I have noted on several occasions that I sometimes write my column just prior to a major legislative debate or vote. This makes it difficult to write on some topics, lest my column become old news before it’s even published!
We are once again in that predicament with LB814, a legislative bill introduced by Sen. Suzanne Geist of Lincoln that would ban the dismemberment abortion procedure.
At the time of writing this column, the Nebraska Legislature has spent three hours debating LB814. But they must still debate the second set of three hours to advance LB814 from first round of debate to second round of debate. However, once you read this column, this critical second-three hours of debate and vote to advance the bill will have taken place. While we anticipate a successful outcome, I still haven’t mastered predicting the future. So, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to find out how LB814 fared during the first round debate.
I also urge you to find out how your State Senator voted. If they voted to end a filibuster of LB814 and to support LB814 onto second round of debate, I would urge you to call their office, write a letter, or send an e-mail thanking them for their courageous witness for life. If they did not, do the same, but express your disappointment and ask your Senator to reconsider their position.
As a refresher, dismemberment abortion is a brutal second trimester abortion that tears apart a living unborn human being, limb from limb, inside their mother’s womb. At this stage of pregnancy, an unborn child baby has fully developed arms and legs (13 weeks), can swallow, yawn, hiccup, and smile (16 weeks), and has almost fully formed facial features (24 weeks). As Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair convincingly stated during the first three hours of debate: “Every embryological textbook used today recognizes that the human organism that begins from fertilization is a living member of the human species.” In short, the biological fact that the fetus is a human being is indisputable.
The inability to see this fundamental fact about human existence readily reminds one of the various passages in Scripture where one has eyes, but cannot see, and ears, but cannot hear. This blindness, of course, is a result of the wages of sin, which is death, as St. Paul tells us. The culture of death surrounds any attempt to advance the Culture of Life which the Lord so desires.
As we advance the Culture of Life by placing a particular emphasis on the human life of the unborn child, we must never lose sight of the mothers and fathers who wrestle with crisis pregnancies and are “abortion-minded”. As the popular pro-life saying goes: we must love them both.
LB814 affords us an opportunity to not only highlight and underscore the fact that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” as the Psalmist puts it, but it gives us an opportunity to accompany mothers and fathers who face the dire circumstances in life that would make one consider abortion.
While the pro-abortionists often tout the overused and untrue trope that pro-lifers are merely pro-birthers and could care less about babies and families after they are born, legislation like LB814 gives us the opportunity to prove that this unjustified criticism reeks of slander and has no basis in reality. In other words, LB814 gives pro-lifers the opportunity to “put our money where our mouth is” (as the saying goes) and make sacrifices of time, treasures, and talents to help mothers in crisis pregnancies, to accompany those mothers in need so that they know they are unconditionally loved by a community who would move heaven and earth to affirm their human dignity and the human dignity of her unborn child.
Through these small and great acts of love we build up the Culture of Life that goes beyond just making good laws that protect human dignity. These acts of love more deeply enmesh our social fabric with the divine charity that alone can produce a true respect for life.
As always, thanks for your advocacy and for your untiring witness to life—continue to make your voice heard, so that the voiceless and the vulnerable will be heard.