With a little more than a month left in the legislative session, bills are moving through both houses of the legislature. There are two very important pro-life bills that have been passed by the House and now are in the Senate for passage.
HB 2797 by Rep. Ann Coody and Sen. A. J. Griffin, called “The Humanity of the Unborn Child Act,” sets in place a culture of life in our educational system. The bill, which was featured and promoted at Rose Day in February, allows a public education effort in high schools to educate students about the humanity and development of a pre-born child. The public education effort will also include information related to agencies that can assist women through their pregnancies. Most important, the bill declares that as a state, Oklahoma favors childbirth over abortion.
Read that last sentence carefully. This bill unequivocally declares that the State of Oklahoma believes that every unborn child has a right to life. Moreover, Oklahoma is a state that values life over death for unborn children. Significantly, the bill does not downgrade nor dehumanize the fetus who is an unborn child!
The bill received broad support in the House passing with a 64-12 margin. The Senate must now act! Thus, I encourage you to call your senator, asking him or her to support HB 2797.
While full implementation of the bill will require financial support to develop the program in the schools, passage of the bill makes it law. Funding may not be available immediately, but passage makes a strong statement and sets a clear path to teaching our kids that life is precious and unborn children are not merely tissue to be discarded.
Another very important piece of pro-life legislation is HB 3128 by Rep. Josh Cockcroft and Sen. Greg Treat. “The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016” explicitly bans abortion when a child has been diagnosed with either Down syndrome or a potential for Down syndrome or other genetic abnormality.
Unfortunately, studies disclose that as many as 90 percent of pre-born children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. These studies reveal a clear worldview devoid of biblical truth. Every child is precious and given life by the Creator. Children are not like widgets on an assembly line where those not deemed “perfect” are discarded. Down syndrome children are special, and their lives matter.
Years ago, when Polla and I first moved to New Orleans to attend seminary, we taught in a Sunday School department for the mentally disabled at First Baptist Church. We learned quickly that these were special people—not flawed people—with enormous capacities to love, laugh, cry, and contribute. That experience was one of the most rewarding times of our lives. Anyone who has heard the Edmond, Henderson Hills Joyful Sound Choir sing recognizes quickly that these are people of value who are gifted in their own rights. Down syndrome people are not flawed, and the unborn with potential, or diagnoses of, Down syndrome are not pregnancy tissue to be discarded. All unborn children have the right to live!
I ask you to take a moment and call your senator to ask him or her to support HB 3128, or the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. Your calls on HB 2797 and HB 3128 will make a tremendous difference. I have been told that when a senator gets only a few calls, it is significant because there are not many people who take the time to express their opinions to their elected officials. You can go to www.bgco.org/erlc to find your senator’s telephone number. In less than five minutes, you can make a huge difference for the unborn. To say we are pro-life is one thing, but it is another thing to take action and demonstrate that we are pro-life. Your calls will establish Oklahoma as a place where the unborn is valued and cherished.