Attorney Bradley Pierce addresses the argument that to end abortion we should vote for Republican presidential nominees in order to overturn Roe v. Wade. In doing so, Pierce calls Christians across America to repent of putting more faith in princes than in God. This talk was given at the Stand Fast in the Faith conference hosted by Forge Ministries (http://www.forgeministries.org/).
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Well, it is a privilege to be with you here this morning. I’m grateful to Michael Moody and Forge for giving me an opportunity to speak with you. I understand it’s been a great conference so far and I pray that God will use my meager words and efforts here for His glory.
I’m talking today about Standing Fast in Civil Liberty, is the name of this talk. But as I thought about this talk, Standing Fast in Civil Liberty, I thought that in order to stand fast in civil liberty, we first need to know what we’re doing wrong before we can talk about what we can do that’s right. God is the author of liberty and it’s He who gives it to us. And I want to start with a parable of Jesus. In Luke 18:1- 8 Jesus speaks a parable. He says,
“He spoke a parable to them that men ought always to pray and not lose heart”.
So Jesus starts this parable by telling you the moral of the parable from the very beginning and that is, men ought always to pray and not lose heart.
“And Jesus said, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.”
Does that sound like a lot of judges that we know today? They don’t fear God. They don’t regard man.
“Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her lest by her continual coming she weary me.'”
And then the Lord said– Jesus said,
“Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though he bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”, is a question that Jesus closes with and that’s really where I want to spend this talk– will He really find faith on the earth? Will He really find faith in our country?
And we need to remember that the point of this parable, as Jesus says at the beginning, is that men ought always to pray and not lose heart. The point of the parable is not, put your faith in judges who don’t fear God and don’t regard men. That’s not the point of the parable. The point is that we ought always to pray and not lose heart, but sadly the first of that is what we’ve been doing more of in this country, even among Christians. We’ve been putting our faith not in God so much as we should, as we have been putting our faith in men, in unjust judges, in men who do not fear God nor regard men. And that’s why before we can experience civil liberty in this country, we first need to examine our own hearts and we need to repent of civil idolatry. We need to repent of where we have put more faith in men than we have put in God. And that’s where I want to spend this talk today.
Particularly as we look around our country today, we look around at the evils in our country today, and there are many, we want the evils to go away. We want them to end and that’s a good thing. We should want that. We should pray for that. But sadly we seem to be in our actions putting more faith in men than we are in God and making idols of them instead of trusting in Him. You know faith, this conference is about faith, about standing fast in the faith. We’ve heard lots of definitions of faith and faith is believing. Faith is believing something and often in someone. When you believe in someone you believe that what they say is true. That they’re going to do what they tell you and that’s the kind of faith that we have in God. That we believe what He says, that what He says is true. But sadly, the way we’ve been acting in this country for so long is we’ve been believing men more than God even though men have continued to be unfaithful, not doing what they say. Their record doesn’t back up what they’re saying, yet we still continue to put our faith in them more than God and that’s what we need to repent of. And one of the greatest evils in our country today is the evil of abortion. That’s where I want to spend our talk– looking at that and how, on that issue, we have put more faith in men than we have in God and that we need to repent of that.
We keep saying that in our country we believe, we have faith, if only we could get a Republican president elected then we could get rid of abortion in this country. Well, history shows us how good a faith that is. For the last forty-eight years we’ve had a number of presidents. As you can see, we’ve had Republican presidents, we had Nixon and Ford; Democrat Carter; followed by three terms of Republican presidents, two of Reagan’s, one of George H.W. Bush. Two of Democrat Bill Clinton, two of George W. Bush and then followed by two of Democrat Barack Obama. Over the last forty-eight years most of those years have been under Republican presidents in this country. Twenty-eight of those forty-eight years have been under Republican presidents and yet we still have abortion. And yet, in spite of that, we still keep believing that if only we can get a president elected, then we can get rid of abortion. Well, we keep getting Republican presidents elected and we’re still not getting rid of abortion in this country. And sadly, often we’re putting more faith in Republican presidents than we are in God. No matter how much they let us down, no matter how unfaithful they are, no matter how bad their records are, we keep putting more faith in them than we do in a God who has always been faithful, who always does what He says. And instead of, as Jesus said, “we ought always to pray and not lose heart” in Him, we keep always praying, and submitting ourselves, and not losing heart in our Republican presidents, in spite of the fact that they are so unfaithful. “Well, Bradley,” we say, “the reason we want Republican presidents to get rid of abortion is because we believe that if we could just get Republican appointed justices on the US Supreme Court then that’s the way that we’re going to get rid of abortion in this country.”
And I want us to take a walk down memory lane here on this issue and remember our history. And this is going to be painful, but it’s important to remember our histories so we don’t repeat, at least, the bad parts of it. So we’ve had all these Republican presidents, twenty-eight of the last forty-eight years, but before we got them we had some cases. And so often we think, we seem to act like the issue of abortion just came out of a vacuum. Came out of nowhere in 1973 and surprised all the Republicans and that’s why they weren’t ready for it. But since then we’ve been getting ready for it. We’ve been taking care of it.
