Austin Beigel & Mike Harding: End Abortion Now Ohio Update


This week Greg sat down with Austin Beigel & Mike Harding. Austin is the president of End Abortion Now Ohio and Mike is a Pastor and Author. His upcoming book "The Christian Response to Abortion" is due out later this year. They discussed the pro life abolition bills they are introducing in Ohio, how they will get them through committee, and what people in the state can do to fight the sweeping pro abortion referendum that is due to hit the ballot box next year. This was an important episode for life, and to stop the murder of pre born children. Contact for Austin Beigel: [email protected] Contact for Mike Harding: [email protected]


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I would like to introduce our two guests today. Let me pull it up here because we have some qualified people on the podcast today.
First gentleman is Austin Beigel. I think that's how we say the last name. If not, he will correct me.
Austin is a graduate of The Ohio State University, THE Ohio State University. I live in Michigan, so I understand you have to say
THE Ohio State University. He spent four years in the Army Reserves. He started working full -time in the pro -life movement and in The Ohio Republican Party in 2014, which led him to eventually become an abortion abolitionist.
He is now the president of End Abortion Now Ohio, which seeks the legal abolition of abortion in the state.
He lives in Central Ohio with his wife and two children, with one more on the way in August.
Austin, thanks for being here today. Thank you. Glad to be here. Also on the podcast, we have
Mike Harding, disciple of Christ, husband, father, pastor, in transition to his next ministry, reader of lots of books.
I like that. We have that in common. Author of 35 Days in Paul's Letter to the Philippian Church and currently writing
The Christian Response to Abortion, An Unapologetically Biblical Approach to Abolishing Pre -Born
Homicide. We'll definitely have him back on to talk about that book when it releases. It is Pastor Mike Harding.
How are you, Mike? I'm doing good. Listen, we were having a little bit of audio issues before we started.
I'm getting a little bit in my cans, but we are going to edit it in post, so let's just power through, guys, because what we're talking about is very important, and I want to get right into it.
Mike, you and I met, I think you were listening to the podcast. We've done some business together, and you started talking about how you were involved in abolition and End Abortion Now, and I said, oh yeah, we've had
Jeff and Luke on, and we're big supporters of that. We did some stuff with them here in Michigan when they were looking to put in an abortion mill right around the corner, actually, in my county commissioner district, so we've talked about the
Michigan stuff, but 85 % of the listeners of this podcast are in the Midwest, because I'm in the
Midwest, so I thought it would be important to have both of you guys kind of talk about what's been going on in Ohio.
We're in Temperance, Michigan, which is about three miles north of Toledo, Ohio, so my district, too, when
I ran for county commissioner, they all want to talk about what's going on in Toledo, because we're a bedroom community to Toledo, so I'm very interested in what's happening in Ohio as a border state to Michigan, and I'm sure listeners are as well, too.
Can one of you guys, maybe Austin, jump in, give us a kind of overview of what's been happening in Ohio and what
End Abortion Now's involvement is? Yeah, so Ohio is sadly on its track to looking a little bit like Michigan in the abortion battle.
Since Roe v. Wade was torn down last year and something else put in its place,
Dobbs, not much has changed in Ohio, really. The politicians have acted very slowly. We had a heartbeat bill we were sitting on for years, and so they somewhat tried to get that through, but it got tied up in the courts.
It's still just stuck in a court injunction, so as the law stands now, it's still what it was like pre -Roe, which is a 22 -week abortion ban.
Up until those 22 weeks, you can do abortion for any reason across the nine abortion clinics around the state, or of course the chemical pills, which are becoming increasingly more popular, especially as the regulations grow across the country.
Those aren't being addressed at all here, and so sitting on a heartbeat bill, just been a very slow -moving state, and then the pro -abortion side is putting in a ballot initiative for this
November to take away that 20 weeks until birth, so we're looking to defeat that, as well as we have now introduced our abortion abolition bill, which would do the opposite of what the pro -abortion amendment does, in which we are trying to abolish abortion entirely, grant personhood to the pre -born, and honor
God through our efforts in that. Yeah, absolutely, and Mike, can you explain a bit of your involvement?
I know you're also a resident of Ohio. How you came on to this project and with this organization?
Yeah, so really, End Abortion Ohio is fairly new. It's kind of a brainchild.
