Once again Ohio is back in the national spotlight.
Last month, all eyes watched as the Buckeye State helped to hand Donald Trump the presidency of the United States. It’s great to live in a state that has a lot of clout – not that it’s better than any other state – but I admit I’m a little biased.
Then last week, Ohio was back in the news when a radical Islamic terrorist literally tried to butcher students on the campus of The Ohio State University. Fortunately, there was an OSU police officer on duty who shot the terrorist dead with the proper use of a gun! I don’t know that young cop, but I’m grateful he was there to rapidly administer quick and decisive justice. Bravo.
And how can we forget when the entire college football world watched THE game of the year which featured the Buckeyes defeating that team up north in double overtime? What a game that was, and what a great state we have in O-H-I-O!
But today’s news is also monumental in a different way.
The Ohio House of Representatives and Senate have sent a controversial bill to the desk of Ohio Gov. John Kasich for him to hopefully sign into law.
It’s called the Heartbeat Bill. If passed, it will outlaw abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually takes about six weeks after conception.
A friend of mine who I have not seen in some time was a lightning rod and vigorously encouraged the state legislators to pass the bill.
Janet (Folger) Porter is the president and founder of Faith2Action, a large network of pro-family groups. She put out a statement today as follows on her website:
“The Heartbeat Bill just passed the Ohio Senate, which had been held up for the last six years.
Praise the God of the impossible, whose name is Jesus! And thank you to all of you who called and emailed and prayed! The Ohio Heartbeat Bill, which will protect every child whose heartbeat can be detected, was added to a bill related to child abuse and passed in the Ohio Senate yesterday afternoon. The House then concurred by a vote of 56-39 last night.”
I worked with Janet when she was the lobbyist for Ohio Right to Life and when I served on the state board. She’s a spit-fire and a friend.
In an article published in today’s Columbus Dispatch, it stated, “Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said his organization is neutral on the bill and has been pushing for separate legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which was added last-minute to a House committee Tuesday and also could get a vote this week.”
Gonidakis added the ultimate goal of the organization is to overturn Roe v. Wade, and he felt a 20-week ban would be the best legal way to achieve that goal rather than via the Heartbeat Bill.
So, now we wait to see when or even if Gov. Kasich will sign the bill into law. Our governor and ORTL have always stood together in support of life for the unborn. For a while, ORTL leaders opposed the bill because they felt the constitutionality of it might not stand up in court. But feelings might be starting to sway a bit now that Trump has been elected president, because he is likely to appoint conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who may stand with pro-life organizations, such as ORTL and F2A.
The bill, if passed into law, would make it a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison, for a doctor to conduct an abortion without checking for a fetal heartbeat — or for performing the abortion after it can be detected. If found guilty, the doctor also could face a civil lawsuit from the mother and disciplinary action from the court or medical boards.
Sadly, the issue of life is a constitutional decision instead of a spiritual one. The nation and states are telling us when life starts, and the day is near when they will tell us when life ends.
Sarah Palin’s description of death squads during her vice-presidential campaigns is – pardon the pun – dead on target. Those days are closer than we think.
Legislatures and judges appear to disregard the very being as to who gave them life — God.
It’s an admirable thing the Ohio House and Senate has passed this bill. But the point is this issue should have never come into play in the first place.
An unborn child must now depend on folks in suits and ties and robes to defend it – or kill it. The safety of the womb is no longer a guaranteed place of security. The same holds true for an elderly or terminally ill person lying in a hospital bed waiting to leave this world. Legislators, judges and protesters have taken the most valuable equation out of all of this – life itself.
Anything that is growing – such as a fetus – is alive. Anything that has a beating heart is alive. Anything that is breathing is alive. I have taken a speaker’s training course from ORTL on the issue of euthanasia. There is a distinct difference in allowing death to occur and causing death. No one should have to suffer in pain during the dying process, so there are medications available to make one’s crossing more bearable. No one should just be kept alive on a machine if the body is shutting down. But to actually help someone slip off and die is just wrong – criminally wrong. Aborting an unborn baby is just wrong. Now, there are controversies and opinions around saving the life of the mother, and that can be debated in another blog.
But for a legislative body to determine when it’s not too early to abort a child is sad. It’s even more sad that a bill like this is needed in today’s world. I applaud the Ohio lawmakers for standing up for those who cannot defend themselves. I hope and encourage Gov. Kasich to sign the bill into law.
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from the greatest U.S. President of all time – Ronald Reagan. He said the following profound statement: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”
But perhaps one of my most cherished scriptures on this issue is found in Psalms 127:3, KJV, “Lo, the children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Maybe legislators, judges, and those in favor of abortion should really take that passage to heart. If they did, there would never be any more debate on this issue.