INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For the fifth year in a row, an Indiana lawmaker has proposed a bill that would declare that life begins at conception and would repeal all state statutes regulating abortion, making it consequently illegal with no exceptions. This time, Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen, is joined by the newly-elected Rep. John Jacob, R-Indianapolis, in presenting the legislation.
“The general assembly finds that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” House Bill 1539, also known as the Protection at Conception Act, declares. “The general assembly finds that a mother and her unborn child are equally valuable as individual patients when receiving health care services from a health care provider.”
“Indiana asserts a compelling state interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins.”
The proposed legislation would also regard any other “act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation” to the contrary — that which “fails to protect a person’s inalienable right to life” — as “null, void, and unenforceable in Indiana.”
It draws its interest and authority from the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which says that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.”
The bill also cites the Ninth Amendment, which prohibits construing the rights enumerated in the Constitution as “deny[ing] or disparag[ing] other rights,” as well as the Declaration of Independence, which characterizes life as an “inalienable right.”
“The courts of the United States have no jurisdiction to interfere with Indiana’s interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins,” HB 1539 consequently declares.
Rep. Jacob announced the legislation on Friday, writing to social media, “State Rep. Curt Nisly and I have authored a bill called ‘Protection at Conception,’ which would abolish abortion in the state! House Bill 1539 seeks to criminalize and end abortion in Indiana without exception or compromise!”
He urged supporters to sign a petition to new House Speaker Todd Houston and House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Torr, that the bill might obtain a hearing this year. The effort had been blocked by opposing lawmakers all four previous years, proceeding no further than committee.
As reported last year, Public Policy Committee Chair Ben Smaltz, a Republican who identifies as pro-life, had not brought the proposal up for a hearing each time it was introduced due to his disagreement with the approach.
The Journal Gazette reported in 2017 that Smaltz “couldn’t get past the fact that there were no exemptions for abortion in the case of rape, incest and saving the mother’s life.”
“If my wife is on the table and the government comes in and says ‘no,’ there’s going to be a fight,” he told the outlet.
As previously reported, a number of doctors and nurses have spoken out against the assertion that abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother, as if a situation arises, the doctor will simply perform a Cesarean section and deliver the baby early. There is no need to kill the child in the process, they state.
Several women who have been raped, such as Jennifer Christie-Brierly, have also been vocal in their stance that abortion is not the answer to the trauma as the woman “does not need violence on top of violence, tragedy on top of tragedy.”
HISTORICAL CHRISTIAN STANCE ON ABORTION
In early America, Christians were staunchly against abortion, seeing the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-17) and the discontinuance of a life created and given by God as murder.
In his 1869 sermon entitled “Ante-Natal Infanticide,” E. Frank Howe, the pastor of the Congregational Church of Terre Haute, Indiana lamented that “men and women place their own ease and pleasure above God’s law” and that “public opinion is so corrupted there is no voice of reproach,” forthrightly declaring, “Put what face upon it the community will, disguise it under whatever name you please, you can make no more or less of it than simple murder.”
In his 1872 book, “The Abominations of Modern Society,” preacher T. De Witt Talmadge warned, “Herod’s massacre of the innocents was as nothing compared to that of millions and millions by what I shall call ante-natal murders. You may escape the grip of the law, because the existence of such life was not known by society, but I tell you that at last God will shove down on you the avalanche of his indignation, and though you may not have wielded knife or pistol in your deeds of darkness, yet, in the day when John Wilkes Booth and Antony Probst come to judgment, you will have on your brow the brand of murderer.”
The late preacher Lee Roy Shelton (1923-2003) wrote in “The Crimes of Our Times” in a section on abortion:
“When killing anyone, the murderer is guilty of taking the life which God has given, and therefore he is ‘playing God’ by saying when and how a man should die. But God doesn’t look lightly upon those who try to take His place.”
“God has given us the Sixth Commandment as a fence about human life to preserve it, for it is sacred to Him. Yes, the Bible declares human life to be sacred. It is a divine creation, mysterious and magnificent in its beginning and possibility, utterly beyond the control or comprehension of any human being. It is never to be taken away at the will of anyone, for how can they tell the full meaning of that life and what it will bring forth?”
A similar bill, yet with the exception of the life of the mother, was introduced this month in North Dakota by a Lutheran pastor.