Anti-abortion rally marks Roe v. Wade anniversary

Published 11:48 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

NATCHEZ — With tears in her eyes, Jessica Brown stood at the on the bluff of the Mississippi River and took in the last few lines of “Lord I lift your name on high.”

Brown didn’t try to stop the outpouring of emotion because the anti-abortion cause she was supporting was something extremely close to her heart.

“I have a 4-year-old, and I just couldn’t imagine life without her,” Brown said with her eyes filling with tears again.

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She was just one of a group of supporters at an anti-abortion rally sponsored by Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County.

And though this was the first pro-life rally Brown has attended she said she has always felt strongly about the issue and feels educations is one of the best ways to combat abortions.

“Sometimes people just don’t know what they are doing,” she said. “But every child is innocent.”

The rally marked the 36th anniversary of legalized abortion in the U.S. But Pro-Life Natchez-Adams county and its supporters are hoping that rallies like the one Thursday night will bring about change in the current and future legislation.

“We have got to start with people’s hearts,” said the Rev. Paul Southerland, pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Natchez during his opening remarks. “We have to change our culture one heart at a time.”

The Rev. Steve Pearson of Community Chapel Church of God said during his message that “hearts should be filled with joy over unborn children.”

Pearson said the Bible says that children are a blessing from God and that even unborn children should be treated as such.

“The Bible says ‘Before I formed you in womb, I knew you,” Pearson said. “We should leap for joy for every child in the womb.”

Pearson said the pro-life cause needed to be brought back to the forefront of social causes.

“If we were here to protect the spotted owl, we would have 1,000 people out here,” he said. “How is it that a spotted owl can get more support than unborn children?”

Ruth Powers, co-chair of Pro-Life Natchez-Adams county said Americans are facing scary times when it comes to the current abortion legislation. She said the two main provisions of the proposed legislation would create a slippery slope if passed.

She said provision in the legislation allow for abortions prior to fetal viability and in pregnancies that risk the health of the mother.

“Health of the mother — that could be anything and fetal viability — that could be anything,” she said. “It provides no outline for those provisions.”

She said she is also alarmed by the fact that the proposed legislations contains a no parental notification clause that would open the doors for minors to obtain abortions with out the consent of their parents.

“Imagine that your 14-year-old can’t get a Tylenol at school, but she can get an abortion without you knowing about it,” Powers said.

Virginia O’Beirne said that while the pro-abortion activist call their campaign pro-choice, she had no choice when it came to being involved in a pro-life campaign.

“They talk a lot about choice, but I had no choice,” she said. “This is where my heart was led.”

But she realizes that her heart chose a difficult cause to support, but she isn’t letting that get her down.

“I searched on television today for the March for Life. I looked on three national stations but there wasn’t anything on any of them about it,” she said. “Finally I turned it on ETWN, a channel you can’t get on cable, and it was on.

“They said there were about 20,000 people there walking down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

She said that while the March for Life didn’t get any national media exposure, she was encouraged by the people were there bringing attention to the pro-life cause.

“And there were so many young people walking as well,” she said. “And that gives you hope for the future.”

And, like O’Beirne, a lack of attention or national support doesn’t have Pearson giving up hope. He said he still feels confident that there will be legislative changes made.

“America is a decent country,” Pearson said. “We aren’t going to give up the fight.”