Interior Right to Life held a Life and Freedom Conference in Fairbanks this past October. The featured speaker, Matthew Trewhella (founder of Missionaries to the Pre-Born) explained how to defend unalienable rights at all levels, including some little-understood tools for those in local authority.

Trewhella said officers must stand between their people and any unlawful policy which endangers a God-given right. In other words, administrators like sheriffs, school board members, and postmasters and others interpose themselves between the powers that be and the people (to whom they truly answer, though the power structure seems upside-down just now. These public officers safeguard the peoples’ rights from any infringement. He described this as the doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate, calling leaders at all levels to exercise their duty to uphold the rights of the people.

Trewhella lives and preaches in Wisconsin and presents widely, having finished a tour of Ireland just before his visit to Alaska. Pat Martin, the director of Alaska Right To Life, spoke more specifically about the supposed “right to abortion” in the Alaska Constitution. No such right exists, Martin clarified, urging the audience to share this truth with friends and neighbors as well as take to the sidewalk to engage with the vulnerable members of our community, those on the edge, who feel they have no choice but to end pregnancy. These women and men need to know that life is just as real and precious inside the womb as outside it.

Martin’s words reminded me of one Friday afternoon, several years before Roe V. Wade was overturned. I remember walking back and forth in front of an abortion center in Fairbanks, holding a sign to protest the murders I knew were being committed inside.

People on the road honked, or shook their heads, and I waved, or smiled, praying all the while.

“Get a job!” yelled someone from a passing car.

“I do have a job,” I thought, “and you’d be surprised to know what it is.”

The copied cells are built into an embryo after a highly ordered, consistent pattern, unlike the uncontrolled growth of a tumor, which is a true example of “a lump of tissue” rather than a developing baby.

I was fresh off a shift as a clinical laboratory assistant in the local hospital, just down the street. My degree in biological sciences qualified me for that position, and two or three years earlier, I had discovered the truth about when life begins.

It was during a developmental biology lecture in my second year of college. Science shows what the Bible has told us from the beginning, that when men and women come together, they “become one flesh.” How can this be? They – or rather, their reproductive cells – become half of what they used to be (the textbook term for this division is “meiosis”), so that one half of mom plus one half of dad equal one completely distinct whole.

Not only do the two half cells unite, but their genetic codes also mix with one another in a complex genetic recombination, like mixing blue and yellow paint to get green. When does this happen? At conception, no later. The child is evidence of their union, and at no point is he or she “just a lump of tissue.”

Immediately after the cells merge and mix, they begin the process of mitosis, where they divide into exact copies of themselves. The copied cells are built into an embryo after a highly ordered, consistent pattern, unlike the uncontrolled growth of a tumor, which is a true example of “a lump of tissue” rather than a developing baby.

No ruler can legitimately infringe upon our rights, and it is right for us to stop them from doing so.

In fact, at the earliest stages of our development, our cells are the healthiest and most perfect – how much more “alive” could we be than that? Not only is the genetic code as correct as it will ever be, but our earliest cells also have unrivaled potential to become any structure of the body.

In that same developmental biology class, I learned that scientists had broken apart an early sea urchin embryo, then exposed the cells of that embryo to the ingredients needed for bone growth in those animals. I vividly remember my wonder at what I heard next: my professor told us that the cells had arranged themselves into skeletal structures called spicules. I can’t be sure of the paper she cited, but in 1982 Gilbert Mintz and William Lennarz published a study in the journal Cell Differentiation titled, “Spicule Formation by Cultured Embryonic Stem Cells From the Sea Urchin,” which describes related findings.

 It took time for the implications to sink in. When they did, the notion I’d had – that an early embryo has less potential for life and growth than one at a later stage – fell to pieces.

No later than the moment of fertilization, we begin to exercise our God-given right to life. I was blessed to do so without outside threat.

You and I have a duty to protect each other’s rights in any way we can, and to recognize them for the precious gift they are. No ruler can legitimately infringe upon our rights, and it is right for us to stop them from doing so.


First, we must speak up on behalf of those who cannot assert their own rights. The prophet Isaiah wrote that God’s will for us is to “relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17), and we must protect the vulnerable, just as we hope someone would stand up for us if we were in their place.

