By Lloyd Omdahl
Riding a wave of anti-abortion sentiment, 89 Republican legislators have opted to make an issue of NDSU teaming up with Planned Parenthood to sponsor six days of workshops to train teachers how to talk with students about sex.
The signatures were recruited by Senator Janne Myrdal of Edinburg and supported by two faith-based organizations, Concerned Women for America and the Family Policy Alliance.
A petition has been defined as a list of people who can’t say “No” so it is difficult to measure the staying power of the petition signers. Nevertheless, some are long-standing anti-abortion advocates and are serious about their opposition.
NDSU has been getting federal money to educate youth about abstinence and contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies and spread of sexually-transmitted disease among teenagers. The workshops are coaching sessions for teachers, not students.
Opposition to the workshops stem from concern that they will be used to promote abortion and abortion rights.
“I guarantee you…there will be discussion over abortion and how it relates to kids,” alleged Mark Jorritsma of the North Dakotas Family Alliance branch.
“We don’t believe that is correct,” he continued. “We don’t believe abortion should be an option.”
Workshop organizers insist that abortion is not promoted and teachers are not given material to pass on to students.
Most of the arguments on both sides are rehashes of the sex education/abortion controversy that has been stewing in North Dakota for 50 years.
Recent polls show that a majority of Americans do not favor the tough anti-abortion laws being passed in some states.
When asked whether they were pro-life or pro-choice, the choices were split at 48 percent and 48 percent.
Two-thirds of Americans want Roe vs. Wade to stand.
In our form of government, passage of national legislation will not occur until public support runs around 70 percent because of the checks and balances in the policy process.
Only the judicial system can bypass that problem and nobody knows where it will go with the issue.
The substance of the anti-abortion movement comes from the religious convictions of the Christian community.
God created life and He loves His creation to the point of sending His son to reconcile the world to Himself.
Because there is practically nothing in the Scripture dealing specifically with abortion, it is necessary to draw this conclusion from the whole of Scripture.
But it’s there.
As conservative states drive abortion clinics out of business, there will be interstate abortion traffic to the least restrictive states or unqualified people will do illegal abortions.
Auntie networks are being formed in prolife states to provide housing and other services to abortion seekers in states with tough laws.
You can bet that money will be pooled by new organizations to support the interstate movement of abortion seekers and they will be well-funded.
A New Yorker named Lynnie set up a Facebook group that already has more than 2,000 “auntie” volunteers.
Maine just passed legislation to authorize physician assistants and nurse practitioners to perform abortions.
With a country evenly divided and a political system that can’t handle this kind of conflict, it is time for anti-abortionists to look for other options for reducing abortions.
First, educate the kids about abstinence and contraception, in a public site or in a church.
That brings us back to the workshops to teach teachers.
Second, we can’t expect the government or public opinion to set Christian values in the public square.
Just as the Catholic Church made abortion a key principal for its parishioners, it is time for all churches to emphasize the importance of life.
Life is already too cheap in our society.