In the bowels of downtown Louisville, at the Gene Snyder United States Courthouse, a group of legal professionals are hearing arguments about ambulances, hospital contracts, and what to do to save a woman’s life if the procedure designed to take her baby’s life goes wrong. And all across Kentucky people are praying. At least I hope they are.
Somewhere between 900,000 and 1 million babies die each year in the United States at the hands of physicians performing abortions. Between 3,000 and 3,500 of those children are killed in Kentucky. Every year.
While the lives of nearly 10 children being snuffed out every day in our state is an unspeakable tragedy, a mother’s womb in Kentucky is a far safer place to be than a mother’s womb in, say, New York. In Kentucky, an unborn child has about an 85 percent chance of not being intentionally killed by a doctor. In New York, more than 1 in 3 babies falls victim to abortion.
Why the discrepancy? Kentucky is among seven states to have only one abortion clinic. That means less babies die.
But that wasn’t always the case. In 1978, Kentucky had 17 abortion providers. What happened to them? The business just wasn’t here.
For all of the jokes about barefooted, hillbilly ignorance, by and large, most Kentuckians seem to be smart enough to know that murdering their own children is wrong, dead wrong. Even in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, there are always a host of better options than paying a doctor to decapitate an unborn child. Plenty of barren couples who would want more than anything to love and raise a child. Family members who understand what it means to “take care of our own.” Or simply a little time to let the expectant mother’s shock wear off, alter a few life plans, and discover that the son or daughter she’s carrying in her womb may be the most precious gift God has ever given her.
While a kid in Kentucky has a better chance for survival than a kid in most other states, I am praying that the odds get even better. I am praying that Kentucky’s last abortion clinic gets shut down immediately. To save a few bucks, the clinic wants the courts to toss the regulations that require arrangements with ambulance services and hospitals for a mother’s life to be protected. Governor Matt Bevin has called the clinic out and now it’s in the court’s hands.
I’m praying for a win for life. Will you join me?
Paul Chitwood is executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the state's largest religious organization with 750,000 members.