Well abortion was on the national scene a hundred years before Roe v. Wade. The New York Times wrote an expose on abortion in New York City even though was illegal there. Nevertheless, the abortion mills there were these plush, nice places that people would come and get abortions in 1873, a hundred years before Roe v. Wade. So abortion was not some new thing in 1973. But in 1965 the Supreme Court heard a case where Planned Parenthood was a party– Griswold v. Connecticut. Connecticut had outlawed contraception and a couple brought that before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court struck down that law and created a right to privacy even though it’s not in the Constitution. They said it’s in the emanations and penumbras of the Constitution and they created that. Well, just a couple years after that, Colorado became the first state to liberalize their abortion laws, meaning they had laws against abortion but they opened them up to make it easier to get abortions and to get more abortions. That was in 1967 and that was signed by a Republican governor in Colorado in 1967.
So the issue of abortion was on the national scene before Richard Nixon, Republican, became president. He became president in 1969 and he ends up appointing Supreme Court justices and he actually appoints four Supreme Court justices, more than any president since him. He gets to appoint four Supreme Court justices. He appoints Burger and then after that, Roe v. Wade is filed in Texas. Then Nixon appoints Blackmun to the court, then Roe v. Wade is decided in Texas. Then the Supreme Court actually hears a decision, the Vuitch decision, which is on the issue of abortion in 1971, but it wasn’t about whether or not abortion was constitutional, it was about whether an abortion law was vague. But it was still an issue before the Supreme Court that they were considering, the issue of abortion, even while he was appointing justices. Then he appoints Powell and Rehnquist to the court. Nominates them. The court hears Roe v. Wade argued for the first time. Well, then Powell and Rehnquist get sworn in. They weren’t there before so they decided to re-argue Roe v. Wade.
And so the makeup of the court at the time of Roe v. Wade is majority Republican. Majority Republican appointees. We have six Republican appointees. We have one Democrat appointee under FDR, followed by two by Eisenhower, followed by two Democrat appointees by Kennedy, followed by four by Nixon. So Roe v. Wade, at the time it came about, there were six Republican appointees. Six Republicans and three Democrats on the court when Roe v. Wade came down. And this is how the Roe v. Wade decision fell– seven justices in favor of making abortion a constitutional right and two justices against it. Five of the justices who voted in favor of Roe v. Wade were Republican appointees. Five of the justices– five of the seven– who voted for Roe v. Wade were Republican appointees. So that’s why we need to remember when we think about Roe v. Wade and abortion in this country– abortion USA is brought to us by the National Republican Party. By majority of the court Republicans. That’s where we got Roe v. Wade and we need to remember that.
Well, but we may say, “Well, but at that time we didn’t know abortion was an issue.” I’ve tried to dispel that, but let’s just assume that for a minute. Maybe those presidents who appointed those justices didn’t know that they would be hearing the issue of abortion and deciding on that or how they would decide on that. So they didn’t know, they were surprised by that. Well, but after the Roe v. Wade came down, then Republicans started running on the issue of pro-life. Started saying, “I’m going to appoint justices who are going to overturn Roe v. Wade.” And they started running on that for the presidency and we started believing that. We started saying, “We can just get Republican presidents elected and they’ll appoint people to the court who will overturn Roe v. Wade.” And we’re still operating under that assumption today. So that’s what presidents started running on, candidates started running on, and so that’s what we started putting our faith in, that that’s what would happen.
So Ford comes to office and we have a Supreme Court vacancy which he then fills with the Republican appointee, which we believe is going to overturn Roe v. Wade. Well then a Democrat, Jimmy Carter, comes to the presidency and we say, “Oh no. He’s going to appoint bad judges to the court.” Actually no, he doesn’t get to appoint anybody to the court. He doesn’t appoint a single justice to the Supreme Court. Well his presidency is followed by Reagan and we have another vacancy on the Supreme Court and it was someone who voted for Roe v. Wade. Good. We want that person out of there and, of course, Reagan’s going to replace them with someone who’s going to vote to overturn abortion, right? Because that’s what Reagan’s told us, that’s what we believe. We put our faith in that. That’s what Reagan’s going to do. There’s another vacancy on the court that Reagan fills and now there have been three vacancies on the court by three people who voted for Roe v. Wade. There were two who voted against it, we’ve filled this three, and we could overturn Roe v. Wade now. 5-4 decision if those three people that we’ve replaced have been replaced by people who will overturn Roe vs. Wade. We could do it. We could do it right now. But hey, Reagan gets to appoint another one because there’s another vacancy that he gets to fill with someone that we’re led to believe is going to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now we can overturn Roe v. Wade 6-3, we believe. And then Bush, H.W. Bush, becomes president and we’re excited because we’re getting another Republican president. In fact, every single Supreme Court justice since Roe v. Wade has been appointed by Republican presidents. We get another Republican president. This strategy, we think, is working and there’s another vacancy on the court, someone who voted for Roe vs. Wade goes off. Great. Of course, we’re going to fill that with someone who’s going to vote against Roe vs. Wade, right? And there’s another vacancy for someone, a Democrat who voted for Roe v. Wade. Let’s replace that person with someone who’s going to vote against Roe v. Wade. Now the makeup of the court is eight Republican appointees, only one Democrat appointee, and the Democrat appointee on the court is someone who vote against Roe v. Wade. This is perfect. We’re going to annihilate Roe v. Wade because the makeup of the court at this time is– there’s only one person left who voted for Roe v. Wade. Two people voted against it and we’ve, since Roe v. Wade, put six new justices on the court, all of them Republican appointees. Every single one of them Republican appointees. If the strategy is get a Republican president elected to get Republican appointees on the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, this is working great! Nineteen years after Roe v. Wade and we’ve totally, almost completely, replaced the court by Republican appointees.
