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The Litmus Test

By Kristen Leach

Occasionally when I’m looking through my Facebook feed, I will come across professionally produced videos where groups of children are asked their thoughts on a certain topic. The juvenile interviewees weigh in on a variety of current issues, ranging from unfamiliar foods to gay marriage to religion to friendship and acceptance. We consider the opinions of children a kind of litmus test to remind us of an untainted, pure, and honest perspective that has not yet been marred by the realities of life. Their candid responses challenge our callousness or our acceptance of the status quo, a lesser alternative to the optimistic, idealistic world that children envision.

If we believe children have the ability to remind us of forgotten truths or help us understand an issue for what it really is, then we ought to consider what children think about abortion.

I will never forget the night I learned what the word ‘abortion’ meant. One cold, dark night in the late 1990s, the abortion topic must have been in the news or brought up during church, but the meaning was unfamiliar to me. I was sitting at the kitchen table, 8 or 9 years old, and I asked my mom what abortion meant. She probably felt a rush of dread and sadness to have to explain this cruel act to her naïve daughter. She sat next to me at the table, and though I can’t remember her exact words, she told me that an abortion is when a mom decides she doesn’t want the baby she’s carrying and the baby is killed in a procedure. Immediately, I started crying, so upset by the thought that a mother could choose to kill the baby growing inside of her for whatever reason she deems necessary. As a young girl, I remember feeling hurt, so sad and scared. I had only ever known a very loving, maternal mother, and it scared me to think about the babies who might not have a mom like mine and might be aborted. I honestly cannot think about that moment without a pang of sadness in my chest even today. Looking past my tears out the kitchen window into the black night, my worldview was dimmed, and I lost a little bit of my childhood innocence that night as I realized a new darkness in the world.

Someone reading this might say that my mom didn’t tell me about how abortion really ‘helps’ women who maybe can’t take care of the baby or who aren’t in a good stage in life for a baby. I am confident that the ancillary commentary would have done nothing to mitigate the sting of pain I felt thinking about a baby dying by her mother’s hand. If children are taught that killing another person is wrong, then what kind of justification can there be to make killing an innocent baby right?

Perhaps this is the litmus test we need right now as we debate across the aisle about the sanctity of life or a women’s right to choose.

When They Say, You Say

While we were at the Capitol for the Senate Committee hearing on Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill, we noticed that many of the pro-abortion protestors were engaging pro-life supporters in conversation about not only the bill but also the life issue as a whole.

It was encouraging to see our pro-life coalition answering questions, navigating debates, and showing compassion and grace to those who genuinely wanted to understand.

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good time to share a resource created by National Right to Life called When They Say, You Say” – which contains lots of helpful information and strategies to answer tough pro-abortion questions by providing informed, accurate pro-life answers.

Take a look at this great educational tool and be sure to share it with your friends!

Life At The Capitol- 2/23/19

GLA put together an aggressive legislative agenda for 2019, and our team has been working vigilantly to accomplish it and represent you, our Pregnancy Resource Centers, and the pro-life movement at the Capitol since Session convened. 

We are officially halfway through the Session; so here’s a look at what we’ve been working on so far in 2019:

SB 104: Simon’s Law
Simon Crosier was born in 2010 with Trisomy 18. He lived for 3 beautiful months before he passed away. After his death, however, his parents were horrified to learn that a Do Not Resuscitate order had been placed in his file without their knowledge or consent. Simon’s Law ensures that a DNR is never issues for a minor patient without parental consent

Senator Chuck Payne’s SB 104 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and we expect it will be heard again next week and passed out for a vote on the Senate floor. We have been working with Simon’s parents since 2016 to bring this legislation to Georgia and we are confident 2019 is the year it will be signed into law.

HB 345: Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act
In prisons and jails around America, pregnant inmates are handcuffed, shackled, and restrained both in prison and during labor/delivery. This practice is unethical and dangerous to mothers and babies. President Trump signed the First Step Act in December 2018, which prohibited the practice in federal prisons.

Representative Sharon Cooper’s HB 345 would prohibit shackling a pregnant inmate during her second and third trimester, during labor and delivery, or during her postpartum period in any penal institution in Georgia. This will allow women to protect themselves and their babies from accidents, ensure a safe and health delivery for mom and baby, and protect the dignity of moms everywhere.

HB 234: Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act
The fight against human trafficking in Georgia evolves regularly as those who sell and buy children for sex or labor find new and more sinister ways to victimize the innocent. In response, Georgia is always working to tighten, adapt, and better enforce our anti-trafficking laws.

Representative Chuck Efstration’s HB 234 would equip law enforcement with additional tools to investigate and prosecute those who enable human trafficking as well as ensure that rescued child victims should receive trauma-informed treatment rather than being subjected to arrest and treatment as a criminal.

Positive Alternative for Parenting & Pregnancy Grant
In 2016 and 2017, GLA wrote and championed a new state grant that would allow for Pregnancy Resource Centers to obtain state grants to purchase new ultrasound machines, make facility repairs and improvements, etc. Many centers have taken advantage of this grant and lives have been saved thanks to it.

We are working to ensure Georgia’s 2019-2020 budget includes funding for this grant once again so that women in low income/rural communities, or who are facing complex situations surrounding their pregnancy, can receive the resources and support they need.

They’re Dead, Jim
With your support, we have fought and successfully defeated two dangerous pieces of legislation that would have turned the clock back on women’s rights in Georgia. The Equal Rights Amendment, which would have legalized abortion on demand, and HB188, which would have repealed the Positive Alternative Grant, are both dead in Georgia. 

Coming Soon
We have two additional pieces of legislation that we are working on with several lawmakers, the Governor, and our nonprofit partners that would protect the sanctity of life in Georgia. Once we can share more information about them, you’ll hear more from us!

Thank You For Your Support
Without you, it would be impossible to achieve success at the Capitol. For those who have signed petitions, donated, shared, and called or emailed your elected officials, thank you. Please continue your support and be praying for us as we march toward the next milestone of the Legislative Session, Crossover Day on March 7th. 

Together for life,

Joshua Edmonds
Executive Director