Published January 24, 2017
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16).
January 7, 2017 was an historic day in Kentucky. Over the course of the past four decades, more than 50 million children have been murdered before birth in the United States, many of those children in Kentucky. Yet, in recent years, efforts to protect the unborn have been growing.
Ten years ago, when I served as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, I worked with KBC staff members and the KBC Committee on Public Affairs to organize informational meetings across the state to help pastors better understand the abortion procedure and the need to curb this horrific evil. Before and after that effort, untold millions of prayers were lifted on behalf of the unborn, and tireless other efforts have been undertaken to impact the political system in an effort to save the lives of children. We now see evidence that God has heard our prayers and rewarded our efforts.
Kentucky Baptists have been working, hoping, and praying for pro-life legislation to pass in our state for a very long time. I thank God for House Speaker Jeff Hoover, Senate President Robert Stivers, Gov. Matt Bevin, and Kentucky lawmakers of both political parties who courageously used their influence and votes on behalf of the voiceless and vulnerable to see that abortion is now legally banned in Kentucky after a conceived child is 20 weeks old. The first responsibility of government is to provide security for its citizens, and today that promise is being fulfilled to babies who, in most cases, could survive outside of the womb.
A close friend of mine is the adopted father of a happy, healthy 3-year-old whose biological mother chose not to have him killed after seeing him in her womb through the technology of an ultrasound. I never think of him without also thinking about the Texas lawmakers who helped give him and untold thousands of other children a better chance of survival by passing ultrasound legislation in that state five years ago. While every Kentucky mother considering an abortion may not make the same decision, she now will have the same opportunity and babies will have a better chance at life because ultrasound legislation was signed into law on Jan. 7. At a minimum, a required ultrasound will help ensure a mother understands the abortion procedure, its risks and consequences.
Only the God of Heaven knows how many babies' lives will be saved by the votes taken on Jan. 7, by the diligence of God's people in prayer and in the pro-life battle, and the courage of elected officials who stand for life. But while God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use these and other avenues to bring these new laws onto the books in Kentucky, God, alone, deserves the glory. He is the giver of life.
Paul Chitwood is the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
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