I guest authored this blog two weeks ago for a pro-life prayer movement for the ending of abortion: Bound4LIFE.com.
In 2007, we started a Bound4LIFE chapter and began praying at the Florida Supreme Court. Around 7 months later in 2008, we participated in Bound4LIFE’s nation-wide prayer meeting called The Mercy Seat, where 6,200 gathered to pray at every Supreme Court in the nation simultaneously. Nearly 600 residents joined us throughout the 7 hour solemn assembly outside of the Florida Supreme Court, pleading Jesus’ blood and praying for God’s mercy to turn to our state.
We often don’t understand that the timeline of intercession is commonly answered in years. At the end of 2009, Gallup Poll released this shocking data: a majority of Americans identified themselves as pro-life for the first time in over a decade. This unprecedented shift in opinion began sometime after (or during) The Mercy Seat.
This isn’t coincidence. This is power through prayer.
Let’s fast forward. In 2010, Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist was presented with a pro-life bill that would require ultrasounds to be performed before obtaining an abortion. Gov. Crist said he would take 15 days to decide wether or not to sign this bill into law. We spent those days in fasting and prayer as we held silent prayer sieges inside of the State Capitol rotunda, directly facing Governor Crist’s office.
Gov. Crist ultimately decided to veto this bill, but again, our prayers were not in vain and our intercession would be answered a year later. Almost the exact same bill was signed into law in 2011, with four other pro-life bills. The 2011 session was a historic push towards righteousness. In contrast, before 2011, only one pro-life bill had passed the FL legislature in ten years.
Florida Legislature – 2011
In regards to the unborn, the year of 2011 in the Florida Legislature could be described as historic, unprecedented, and full of favor. God allowed our small team of intercessors favor to have some forty Representatives make the covenant of the Life band to pray, vote, and obey. There were even some pro-life legislators in the Democratic party (which is a pro-choice party platform) who wore life bands and vocally fought for the unborn.
Those pro-life praying Representatives and Senators passed five pro-life bills that were enacted this year. This led to the Sunshine State News article linked above, and the 19% drop in abortions in Florida. Though some credit can be given to state legislators for enacting tougher regulations and medical requirements, we know the true credit goes to God answering the prayers of Floridians.
“In 2008, Florida recorded 95,375 abortions. In 2011, that figure fell to 77,166. Nearly midway through this year, 28,023 abortions had been performed. […] The number of Florida abortion clinics has also dwindled. There reportedly are now some 70 abortion providers in the state – nearly 30 percent fewer than in 2005.“ [emphasis added]
And this trend in pro-life laws isn’t limited to Florida. Sunshine State News goes on to state:
"Along with Florida, legislators in 23 other states passed 92 anti-abortion provisions in 2011, shattering the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005, according to Guttmacher.”
This isn’t only a change in public opinion; these are real lives. Real babies are being saved because of your prayers. This should both excite, amaze, and humble you. God has proven that prayers are answered and that your intercession is never in vain. Prayer works.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…” 2 Cor. 10:4
Today was a historic day in Florida. Through lengthy and intense debates an amazing amount of pro-life bills passed the Florida House. The House passed all six pro-life bills ranging from having Floridians vote on the 2012 ballot to add an amendment to the FL Constitution banning publicly funded abortions – to requiring women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound, have it reviewed and explained to them.
Pro-life Democrats made their voices heard today in the debate of these bills and were strong voices for righteousness. Representative Julien (Dem. D 104) said in reference to the genocide of Africans in the days of slavery and in support of bill HB 97, "abortion is a genocide of the unborn.“ "Nothing is more essential to what we do than the preservation of human life,” said another Representative in reference to the notion that job-creating bills are a better way to spend the session.
Here’s a look at the bills passed today:
HB 501 Relating to Choose Life License Plates – This bill allows for Choose Life, Inc. to distribute funds donated by Floridians choosing the Choose Life license plate to organizations that help pregnant women and adoption agencies – rather than the funds being distributed by individual counties.
CS/HJR 1179 Amendment Banning Public Funding of Abortions on the 2012 Ballot – This bill proposes an amendment to the State Constitution that would prohibit public funding of abortions (excluding rape, incest and life of the mother); It would also prohibit the State Constitution from being interpreted to create broader rights to abortion than those contained in U.S. Constitution.
CS/HB 97 Health Insurance – Prohibits certain health insurance policies & health maintenance contracts from providing coverage for abortions; provides that certain restrictions on coverage for abortions apply to certain group health insurance policies issued or delivered outside state which provide coverage to residents of state.
