Congress is important, but it’s not the only thing at stake next Tuesday! On November 6th, voters have the chance to cut out the middleman on key policies like abortion, health care, gender-free bathrooms, gambling, marijuana, and so much more. By Tuesday night, Americans will have weighed in on 155 ballot measures – directly deciding issues that, in at least three states, could save thousands of lives.
Instead of turning the questions over to legislators, voters in Alabama, West Virginia, and Oregon will be the final say on taxpayer-funded abortion, post-Roe v. Wade policy, and the rights of unborn children. As Michael New points out, these opportunities don’t come along every day. “Since the Roe v. Wade decision, pro-life activists have made relatively little use of direct democracy. The costs of qualifying a proposal for the ballot and running an effective campaign has discouraged many state and local pro-life groups from using the initiative process.”
Fortunately, some people refuse to be discouraged. In Alabama, voters have the chance to pass Amendment 2, a measure that would help outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court ever strikes down abortion-on-demand. Hopefully, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh makes that an even likelier scenario. If the justices did return the issue to the states, Alabamans would be well on their way to protecting life, because they’ll have made it explicitly clear in this language that an unborn child is a person.
Out in Oregon and West Virginia, voters could do what Congress has not: stop taxpayer-funded abortion. Like Alabama, the Mountain State’s Amendment 1 makes it clear that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion” and adds “or requires the funding of abortion.” Likewise, Oregon’s Measure 106 would change its constitution to ban public funds from being spent on abortion “except when medically necessary or as may be required by federal law.” As Nichole Bentz, a pro-life spokeswoman for Yes on 106 says, “It doesn’t stop anyone from choosing abortion, but it gives people the freedom from having to pay for them.”
And that’s a popular idea no matter which side you’re on. The latest Marist poll on the subject showed that even 45 percent of people who say they’re “pro-choice” reject taxpayer-funded abortion. “Public funds,” Bentz argues, “shouldn’t be going to that controversial, that personal of a choice when they’re not medically necessary.” Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood doesn’t agree. The country’s biggest abortion business -- which enjoys more than a half-billion tax dollars a year -- wants to keep the money flowing. According to the Oregon Elections Commission, the group has spent piles of cash – well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars -- trying to stop Measure 106.
Like pro-lifers, they understand just how significant the moment is. In terms of actual lives, Michael New explains just how impactful the laws could be. “In Oregon, taxpayers have paid for over at least 3,300 abortions every year since 2002… In West Virginia, the number of Medicaid funded abortions has risen dramatically in recent years. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of Medicaid abortions more than tripled, going from 502 to 1,560.¿ Some have speculated that part of this increase may be due to the state’s Medicaid expansion which was subsidized by the Affordable Care Act.¿ As such, both Measure 106 and Question 1 have the ability to save hundreds of innocent lives every year.”
That’s the kind of policy Vice President Mike Pence can get behind -- and today, at a rally with our Values Bus in Kansas City, one of the most outspokenly pro-life members of the Trump administration encouraged everyone to get out and vote on people -- and policies -- that keeping moving America forward.
The vice president, who spoke alongside Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley, FRC’s Lt. General William Boykin and Travis Weber, said nothing is more meaningful to him than when someone reaches out at the rally, grabs his arm, and says, “I’m praying for you.” He encouraged us to pray -- not just for a party or an election result -- but for unity, for the wellbeing of all Americans, quoting James 5:16: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.