June 05, 2019
Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker (Ill.) swore he would make Illinois the most extreme state in the country on abortion. And right now, he's one signature away from succeeding.
No one thought an abortion law more radical than New York's was possible, but the Land of Lincoln is proving everyone wrong. In an astonishing move that sweeps away every possible barrier, Governor Pritzker is about to make history by allowing any kind of abortion, at any time, for any reason. Gone is the state's partial-birth abortion ban, its protection for newborn survivors, its conscience rights, and parental consent. Of all the similarities to the New York law, though, one stood out -- and that's how elated liberals were to pass it.
To most people, that's astounding. According to a new Harvard Center for American Studies poll, only six percent of the country sides with the Pritzker and the 2020 Democratic candidates on infanticide. And the number who agree with third-trimester abortions is just as miniscule at eight percent. Officials like Pritzker who think this barbaric new crusade is a winning strategy are kidding themselves. Even local Democrats -- more than 140 of whom have voted with pro-lifers on state bills -- can't stomach the extremism seeping out of places like Washington. In Illinois, one of the bluest states in America, six Democrats voted against their own party. Four others voted "present."
Maybe they were as upset as the Republicans about how low Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy had to stoop just to get the chamber to consider her proposal. Believe it or not, Illinois's bill was so controversial that she had to take a completely irrelevant measure, gut it, and add this abortion language at the last minute. Everyone knew: Cassidy's bill was in limbo for a reason -- it didn't have enough support to push it through the regular process.
Ironically, the day after liberals proclaimed victory on their "Reproductive Health Act," a local pastor was asked to open the legislative in prayer. It was with that tragic backdrop that Cory Musgrave from New Beginnings Church in Fairfield offered a passionate plea for God's forgiveness. "God, none of our evil actions have been hidden from You. You see everything," he prayed. "Lord, You have told us those things which You hate, and among them are hands that shed innocent blood. I stand here in this House, in this high place in Illinois, and ask You, O God, creator of Heaven and Earth, if there is anything more innocent than a baby that is being created in the womb."
Musgrave quoted Psalm 139 and then explained that pro-lifers have tried to be "a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves as You have commanded us," Musgrave went on. "Those appeals were denied, but we have one final appeal left and that is to the courts of Heaven... I ask you to rise up, God, and judge Illinois for the sanctioned destruction of the innocent unborn. In this House, I pray for justice to roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty river."
When FRC's Sarah Perry talked to Pastor Musgrave about the prayer on "Washington Watch," he explained that he'd been invited back in February, long before the abortion debate exploded. He'd gotten instructions a week before from the clerk not to proselytize, but when he saw what the chambers had done, Pastor Musgrave knew: he couldn't let the moment pass by.
"I don't know if you're aware of this, but Sunday night in the last week of the legislative session, they pulled this bill back out. It had been shoved back in subcommittee. They had a rigged committee hearing where they had very limited debate. They give the Republican side one hour's notice, [and] they call it on a Sunday evening. And they decided to push that bill through. And as I sat there and watched that and heard what they were doing, it broke my heart that we are allowing this in my state."
During the prayer, he found out later, five liberals walked out of the room. Others turned their backs to him. How did he take that, Sarah asked? "Well, I was focused on praying... I was unaware of it until after it was over. Also, someone who was standing up there with me, they said there was a discernible hiss from the crowd. But I was just focused on praying to God. My prayer was not to them it was to God."
What an exercise in courage! Let's hope there are other pastors and Christians out there who hear Cory's story and are encouraged to be just as bold as he has been.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.