And we get a case in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This is an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade and we’re excited that it’s going to happen because we’ve put six people on the court and we’ve been told that these six people are pro-life and they’re going to overturn Roe. And that’s what we’ve believed and put our faith in. But that’s not the way it turns out. In fact, the court votes to uphold Roe v. Wade and a hundred percent of the people who vote to uphold Roe v. Wade are Republican appointees. Every single one of them. There’s only one Democrat appointee and he’s consistent and votes against Roe v. Wade. And not only do they vote for Roe v. Wade, they entrench it more deeply than ever– this so-called right to an abortion in our country– and say you can’t even put an undue burden or a substantial obstacle in a woman’s way to getting an abortion, an opinion authored by Reagan appointee, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Remember abortion USA has been brought to us by the Republican Party. By the National Republican Party. They’re the ones who have given us these justices in 1973 and again in 1992. They’re the ones who gave us Roe v. Wade and now they’re the ones who’ve given us Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That was in 1992. Well, then a Democrat gets elected to the presidency, Clinton, and he gets to appoint a couple of justices to the court. But Republicans get another President, George Walker Bush, elected to the presidency, another Republican judge, and he’s told us that he’s definitely going to appoint people who are pro-life and who are going to overturn Roe v. Wade. And he gets to fill two spots on the court. In fact, the judge who authored, Sandra Day O’Connor, who authored Planned Parenthood v. Casey, resigns and he gets to replace her. And he tells us this person’s a real conservative. This person’s really going to overturn Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito and Roberts that he appoints to the court. They’re definitely going to stand for life without apology. Then the next president we have is Barack Obama and he also gets to put two justices on the court. And then there’s now a vacancy on the court, Scalia died and will probably be appointed by the next president. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen before Barack Obama goes out of office and we don’t know who that president’s going to be or who they’re going to appoint.
So right now the state of the Supreme Court is that we have one person who voted for Planned Parenthood v. Casey; we have one person, Justice Thomas, who voted against Planned Parenthood v. Casey; and we have six people who’ve been appointed since then. Well, we assume that five of them are going to be for Casey. Kennedy voted for it before. The four Democrat justices, we feel pretty confident how they’re going to vote. They’re going to vote to uphold Roe v. Wade and vote to uphold Casey. But what about Thomas? We feel pretty confident. He’s already voted against Casey, in Casey. But what about Roberts and Alito who, we’ve been told by George W. Bush, President George W. Bush, are pro-life justices? That’s what he ran on and that’s one of the reasons that we voted for him because we had faith in him. He’s going to appoint pro-life justices. Are they against Roe v. Wade? Are Robertson and Alito against Roe v. Wade? Are they against Planned Parenthood v. Casey?
