Controversial issues saturate the news. It appears mainstream media works overtime to promote angst and dissension, and most days, for those of us who watch the news, it is difficult to discern what issues are actually presented in truth or biased exaggeration. And, for some, the issues are deeply disturbing and the arguments, both within and outside the halls of government, loud and irreverent.
Nonetheless, national issues and legislative decisions are important to follow as the matters impact us all. Consequently, several weeks ago in February, a news item caught my attention –– the topic was abortion, an uncomfortable issue that poses a most difficult and controversial dichotomy.
The debate was taking place in the U.S. Senate, over Senate Bill 130, a bill Senator Josh Hawley co-sponsored. Hawley was defending his reasons for sponsoring the legislation and asking his peers to support the bill.
Senate Bill 130 was created to ensure that babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt would be medically treated and accepted as a newborn child. The measure was proposed to counter extreme philosophies currently espoused in New York and Virginia that allow a baby to be aborted right up to the moment of birth, and then, if born alive, the babe is allowed to die unattended, without further medical attention.
In Senator Hawley’s speech he noted “it’s very hard to imagine that this legislation is even necessary. In the United States of America, in the 21st Century, when every day a new advanced technologies bring new revelations about the wonders of human life, it is hard to fathom the extremism of politicians in New York and now Virginia who would deny the protections of law to the most vulnerable members of our society, the innocent unborn, and allow them to be aborted, allow them to be killed right up to the moment of birth….”
Hawley’s speech was impressive and lasted about four minutes.
However, the bill was filibustered and sent back to the Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 130 is called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act –– a bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit health care practitioners from failing to give proper care to a baby who survives an abortion. The bill establishes criminal penalties for medical personnel who allow an infant to die after an abortion attempt fails. The bill mandates medical care must be provided to little ones that survive.
In his speech, Hawley asked his fellow peers “let us not go back to the darkness and cruelty of the past. Let us not go back to the arbitrary rule of the powerful and the few. Let us affirm again our founding belief in the equal worth and equal dignity for all, and as we do, we will do our part for liberty and justice in our day.”
Hawley’s words not only affirmed the sanctity of life, but also reinforced our founding fathers focus on equality. A statement that not only recognizes newborn babies, but every sect, race, religion and age. The belief that respect for human life is important and inclusive.
History has demonstrated over and over again when governments or cultures choose to devalue human life, that society will soon crumble. One prime example is Nazi Germany.
During Nazi Germany’s attack on the Jews, many non-Jews stayed silent out of fear for their own life, or protection of family members. World leaders also stood blind for too long as rumors of atrocities were ignored –– a deafening silence for those in need.
In our society, are we not doing that again with abortion –– turning a deaf ear to the precious value of a human life?
Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, who is recognized for writing over 40 books, with the most notable entitled, Night, a memoir of his experiences during the Holocaust. Night gives bold insight into his imprisonment in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, as well as his will to survive.
In his wisdom, Wiesel says, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
Senator Josh Hawley’s speech about abortion was not indifferent, it was passionate and heartfelt. Humanitarian.
Unfortunately, Hawley’s words weren’t deemed worthy of national exposure by the mainstream media. Nor was he recognized at the state level as well.
Regardless, the speech was notable. It was a presentation that should make Missourians proud, no matter what your stance is on the issue of abortion.
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Senator Hawley’s speech was given February 5, 2019 and can be viewed on c-span.org The speech is worth hearing.
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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmond Burke