Secondly, those of us in authority over others must protect their rights. The Apostle Paul wrote of that a ruler “is the minister of God to thee for good.” Anyone in authority ought to serve and seek out the best for those under his care, but also “…he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4). Rather than hide behind statutes, rulers who obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29) will bring murderers to justice.

Lastly, we who believe must appeal to God as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to protect his own precious children. He longs for us to come to him, to recognize his watchful care over us.

We must put on the whole armor of God and stand against the darkness of this world, stirring one another up to love and good works. God has already won the war, and we can witness his victory in this and other battles as we continue in the faith.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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OPINION: Alaskans at all levels of authority have a duty to protect pre-born babies

Kate LeCain
Kate LeCain is a pro-life advocate and resident of Fairbanks, Alaska.


  • Soldotnan says:

    The doctrine of the “Lesser Magistrate” is described in great detail in the Magdeburg Confession of 1550. The duty of those in even limited positions of authority to exercise that authority in accordance with their Christian consciences surpasses any contrary requirements of any temporal authority above them. A more complete description of the confession here:

  • Lobo says:

    The nests, body parts, and EGGS (Preborn) of Bald Eagles are protected by federal law(s), .. (including the eggs of ( “preborn” )

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    Trump’s three Supreme Court appointees swore up and down that Roe v. Wade was “precedent” and “settled law,” blah blah blah. THEN, as soon as they had the opportunity, they overturned it. And NOW look what a mess we’re left with.

    There are many women who would never choose to have an abortion, maybe even publicly describing themselves as “pro-life” ….. who nevertheless were made just a bit discomfited by the Dobbs decision, because suddenly women in red states found themselves losing a BIG measure of their self-determination in ways that men simply have no frame of reference for. After all, since when have female lawmakers legislated against MEN’S reproductive choices?

    Recently Ohio became only the SEVENTH state that the anti-abortion people have lost when the issue was put to a popular vote. Is this the hill Republicans want to die on?

    • Douglas says:

      Chuck, according to the United Nations, deliberate planning and killing of unborn children falls within the definition of genocide. Behold: Article II of the United Nations agreement on the definition of “genocide.” “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (1) Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (2) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (3) IMPOSING MEASURES INTENDED TO PREVENT BIRTHS within the group; (4) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” Thus Chuck, voluntary and/ or forced measures taken to kill unborn babies is genocide. Unfortunately, the hypocritical UN chooses to not decry this global atrocity…nor do you.

      • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

        A fertilized egg isn’t a person. Get over it.

      • Clark says:

        Douglas, Chuck has easily debunked your opinion with scientific facts. A fertilized egg is not a person. It is not a human being. According to many religions(including Christianity) A fetus doesn’t even have a soul until after birth. You mention heartbeats…but you fail to mention that a fetal heart is neither shaped like a developed heart, nor does it function the same. A fetus’ body is ‘shaped like’ a human by 13 weeks. But you are far from correct that their body is fully formed. Also you are completely ignoring the real -life context that in MOST of these abortions that occur each year, there are explicit conditions involved that either risk the mothers life, or indicate a non-viable pregnancy. A hundred thousand ectopic pregnancies happen every year in the USA. 0% of those fetuses can be born as human babies. But you advocate for forcing women to carry them at the risk to their own lives and to possibly becoming sterile. You want to force young girls to bear their rapist’s babies? To allow those same rapists to insinuate themselves into the lives of their victims because they now have parental rights and the right to visitation/custody etc? Only a monster could support such things.

    • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      A fertilized egg isn’t a person. Get over it.

      • Douglas says:

        Quite the ignorant reply Chuck. Due to wait time to determine if a woman’s monthly cycle occurs, 4 weeks will pass, then a test, then a decision to abort or not. So, 100% of RU-486 pill (mifepristone combined with misoprostol) or surgical abortions occur after 5 weeks of gestation. BY SIX WEEKS there is a heartbeat as well as many other major and complex biological and neurological developments, to include the ability to sense danger (such as with a suction tube used to dismember body parts while the unborn baby is alive) and respond to danger by attempting to avoid harm. In 2020, 93% of abortions occurred during the first trimester – that is, at or before 13 weeks of gestation, according to the CDC (so 6-13 weeks which is during heartbeat and near full body development). An additional 6% occurred between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 1% were performed at 21 weeks or more of gestation. Chuck, your response not only shows your clear lack of understanding about how YOU became a living human, but it also shows your poor choice in deciding to go public with your ignorance.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    It’s odd Kate that your summation comments reflect victory while the main reflection of the article is an acknowledgement that we’re continuing to lose in this fight! On the surface this makes no sense and I’m a Christian, 40 years plus. Please explain.

