would seem essential that for the sake of justice and the common good that abortion providers break the law, engage in civil disobedience, and pay the consequences for their prophetic indignation

This is what the classic formula is when it comes to engaging in civil disobedience. It is what motivated Martin Luther King Jr. and he appealed to it in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Citing the Christian natural law tradition, he appeals to the existence of a moral law that offers a higher standard to define what is just. “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God,” writes King. “An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law […] Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” 

Abortion as predatory and lucractive

If abortion is morally right, it should align with the moral law of God and be pursued regardless of the consequences. In this scheme, a failure to offer abortion services for fear of legal challenge is, in effect, a refusal to honor one’s conscience. But as of right now, there is no push for civil disobedience in Texas. It is likely that abortion numbers will dramatically lessen. Why, though? If the cause is righteous and truly grounded in a right, these so-called enablers of justice should be bursting through the legal barricades to do what they know is right.

But they aren’t.

All of this just exposes the abortion lobby for what it is: a predatory scheme that traffics in “compassion” while garnering rich profits in the form of human death. Abortion providers do not really care about women. They do not really care about rendering justice. They care about the profit margin that an unplanned pregnancy garners them and their investors. It is an unspeakably sordid reality — in America, people are becoming rich off murder.

God is the author of life (Acts 3:15). The truth is that every person is made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). The Bible tells us that. Human embryogenesis tells us this, too. Every person was once a “fetal heartbeat” or “cardiac activity.” We only use such inane, vacuous euphemisms because our morally bankrupt culture has no honest reckoning with teleology.

The problem with culture is not that personhood is not known or apparent, but that we know it is real and suppress this truth with euphemisms, reducing human origins to “electrical activity,” as NPR did. We are a Romans 1 nation drinking from the cup of judgment. Only biblical judgment means getting what we want no matter the cost to ourselves.

By / Sep 3

In this episode, Lindsay is joined by Chelsea Sobolik. They discuss Biden’s defense of his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, how Christians can speak up for women in Afghanistan, the new Texas abortion ban, and what we are seeing in the aftermath of Hurrican Ida. They also give a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including Jordan Wootten with How the grace of Jesus enables us to say no to pornography: An interview with Ray Ortlund on The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility, Herbie Newell with “3 ways Christians can remember the people of Haiti: Showing generosity to a joyful people amid tragedy,” and O.S. Hawkins with “The legacy of George W. Truett: Pastor, builder, and defender of religious liberty.” 

ERLC Content


  1. Biden defends decision to withdraw from Afghanistan
  2. U.S. withdrawal leaves Afghan allies grappling with fear, anger and panic
  3. Christians Must Speak Up for the Women of Afghanistan
  4. Texas abortion ban goes into effect after justices fail to act
  5. The Texas Heartbeat Bill Is a Preview of a Post-Roe World
  6. The aftermath of Hurricane Ida
  7. SBC ready to help following Hurricane Ida


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By / Aug 24

Last week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans, Louisiana, upheld a Texas law prohibiting certain uses of an abortion method known as dilation and evacuation (D&E), a procedure “commonly used to end second-trimester pregnancies.” The law, officially known as Senate Bill 8 as it was being considered by the Legislature, was initially blocked by a “three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals” just last year but was granted a re-hearing by the full court at the request of the state of Texas. As a result, the law was officially upheld by the court.

The ERLC affirms the court’s decision to uphold Texas law and its prohibition of this inhumane procedure.

What exactly does SB 8 outlaw?

As recorded by Kevin McGill of the Associated Press, SB 8, first passed in 2017, is a law that “seeks to prohibit the use of forceps to remove a fetus from the womb without first using an injected drug or a suction procedure to ensure the fetus is dead.”

Stated differently, the intent of SB 8 is to outlaw what many in the pro-life community refer to as a “dismemberment abortion” from occurring in the second trimester of a mother’s pregnancy. In such dilation and evacuation procedures, children are forcefully removed from their mother’s womb with the use of forceps, resulting in the dismemberment and death of the child. The law, passed in Texas and upheld by the court of appeals on Wednesday, prevents these procedures from taking place.

It bears mentioning that this law is not a sweeping ban on abortion but a prohibition of a specific abortive procedure from occurring at a specific point during a pregnancy. And while more work is yet to be done to strengthen and expand pro-life legislation, this ruling is a common sense step to disallow a grisly method of abortion.

Can an abortion be performed safely?

