By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
BATON ROUGE – On a day when many pro-abortion activists participated in marches nationwide, supporters of life took to the streets in downtown Baton Rouge to proclaim their message that every person matters in God’s eyes.
Held Jan. 21, the Louisiana Life March South drew around 1,500 people, despite the possibility of rainfall in the forecast.
“Even though storms threatened the Louisiana Life March South, pro-lifers stood strong to protect both mom and baby,” said Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Benjamin Clapper. “Representative Katrina Jackson inspired the audience with the call to never quit defending life and helping mothers.”
The theme for this year’s march was “Protect Them Both.” Organizers wanted to emphasize the pro-life movement values not only the unborn child but their mothers who have alternatives to abortion, such as crisis pregnancy centers in the state.
Among the speakers at the march was Katrina Jackson, a state representative who authored legislation that requires admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions. She encouraged the marchers to be an advocate for life, showing women facing a difficult decision that they have another option other than abortion.
“I know that we can legislate within the realms of an unjust decision until God reverses it,” Jackson said. “So we’re not standing still on what the Supreme Court says.
“We can never stand still because while we stand still, there is someone, somewhere, that doesn’t think they have a choice,” she continued. “And our voices tell them that there is a choice.”
Jeff Ginn marched with other members of Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, where he serves as pastor. Ginn said he was encouraged to see people from so different ages, races and denominations come together to stand for life.
“There is a rising generation that’s pro-life, which is very encouraging,” Ginn said. “It’s a good picture of the kingdom of God.”
According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, preliminary numbers for 2015 show 9,311 abortions took place, an average of 26 per day. The total represents a 10 percent decrease from the 10,211 abortions performed in 2014. That figure also is the lowest number of abortions performed in the state since 2012, when 9,225 were reported.
For those who were unable to attend the Life March in Baton Rouge, two others are planned for Saturday, Jan. 28, in Shreveport/Bossier City and Saturday, Feb. 4, in Alexandria/Pineville.
The march in Shreveport/Bossier City will start at the Boardwalk area in Bossier City, crossing over a bridge before ending in Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. Speakers will include Jackson and U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, a member of First Baptist Church in Bossier City. Cypress Baptist Church in Benton will be among those providing music.
In Central Louisiana, the march will begin at Louisiana College in Pineville and end at the amphitheater in downtown Alexandria. The speakers will include state Attorney General Jeff Landry and Brian Gunter, pastor of First Baptist Church in Pollock.
“The unborn baby has no voice other than yours and mine,” Clapper said. “By attending the Louisiana Life March, you are giving a voice to the voiceless. You must never underestimate how your presence can save babies and protect their mothers.”
For more information on the Louisiana Life March, visit LALifeMarch.com or call 866-463-5433.