Asia Bibi Acquitted. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has upheld its earlier decision to acquit Asia Bibi. Bibi is a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row because of blasphemy charges. The ruling means she can leave Pakistan and seek asylum in Canada. Asia had been accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad during a conversation with two Muslim women. The Supreme Court threw out her conviction and death sentence last October, but the decision generated protests throughout Pakistan, and officials feared her release would incite civil unrest. However, this week Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said the acquittal would stand.
New York State of Mind. New York State’s so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” passed last week, would allow abortions right up to the time of birth. The outcry against the new law has been long and loud. (To read The Colson Center’s position, click here.) Samuel Rodriquez leads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He predicted backlash from Hispanics at the ballot box. “Those who believe Hispanics will go along with legalizing late term abortions are profoundly mistaken,” he said. “This will become crystal clear when we make our voices – and values – heard at the ballot box.” Lila Rose of Live Action said, “[N]ow children up until the ninth month of pregnancy can be given lethal injections and poisoned to death. This is no different than infanticide.” She called the new law “barbaric and inhumane and rejects modern science and medical advancements that reveal the development and humanity of life in the womb.”
A Litany of Horrors. Planned Parenthood claims to do much more than just provide abortions. But those who believe that should read the organization’s new annual report. Our friends at WORLD have done just that, and here’s what they learned: Planned Parenthood performed 332,757 abortions from October 2016 to September 2017. That’s close to half of the nation’s total surgical abortions. It performed 1,074,952 pregnancy tests but referred only 2,831 women for adoption. The organization is one of the largest non-profit organizations on the planet, with a budget of $1.67 billion. Taxpayers funding amounts to about $563.8 million, up nearly $20-million from the year before.
Forced to Die? An in-depth report on euthanasia in the Netherlands is shaking up that country, and the ripples are being felt around the world. Journalist Christopher de Bellaigue wrote in The Guardian that “the number of Dutch people being euthanised” rose from “under 2,000 in 2007 to almost 6,600 in 2017. Also in 2017, some 1,900 Dutch people killed themselves, while the number of people who died under palliative sedation – in theory, succumbing to their illness while cocooned from physical discomfort, but in practice often dying of dehydration while unconscious – hit an astonishing 32,000. Altogether, well over a quarter of all deaths in 2017 in the Netherlands were induced.” He adds, “Nearly everyone in the Netherlands knows someone who has been euthanized [and] the precept that life is precious irrespective of one’s medical condition is being called into question as never before.” He concludes: “In the past few years a small but influential group of academics and jurists have raised the alarm over what is generally referred to, a little archly, as the ‘slippery slope’—the idea that a measure introduced to provide relief to late-stage cancer patients has expanded to include people who might otherwise live for many years, from sufferers of diseases such as muscular dystrophy to sexagenarians with dementia and even mentally ill young people.” The entire article is very long, but worth the time. You can find it here.
Milestones. Poet Robert Frost died this week (Jan. 29) in 1963…. Many in the Southern Baptist Church are grieving the death of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker. He was the first tenured African-American seminary professor in SBC history. Dr. Russell Moore called him “a godly leader, and a gracious Christian man.”