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Rep. John Bear: ‘Hope’ will stop abortion

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Photo by Mary Stroka/NLJ Weston County Right to Life Co-Chair Mick Bohn made some brief remarks to the record-breaking number of attendees of the organization’s banquet, which took place on June 5 at the Weston County Senior Services center.
Mary Stroka, NLJ Reporter

At this year’s Weston County Right to Life of Wyoming Chapter banquet, guest speaker Wyoming State Rep. John Bear called for a “revival.”

People are moving away from looking to churches and pastors for support, toward looking to the government for a solution, he said at the event, which took place on June 5 at the Weston County Senior Citizen Center. At churches, people who went for help heard the Gospel and prayed.

“You’re not going to get that if it’s a government solution, and that’s a problem, folks,” he said. “It’s creating a never-ending cycle of worse and worse situations.”

Bear spoke about his son, Taylor, who died by suicide in 2011. Taylor was a student body president, a three-time Wyoming state champion and someone who had counseled others to not die by suicide, John said. John and his wife, Sage, concluded that Taylor’s suicide was a result of spiritual warfare. John and Sage helped with suicide awareness and prevention initiatives after Taylor’s death. He took a training that Wyoming public school teachers take and found it lacking.

“It says a lot of nice things, but there’s no concrete reason for hope,” John said. “And you can’t give it, just like in our welfare system. We’re not holding people accountable, and we’re not sharing the Gospel with them, so we don’t give them a way to get out of those situations. Government is rarely the solution to our problems.”

Suicide and assisted suicide aren’t the only ways people are “checking out,” John said. People are engaging in drugs, pornography, sex trafficking, human trafficking and excessive video gaming. Compared with past centuries, it’s “pretty easy to get by.” Most Americans are overweight.

“I think that we as a nation have forgotten who created us and who brought us here and who gave us purpose in life,” John said.

During the American Revolution and the Civil War, there was a lack of unity regarding whether the country should be under British rule and whether slavery was moral, John said. Now, it’s hard to find someone who believes either of those things. John said that people should be looking for moral clarity, not unity. He noted that 1 Peter 3:15 tells Christians that they should always be prepared to give a reason for their hope and that many people who are “checked out” don’t have hope.

“It is hope that will end suicide. It is hope that will end euthanasia. It is hope that will get people to understand the need to protect the unborn, and that’s where we need to be, folks,” he said. “So we have to fight for Wyoming, because it’s America’s last hope.”

Wyoming House District 2 Rep. Allen Slagle gave an overview of recent legislation regarding abortion and called for the “unretention” of Wyoming 9th Judicial District Court Judge Melissa Owens, in Teton County, whom Gov. Mark Gordon appointed in 2021. Owens twice blocked the Wyoming Legislature’s abortion ban bills by placing temporary restraining orders against House Bill 92 in 2022 and HB 152 and Senate File 109 in 2023. This year, Owens sent the Wyoming Supreme Court 14 questions to answer regarding whether the state’s bans on abortion and medical abortion are constitutional. The state’s high court declined to answer them, saying that Owens did not provide enough information to answer a couple of the questions.

People who attended the event prayed for the ministry of Gabriel Project of Wyoming, a nonprofit that distributes diapers and wipes across the state to families in need and helps connect recipients with local services.

The organization was incorporated in January 2023, according to founder Shannon Moodry, who spoke at the event. Moodry said the organization has received enough donations at this point that they currently don’t ask diaper recipients to show them that their income is “so low” that they need the organization to help them have diapers for their children.

Gabriel Vice President Gail Lasham said at the event that the organization’s clients include married parents, single parents, foster families, grandparents caring for grandchildren, and teenage mothers. The organization offers them diapers, wipes and pullups, and the organization only requires recipients to provide their name, address, driver’s license number, number of children and ages of children in the home and whether there is a veteran in the home. The organization has monthly distributions in Gillette and Wright.

Weston County Right to Life of Wyoming Chapter co-chair Mick Bohn, the pastor of Foursquare Lighthouse in Newcastle, said the event was “superb” and had a record turnout, with 104 people in attendance. He invited people who are pro-life to join the group for quarterly meetings in the Cambria Room of the Weston County Senior Citizen Center, 627 Pine St., Newcastle. The group discusses upcoming events, such as billboards to advertise against abortion. The next meeting is at 6 p.m. on June 25.

Moodry said after the event that Right to Life gave Gabriel Project of Wyoming $500 to buy diapers. Gabriel Project will organize a diaper distribution in Newcastle sometime in 2024. People who would like to learn more about how to help the Gabriel Project of Wyoming can visit the organization’s website at

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