Last updated: January 21. 2014 10:15AM - 500 Views
Paul Chitwood

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In the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly session, several critical issues are being considered but two rise to the top of my list of concerns for families in our state.

First, after nine years of committee leadership deliberately killing ALLpro-life bills, will the House of Representatives work to get one to the floor for a vote? Most legislators believe any pro-life bill would pass the full House with a huge margin of victory. We know from experience that any pro-life bill would easily pass the Senate. The problem is that there are high-level manipulations in the House committees that prevent ANY pro-life bills from coming to the floor where the will of the people can prevail.

Already, nearly 60 House lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors to a simple yet very important bill that would require doctors to have a private face-to-face

consultation with any woman seeking an abortion and to offer any woman the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of the baby and to hear the heartbeat. That sounds so very reasonable to me. And if the co-sponsors alone voted for the measure, it would pass overwhelmingly in the 100-member House.

This matter is literally one of life and death for unborn children in Kentucky. Please consider calling the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 and leaving a message with your legislators encouraging the support of any prolife bills. If you don’t know who your legislators are, the receptionist will be glad to tell you.

Second, after 20 years of attempting different kinds of gambling expansion, will this predatory industry finally succeed in 2014? Expanded gambling will hurt families in Kentucky. The impact has been documented in other states. Consider this excerpt from a study of gambling from the California State Library:

Social costs are the costs borne by society as a whole that result from the behavior of the problem gambler. Social costs includes such items as fraud, theft, bad loans, bad checks, lost work time, unemployment and welfare benefits, insured or publicly supported medical costs, and criminal justice system costs. Those types of social costs are easier to quantify than other types of social costs that result from gambling such as increased rates of suicide and incidence of child abuse. Social costs should also include lost productivity of spouses, impaired judgment and efficiency on the job, divorces, added administrative costs for unemployed, and the costs of depression and physical illness related to the stress and lower quality of family life.

Government should not sell “hunting licenses” to casino companies to prey upon the very citizens government was designed to protect. Please consider calling the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 and leaving a message encouraging the defeat of expanded gambling.

For righteousness’ sake, I pray that our unified voice will bring a renewed concern in Frankfort for the lives of unborn children, the health of families, and the well-being of all Kentuckians.

Paul Chitwood is executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the state’s largest evangelical organization with nearly 2,400 churches and 750,000 members.

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