Well, we’ve only had two opportunities really to see where they are. In 2003, the Congress, United States Congress, passed the federal partial-birth abortion ban which outlawed a certain abortion procedure. We’re not going to go into the merits of the actual law, but that case came before the US Supreme Court in 2007 and the US Supreme Court upheld it and said, “Okay, yeah, you can ban this certain type of abortion. You can ban that.” And that opinion was written by Kennedy, who had voted for Casey, but it was joined by Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. That’s how they got to 5-4. So the opinion was written by Kennedy and joined by Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. And in some sense, it’s a good opinion, right? We don’t want there to be this abortion procedure. The court said, “Okay, we’re going to uphold this ban on this certain kind of abortion.” That’s a good result. But the judge who wrote the opinion is Kennedy and he’s actually for abortion. He’s for Roe v. Wade. He’s for Casey. He voted for Casey. We know that. And so when he writes the opinion, he says, even though they’re upholding the ban on a certain type of abortion, they’re saying, “Well, we assume that a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy.” And he’s quoting from Casey there. He’s saying we assume that abortion is still a right. Just because we’re banning certain type of abortion doesn’t mean that we’re saying that, you know, that abortion is not a right. It’s still a right. And he goes on to say, in fact, the state may not impose upon this right an undue burden which exists if a regulations, quoting from Casey, “purpose or effect is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.” So even though he says we’re upholding this ban on abortion, he says before we uphold this ban on abortion, I just want to make it clear, abortion is still a woman’s right and states you can’t put undue burdens or substantial obstacles in the way of that. And so he gets the vote, though, of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. And I want you to think for a moment, you know, could you join– could you agree with this opinion? Well, we agree with the result. You can agree with the result, yes. This certain kind of abortion should be banned, but I don’t agree with what he says. You know, think about if you’re on the board of an organization and the organization is considering whether or not to give money to Planned Parenthood for abortion. And there’s a vote and you vote against it. In fact, the majority votes against it and so the board rules, we’re not going to give money to Planned Parenthood. Okay, good. But then the chairman of board puts out a statement that says, “We’re not giving money to Planned Parenthood, but we do think abortion is a woman’s right.” What would you do if you were on that board? Well, what you would probably do is put out your own statement and say, “I agree with our decision not to give money to Planned Parenthood, but I don’t agree with this statement put out by our chairman that says abortion is a woman’s right.” Well, in this case that’s what Thomas does. So Thomas, Justice Thomas, says, “I joined the court’s opinion because it accurately applies current jurisprudence, including Casey.” He says it does, this case, does apply the law, does apply current cases precedent like I think it should and bans this certain kind of abortion. “But, I write separately to reiterate my view that the courts abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, has no basis in the Constitution.” So he basically says, I agree with the result but I don’t agree with what Kennedy said, that abortion is a woman’s right. I don’t agree with that. And that’s basically all he said, this concurrence that Thomas wrote was about this long. It’s basically all he said. Not a whole lot there to disagree with if you’re pro-life, if you really want to get rid of Roe v. Wade and Casey. But Scalia agrees with that, he joins with that. But guess who doesn’t agree with that– Roberts or Alito. Neither of them choose to agree with that and it’s as simple as saying, “Hey, Thomas put my name on that.” In fact, Thomas sends his opinion around, “Hey, do you want me to put your name on this?” And both Roberts and Alito say no. That was in 2007.
Well, this year we get another case before the Supreme Court. Texas passes HB 2 in 2013, which regulates abortion and the court says abortion is a woman’s right, strikes down Texas law, HB 2, and so Thomas writes a dissent. Thomas writes a dissent and says, “This suit is possible only because the court has allowed abortion clinics and physicians to invoke a putative” –that’s supposed,–”constitutional right that does not belong to them– a woman’s right to abortion. I remain fundamentally opposed to the courts abortion jurisprudence.” That’s what Thomas says. Guess who doesn’t join him on that? Neither Roberts or Alito. Now Alito writes his own dissent and he says, “The constitutionality of laws regulating abortion is one of the most controversial issues in American law, but this case does not require us to delve into that contentious dispute.” What he’s saying there is, abortion is very controversial, but I’m going to remain silent about what I believe about abortion. All it would take is to say, “Thomas put my name on your opinion”, for us to know, okay, he’s for getting rid of Roe v. Wade, getting rid of Casey. He could have done that in the Gonzales case. He could have done that in this case. He chose not to. In fact, he chooses to say this, which is, “controversial issue but I’m not going to talk about it.” And he just talks about technicalities and things like that. And Thomas does join his opinion too, because Thomas agrees with the technicalities. But Alito doesn’t agree with Thomas that the courts abortion jurisprudence in Roe v. Wade and Casey is unconstitutional. So this is what, you know, I think this is pretty good evidence that even our last Republican president did not give us justices who were going to overturn Roe v. Wade, who want to overturn Roe v. Wade. The opportunities they’ve had to say they want to do that, they passed those right by. Instead said, we’re not, we don’t even want to get into that. In fact, there’s a National Right to Life organization which drives a lot of the pro-life movement’s policy around the country and they’re the ones who these presidents always want to have on their side, saying that, “Hey, they’re appointing justices who are going to overturn Roe v. Wade.” And they’re the ones who are always saying, “Yes, this justice is a good justice. This justice will be pro-life, and overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Well, another organization, American Right to Life, issued them a challenge in 2008 and said, if you can name– it was the American Right to Life that told the National Right to Life– if you can name a single justice on the current US Supreme Court who has ever stated in an interview, or a ruling, or even a dissent, that the unborn child has a right to life, they will give you $10,000. Guess what? That check hasn’t ever been collected because even Thomas has never said that. He said he opposes Roe v. Wade in Casey, but even he has never said an unborn child has a right to life. He basically said I don’t think a woman has a right to an abortion, but he’s never said an unborn child has a right to life. But that’s the strongest statement we’ve gotten from any Supreme Court justice and that’s only one. There’s only one on the court who has said he opposes Roe v. Wade or Casey. And yet, we keep putting our faith in the Supreme Court. Even more than we’ve put in the president. But we keep putting our faith in a Supreme Court. We keep going to the Supreme Court and hoping that we’re going to get rid of abortion in this country. And we keep having people running for president as Republicans saying, “If you just elect me, I’ll appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v. Wade.” And you know what? This is what faith looks like. Have you seen this? This is Charlie Brown right here and he wants to kick a football. If you’ve seen Charlie Brown, you know what’s about to happen. Lucy is holding the football and she has told him, “You can kick the football. I’m going to hold it so you can kick it.” And this is what faith looks like. Over, and over, and over again she keeps saying, “I’m going to hold the football and you can kick it.” And he keeps running, and giving it his all, and swinging for the football and she pulls it away– every single time. And this is what we’re doing with our Republican presidents. “I’m going to appoint pro-life justices.” Pull the football away. Right when we think we’re going to get rid of Roe v. Wade, they pull it away. And yet, we still keep putting our faith in them. We still keep putting our faith there and they keep letting us down. We should have more faith that they’re not going to, because that’s what they’ve been consistent in. But we keep putting our faith in that they are going to.