Austin and I were talking a while back, really, when did I first started talking with you,
Austin? It was a little over a year ago. June 22, yeah. Yeah, somewhere there, and we just realized that there wasn't a coordinated effort amongst abolitionists to actually put something forward, much less an organization, and that kind of developed over time and talking and then other influences there for Austin, but so we just,
I just began pushing him. I said, hey, I think you guys could start something up. As you mentioned in my bio,
I'm getting ready to be in transition, but really, I've been pushing and getting a bill going in the last, it's been about two years, we've been working with End Abortion Now, which is kind of more of a nationally organized group amongst the abolitionists, and so they helped us get our first bill there, but we couldn't find anybody with courage.
I mean, we initially had a representative, Darrell Kick, who said he was gonna sponsor the bill, gonna join us, and we had him even at our church for a night to abolish abortion, and then he walked back on that promise, and so we just kept knocking on doors and talking to legislators, and by God's grace, we have
Representative Bill Dean, who is bringing the bill forward, and he's convinced that this is what he needs to do, even though people are telling him he needs to slow walk it, and so I actually wasn't going to be at the meeting that we had with Representative Bill Dean, because I had a lot of stuff going on.
We're getting ready to move to Florida, so I was feeling kind of swamped, but then the guys were needing a pastor to be at the meeting, because we're convinced that the local church needs to be a part of this, needs to be the driving factor, and so that pastors need to lead in that way, and so I came kind of wondering, okay, is it gonna be another meeting that we get, you know, the same excuses, and we really didn't have to do a whole lot of convincing once we got into the meeting.
It's as if the Lord had been preparing him, and that's exactly what I prayed in the car before we went up. I said,
Lord, can we just like get one person who just, I know I'm asking for a lot, but just doesn't have any resistance to a biblical response to abortion, equal protection, and sure enough, our meeting with him.
So yeah, that's in short. Yeah, so let me throw this out to you guys and tell me if your experience is the same, because we're throwing around the word abolitionist as well, and we've had the guys from Free the
States on, and they actually did a couple hour live debate with some pro -life guys that I know, and there is kind of a distinction there.
Fifteen years ago, when I was working at our capital in Michigan, I didn't even know there was a word for it called abolition.
I grew up pro -life, and I just went, oh, I'm pro -life, but why are all these pro -lifers not understanding the logic of is abortion murder?
Yes, then let's outlaw it all the way and have criminal charges for anyone who performs it.
Well, we can't do that. We need to maybe limit it to eight weeks or heartbeat or 12 weeks. And years ago,
I wasn't understanding why I had so many within the pro -life movement that wanted to take very small incremental steps.
Now, years later, and after looking at guys like Free the States, Liberator Podcast, other abolitionists like you two, there is a pretty distinct difference between those in the upper echelons of pro -life.
And please don't mishear me. There are lots of God -fearing, believing Christians that want to do good in the pro -life movement, but at the same time,
I think they have a different tack. When you start getting up into the organizations, the board members, the
CEOs, they seem to want a incremental approach or maybe not even abolish it at all.
Now, I might be cynical, but from working at my state capital, I saw that a lot of the lobbyists in the pro -life movement don't want to lose those organization and those jobs.
A lot of money's coming through that. I've also realized that representatives, even in the Republican Party, that will stand up there and say,
I am pro -life, don't want to abolish it because then they can't run on it, raise money on it, things like that. Now, that's a little bit cynical of a view, but that's my experience.
So I'm not giving you an opinion. I'm giving you when I've sat down with state representatives, state senators, what they've told me.
So are you guys experiencing the same thing too? I'm glad that you have a representative that wants to introduce it, but that's the very first stage.
What I found is I can maybe find one guy or one gal that wants to introduce it. It's still got to get past committee.
You still got to talk to the floor leader and the speaker of the house, even in the rep side to even get it on the floor.
And most of the time, if those guys control the agenda of the bills hitting the floor. So you're at the beginning steps of this.
Have you had that type of pushback within the pro -life community or within pro -life elected representatives?
And two, what are the plans to move it out of committee and try to get it to the floor? Either one of you can answer that.
Yeah, there's, yeah, there's a few dynamics in play here. We are in the early stages in Ohio of just introducing this bill.
It hasn't even been publicly filed yet. We're hoping to do so in May. But what we're thankful for is that other states have come before us and God raised up faithful men and women in those states to give us a model of something we can point to.
So when we go into these legislative meetings, we can say, look how things have been disrupted in Oklahoma.
Look what just happened in Louisiana last year with their abolition bill. We need that here. Now, we're able to point to the urgency point to some of the impact that this whole debate about increments versus immediate or partiality versus equal protection.
Those discussions have been out there for years now. And so while it is a new concept in Ohio, it is helpful that we've seen other states do it.
But in this state, we're still facing the typical resistance like you're talking about. It's a lot of people who are comfortable where they're at.
