SACRAMENTO—On the steps of the California State Capitol over a thousand people gathered in the shadow of the building complex while several California Highway Patrol officers scanned the surroundings for potential threats under the cloudy skies.
“We are calling this a lobby day, not a protest,” Gina Gleason, director of Real Impact, a Christian activist organization, told The Epoch Times.
“’Protest’ is too aggressive for what we are doing.”
Many of those attending the rally had driven from Southern California, as well as flown into the Sacramento airport, to rally against the passing of Assembly Bill (AB) 2223.
State Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), who introduced the bill, said at an April 5 Judiciary Committee meeting that the bill is meant to prevent pregnant women from being prosecuted for terminating their pregnancy or losing their baby.
AB 2223 would prohibit holding a person—the mother or a health care provider—responsible for “miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death” of a baby based on “their actions or omissions” related to the pregnancy, according to the state legislative information website.
Although the bill doesn’t give a precise definition of “perinatal,” it commonly entails the time frame between 22 weeks of pregnancy and seven days after birth, according to the committee’s bill analysis.
“We’re talking about a bill that will not only terminate a child’s life, [but also] post-birth up to 30 days or longer,” Pastor Jack Hibbs, of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, told The Epoch Times. “The law, if passed, prevents an investigation or an autopsy on why the child died. It is literally unbelievable, and that’s why yesterday when I was being interviewed by news crews from Australia, England, and Germany, they could not believe it either.
“[Wicks’s bill] may be coming from the best intentions, but I am here to tell you in Sacramento that it is not only wrong, it is unlawful regarding our First Amendment, and most importantly, it is a violation of God’s word,” Hibbs said.
“God is a God of life. It’s evident that the things that we enjoy in life are beautiful and precious, and we preserve them; but that you’re assuming the position of God—that you have no right.”