SUNNYVALE (KPIX) -- Members of Silicon Valley Reformed Baptist Church celebrated after learning the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe. vs. Wade on Friday. They were joined by other religious communities around the Bay Area who hope one day to ban abortions in California.
"We recognize we live in polarized times. We recognize that we live in difficult times," said Pastor Brian Garcia with the church. "The work that we have been doing has been bearing fruit and has been, in fact, successful."
While anti-abortion-rights advocates have long hoped for the Roe v. Wade to be overturned as a first step toward ending abortions in the United States, they were still surprised by Friday's decision.
"There's always a residue of faith to believe that God can do things that we don't see possible. Humanly speaking, I didn't think it would take place," said Larry Ihrig, lead pastor at Celebration Church in Livermore. "Our position has to be what we see as our core values, you know? You can disagree with people without being disagreeable."
Ihrig and others say they are committed to making the change they want to see happen in California but they understand that protections here go beyond many other states. They also know that an effort to create a state constitutional amendment could go before the voters this fall.
"Well Roe v. Wade has been with us for a very long time but we also have never given up hope," said Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. "It is in some sense a real time for joy for us and again at the same time a real understanding that a lot of people are having a lot of questions right now and we want to be there for them and walk them through that process."
Domingo says they will take the same approach as we enter a new era in the debate over abortion rights.
She says her organization's work will continue to encourage women to seek out services that can assist with the circumstance that lead some to consider an abortion. She hopes that the state will not move forward with a permanent policy on abortion that could impact future generations. It is a view shared by other church leaders in the Bay Area.
"We still have ways to go and so we're also coming together to pray and ask God that he show favor towards us and that we can begin the work of changing the culture even here in a liberal state like California," Garcia told KPIX.
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