Life and Freedom Get a Boost from the States!

April 9, 2021

Considering all of the garbage coming out of Washington, most conservatives probably need a pick-me-up -- some reassurance that the entire country isn't racing into a pit of extremism. If the election reform efforts aren't enough to cheer voters up, then there are a good many things happening on life and religious freedom that might!

While the historic SAFE Act in Arkansas grabbed the most headlines this week (and rightly so!), other states are moving bills that make protecting children just as much of a priority. In Alabama, Montana, and New Hampshire, leaders are trying to do what Congress hasn't: save the lives of newborn abortion survivors. As far as elected officials in these states are concerned, if a baby is born-alive, doctors and nurses should do everything they can to save them.

In Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte (R) was adamant that his state make this a priority. In addition to a 20-week abortion ban and other pro-life changes, he urged "the legislature to send me the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act," Gianforte said in that speech. "These are necessary, compassionate measures where we should be able to find common ground and I will sign both of them to law."

That, along with the state's new religious freedom bill, ought to keep Gianforte's desk busy. By a 59-38 vote, the house finished the job Montana's senate started and sent a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the governor. Like 21 other states, the goal is to give men and women of faith a day in court when their religious expression is being challenged. As sponsor Carl Glimm (R) explained, "This bill doesn't provide a blank check to discriminate" -- which is what LGBT groups claimed. "It just elevates freedom of religion to strict scrutiny protection, as is the case for freedom of speech and association."

Alliance Defending Freedom's Matt Sharp, who testified, agreed. RFRA doesn't guarantee that Christians or other believers would win it court. "It just protects the process." Montana Family Foundation's Jeff Laszloffy backed him up. "The other side is going to say this is all about LGBTQ issues. It's not." Fortunately, Gianforte, who's promised to sign it, agrees.

A little to the east, North Dakota is set to join the party with a RFRA of their own. Last week, the state senate cleared the final hurdle to send similar religious protections to the governor -- largely, the local Family Policy Alliance's Mark Jorritsma insisted, because leaders heard from so many of their constituents on the issue. "I talked to multiple senators who stated unequivocally that the emails and phone calls from ND citizens like you made the difference in their mind regarding how important this bill was to them. This is a wonderful example of how taking a few minutes to fill out our email form or call your legislator can truly makes a difference in getting pro-life and pro-family legislation passed in North Dakota."

Everyone can make a difference if they make their voices heard! Whether it's in our state legislatures, the cancel culture, or woke corporations, we all need to stand up and speak out. That's not just the right strategy -- it's the winning one!