They've had this model of running on the pro -life issue for decades now. And to just disrupt that completely is something uncomfortable.
It puts a target on their back. It can shorten their desired political career.
And so you do have people that are good actors and bad actors, just like any job or industry.
But there's a lot of challenges like you're talking about. Your experiences are very real. And we've seen that in Ohio as well.
Yeah. And just tagging on to what Austin's saying, I think a large part of that is under -discipleship for believers within the church.
Because I do believe by and far that solid churches have people that want to see abortion ended.
They just don't have the understanding of this is how we're to do it from Scripture.
And so I think we as abolitionists, though, on kind of a flip side, even though there is this distinction,
I think sometimes we can be a little bit cage stagey, as we would say with Calvinism, guys get cage stagey and they're not willing to let people come along.
And so sometimes it takes a while for the information to really resonate with somebody who's maybe been in a pro -life industry.
Austin can speak for this for sure. But it takes some time for the fruit to be shown that the person's understanding the biblical arguments.
And so I would say our approach here in Ohio has been really understanding that.
And so even if we come upon somebody who's pro -life in industry, educated and is spouting off all the things we've heard a million times before, we still try to have patience with that person and share with them.
If you claim the name of Christ, there is a biblical response. It's no longer this,
I'm an abolitionist first and foremost. It's first and foremost, I'm a Christian who happens to be an abolitionist because I see that as the biblical response to abortion.
And so just reframing it as the biblical response to abortion, I think is going to go a long ways.
Yeah, I actually got kicked out of a pro -life meeting in Lansing about 12 years ago, because I just said they were arguing for a heartbeat bill and I was arguing for abolition.
And I just said, OK, so you guys would have been against the Civil War. You'd have been like, hey, hold up. No, let's incrementally do this.
You can have slaves until they're 18. And then after that, they're legal adults and then set them free.
So we had something illegal that was illegal, that was immoral. And you guys wouldn't have been in favor of complete abolition or the
Civil War. And they said, yeah, we don't need that kind of rhetoric here. Kindly see your way out.
So I was kind of, you know, I was trying to be nice about it. I was trying to put it in front of their faces. There really is only one way,
Mike, like you said, biblically, and that's the complete abolition of this atrocity.
My concern is, well, not I'll go positive on this. I have seen a growing number of pro -lifers starting to take, especially with the overturning of Roe v.
Wade, starting to take that abolition stance because they even see politically what happened with Roe v.
Wade. I was a big ignore Roe guy for years and years just because it was a bad ruling.
It's an interpretation of a law. It is not not a law. Civics class in eighth grade will teach you what the
Supreme Court does. They don't create law. They interpret it. Each state and under the 14th Amendment, each state had its rights to do what it needed to do.
Now we just see they overturned a bad ruling and each state is doing what they want anyway. So we lost 30 to 40 years within the pro -life movement by saying, well, you know,
Roe v. Wade, we really can't do anything. When now the side of the aisle that supports the murdering of children have clearly been using that tactic of saying, well, let's go to states rights and let's make extreme laws that support murder.
So that's what we're up against. And I know you guys are up against it as well, too. How do you see in Ohio this this panning out?
Are we going to try to get something to the floor or out of committee before the referendum? And can either one of you speak a little bit more on what that referendum is?
Because we just had in Michigan Prop 3 pass, which is a constitutional amendment that allows you to murder your child up to the second before birth.
You're allowed to castrate a minor without parental consent as long as they go to a schoolteacher, counselor or therapist.
So we have one of we have the most extreme abortion law in the United States right now that is now in our constitution, enshrined in the
Bill of Rights of the state constitution. Is that what's happening in Ohio? Are they looking to do something like that?
And would your bill try to make it to the floor before that? What do you guys think? Yes, they're trying to do the same exact thing here.
Their pro -abortion coalition in Ohio announced that they're using
Michigan as a model in Ohio, and they formed the same language for the this constitutional rewrite.
Basically, in Ohio, it's just 50 % plus one majority vote. So it's just going to be general population in November comes together and decides what they want.
Do we want abortion until birth or do we want to keep the status quo? So, yes, with our bill, we are absolutely trying to move this thing as fast as possible.
Of course, we want it to pass immediately as well. But it's just as important to reframe the conversation here and point to the urgency of this issue.
What we hear from the Republican Party is that they want to take it slow and only play defense to defeat this referendum.
Their commercials, they've spent five million dollars talking about parental rights in regards to abortion.
They formed Protect Women Ohio instead of talking about the baby. Their messaging is secular.
It does not look to scripture first. It does not honor God. And ultimately, it's going to be ineffective to address the heart, which is ultimately where the abortion issue lies inside the person.
