WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MARCH 9, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Medication Abortion Now Accounts for More Than Half of All US Abortions
“In 2000, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone as a method of abortion. Taken along with misoprostol, the two-drug combination is known as medication abortion or the “abortion pill.” New research from the Guttmacher Institute shows that 20 years after its introduction, medication abortion accounted for more than half of all abortions in the United States.” read more at Guttmacher Institute
Because medication abortion is becoming much more common, we should know what it is. The abortion pill everyone refers to is actually two separate pills. The first one, mifepristone, blocks the effect of progesterone, thereby causing failure of the uterine lining to maintain pregnancy, resulting in the death of the unborn baby. The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later to induce uterine contractions. If the pill fails, a woman may undergo surgical abortion. Surgical abortion is required in 2-8 percent of cases. Each of these pills is not without its own warnings and potential side effects. However, the narrative you will likely encounter in the media is that the abortion pill is “safer than Tylenol.” In contrast, Pregnancy Help News reports that a new study from the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) analyzing Medicaid claims data from 2002 through 2015 indicates that abortion-related emergency room visits following a chemical abortion increased by over 500%. “Women are far more likely to visit the emergency room following a chemical rather than surgical abortion,” said Dr. James Studnicki, CLI vice president of data analytics. Whatever the method, abortion intentionally takes the life of an innocent human being, and this should not be sanctioned by the government, which is charged with protecting human rights. South Dakota recently passed a bill restricting the use of abortion pills, but it will not take effect unless an injunction is lifted against a similar Health Department rule. In light of the upcoming SCOTUS decision, we have seen an acceleration of policy moves at the state and local levels to celebrate and enshrine the ability to murder babies in the womb. Faithful Christians must shine the light on the violence of abortion as we unite to stand against any measure that devalues life and relegates an unborn baby at any stage in their development to a non-person. The city council of Alexandria, Virginia, rescinded a proposed resolution to celebrate abortionists and establish a citywide “Abortion Providers Appreciation Day” following public outcry from Christians. Zachary Mettler of the Daily Citizen rightly notes, “Even though it shouldn’t have been necessary, this instance shows that the voices of everyday citizens can still have great effect against the dark ideas of this present age.”
Father, we know You are grieved by the injustice of abortion, and we, Your people, are grieved as well. Help us to not grow weary in struggling for laws and legal victories to protect innocent human life. Add more laborers to the life-giving work of assisting women in crisis pregnancies. Grow this movement so that many more women will find abundant life in Jesus for themselves and their babies. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.
From the moment a woman takes the abortion pill, she has about 72 hours to change her mind and save her baby. The Abortion Pill Rescue Network, through Option Line's 24/7 contact center, answers more than 150 mission-critical calls a month from women who regret their abortion decision. Visit Heartbeat International to learn more about this life-saving work, and make sure others know about this option.
Biden Pivots on Russian oil Embargo, Announces Ban
“President Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on the importation of Russian oil and natural gas to ramp up economic punishment on Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. ‘This is a step we are taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be costs here in the United States as well,’ Mr. Biden said. ‘Defending freedom is going to cost us as well.’ The embargo is expected to cause record-high gasoline prices to soar even higher. The U.S. is the first country to prohibit the import of Russian oil. European Union officials announced Tuesday that they would reduce reliance on Russian oil but stopped short of a full ban. Europeans rely more heavily than Americans on Russian energy.” read more at the Washington Times
The national average of a gallon of gas in the United States hit a record high. The average price nationwide hit $4.104 on Monday, breaking the record of $4.103 set in 2008, according to GasBuddy. Pain at the pump is becoming a reality that cannot be overlooked, so what is driving this budget devouring pain that shows no sign of letting up anytime soon? Prices at the pump were rising before Russia invaded Ukraine and have spiraled faster since the start of the war. In 2019 the U.S. was the largest crude oil producer in the world, pumping out 13 million barrels per day. Now the US pumps about 11.5 million barrels per day. According to global energy analyst Stephen Schork, the U.S. increased its share of Russian crude oil and petroleum products significantly during President Biden's first year in office. “When you look at total imports of Russian crude oil and petroleum products last year, they jumped 24 percent to a record 245 million barrels.” He continued, “That massive infusion of petrol dollars into Putin's war chest has helped fund his misadventures in Ukraine.” Schork said that the U.S. increasingly relies on Russian oil because the Biden administration has shown hostility to the oil and gas industry. “The Biden administration has made it well clear they're steering dollars away from fossil fuel investment given to windmills. They're not giving any sort of signal to the industry to yes, please increase domestic production. The message is no, renewables are the answer and in the meantime over the next 10, 20 years we are still going to be importing Russian oil, Venezuelan oil,” he said. Russia has threatened to close a major gas pipeline to Germany and warned of $300 oil prices if the West goes ahead with a ban on its energy exports. “It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Monday in an address on state television. It's not just gas and oil prices that are affected by the fighting in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine account for around 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of global corn supplies, and 80% of the world’s sunflower oil exports. Economists warn that any cuts in supply could result in a surge in already high nutrient prices and further hike up food prices. Prices worldwide already reached record highs in February, jumping 24% from a year ago, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Ukraine Bible Society released a video that shows men, women and children in their bunkers, in Ukraine, reading through Psalm 31. Watch this moving video
and pray through this Psalm from the perspective of all those in shelters and the refugees having to leave their homes.
