Biden Administration Removes Abortion Drug Safety Restrictions
On Dec. 16, the Biden Administration’s Food and Drug Administration announced it would permanently remove safety restrictions that prevent the RU-486 abortion drugs from being delivered by mail in America.
In April the FDA announced that, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it would temporarily remove certain safety restrictions and let abortionists deliver RU-486 by mail. The Dec. 16 decision by the FDA makes those temporary changes from last spring permanent.
The FDA’s rule change shows that Arkansas’ lawmakers were forward-thinking in passing several important pro-life measures this year. Act 560 by Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R/Springdale) and Sen. Scott Flippo (R/Mountain Home) outlines the informed-consent process for abortion drugs in Arkansas. Arkansas’ previous informed-consent laws for abortion focused primarily on surgical abortion procedures. Act 560 ensures women get all the facts about chemical abortion as well — including its risks, its consequences, and its pro-life alternatives. Act 560 helps women choose options besides the RU-486 abortion drugs. That has the potential to save many unborn children from abortion.
Act 562 by Rep. Sonia Barker (R/Smackover) and Sen. Blake Johnson (R/Corning) updates Arkansas’ restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486. Among other things, Act 562 outlines requirements that abortionists must follow in administering abortion-inducing drugs, and it prohibits abortion drugs from being delivered by mail in Arkansas.
These new laws will help ensure that abortion-inducing drugs aren’t approved via telemedicine and mailed in Arkansas — even though the FDA is lifting important safety restrictions on abortion drugs at the national level.
Abortion-inducing drugs are dangerous. Official reports from the Arkansas Department of Health show that there were at least 40 complications reported from women who took abortion drugs in Arkansas last year.
All of this underscores why it is so important to pass good, pro-life legislation at the state level. Good state laws protect women and unborn children from abortion — regardless of the federal government’s policies. (familycouncil.org)
Captive Missionaries Made Daring Escape
Captive missionaries in Haiti found freedom last week by making a daring overnight escape, eluding their kidnappers and walking for miles over difficult, moonlit terrain with an infant and other children in tow, according to the agency they work for, officials with the Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), the Ohio-based agency that the captive missionaries work for, said Dec. 20 at a press conference. The group of 12 navigated by stars to reach safety after a two-month kidnapping ordeal.
The detailed accounting of their journey to safety comes after news Dec. 16 that the missionaries were free. A total of 17 people from the missionary group — 12 adults and 5 minors — were abducted Oct. 16 shortly after visiting an orphanage in Ganthier, in the Croix-des-Bouquets area, where they verified it had received aid from CAM and played with the children, CAM has said. The group included 16 Americans and one Canadian.
Their captors from the 400 Mawozo gang initially demanded millions of dollars in ransom. Five other captives had reached freedom earlier. It is still unclear if any ransom was paid. CAM General Director David Troyer did say supporters of CAM raised funds for possible use for a ransom, but he refused to say whether one was paid for any of the releases.
The 12 who fled last week carried the infant and three-year-old, wrapping the baby to protect her from the briars and brambles, said CAM spokesman Weston Showalter. The 12 were flown to Florida on a U.S. Coast Guard flight, and later reunited with five hostages who were released earlier. (baptistpress.com)
Illinois Governor Signs Bill Allowing Secret Abortions
Young girls in Illinois now can abort their unborn babies — or be forced to by abusers — without their parent’s knowledge or consent after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill repealing the state parental notification law Dec. 17. Pro-life leaders described the action as “a dark and disgraceful moment in the history” of the state because it will lead to the abuse of more children.
Fox News reports the legislation that Pritzker signed repeals the 1995 state parental notification law, which required that a parent of an underage girl be notified of an abortion at least 48 hours prior to the procedure. Though the law included a special provision for girls from abusive homes, the Democrat governor claimed the total repeal was necessary to protect “victims of rape and physical abuse.”
Illinois still requires children under 18 to have a parent’s permission before getting a tattoo, piercing or basically any medical care, but it no longer is part of the majority of states that require parental involvement before an abortion.
