I received a “Dear Jane” letter this week. The first in my lifetime. It was from Genevieve Wilson of Georgia Right to Life. Now, I’m not saying I’ve never been rejected. Chris Barnett broke up with me in the eighth grade after five days of “going together,” an employer once let me go when my work schedule became incompatible with my college social life and no less than two publishers took a pass on my transcript prior to the publication of my first book. Rejection is one way that life redirects our path, which is often a good thing. My banishment from Georgia Right to Life is no exception.
During the 2018 campaign, I and many of my Republican colleagues in the Georgia House of Representatives took pride in our GRTL endorsements and included their logo on our campaign mailers. To have the support and resources of this organization would surely be beneficial if the Georgia Legislature introduced new legislation to protect unborn children. Or so we thought.
This year, I was honored to co-sponsor the Heartbeat Bill, legislation that protects a baby’s life once a heartbeat is detected. As HB481 worked its way through the legislative process, it attracted national attention from the media and those seeking to praise or criticize it. As the onslaught of pro-abortion agitators descended upon the Capitol and tensions began to rise, I noticed that someone was missing. Battle-weary legislators, even the politically vulnerable ones, were putting everything on the line for the sake of Georgia’s unborn, but where was GRTL? Incredible pro-life groups, like Georgia Life Alliance, were visibly present, standing in the trenches with us and offering every manner of support. Not so with GRTL. Costumed pro-abortion agitators showed up. They screamed at us. They threatened us. Still no GRTL. Where were the so-called supporters of life?
GRTL believes, as many pro-lifers do, that life is worthy of protection regardless of the manner of conception. Therefore, GRTL rejected the Heartbeat Bill because it allowed exceptions in the case of rape and incest. The bill did not offer them everything they wanted, so they rejected it entirely. They threw the proverbial unborn baby out with the bathwater. Let’s be very clear. Like it or not, the chance of HB481 passing out of committee without the exceptions was zero. It did not have the votes. There were only two options: Pass it with exceptions or let the bill die, along with thousands of unborn babies.
Remember how Solomon dealt with the two women in the Bible who both claimed to be the mother of a young child? He suggested the child be cut in half (certain death) so each woman could be given a portion of the child. He knew the true mother would never allow her baby to be killed. Sure enough, the impostor agreed to the barbaric division, but the baby’s real mother quickly exclaimed that the king should give the child to the other woman, thereby saving its life. That’s exactly what happened to the Heartbeat Bill. GRTL, spurred by its own pompous hypocrisy, told the Georgia Legislature to cut the baby in half. To kill HB 481. All or nothing. Given the chance to save some or none, they chose none.
Here is a sad yet poignant analogy that strikes to the heart of this issue. Imagine that 20 children are inside a burning building. Georgia Right to Life is the fireman sent to rescue them. Two of the 20 children are trapped on the top floor and cannot be reached. The other 18 are on the first floor and can easily be rescued. The GRTL fireman stands motionless outside the building, fire hose in hand, and proclaims, “If I cannot save every child, then let them ALL die.” Let that sink in for a moment.
The pharisees in Jesus’ time had a similar, hypocritical way of looking at the world. They condemned Jesus and cast judgement upon him for healing the sick and performing acts of service on the Sabbath. The pharisees hid behind the letter of the law and rejected the true spirit of the law’s intentions. Jesus told his followers not to emulate these “religious elite,” calling them “blind fools” (Matt. 23:16-17). Are you listening, GRTL?
After the legislative session ended, I returned to my Cobb County office and penned a letter to Georgia Right to Life. I expressed my dismay at their refusal to protect life. I told them I would no longer accept their endorsement. That letter is still sitting on my desk. Not sure why I didn’t mail it. Perhaps I was hoping GRTL would offer a better explanation for their actions. Nope. The “Dear Jane” letter made that very clear. It was full of pious condemnation and a doubling down on their stance that if 100% of unborn babies cannot be saved, GRTL is willing to let them all perish. Nonetheless, in the end, HB 481 prevailed. It passed despite GRTL’s efforts to the contrary. Tens of thousands of unborn babies will have a new chance at life.
Dear Georgia Right to Life, since my letter was written before yours, I’m going to take credit for breaking up with you first. You’ve officially become anti-life. You’ve chosen your own elitism and pride over the lives of children. Remember the old breakup tag line, “It’s not you, it’s me?” That doesn’t apply in this situation. When it comes to our breakup, the problem isn’t me, GRTL. It’s definitely and indisputably — you.