After failing miserably in the Senate Ed & Health Committee on Thursday, The Inalienable Right to Life Bill passed through the House Committee on Courts of Justice last night by a vote of 14-7. Please join me in giving thanks to God for this incredible victory!
Things didn't unfold at all the way I had expected them to. (Isn't that just like our God?) The bill didn't come before the Committee until about 5:00 p.m., and the Chairman had already made it quite clear that he was ready to finish up business and head home for the weekend.
When our bill was called, he announced to the almost-full Committee Room that extensive debate on the constitutionality of the bill had taken place last year, and that the amendments made to the language since then were sufficient to satisfy the Subcommittee's concerns. He therefore was not going to entertain a lengthy debate this time around.
After Delegate Bob Marshall introduced our bill, Chairman Albo asked me to explain to the Committee the purpose of the legislation. I gave my testimony, which, in part, urged the Committee not to accept the unfounded arguments of the bill's opponents. I offered to respond to those arguments in painstaking detail, if necessary.
A few liberal Committee members made half-hearted statements objecting to the bill as a measure that would chip away at women's freedom to "make healthcare decisions," but none of them actually asked me any questions. One of them said, "since no one is going to change their mind, why don't we just vote?" The Committee then voted to report the bill to the full House. The Chairman did not even allow the lobbyists from Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the ACLU to speak!
As we left, I felt oddly let down. After all that happened last year, I was ready for a real fight! On the way home, the Weltys reminded me that this hearing was the culmination of many months of building relationships, reminding legislators of their commitments, researching the answers to their questions and responding to objections.
But what we all realized was that the way things unfolded made it perfectly clear that this battle was truly the Lord's. I didn't win anyone over last night with my well-prepared arguments! God won them--over the course of time--through means that we cannot imagine. But I believe that He may well have used you and me as part of that process, and that is an honor.
Finally, I was impressed that the events of last night bore similarities to the battle of Gideon and the account of Daniel in the lion's den. Gideon and Daniel, respectively, were prepared to engage in battle and, if necessary, to be devoured in service to the Lord's cause. But God did the work. He shut the lions' mouths and sent the enemies away in defeat.
Praise be to Him! He is the same God as He was in the days of Gideon and Daniel! (Don't we forget that sometimes?) Thank you for your faithful prayers. Next up, a vote on the floor of the House and then the Senate Ed & Health Committee, Round 2. Please stay tuned!
Oh, and one more thing--please join me in e-mailing your appreciation to the Delegates listed in my earlier post (scroll down for their e-mail addresses). EVERY ONE OF THEM voted for the bill, perhaps because of your request! You can just say, "Thank you for voting for HB1440."