Pro-life organizations, including the Catholic Conference of Illinois, worked for years to prevent abortion activists from repealing the parental notification law. About 1,000 underage girls have abortions in Illinois every year, according to a report the ACLU of Illinois. However, pro-life leaders fear that number will increase now that the parental notification law is gone. Research shows that parental involvement laws protect young girls and save unborn babies from abortions.
Currently, 36 states require parental involvement (consent or notification) before a minor has an abortion. A 2011 Gallup poll found that 71% of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision. (lifenews.com)
“Mary Did You Know” Writer Good-natured Over Song’s Controversy
For Mark Lowry, almost every day is Christmas. Whenever the storyteller and singer takes the stage for a concert, he always closes the show with the same song — “Mary Did You Know?” — no matter what time of year it is.
Lowry co-wrote “Mary Did You Know?” with Buddy Greene, a well-respected songwriter and instrumentalist, in 1991, while both were on tour with famed gospel singers Bill and Gloria Gaither. Recorded first by Christian singer Michael English, the song has become a modern Christmas staple — covered by some of the biggest names in the business: Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, Mary J. Blige, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood and the a cappella vocal group Pentatonix.
The idea for the song dates back to conversations the 63-year-old had with his mother about Jesus and Mary. Most revolved around the question: What was it like to raise the son of God? He added that most of the questions he had did not make their way into the song — only the ones that rhymed made it.
Those conversations also touched on spiritual topics, like the mystery of the incarnation, said Lowry — the Christian belief that God became human in the person of Jesus. They eventually inspired a series of short monologues Lowry wrote in 1984 for a Christmas concert at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., then led by Jerry Falwell. Those monologues were the glue that held the show together, serving as a transition from one Christmas song to another.
They stuck with Lowry, who thought they might work for a song if he could find the right music. Several musicians tried to come up with melodies, but none fit, said Lowry. Then, while on tour with the Gaithers, he showed the lyrics to Greene and asked him to have a go. Greene took them home and started working on some music. Lowry recalls that Greene, who could not be reached, had spent a day listening to Christmas carols written in minor keys, like “What Child is This?” and “We Three Kings” before composing the melody for “Mary Did You Know?”
While writing lyrics, Lowry said he imagined himself as an overly enthusiastic angel who showed up at the manger during the Christmas story and was filled with questions. He used the phrase, “Did you know” to express that enthusiasm — as if the angel was bubbling over with joy for what the birth of Jesus meant. The questions in the song are the questions Lowry would have asked if he had been there. But that phrase has gotten Lowry in trouble in recent years — seen as a kind of theological mansplaining.
Lowry is pretty good-natured about the criticism of the song. He’s quick to admit it has shortcomings — which he thinks are more evident to his fellow Christians who are more familiar with theology than the average person who hears the song. The last thing he said he wanted to do was to insult Mary or anger his fellow believers. (baptistpress.com)
Ohio Legislature Passes Bill for Babies Who Survive Abortions
A bill on its way to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk this week will ensure that babies who survive abortions receive life-saving medical care. The Springfield News Sun reports the state Senate gave final approval of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (state Senate Bill 157) Dec. 15 after the state House passed it with several minor changes earlier this month. DeWine, a pro-life Republican, is expected to sign the legislation.
The pro-life legislation requires doctors to provide the same medical care to a baby who survives an abortion that they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. According to the Ohio Capital Journal, it also expands the criminal definition of manslaughter to include abortionists who neglect to provide medical care to a baby who is born alive in an abortion. Those who fail to do so could face felony charges. Additionally, it sets up a reporting requirement through the Ohio Department of Health to keep track of how many babies survive abortions each year.
While the main focus of the bill is protecting babies who survive abortions from neglect, it also includes a provision involving abortion facilities being prepared to help women suffering from emergency complications. Ohio requires abortion facilities to have transfer agreements with local hospitals for the purposes of treating patients suffering from serious complications. A variance allows abortion facilities to have consulting agreements with local doctors instead. The bill amends the variance provision by prohibiting abortion facilities from having consulting agreements with doctors who work for taxpayer-funded hospitals, universities or other public institutions, according to the report. (lifenews.com)