Prayer Targets: Abortion and the Elections; The Supreme Court; Values Voter Summit; The Return
September 23, 2020
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
Dear Praying Friends,
David Closson (see full bio) is the Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council. He researches and writes on life, human sexuality, religious liberty, and other issues from a biblical worldview, has authored FRC's Biblical Worldview Series, and is a regular guest on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins. These excerpts are from his must-read article The 2020 Election: A Clear Distinction on Abortion:
While both presidential candidates have changed their views on abortion over the past decades, their actions in recent years clarify the direction that they would likely take while in office. President Trump has maintained a consistent pro-life record in office that affects the regulations of various executive agencies and American leadership on the world stage. Former Vice President Biden has moved to support his party's current position of actively promoting federal funding for the abortion industry and cementing abortion as a constitutional right.
Earlier this fall, Democrats and Republicans presented their visions to the American people at their political conventions. Intriguingly, the word "abortion" was not mentioned a single time during the four nights of the Democratic National Convention. Joe Biden did not mention abortion in his acceptance speech, and most speakers even avoided using popular euphemisms such as "reproductive justice" or "a woman's choice."
In contrast, speakers at the Republican National Convention repeatedly reminded Americans of their pro-life convictions. In his primetime acceptance speech, President Donald J. Trump gave a stirring defense of unborn life: "Joe Biden claims he has empathy for the vulnerable - yet the party he leads supports the extreme late-term abortion of defenseless babies right up to the moment of birth. Democrat politicians refuse to protect innocent life, and then they lecture us about morality and saving America's soul? Tonight, we proudly declare that all children, born and unborn, have a God-given right to life."
Abortion has been a divisive social issue since the 1960s. But the topic has become even more polarizing over the last few election cycles, as the two major political parties have taken increasingly contrasting views. This had not always been the case: both parties used to overwhelmingly agree that abortion should not be supported or funded by taxpayer money. But today, many Democrats - including those who control the national party - call for revoking the Hyde Amendment (the legislative provision that blocks federal tax dollars from funding abortion), increasing funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, and rescinding the Mexico City Policy (which blocks funding for international groups that perform or promote abortion).
Both parties used to overwhelmingly agree that abortion should not be supported or funded by taxpayer money. But today, many Democrats - including those who control the national party - call for revoking the Hyde Amendment, increasing funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, and rescinding the Mexico City Policy.
Trump's Record - Although Donald Trump previously referred to himself as "totally pro-choice" in 1999, the president has consistently championed pro-life policies since his inauguration. In federal funding, conscience protections, and national and global pro-life advocacy, President Trump's administration has been remarkably pro-life, garnering praise from pro-life groups and criticism from abortion supporters. Two days into his presidency, Trump fulfilled a campaign promise regarding federal funding and the use of taxpayer money for abortion by reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy, that blocked funding for international groups that perform or promote abortion. In February 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under the president's direction, changed a rule to require recipients of Title X family planning money to be financially and physically separate from facilities that either perform or refer for abortions. As another example of the department's pro-life policies, HHS terminated a contract it had with Advanced Bioscience Resources to procure fetal tissue from aborted babies for research...The president has been personally supportive and willing to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to support the pro-life movement. He sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi on January 19, 2019, promising to veto any legislation that would weaken current pro-life federal policies and laws. During his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump called for legislation to prohibit abortion past the point of development when unborn children can feel pain. The president exhorted: "Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children - born and unborn - are made in the holy image of God."
Biden's Record - A survey of Biden's early political career reveals a mixed record on abortion. Biden arrived in Washington as a new senator the same month the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. Biden stated that he believed the Court went "too far" in its decision... and from 1995 to 2003, then-Senator Biden supported a handful of pro-life bills. In 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2003, Biden voted to prohibit partial-birth and late-term abortions. Throughout this time, he also supported the Hyde Amendment. However, Biden's stance on abortion has tracked hard to the left over the past 20 years. As Biden's national profile grew, he increasingly voted against pro-life legislation. This is reflected in his score on NARAL Pro-Choice America's voting scorecard, which awarded Biden a perfect score in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008.Biden has vowed to codify Roe v. Wade into law.
On the campaign trail, Biden has vowed to codify Roe v. Wade into law...[And] despite backing the Hyde Amendment for decades, he reversed course last year, vowing in June 2019 to work for its removal. Biden's campaign has also promised that if elected, Biden will instruct his Justice Department to do "everything in its power" to counteract state laws that limit abortion, including parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound requirements...Concerning the funding and promotion of abortion overseas, Biden has pledged to end the current Mexico City Policy on his first day in office. . According to the 2020 Democratic Party Platform, "Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to reproductive health and rights."
Biden's selection of Sen. Kamala Harris solidified the ticket's status as the most pro-abortion ticket in modern American history. Harris supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, codifying Roev. Wade, repealing the Mexico City Policy, preserving federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and making support for abortion a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees...
Biden's selection of Sen. Kamala Harris solidified the ticket's status as the most pro-abortion ticket in modern American history.
