Most people are bound by something or someone. The clasp from their shackles are tight and the technique to get them off is well beyond using a ordinary key. The power of influence, money, & name recognition can move you forward at a quick pace. Indiana Legislators are not only bound by their constituents, but they are also bound by groups/organizations/corporations who have helped them get elected. These groups use finances to influence votes, woo voters, & advance their goals.
As much as Legislators should work for their designated areas & designated residents, unfortunately most do not. They instead are bought and paid for by large organizations that will benefit by the election moving in their favor. It’s not a big secret, we just don’t talk about it.
The abortion issue is obviously a hot topic every year, as day by day 22 children die in Indiana, and many more across our nation. Each legislative session, bills are filed and some move forward to a vote, very slowly regulating the act of abortion in our state. Legislators file bills that try and slow down the death rate ever year. This year a bill was filed in both the Indiana House & the Senate called the Heartbeat Bill.
The bill plainly says that if a heartbeat is detected the baby is protected. A beating heart is an indicator of life, and a darn good one. It’s simple, it’s either beating or not, and if it can be detected…then the child is alive. If people don’t want to call it a child that is fine, call it whatever you want, but it is alive, & it is human, there is no argument there. So, after a heartbeat is detected you legally can not kill human life. That would be rationalizing murder, which is against the law. The only exception is if the mother faces fatality.
Today I sat in the Allen County Right To Life Legislative Forum. On the panel up front was Senator David Long, Senator Travis Holdman, and Rep. Casey Cox. Also on the panel was Right To Life’s Lobbyist, Sue Swayze. We heard about the anti-abortion bills they filed and pushed this year. One basically says that if you have a miscarriage or abortion the baby deserves a proper burial. The second one says you can’t abort a child due to a genetic diagnosis, such as Down Syndrome, and once the child is born, if needed, they provide hospice care.
I have nothing against either bill, I actually testified in committee for the burial bill. I do however have questions regarding both. Why does RTL and their famous Legislators focus on such small incremental bills? While they fight for a bill to properly bury child, why not also fight for them not to die in the first place. Is it ok that dead babies are thrown in landfills or as disposable waste? Absolutely not! But why would that be their main focus, when we had the Heartbeat Bill which could have saved 8000 children that will die this year?
The 2nd bill has me just as aggravated. Why focus on such a small minority of people? I love people, I especially love my son who was born with 22Q deletion, which is a somewhat opposite of Downs. Instead of having an extra chromosome, he is missing one. So I understand the worth of these babies…all babies. But why only focus on this group? Why not a mass majority? How many reported women abort their babies due to genetic/fatal diagnosis’ for the child? I’m sure there are some, but no where near 90%
Heartbeat was not supported by Right To Life. Its no big secret. That was made clear this morning at the meeting, when Sue Swayze stated her case against it. I’ve never outwardly stated it but every person who was aware of the bill probably knows, especially those who paid any kind of attention. Jim Bopp, National RTL’s Counsel, testified against the bill in Ohio a few years back and our Indiana lobbyist made sure that legislators had access to that written testimony before we even filed the bill at the statehouse. Today Senator Holdman explained to the audience how a bill become a law. He stated that when a Senate bill is filed, it goes to the Pro Temproe (David Long.) Sen. Long then places the bill into a committee. Once there, Mr. Long has the authority to tell the Chair of the committee which bills he would like to hear. Heartbeat made it to the Health Committee, then into the trashcan.
It baffles me why we were refused a hearing on the bill. It is either that there is great reasoning or that the shackles may be on way too tight.
The introductions for each Legislator on the panel today was labeled as, “brave..never wavering..and non-apologetic.” It was tough sitting there looking at the bill slayers and hearing an audience applaud all their good work, knowing they had the power to wad up heartbeat, place it in their red bio-hazard bag and toss it in the state dump.
Legislators have been swayed on the account of one attorney, Jim Bopp, refuting the bill due to these main two points:
- He says the Federal Court will kick it out.
