Pastors and ministers speak out against pro-life ‘heartbeat’ bill: ‘We will never give up … our God-given right to choose’

A group of pastors, ministers, and other faith leaders gathered at the Texas state Capitol in Austin this week and formed a prayer circle, KTBC-TV reported.

Often such actions coincide with causes that many people of faith believe in — such as protecting the unborn.

But this group of religious leaders were all about about protecting abortion rights, the station said.

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“We will never give up our individual consciences and religious freedom or our God-given right to choose,” Rev. Erika Forbes, an interfaith minister from Dallas, declared at a microphone, KTBC said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The station said the group opposes a state measure that would ban abortions when babies’ heartbeats are detected — commonly known as a “heartbeat” bill — and such an event can occur as early as four to six weeks after conception.

KTBC said the Texas Senate has OK’d seven House bills aimed at restricting, and possibly even banning, abortions in the state.

“The same people who are doing this are blocking contraception, they are blocking a lot of the neonatal care being given as part of public service, it’s like you can’t slam doors in people’s faces without opening other doors,” Rev. Jim Rigby with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church said, according to the station.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Pastor Andries Coetzee, who leads San Antonio-University Presbyterian Church, said at the microphone that “the relationship between a parishioner and a pastor is one of sacred trust and cannot be legislated. It cannot be legislated. As God alone is Lord of the conscience and not Cesar.”