In the summer of 2022, there was great rejoicing among American Christians at the long-prayed for move of the Supreme Court to reverse 1973’s horrific Roe v Wade decision that had so twisted law, science, history, and civilized moral standards to unleash the “silent holocaust” of abortion upon preborn boys and girls. As the decades of “legalized” child-murder wore on — legalized” but always abominable to God — Christians had almost given up hope of ever seeing their prayers answered regarding Roe’s fall.

And yet, in the matchless grace of God, He gifted our nation with the Dobbs decision. And by so doing, God gave America one last chance to repent of the blasphemy and blood guilt, the cowardice and compromise, and the appeasing apathy that had allowed those many millions to die such a cruel and unjust death.

But what, in fact, has happened in the days since Dobbs? Well, it is a great tragedy to admit, but while Christians breathed a sigh of relief and accepted the Court’s decision as a victory, the devil took it as an opportunity — an opportunity to push his gruesome abortion agenda even further. The media, long adamantly pro-abortion, started howling. Politicians at the highest levels of the present administration openly vowed to break the law in order to protect abortion. And the abortion industry itself, though depending more and more on chemical poisons to terminate the lives of preborn kids, nevertheless trebled its efforts to eliminate any and all restrictions on surgical abortions. 

In 7 states so far (with 11 others right on the edge), there have been amendments to state constitutions which have enshrined unlimited abortion rights. That’s right; no restrictions, no limitations, no conscience clauses, no common-sense regulation whatsoever. The moral landscape will be far worse than even under Roe.

And yes, just such a constitutional amendment is being advocated even now for Nebraska. It is called the Protect Our Rights amendment and it is enthusiastically and financially backed by the mega-abortion profiteer Planned Parenthood, the Nebraska chapter of the ACLU, and other groups and individuals representing the most extreme of the anti-life ideologies. Their goals are clear. Among them ? No limits whatsoever (not even health and safety regulations) on abortion. No laws to protect preborn boys and girls even from late term destruction. No informed consent. No parental consent — not even parental notification. Zero accountability for abortionists. Yet more tax funding of abortionist businesses. (Planned Parenthood alone rakes in hundreds of millions from the government every year.) The denial of conscience clauses which would thus require pro-life medical personnel to participate in abortions. And the aggressive prohibition of such historic freedoms as speech and assembly when they involve pro-life sidewalk counselors, public rallies, and even pregnancy aid centers.

Exposing the horrible effects of this wildly radical abortion amendment must be the Christian’s most urgent and critical response. And I cannot emphasize this too strongly. 

However, a statewide coalition of medical professionals and organizations who are long- standing champions of the sanctity of life — organizations including Nebraska Right to Life, Nebraska Family Alliance, Students for the Life of America, Alliance Defending Freedom, several pro-life advocates associated with the Nebraska Catholic Conference, and others — have pursued an additional strategy to keep Nebraska from falling into the same tragic abortion column as the other states I mentioned. These pro-life veterans conducted comprehensive and remarkably in-depth research into the opinions of Nebraska voters in order to determine the very best strategy to protect the pro-life gains earned in the Unicameral thus far as well as setting a foundation for ongoing protections of women and pre-born boys and girls in our state. 

The result? They created their own ballot initiative to counteract the Planned Parenthood one. It is called the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment and it reads, “Except when a woman seeks an abortion necessitated by a medical emergency or when the pregnancy results from sexual assault or incest, unborn children shall be protected from abortion in the second and third trimesters.”

Now, of course, this doesn’t represent the ideal for which all pro-lifers pray and work (namely, the protection by both law and social practice of all preborn boys and girls). However, it seeks to save the most lives possible given the unavoidable political realities we currently face. This amendment has been criticized by a small number in the pro-life community because it honestly addresses the current opinions of Nebraska voters on abortion-related subjects. And despite the experience, depth of conviction, and proven integrity of the pro-life champions who crafted the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment, some have criticized it as an unacceptable compromise. Some have even impugned the motives and character of the pro-life leaders who crafted the amendment and those in the general community who support it.  But please realize (and I say this as a pro-life veteran of over 40 years) that such charges are base, unwarranted, and extremely counter-productive. 

