April 17, 2016 • Discipleship Panel
Gary and his wife Patty have been married for 51 years, and have two children and four grandchildren. Gary has served as the market president for U.S. Bank in Freeport and Pecatonica for 22 years, and has also spent time publishing and managing newspapers in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Illinois. Gary and Patty began worshiping with Park Hills in March of 2013. When Gary was young, a loving and missions-minded Sunday school teacher from a Baptist church began inviting him to join his class. This teacher called Gary every Sunday for years. This simple, fervent pursuit had a profound impact on Gary. He came to Christ after attending Vacation Bible School, and was baptized shortly thereafter.
March 22, 2019 • Samantha Wichman
There’s a lot going around right now about HB2495. Because of this bill’s notoriety, there are a lot of articles out there that claim to relay the facts of the bill. HB2495 is an important bill and we believe that all voters ought to be genuinely educated about it, and not just emotionally incensed because of something they read on Facebook. So, we’ve taken the time to read through the official legal document and those related to it in order to break everything down for you in this blog. We desire our congregation to be factually educated about this bill so that each individual can make an intelligent and informed decision about it. What is HB2495? HB2495 is the Reproductive Health Act. On January 22, 2019 this act was signed into law in New York, and the state of Illinois is now trying to do the same. In general, the RHA makes abortions much easier to obtain and legalizes them on a far greater level than ever before. Here are five key facts about what the Reproductive Health Act does: 1. Removes late-term abortions from the criminal code: The RHA moves abortion laws from a state’s criminal code to its health code. This protects doctors and other abortion providers from prosecution. 2. Legalizes late-term abortions: The RHA makes late-term abortions legal when the mother’s life or health are at risk, and when the baby is not likely to survive after birth. The catch is that it’s up to the abortion provider’s “best professional judgement and training” to decide what circumstances put the mother’s life and health at risk. This section of the RHA loosens the parameters surrounding legal late-term abortions and creates a sort of loophole for providers to work within. 3. Allows more people to perform abortions: Previously, only licensed physicians could legally perform abortions, but now nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and midwives are also legally able to perform abortions. The RHA makes it easier for women to find a person who is able to perform the procedure. 4. Removes all rights belonging to the unborn baby: The RHA states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have individual rights under the laws of this State.” This means that the baby has no protection whatsoever from the will of its parents. 5. Allows abortion providers to kill babies who are born alive after attempted abortions: The RHA repeals the portion of the Public Health Law that requires providers to administer immediate medical care to babies that are born alive after attempted abortions. While repealing this law doesn’t give abortion providers a license to actively kill these babies, it does give them a license to let them die. The RHA also repeals the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act prohibits an abortion technique known as “intact dilation and extraction.” During this procedure, the baby is injected with a chemical to stop its heart, then the mother’s cervix is partially dilated and the baby is pulled out. The baby is crushed, when necessary, to enable it to fit through the cervix. Intact dilation and extraction is the procedure most often used to accomplish late-term abortions. So, while the RHA doesn’t allow doctors to kill a baby after its mother has successfully delivered it, the RHA does allow doctors to once again perform intact dilation and extraction, which technically involves ending a baby’s life as it is being born. We believe in the Word of God, and Scripture tells us over and over again just how precious life is in God’s eyes. Genesis 9:6 issues a serious warning about murder: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” We know that viewing abortion as murder isn’t a popular idea, because many people don’t believe that it is necessary to call something “a baby” until it is officially born. However, Psalm 139 makes it clear that God values the souls of those who are still being formed inside the womb, just as much as he does the souls of those already born. Psalm 139:13-16 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are you works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your books were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” How powerful is the last line of that passage? Before we were born, God had plans for each one of us. It is because of our believe in God’s Word that we firmly oppose the Reproductive Health Act. Laws that allow people to abort babies, both in the early stages of pregnancy and the late, are evil. These laws deny unborn babies the right to life that God so clearly gives them, and perpetuates the lie that having an abortion is the best and only option for mothers facing unplanned, unwanted, and difficult pregnancies. God values all human life, no matter the person’s age or life circumstances. God is the author of human life, and we are not.