A Texas pastor believes she is doing God’s will by fighting in court to keep abortion on demand legal in her state.
In an interview with Elle magazine, the Rev. Erika Forbes explained why she opposes the Texas heartbeat law and joined a lawsuit challenging it.
The pro-life law (Senate Bill 8), which went into effect Sept. 1, prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other states, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.
Texas Right to Life estimates the law has saved more than 3,000 babies’ lives so far.
But Forbes, who had two abortions as a teenager, said she believes women should have a “right to choose” abortion and God does, too.
“I believe that God supports a woman’s right to choose. I’m going to continue to fight this law with every breath that I have,” she told Elle.
The outreach and faith manager for the pro-abortion Texas Freedom Network, Forbes said she counsels women who are having abortions and she will not stop.
“As a licensed interfaith minister, I work with clients who are either trying to come to a decision, particularly around abortion, or who have already made the choice and are working through the emotions and feelings that come as a result of it,” she said. “S.B. 8 is a direct attack on my ability to do that.”
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Forbes said she is afraid of being sued just for “offering basic care and comfort, just by offering a listening ear as a woman processes her decision or the impact of her decision.”
But the law does not allow just anyone to be sued. It specifically exempts mothers from punishment and prohibits abusers from filing lawsuits. The law allows private individuals to sue an abortionist who “performs or induces an abortion” on an unborn baby with a beating heart and an assistant who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion.”
Forbes, however, claims in her lawsuit that the pro-life law subjects her to the risk of “costly and burdensome civil lawsuits for providing spiritual and emotional counseling to patients and parishioners, as they are called by their own religious beliefs to provide.”
She told Elle: “It doesn’t matter whether I’m sued … because at the end of the day, if something were to happen to me as a result of this, I can’t think of a better reason to sacrifice myself.”
Because of her own two abortions, she said she understands the need for people to support women facing unplanned pregnancies.
“I understand that I benefited from the women and the people who have done the work so that I could get the abortions that I needed to have the life that I wanted to have,” Forbes said. “Now it’s my duty and responsibility to do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever I must sacrifice, so that others can have the same opportunities that I had.”
But the real “sacrifice” that she is making – and encouraging vulnerable women to make – means killing unborn babies in violent, cruel abortions.
By six weeks, an unborn baby already has a beating heart and his/her own DNA, separate and unique from the mother’s. The baby’s limbs and major organs are beginning to form, and he/she can move around and respond to light touch. Scientists even have detected unborn babies’ brain waves as early as 6 1/2 weeks after conception, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
The Texas law is saving as many as 100 babies from abortion every day and has the potential to save tens of thousands more. In 2020, about 54,000 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, and about 85 percent happened after six weeks of pregnancy, according to state health statistics.
Forbes is correct about one thing: Women need support.
And pro-life advocates across Texas are doing just that, walking alongside them in difficult circumstances, encouraging them and providing resources to help them and their babies.
Along with passing the heartbeat law this year, Texas state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies. This included $100 million for the state Alternatives to Abortion program as well as additional funding for the Healthy Texas Women program.
Texas has more than 200 pregnancy resources centers that provide free services to mothers in need, not counting maternity homes and other resources for struggling families. Some pro-life organizations create scholarships for pregnant and parenting students, and others offer financial aid to help pay rent, childcare and medical expenses.
Pro-lifers are giving up their time and resources – and facing bomb and death threats for doing so – because they believe both the mother and her baby are worth sacrificing for.