Of the 14 appellate judges who heard arguments, nine ruled in favor of the Texas law. In the opinion, judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Don Willett said “the record shows that doctors can safely perform D&E’s and comply with SB8 using methods that are already in widespread use (emphasis added),” an opinion that, despite the majority’s favorable ruling, makes a confounding assertion.

Furthermore, Judge James Dennis, in his dissent, said that SB 8 “makes it a felony to perform the most common and safe abortion procedure employed during the second trimester (emphasis added).” 

These statements beg the question, can an abortion be performed safely? According to these opinions and others, the safety of an abortive procedure depends solely on the resulting health of the mother. While we always want to be concerned about a mother’s health, it is important to recognize that when an abortion is performed precisely the way it is intended, it necessarily results in the death of a person — the preborn baby.

By definition, then, a successful abortion is never safe; it is always fatal.

Reaction outside the court

Outside the court, Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights and a critic of the decision, stated that her group “is analyzing the decision and considering all its legal options.” Northup went on to say, “At a time when the health care needs of Texans are greater than ever, the state should be making abortion more accessible, not less.”

On the other hand, Kimberlyn Schwartz, Texas Right to Life director of Media and Communication, praised the decision, saying, “Texans celebrate today’s long-awaited victory” and expressed gratitude at the court’s ruling. 

Obviously, the issue of abortion is a divisive topic within American culture, and the reaction to this ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is further evidence of that. The ERLC, in concert with Texas Right to Life and other pro-life organizations across the country, stands unwaveringly on the side of life.

What’s next?

Though this ruling is favorable to the cause of life, we can be sure that the ongoing work of protecting and preserving the lives of unborn children remains squarely in front of us. Texas’ SB 8 is a common sense measure that, to the extent that this law outlines, ensures the humane treatment of preborn children. The decision could be appealed and go all the way up to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, more robust protections are needed for these most vulnerable  children; protections that seek not only to disallow certain abortive procedures, but that further aid the cause of making abortion unthinkable. 

While we should continue the effort to strengthen and expand current legislation, the cause of life is an issue that will advance only as far as the collective conscience of our culture allows. The ERLC remains resolutely committed to working toward both the strengthening of legislation and the softening of hearts, for the cause of life and the glory of God. 

By / Jul 16

Texas recently passed a new law that would allow citizens, rather than government officials, to enforce a new law that prohibits abortion as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is novel in approach, allowing for citizens to hold abortionists accountable through private lawsuits,” says Rebecca Parma, a senior legislative associate with Texas Right to Life. “No heartbeat law passed by another state has taken this strategy. Additionally, the bill does not punish women who obtain abortions.” 

Here is what you should know about this new pro-life legislation.

What is the Texas Heartbeat Act?

The Texas Hearbeat Act is the latest in state fetal heartbeat bills, legislation that bans abortion after the point where a heartbeat can be detected. By use of an ultrasound, the heartbeat of a child in the womb can routinely be detected as early as 6-7 weeks after conception.

The Texas law requires physicians to test for a heartbeat and prevents them from knowingly performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant woman if they detect a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child or if the doctor failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat. A physician does not violate this law if they performed a test for a fetal heartbeat and did not detect a fetal heartbeat.

What is unique about the Texas law?

The Texas Heartbeat Act prohibits enforcement of the law by government officials. Instead, the law allows any private citizen — even those who do not live in Texas — to bring a civil lawsuit against any person who performs or induces an abortion in violation of this law or who knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this law. 

If the plaintiffs win their case, the court is directed to force the defendant to pay costs and attorney’s fees, pay statutory damages in an amount of not less than $10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced, and award injunctive relief sufficient to prevent the defendant from violating this law or engaging in acts that aid or abet violations of this law. 

Which states have passed fetal heartbeat legislation?

Fetal heartbeat bills have passed in five states: Arkansas, North Dakota, Iowa, Kentucky, and Texas.

They have failed to pass in 12 states: Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

They have been proposed or re-proposed after failing to pass in 13 states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

A federal Heartbeat Protection Act was also proposed in 2017.

What is the status of the legislation in the other states that passed fetal heartbeat laws?

Currently, all four fetal heartbeat laws have been blocked by the courts. A lawsuit has also been filed to block the Texas law before it takes effect on Sep. 1, 2021.

However, the the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case involving a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life activists are hopeful the ruling in that case could limit or oveturn Roe v. Wade