Well, we keep putting our faith in the Supreme Court in other ways because we believe that, if we could just work within Roe v. Wade, if we can just comply with it, but in a way that undermines it– we’re not going to defy the Supreme Court, we’re going to comply with it– but we’re going to incrementally undermine Roe v. Wade. We’re not ready to say the Supreme Court has made an evil decision and we’re just not going follow it. No– the Supreme Court! We can’t do that. It’s the Supreme Court! So let’s just try to work within what they’ve said and incrementally undermine it. And that’s what we’re still doing today, forty-three years after Roe v. Wade. And we keep acting like, “Oh, this is a new strategy. Hey, the Supreme Court’s not going to see this one coming.” But this is what we’ve been doing for the last forty-three years. These are all of our incremental cases in the 1970s. These are all our incremental cases before the Supreme Court in 1980s. These are all our incremental cases before the Supreme Court of the 1990s. And now here’s all our incremental cases before Supreme Court in 2000- 2010s. You notice that there’s not a whole lot going on in the 2000s and definitely not in the 2010s. Probably because we’re running out of issues to lose on. But we still keep putting our faith in the Supreme Court.
You know what our wins look like before the Supreme Court?
States may prohibit non-physicians from performing abortions.
States may require a woman’s informed consent. She has to, in writing, agree, “Okay I know what’s happening. I’m going to agree to that.”
We’ve, hey, now we require abortion mills to keep records.
Now the federal government only funds some abortions.
Now state Medicaid must only fund some abortions.
Well, now we can’t require just parental consent for minors to get abortions, so it has to be parent, or if the child wants to go around parents, courts can approve abortions. We may require parental notice, not consent, but hey, parent, your child is getting an abortion. But only for really young minors.
We may require abortion mills to be licensed. Hey, that’s great. You know what a license is? Approval or permission. States, we want the right to approve and give permission to abortion mills. Supreme Court, let’s just do that. Isn’t that a win? Isn’t that a gift that now states can approve abortion mills?
States are not required to use resources for abortions.
And now we’ve had the federal partial-birth abortion ban. We have eliminated one type of abortion in a very small way. Except there are even exceptions to that.
So basically what we’ve gotten from all of our wins before the Supreme Court is that now abortion is just like all other healthcare. That’s what we’ve won over the last forty-three years of abortion, is that now abortion is healthcare in this country. That’s what pro-lifers have created. And I was in Caleb Head’s talk yesterday and he said, “Abortion healthcare? Healthcare helps people. Healthcare heals people. Abortion destroys people.” But this is what we, through our incremental efforts, have done with abortion. We’ve turned it into healthcare. The pro-life movement has turned it into healthcare.
Well then, our losses before the US Supreme Court, we said,
“Hey, can states prohibit abortion advertising?” “No.”
Well, can we say, “You could do abortion, but only for the life of the mother?” Supreme Court says, “No.”
“Well,” Supreme Court, “can we say that the biological father needs to consent?” “No.”
“Well, can we can we require parental consent for minors?” “No, you may not.”
“Well, can we prohibit saline abortions which burn babies, after 12 weeks?” “No.”
And the Supreme Court even gives abortionists standing to sue. A woman wants to get an abortion, she’s denied, that’s normally who has standing, the person who’s been denied a right. But, the Supreme Court says, “Well, we want to make it even easier for people to sue and so we’ll give abortionist standing to sue.”
States say, “Well, can we require the safest technique for the baby?” Sounds odd. You’ve got to use the technique that’s most likely to result in the baby living. The Supreme Court says, “No.
