By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – More than 500 Louisiana Life March Central participants were encouraged to continue fighting for the rights of the unborn, seven months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (a decision in 1973 that legalized abortion), triggering a ban on abortions in Louisiana.
“Though Roe v. Wade has been overturned that battle is not over,” State Rep. Mike Johnson, a member of First Baptist Church, Pineville, said Saturday, Feb. 4. “I’m proud to be part of a legislature that has stood up for life long before Roe v Wade was overturned. We have to be pro-life. We have to give the children love.”
Men and women, young and old, from various denominations and ethnicities joined together to make the journey from the Louisiana Christian University campus to the riverfront in Pineville.
Other speakers included State Rep. Gabe Firment, a member of First Baptist Church, Pollock; Kim Lyons, director of the CENLA Pregnancy Center, Alexandria; and David Jeffreys, LCU executive vice president and chief operations officer.
The life march was the last of five held in the state over the past few weeks.
According to Louisiana Right to Life officials, a crowd of 750 gathered in Baton Rouge and also in Monroe/West Monroe, 1,500 in Shreveport and another 500 in Lake Charles in marches that took place over several weekends in January. “Everyone deserves a birthday” was the theme for this year’s events. Jeffreys told the crowd to show love.
“We know it’s not the end of the fight,” he said. “We pray for continued victories, one life at a time, one family at a time.”
Firment shared how his mother chose to give him life, even though she was told he would be born prematurely.
“The world says, ‘Don’t take a chance,’” he said. “At the time it was legal to take a baby’s life. Thank God she didn’t. Thank God we have legislators like Mike Johnson and others who are willing to fight for what’s right, especially when it comes to life.
“The other side already is working on us,” he said. “They say, ‘We need exceptions for this or that.’ A child is never an exception. Every child is a precious unique gift from God.”
Lyons shared that the CENLA Pregnancy Center continues to serve women by providing many resources, including pregnancy decision coaching (by trained advocates), free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, information about pregnancy options and, most recently, abortion pill reversal services.
The center is listed on a national hotline that connects CENLA Pregnancy Center staff with women seeking to reverse the effects of the first pill taken for chemical abortion.
“In this post-Roe generation, we are here to stand in the gap,” she said. “We are here to stand and journey with women.”