Last Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott listened on the phone to terminally-ill Jeremiah Thomas express his wish to bring an end to abortion in Texas. In March, the 16-year-old was diagnosed with osteoblastic osteosarcoma, a bone cancer unaffected by radiation therapy.
“That was the day it shifted everything, and it turned our world upside-down,” Jeremiah explained.
But last Sunday, he experienced another shift. Though his condition is rapidly deteriorating, the event that brought him extraordinary joy had nothing to do with his own health and wellbeing. It was about the lives of others – babies in their mother’s wombs. As he sat in his hospital bed and humbly explained his position to the governor by phone, he appeared to be both surprised and elated at Abbott’s response:
“Your wish is…[one of] the Republican party platform positions,” Abbott explained, “and it’s what we’re going to be pursuing this next legislative session – and that’s the outlawing of abortion altogether in the state of Texas. And so your wish is granted.”
Jeremiah has two large tumors on his spine and one on his chest, and he is now paralyzed from the waist down. Previously an all-star, state champion athlete, he is the son of Rusty Thomas, the national director of Operation Save America. Before he got sick, Jeremiah, along with his siblings and mother, ministered outside the local abortion clinic.
“Just the thought of 20 babies being murdered under our noses was enough to make us sick and angry,” he told Abbott while lying in his hospital bed. “That’s what drove my family out there. So for my wish, I wanted to talk with you and discuss the bill of abolition. A recent poll showed that 68% of Texans want abortion abolished. So, I’m sure you would be representing the demand of Texans if you passed this bill.”
He explained it wasn’t only his own wish, but the wish of thousands of Christians, abolitionists, and pro-lifers. Though Jeremiah would love to see abortion abolished nationwide, the thought of playing a part in ending the immoral practice in his own state brings a smile to his face.
“Back when I was at MD Anderson,” he explained, “I was asked by Make a Wish to make my wish, and they talked about a legacy wish the kids could leave behind after they passed. And that really intrigued me. I would love for that to be what I’m remembered by.”
Rep Tony Tinderholt (R-TX) has been working on H.B. 948, a piece of legislation that removes exemptions under Texas state criminal homicide law and, thereby, grants the unborn, human rights from the moment of conception. “I look forward to the day when abortion ceases to exist in Texas, the United States, and around the world,” Tinderholt said on his website.
Tinderholt believes the protection of innocent human life is more important than any other issue. His position clearly aligns with Jeremiah’s wish, and H.B. 948 is perhaps the avenue through which it becomes a reality.
Though abortion proponents will undoubtedly claim its unconstitutionality and file suit if the bill is signed into law, the case could potentially be the one that overturns the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
We see in the pages of Scripture over and over again how God revels in using the unlikely to accomplish His purposes. Why not use a child?
Think just for a moment of Josiah, the child-King who ruled in Judah from 640-609 B.C. and, as a very young man, led the people back to God through the reading of His Word and the tearing down of idols. Imagine the depraved and rebellious condition of that society and the courage it took for Josiah to take such a stand.
Rusty recognizes the special calling, strength, and devotion exhibited by young Jeremiah. “I told my son that what he’s enduring doesn’t produce character, it proves character,” he said.
Last Sunday, Jeremiah left the hospital for the last time. “This is going home,” said his father in tears. “Either this is going home, and God’s going to heal him, or he’s going home, to go home – to be with Him.”
Perhaps in multiple ways, Jeremiah is exemplifying the directive Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
(Editor's note: click on the following link to help Jeremiah: https://www.gofundme.com/ccu35y-help-with-financial-burdens)