  • Douglas says:

    CLARK, interesting how you use the term “fetus” which is Latin for little baby. You support denial of personhood to unborn babies because it denies a woman of personal autonomy. A human life may be considered a human person at fertilization. On the other hand, others attribute personhood once the physical appearance of a fetus resembles the mature human form at about week 9 of gestation during embryogenesis. Alternatively, a human being may come to be a person when the central nervous system is developed and organs are functioning, or at a point where vital functions, such as breathing and kidney filtration, are established or can be maintained by mechanical equipment at about twenty-six weeks gestation (Moore 1988). The earliest baby born was in 2014 in TX at 21 weeks The child is still living today). FACT: MOST abortions never involve risk to the mother; instead it is a life choice of inconvenience (read stats from NIH, CDC, UK, EU). FACT: Less than 1% of abortion are due to rape and incest…and the baby resulting from it is certainly innocent of the event, but you would rather the baby be murdered (a worse crime than rape), than the child be adopted (I have 20 years education/ experience with foster care/ adoption domestically and internationally). Never do fetus murdering activists ever speak of capital punishment for the rapist (only the innocent baby). And, no court of law will ever permit a rapist parental rights you fool. Many adoptions occur as a result of rape and they are closed adoptions (the rapist cannot know who adopted the child, period!). AGAIN FACT: Ectopic pregnancies are an exception biologically because development will not occur, but this only is 1-2% (not your inaccurate “hundred of thousands” see NIH, UK, EU). The Pro Fetus murder/ genocide group to which you belong always seems to strawman the debate solely to religion, yet this genocide falls well within moral, philosophical, and bio-ethical secular grounds. FACT: Human life begins at fertilization as a unique code of DNA (never existed before and never will again naturally) developing and growing systematically in a complex ORDERED process (not by chance or haphazard) and no scientist or medical doctor refutes…none…zippo! Your heart beat info is horribly false (size and shape matters not…neurological development does, which is far along at this stage), since clear ultrasound tubular suction abortion videos (eg see show a traumatized fetus desperate to escape dismemberment (you clearly have not seen it or you’d write less cold and baseless remarks). CLARK, very poor attempt, and you’re emotionally misleading remarks mimic CHUCK above. Try attempting some research on the history of Planned Parenthood and its eugenics of Margaret Sanger, as well as watching videos of actual abortions in hopes of softening for cold heart, and do better at providing real facts on the biological aspects of human growth inn the womb and the relevant truths surrounding the selfish decisions of women who choose to kill their baby sole on grounds of inconvenience (96-98% of abortions).

  • Douglas says:

    CLARK, regarding another point you incorrectly make, the Bible clearly states the contrary. Today, there is the “at-birth view” most often found among pro-abortion secular humanists and Christians. Interestingly, CLARK you mention “soul” (supporting a biblical position) in your argument, but reject and oppose pro-life Christian biblical facts (debate 101: you cannot have it both ways). You have not read the Bible much it appears, The Bible is clear that a child is human and a person before birth. When Mary’s greeting reached Elizabeth’s ears in Luke 1, the unborn John the Baptist “leapt for joy” in his mother’s womb (1:44). How could an unborn child responds to voice with joy if the Fetus did not have a soul to respond? We are also told that he was “filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb” (1:15). The UNBORN John the Baptist is also described as a BREPHOS (Luke 1:41, 44), which is Greek meaning “a babe, an infant, a newborn child.” These indicate the humanity and personhood of the unborn John the Baptist, who was then in the third trimester (1:36–40). The Bible also speaks in Jeremiah where God says, “I knew you before you were formed in the womb,” which indicates the Hebrew interpretation here as not merely of intellectual knowledge, such as with thinking about or pondering about, but a spiritual and intimate relationship. CLARK, please prepare better your spiritual references by, at least, opening the Bible and reading about the “soul” and God’s ownership of it before birth, during life on earth, and after death of the body.