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Men and women upset by Friday's SCOTUS ruling on abortion turn out for rally at City Hall

By Howard B. Owens

Her daughters deserve a choice when they're old enough to make big decisions for themselves, said Michelle Kozak at an abortion rally outside Batavia City Hall earlier this evening.

"I believe that their rights matter and my rights matter," Kozak said. "Their lives matter and they might need an abortion someday, medically or even if they just want one, and they deserve that choice."

About 200 people turned out for the rally by 5:30 p.m. (it was scheduled to run until 7 p.m.)

The event was organized by the Genesee County branch of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), GLOW Women Rise, and Genesee County Democrats. 

Dorothy Avery, known as "Cricket" to her friends, president of GLOW Women Rise, said a protest against the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday sends the wrong message, the message that women can be treated as second-class citizens and can't make decisions about their own bodies.

It's an important message, she said, because, even though abortion within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy is statutorily protected and the law isn't likely to be overturned, nothing can be taken for granted, Avery said.

"I don't know if we can say that it's never going to be overturned. I think over the last five or six years, we've seen a lot of things happen that we thought never could happen," Avery said. "So I don't think we can become complacent. And I also think it's good to let the elected officials in our area know that not everyone is conservative and that there are a fair number of people that don't agree with all of the conservative policies. And I actually think this is one issue that does cross party lines. This is about women. It's about lives. It's about control. And I think it really does cross party lines."

The rally comes at a time after a two-year pandemic that kept some political groups, like GLOW Women Rise, from holding public events.  Avery said she saw the ruling as an opportunity to re-energize the organization.

"This just came about, actually,  because Gina (Schelemanow) from the Democratic Socialists of Genesee County really lit the fire under me," Avery said. "I think we do become complacent and she said, 'Come on, shouldn't we do something and let people know that we care about this?' And I said, 'Absolutely.'"

Friday's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson overturned the court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The new ruling returns abortion legislative power to state governments.

The decision upholds Mississippi's prohibition on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and also allows each of the 50 state governments to decide its own abortion laws.

In New York, access to abortion procedures is already statutorily protected, allowing for abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy and after 24 weeks only if the mother's health is jeopardized or the life of the child in the womb isn't viable. 

There were no counter-protesters present at the rally during the time The Batavian was at City Hall, though an organizer walked through the assembly at one point and advised participants that if counter-protesters did show up, rally members shouldn't engage with them but, rather, ignore them.

During the half-hour The Batavian was at the rally, numerous vehicles drove by with the drivers honking their horns in apparent agreement with rally participants. At least, every honking horn was met with a big cheer from the participants.

Top photo: Michelle Kozak with her daughters Julia, 4, and Frannie, seven months.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Abortion rights rally planned for 5 p.m. today at City Hall

By Howard B. Owens

A "Rally For Abortion Rights" has been announced for 5 p.m. today at City Hall.

The event is being organized by the Genesee County branch of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), GLOW Women Rise, and Genesee County Democrats. 

The rally comes in the wake of the Supreme Court decision handed down this week in Dobbs v. Jackson overturning Roe v. Wade and returning abortion legislative power to state governments.

The decision upholds Mississippi's prohibition on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy but also allows state governments to decide on each state's abortion law.

In New York, access to abortion procedures is already statutorily protected, allowing for abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy and after 24 weeks only if the mother's health is jeopardized or the life of the child in the womb isn't viable. 

The Neutered American Dollar

By Jeffrey R. Bartz

 

The Neutered American Dollar There are several words that hold the contemporary news media hostage: the Dow, economic recession, fuel prices, and bank loans. We are the only nation on earth that has "In God we trust" inscribed on our dollar bill, but that dollar is shrinking daily. It doesn't buy what it once did. Why is this happening?  God warned Israel that if they failed to follow Him, they would lose His blessing and become in indebted to foreigners: "He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail" (Deut. 28:44). He said that they would also have droughts, incurable diseases, and aliens would fill the land. Think of what's happening to America:  Our national debt exceeds 10 trillion dollars. Much of this debt is to foreign nations. We experience torturous droughts, and then massive floods. We are also plagued with devastating hurricanes, killer tornadoes, and wildfires that torch thousands of acres. A little closer to home, over 2,300,000 Americans will get cancer in the next year. These things are not evidences of God's blessing. So why are they happening to us?  Aren't we a morally good nation? Don't we trust in God? Before you answer, here are some statistics for you to consider: 
  • Since 1990, more than 300,000 people have been murdered in the U.S.
  • More than 50 million babies have been aborted since Roe v.Wade.
  • 50–60% of married couples admit to adultery, and 5 million unwed couples live together.
  • 75–80% have had premarital sex by the age of 19.
  • One-third of births are out of wedlock.
  • 1 in 4 teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Americans spend up to 13 billion annually on pornography.
  • We have over 2,200,000 people in prison - the highest number in the world.
  • Surveys suggest that 91% of Americans lie regularly.
Still, the idea that we have somehow offended God is unthinkable to us as Americans. Rather, we blame the economy, politicians, pesticides, global warming, global cooling, El Niño, Mother Nature — anything but ourselves and our relationship to God. However, if you are in the middle of smog, the air may look normal and clean. But from a bird’s eye view of 10,000 feet, you will see that the toxic, innocuous smog envelopes your entire living space.  To see our true moral state, we have to look at ourselves from God's perspective. Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The Bible says that if you hate someone, you are a murderer. Lying lips are "an abomination to the Lord." Deceitfulness is so serious to God that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire. Also, no thief or adulterer will enter Heaven.  How many lies have you told in your life? Have you ever stolen anything, used God's name in vain, or looked with lust? If you have broken those Commandments, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart, and if you are guilty on Judgment Day God’s Word clearly states that after death you will face eternal condemnation, torment, and punishment in Hell.  That’s bad news. But that's not God's will. He is rich in mercy and has made a way for you to be forgiven. You broke God's Law (the Ten Commandments), but Jesus paid your fine in His life’s blood when He suffered and died on the cross. That means God can legally dismiss your case. Imagine you are convicted of a serious crime for which you are legitimately guilty. The penalty is death. Having received your sentence from the judge, suddenly an innocent man bursts into the courtroom and offers to pay the death penalty for you. That’s what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplished. God’s righteous justice and wrath demands death for sin. But He can commute your death sentence and let you live, because of the suffering death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." What you must do is repent (turn from all sin) and trust in Jesus alone to forgive you, and rescue you from sin and Hell. If you do that, God will grant you the gift of everlasting life. So, don’t put it off. Repent and trust in Jesus today. You may not have tomorrow.  It may come as a surprise to you, but that is the core message of the Bible and the truth on which our founding fathers built our beloved nation. Yet our society has slid so far from its roots it has reached the point where most will likely take offense at such talk. If you care about this nation and where you will spend eternity, get right with God now. Cry out to God, acknowledging your sinful condition before Him and your desperate need for a Savior. Such a cry might sound something like this:
"Oh God, please forgive me for sinning against You. I turn from all my sin and trust alone in Jesus as my Savior from sin and Hell and the Lord over my life. I will read the Bible daily and obey what I read. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."    Modified from “The Shrinking American Dollar,” by Ray Comfort, http://www.livingwaters.com. See also http://www.hellsbestkeptsecret.com  and http://www.saveyourselfsomepain.com.

 

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