And so our bill opens up with the line created in the image of God, the free born or human beings.
And so this is the reframing of the debate where we need to point this issue to scripture, put God first, get him in the conversation.
This is not a secular issue. There's no such thing as a secular issue in general, and certainly not when it comes to pre -born homicide.
And so, yes, we're trying to move this bill as fast as possible. We are absolutely causing waves with this bill and the
Republican Party and the pro -life organizations. They're a little antsy with this thing. They don't necessarily know what to do with the bill at this point.
And it remains to be seen who exactly is going to come out and oppose it as we're still in the early stages.
But getting into the summary, yes, we're expecting a lot of news on this front.
And it's going to make some waves. Yeah, so I'll just read you the first section.
It's really short to the point. And Austin quoted part of it. But be it enacted by the
General Assembly of the state of Ohio, the purpose of this bill is acknowledging the sanctity of innocent human life created in the image of God, which should be equally protected from the beginning of biological development to natural death.
The purpose of this act is to follow the Constitution of the United States, which requires that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws to fulfill such constitutional requirement by protecting the lives of pre -born persons with the same criminal and civil laws protecting the lives of born persons by repealing provisions that permit willful prenatal homicide or assault.
And then this part, I think, is huge and people are missing it. We want to protect women. This is this is the way to do it, to protect pregnant mothers from being pressured to abort by repealing provisions that may otherwise allow a person to direct, advise, encourage or solicit a mother to abort her child, to ensure that all persons potentially subject to such laws are entitled to due process protections and therefore to abolish abortion in this state.
It's not hard. When we're looking at a bill to abolish abortion, what we're saying by using the term abolish is that we want to take something that at one point was legally
OK and to completely rewrite that to say it's no longer legally
OK. And in reality, according to the Constitution, which is the law of the land of the United States, it's never been
OK to murder a person. And so we're just saying the preborn baby is a person and they deserve equal protection of the laws.
And thus, it necessarily concludes that they deserve equal justice, which means that anybody culpable, as you were saying, for the murder of the preborn person deserves to receive the penalty that would otherwise be applied for murder of a born person.
It's that simple. Yeah, I was talking to someone who's on that side of of being pro murder and they said, boy, you're pretty extreme.
I said, well, I'm biblical constitutional. I think I have a logical and philosophical argument as well.
You don't have any of those. She said, well, what if what if the boyfriend convinces the woman to, you know, to get an abortion?
And I said, cool, charge him as an accessory as well. And she was kind of taken aback. Like I would have said something like, oh, well, no, it's all the woman's fault.
It's like, well, they can both be charged because I can be charged with an accessory to a crime. And if I'm convincing someone so she she was taken aback a little bit by in in my justness of being extreme.
And I said, oh, no, I'm I'm for anyone who commits murder, including myself, to be, you know, rightly tried and and put before a judge and seen justice done.
And I'm sure I feel like you two are probably on that same page. But for those listening, if they want to get involved or if they go, yeah, we need
I live in Ohio. Let's say they're listening and they live in Ohio. What are the next step for them to either get involved, support or what can they do even, you know, as they sit in their office or driving in their car right now or at work?
What are some steps they can take? Yeah, you can honestly reach out to me personally.
Send me an email at Austin at EndAbortionOhio .com I'd love to have a conversation with you and and like actually get you involved for real and giving you step by step instructions on what to do in general.
You know, we need people going to their churches, like getting your pastor involved in this and saying, hey, I'm really convicted about this issue.
What can I do in my church? This is number one is this movement in Ohio has to be church driven, church led.
So getting your church involved and then you getting involved personally as well. Call up your own representative, your own senator, schedule a meeting with them, reach out to us and we'll help you do that and everything.
You can come. We'll come with you. And when you meet with your representative, I'll go in that office with you and we could talk to him together.
It's great to have one of their constituents in the room as well. And so we can also reach out to the representative who has agreed to take our bill forward and file it to Representative Bill Dean, search
Ohio Representative Bill Dean. You'll get to his contact page. You can contact him anyway. You want his email, his phone number.
You can write him a handwritten letter as well. But reach out to me as well. Austin and AbortionOhio .com.
Awesome. Guys, as we wrap this up here, I know this is a serious issue.
I know you guys have been fighting. You're in the trenches, you know, fighting these type of philosophical and evil sins and things like that.
I really appreciate you taking out a few minutes of your time today to explain to the listeners what's going on in Ohio.
And guys, for those listening, this isn't just happening in Ohio or Michigan just because we're located in the
Midwest. This podcast goes to all 50 states. And as I'm sure Austin and Mike can tell you, there are many, many states that are going through this process right now, whether it be to outlaw murder or to absolutely condone it and support it.
