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Is Equal Protection for the Pre-Born Coming to Kentucky? Freshman Lawmaker Leads Abolition Bill


“Jesus taught that the ‘second greatest commandment’ is to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Mark 12:31). This includes our little neighbors, our defenseless neighbors, our pre-born neighbors. We must love them by seeking to ‘Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter’ (Proverbs 24:11). 


Pre-born babies deserve equal protection under the law. This is the only moral, logical, and philosophically coherent position available to Christians — and all those who want to end abortion — in the United States.

Most importantly, it is the only biblically sound position to hold to regarding the question of the value and worth of pre-born humans.

And while it is good and right to rejoice over the fact that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the sad reality is that there is not a single state in our union that presently offers equal protection under the law for the thousands of pre-born citizens within their jurisdiction.

But, perhaps, that is all about to change in the Bluegrass State.

Earlier this month, the well-known preacher and abortion abolitionist Jeff Durbin, who runs End Abortion Now, joined with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter to announce their support for a bill that would fully abolish abortion in Kentucky.

The bill, which will be named the “The Abolition of Abortion in Kentucky Act,” has been introduced by incoming freshman Republican State Rep. Emily Callaway. The initial draft of the bill was filed in December and is currently being reviewed by some of the best abortion abolitionists and constitutional lawyers in the nation, including Bradley Pierce of Abolish Abortion Texas and the Foundation to Abolish Abortion. The bill has currently been assigned to the Health Services Committee, and the legislative session officially begins on February 16.

Regarding her brave leadership on this most critical issue, particularly as a freshman lawmaker, Rep. Callaway said that we “need men and women of conviction, confidence, and with courage, that know God is preparing the hearts of His flock and this community.” She mentioned that while many legislators, including herself, are new to this fight, “none of this is new to God. It’s in His hands and we have to trust that.”

As part of their combined effort to draw attention to this bill, Ham and Durbin invited hundreds of Kentucky pastors, abortion abolitionist activists, and Rep. Callaway to a rally at the Ark Encounter on January 25. Reporting for Kentucky Today, Mark Maynard wrote:

“More than 300 Kentucky pastors and other church leaders from different denominations met Wednesday in the Creation Museum for a listen-and-learn presentation from the ‘End Abortion Now’ organization which is pushing legislation it hopes will abolish abortion in the commonwealth. Jeff Durbin…urged church leaders to call their legislators and rally support for the proposal. ‘I don’t need your encouraging message through Facebook or a pat on the back,’ said Durbin. ‘I need you to pick up your sword and fight with me. Do it for the sake of these children,’ he said, pointing to a theater-sized backdrop with babies faces on it.”

One of the local pastors who has been deeply involved in the effort to end all abortion in Kentucky is Wesley Russell, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Pikeville. He also attended and spoke at the rally, saying:

“We have a unique opportunity as citizens of Kentucky to pass into law a bill that says all human beings are ‘created in the image of God’ and deserve to be equally protected under the law. As God’s people, we must stand at such a time as this and establish justice for the pre-born.  Since human life begins from the moment of fertilization, they must be protected from that moment as well. God’s Word says, ‘Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to Lord’ (Prov. 20:10). This is why every God-fearing Christian in the bluegrass should stand behind the Abolish Abortion Kentucky Act. We need not regulate abortion with unequal weights and measures; we must abolish it immediately and without compromise.”

After the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and sent abortion regulation back to the states, various pro-life state-level ballot initiatives suffered defeat during the midterm elections. One of those measures was in Kentucky, Amendment 2, which read, “to protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” Reflecting on that loss, and the others, I had this to say:

“Tuesday night showed us again that decades of compromise have consequences. Thus, it’s time for pro-life pastors, churches, Christians, and activists to get their houses in order.

It was never excusable for Christians to vote for pro-abortion politicians or ballot initiatives. Sadly, too many pastors fail to have the courage to make that plain. They hide behind confusing and subversive shibboleths like ‘Jesus isn’t a donkey or an elephant, He’s a lamb’ or ‘Christianity isn’t left or right; it’s a third way altogether.’ Such political pablum provides fake cover for Christians to do what should never be done: Cast a vote for people or policy that support the murder of the pre-born.

Have we forgotten what Paul asked followers of Christ in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15? ‘For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial?

The answer? None! Abortion is the perverted, demonic sacrament of Satan. To support it in any way is a futile effort of mixing light with darkness.”

This new abolition bill in Kentucky is an opportunity to do just that — stop compromising. It goes all the way toward the Christian goal of biblical justice for the pre-born by aiming to end all abortions in the state.

Dusty Deevers, a Southern Baptist pastor and co-founder of Southern Baptists for Abolishing Abortion and Rescue Those, had this to say about the bill’s biblical foundation and approach to ending abortion:

“The most important aspect that all Christians need to know about this bill is that it submits to God‘s Word in defining and defending life. There is no reason why every Christian in Kentucky…should not throw every ounce of their support behind glorifying God in the passage of the Abolition of Abortion Kentucky Act. If the sixth commandment, ‘You shall not murder,’ is not our basis for justice, we will turn to some other god and receive the judgment we deserve.”

As a professor of Christian ethics at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Andrew Walker has clearly and unequivocally stated, “Pre-born human beings have a natural right to life.”

If this is true — and it is — then it follows that pre-born human beings are entitled to equal protection under all laws that secure the natural right to life for the already-born. And that is exactly what the Abolition of Abortion in Kentucky Act does — it applies the same equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment that exist for all born humans to all pre-born children; this includes the same homicide laws that apply to all other humans. In other words, killing a pre-born child would finally be classified and prosecuted as the murder that it is under the law in Kentucky.

Speaking to Kentucky Today, Callaway said,

“I’m excited about the prospects of this bill. It addresses equal rights covered under homicide, particularly so that babies in the mother’s womb are fully protected and people who are committing homicide are held accountable, which seems like an easy topic — but it’s not and we have to work on that.”

She’s right: This is not an easy topic. That is in no small measure to the fact that our national conscience has been so seared by on-demand abortion available in all 50 states for over 50 years. Along with legislative action, restoring a culture and a legal system that honors the life of the pre-born in the way that God demands of civil governments will take much prayer and powerful preaching. 

After the rally on Wednesday, Ken Ham tweeted,

“If we truly believe that human life made in the image of God begins at fertilization, which it does, then abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being–which means it really is murder. Abortion is a horrific blight on this nation. I do believe God is judging for such wickedness. The answer is the same one to every issue & that’s for people to believe the truth of God’s Word & the saving gospel.”

Ham is right, too. So are Jeff Durbin, Pastor Russell, Pastor Deevers, and Rep. Callaway. Pray for their success in this effort to bring equal protection under the law for all of the pre-born humans in Kentucky.

Jesus taught that the “second greatest commandment” is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). This includes our little neighbors, our defenseless neighbors, our pre-born neighbors. We must love them by seeking to “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). 

To that end, we can both work and pray fervently that the Lord of all life would grant that all life in Kentucky would be protected through the abolition of abortion — and that such a righteous advent would come even in 2023.

Follow William on Twitter! @William_E_Wolfe

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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