We have heard much about the historic abortion ban that was passed by the South Dakota legislature and signed by the Governor on March 6, 2006. What you may not have heard about was how National Right to Life joined pro-abortion groups to kill the South Dakota abortion ban in 2004.
Pro-life representatives initially had the vote to pass the 2004 abortion ban, but Right to Life leader and Republican South Dakota Senator Jay Duenwald strongly lobbied in opposition to it and ultimately turned the tide and caused it to fail by one vote. National Right to Life spokespersons and officers of their state affiliate opposed the bill because they claimed it was not the right time. The media quoted Right to Life leaders as an authority that the abortion ban was untimely. Right to Life did support an amendment to the bill that removed the bill’s criminal language, but Representative Matt McCaulley, the chief sponsor of the abortion ban, would not compromise on re-criminalizing abortion – not with NOW, not with NARAL, not with Planned Parenthood, and not with Right to Life.
Representative McCaulley observed, “There is something horribly wrong when South Dakota Right to Life and Planned Parenthood are on the same side of an issue.”
What an unbelievable outrage! The largest pro-life group in America joining with pro-abortion groups to help keep abortion legal!
In response to Right to Life’s opposition to the South Dakota abortion ban, Notre Dame Law Professor Emeritus and respected national pro-life leader, Charles E. Rice, referred to them as a “barnacle on the pro-life ship of state” and a “frequent embarrassment to the pro-life cause.” He indicted National Right to Life as “an organization (that) has rarely met a compromise it did not like. In this case, the South Dakota affiliate of NRLC actively derailed the useful and sound, no compromise bill as passed by the House of Representatives.”
Leslee Unruh, a long-time member of Right to Life and Director of the South Dakota Alpha Health Center, an abortion counseling service, was outraged: “We were shocked, saddened and dismayed that National Right to Life lobbied against this bill. In effect, they aborted the right to life bill.”
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, who drafted the South Dakota abortion ban, accused National Right to Life of betrayal: “It is one thing for National Right to Life to disagree with the timing of a bill banning abortions, it is another thing for them to join forces with pro-abortionists to kill the ban – it is a betrayal of the unborn and pro-life movement. When is it the wrong time to do what is right? This organization has lost the moral authority to lead the pro- life cause.” (Thomas More Law Center’s full criticism of Right to Life’s fatal compromise.)
With pro-lifers like this, who needs pro-choicers? With the Judas Iscariot kissing the unborn’s cheek with their pro-life rhetoric and stabbing them in the back with their actions, the butchers of God’s children have found the perfect accomplice. Over 2,000 children were aborted from the time of the failed abortion ban of 2004 to the abortion ban of 2006, and Right to Life is responsible.
On June 13, 2006, Right to Life kissed the cheek of the pre-born in Ohio. Their rhetoric that the unborn should be protected and that abortion should be outlawed infuriated the pro-choicers just as it thrilled the pro-lifers that packed the Health Committee hearing room at the Ohio statehouse. But the speech was concluded by an expression of Right to Life’s reluctance to endorse the Ohio abortion ban, House Bill 228, a reluctance exploited by questions from the Committee Chairman, John R. White, who appears all too happy to adopt Right to Life’s excuses as reasons to shelve the Ohio abortion ban and not let it out of committee.
Why did Right to Life help keep abortion legal in Ohio? Let’s examine their reasons. Right to Life’s reason for not supporting the bill was concern that the Supreme Court would not uphold it. They expressed concern that the Supreme Court would reject the language of House Bill 228 that re-criminalized all abortion, and yet accept the deletion of portions of Ohio’s code that regulates abortion, legislation for which Right to Life has worked hard over the past decade (if abortion was banned, informed consent legislation, right-to-know legislation, mandatory waiting periods, and partial birth abortion bans would no longer be necessary.) Thus, Right to Life speculates that the Supreme Court might transform this pro-life bill into practically a pro-abortion bill, effectively wiping out all abortion regulation for which Right to Life has fought hard over the past decade.
Such speculation is completely groundless, as there is no historical precedent that the Court might interpret a law to be the opposite of the plain language of the legislation and the expressed intent of the authors of the legislation. The intent of the lawmaker constitutes the law – that’s a standard judicial rule for interpreting and evaluating legislation. Activist judges have dreamed up rights like a right to privacy from the Constitution, but have they ever interpreted a piece of legislation to be the opposite of the intent of its authors?
The Ohio Republicans who claimed to be “pro-life,” who might have supported the bill if pro-life leaders united behind it, were emboldened with their criticism of the bill: “I’m pro-life, but I’m not Draconian either,” said Republican state Representative Bob Gibbs. The bill “goes too far, too quick.” In other words, I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to stop the killing too quickly. How about when my term’s expired?
“It was too stringent,” Republican state Rep. John Hagan commented. “It was a pretty harsh approach to the issue.” In other words, Stopping baby dismemberment by prosecuting the baby-butchers is just to stringent and harsh. Can we just pass a resolution that says we are pro-life?
“I don’t feel in good conscience that (challenging Roe v. Wade) justifies passing an unconstitutional bill,” Republican state Rep. Bill Seitz said. “It’s tough, because absolutists don’t necessarily understand that.” In other words, My conscience won’t let me stop the killing of innocent Ohioans if an activist judge finds the right to an abortion in the Constitution. It’s so tough to follow your conscience with all those absolutists who believe “Thou shalt not murder” isn’t negotiable…
“We have a Constitution. We have Federal law. We can’t pass a bill that’s unconstitutional and preserve life,” Republican Rep. Jim Aslanides stated. In other words, We have to do whatever activist judges say, even if they say that we must allow innocent people to be killed in Ohio. I wonder, would Rep. Aslanides let the government legalize the killing of infants if an activist Federal judge found that in the Constitution, too?
