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Kentucky AG to Heartbeat Conference: New commitment needed to “cycles of life” in post-Dobbs era

by | May 2, 2023

By Karen Ingle

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the 2023 Heartbeat International Pregnancy Help Conference
Photo: Lisa Bourne

“First, every life deserves to live. And second, every mother deserves to be loved,” Daniel Cameron, Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, said Wednesday.

Cameron, an active champion of pro-life legislation locally and nationally, presented the keynote address that officially opened the 2023 Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Louisville, Ky. Heartbeat’s 52nd pregnancy help conference had  the theme of “Breakthrough,” with a special nod to pregnancy help following the Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Speaking to the crowd of over 1,000 pregnancy help workers, Cameron said, “We now live in…the Dobbs era. And a new era requires a renewed commitment from all of us.” He added, “We must commit to the notion that every mother and family deserves to be loved. We must commit the same energy and devotion that for the last 50 years we’ve dedicated to protecting the unborn babies.”

“Not only because of the work of our office, but because of the work of so many of you here in this room, a culture of life is evident. A culture of life is palpable,” he said.

Cameron praised pregnancy centers responsible for bringing ultrasound into widespread use to “reveal the truth… that a child’s story has begun well before a child is born.” 

He also said his team finds encouragement in a local news report, posted around their office,that Kentucky’s largest abortion provider canceled all 20 of its appointments the day the Dobbs decision came down. 

Further, he said, all abortion facilities in the Commonwealth have been shuttered “indefinitely.”

But victories like these are only part of creating a culture of life.

Even Kentucky’s first 16 Baby Boxes—safe places to anonymously leave newborns—come with a downside, Cameron noted. 

Cameron with Kentucky pregnancy help centers
Photo: Lisa Bourne

“It is a double-edged sword,” he said. “Of course, we are excited a baby was placed in a box, but I know there’s a mother out there having what could be considered the worst day of her life.”

“We must continue to advance and advocate for legislation that stands up for not only babies who cannot speak up and stand up for themselves,” Cameron said. “But let us also open our hearts and extend our arms towards those who feel forgotten. Those who think they have no options and no support. Let’s give them real life-affirming options and care. Let’s staff up our adoption agencies, connect those who seek a family with the children who need one. And pray. Pray often for the families that are experiencing distressing decisions.”

Cycles of life

Cameron shared the story of Crystal York Brown, whose own life illustrates the ripple effect of a culture of life. 

Pregnant as a result of violent sexual assault, Crystal’s mother considered aborting her due to tremendous emotional and financial distress. But she chose life instead. Years later, when Crystal’s teenage daughter became pregnant out of wedlock, she made the same life-affirming decision her grandmother did.

“Society is so often quick to talk about the cycles of violence that occur in our country, but we need to also be talking about the cycles of life that are occurring daily in this country,” Cameron said. “This is what the power of choosing life looks like. And again, this is why breakthrough is needed.”

Cameron himself fights on the frontlines for that life-affirming breakthrough. 

Alongside almost two dozen other attorneys general, he has successfully pushed back against Yelp’s discriminatory labeling of pregnancy centers and called upon the Department of Justice to take action on pro-abortion terrorism against pregnancy centers. On behalf of lives at risk in his own state, Cameron fought all the way to the Supreme Court for the right to defend his state’s ban on dismemberment abortions, a “barbaric” practice, he told the conference crowd, that has “no place in a just and humane society.”

He challenged the conference attendees to resist responding to opponents’ hurtful attacks in kind. 

“Let us show them the love of Christ in our response,” he said. 

“Empathy and understanding should govern our reactions just as they govern our relationships with families in crisis,” Cameron said. “If we do this, if we meet this commitment, we will bind up the wounds Roe has caused, and help heal those who carry the scars from that misguided ruling.”

Heartbeat’s Conference ran from April 24-26.

Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.