HB 1127 Required Ultrasounds – This bill requires that an ultrasound be performed before a woman can obtain an abortion. It also requires that the ultrasound be reviewed with the patient before she consents for abortion procedure. If she chooses to not review the ultrasound she must do so in writing and that she did so of her own free will and without undue influence; it provides exemption from requirement to view ultrasound for women who are victims of rape, incest, domestic violence, or human trafficking or for women who have serious medical condition necessitating abortion.
HB 1247 Parental Notice of Abortion – This bill would tighten requirements for parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion; It would require minors seeking an abortion to have parental consent before the abortion may be performed.
HB 1397 Third Trimester Abortions: This would expand prohibition on third-trimester abortions to include a ban if the fetus is viable. It would also require physician who offers to or performs abortions to complete continuing ethics education.
These bills aren’t just good ideas, they’re the beginning of abortion ending in the state of Florida and are evidences that Floridians do care about the unborn, women and families. Today is no minor day.
This Wednesday is a potentally historic day for Florida. Representatives in the FL House will be voting on 6 pro-life bills, some being quite monumentuous – one of which could potentally add to the Florida Constitution a ban on public funds to be used for abortions. What God is orchestrating in the FL House is truly great, but we must also raise our voices in partnering prayer and intercession. We can’t do God’s part, and God won’t do our part. Your voice must be heard before God. Please be praying over these bills.
Here are few ways to pray:
- That Reps are able to feel what God feels concering these bills
- For pro-life leaders to be a strong voice for righteousness, especially during debate (Pro. 31:8-9)
- That truth would be upheld and that lies & deception would fall on deaf ears
- That eyes that are currently blinded would be opened (Eph. 1:16-19)
Here is a list of the bills to be debated/voted on Wednesday:
It has been an intense week in Congress, with a complete government shutdown looming over the nation last Friday that hinged on whether or not to fund abortions with tax-payers money, as well as clashing ideologies clearly portrayed to the American people. “The lines have long been drawn on this controversial issue and are about to divide deeply once again,” says CNN.
Yesterday the House and Senate passed the federal budget – and while the House voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood (PP) from receiving tax payers money, the Senate inevitably voted to keep them funded. This is the House of Representatives second time voting to end tax payer funded abortions through PP – an historic gesture that the American people are once again declaring their pro-life views. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life said: “Recent polls reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans—whether pro-life or pro-abortion—oppose the use of federal monies to support abortion.“
While de-funding PP and overhauling obamacare did not pass in this year’s federal budget, some really great things did pass. Here’s a quick look:
In the Nation
House votes to de-fund Planned Parenthood. House members voted 241-185 for a resolution that would prohibit the Planned Parenthood abortion business from qualifying for family planning funds. The vote saw almost all Republicans supporting de-funding while Democrats generally opposed it.
Ban on abortion funding in D.C. reinstated. On a 260-167 vote, lawmakers approved a funding bill that reinstates the abortion funding ban in the District of Columbia that President Barack Obama and Democrats overturned in their budget bills last year. In addition to the ban on DC abortion funding, the continuing resolution also cuts funding to the pro-abortion UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Agency) that has worked hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who have enforced the one-child rule with forced abortions and other human rights abuses. Republicans trimmed funding for the agency from the $55 million President Barack Obama put in place to $40 million.
GOP Continuing Resolution lowers Title-X funds. The GOP long-term CR also cuts the Title X domestic family planning funding, the pool of money from which Planned Parenthood is funded. The cuts take the program from the $317 million it received in 2010 to $300 million, the level of money it received in 2008 and decreasing the pool of funds from which Planned Parenthood can draw.
Committee passes bill to add Constitutional amendment that bans tax-payer funded abortions. On Wednesday I sat-in on a HHS committee hearing of Rep. Dennis Baxley (R. Distric 24) introducing his bill that would allow Floridians to vote on an amendment to the Florida constitution that would ban tax-payer funded abortions in Florida (essentially the Hyde Amendment). The bill passed with 12 yeas, with 6 nays.
Florida Senate Committee Passes Ultrasound Before Abortion. The bill requires abortion centers to do something they don’t normally do: show women considering an abortion the results of the ultrasound they typically take beforehand to determine the age of the baby at the time of the abortion. Senate Bill 1744 received the support of a committee in the state Senate today and now has just one more committee to go before heading to the state Senate floor for a debate and vote. This bill is similar to HB 1143 that former Gov. Crist vetoed last year.
House De-Funds Planned Parenthood, Senate Allows Funding »
Abortion battle rages in state legislatures »
Florida Senate Committee Passes Ultrasound Before Abortion »