PHOENIX — A Republican lawmaker in Arizona has proposed a bill to protect the unborn at all stages of development, without exception, and to prosecute abortion in the state as murder.
House Bill 2650, also known as the “Equal Opportunity to Life Act,” presented by Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake, amends current penal law to include “homicide by abortion” in statutes surrounding negligent homicide, manslaughter and first and second degree murder.
“An offense under this section applies to an unborn child in the womb at any stage of the unborn child’s development,” it reads.
The bill removes exceptions under current law that allow an individual to be exempt from prosecution if “the person was performing an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman … has been obtained” or if the person who committed the act of murder is the mother herself.
The bill also directs the county attorney to enforce state homicide law “in relation to homicide by abortion regardless of any contrary of conflicting federal laws, regulations, treaties, court decisions or executive orders.”
“Arizonans, I believe that life starts at conception. To protect our future, I have proposed legislation to protect life in the womb,” Blackman posted to social media on Jan. 15. “The Equal Opportunity to Life Act offers full and equal protection for Arizona citizens, both before and after birth.”
He spoke about the legislation on Friday, the 48th year since Roe v. Wade, before a crowd of approximately 2,000 attendees, according to the Arizona Daily Independent.
“This is no longer a matter of debate. The science is settled and widely acknowledged by all sides,” Blackman said of when life begins. “The question now is whether Americans, regardless of age, size or abilities, will be afforded an equal opportunity to enjoy the inalienable right to life.”
Afterward, he shared a photo of a child he met at the rally who survived an abortion attempt.
“Sadly, the pro-choice proponents protest that it’s ok to kill little guys like this while in the womb. 1,000 black American babies are murdered each day,” Blackman wrote. “I’m thankful this little boy survived and is alive today.”
According to Legiscan, supporters include Reps. Brenda Barton, R-Safford; Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City; Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix; Judy Burges and Frank Carroll, R-Sun City West; David Cook, R-Globe; John Fillmore,R-Apache Junction; Jake Hoffman,R- Queen Creek; and House Majority Leader Ben Toma, R-Peoria.
However, Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which, according to its website, is an “advocacy group whose mission is to promote and defend the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom,” sees mothers who schedule abortions as “victims” and does not believe they should be prosecuted.
“We all look forward to a day when abortion is unthinkable and illegal, and I applaud all efforts to that end,” she said in a statement. “CAP has not taken a position on HB 2650, but we do oppose any move to put the woman who seeks or has an abortion in prison. In the pro-life community, we love both the woman and her unborn child. Both are victims.”
Christians have long opposed abortion as murder, seeing the taking of human life — no matter what his or her age, size or location (whether inside or outside the womb) — as playing God in essentially considering it a “right” for mothers to dictate which one of her children lives or dies.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 states, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”
Psalm 139:13-16 outlines, “For thou hast possessed my reins; Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.”
“My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
Scripture, in addition to speaking on the value of the unborn, also repeatedly addresses the precursor sin of fornication, teaching in 1 Corinthians 6:13, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 exhorts, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor — not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.”
Verses 7-8 add, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.”
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