By Kimberly Creech
Christian Action League
October 9, 2014
There are few sounds sweeter to me as a mom than the laughter of my two daughters. I mean that deep down belly laugh that usually results in hiccups, which leads, of course, to even more laughter! I love to hear my three year old laugh that hard and am just beginning to hear my 5 month old enjoy the world around her enough to laugh in that way. I cannot imagine my life without them and I often wonder at what they will offer the world as they grow into the amazing women my husband and I are just beginning to see in them.
In 2010, through the practice of abortion, North Carolina destroyed the lives of 31,000 children with unknown possibilities and gifts. The good news, however, is that more abortion restrictions were enacted in our state from 2011-2013 than in the previous decade – restrictions that have saved approximately 8,132 children thus far.
Most of this pro-life legislation was passed in 2011. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Ethen’s Law), which passed in April of the same year, made it a criminal offense to cause the death or injury of an unborn child or pregnant woman. For the first time since Roe v. Wade, the law in North Carolina recognizes the unborn child as a person.
That summer, several parts of the Appropriations Act of 2011 changed our state budget, limiting state abortion funding to only rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother.
North Carolinians even had the opportunity to show their pro-life convictions by purchasing “Choose Life” specialty license plates in June of 2011. The funds raised by these plates were slated to be sent to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, supporting mothers making the decision to carry their babies to full term. Unfortunately, these plates were ruled as unconstitutional by the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case concerning them is currently on appeal to the US Supreme Court.
But last year, the state budget bill included a provision for maternal and child health block grants and provided the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship $250,000 – funds originally intended to replace those that would have been raised by the “Choose Life Plates.” Better still; the budget was raised to $300,000 for 2014-2015 by the Appropriations Act of 2013.
Due to all of the legislation passed in 2011, the number of abortions in our state dropped by 4,760; which is roughly 15% fewer unborn deaths for that one year alone. The main piece of pro-life legislation in 2011, though, was the Woman’s Right to Know Act (WRTK), which passed the same day I went to the hospital to have our first daughter. Because of this measure, a pregnant woman seeking an abortion must now wait at least 24 hours and give informed consent before going through with the procedure. The expectant mother is required to be given critical information about her baby, including where her child is in his/her development. Sadly, one of the strongest sections of the bill, the ultrasound provision, which actually reveals to the mother her child and its beating heart, was struck down by a US District Court Judge. It’s the only part that is still on appeal; the rest of the legislation has been law since October 2011. In the first full year of WRTK, abortions decreased by 21%. Putting a “face” on the unborn child helped over 1,700 moms change their minds about ending their pregnancies.
In 2010, 3,659 abortions in NC were by middle and high school-age students. Thus, it was apparent that sex education in the public schools needed some pro-life alterations. The Health Curriculum and Preterm Birth Act in July 2013 included instruction in the school health education program on the preventable causes of preterm birth, including induced abortion as a cause of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. The 2014-2015 curriculum is currently under review.
Legislation known as Health and Safety Law Changes that passed in 2013 modified several laws pertaining to abortion. The measure limited abortion coverage to rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother under health insurance plans offered under the federal health benefit exchange operating in NC or offered by a county or municipality. Abortions based on the child’s sex are prohibited. The Department of Health and Human Services also amended rules pertaining to abortion clinics. Webcam abortions are now prohibited; a doctor must be present for procedures. Conscience Protection has also been extended to all health care providers, not just doctors and nurses. A provider can refrain from participating in an abortion under ethical or moral objections.
What does all of this mean for the lives of North Carolinians? Thousands of lives have been saved!
African American women have seen 2,568 fewer abortions from 2010-2013, that’s a 22% decrease. Women aged 19 and under have had 1,523 fewer abortions in that same time period, which is a 41.6% decrease. The legislation that was enacted and the people who supported it have saved enough innocent children to fill over 400 Kindergarten classrooms just in the last three years.
Rep. Paul Stam, Speaker Pro Tempore in the North Carolina House, and a pro-life champion in the state’s legislature, notes: “Elections have consequences. The election of a pro-life majority in 2011 and again in 2013 has had the foreseeable consequence of saving the lives of thousands of innocent unborn children. If another pro-life majority is elected this November, the lives of even more innocent unborn children will be saved.”
Legislation can bring about good change, voting people can make a difference, and everyone has a voice, and in this case, even those not yet born. In another 16 years, there will be over 8,000 more people in North Carolina who will be able to voice their opinion at the polls due to the pro-life legislation that helped save their lives.
As a mother of two precious daughters, I hope other women – more mothers – even potential mothers – will join me in supporting pro-life candidates who will advocate for more pro-life measures to save additional North Carolina lives?
Imagine it, the laughter of 8,000 more children. I can think of nothing sweeter.
All statistics regarding population were gathered from the North Carolina Office of Budget and State Management: http://www.osbm.state.nc.us/ncosbm/facts_and_figures/socioeconomic_data/population_estimates/county_estimates.shtm
Kimberly Creech is a stay-at-home mom from Lucama, North Carolina. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee. She taught Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grades during an eleven year tenure in the public schools. She has two daughters, Ellie and Ruth, and is the wife of Matthew Creech. She is also daughter-in-law of Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.