So if you do live in Ohio or even another state, Austin, would it be too forward for me to say that they could even reach out to you so you can get them in touch with maybe an organization in their state or something like that?
Do you have that type of access? Yes, absolutely. I've got a good network of abolitionist organizations across the country, and the reality is they're trying to use
Ohio as a model right now. So if this thing does succeed in Ohio, it's coming to your state next.
They're trying to make Ohio the poster child. They used Michigan as like the test state.
So if we can do Michigan, let's try it in this red state of Ohio. And they sent it a few miles southeast.
And here we are fighting the same thing. And if they get it done here, it's coming to your state next. It's going to the most conservative states.
The way they've modeled the language in these constitutional rewrites, it's tricky. They make it all about doctor's rights and viability, and it's the physician's expertise that will just be involved.
They blanket this language under trickery and sin and deception. And so you need to be preparing your state for this battle as well and also just start attacking preemptively by getting your abolition bill filed as well.
And so we would love to get you connected with an abolitionist organization in your state and get you plugged in with how to get that bill moving forward where you live as well.
Awesome. And Mike, as we wrap up here, what's your timeline on your book, Christian Response to Abortion?
I know you and I have talked about it offline. I'm very excited to see this come to bookstores and Amazon and all those places because they're really we've been in a funk as believers of how to the actual
Christian response to abortion. And I think this book is needed. Can you just give us like a little one, two minute update on when you think that's going to be coming to market?
Yeah, so right now we're in the editing phase and then I'm having to tell myself I can't write anymore because I'll never finish it if I keep adding to it.
So walking through and making sure that everything's accurate and then pretty much within the next,
I would say, two months, we'll be ready to publish and then it'll be out there. So it's we were hoping to get it out faster.
But as is the case with any project, there's often things that you realize, oh,
I have to actually state this this way, otherwise it won't get published or, you know, all the technicalities and things of that nature.
But we are. Yeah, we're close. So the idea is to keep it short. So it'll be under 140 pages because I want it to be a resource for individuals within the church.
But I also want it to be something that legislators will pick up if they claim the name of Christ, if Jesus truly is
Lord, they'll look at it, they'll be able to sit down and read it. It's not written at an academic level.
It's written intentionally so that every Christian can pick this up and understand that the
Bible is very clear in our response and that we're to use equal weights and measures and how we go about things.
And and we for the last, you know, 50 years have been not doing that.
We've been doing exactly the opposite. And honestly, within the last it's only been within the last 100 years that we've gotten confused.
I trace back the history. I even have a chapter that goes up to the first 400 years looking at how
Christians have responded to abortion and infanticide.
And it has always been that those culpable should be punished. So we've just gotten confused with because of compromise over the years in what this is.
And I would say bad theology in churches that leads people to have a small view of God. But we'll leave it there.
Yeah, that's a whole nother episode. But anytime you guys want to come back on and talk about it, whether it's something outside of the bill or even if we need an update later on in the year,
I'd love to have you guys back on. All right, before we get out of here, can both of you just throw out your contact info in your social media accounts if you want anyone to contact you there?
And I'll make sure we link this all up when this episode goes live. Austin? Yeah, you can get to our website at endabortionohio .com,
reach out to me personally, Austin, at endabortionohio .com. And Mike?
So right now, since I'm in transition, my email will be changing, but you can still reach me through this email.
But it's pastor at regenerationchurchohio .org. And then if you just go to regenerationchurchohio .org,
you can still see sermons and daily devotionals that are being posted until we get all that closed out and the transitions made.
Then I'll have a new email. But still behind the curve on getting all that squared away. Yeah. Well, guys, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy days to be on the podcast.
Talk about this very important issue. And listeners, we will keep you guys updated along the way.
I'll stay in contact with both these guys if they need to come back on later in the year so we can get an update. I think this is very important.
We've done political stuff on the show with Michigan and other states as well. You know, we talk about theology, politics, culture, doctrine, all those things on this podcast.
And this is one of those things that is extremely important over the next five, eight, ten years as we fight these battles in different states.
So, Austin, Mike, I appreciate you guys coming on and I pray for the best as we go through all the processes that we need to do in Ohio.
I hope we don't have Ohio turnout like Michigan. Obviously, we're doing some stuff behind the scenes to try to fight the constitutional amendment.
It's an uphill battle, but you can be praying for us up here in Michigan as well, too. So thank you so much for being on, guys.
I'm glad to be here. Awesome, guys. Thanks so much for listening to another episode of Dead Man Walking podcast.
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