Right to Life of Owensboro held a commemoration ceremony Friday on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that protects a pregnant woman’s choice to have an abortion. The event featured speakers with local organizations that are leading the pro-life cause in the community.
Stacey Davis, Executive Director of Right to Life of Owensboro (RTLO), said the pro-life mission really took off after the Supreme Court decision in 1973.
“We support the sanctity of life from unborn to euthanasia,” she said.
The commemoration ceremony — which was held in the Daviess County Courthouse lobby with distancing measures in place this year — is an annual event for the organization.
“If we change the mind of one person, then we know we’ve done our job,” Davis said.
According to their site, the purpose of RTLO is to educate the public on the dignity of each human life, regardless of his or her circumstances, and to foster respect for human life from conception to natural death.
Friday’s event also coincided with the passage of Senate Bill 9 in Kentucky. The bill requires that doctors providing abortions must “take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant.”
Officials with Care Net Owensboro, Birthright of Owensboro, and The Family Foundation of Kentucky also spoke during the ceremony.
Lisa Meritt, Human Relations Coordinator at Care Net Owensboro, said they have been serving the community for 15 years.
“We are a local organization that offers hope, help and compassion to anyone who finds themselves with an unplanned pregnancy or with concerning STDs,” she said.
They offer free and confidential pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment, parenting and prenatal education, and material assistance.
“We seek to provide the best services possible to our clients,” Meritt said. “Care Net is a credible medical facility, but we are so much more. Ministry is at the heart of our mission.”
Laura Payne from Birthright said their Owensboro location has been providing support to those with unplanned pregnancies since 1983.
“We try to show the ladies the value in themselves and their children, and we ask God to touch their hearts,” she said.
They offer free pregnancy tests, maternity clothing, diapers, formula, and more. They also refer families in need to other agencies for help with adoption, food, medical or counseling.
Baxter Boyd from the Family Foundation said their organization tries “to lobby for pro-life bills in Frankfort and stand for life in that way as well as engaging our churches and education the body of Christ on how to stand strong for life and family issues.”
He noted Missouri recently became the first abortion-free state, and he hopes Kentucky will follow.
“These children are voiceless and we must stand and fight for them,” he said.