State says, “Well, can we can we require that abortions be done in the hospital?” “No.”
“Can we require that at least women be told that the unborn child is a human life from the moment of conception?” The Supreme Court says, “No, you may not require that women be told that.”
“Well, can we require that fetal remains be disposed of in a humane and sanitary manner? Please Supreme Court! Please let us do that!” “No, you may not do that. You can’t have waiting periods. You can’t require even notification of the biological father. You can’t require hospital admitting privileges. You can’t require surgical center standards. You can’t do anything that unduly burdens a woman’s access to an abortion.”
Those are our losses before the Supreme Court of last forty-three years. Basically what we as a pro-life movement have been doing is regulating abortion and not even doing a very good job of that. But we’ve been regulating it. You know what happens when you regulate an industry? You know who likes regulations? Big businesses that have the wherewithal to comply with them. That’s who likes regulations. Why? Because it chokes out the competition. Big businesses like regulation because it chokes out the competition. And that’s what’s happening even with our regulations. Regulating abortion– is that hurting Planned Parenthood any? Nope. Their revenue just keeps on going up. Those are in millions, by the way, so it’s over a billion. Their revenue just keeps on going up. In fact, Texas in its HB 2 decision, was regulating abortion mills and saying you have to meet surgical center standards. Your doctor has to have hospital admitting privileges. Well, guess who could comply with that? Planned Parenthood. In fact, Justice Alito even says in his opinion, “Planned Parenthood is obviously able to comply with the challenged HB 2 requirements. The president of Petitioner Whole Woman’s Health, a much smaller entity, has complained that Planned Parenthood ‘put[s] local independent businesses in a tough situation.” Abortion regulation is good for Planned Parenthood. You want to see how good it is? This good. In 1973 when abortion was legalized, Planned Parenthood performed about 0.5% of all abortions and this is called market share right here. You know the percentage of abortions they do today? About a third of them. That’s because regulations continue to knock off more and more of their competitors. That’s what our incrementalism and regulation has got us. It’s made Planned Parenthood stronger than ever. That’s what’s happened in our country. And you know what? Texas is guilty of this too.
Texas is guilty of bowing before the Supreme Court. Of putting our faith in the Supreme Court in this manner, as well. In lots of ways, but in one case, in particular in 2003, Texas passed what’s called the Prenatal Protection Act. Before this became law, the law in the criminal code– so the law about how an individual, a person, is defined in our criminal, our penal, code– was defined that an “individual means a human being who has been born and is alive.” Okay. That was the definition of an individual then. Well, in 2003 we got personhood in Texas. In 2003, under the Prenatal Protection Act, now says an “‘individual’ means a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”
Is that a good thing? Yeah, absolutely that’s a good thing. That’s a great thing! That’s the way an individual should be defined and that’s the way Texas defined it. So that’s the good news. That’s the good thing that happened in 2003. But here’s the problem with defining an individual like that, is that if you define an individual like that, then now you’ve just said that mothers who get their children aborted and abortionists who perform those abortion are guilty of murder. Or if they attack that child they’re guilty of assault. Or if they’re drunk while they do it, if a mother’s drunk while she tries to self-abort, she’s guilty of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. So under the new definition, they could be guilty of all these things. But the Supreme Court said you can’t do that. Supreme Court said you can’t outlaw abortion. Well, of course, Texas, we have to bow before our idol, the Supreme Court and so we decide to change the law. But here’s what would have happened if we hadn’t. So here’s what the law says, “A person commits [murder] if he… intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual…” And, of course, since we just changed the definition of an individual to say it’s an unborn child in every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth, now that law would read like, “A person commits [murder] if he… intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth…” That sounds great! That sounds like that’s what murder really is. That’s what abortion really is. It’s murder. So we want that, but of course we can’t say that. We’re not allowed to say that. Why not? Because the Supreme Court, they told us we can’t say that. So, of course, we have to create an exception. And we say, we create a new section, Texas Penal Code 19.06 and we say that the law against murder does not apply to the death of an unborn child if the conduct charged is committed by the mother, or committed by an abortionist she hires, or committed by the dispensation of a legal drug that causes an abortion. So the state says it’s murder, but mothers and abortionist can do it.
