A Baby Step in the Right Direction
In September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, by a vote of 380-15. The bill ensures that a breathing fetus will always be legally treated as a human being regardless of the circumstances under which it was extracted from the womb. This legislation states that an infant would be considered to have been born alive if he or she is completely extracted or expelled from the mother, breathes, has a beating heart, and definite movement of the voluntary muscles. Supporters of the act say that it is necessary in the wake of several recent Supreme Court decisions ruling that the government's interest in protecting an unborn child is related only to "viability," or the point at which the child can survive independently of the mother.
Pro-choice opponents of the bill claim that it is unnecessary because infants are already protected and that supporters are simply trying to score political points. "The purpose of this bill is only to get the pro-choice members to vote against it ... so they could say we support infanticide," complained Rep. Jerrold Nadler. "This bill is unnecessary."
Most opponents of this bill, however, recognize its power. The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League said the bill "would effectively grant legal personhood to a pre-viable fetus — in direct conflict with Roe — and would inappropriately inject prosecutors and lawmakers into the medical decision-making process."
Associated Press, September 26, 2000
Impact of the Gospel
Widespread Christian renewal is sweeping the central African nation of Uganda. Southern Baptist missionary Rob Ackerman reports that the country has undergone miraculous change from the time just a few years ago when Christians were horribly persecuted and many Christian denominations were officially banned from the country.
During the 1980s, dictator Adi Amin ruthlessly terrorized Christians of Uganda, killing thousands because of their faith. During Amin's rule upwards of 800,000 people died from war, famine, and persecution. AIDS ravaged the country by the early 1990s, with over 30 percent of the population testing HIV-positive, and the church was in shambles.
God, however, began to move in the midst of this horrible crisis. The suffering caused Ugandans to cry out to God, according to John Mulinde of World Trumpet Ministries. He says, "It was no average prayer, but the deep and lasting prayer characteristic of revival movements." In answer to the prayers, Yoweri Museveni, a professed Christian, came to power in 1986 and gradually brought political and economic stability. Churches have rebuilt and are strengthening to bring the gospel to Uganda. Mulinde notes, "There is a notable unity between the churches. God's Spirit is moving everywhere." News reports attribute the declining rate of AIDS to churches advocating sexual abstinence until marriage. In addition, Uganda's first lady, an outspoken Christian, has partnered with churches to start a youth ministry, which teaches Uganda's young people biblical morality.
Religion News, August 30, 2000
"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character. ... When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country." - Noah Webster