LOMBARD - Thursday night, Illinois Right to Life Committee celebrated 45 years of promoting a pro-life culture in Illinois with a keynote from former Governor Mike Huckabee and recognition of several Illinois business owners standing against Obamacare's mandate they provide abortion in health care for their employees.
Governor Huckabee, who is considering a bid for president in 2016, spoke of America's abortion culture that conveys to mothers and fathers that life is expensive and inconvenient. He shared personal experiences as a Baptist pastor in Arkansas, counseling women who were filled with regret for their abortion.
Huckabee said women that aborted their unborn children were encouraged by the abortion industry to make a decision based on their pocketbooks, saying aborting their babies were financial, not moral, decisions. Making early life decisions based on finances is beginning to effect how people view the end of life as well, he said.
"This theme of teaching people that life is disposable at the beginning because of its inconvenience and expense is also being applied at the end of life," Huckabee told the audience.
Left to Right: Mr. Fred and Mrs. Toni Hartenbower, owners and founders of Hart Electric, Mr. William C. Lindsay, Managing Partner of Lindsay, Rappaport, & Postel LLC Law Firm, Mr. Chris and Mary Anne Yep, founders and owners of Triune Health Group, Dr. Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College.
In addition to Governor Huckabee's remarks, the 450 attending the dinner were introduced to business owners and organization leaders that are fighting the Obama Administration's HHS Mandate ruling.
This summer, the United States Supreme Court will issue a ruling on the HHS Mandate controversy determining whether businesses will be forced to fund the abortion industry by paying for abortion inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations. If the mandate stands, the business owners will be faced with two choices: pay ruinous fines to the government or provide their employees with healthcare that ends lives and disrespects women.
The owners of Hart Electric, Triune Health Group, Lindsay, Rappaport & Postel LLC Law Firm and the president of Wheaton College were recognized.
"These business leaders did something not all pro-life advocates are able to do: they put their businesses second behind their true pro-life values," said IRLC's new executive director Emily Zender. "We know they have sacrificed much in order to stand up for the voiceless unborn. Our state owes a great debt to them."
Emily Zender, a "twenty-something" graduate of Lake Forest College that previously worked at Chicago's Thomas More Society assisting with litigation, became the director of Illinois Right to Life last November. She spoke on the power of communities in Illinois when they work together.
"Illinois Right to Life's new education programs will bring together the best minds in the pro-life movement to create a step-by-step program on how individuals can turn their own towns pro-life," she told the attendees.