“Well, Bradley, I mean, the first part of it introducing or defining individual as an unborn child from the moment of fertilization until birth, that part was introduced by Republicans, right? But this part here that says you can murder if you’re the mom or her abortionist, that was, I mean, that’s an amendment that Democrats introduced, right?” Nope. That was in the original bill introduced by Republicans. It wasn’t something they even said, “Okay, we’ll compromise on that.” No, they put it in there themselves. They put it in there themselves. That’s the way it was introduced. It was brought to you by pro-life organizations who claim to have led the effort and championed the bill. Passed by Republicans. Signed by a Republican governor. Why? Well, they wanted to protect babies, which is a good end, but in a way that complied with the Supreme Court. Because you have to comply with the Supreme Court. So they compromised with evil. They didn’t just compromise with evil– they codified it in Texas law where it wasn’t before. It wasn’t explicitly legal, but they chose to make it explicitly legal. In fact, they went beyond Roe v. Wade here in Texas. Roe v. Wade didn’t say it’s a life and you can kill it. Roe v. Wade says, “We don’t know whether it’s a life but you can kill it.” Texas chose to say, “It is alive and you can kill it.” We went even beyond Roe v. Wade and that’s just one of many instances, including HB 2, that was just struck down, where Texas has compromised with evil. All because we’re unwilling to offend who we have made our idol, the US Supreme Court.
You know, Right to Life organizations around the country do the same thing. Just this week there’s a group of people, abolitionists who are calling for the abolishing of abortion in Ohio, who have introduced a constitutional ballot proposal. It’s a ballot proposal– get enough signatures, you can get it on the ballot. It gets enough votes, you get it in your state constitution. They’re trying to do that in Ohio, just bypassing the legislature to outlaw abortion completely in Ohio. This week introduced. Just this week. Well, we can’t do that in Texas. We don’t have ballot proposals that citizens can bring up in Texas. That has to be our legislature. But in Ohio they do. And so abolitionists have brought this forward and the pro-choicers talked about it this week on one of their podcasts. And they said, listen there’s really two schools of thought. There’s Ohio Right to Life– let’s chip away gradually. Then there’s this group– abolitionists who want to completely wipe abortion right off the map. Wait. Why are there two groups? Why is there one group that doesn’t want to wipe abortion right off the map, right now? But unfortunately that’s where most Right to Life organizations in our country are because we’re unwilling to say no to the US Supreme Court. If you’re unwilling to say no to someone, you know, what have you made them?
And you know what? I’m guilty myself. You know, I’m guilty of making an idol out of the US Supreme Court. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I’m a lawyer. When I was 16 years old, I wanted to become a lawyer. I studied a lot of history. A man came to our church, he was talking about history, and talking about Supreme Court decisions, and I had read books about how bad of decisions they had made. And I’d had a lot of people tell me, “Hey, you like to argue, you should be a lawyer.” And so I saw all these evil things that the Supreme Court was doing and I said, “You know what? I do. I want to be a lawyer. I believe God’s calling me to be a lawyer.” And, in fact, I said, “You know, I believe He’s calling me to be on the US Supreme Court. Because that’s the way we’re going to save this country, by getting good people on the US Supreme Court. That’s the way we’re going to save America, by doing that.” I even had a friend of mine, he had just become a Christian, very charismatic, as I was at that time and I told him and he said, “Yes, God’s going to do that. He’s going to put you on the US Supreme Court.” It was 1 a.m. at night, he said, “Call your parents and tell them right now as an act of faith.” And I did. I called them at 1 a.m. in the middle of the night. I was 18 years old, at college, and I told them, “Hey, my friend has just confirmed to me that God says I’m going to be a US Supreme Court justice someday.” My parents were, “Hey, that’s great. Okay, goodnight.” But I believed that that was the way that God’s going to save this country. Was by putting me or other Christian people on the court, on the US Supreme Court. Because I looked to the US Supreme Court and said, “That is the power in our country. That’s the authority. That’s where we’re going to turn things around, from the top down.” Because that’s the way God always works, right? It’s always from the top down. No, it’s always from the bottom up. And I was guilty of making an idol out of the US Supreme Court.
