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March 11March 11
The battle lines for life continue to make headlines across the United States—in both a positive and negative light.
The Idaho Legislature passed a measure on March 14 to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, similar to the Texas abortion law signed into law in 2021 by Gov. Greg Abbott, which went into effect last September.
As reported in The Criterion, the Texas Supreme Court ended a challenge on March 11 by abortion centers to a state law that bans most abortions in the Lone Star State. The court ruled that state officials, including licensing officials, do not have the ability to enforce the abortion law, which bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, so clinics cannot sue them. The law, as written, is only enforceable through civil lawsuits filed against abortion providers and others involved with abortion.
A similar measure passed in Idaho now goes to Republican Gov. Brad Little for his signature. It passed in a 51-14 House vote with no Democratic support. The state Senate had approved the legislation in early March that would allow family members to sue in civil court the medical provider who performed the abortion. The measure expands the state’s Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, which the Idaho Legislature passed last year.
“This bill makes sure that the people of Idaho can stand up for our values and do everything in our power to prevent the wanton destruction of innocent human life,” Republican Rep. Steven Harris, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement after the vote, The Associated Press reported.
The positive news in building a culture of life continued on March 14 as the Florida Senate passed the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality bill, which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of severe fetal anomaly, to save the mother’s life or to prevent a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment.
The bill, which the House passed in early March and which the state’s Catholic bishops praised, now goes to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.
In a March 15 statement about the two measures, Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said: “We praise Florida Right to Life and Right to Life of Idaho for their hard work in seeing these laws passed.
“These bills will go far in protecting unborn children and their mothers from the horrors of abortion,” she added.
Pro-life advocates also remain hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is seen by many as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on demand in the U.S. in 1973. Court watchers speculate the justices could decide to overturn Roe or, at the very least, severely curtail it with their decision, with the ruling expected in June or July. One possible result is abortion’s legality becoming an issue for states to decide.
While we offer heartfelt prayers of thanks for the recent news in Texas, Idaho and Florida, we must continue to pray for the conversion of those who support radical pro-abortion views, including in Colorado and California.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has vowed to make California a “sanctuary” for abortions if Roe is overturned.
And in Colorado, the Senate Judiciary Committee OK’d by a 3-2 party line vote on March 17 a measure that would make the state what many observers view as “the most radical abortion state in the country.” The Colorado House passed the bill on March 14, and it now goes to the full Senate. (See a related article on page 9.)
Known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act, if passed, the bill would:
To devalue humanity in this manner is an affront to our Creator and those of us who value life from conception to natural death. It will bring more darkness to our world.
“When an abortion is performed, we proclaim that we know better than God. We disregard his wisdom, for he taught us that we should never kill innocent human beings,” wrote Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila in testimony submitted to the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee.
When it comes to life-and-death issues, our faith implores us to stand up for the least of our brethren.
And as a pre-eminent issue of our time, we must pray, God willing, that when it comes to abortion, hardened and uniformed hearts see the light.