LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Thirty-nine years ago Sunday the United States Supreme Court made its monumental decision on Roe vs. Wade.
In light of the landmark ruling, the New Life Counseling Center of Lake Charles held its 17th annual prayer vigil and memorial service to remember the over 50 million lives lost.
"What we're doing here today is recognizing how beautiful each and every life is from the moment of conception all the way through to natural death and memorializing those children who have lost their lives," said Executive Director Jeanne Lebato.
Loretha Green planned to abort her pregnancy before turning to counseling. Her son is now two years old.
"He's a gift," said Green. "And I just feel that each and every day I have the ability to look at him, to take care of him, and there's nothing to hard."
Senator Ronnie Johns spoke at the vigil. His only child, a daughter, is adopted.
"I was so excited to see so many young people today," said Johns. "They are our future. They are the vision for this country for years to come. They are the one who are really going to make a difference."
Marcia Schexnider, facilitator of Life After Choice, chose abortion forty years ago, just before the Roe vs. Wade decision. Now she shares her testimony in hopes of helping women choose life.
"I'm always pleased to be a voice, not only for the unborn but for women who have been wounded by abortion, like me."
Debbie Henagan had an abortion almost 18 years ago. She says many people believe lies. The lie she claims she believed was that her abortion was simply a medical procedure.
"Many times we just believe the lie, that it's really not truly a baby and that's what we've heard so many times and believe," said Henagan. "This is just to raise community awareness that it is a baby at conception, and it's not just a blob or whatever they've been told."
Dennis Scott with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury was also in attendance.
Lebato says their main goal is to help to mothers through crisis pregnancies.
"We're here being a voice for the unborn in the womb now, in hopes that their mothers will choose life," said Lebato.
The New Life Counseling Center has been servicing the lake area for over 20 years.