You know what? If you accept, for example, that Hitler has the authority to legalize the murder of Jews, you’ve already lost the war. If Hitler says it’s legal to murder Jews, you don’t say, “We need to get him out of office and get somebody else in there.” You say, ”No, that’s wrong! I don’t care who you are or what office you hold, that’s wrong. That’s evil.” But that’s the same thing we’ve done with the court and that’s what I was doing with the court. I was saying in my heart, “Well yeah, they have the authority to legalize abortion. That’s why we need to get people on there who have the authority to criminalize abortion.” But we need to reject that authority altogether. They do not have the authority to legalize something that God says is criminal. They don’t have the authority to legalize what God says is evil. And God says it. Our Constitution says it. Our Declaration of Independence says it. And yet, the Supreme Court disagrees and instead of saying, “Supreme Court you’re wrong! You don’t have that authority!” Instead we say, “Yes, Supreme Court. Yes.” We don’t like it. We’re going to fight it. But we’re ultimately going to comply with it because we’ve made an idol out of them. And every time someone runs for president and says, “Vote for me, I’m Republican. I’m going to put pro-life judges on the Supreme Court so we can get rid of abortion.” And we say, “Yes.” Every time we do that, we’re digging the hole of Roe v. Wade deeper because we’re legitimizing the court’s authority to decide it. We’re saying that you must comply to the US Supreme Court. You must bow before the Supreme Court. Well, God says it’s evil. But we’ve been saying, “Yeah, but Supreme Court says…” Well, yeah, but God says. And we’ve been going to the Supreme Court and saying, “Please Supreme Court, can we please just regulate it a little bit? Can we just regulate it so it’s like health care? Please? Can we just require wider halls like surgery centers?” And groveling at the Supreme Court for crumbs. And sometimes we get a little something, but every time we do, we just further incriminate ourselves by regulating murder. You don’t regulate crime. You don’t say, “You can rob somebody as long as you do it safely. You can burglarize someone’s house as long as you do it between these hours and these hours. Or as long as the person’s between this stage and this stage.” No. That is wrong. You don’t regulate sin. You call it sin. You call it murder. But we read the court’s decisions and comply with them. In our country, Christians today, so many of us, we read the court’s decision and comply with them even more than we do the Bible. We’re more obedient to the Supreme Court than we are to God. We care so much more about, “You can’t say the Supreme Court doesn’t have authority,” while so many of us say, “Well, God, you don’t have authority over that. You don’t have authority over that issue. But, oh, the Supreme Court, the oracle has spoken.” You know, if we put as much faith in God as we do in the Supreme Court, we may have actually gotten rid of abortion a long time ago. In fact, not we, but God. Maybe He wants the glory. Maybe He wants the glory and not the Supreme Court and the people on it. No, instead of saying we must comply, we must say we must defy evil. We must obey God rather than men. We must defy evil.
Remember the judge in the beginning that did not fear God, nor regard man that Jesus told us about? Again, Jesus wasn’t telling us to put our faith in that judge. Jesus was telling us we ought always to pray to Him and not lose heart in Him. But we’ve been totally ignoring Him and putting our faith in the unjust judge. And so Jesus says when He comes, will He really find faith on the earth? Will He really find faith? Well, if he came to America today, I think He would find faith, but not necessarily in Him. He’d find faith in the government. He would find faith in the Presidency. He’d find tremendous faith in the Supreme Court. But He would find very little faith in Him. And that’s where we need to repent and we need to change. The Bible says. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man.”
“Thus says the Lord:
‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when he comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
That’s what will happen if we trust in Him. God says that “the help of man is useless”, Psalm 60:11-12. Psalmist prays:
“Give us help from trouble,
For the help of man is useless.
Through God we will do valiantly,
For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”
“Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not put your trust in princes
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
in that very day his plans perish.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever–
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!”
“It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It’s better to trust the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.”
“Some trust in chariots, and some trust in horses;”
(Just like some trust in presidents and some trust in Supreme Courts.)
“But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
but we have risen and stand upright.”
(Why? Because we remember the name of the Lord our God.)
“Save Lord! may the King answer us when we call.”
And God says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” What do you do to someone you believe is God? You worship them. You obey them. And that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been looking to Pharaoh to save us. We’ve been looking to Caesar save us. We need to stop that. We need to tear down our idols. We need to repent because we have rejected Him as King, just like in 1 Samuel 8 the people of Israel they said, “We don’t want God to be our King.” And God said, ‘They have rejected me.” And God says, “Samuel tell them how radical this king’s going to be.” And he does, and they still say that’s who we want. And that’s how we act in our country today. We don’t want him as King, but before he will abolish abortion He must abolish the idols in our own hearts. That’s where we must repent.
So this conference is about standing fast in the faith. Not faith in man, not faith in the president, not faith in the Supreme Court, but faith in God. That’s where we need to stand fast. If we have any other faith, we need to discard it. Don’t stand fast in that. You need to tear down the idols. Tear down the faith that you’ve been putting in men, a blind faith so often that we’ve been putting in men. It’s in spite of how unfaithful they are that we continue to believe in them. In spite of the fact that everything they do says this, we still have faith that they’re going to do this. And God keeps sending us, really, more and more wicked men to be candidates, saying, “Are you going to put your faith in this? What about this one? What about this one who believes he’s going to be a god? What about this one? You can put your faith in him.” And how often do we say, “Yes, I am.” And God says, “Put your faith in me. Put your faith in me.” And you know what? He will overcome our enemies. By Him we will do valiantly, if we put our faith in Him. And I just encourage you to do that. Put your faith in Him.
And there are many of us who are seeking to do that on this issue of abortion and there’s a booth right out here, Abolish Abortion Texas. I encourage you to stop by there, find out how you can help, sign up for the email list. That’s not really why I’m up here, but someone asked me to plug that so I’m doing that. But I really do encourage you to do that. But the main thing I want you to do, just to examine your own hearts in light of your own actions. And where there are idols, that you would repent to God and ask Him to tear them down. And don’t just leave a vacuum there, but fill it with Him. Put more faith in Him. More and more. Because He is always faithful and that’s why we need to stand fast in our faith in Him. Thank you.