Laws that concern late-term abortions have spread through headlines in New York and Virginia. Meanwhile, in Waxahachie, one nonprofit celebrated its efforts to save the lives of unborn babies.

Approximately 600 people attended the Arise and Act event hosted by FirstLook pregnancy clinic at the Waxahachie Civic Center on Friday.

FirstLook CEO Donna Young took the stage with passion at the Waxahachie Civic Center as she listed positive data from 2018. A total of 142 clients at risk for abortion chose life, 205 free ultrasounds were performed, 266 free pregnancy tests were administered, 118 clients received free STD testing and 250 parents chose FirstLook classes for family support.

A total of 1,198 clients visited the pregnancy clinic in 2018, and $231,000 was provided in no-cost services to the community.

“We are in a battle for the lives of our children, and our families. It’s time to Arise and Act,” Young advocated on stage. “If Planned Parenthood is defunded, if Roe v. Wade is reversed, we will continue offering excellent care and expanding our medical and educational services. We want FirstLook to be the first choice for women and men facing unexpected pregnancy.”

Dr. Ron Archer served as the evening’s guest speaker and provided his own life story about how abortion impacted his life.

Archer is a best-selling author, NFL and military consultant, and served as a U.S. presidential advisor to George W. Bush. He was also awarded the Martin Luther King Leadership Award for his work developing hearts and habits of third world countries.

Archer told the story of a 14-year-old girl who naively fell into the depths of prostitution. By 16, she was pregnant by a client, and the pimps did not see much use of her anymore, ultimately deciding her unborn child needed to die. He provided disturbing imagery of a woman being stabbed and methods used to abort her child.

“It’s then time for the baby to be born," Archer continued. "The baby is being born prematurely. Lungs are all messed up, full of liquid from pneumonia; ear, nose and throat don’t connect properly. When this baby starts to grow and develop and go to school it won’t learn — tries.”

Archer took a breath and explained the baby was unwanted and unloved.

“That baby is me,” Archer disclosed. “I have a black scar under my arm still to this day where the hanger stabbed me.”

He continued his powerful speech with the adversities he experienced in life that lead him to a suicide attempt at age 10. He found God later in life and allowed his faith to overcome all challenges of life.

ABORTION LAWS

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act on Jan. 22, which just so happened to be the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, according to an article by the New York Times. The new law permits abortion after the 24th week of a pregnancy when there is “an absence of fetal viability or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”

A full pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks.

Virginia lawmakers also discussed reduced restrictions on late-term abortions to protect the mother’s health and would have decreased the number of physicians whose opinions were required to approve abortion, to one from three. The New York Times reported the bill was set aside in committee.

When President Donald Trump spoke to all Americans during the State of the Union address on Feb. 5, he scorned New York’s legislation and requested Congress to ban late-term abortion.

“Late-term abortion occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy around the 27th week of gestation,” according to the University of Vermont.

Texas law prohibits abortions after 22 weeks of gestation, according to Austin Women’s Health Center. House Bill 15 requires a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for all abortions, which begins at the woman’s in-office consultation and ultrasound.

Guttmacher Institute reported in 2014, approximately 55,230 abortions were administered in Texas, but not all abortions occurred were provided to state residents. The institute also documented a 28 percent decline in the abortion rate in Texas between 2011 and 2014, from 13.5 to 9.8 abortions per 1,000 women.

In 2014, a total of 44 abortion-providing facilities were available, 28 of those were clinics. The number of Texas abortion providers reduced by 18 facilities from 2011 to 2014.

Abortions in Texas represent six percent of all abortions in the United States.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450