SPRINGFIELD — St. Boniface Catholic Church’s pro-life message was suspended on July 20 — but only briefly.
Shortly after worshipers learned that a familiar billboard outside the church on 1952 Ga. Hwy 21 had been defaced with spray paint and a dastardly message overnight, it was replaced with a new. The replacement sign was not an exact copy of the original but displayed the same opinion: “God makes no mistakes.” Choose life!”
The vandalism occurred about a month after the U.S. Supreme Court changed the abortion landscape by overturning Roe v. Wade and just hours before the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld Georgia’s “heartbeat” abortion law. State law prohibits abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat.
Yvette Carr, a faithful of Saint-Boniface, was scandalized by the ransacking of the sign.
“That’s definitely wrong,” she said. “Here in America, we have the freedom to express our opinions and participate in marches. However, this freedom of expression does not allow us to deface banners or destroy things that are not on our property.
Carr expressed strong support for HB 481, which went into effect immediately after the appeals court ruling. It prohibits doctors, except in certain situations, from offering abortions to pregnant women after the presence of a fetal heartbeat. This usually happens during the sixth week of pregnancy.
“I agree that once a heartbeat is detected, no abortion should be performed,” Carr said. “If the protesters got on the minds of one of their parents when they found out mum was pregnant, they should be grateful that mum didn’t have an abortion.”
After being asked to comment on the incident, Fr. Martino Nguyen referred the Herald to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah.
“As a diocese, we pray for a conversion of heart from those responsible for vandalism in St. Boniface,” said Jill Parks, the diocese’s communications director. “Incidents like these underscore the importance of rejecting a culture of death and working instead to build a culture of life that recognizes the beauty and dignity of each person. It is our responsibility to respect, love and protect the sanctity of God’s creation, recognizing the incomparable value of human life from its very beginning to its end.
“Life is sacred.”