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An Evening of ‘Celebrating Dobbs, Celebrating Life’

July 4, 2022

On Sunday, July 3, Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins partnered with Michael Farris, the CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to commemorate the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The event brought together various pro-life leaders and supporters of the movement for an evening of prayer, worship, and discussions on a post-Roe America. 

At the start of the event, Farris highlighted the night’s three goals: celebration through worship, education on the Dobbs case, and pro-life commitment. 

“We’re going to dedicate ourselves to staying with the fight until America is a truly 100% pro-life nation in all 50 states. That’s the ultimate goal,” Farris said before passing the microphone to Perkins. 

FRC’s president spoke on the collective years of prayer, voting, and lobbying that led to the Supreme Court ruling overturning abortion as a “constitutional” right. 

“The court actually repented of abortion because repentance in the New Testament means to change your mind and your behavior,” Perkins explained. “The court changed the mind of America on abortion when it did away with Roe v. Wade. Now, it is up to the church to do the works of repentance as the New Testament talks about.” 

Next, Archbishop William E. Lori from the Baltimore Archdiocese addressed the audience virtually. 

“This is a moment for us to recognize anew the humanity of the unborn child,” Lori insisted. “It’s a moment also for us to recognize our obligation to surround moms in need with love, care, and compassion, and I certainly want to take this occasion to recognize and to express my gratitude first to God, but also to the many, many, many people in the pro-life movement who prayed and worked and struggled for this day.” 

The Honorable Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R-Miss.) also joined the meeting in a pre-recorded video where she emphasized the need for supporters of the pro-life movement to work together to support pregnancy centers, establish workplace policies on maternity and paternity leave, streamline adoption, improve the foster care system, and enact laws that ensure that childcare is affordable as well as accessible. 

“I am so excited about the work that lies ahead for us in this brand new post-Roe world. We asked the court to let the people show how we can both empower women and promote life. And we will do just that,” Fitch concluded. 

Following the remarks by Mississippi’s attorney general, Government Affairs Director Kellie Fiedorek from ADF moderated a panel discussion including her colleague Kristen Waggoner who serves as ADF’s general counsel, and Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall (R-Ala.). 

To fulfill the education aspect of the evening, Waggoner gave an overview of federal abortion laws from the 1970s to the present day. Marshall received thunderous applause when he shared that within six hours of the Supreme Court decision, Alabama was the first state to fully protect unborn children for all nine months of pregnancy.

Then, Radiance Foundation’s Ryan Bomberger came on stage to moderate a a discussion about a post-Roe America. Survivor and director of the Abortion Survivors Network Melissa Ohden shared her gripping story about surviving a saline abortion. She urged the church to not only “welcome women who are pregnant” but also “not shame them and show them the love of Jesus.”

Cornerstone Chapel Senior Pastor Gary Hamrick spoke on how religious leaders must be courageous in speaking the truth with love knowing that the only affirmation they need is from God rather than the masses. 

“Even Jesus said, ‘You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’ We want people to be free in the Lord, not free in the liberty to sin. We want people to know the freedom that is in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness, the restoration, the grace that is in Christ,” urged Hamrick. 

Apart from discussing the role of the church in a post-Roe America, Kathy Sparks Lesnoff, president of Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers, shared how people can stay engaged in the pro-life movement. Prior to leading her organization, Lesnoff worked in the abortion industry but has since committed her life to caring for expectant mothers and protecting the unborn. She encouraged listeners to volunteer and donate to one of the 2,700 pregnancy centers around the nation. 

In concluding, Lesnoff said, “I wanted to add one quick thing. The people who scream the loudest in opposition are typically the ones who are hurting the most. Keep that in mind. When they’re being so ugly on your Facebook, they’re probably really hurting. And so pray for them.”

Before closing with the song “How Great Thou Art,” Perkins offered his final remarks. 

“Thirty years ago on this day, July 3, 1992, I was sitting up in a church service very much like this on this topic. I was in my hometown of Baton Rouge, where I was a police officer at the time,” Perkins recalled. “And the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Pro-life is not just a bumper sticker. Pro-life means that you have to live out your faith, and you’ve got to work to ensure that every human life is precious and protected under our law.’ Therefore, all of us have a part to play in the future of making this nation a God-honoring nation that welcomes all children into our world.” 

Deborah Laker serves as a staff writer at The Washington Stand.