Suppose a bill passed the Iowa legislature that reinforced the state’s homicide laws, protecting the citizens of the state against murderers. Now suppose that the law specifically excluded from protection any citizens of Asian descent or who claimed the legal status as a “Native American”. When these groups are the victims, all prosecution of murderers would stop immediately. Any charges would be dropped, and the people in prison for killing any unprotected person would all be released, and their records expunged.
Imagine the outrage! Marching in the streets leading to riots and civil unrest.
A similar law is about to be passed in the state of Ohio and some conservative leaders are celebrating as if the second coming of Jesus had just taken place.
Janet Porter wrote:
We are so close, I can see the end of abortion from here.
When we stood at the foot of Mount Rushmore we were hundreds of thousands of votes away from our goal. Right now we are 17 votes away from restoring legal protection to every child who’s (sic) heart we can hear. …Dr. Jack Willke testified that the Heartbeat Bill will save 95 percent of the babies who would otherwise be aborted….Not only will you live to see the end of abortion, you can be a part of it!
Asian Americans make up 4.4% of the US population, Native Americans, about .7%. Together, percentage-wise that equals the percentage of people Porter ignores in her praise of the Ohio “Heartbeat Bill” which she crafted. Apparently, saving 95% of those scheduled to die is an end to abortion. It is not clear whether Willke is including the countless hundreds of thousands of others killed through morning-after pills and certain kinds of birth control or not in his 5%. Otherwise, as a strategic move, I don’t see why someone would sign on to a bill if it essentially outlaws all surgical abortion, and then oppose the personhood amendment as found on the ballot in Mississippi this fall. Unless, one does not want to outlaw secret chemical abortions carried out by the use of the morning-after pill. Why not just pass a Personhood Bill? Is this the Heart Bill good strategy or bad theology?
Some proponents of the Ohio Heartbeat Law rely upon the Supreme Court to uphold it because supposedly the court “recognized as an undisputed ‘finding of fact’ that a ‘living fetus’ exists from the time of detectable heartbeat!”. This ignores the fact that the court specifically stated in Gonzalez v. Carhart that “before viability, a State ‘may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy.'”
According to Porter, most prominent pro-life leaders and politicians endorse the bill:
The momentum is building – four presidential candidates have added their strong support, including the most recent addition: Gov. Rick Perry. The list also includes Rep. Michele Bachmann, Speaker Newt Gingrich and Judge Roy Moore – along with Dr. James Dobson, Farther (sic) Frank Pavone, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, and former governors Mike Huckabee and George Voinovich.
I will not discuss the merits or demerits of the bill itself here. The arguments for and against the bill hinge on whether it institutionalizes the killing of unborn children and whether it ultimately saves lives or not. Some of the politicians named above (Huckabee and Wildmon, for example) also support Personhood Initiatives. But it is evident that the language of some leaders does not line up with God’s standard on this issue. If God in His Providence uses a bill like this to save some lives, let us be thankful. But we must not celebrate prematurely. The full term delivery of a personhood amendment to the Supreme Court such as that found on the ballot in Mississippi this fall is worthy of greater support.
William Wilberforce fought to have every slave in England released; he carved out no exceptions for rape, incest, condition of the slave owner, or the age of the slave. He won on principle, not pragmatism. Here is what he wrote:
Policy, Sir, is not my principle, and I am not ashamed to say it. There is a principle above everything that is political. And when I reflect on the command that says, ‘Thou shalt do no murder,’ believing the authority to be divine, how can I dare set up any reasonings of my own against it? And, Sir, when we think of eternity, and of the future consequences of all human conduct, what is here in this life which should make any man contradict the principles of his own conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion and of God?
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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