Conclusion - After evaluating the 2020 presidential candidates' respective convictions, policy positions, and the two major party platforms, it is clear that Trump and Biden - and the political parties they represent - have diverging understandings of women's health and the unborn, and are working to advance two very different agendas. Despite his previously expressed personal view on the topic, while in office President Trump has maintained a consistent pro-life record that affects the regulations of various executive agencies and American leadership on the world stage. Former Vice President Biden has moved to support his party's current position of actively promoting federal funding for abortion providers and cementing abortion as a constitutional right for women. As a result, the 2020 election will influence the trajectory of the pro-life movement and abortion law and policy in America in significant ways for the years to come.
Ginsburg, Abortion, and the Supreme Court - Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87on Friday, September 18. A private ceremony was held this morning with Ginsburg's family, close friends, and colleagues. She will lie in repose at the top of the Supreme Court's front steps on Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday she will become the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Building, followed by her interment at Arlington Cemetery next to her husband, Martin, who died and was buried there in 2010.
Already, the battle for the next justice is underway, and abortion has risen to the top of the debate due to Mrs. Ginsburg's death. Ginsburg was a long-time ardent proponent of abortion rights, but believed Roe v. Wade was a faulty decision that, if it had been decided differently, would not have produced the backlash that continues to this day. But like communism and other faulty ideologies, the ideology and practice of abortion cannot be whitewashed, and there are faithful believers who will stand up for the right to life - not only commanded in the Bible but established as an absolute principle in America's founding documents. The Declaration states that "all men are created equal...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights... among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Constitution says, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." How about innocent, preborn babies?
Thankfully the unthinkable "right" to abort preborn babies remains firmly contested after 47 years. And given the slaughter of over 60 million innocent preborn children during that time, the God-given conscience and the word of God has motivated millions of men and women, boys and girls, to pray and fight for the right to life. Despite millions of dollars (including taxpayer dollars) that have been spent to advocate and pay for abortion, states are increasingly passing laws restricting abortion (see FRC's pro-life map). This could be the moment we have been praying for: for the Supreme Court to be rebalanced to provide opportunity for a ruling that will uphold the promise of the Declaration and the text of the Constitution and remove the legal foundation from the federal government's promotion of abortion. Since Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion activists have insisted that abortion is a constitutional right. Nothing could be further from the truth! And even if the Constitution could be amended to make it so, God's word can never be changed, even though many Americans - even entire church denominations - have departed from the eternal word of God. President Trump has promised to announce his nominee on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. Many pro-lifers are praying for Amy Coney Barrett. But any candidate with a pro-life history will face a turbulent and contentious confirmation, as did Brett Kavanaugh, as Senators from both parties will be forced to take a public stand on the issue of abortion. (Read and hear: Standing for a SCOTUS Victory Now; Defending Life at Home and Abroad: Amy Coney Barrett; President to Sign Order to Protect Babies who Survive Abortion)
- Father, forgive us for our national sins surrounding abortion; grant us national repentance and a Supreme Court that will stand for life - the value you command, and the value our Forefathers promised. Awaken our nation. Guide President Trump in his choice of a Supreme Court nominee, and may he or she be confirmed speedily. Grant us a new era in which life is val ued at every level. And bring us back to yourself in every sphere of our national values. Forgive us for our apathy - in prayer, in our study of your word and fidelity to it, in our slowness to take a public stand for what is right amid our nation's rush into darkness. Forgive us for allowing our free nation to embrace a culture of death as it has. Help us now, at this moment of truth. In Jesus' name, amen. (Life: Gen 1:27, 9:6; Ex 20:13; Job 31:14-15; Ps 22:10, 100:3, 127:3-5, 139:13-16; Pr 6:16-17, 24:11-12; Is 44:24; Jer 1:4-5; Lk 1:41-45; Mt 18:10, 25:37-40; Supreme Court Lev 19:5; Dt 1:16-17, 16:19-20; 2 Chr 19:5-7; Pr 9:10, 17:15, 18:5; Is 5:20-23; Is 1:17, 56:1; Mic 6:8)
FRC's Values Voter Summit - Tune in to watch and hear FRC's 15th Annual Values Voter Summit tonight, tomorrow night, and Friday night 8 p.m. ET (ValuesVoterSummit.org). It's online! There is no cost to view it, and what you will get out of it is know-how to help you change our nation for the better! (Ex 18:17-26; Dt 1:13; Ps 111:10; Pr 8:16, 14:34, 29: 22 Chr 7:14; Dan 2:20-21; Mt 5:13-16; Eph 5:8; 1 Tim 2:1-2)
The Return - We, God's people in America, have a lot to repent of. This is the opportunity for believers across America to turn to the Lord en masse, as per 2 Chronicles 7:14, Joel 2, and many other Scriptures, with promises of grace, forgiveness, and mercy attached to them. America needs God. Please take part in these opportunities! The Return is both in person, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and virtual - on Christian TV networks and the internet around the world! Visit thereturn.org for details! (Dt 4:30; 2 Chr 15:4; Job 22:23; Is 55:7; Jer 24:7; Lam 3:40; Hos 6:1; 14:1; Joel 2:13; Zech 1:3; Mal 3:7; Lk 15:20-21; Jas 4:8; Apathy: Zep 1:12; Hag 1:7-9; Mk 14:38-41; Gal 6:9; Eph 6:10-13; Rom 12:11-12; Rev 3:2-3, 15-16)
Time to pray! Thank you for praying! You are a part of all this!