Last Friday, the Governor’s Abortion Expansion Act was defeated. The final days of the legislative session were chaotic and hard to understand, and there were many behind-the-scenes maneuvers going on. But in the end, the Assembly voted — to their shame — for more abortion in our state, but the Senate refused to go down that path.
It was a close call. The change of only one vote in the Senate would have resulted in an expansion of late-term abortions, and permission for non-doctors to do abortions, among other things. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that elections don’t matter.
There were several key lessons that were learned in the last few weeks of this long effort — remember, we have been working against this bill for over six years.
Lies Don’t Work — the Truth Will Come Out.
For months, the proponents of the bill were telling blatant falsehoods about what it was all about. They claimed — inconsistently — that it was a “historic” measure that would ensure abortion rights, and also that it did nothing to change New York law. They argued that it would not permit non-doctors to do abortions — although in the end, during the legislative debate, they finally admitted that it would. And they said that it wouldn’t increase late-term abortions — although that was the only possible result of including a broad “health of the mother” justification for destroying viable unborn children.
These falsehoods were in the very heart of the Governor’s proposal, and they couldn’t be glossed over or ignored. Eventually the strength of the truth carried the day, and the key Senators were persuaded to oppose the bill.
Abortion law in general is based on a great lie — that human life is disposable. This bill built lie upon lie, and in the end couldn’t stand.
Prayer and Witness are Powerful
There were powerful and wealthy forces promoting the Governor’s “Women’s Equality Act” — of which the abortion plank played the central role. The Governor himself is a potent political figure, and he had all his administration to rely on to promote the bill. The press was, as usual, not with us. Abortion advocacy groups were spending time, money and energy to push for the expansion of abortion.
Just to give you an idea of what we were up against, in May there were press reports that groups allied with the Governor were committing over $1,000,000 to run advertisements in favor of the agenda. And that was only a small part of the money spent by abortion advocates.
On our side, we had a coalition of committed but cash-poor organizations. But we had some things that our adversaries did not — the power of prayer and public witness.
So we concentrated on using inventive means of social networking, YouTube advertising, local prayer rallies, a candlelight vigil in Albany, Holy Hours, Rosaries. In the last, critical week, hundreds of pro-lifers went to Albany to give public witness in the hallways of the Legislature, cheering on the lawmakers who were standing up for life.
We must never underestimate the power of prayer and public witness. In any uphill struggle, we can always count on the power of God, and the impact of people who are willing to stand up and make their faith known.
Thanks be to God for the strength and support that He gave to us, and for the grace that He shone into the hearts of the legislators who stood with us. May that grace also convert the hearts of those in the grips of the Culture of Death.
Remember, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31)