The Virginia abortion bill failed, but the time for indifference is over

There are moments of clarity in all of our lives, and hopefully you experience such a thing more than just once. On Wednesday afternoon, driving to my home in Raleigh, North Carolina I was listening to a recap of the week's news on the radio. What I heard was that a lawmaker in Virginia had brought forward a bill to expand abortion access and remove restrictions on the procedure currently in place in the state. The reporter said "you'd expect this sort of legislation in New York or California, but it seems out of character for a state like Virginia."

My fingers tightened around the steering wheel.

Audio played of Kathy Tran, a delegate from Fairfax County, explaining the substance of the Repeal Act to her colleagues on the floor. I don't know what about this moment or this bill drew out such a strong reaction from me. After all, the state of New York just passed a very similar measure only a week ago and I went on with my day.

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My vision blurred and stomach tightened. Something was wrong and could feel the most subtle shockwaves going up my arms to my neck. Discomfort. Rapid breathing.

I got through the next stop light and pulled over the car. Turned it off and just sat there for a few minutes, focused on my breath. I have never experienced such a thing. It was clarity. The realization of a lie.

If you're reading this, you likely know the backstory. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam recently joined WTOP radio in Washington D.C. and was asked about the abortion bill dubbed the Repeal Act, which had been causing a stir in the state for the better part of a week. One of his answers was:

If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

The bill, sponsored by Delegate Kathy Tran of Fairfax County, would allow women to get abortions up until the point of birth — if their physical or mental health are considered at risk. To put a fine point on it, Tran was questioned about her bill earlier this week and expressed that it offered "no limits" on when the abortion could be carried out, including when the the mother is dilating and about to give birth. It reduces the number of doctors required to approve termination from three to one, and it lowers the bar significantly for the severity of the health risk. Now we are talking about the impairment of mental health in addition to the mother's physical health. What does that even mean?

Well, vaguery is the point. Something I didn't see coming in the abortion debate, but pro-lifers probably saw a million miles back, was that this was always headed toward the realm of the subjective. The first time I had the slightest thought that the case for abortion might expand to having virtually no boundaries, was when the discourse on college campuses began to blend mental and physical harm into a single thing. It's strange, but an op-ed in the New York Times in 2017 titled When Is Speech Violence? was actually my first hint. The piece described the science behind stress, and how challenges to the nervous system in the form of hurtful or abusive speech can cause long-lasting physical harm. I remember thinking to myself about the talking point "in cases of physical harm to the mother…" and then moved on with my day.

On the question of abortion, I've failed the test each time that I can think of, for a litany of reasons that boil down to cowardice.

I believe in God. I believe God tests us daily in our lives. On the question of abortion, I've failed the test each time that I can think of, for a litany of reasons that boil down to cowardice. My wife and I are the proud parents of an 8-year old girl. She's the light of our lives and brilliant — and I will likely never forgive myself for how I reacted when my college girlfriend, now wife, came forward as pregnant. I was a 20 year old "pro-life", Republican, fair-weather Christian and she was my liberal girlfriend who didn't see the world my way on just about anything. My thought process then was, obviously she will "handle it" and this will go away. So with my head down, I asked her if that was her plan, and it most definitely was not. The idea quite offended her, and she left.

I failed the biggest test of my young life. I like to think I made it right by subsequently stepping up and forming the family I now have and cherish. It took a lot of work on both our parts. But after that, my view on abortion changed to match my previous failure. I decided I was pro-choice, because how I could I champion the right to life when I turned away from it in my moment of being tested? This new view shielded me from another layer of shame, that of hypocrisy. Gradually, other pressing issues led me away from being conservative to being a libertarian, an identification I still hold and believe to be correct. Abortion is still very much in debate in libertarian circles and has been for quite some time. Whereas it is settled for conservatives and progressives, I found comfort in the hand-wringing and uncertainty of libertarians on the question.

In order to detach myself from the outcome of America's abortion debate, I had to assume three things. First, that there was sincerity in the argument that the survival of the mother was of utmost concern to the pro-choice crowd. Second, that the valid debate over when life begins wouldn't be allowed by courts to extend past the time of birth. Third, that while late-term abortions are generally rare and unpopular, the legality of the practice was not going to extend beyond the most progressive corners of America.

