On Monday, Democrats successfully blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill which would have protected children born alive after botched abortions. The vote was 53-44, seven votes short of the 60 needed to break cloture and bring the bill to a vote.
If you’re keeping score, 50 Republicans voted for the bill. Three Democrats did, too (Manchin-WV, Jones-AL, Casey-PA). Three Republicans didn’t make the vote (Murkowski-AK, Cramer-ND, Scott-SC), but their votes wouldn’t have mattered. Even with those three, the bill would have fallen short by three votes.
Seeing a post on Instagram regarding the vote, a comment captured me. Simply put, it said, “What do we do now?”
One thing we don’t need to do is make this complicated. The bill, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), was only a few pages. In fact, all we need to know is in the first few sentences:
Congress finds the following:
(1) If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.
(2) Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.
In shorthand, the bill tells us that if a baby is alive following an abortion, this child finally has rights. Therefore, reasonable efforts must be made to save his or her life.
Forty-four Senators, in the most powerful legislative body in the world, said, “No,” to Mr. Sasse’s bill.
So as the Instagrammer asked, “What do we do now?”
It’s a great question. To answer, we need to ask ourselves, “Will this vote fuel our anger? Or will this vote fuel our love?”
Anger is a natural reaction. Frankly, I was livid upon hearing the news of this vote. I wanted to take names (well, I listed names above, so there’s that). I wanted people to pay. Most of all, I wanted to win this debate.
None of this is “wrong.” In fact, love requires action when a class of people—in this case, newborn babies—is wronged. Love holds people accountable, too. And love requires truth-telling so that others will join the calling.
But as I get older (hopefully wiser as well—but I’ll let others decide that), I see moments like this vote as an opportunity to redouble my efforts to love those in situations where they believe ending a pregnancy is the only answer.
I’m preaching to the choir here because you know this, or you would not be perusing PregnancyHelpNews.com.
Tweet This: "Love requires action when a class of people—in this case, newborn babies—is wronged. Love holds people accountable." @KirkWalden #prolife
So, in the pregnancy help community, what does love do today? A lot of things, but here are some starting points:
First, at each of our organizations, we make a firm commitment to—as soon as we can—provide any tool, service, or resource required to assist those in the decision-making process to choose life. We stop relying on bottom lines and budgets to dictate our mission. We commit to letting God show us what we need, then do all we can to secure the resources necessary to fulfill the mission He places in front of us.
In short, when the only thing standing in our way is money, we never say, “No.” Instead, we do all we can to find the funds so that any “no” is just a, “Not yet, but it’s going to happen. And soon.”
Second, love dictates that we expand our efforts to reach those considering ending a pregnancy. Not one of us should be content with, “We’re seeing enough women who believe abortion is their only answer.” If there is even one woman in our sphere of influence who doesn’t know we are here, we must grow our outreach, marketing, advertising—whatever we call it.
Third, love invites us to unite even more effectively. A powerful trend in our work is seeing our ministries pull together in new ways. We are building coalitions, partnerships, and collaborative efforts. The more we unite, the more we change the culture. If there is a like-minded organization within an hour’s drive of ours, we need to have a strong relationship with that organization. Let’s connect, learn from each other and assist each other. We are, as is said so often, “better together.”
Sen. Sasse’s bill gave us a snapshot of where our leaders stand today. Our response, however, can create something much more permanent: A society where grace and love flow together, where life is celebrated, and where one day, the perceived “need” to end a pregnancy is almost non-existent.
When that day comes, the vote on February 25 by 44 U.S. Senators will still be remembered. But wouldn’t it be great if it no longer mattered?
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