Pro-life advocates are calling supporters to prayer and humility following the Supreme Court’s historic decision overturning federal protections for abortion rights in the U.S.
Lisa Hogan, executive director of Sav-A-Life in Birmingham, said she is “thrilled” with the ruling issued today (June 24) in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization but said the decision doesn’t change the work of Sav-A-Life and other pro-life pregnancy resource centers.
“We just want to be that safe place for anyone who is in a situation that seems untenable, so the ruling doesn’t change anything we do,” Hogan said. “In fact, we expect to see some increase in our numbers as a result of today’s Supreme Court decision. We’re continuing business as usual and are grateful to do what we do.”
Elizabeth Graham, vice president of life initiatives for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, echoed those thoughts.
“We celebrate that thousands of lives will now be saved,” Graham said in a statement. “Yet while we are grateful for any law or ruling that protects and defends life, the ultimate goal is for every person, born and preborn, to be protected and seen with inherent dignity and value.
“Tomorrow there will still be many women who will face an unplanned pregnancy — afraid, unprepared and unsure of what to do and where to turn. The Church has a significant opportunity to serve and support these women in crisis and their preborn children in their time of need. … Our critical work and our ceaseless prayers continue.”
In anticipation of the Dobbs ruling, Hogan said many people have been praying for protection for pregnancy resource centers and their volunteers. Those prayers will continue as threats of violence against justices and calls for a “night of rage” to protest the court’s decision come from some pro-choice groups. Hogan said a 24-hour prayer vigil begins tonight at 8 p.m.
“Our prayer warriors are praying for protection around centers like ours,” Hogan said. “I pray that violence is not the way [those who oppose the ruling] go.”
How to pray
Hogan urged prayer in the following ways:
- Pray that clients, advocates and staff of pregnancy resource centers will be protected from potential backlash or violence that may occur.
- Pray for advocates and staff at pregnancy resource centers to not be consumed by a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7).
- Pray for clarity of mind for advocates as they meet with clients and share compassionate help, hope and love.
- Pray for transformed lives for clients seeking abortion, that they will be pointed to truth.
- Pray specifically for the centers that will be in the crosshairs of those who launch violent attacks, and for leaders as they implement best practices to keep clients, volunteers and staff safe in the case of backlash.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement that any act of vandalism or violence against any crisis pregnancy center, church or other pro-life entity in retaliation for today’s decision will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who oversaw her state’s pursuit of a high court ruling in the Dobbs case, said in a statement sent June 24 that pro-life supporters will play a “crucial” role in shaping the conversation and reaction to today’s ruling.
“First, we need to pay particular attention to the ‘Empower Women’ part of our message. We know the life movement supports mothers. But abortion advocates do not want the American people to hear that. We must put our concern for the dignity of the woman front and center. Especially those women who are in the most challenging circumstances — abusive relationships, without family support, in poverty, without job skills or education.
“Second, how we talk about life in these crucial weeks following the opinion matters too. We need to react … with humility, hope and respect. We told the Court that the American people were ready to take on the job of hashing out our differences on this issue. We need to show that we are ready to lead with civility … in building this new culture of life that will empower women and promote life.”