"I raised my fist into the air many times and gave a big" yes ". "When I remembered her reaction when she heard the big news on Friday, radiant Arita Bryant said. She has been waiting for a very long time to hear. The US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion and left it up to the state to decide whether to allow, limit or ban procedures that were nationally legal for nearly 50 years. ..
Brian talks to VOA while attending a Sunday worship at the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she wears jeans and an official black and white church T-shirt and wears casually. Was there.
From the outside, the place of worship looks more like a business than a typical church renovated from a pharmacy. But inside, there was a clear excitement through a congregation of about 80 church attendees. Like Brian, almost everything was African-American. Many appeared early in worship before the worship began.
"We are grateful. It's a victory for us," Bryant said. "At least in Louisiana, innocent children are no longer killed. There is still work to be done before the country is banned."
Louisiana legalized the procedure in 1973, the highest It is one of several states with so-called trigger legislation enacted to outlaw abortion the moment the court's groundbreaking Roe v. Wade case was overturned. Abortion advocates say banning this procedure across the United States puts women's lives, especially the lives of poor and minority women, at risk.
In theNPR / PBS / Marist votereleased on Monday, 56% opposed the Supreme Court's decision on abortion, 40% supported abortion and 4%. It shows that it is uncertain. Similar numbers are shown in other polls.
The Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church, like many socially conservative places of worship in the United States, is a coalition that has been working for decades to revoke the right to abortion in the United States. It is a part. Much of the congregation stood up, with Rev. Mike Wicker cheering, alternating between reading a passage of the Bible projected on the screen and talking lengthly about the evil of abortion.
"Everyone here", the pastor's voice echoed, echoing in the lower ceiling than expected in the place of worship. Abortion clinic. "
" Now, "Bryant said after the service," these clinics are closed. "
Several members of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship visited the Baton Rouge Abortion Clinic last Monday and Tuesday.
So they saw 40 women lined up.
"And almost all of them were black," Bryant added, her voice broke with emotion. "I was angry because these children were killed unnecessarily. I was sad because my mother didn't have all the information about their options, and I wanted to help. It was desperate. "
In the end, she said she had persuaded the two women to go home and reconsider their abortion. This is an option that disappeared after the Supreme Court's ruling in Louisiana, as three of the state's clinics stopped abortion. On Monday, a state judge temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing the Trigger Act and allowed it to reopen its clinic, but future availability of abortion services in the state is uncertain. There is up to.
Tarawicker is the wife of a minister and is also known as the First Lady of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship. She visited the clinic again. The fight against abortion is very personal to Wicker, who leads the anti-abortion advocacy, Louisiana Black Advocacy's for Life.
"I had an abortion myself when I was 16," she told VOA after a Sunday service. "I'm still a kid and didn't talk about it either. I was a little guided for the abortion. I put the aborted fetus in a jar at the counter across the room and lay down on the bed. I will never forget. "
I remember saying" I'm sorry, mom. "
Wicker said for thirty years, but until very recently she tried to suppress her feelings for the day.
She said, "I was worried as a mother of six children now," she said, and her eyes looked serious and thoughtful. "When someone suspects me as a mother, I get angry and defensive when I think about how I failed the baby 30 years ago."
Abortion advocates Women continue to seek procedures regardless of state law provisions, claiming that they may be forced to consider dangerous options for ending an abortion. Wicker said he didn't have to do that
"I remember seeing the women in the clinic and being like them," she said. "They don't have to kill those babies. They have so many options. As a sanctuary, we need to help them understand those options, because killing those babies. That will bother her mother for the rest of her life. "
Just getting started
Robert Sensley also attended on Sunday. He is sturdy, 1.7 meters tall, has fashionable rectangular glasses and a warm smile.
He attended the service with his three young children and his wife. In addition to being a member of the Church, Sensley is also a program assistant for the Louisiana Black Advocate for Life.
"The last few days have certainly been fun," he told VOA. "Reverend Mike and Reverend Tara were very excited about the Supreme Court's decision. They unknowingly called me from the other side of the house at exactly the same time."
But Sensley , The atmosphere did not come to be called a celebration.
"I'm excited, but I know there's a long way to go," he said. "There are many people in this country who disagree with us."
Data compiled by the Pew Research Center show that 69% of Americans have an abortion, for example if they become pregnant due to rape or incest. I believe it is legal.
Louisiana State University junior Trinity Wicker said he heard from many friends and classmates, especially social media, who believed they needed to protect their right to abortion.
"I understand where they come from. Sexual assault is horrifying," Wicker said. "A mother is a victim, but a baby is also a victim, and the baby has endless possibilities, but is not worthy of death."
Of the pastor and his wife Her daughter, Young Wicker, said she sees it as part of the Church's responsibility to help women in difficult situations understand their options.
"Of course, adoption is always an option," she said, re-emphasizing that the fetus should not be killed.
"I have noticed many women saying things like" my body, my choice "as an excuse to have an abortion. But when your egg is fertilized, it is no longer your body. It's another body and you're a vessel.
Many members of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship should ban abortion in all circumstances, including when the mother's life is at stake. I don't think it is.
"We need to do everything to save both the mother and the child, but of course we want the wife to be saved if we need to make a choice," Sensley explained.
The Louisiana Trigger Act has no exceptions to rape and incest, but allows procedures to save the lives of pregnant women. The law does not punish women who have finished their pregnancy, but it does provide criminal penalties for those who have had an abortion.
"I think we have to sympathize with these women and try to help them, but medical professionals who have completed the procedure should be tried for murder," she said. Told.
Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church leaders address the fact that African-American women are disproportionately seeking abortion and are affected by the new legal context governing the procedure. It states that it is.
According to a 2020 survey by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, black women induced abortion about four times as often as white women.
According to church attendees, this solution not only increases access to employment and education for adults, but also provides medical and other services for women to complete their pregnancy and raise children. Includes strengthening.There is no universal health insurance in the United States and it does not guarantee access to childcare for working parents.
"This is what we spend a lot of time talking about," Sensley recalled from the service he just attended. "After giving birth, if you just want to ban abortion without fighting to support the baby and his parents, you're not a professional life ... you're just a professional birth."
"Everything is closely related. It's related, "coached Tarawicker. "The role of our church is to support the entire life of those who pass through our doors, from the womb to the grave. All. We not only help people do the right thing, but so If not, you need to give enough support to forgive them. "