When comparing the abortion rate to the 911 disaster, where almost 4000 (people) were “killed by ‘evil doers,” Guest Speaker Pastor Eric Jones of Koinonia Worship Center stated, “a day later, on Sept 12, 2001 and everyday afterwards, another 4000 lives were lost, totaling over 51 million since the 1973 Rode vs. Wade decision,” he continued at the “Sanctity of Human Life Rally,” hosted by Opa-locka City Commissioner Rose Tydus, to raise awareness about the inherent special nature of human life and steps the community can take to support women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Commissioner Tydus said she believes the platform was important to address, especially because of its epidemic proportion in the African-American community. In testimony after testimony, guests approached the podium under the pavilion located behind Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054, to share their stories during National Sanctity of Human Life Month.
Commissioner Tydus declared that ALL human life is valuable – from the unborn to the great-great grandparent – regardless of physical/mental challenges or economic status. She stated, “With the high rate of senseless fatal crimes, including gang related, domestic loss of life and massacres, the ‘Sanctity of Human Life Rally’ is an opportunity for the community to reflect on the intrinsic value of Human Life and the fundamental right to life.” Tydus said she also believed that it was a time to acknowledge that abortion tragically ends a human life, but with love, practical help and support, women and men are making life affirming choices.
Pastor Eric Jones, who is also Mayor of the City of West Park, was the keynote speaker at the event. He joined Commissioner Tydus and Mary Lou Hendry, Sanctity of Human Life Director; Florida Baptist Children’s Home; local churches; Pregnancy Resource Centers; and members of the community at large during the rally, to celebrate lives, grieve for those who were lost and recommit to providing support to women and couples facing these tough situations.
While listing the protected endangered species, Pastor Jones stated, “There are three amphibians, 29 fish, eight mammals, 21 reptiles, two snails, four plants, 56 birds, seven clams and two crustaceans… but, no babies.” He commented on laws for destroying endangered trees, which yield fines, as well as convictions costing $1360, along with 60 days in jail for destroying turtle eggs… “yet nothing happens to anyone destroying a human life,” said Jones.” He referenced Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 1:39 in the Bible, “Know you before I formed you,” then added, “Life doesn’t begin in the womb, it begins in the mind of God.”
Throughout the rally, special emphasis was placed on the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers and its successful efforts to provide practical help and compassionate support (including a variety of educational programs and services) to empower women to carry their pregnancy to term. Statistics available at the event, revealed that abortions in America are decreasing and the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers is having an impact:
• In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000.
Since 1973, more than 45 million abortions have occurred (Gullmacher Institute)
• There are approximately 2,300 pregnancy centers in North America.
Crisis Pregnancy centers provide practical help and emotional support to people facing unplanned pregnancies, to empower them to choose life. Nine out of ten women who visit a crisis pregnancy center choose to carry to term.
• According to Time magazine, pregnancy centers are playing a role in the reason abortion rates have fallen in recent years. “That would seem to be evidence that the quiet campaign for women’s hearts and minds, conducted in thousands of crisis pregnancy centers around the country, on billboards, phone banks and websites, is having an effect.”