It's been an active week on the public policy front, highlighting the influence of faith on politics - this week's edition of "The 3" highlights Election Day news and trends, as well as the vote on health care reform in the U.S. House. Plus, learn about a dramatic change-of-heart by a former Planned Parenthood director.
3 - Planned Parenthood director in Texas declares she is pro-life
Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood director in Bryan-College Station, Texas has declared that she is now pro-life, a development that reportedly came about after she viewed an abortion through ultrasound. She has been embraced by a pro-life group in the area, the Coalition for Life. The Christian Post has the story.
This is a great testimony to how the Lord is using ultrasound technology in pregnancy resource centers and clinics all across America to point out the fact that a pre-born child is indeed a person, a life to be protected. The truth is being communicated in powerful ways and women, through the personal touch and through the technology, are making decisions to preserve the lives of their children.
2 - Pro-family victories in off-year elections
A pro-life graduate of Regent University is the newly elected governor of Virginia, topping a ticket of pro-family, pro-life conservatives who were spurred to victory by the voters on Election Day. Bob McDonnell held a double-digit lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds in the state, recapturing a state that went for Obama in 2008 and has been led by Democrat Tim Kaine. Also, in New Jersey, incumbent liberal Democrat Jon Corzine was turned out of office by Republican Chris Christie. Meanwhile in Maine, voters rescinded the Legislature's acceptance of same-sex marriage and affirmed at the ballot box the definition of marriage as one man for one woman.
In a tightly contested race, a conservative, Doug Hoffman, bucked the Republican party leadership and ran as a Conservative Party nominee against both the Democrat and Republican candidates in the race. The weekend before the election, the Republican pulled out and threw her support to...the Democrat! Hoffman lost narrowly, but many pro-family conservatives celebrated his rise from obscurity to finish a close second as a testimony to the strength of pro-family values.
Here is Liberty Counsel's election overview.
1 - Health care passes House minus taxpayer abortion funding
In an incredibly narrow vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday night approved a sweeping health care reform bill. The vote of 220-215 illustrates the strength of the opposition to essentially a government-managed health care system, and signals that similar legislation in the Senate could be in for a tough road. President Obama hailed the passage and stated his expectation for health care reform to pass by the end of the year. This week, Sen. Harry Reid had been less optimistic, signaling that it could be 2010 before his chamber passes a bill.
Much of the drama on Saturday was over the taxpayer funding of abortion. Without an amendment to plainly state that abortions would not be funding by the reform proposals, Rep. Bart Stupak had said that some 40 pro-life Democrats would not vote for the bill. After initially refusing to allow a vote on such an amendment, instead endorsing a watered-down version that would not accomplish the objective, Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally allowed a vote, and the House finally enacted an amendment by a vote of 240-192. This provided some cover for moderate Democrats who were leaning toward supporting the legislation. Concerned Women for America had some excellent analysis of the health care reform vote.
The Christian Medical Association has published some helpful links on the overall subject of health care reform. Although taxpayer funding has been removed for abortion, with the exceptions of rape, incest, and danger to the mother's life, the basic structure of the health care reform legislation remains, with increased government intervention, employer mandates, the possibility of rationing, and more. We will have to be vigilant in the coming days to monitor our lawmakers, especially as the attention turns to the Senate.
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