About 50 gather for rally on rainy night
An area state representative aimed to inspire nearly 50 area residents who ignored raindrops for about two hours Friday night in downtown Richmond to take a firm stand against any abortion in Indiana. He said the state could become a tourist destination for those seeking the procedure if lawmakers don’t act soon.
Rep. John Jacob (R-District 93) urged those present at Jack Elstro Plaza for the Life is Precious Rally with Stand for Life to use their sphere of influence to create a relentless – not rude – wave of phone calls and emails to their own state lawmakers, as well as the leaders of Indiana’s House and Senate, and Gov. Eric Holcomb. They should demand no compromise on the abortion issue when the General Assembly gathers for a special session starting July 25, Jacob said.
Jacob, who represents portions of Marion and Johnson counties, said Americans have sacrificed more than 65 million lives for convenience in the past 50 years, and said now is the time for Christians, churches and lawmakers to come together to repent and present a united front.
A small crowd at the statehouse later this month would reinforce GOP leadership’s beliefs that voters don’t really care about the pro-life movement, Jacob said.
Jacob lamented the “saltless, lightless” Christianity in America and wants to send a message to the “establishment swamp” of lawmakers and pro-life advocates who have made compromises on the issue.
Jacob opposes allowing abortions until 15 weeks of pregnancy, which might be proposed during the session, because 90 percent of abortions take place before 15 weeks have passed, he said.
Pastor Jon Schrock, who has a website called “RadicalPulpit.com,” encouraged Hoosiers to take a vacation day to rally in Indianapolis at noon July 25 and show lawmakers that they are serious about their convictions that life begins at conception. He and Jacob said they expect thousands to turn out who support a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
“The body inside her body is not her body,” Jacob said, later saying that abortion has nothing to do with health.
Schrock said some pro-life efforts still accept exceptions for medical conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy, but an all-out ban should be supported.
Mayo Clinic defines an ectopic pregnancy as a fertilized egg implanting and growing outside the main cavity of the uterus. “An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally,” the clinic’s website said. “The fertilized egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.”
Schrock said if an ectopic pregnancy is discovered, doctors should take the baby from outside the womb and implant it in the womb, and if it then dies, it wouldn’t be a planned murder.
However, a Cleveland Clinic article quoting Dr. Salena Zanotti, who works for its Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute, said that reimplanting a pregnancy, discussed earlier by Ohio lawmakers, makes “no sense from a scientific standpoint” and could cause women to second-guess the advice of their physicians.
Zanotti said if an embryo is disrupted from the implantation site, it loses its blood supply, and even if it could be implanted within the uterus, the uterine lining would have lost its ability to support the pregnancy.
“Even before (a 2019 bill in the Ohio State House of Representatives requiring physicians to take all possible steps to preserve an unborn child’s life, including encouraging an attempt to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy), it was natural for a woman to ask if there was any way to save a pregnancy,” Zanotti said. “There’s always been that question. If there’s any way for us to save a pregnancy, we are going to do it – but reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy is simply not plausible.”
In September 2021, Jacob posted on his Facebook page that thousands of Hoosiers were needed to attend a Medical Freedom Rally at the statehouse. In its reporting from the event, Indianapolis WTHR Channel 13 noted dozens of people attended to show their opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, especially in workplaces.
Since being elected in 2020, Jacob said he has co-sponsored legislation to outlaw abortion in Indiana that Rep. Curt Nisely began after his election in 2014 that protects life at conception, but each year the Republican establishment that proclaims being pro-life has killed it in committee.
Jacob said it would be simple for the language in HB 1282 to be copied and pasted into what is currently being drafted for the special session.
Jacob noted that House Speaker Todd Huston told him that legislative colleagues were uncomfortable with Jacob calling abortion “murder” on the statehouse floor.
However, Jacob might have made some colleagues uncomfortable with his comments about religious organizations even before he took office.
A CNS News article written a month after Jacob was elected notes that the Catholic League President Bill Donohue sent a letter to state lawmakers to urge them to denounce Jacob and exclude him from the Republican caucus because of “virulently anti-Catholic” Facebook posts, one of which called the faith “a cult.”
The letter said another of Jacob’s posts said that “The Roman Catholic Church is not of God but rather of satan and will leave one under the curse of God, unsaved, and on their way to hell.”
Jacob, who shows his disdain for abortion outside Indianapolis clinics as part of his ministry, is traveling around the state to offer similar rallies.
He said he and his wife are joined by only about a dozen fellow Christians, but he feels the crowds outside those clinics should be larger, not understanding why other Christians say that that isn’t a key part of their ministry.
“God didn’t call you to a country club,” Jacob said about what he described as apathy by churches.
Jacob said he is part of what’s called today’s abolition movement that has the same ideology for ending abortion as they would end slavery. Compromises wouldn’t be acceptable, such as a 24-hour waiting period or requirement to see an ultrasound before committing any other type of murder, and there’s no room for them now, he said, upset that today’s pro-life movement has settled for adding steps to slow access and regulate abortion rather than stopping it altogether.
“We all have blood on our hands,” he said.
One of Friday’s speakers was a woman who became pregnant at 18 and then again at 29 and said she chose to have both babies despite going down a dark, hard road, including time in a heavy metal band when she temporarily turned away from her Christian upbringing, burning Bibles and fantasizing being with the devil. She said churches need to stand up for the unborn and show how abortion truly affects women, men and entire families.
“I know it’s scary to choose life,” she said.
Jacob said he plans to offer up-to-date communications to those who text 4Life to 66866, saying they will need to pivot as circumstances change surrounding the special session.
Gateway Church in Richmond helped offer the rally, and its Pastor Chris Monaghan lamented that “unborn children are unjustly sentenced to death” in Indiana.
Elizabeth Allen, whose husband is pastor of Richmond Baptist Church, said she was excited to attend the rally with several family members.
“We have our moment, and we need to jump on it to save babies’ lives,” Allen said.
Allen’s mother, Andree Roadcup of Richmond, also was energized after the event despite the intermittent rain.
“It’s really wonderful that we can do this,” Roadcup said.
About 50 gather for rally on rainy night