As we enter the final days of 2023, we continue to be grateful for last year’s answered prayer— the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.
The recent November 7 off-year elections provided yet another grim reminder that the battle against abortion has not been won. In fact, the fight is more fierce than ever as the pro-abortion side gains momentum going into 2024:
- Seven states have voted to protect access to abortion since Roe was overturned. (See Washington Post article HERE)
- Abortions are NOT decreasing in our country and may even be on the rise (See New York Times article HERE)
- A majority of Americans believe access to abortion should remain a legal right (See Wall Street Journal article HERE)
But we know none of this tragic news surprises God. We also know that He is the ultimate victor and will vanquish the culture of death.
In the meantime, however, we cannot be complacent in combatting the unspeakable moral evil of abortion to protect our nation’s most vulnerable members, the unborn. As our Celebrating Life Luncheon Speaker Eric Metaxas powerfully tasked us, “It is our job to stand against evil, to speak against evil, not to be silent in the face of evil.” (See CFL News 2023 Celebrating Life Luncheon Recap HERE)
We must equip ourselves with the reality of the abject evil we are up against. Council for Life remains committed to our mission to educate. Yes, we are unwaveringly dedicated to transforming hearts and minds by educating with the truth about the humanity of the unborn, the vast resources available to women facing an unplanned pregnancy and how abortion hurts women, men and families. We also passionately believe an imperative part of education is for us on the side of Life to be knowledgable about the sinister cultural and political forces in play by the pro-abortion industry.
Snapshot of Current Happenings and Trends
Below is a snapshot of current, salient happenings and trends essential for us all to understand and heed:
November 7 Disastrous Off-Year Election Results on Ohio’s “Issue 1” and in Virginia and Kentucky
On November 7, Ohio became the seventh state to vote to protect access to abortion since Roe was overturned. With a resounding 57% approval, Ohio joined fellow red states Kansas, Kentucky and Montana and blue states California, Michigan and Vermont voting in favor of abortion rights (source).
Ohio’s constitutional amendment, on the ballot as Issue 1, is among the most extreme measures for abortion access of any statewide ballot initiative after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling. When the Dobbs decision was released, Ohio passed a pro-life Heartbeat Bill prohibiting abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The pro-abortion movement’s fury about Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill was the galvanizing force behind the proposed Issue 1 constitutional amendment. In anticipation of the November vote on Issue 1, pro-life advocates attempted in August to require a super majority vote for passage of amendments to Ohio’s constitution, but were soundly defeated in their efforts. (See Associated Press article HERE)
The opening statement of Issue 1 declares “Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to, decisions on contraception, fertility treatments, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.” (See Issue 1 Ballot Language and Full Text of Amendment HERE)
Issue 1 continues to state that abortion “may be prohibited after fetal viability” but follows with a broad sentence that effectively becomes the legalization of abortion on demand for any reason up until birth: “But in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
The jubilance of abortion proponents below celebrating their recent Issue 1 “victory” in Ohio is emblematic of the dark deception of so many misled citizens.
In the months leading up to the November election, Issue 1 drew millions of dollars of out-of-state money, with abortion rights supporters far outraising abortion opponents. Large donations backing Issue 1 came from Washington, D.C. based Sixteen Thirty Fund which includes among its funders Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, New York based Open Society Policy Center associated with billionaire philanthropist George Soros, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. (See 19th News article HERE)
A major factor attributed to the passing of the pro-abortion initiative despite Ohio being a pro-life leaning state is high young adult turnout overwhelmingly voting “Yes”. (See Washington Post article HERE)
Abortion advocates also capitalized on the abortion issue issue in Virginia. Democrats, who campaigned on protecting abortion rights, retook control of the Legislature. This outcome was a strong rebuke for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin who sought unity around his proposal to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In Kentucky, Democrat Governor Andy Beshear won a second term after he made abortion rights central to his campaign in the deeply pro-life state. (See Associated Press articles HERE and HERE)
Abortion Lobby will Aggressively Continue this “Winning Strategy” with Monumental Financial Support
The abortion lobby is betting the outcome of the November 2023 election means that abortion is a winning issue for November 2024.
THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT THE ABORTION ISSUE WILL ENERGIZE THEIR VOTER BASE AND HELP KEEP THE WHITE HOUSE. (See New York Times article HERE)
Right now, the abortion lobby is already preparing to enshrine their dangerous agenda of unrestricted abortion into state constitutions across the country, including Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. Texas and other states will undoubtedly land on the list as well. Sadly, the Maryland and New York Legislatures have already guaranteed the pro-abortion constitutional measure will be on the ballot next Fall. Millions in big money from pro-abortion organizations, individuals and Hollywood will most assuredly pour in to support the forthcoming pro-abortion initiatives to fuel the insatiable culture of death. (See NBC News article HERE)
Abortion Numbers are NOT Down
During the year after the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion, something surprising happened. Despite state bans, the number of legal abortions did not fall nationwide after Dobbs. Heartbreakingly, according to the first full-year count of nationwide abortions, the number of abortions appeared to increase slightly by about 0.2 percent.
Researchers found these increases were driven by the expansion of telemedicine for deadly mail-order chemical abortion pills, abortion clinics and services, financial assistance available for women to travel to a state where they could legally obtain an abortion, and publicity about ways to get abortions. The discouraging numbers came despite the fact that 14 states banned all abortions and seven imposed new limits on abortion.
Sadly, the devastating numbers do not even include the number of illegal abortions taking place due to the ready availability of chemical abortion pills flowing into states like Texas and other states where chemical abortion is banned.
Majority of Americans Believe there SHOULD BE a Right to Abortion
New results from a Wall Street Journal – National Opinion Research Center (NORC) poll show Americans’ support for abortion access is at one of the highest levels on record since nonpartisan researchers began tracking that statistic in the 1970s. Some 55% of respondents say a pregnant woman should be able to obtain a legal abortion if she wants for any reason.
The poll was conducted for The Wall Street Journal by NORC at the University of Chicago and surveyed 1,163 registered voters from October 19 to 24, 2023. (See Wall Street Journal article HERE)
HHS to Cut Family Assistance Funds to Pregnancy Resource Centers Nationwide
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a rule change that would prohibit states from utilizing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) money to fund life-affirming pregnancy resource centers.
The new HHS rule would impact the four states of Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania which each distribute between $1 to $7 million annually in federal TANF funds to pregnancy resource centers. This TANF funding is starkly less in comparison to the $670.4 million, almost $1.9 million per day, in federal and state taxpayer dollars received by Planned Parenthood in 2021-2022. (See Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America article HERE)
HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Council for Life’s objective in educating you about the concerted evil perpetrated by the pro-abortion side is not to discourage you. Quite the contrary. We want to inspire and encourage you to Join Us as we continue our mission to empower women, men and youth to make life-affirming choices.
Take action with your time, talent, treasure and prayers. Start thinking about who you will invite to CFL 2024 events. Let’s unite our influence and voices to not only make abortion unthinkable, but to end it. Read and Sign Council for Life’s United Voice for Life Statement HERE.
Prayerfully contemplate the wisdom of 2022 Troutt Lecture Moderator Dr. Albert Mohler in his November 9 issue of The Briefing reacting to the results of the off-year elections that he described as the “Unmitigated Disaster for the Pro-Life Movement” and how we must respond (Read the November 9 Issue of The Briefing HERE):