Tomorrow, January 14, at 10:45 AM, leaders and citizens from across the city will gather to celebrate recent victories while also preparing for new pro-life efforts at the annual Prayer Vigil & Witness for Life in front of Planned Parenthood, located at 1019 1st Ave N.
Last summer, Alabama’s pro-life community saw a huge victory when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the historic Dobbs decision. Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act almost immediately went into effect, banning abortion at every stage with a few narrow exceptions for life of the mother and lethal fetal anomaly. Supported by a 2018 constitutional amendment that recognizes the unborn child as a person, Alabama has one of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation.
Of the five licensed abortion clinics left in the state when Dobbs was handed down, three remain in operation as “health centers,” including Planned Parenthood Birmingham. The clinic’s regional umbrella, Planned Parenthood Southeast, has made it clear in public statements that it intends to see abortion back in Alabama one day and will continue working towards that goal. This despite its Birmingham location struggling to attract an abortion provider or even keep its doors open over the last few years, even when it changed locations and built a brand-new facility.
The pro-life community, on the other hand, pledges to continue working towards creating an even stronger culture of life in Alabama, expanding support for pregnant women and passing more life-affirming legislation.
Attorney Eric Johnston, author of the Human Life Protection Act, will speak at Saturday’s Vigil, along with other local pro-life leaders.
Johnston says, “Last year at this time, we were expectedly awaiting a decision on whether abortion would remain legal in the U.S. Today, abortion is no longer legal in Alabama. We may now turn our full attention to providing assistance to mothers and their children. After 50 years of struggling to protect them, the pro-life community will provide for them.”
Jim Pinto, one of the main organizers for the Vigil and a long-time pro-life advocate, adds, “With Alabama’s current law making us a ‘Life State’ we seek to defend that law, continue to offer life supporting alternatives to those still seeking abortion, support for those who choose life, and post-abortion healing to both men and women alike. The fight for life continues in our state, nation and world, and we will not cease until every life is protected by law and welcomed into our world.”
The Prayer Vigil is co-hosted by Birmingham March for Life, United for Life, and CEC For Life, but many other pro-life organizations and local churches will be represented at the event. There will be a time of worship and celebration coupled with special prayers for the many preborn children in this nation still lacking basic protections in other states.
Sarah Neely of CEC For Life, emcee for the event, comments, “The pro-life community has much to celebrate after the monumental legal changes regarding abortion last year, but we also still have much work to do. Banning abortion is not the final goal – making our state a true sanctuary for preborn children, their mothers and their fathers – making certain we have every resource available to support families in choosing life – that is what we are always working towards. In unity, in prayer, and always with compassion, we will be here to serve families and celebrate the gift that every child truly is.”