For Americans who understand that the abortion issue strikes at the very foundations of our political system, and at the fundamental purpose of government, which is the protection of the right to life, the importance of the 2019 elections, coming up this Tuesday, could not be clearer.
Not only will the protection of the smallest children, those still in the womb, be directly impacted in many ways, but the 2019 elections will also be an important preparation for the looming, gigantic 2020 Election.
Let’s examine briefly both dimensions.
On Tuesday, the states of Kentucky and Mississippi will elect Governors, with Louisiana to do the same on November 16. The Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin (R.), declares that he is “the most pro-life governor in America,” and I agree. Because the abortion industry depends on the individual states for many aspects of their ability to function — including licensing and funding — and because the Courts do recognize the rights of the states to take many measures to advance the interests and protection of children in the womb and their mothers, there is a lot that a Governor can do. And Matt Bevin has done it.
He signed laws, for instance, protecting children in Kentucky from dismemberment abortion and from abortions after 20 weeks, and more recently a bill that would protect babies once a heartbeat can be detected at 6 weeks. Moreover, he has protected taxpayer money from being used for abortion, has strengthened the rights of women to know more information about what they are choosing when they have an abortion, and refused to allow abortion clinics to operate without adhering to licensing standards.
The Kentucky election, indeed, shines light on the pro-life dimensions of every Governor’s race.
Turning to Virginia, we have what I call “The Infanticide Election.” Earlier this year, a national firestorm erupted when Delegate Kathy Tran introduced a bill that she admitted would allow abortion even when the mother was dilating, about to give birth. Moreover, Governor Northam said the same bill would even allow the killing of the baby after birth.
Now, Delegate Tran, all those who supported her bill, and in fact the entire General Assembly — the lawmaking body of Virginia — are up for re-election.
The question is rather simple. Do Virginians want unrestricted abortion and infanticide? Because that’s what they’ll get if the slim Republican majority is lost in Tuesday’s election. The Governor will sign that and all kinds of other extreme measures, and Virginia will look like New York and California in its public policies.
On Tuesday there are also many municipal elections. Mayors, City Council members, and other local officials are up for election in cities across the nation. These local elections matter a lot, including for abortion-related issues.
For example, the abortion wars are often fought on a very local level regarding the zoning laws and land-use codes, affecting the ability of abortion clinics to stay open, or to open in the first place. Moreover, and I’ve had the opportunity to provide testimony at some of these hearings, City Councils often determine what local ordinances will and will not allow for peaceful pro-life activists who stand outside abortion facilities to approach the moms to offer alternatives to abortion.
School boards, moreover, determine whether they will allow Planned Parenthood to come in and persuade children how good abortion and contraception are.
And a few years ago, the City of Albuquerque, with the City Council’s approval, actually had a measure on the ballot to prohibit late term abortion within the city limits. The measure did not pass, but the vote shows the importance of these local elections for this national issue.
Not only is the abortion issue directly impacted by Tuesday’s elections, but it is also a key opportunity for preparing for the 2020 elections. The nation is divided, many elections are close, and turnout matters. Far too many of those who are registered to vote do not in fact vote. The more people we can move from that category into being active voters this coming Tuesday, the more likely they will be to vote a year from now in the 2020 elections. We all play a part: making a phone call, sending an email, posting a social media update, driving someone to the polls, and much more.
And whether accurate or not, no matter what the results of this Tuesday’s races, commentators will use it to point to trends that may foretell the direction of the country for next year’s races.
A lot is at stake. To raise the level of attention, interest, and turnout in the November 5, 2019, elections matters for the good of the nation, and for the cause of life.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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