- He says the Federal Court will undo prior pro-life legislation due to Heartbeat.
All of that sounds sooo scary. But here is some facts to consider. Heartbeat was kicked out of the Federal Courts in two states. Both states have similar bills but they are not the same as ours, we use a completely different language. Getting it kicked out of Federal Courts isn’t such a bad thing anyway, nothing passes unless they know we are serious and persistent, that’s the whole point of sending it to DC and having it heard. The point here is to TRY! Another point Sue made today was that we need a conservative President & officials in the capital to do something like Heartbeat. I agree with that, but we have no way to predict who will be there and what they will do. Again, not doing something, is doing something. It screams volumes to people like me sitting in the forum today wondering what in the world is going on. You have the most pro-life group not supporting the most pro-life bill. Not only that, but working against it in the secret halls of the statehouse. Is anyone else perplexed about that?
Indiana’s bill was designed by two key players. The first guy is Walter Weber. Walter is the Senior Litigation Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice. He also has done over 100 briefs at the Supreme Court and practiced Constitutional Law for over 25 years. The second guy is Prof. David Forte. David is also a Constitutional Lawyer of over 30 years, been appointed Chief Counsel to the US Delegation to the United Nations & a Constitutional Law Professor. They say yes…Jim Bopp says no.
He states it would undo legislation. It’s been said a “promise” has been made that if we send a bill like this their way, it would be detrimental to the movement. There is no record of this promise. No one seems to know who said it or to whom they said it to. The same argument was made when the partial birth abortion bill went forward. It’s always the same arguments.
Here’s the points I’d like people to understand, when viability was put in place medical technology was limited. Now we have the availability to so much more and can see a heartbeat very early in a pregnancy. It shows us there is life in the womb. Viability is not a good marker and it’s time for it to be removed & replaced. The courts will never change their mind unless we ask…and if needed we must ask over and over until it is done. It’s worth it to the 8,000 Hoosier Babies that will die this year. It should be worth it to all of us.
It sure would have been good to see a fair debate on this bill, but due to the Statehouse trashcan, we didn’t get that far.
A really well known guy in the pro-life movement is Dr. Jack Wilke. Mr Wilke was the founder of Right to Life. Here is a nice video of him standing with Janet Folger Porter in Ohio after he had testified on behalf of Heartbeat. Wilke’s Heartbeat Award
If you support RTL it is VERY important for you to watch this video.
Is it odd that the founder of Right to Life says YES…and Right to Life opposes the bill?
Mr. Wilke says yes…RTL says no.
I’ve been told to step aside and let the professionals do the work. It’s a bit disheartening to hear the whisper of rumors that float around about Heartbeat inside the pro-life family. Fingers point my direction accusing me of dividing the movement. Nothing has broke my heart more than the day I sat across the table from RTL staff and told they don’t “oppose” the bill but would certainly testify against it. The division was already made and it wasn’t by me.
I understand the credentials of lobbyists who spend time and talent at the Statehouse swaying Legislators to vote a certain way. We hear the stories as they convey all the great things they have done to limit abortion in the state. I obviously don’t have the education or experience they have in moving things forward, but I do have emotion. When they explained to me that education trumps emotion, I was a bit taken back. I really didn’t know what to say.
Later I realized that emotion was a treasure to have. If there is no emotion in stopping abortion then why would you drive the bus to make it illegal? I look all through history and see emotional nobody’s like me doing great somethings. I don’t underestimate the power of compassion, empathy, and grief over children and I would dare to say that it is an essential tool in fighting abortion.
I write this article to confess I am bound as well. I have shackles on my ankles that I wish were not there, everyday I look for the key to take them off but it’s nearly impossible. My bondage isn’t about money, power, or notability. I am a housewife from Indiana that travels to the Statehouse, lobbying for free, and for no personal gain. What holds me captive is simply the cries of the 8,000 children that will die in 2016 because we didn’t succeed with Heartbeat. I also confess I will keep my shackles on until they cry no more.