The Senate has rejected a bill that would have banned late-term abortions beyond 20 weeks’ (about five months’) gestation. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which most Americans support, received a hard “no” from 14 self-proclaimed Catholic senators, on whom the bill’s failure ultimately rests.
Aside from ignoring the values of their constituents, the senators who voted against the 20-week ban delivered a big slap in the face to people like Officer Ryan Holets, an Albuquerque policeman who went to great lengths to offer one unborn child the kind of protection that our nation’s laws do not.
The night after the bill was shot down, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address, during which he honored Officer Holets. I watched as the camera panned to Holets and his wife, Rebecca, who took a brief break from nursing their 2-month-old baby to stand while the president shared their remarkable story.
Last September, Officer Holets and a fellow officer were responding to a routine call regarding a convenience store theft when they came across a homeless couple shooting up heroin in a nearby field. The woman was clearly pregnant.
“Are you pregnant? Why are you doing that stuff?” Holets asked the woman, according to footage taken on his lapel camera. “You are going to kill your baby.”
Holets didn’t arrest the couple. Instead, he and his wife fed them, helped pay for housing, and discussed their plan for the pregnancy moving forward. When the soon-to-be mother said that she wanted to place her baby up for adoption, Ryan and Rebecca, who had four young children of their own, volunteered to be the adoptive parents.
Their precious baby girl, “Hope,” was born in December.
As I’ve noted before, proponents of abortion peddle an ideology of despair, which holds that certain circumstances (e.g. rape, poverty, addiction, career) necessitate the taking of a life. The pro-choice camp often portrays abortion as responsible, humane, and courageous. According to this reasoning, Hope Holets’s biological mother would have been a prime candidate for an abortion.
But Ryan and Rebecca Holets resisted the lie of despair. A beautiful little girl is alive today because they chose hope instead.
And they likely saved more lives. Speaking to CNN this week, Ryan Holets revealed that Hope’s parents, Crystal Champ and Tom Key, are 40 days sober.
Hope Holets’s story is a testament to the undeniable truth that every life is valuable. Abortion is never the best or the only option for a mother, no matter how desperate the situation.
Senators like Tim Kaine, Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Dick Durbin committed a gutless, wicked act when they cast their votes Monday night. They voted against women, against Church teaching, and ultimately, against hope itself. May they repent of their sin, but until then, may they be anathema.
God bless the Holets family and all those who faithfully persevere against a culture of death and despair. I pray that one day our elected legislators, especially those who embrace the title “Catholic,” will follow their lead.