One can only wonder how these pro-life state reps could possibly consider the Ohio abortion ban to be unconstitutional. You’d think the fifth amendment to the Constitution, which states that the government shall not deprive another of life or liberty without a trial by jury, and Article 1 Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution, which says that all men have the inalienable right to life and liberty, would convince pro-lifers that abortion is unconstitutional and local and state bans of federally-justified murder are appropriate.
There is one common thread in all these excuses for not supporting Ohio’s abortion ban: statism, or supreme allegiance to the state over God. Why does Ohio think that we are obligated to submit to the Supreme Court’s opinion on abortion? Even renown pro-life leaders Janet Folger and Dr. John Willke, who testified in defense of House Bill 228 at the hearings, stated that the fate of House Bill 228 would ultimately rest with the Supreme Court and that it would be several years before Ohio’s abortion ban would be enforceable. What? Are we going to pass an abortion ban and respect its suspension by a Federal judge? Are Ohio’s leaders going to obey the Creator and re-criminalize abortion within their jurisdiction or are they going to obey activist judges? It is impossible for our state’s leaders to be in good standing with Federal judges and with God-Almighty simultaneously if the judges order Ohio not to prosecute child-killers and God Almighty insists that we do.
Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota who signed their abortion ban this year declared that he would not enforce the abortion ban until the Supreme Court heard it, and implied that he would adhere to the Supreme Court’s decision if they overruled it. I can only wonder if he would respect the Supreme Court if it decided that his children should be dismembered and executed, or would he do the right thing and protect the children within the bounds of his jurisdiction? To respect Roe v. Wade is to respect lawlessness and disrespect God’s absolute standard of morality and justice, Governor Bounds.
Is the Supreme Court divine, my dear pro-life friends? Does the Supreme Court have the power to overrule the Court of Heaven? Who is Lord of heaven and earth – who is Lord over all of Ohio and South Dakota? Whose law reigns supreme? When man defies God’s Word and calls evil good and good evil, with whom will we side?
This is the age-old question: Adam had to answer it before the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the church of Germany had to answer it when Hitler commanded them to submit to Nazi doctrine, and men and women must answer it when the anti-christ commands them to worship a false image and take the mark of the beast. Who is Lord? To whom do we owe supreme allegiance? Man or God?
If Jesus Christ is Lord and the Bible is His revealed Word, then God’s Word takes precedence over the opinions of rebels in black dresses. Over and over again, God’s Word calls human beings in the womb “children.” The God of the Bible mandates the same civil penalty for those who would kill the pre-born as for those who would kill the born (Exodus 21:22-24). Moreover, God commands civil authorities to do justice on behalf of all those within their jurisdiction (Romans 13:1-7). Deuteronomy 21:1-9 tells us that the community nearest to the murder is responsible for bringing the murderers to justice and the curse of innocent blood falls upon that community if it fails to do justice.
Ohioans have no business pointing our fingers at the Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress for the shedding of innocent blood that Ohio allows. God’s wrath abides on Ohio for the innocent blood that has been shed in our state, and God commands Ohio’s civil authorities to purge our land from the guilt of innocent blood by the swift execution of murderers (Genesis 9:6, Numbers 35:30-34, and Romans 13:3-4). God’s Word is not negated by the objections of any human opinion.
What then should we do? Let there be no ambiguity: God All-mighty commands, not suggests or recommends, but commands state and local civil authorities to bring all abortionists to justice and protect the innocent who are being slaughtered within their state. If you must defy that ol’ Serpent, the Supreme Court, every voter in your district, and an invading Federal Army in order to obey God, then you must obey God! He will hold you personally accountable if you do not. He is angry with you if you do not. If you let the annual Holocaust of 34,000 innocent Ohioans continue in your jurisdiction, then woe be unto you!
Governor Mike Rounds has been heralded as a hero for signing the first state’s abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, but I will not be too hasty with my praise, for the last chapter of that book has not yet been written. If Governor Mike Rounds accepts a Supreme Court’s overruling of his state’s ban, and if he lets murderers continue to kill children in his jurisdiction without prosecuting and bringing them to justice, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes on Judgment Day for all the gold in the world! God commands local civil authorities to do justice within their jurisdiction, and Governor Rounds and the South Dakota legislature must either submit unto God’s Word or they are in rebellion to the Judge of heaven and earth. There is no middle ground for civil authorities: either you do justice and please the Judge of all the earth, or you do injustice and infuriate Him.
A death sentence was passed against the Third Reich Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick. What was his crime? He knew of the atrocities committed in the Nazi death camps but did not do what was in his power to stop them.
Take heed, compromisers. Take heed, pro-life statists in our statehouses. Take heed, Right to Life – Judas Iscariots of the pro-life movement – your lovely rhetoric and your fair kisses are insufficient substitutes for obedience and for justice. The Judge of nations will avenge the innocent blood that Ohio has shed, if we do not. And it will not be pro-choicers and Democrats bearing the brunt of His wrath. It’ll be Right to Life, pro-life Republicans, and Christian conservatives who don’t think the timing’s right for an abortion ban, or who respect the Supreme Court’s disrespect of God’s immutable laws and disregard of their neighbor’s inalienable rights. Judgment must first begin at the House of God.
Dr. Johnston practices family medicine in Zanesville, Ohio, and is Vice Chairman of the Constitutional Party of Ohio. His ministry is Right Remedy.
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