From 10am on July 14th to 10am on July 15th, participants in the Relay for Life walked the track of Fowler Middle School in Tigard, battling the heat wave that has taken over Portland this last week. The event was held to raise money for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. The goal was to raise $66,000 in 24 hours.
The only time the participants stopped was to participate in the Luminaria Ceremony, in which candles were lit for those who had passed away from cancer, battled cancer and survived, or who are currently fighting cancer.
By the time the event was concluded, over $77,000 had been raised.
Burt Waugh, a cancer survivor, said in an interview with KATU2, “Being a survivor, it certainly means a lot to me and a lot of people within the company and relatives and friends that have had cancer.”
The event is open to more donations on their website until August 31st.
In May, Iowa’s legislature enacted a “fetal heartbeat” abortion ban which prohibits doctors from terminating fetuses with a detectable heartbeat. A Michigan-based pro-life organization sees that law as an important starting point for further pro-life legislation. The group seeks to make Iowa’s abortion ban even more comprehensive by extending legal protection to unborn children conceived in rape or incest.
The group, “Save the 1,” has a special interest in protecting children conceived in rape, incest, and sex trafficking: All of the organization’s members either became pregnant or were themselves born under such circumstances.
Jennifer Christie, a board member for Save the 1, feels children conceived through mal-intent deserve just as many protections as other unborn children. “I have a 3-year-old son and he plays with Legos and he pronounces hospital ‘hostable’ and he sleeps with a bunny slipper and he was conceived in rape,” she told the Des Moines Register. “And his heart beats like everybody else’s.”
Earlier this week, Save the 1 filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood against the state of Iowa. The lawsuit disputes Iowa’s new heartbeat statute on the grounds that the law violates women’s rights to due process, liberty, safety, happiness, and equal protection under the law.
Save the 1, meanwhile, argues that the same fundamental rights listed by Planned Parenthood also extend to unborn children conceived in rape or incest. Thus, Iowa’s heartbeat legislation should not be repealed, but rather expanded to increase protections for the unborn.
Attorney Rebecca Kiessling, acting president and founder of Save the 1, clarified her organization’s stance on the heartbeat measure. “We support the heartbeat bill. We want to see the legislation upheld,” Kiessling stated but added that she desires the measure to become more comprehensive in the future.
South Carolina governor Henry McMaster has reduced state funding for abortion providers, reports the Los Angeles Times. McMaster vetoed a $16 million budget item which would have directed funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics.
“I have stated many times I am opposed to what Planned Parenthood is doing. And the veto I have is the most direct way,” McMaster told reporters during a formal news conference.
McMaster’s veto fulfills a campaign promise to pro-life voters who seek to decrease state funding for South Carolina abortion mills. Planned Parenthood denounced McMaster’s political integrity as a “stunt,” arguing that his veto will do little to prevent abortions in the state.
“It’s clear that the governor is singularly focused on his election bid in November and that is at the expense of South Carolina women. The veto does not ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood, but it will ensure that South Carolinians who use Medicaid as their primary insurance will be unable to access affordable, basic healthcare,” said Vicki Ringer, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.
In fact, McMaster’s veto removed less than half of the proposed $34 million allocation for “Family Planning” in the legislature’s budget, leaving in place sufficient funding for Medicaid patients who benefit from South Carolina’s prescription drug program.
Despite McMaster’s inclusive concern for both unborn children and Medicaid recipients, however, South Carolina lawmakers remain determined to oppose his pro-life agenda. “You are voting for a budget with an illusion at the expense of a reality,” Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia) told colleagues during legislative debates in June.
A recent Gallup poll has some interesting findings regarding the shifting landscape of the Pro-Life movement in the United States. A hefty 48% of respondents identified as Pro-Life, with an equal amount siding with Pro-Choice. When compared to historical data, this latest batch of information is quite telling about the direction of the movement.
While a 48% Pro-Choice stance may seem disappointing to those in favor of life, this tied vote (four percent not identifying with either side) actually illustrates progress for Pro-Life Americans, especially in a world where most Western nations have totally accepted the practice of abortions. According to The National Review, Pro-Choice beat out Pro-Life in eighteen consecutive polls between 1995 and 2008. Since 2009, though, Pro-Life has won out six times, equal with the Pro-Choice camp. This is the second tie between the two, since 2009.
Further questions illustrate more details about Americans’ feelings towards the issue. 29% of respondents say that abortion should be legal under any circumstance. This number has remained consistent since 2015, and remains high in a historical lens, though far from the 1990s, when this trend leapt over 30%. Only 18% of respondents say that it should be illegal in all circumstances, demonstrating a key difference from viewing abortion as immoral, versus whether or not it should be illegal. In this case, 48% say that abortion is morally wrong, as opposed to 43% who say that it is morally acceptable.
60% of voters said that abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, a record low since the question was introduced in 1996. This percentage drops to 28% who think that it should be legal in the second three months. Finally, only 13% think that it should be legal in the last three months.
According to The National Review, women remain more polarized on the issue, with women more likely to say that abortion should be both legal and illegal in all circumstances. Nevertheless, this year’s data has overcome great challenges, as the United States serves as a beacon of hope to the unborn. The entire set of data can be found here.