Drain the Swamp (Legislative Days 21-24)
We spent the last two legislative updates bringing you up to speed on all of the legislation that we’re working on and their progress to date. This week, we want to share some of the things that are happening behind the scenes to disrupt and delay pro-life progress in Georgia and the players involved.
There are always schemes from moderate Republicans and cunning pro-abortion activists to submarine pro-life efforts, and this year is no different. Knowing how these saboteurs operate and who they influence or pressure into assisting with their efforts will equip you to communicate effectively with other grassroots activists and discern the words and deeds of legislators.
We often spend our efforts fighting alligators on their own turf when we should focus on draining the swamp. Let’s meet the gators.
Abortion Lobbyist John Walraven:
Abortion activist John Walraven, who has a history of violence against pro-lifers, has been actively working to sabotage pro-life legislation and ensure that the abortion industry keeps a revenue stream from aborted baby parts.
Walraven first testified against the only pro-life section of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard’s aborted fetal tissue sales bill (which GRTL opposes) and then in favor of the sections that carve out the ability to exchange funds for using baby body parts for research. Then, he admittedly wrote secret amendments that he attempted to use Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert to add to a pregnancy center funding bill in committee. There is now speculation that he is working behind the scenes with Republicans to harm other pro-life measures this year.
John added the icing on the cake by making verbal threats in the hallway in front of the Senate chamber to GRTL’s lobbyists last week. We have it on good authority that State Troopers have reviewed information on Walraven and possibly recommended he be added to a Capitol watch list due to his continued aggression against pro-lifers. Pray for our safety.
House Juvenile Justice Committee Chairman Tom Weldon:
We have been working on HB 713 since the very first week of session. Chairman Weldon promised us immediately that we would receive a hearing on HB 713 and said he believed the bill was good policy. We eventually got a hearing scheduled but all of us, including the bill’s author, were shocked once we arrived in the committee room to learn we had been bumped down to subcommittee without any warning. From there, we were told the bill was in any one of three separate subcomittees and then Chairman Weldon was out of the office for several days without telling anyone which subcommittee the bill was in.
After we were finally told which subcommittee the bill was in, the hearing wasn’t scheduled for several days, then we found out at the hearing that we wouldn’t receive a vote that day. We waited an entire week before receiving a vote in the subcommittee last Thursday. Chairman Weldon told us that the bill would be brought up on last Friday’s committee calendar, which it wasn’t. Then he said it would be brought up on today’s committee agenda, which it has yet to be. If HB 713 doesn’t pass the House before February 29th, it is dead for the year.
What we have been told is that leadership in the House are punishing the bill’s author and delaying progress on HB 713 to teach him a lesson. Chairman Weldon has been a strong advocate of protecting the innocent in Georgia, but for whatever reason, his Committee is playing politics with women and children’s safety from sexual predators.
Whether or not rapists are allowed to sue their victims for parental rights over the children they forcibly conceived is not a game and shouldn’t be treated as such.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard:
The Personhood Amendment was sent to Chairman Willard’s Judiciary Committee early in the session. We immediately reached out about a hearing and were told we would indeed receive one. The subcommittee chairman asked us to coordinate with our constitutional attorney to ensure he would be present for the hearing, then the Amendment was abruptly moved to a less friendly subcommittee and then the hearing was written off altogether.
We also had the Human Embryo Protection Act in House Judiciary subcommittee and received a scheduled date for the bill to be heard. Chairman Willard is carrying a bill that GRTL opposes and the Embryo Protection Act’s hearing was cancelled the afternoon we testified against his bill. It’s worth noting that pro-abortion lobbyist John Walraven testified in favor of this bill.
This is the same Wendell Willard who killed Senator Josh McKoon’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act last year. Why is a Republican Committee Chairman stonewalling two of the biggest Georgia GOP issues?
That’s all for this week. If you have any questions, email Joshua at firstname.lastname@example.org or Johnny at email@example.com!
Joshua & Johnny