Overturning of Roe v. Wade a victory for the unborn and women, says Sav-A-Life executive director

Published 4:58 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

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Reactions have been mixed since the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade last Friday. Roe v. Wade established a national, constitutional right to abortion in 1973. With this ruling overturned, states can now enforce their own abortion laws.

Machelle Hall is the executive director of Sav-A-Life, a pregnancy resource center in Lanett that does not perform or make referrals for abortions. Hall said that the center doesn’t have an official reaction to Roe v. Wade being overturned, but she shared her own reaction.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade is an important legal victory for the protection of the unborn and for the protection of women,” she said.

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Hall said that the overturning of Roe v. Wade could help women by giving them more time to “get educated” about their options instead of making rushed decisions.

“Women sometimes feel that they must make a quick decision to abort their babies (due to time limit laws that were/are in place) because they may be getting pressured by the father or by her family,” Hall said. “She may be told that she cannot accomplish her goals if she has a baby to be responsible for, or that she can’t have a career and be a mother at the same time. The truth is women are strong and capable of handling difficult circumstances, including an unplanned pregnancy.”

Hall said the center staff hopes that women won’t choose abortion, but if they do, Sav-A-Life will be there for them afterward. Sav-A-Life’s website says it offers an abortion recovery program.

Hall said that Sav-A-Life makes sure that women in the community are cared for “regardless of what the law says.”

“Now that abortion in Alabama is banned as of Friday because of the Human Life Protection Act, we do anticipate that there will be more women who will need our services, and we are committed to be here when they need it,” she said.

Hall said Sav-A-Life has been doing what it does for over 36 years.

“During Roe and after Roe, this is the work we have been doing and will continue to do,” she said. “We are a pregnancy resource medical clinic, and we offer pregnancy testing and first-trimester ultrasounds, and those are done by our RNs that are here at the center. And then, we offer parenting classes and deal with topics like pregnancy, parenting, life skills, all kinds of stuff like that. And when they come and participate in the program, they’re going to get every single thing they need to bring that baby home from the hospital. We have car seats, cribs, diapers, wipes, clothes, blankets, you name it. We have it here for our girls.”

Hall said that all of Sav-A-Life’s services are free and confidential.

“We are a pro-life organization,” she said. “But when the women come in here to us, we talk to them about all of their options. We offer medically accurate information about abortion procedures. We also offer information about making an adoption plan for that child. And then, if they do choose to parent, we come alongside them and walk with them through that pregnancy and make sure they have everything they need for that baby. We’re not anti-anything. We are pro-woman here at Save-A-Life. Pro-life and pro-woman.”

Hall said that in 2021, 204 clients visited the center. During its 36 years of existence, the center has had over 23,000 client visits, she said.

“We do not have any way to know how many more women will come to us for services, but we do anticipate an increase in women who will need our help now that the law has changed,” she said. “We are taking steps now to prepare to serve these women by seeking additional volunteers to work alongside us and changing our current hours to accommodate more women.” 

Sav-A-Life is a non-profit 501©3 faith-based organization and does not receive government funding.

“We are supported by individuals, churches, businesses, organizations, and the Valley United Fund,” Hall said.

Hall told the story of a client she called “Anna,” who went to Sav-A-Life last summer. Anna had been referred to Sav-A-Life by a health department for pregnancy testing. Hall said it was obvious that Anna had no interest in connecting with Sav-A-Life.

“While she was waiting on her test results, she didn’t say much except to say that she was thinking of just making an appointment at an abortion clinic and ‘taking care of this mess,’ Hall said. “As we began to talk with her, she began to open up and conversation began.”

At the end of Anna’s visit, Sav-A-Life staff told her about their “Earn While You Learn” program that includes sessions on pregnancy, parenting, and life skills. 

“She agreed to come the first time,” Hall said. “Anna came to our center regularly throughout her pregnancy, and we came to care for her very much. At one of her sessions, we were discussing God’s love for us and reading out of the Bible, Psalm 139. These verses say that ‘You were not a mistake’ and ‘I formed you in the womb.’”

Hall said that Anna became emotional and said she couldn’t believe that she had been considering abortion.

“She said that she was so thankful that she didn’t make that choice and that she was ‘excited and blessed to have Sav-A-Life in her life,’” Hall said. “We were able to bless Anna with all of the items that she needed for her baby, including a car seat, pack and play, and loads of diapers. Anna delivered her beautiful baby girl at the beginning of the year, and she is a great mother!”