The quick rise and fall of the Repeal Act in Virginia unravels all these things I taught myself to believe about the abortion debate. That it had boundaries, that it was about people trying to defend life in exceptional circumstances — both on the side of advocacy for the unborn and the women carrying them. It's simply not true, and I see that now. The radicalized left in 2019 supported by a new wave of true believers who consider physical and mental harm to be entirely subjective concepts, is not going to stop expanding the religion of "choice". Governor Northam made it clear in his admission that the fates of children could be decided on after the fact of their birth. This wasn't a slip-up or miscommunication, it was the mask slipping on an ideology of death that has been mainstreamed. I just didn't have the courage and clarity to confront it.

You could say I may have just had a panic attack. I would say it was given to me — and thank God for it.

Sitting on the side road with the keys in the ignition, I wondered if this is what being convicted by God feels like. I've prayed for countless years for the spirit to move me in the way it moves some members of my family when all I've ever felt in my faith is silence.

You could say I may have just had a panic attack. I would say it was given to me — and thank God for it. Kathy Tran and Ralph Northam revealed that the sidelines are no longer where I belong. My hope for moderation and wisdom from public officials has not stopped the worst ideas on abortion from being realized and spread. Eventually, more state legislatures will be faced with similar bills that blur the lines of what defines harm. David French wrote in the National Review that the onset of anxiety, depression, fear of postpartum will soon be tried as reasons for young life to be terminated — and he is right.

I'm joining the movement to defend the sanctity of life. If you've been on the sidelines too, I hope you'll join me.

Stephen Kent (@Stephen_Kent89) is a friend of the show and host of Beltway Banthas, a Star Wars & politics podcast in D.C.

A virus has escaped the university labs and is super-spreading through our culture. It's called Critical Race THEORY and what used to be a fringe topic in the academic world is now a dangerous Marxist REALITY infecting our public schools where students are taught the U.S. is a "parasitic system" based on the "invasion" of "white male settlers."

On Glenn TV this week, Glenn Beck exposes how some teachers are being instructed to "cash in on kids' inherent empathy" in order to train them to become "activist intellectuals," starting as early as first grade.

CRT is an absolute toxin to America and Glenn warns that in just one generation the Constitution, freedom, and true equality will be totally destroyed. Yet, any opposition to the spread of this disease is shouted down as racism and bigotry. If Critical Race Theory is not already in your local school curriculum, it will be soon.

Joined by Asra Nomani, Vice President for Strategy and Investigations at Parents Defending Education, Glenn arms you with the facts about CRT so you can stand up to this tyranny in your community.

Watch the full episode below:


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Ezra Levant, founder of Rebel News, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to describe the shocking footage he and his team captured of Canadian police harassing and even arresting Rebel News reporters during a protest in Montreal.

Video clips show officers making remarks about the "Jew" reporters and calling Rebel News "Jew media." Reporters are pulled out of crowds, handcuffed, slammed against vehicles and arrested. Some have been fined "thousands and thousands" of dollars "because they had cameras pointed at the police," said Levant.

Another video clip shows Canadian police demanding entrance to a rented Airbnb houseboat without a warrant.

"They the claimed it was an illegal gathering. It was just a B and B," Levant explained. "I told them to get a warrant. I went out there ... and they wouldn't let me back in.... It turned into a ten-hour standoff. They couldn't find a judge willing to give them a search warrant, so to punish us, they called the whole thing a crime scene. They actually wouldn't let any of my team off the boat unless they submitted to a personal search, which is illegal. And the craziest part, is that they arrested one of my guys, took him to jail, and they said this to us: We will hold him in jail until you let us search the Airbnb without a warrant."

Levant said nearly all Canadian media have ignored the insane attacks, warrantless searches and seizures, and the jailing of journalists, and warned Americans to take note and protect our First Amendment rights.

"If you do not protect your First Amendment, if you do not hold those hard-won freedoms, you will be like what we are," he said. "This is your future if you don't protect your First Amendment."

Watch the video below for more details:

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On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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