BIRMINGHAM, -- Many pro-life leaders within the Birmingham community are celebrating this morning after the Supreme Court's monumental decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
For decades, Roe has been used to halt legitimate, life-affirming laws passed by state legislatures and voting citizens. Alabama, especially, has felt this battle after passing a constitutional amendment in 2018 that established personhood for children in the womb, followed by passing the Human Life Protection Act in 2019, one of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation.
Fr. Terry Gensemer, a long-time Birmingham pastor and director of Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life offers this statement:
"We are overwhelmingly moved by this historic moment, a decisive turning of the tide in this decades long fight to end abortion, and we give thanks and praise to our mighty Father in heaven for this huge leap forward. This is a true victory in so many ways, but it does not end abortion in America. States may finally be free to create a legal sanctuary for preborn children through the will of voters and the work of legislatures, but our work to create a cohesive culture of life across the country is far from over.
"Even with this incredible victory, we must not relent in our support and participation in pro-life efforts, especially life-affirming legislation and local pregnancy centers. In Alabama, CEC For Life will remain focused on equipping pro-life Christians to lead local pro-life efforts and exposing the nefarious practices of abortion clinics — especially those who might attempt to evade a state-wide ban. We will also continue working alongside pregnancy resource centers to help pregnant mothers find compassionate and life-affirming assistance no matter their situation. We don’t need less pro-life ministry right now. We need more. And I know the Birmingham pro-life community is up for the challenge."
Currently, Planned Parenthood is the only abortion clinic left tin the city, and it has been unable to consistently provide abortions for several years. In fact, in late April Planned Parenthood Southeast suspended all abortions service in Georgia and Alabama, citing severe staffing issues. While services in Georgia resumed shortly after, abortions at Planned Parenthood Birmingham and Mobile have remained suspended.
Local pregnancy resource centers, on the other hand, have continued to thrive and serve mothers and fathers in the Birmingham area with free assistance and a full array of pregnancy needs, including medical, financial, and emotional support.
Joy Pinto, Executive Director of Her Choice Pregnancy Center, comments,
"We are grateful that the lie of a Constitutional Right to abortion has been exposed and overturned today for the law is a great teacher for good or ill. Many more mothers will be choosing the way of life for themselves and their child. With compassion for both mother and child, we continue to freely offer every needed resource to support mothers in that life choice."
She adds, "We also offer compassionate post-abortion counseling and healing for those who have made the choice of abortion. As a result of the Supreme Court Decision today we are expecting, and are prepared for, greater numbers of both pregnant mothers and mothers who have experienced the grief of pregnancy loss. We affirm the sacredness and dignity of every human being in and out of the womb and stand ready to serve all. All together we will build a new culture and civilization of life beginning in Birmingham."
Alabama is a pro-life state and Birmingham, especially, has developed a vibrant and diverse pro-life community that is not only celebrating Roe being overturned, but also gearing up to meet the needs of a post-Roe America. Alabama is already poised to be a sanctuary state for the preborn, with the laws and resources necessary to help families affirm life and see positive outcomes.
Attorney Eric Johnston, who drafted the Human Life Protection Act, comments,
"Many attack the credibility of SCOTUS because Dobbs reverses Roe and Casey. In truth, it restores credibility for recognizing the error of an opinion not based in the constitution. After sacrificing millions of unborn lives on the alter of so called 'privacy and liberty rights,' the court has returned the issue of abortion to the states where it was prior to 1973. The pro-life community knew this all along and for that reason never gave up the fight."He adds, "Since 1973, medical advances have reinforced the reality and legality of laws that are rationally based on the premise of protecting unborn life. The Alabama Human Life Protection Act does that and we expect to see the legal challenge dropped. There will be no more abortions in Alabama. We must now step up to help women who otherwise would have aborted their children."
Fr. Gensemer adds,
"As I said before, the Birmingham pro-life community is up for the challenge. We do not need abortion in this state. Abortion numbers have consistently dropped over the last ten years, and fewer and fewer clinics remain open. Those that do remain have done everything from covering up child abuse to severely injuring and even killing women. We are more than ready to see Roe go."