Remember, the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment was carefully, prayerfully formed by pro-life leaders who, first of all, did the research into what is most likely to be accepted by Nebraska voters, and secondly, who have years of hard-fought experience in doing the best job possible in promoting the sanctity of human life in the trying, tumultuous arena which is the Nebraska Unicameral — a convoluted legislative body at best and one where Ernie Chambers is likely to return in its next session.

Let’s face it; pro-life advocates who have had to work in the complex, confrontational cloud of modern politics have, for over 50 years, been required to work incrementally. That is to say, they strive to get the very most they can in pro-life legislation, to save what babies’ lives they can, to enlighten the general public as best they can, and to create precedents to fight for yet further protection of women and pre-born kids in the next battles. To call such people names, to deny the sincerity of their pro-life conviction, or in any other way, to belittle their valor and perseverance in their championing the sanctity of life over these long, hard decades is terribly foolish and wrong. 

And don’t miss a very relevant reality. The Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment would provide not only a safeguard for the legislative gains pro-life advocates have made in the last several years; it would also provide a foundation for us to go further in the months and years ahead. Indeed, contrary to the harshest criticisms, this amendment does NOT prevent future pro-life legislation, including a “heartbeat bill” or limitations (even prohibitions) of abortion drugs. Thus, the combination of protecting the ground we’ve gained thus far PLUS securing the opportunity of making new advances in the future is why such august bodies as Nebraska Right to Life and the other statewide pro-life groups I mentioned support it. Again, they know all too well that the amendment provides only an incremental step towards the protection of all human life. But it is NOT a surrender nor is it even a permanent compromise. It is simply a move to stop the enemy’s accelerating momentum, to defend the gains thus far achieved, and to set a foundation for future campaigns. 

But there is yet another player that has come onto the field — a pro-life amendment entitled Choose Life Now.  Its purpose is noble and very ambitious; namely, protecting the right-to-life of preborn children in Nebraska. All preborn children. And right now. Dismissing the incremental approach altogether, this amendment is absolutist in its language. It reads, “A preborn child at every stage of development is a person. Wherever under Nebraska law the term ‘person’ is used or implied, it shall include such a child.”

The organizers of this effort have started pretty late in the game. Plus, they do not have the kind of statewide support system that has been established over the years by the groups backing the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment. Therefore, even the organizers of this third abortion-related amendment admit they have a difficult task to even get on the ballot. And if they do succeed in that effort, the job of persuading enough Nebraska voters to accept the uncompromising language of the Choose Life Now amendment will be extremely tough. Nevertheless, the pro-life advocates behind this amendment are giving it their best efforts and their impassioned prayers. For just like those who support the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment, they too want to save lives, serve women and families, and rebuild a culture of life in Nebraska. 

And that brings me to my closing remarks. Do I believe the Planned Parenthood-backed amendment is a horror of immeasurable danger? Yes, without a doubt. Therefore, it is to be fought by our most dedicated (and unified) prayers, public education, and principled advocacy. 

Do I believe that Christians can in good conscience sign and/or support either of the two pro-life amendments? Yes, I do. 

But, after a lot of prayers, a lot of conversation with pro-life colleagues, and sitting on our deck thinking through the options before us, Claire and I will be concentrating our efforts this summer and fall in exposing the pro-abortion amendment for what it is and the draconian evils it would unleash. That was our focus before either of the pro-life ballot initiatives were announced and that will remain the case. We hope you agree that is the most critical task before us.

Nonetheless, Claire and I have both signed the petition to put the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment on the Nebraska ballot this fall. Our decision to do so reflects our deep respect and trust in the pro-life champions that have, after such in-depth research and consultation with pro-life leaders across the United States, created the amendment. We believe that, in addition to an all-out effort to persuade Nebraskans to pray, work, and vote against the unspeakably shameful pro-abortion amendment, the Protect Women and Children Nebraska amendment is the best way to defeat the evil intents of those who want ever-more deaths by abortion.

And one final word. Please do not allow the enemy to divide the pro-life community into camps. Do not allow yourself to yield to self-righteousness, pride, a competitive spirit, rash and/or unfair judgments, impatience, or unkindness in your efforts to do the Lord’s work in this critical campaign.  And do what you can to oppose those mean-spirited things when you see them in others. God forbid that we surrender this perspective in these oh-so-trying days.

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.