Americans are increasingly moved by the thousands of casualties, millions of refugees, and advanced military assaults that are happening in Ukraine. Amid our comfortable, everyday lives we cannot ignore the enormity of the crisis engulfing the people of Ukraine. Samaritan's Purse has stepped in to provide spiritual and physical aid to Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. Learn more and consider partnering with their efforts here.
Iowa Becomes 11th State to Pass Law Banning Boys Who Identify as Trans from Competing in Girls' Sports
“Iowa is now the 11th state to pass a law mandating that any student who wants to participate in girls’ sports must be a biological female. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2416 into law on Thursday, which requires students to confirm their biological sex before competing in girls’ sports. An LGBT activist group called the Movement Advancement Project is keeping a tally of the states that have passed legislation protecting girls' sports, deriding the laws as "bans on transgender youth participation in sports." Ten other states that passed such laws ahead of Iowa include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.” read more at the Christian Post
It is encouraging to see states like Iowa and 10 others recognize the uniqueness of female DNA…especially during Women’s History Month. No young girl should be bumped from her position on a girls' team or trophy podium because a boy has taken her place. Why, then, are some opposed to this law? A press release from the ACLU of Iowa helps us understand. In its statement, the ACLU refers to boys who identify as transgender as “girls whose rights Governor Reynolds just took away.” In a separate article they emphatically state, “The bottom line is that trans girls are
girls and should participate in girls’ sports. They are not boys…” This is not just a difference of opinion; it is a difference in our view of reality.
Both sides say they want fairness in sports for women and girls. The problem is that we disagree on who is a woman. And behind this question is a matter of authority. On what are we basing our definition of womanhood and manhood? Is it on ours, the creature’s, self-identity, or the Creator’s design? The answer to this question will determine our view of rights as well. If our rights come from an unchanging God, we can base our laws on a fixed reality as defined by Him. Otherwise, we are left with ever-changing rights based on human opinions that are likewise ever-changing. That is why, in the name of transgender rights, girls in some states are not being protected in their own sports. And if the Equality Act championed by President Biden and progressive members of Congress were to pass, it would change the legal definition of sex to include gender identity–basically erasing any foundational concept of man or woman altogether.
Lord Jesus, You affirmed that “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matthew 19:4) It is so hard to see the effects of Adam’s sin touch every part of our lives and even corrupt how we view our bodies. Help us have compassion on those who struggle to love the body You have given them. At the same time, help us to protect the rights and privacy of girls. And always, let us proclaim the truth that will set people free. (John 8:32)
Fairness for all is a term that is easily manipulated or misused when emotions get in the way of discerning truth. The uniqueness of the complimentary differences between males and females is being excluded from the public debate on men in women’s sports. Passing state legislation to restore accuracy to the playing field is the beginning of bringing order to this very chaotic situation. In his State of the Union address, President Biden renewed his call to pass a dangerous piece of federal legislation to America’s future – The Equality Act. This bill would fundamentally alter the legal definition of sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity and shake America’s commitment to religious freedom. Send a message to your Senators now with our easy-to-use-tool, telling them to oppose the so-called “Equality Act” here.
Pastor Who Just Spent 101 Days Following God’s Call by Camping on a Frigid Chicago Roof Makes Stunning Announcement
“Pastor Corey Brooks, who has spent 101 days atop a building on Chicago’s South Side braving frigid temperatures and sacrificing time with friends, loved ones, and his church community, made a stunning announcement Monday: he’s not coming down this week as previously planned. Brooks, who runs Project H.O.O.D., an organization that seeks to empower and equip individuals and families, started camping on the roof Nov. 20 to raise $35 million to build a community center he hopes will “totally transform” his neighborhood. ‘Our community is riddled with violence and crime and a lot of murder,’ he told Faithwire Monday from atop the roof. ‘I wanted to make sure that we raised enough money…to build this community center that costs $35 million that we believe is essential to help us to change the lives of a lot of people who live in this neighborhood.’” read more at Faithwire
Since November 20th, Pastor Brooks has been living on top of shipping containers in one of Chicago’s worst neighborhoods to raise awareness of the violence and poverty that is consuming his community. We were fascinated with Pastor Brook’s story and traveled to Chicago last week to talk with him in person. One of our core pillars at My Faith Votes is the care and compassion of others. It’s how we live out being salt and light in our communities. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus calls us to care for those in need, but few of us understand how that translates to the policies we support or oppose when we enter the voting booth. Watch our CEO, Jason Yates, talk with Pastor Brooks in this fascinating conversation of how his church is putting love in action to open doors of opportunity for those in his crime-riddled neighborhood. Pastor Brooks shares that the policies that have been put in place by elected officials that were touted to help have actually locked his neighbors into a daily cycle of poverty, fatherlessness, and gang infestation. But he also encourages Christians to think about how our vote is predicated on God’s Word. As Pastor Brooks says, “stop sitting on your apathy…start putting the words of Christ in action.” Fox News has been documenting the 100 days of “Rooftop Revelations” from Pastor Brooks. You can access past clips on the Pastor’s invaluable wisdom here.
Lord, thank You for Pastors like Corey Brooks who are willing to obey Your call and to stand boldly for You, even in the hardest places. We pray for transformation in our cities and our nation. Draw people to You, spark a passion for You and a love for others that is undeniable and evident to all around them. Help us to live out the words of James 1:27 which says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Learn more about Pastor Brooks and help him “get off the roof” by supporting Project H.O.O.D here.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.