Georgia Right to Life sponsored a memorial service called Together For Life, on the steps of the Capitol in downtown Atlanta Tuesday to mourn the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
"Forty years is 40 years too long," said Suzanne Ward, spokesperson for Georgia Right to Life. "We lost 56 million children to abortion in that time frame. This will be a memorial service today to mourn that decision and honor the children's lives who have been lost."
Denise Hairston attended the event with her two young daughters. She is now pro-life, but she had an abortion when she was 18.
"It was with my current husband and we were both young. He was 17 and I was 18. I was a month away from graduation and after speaking with my mother she thought that was the best option," said Hairston. "That was a decision we made and that was May 18, 1989. I will never forget that day."
Hairston and her husband now have four children and three grandchildren. Hairston said she regrets the decision she made as a teenager to have an abortion.
"I tell my children the choices I made and how it's affected me. I not only ask for forgiveness from my God, but for them to understand whatever choices they make, as a family we are going to get through it, even an unplanned pregnancy," said Hairston.
Several hundred people who are pro-life showed up for the event which also drew a small group who are pro-choice.
Dawn Gibson said a woman should have the right to do what she wants with her body.
"I am actually pro-choice. I am for reproductive rights. I believe the government, church and others have no right to dictate what I do with my body. My body belongs to me," said Gibson.
Gibson said everyone should have access to birth control without financial, legal or social difficulty.
"When abortion was illegal women lost their lives by inducing abortion with a wire hanger. What we are saying is that we don't want to go back to that," said Gibson. "We want to make sure abortion is safe, legal and accessible to all women regardless to class, race and financial class."
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