Prayer Targets: Equal Rights Amendment; Roe v. Wade; More
January 22, 2020
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. (Gen 9:6 ESV)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. John Willke, M.D. (1925–2015) (in memoriam) and his late wife, Barbara, were pro-life activists before the Roe v. Wade decision. Wilke left his family medical practice in 1988 to devote his life to pro-life ministry. Widely considered "parents of the pro-life movement," their first of many books, Handbook on Abortion, sold over 1.5 million copies. Their books and materials have been translated into 32 languages and are used to equip millions to become champions for life. These excerpts are from his 2007 article, "Equal Rights Amendment: Enshrining Abortion as a Constitutional Right":
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
"Sec. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
"Sec. 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification."
The Equal Rights Amendment, better known as the ERA, was a highly controversial social issue in the seventies and eighties. The reason for this is that legal experts say it would have placed the right to unrestricted abortion into the Constitution. Recently, the ERA has once again reared its ugly head, and pro-lifers should be concerned. But in order to fully understand its continued danger to unborn children and their mothers, we must first understand its history.
The proposed constitutional amendment wording above was passed in March of 1972 by both houses of Congress. Within two months, 13 states had ratified it, by nine months, 22, and by twelve months, 30 states. But then momentum stopped, and the tide turned. In the next six years, five more states ratified the ERA but five rescinded it, leaving a total of 30. Thirty-eight states are necessary to ratify in order to make it part of the constitution. Why the turn around?
Basic credit for this goes to Phyllis Schlafly who sounded the alarm, publicized its scope and problems, lectured, wrote and successfully led the campaign against it. She focused the nation on much of the following:
A long series of amendments were proposed to this ERA wording during the debates in Congress. Each would have rectified serious flaws. Each was defeated. An examination of these reveals their profound significance. These proposed amendments included:
- Women could not be drafted. Amendment 1065: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which exempt women from compulsory military service." This amendment was voted down.
- Women could not be sent into combat. Amendment 1066: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which exempt women from service in combat units of the armed forces." It was voted down.
- Two amendments would have ensured that women, wives and mothers would not lose certain civil and legal privileges that they have always needed, e.g. receiving homemaker benefits while the husband works. Amendment 1067: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which extends protections or exemptions to women." Amendment 1068: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which extend protections or exemptions to wives, mothers, or widows." Both were voted down.
- Women would not lose child support. Amendment 1069: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which impose upon fathers the responsibility for the support of their children." It was voted down.
- Schools, seminaries, sports, toilet facilities, etc. could continue to be segregated and have separate, private facilities. Amendment 1070: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which secure privacy to men and women, boys and girls." It was voted down.
- Homosexuality would not be forced upon the nation as co-equal legally with the traditional heterosexual family in education, etc. Amendment 1071: "This article shall not impair the validity of any laws of the US or any state which make punishable crimes sexual offenses." Voted down.
Since the Senate rejected all of these limitations, it was logical to assume that they meant the ERA would allow or even direct that all of the above could or should happen. This marked the beginning of the campaign against the ERA.
In response, the proponents pointed out that none of the amendments above-mentioned abortion. This was true. However, if the sexes were to be completely equal then the rights that one sex had should be guaranteed to the other also. Men could have sex and walk away not pregnant, so if a woman had sex and got pregnant, she should have the right to be not pregnant also. If she were "forced" to stay pregnant that would be sexual discrimination.
In addition, if surgical operations peculiar to the male sex, e.g. prostate surgery, are paid for with tax money, operations that are peculiar to the female sex, e.g. abortion, should also be paid for... (Dr. John C. Willke, October 1, 2007. Read the entire article at the Life Issues Institute)
Every Christian needs to know the history in this short overview. Efforts are underway, even now, to revive the ERA! Even without it, advocates have succeeded in redefining sex in ways that are not constitutional and would never have been imaginable by the Founders. But those laws and modern court rulings (e.g., same-sex marriage) have given birth to a plethora of federal and state laws that blur the God-given definition of male and female. For example, there are laws that prevent parents from interfering with their minor child's independent plans to transition to another sex. In fact, one state is so dedicated to the extreme philosophy of the ERA that it has appropriated taxpayer funds to provide abortions to whoever wants one no matter what the status of their residence or citizenship is. The same state has performed sex change operations on out-of-state minor children in defiance of their parents' wishes.
