By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md.—On Jan 24, BaptistLIFE reported that the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Christian Life and Public Affairs (CLPA) Committee requested your partnership regarding a Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) bill, HB160, which was to be brought for a vote to the Delaware House of Representatives the very next day, on Jan. 25.
Due to the response of Delaware residents who opposed the bill and made their voices known, the bill was bypassed. Lobbyists against the bill said that a week earlier the momentum was definitely in the proponent’s favor, but thanks to mobilization, calls flooded Legislative Hall and votes started wavering.
The General Assembly is now on recess for six weeks for budget proceedings but will be back in mid-March again and will stay convened until late June, so the work is not done until then or until the bill is killed, whichever comes first. Proponents will use that time to regroup and make a stronger push for a vote when they return to Dover.
The pro-life movement received a blow when the Senate voted 51-46 against the Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act on Jan. 29. In a New York Times article, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chief sponsor of the bill, was quoted, “To those who believe in this issue, we will be back for another day.” To his colleagues who supported the measure, he said, “You’re on the right side of history. You’re where America will be. It’s just a matter of time before we get there.”
Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said on the Jan. 30 edition of the podcast “The Briefing,” “A very historic vote yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would’ve banned abortion after the unborn child had reached 20 weeks of gestation failed by a vote of 51 for but 46 against. Though a majority of senators voted to support the bill, the bill did not receive the required 60 votes a super majority in the Senate in order to achieve what is known by Senate rules as cloture and move the bill to the floor for a full up or down vote.
“But what we saw yesterday was courageous, and it was conventional. It was necessary. Remember that it took 15 years in order for the United States Senate to pass what became known as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. It took 15 years of bringing bills again and again and again until finally, a sufficient number of senators voted for that bill protecting babies from partial-birth abortion as it is known. And senators are going to have to bring this bill back again and again and again.”
Kevin Freeman, who chairs the CLPA Committee, says the issues are important, but he stressed, “The biggest problem is not legislation but the need for the Gospel.” He stressed that while Christians should stay informed, they must pray for those who are affected by these issues, as well as the legislatures. “We want to keep praying,” he said.