Brad Mattes: What I’m Seeing in TX
Brad Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute in Cincinnati (which he co-founded with Dr. John Willke), is in Texas for the battle to pass an omnibus pro-life bill. This guest post appeared as Epic battle between good and evil on the Institute’s web site yesterday.
I wish you could’ve been there. They say everything’s bigger in Texas and that’s certainly true of this legislative battle. Most of the week, I was in Austin, getting an up-close-and-personal view of an epic clash between good and evil. Pro-life Governor Rick Perry and a pro-life majority in the both the State House and Senate have been working on an amazing accomplishment—a major omnibus pro-life bill. You probably know the background, but for those who don’t, allow me to briefly summarize.
The Governor called a special session to deal with remaining issues after the regular bi-annual session. Abortion was on the agenda. Legislators combined four pro-life bills into one major piece of legislation. It prohibits abortion after five months, well after we know the unborn child feels pain. It requires abortion mills provide the same level of medical care as other outpatient surgical facilities, and abortionists must have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles. Finally, it requires chemical abortions (RU 486) be administered within approved FDA guidelines. It’s a very pro-child and pro-woman bill that makes babies and their mothers a little safer in Texas until we reach our ultimate goal of protecting all innocent human life from womb to tomb.
I took the TV crew to cover the debate for an episode of Facing Life Head-On, our weekly television program. When we arrived, an estimated crowd of 5,000 had gathered for a pro-life rally at the State Capitol. Dotted around the edges of the massive gathering were a few pro-abortion activists. You quickly knew who was who because of their clothes. Pro-lifers wore blue and the pro-aborts dressed in orange. Opponents of the bill were FAR outnumbered. The rally had a positive tone advocating for life and reaching out to those who disagree.
My goal was to interview people at the rally on both sides of the issue. The pro-lifers happily agreed, but the pro-abortion advocates all refused. They had obviously received their marching orders not to speak to the media. Period. This was undoubtedly the result of bad coverage resulting from their appalling behavior up to that point.
During the last special session when Senator Wendy Davis attempted her filibuster, and mob rule picked up where she failed—dooming the special session—it expired two minutes before the vote passing the bill was completed. As the process unfolded, each side was assigned a room in the capitol building. Opponents totally trashed theirs; requiring it to be completely refurbished with new carpet, paint, etc.
Fresh from their “victory” and feeling their oats, the radical activists continued to show their true colors this past week. While pro-lifers sang Amazing Grace in the Capitol rotunda, abortion activists chanted “Hail Satan!” and “Mary should have aborted Jesus!” As the outdoor pro-life rally wound down, attendees sang along to worship music emanating from large speakers. As they sang, the opposition chanted—and I hesitate to even allude to the content—“F*** the church!”
Who were these political hooligans? Evidence shows they were members of MoveOn, Occupy and the Socialist Party among others. And they weren’t there out of a deeply-held conviction. It was a rented mob, bent on causing as much disruption, damage and offense as needed to get their point across. An ad was placed on Craigslist days before the second special session seeking people to show up and protest the bill. The ad offered up to $2,200 a month! Those who phoned the number provided were told they’d be working directly with Planned Parenthood, the group that gets over a half-billion of our federal tax dollars to push their deadly agenda. Many of those who showed up were grungy, smelly and repulsive. Several of their signs had worse content than that scrawled on a public bathroom wall.
First of all, Texans don’t take kindly to this sort of behavior. Second, the Governor and pro-life members of the Legislature were absolutely and unwaveringly determined not to let these thugs trash their cherished building and democracy. It was time for swift action.
I had the privilege of interviewing some of the brightest and best of those shepherding the pro-life bill through the Senate. Senator Donna Campbell loaned us her personal office for the day to conduct TV interviews. This emergency room physician has been a superb advocate for the legislation. I also spoke with Senators Larry Taylor, Bob Deuell (another physician) and the lone Democrat to support the bill during the first special session, Eddie Lucio.
They and their fellow warriors for life in both the Senate and House are resolute to do whatever is needed to see this major pro-life bill passed into law. The courage, eloquence and sacrifice I witnessed by them was heartening. Having grown up in Montana, I have a deep and abiding love of the West and have long admired Texans for their swagger, fierce independence and love of their state.
Now is the time for you to help them. Beginning today and throughout the weekend, the State Senate is expected to debate and vote on the omnibus bill. Considering all the spiritual warfare encircling the Capitol, we need to be in prayer for these men and women standing in the gap for Texas’ unborn babies and their mothers. Ask God to help them succeed and surround them with protection.
This latest battle in Texas clearly demonstrates that those advocating abortion and other social evils are becoming more aggressive and violent. God willing, we expect the Senate to succeed, and when that happens, the opposition will likely unleash their rage on pro-life legislators and advocates, as well as the many deputies assigned to keep the peace. Please join me in prayer that life will prevail over death and that the heroes of the Lone Star State will be protected. God bless them.
In prayer for LIFE,
Life Issues Institute