Add to all this is the fact that the American Library Association promotes Drag Queen Story Hours that groom little children to the LGBTQ lifestyle. And public schools are using LGBTQ materials to indoctrinate children with brazenly anti-Christian sexual philosophy and practices, not to mention states and other jurisdictions that have opened up their public restrooms, school locker rooms, sports activities, etc. to both sexes and the variety of newly branded "gender identities." Our parents understood that the ERA would be a sexual Pandora's Box and a permanent license to abortion.
January 22, 1973: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy -- Today is the 47th tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that upended respect for human life in American law and has led to the "legal" killing of over 61 million babies inside their mothers' wombs. Many pro-lifers will be celebrating life this week, thanking God for the advances made by the states to reduce and even stop abortion, and the courageous efforts of one of the most pro-life presidents in modern history, not only to nominate pro-life judges but to enact pro-life policy. Yet this is also an annual day for those who believe in and honor the word of God to mourn and repent for the horrible court ruling that legalized the killing of innocent preborn babies instead of heeding their God-given consciences and the eternal laws of God. Those who endorse the actions of that court have embraced a philosophy of death rather than life and continue to defend the practices of abortionists despite exposés of the dark evils that take place inside Planned Parenthood facilities and other organizations in the abortion industry that prey upon vulnerable teenagers and young women.
- Heavenly Father, on this 47th tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade, help each and every one of us rededicate our lives both to prayer and action to end the legalized wholesale slaughter of the innocent born and preborn children -- each one knit together in their mother's womb, fashioned by God himself in the very image of God. Restore moral conscience to men, women, boys, and girls who have been sold the idea that abortion is okay. May every pastor in America make very sure that those who hear him understand the eternal laws of God regarding this evil. Cause your people to understand that this practice and its wide acceptance could not have continued for 47 years in America if the professing Christian majority had taken responsibility to stand up to this evil by speaking out, by educating, by supporting pro-life ministries, by perpetually keeping the issue before the people in their own communities, by writing letters to the editor of the local papers, by exposing groups like Planned Parenthood, by visiting their elected representatives, by voting and supporting pro-life candidates and opposing those who advocate for abortion as prominent past presidents, governors, and elected and appointed leaders in state and federal government have done. Cause your people to realize that our collective apathy, indifference, and inaction while the secret and open killing of innocent human beings takes place daily -- all around us -- is serious sin, sin that without our individual and corporate repentance will bring judgment upon God's own people and our entire nation. Indeed, may we realize that so long as the slaughter continues that we are already under God's judgment. Remind all of us that "God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap." (Gal 6:7 ESV). Thank you, Lord, that there is a remnant of your people who are repentant and fighting the good fight of faith, standing in the gap for us all. (See Gen 4:11; 9:6; Dt 8:19-20; 21:1-9; 2 Kg 24:3-4; 2 Chr 7:14; Ps 9:17; 106:38-39; 139: all; Pr 14:34; 24:11-12; Is 24:5-6; 49:15; Eze 22:30; Rom 2:3-13; Rev 3:15-19. See also pro-life themes from last week's Prayer Targets)
Finally, please join us in prayer over these matters: 1) Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday -- a national holiday, Monday, January 20 (see Tony Perkins, Alveda King; Hear FRC's Tony Perkins and Rev. Dean Nelson on Dr. King's legacy); 2) The Senate Impeachment Trial; 3) President Trump's 3rd anniversary White House Report; 4) President Trump's Proclamation making the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, "National Sanctity of Human Life Day"; 5) ProLifeCon and the March for Life take place on Friday in D.C.; 6) Tony and Travis Weber on the connection between religious liberty and other civil rights; 7) Tony, Travis, Brent Keilen, and David Closson on the differences between the party platforms; 8) Thousands of Virginia gun owners rallied in Richmond Monday to call upon their legislators to reject gun control measures. All but a few Virginia counties have become "Sanctuary Counties"; 9) Princeton Professor Robert George has called upon the Justice Department to execute laws already on the books to help end the pornography epidemic; 10) Pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers all deal with spiritual warfare every day, but few have the kind of aggressive prayer support they need; 11) FRC's Stand Courageous Men's Conferences will take place in Kernersville, North Carolina this weekend and Pensacola, Florida next weekend!
This is an amazingly eventful week and it is not over yet! Thank you, as always, for praying!