Pro choice pastor talks potential negative impacts from Roe v. Wade decision

Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Sunday evening, Action News 5 sat down with Rev. Earle Fisher, Senior Pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church in Whitehaven.

This interview follows our report last weekend of a pro-life Southaven pastor who celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe versus Wade as a victory in the Black community.

Rev. Fisher wanted to offer a different perspective.

“I’ll give everybody the right to articulate their own convictions, but I think when you start talking about why Black women, in particular, who are in need of these services, I think that’s when you start to peel back the layers and get a deeper understanding of how heinous and unholy this decision is,” Fisher said. “These decisions should be left to a person and their doctor”

The pastor we spoke with last week, Bishop Vincent Williams of Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, told us the overturning of Roe v. Wade puts an end to the killing of Black babies and puts families in a better position to choose love and support over terminating a pregnancy.

“The church recognizes that people make mistakes. People fall,” Bishop Mathews said in an interview last week. “The child cannot suffer for the sins of their father and mother. You come and be safe. You will be loved as a parent, as a father and as a mother, and your child will be accepted and loved.”

Fisher feels this show of love and support isn’t a representation of the entire Black community, and that words of celebration, not just from Mathews, are right-wing talking points.

“There’s a diverse range of opinions and experiences, and all of them have some value,” Fisher said. “Regretfully, those talking points come out of a right-wing think tank and a curation process that was passed off to so many of my beautiful Black colleagues.”

So far, there have been two straight weekends of both pro-choice and pro-life rallies in Memphis and across the country.

With abortion all but gone in the Mid-South, Rev. Fisher worries of what will happen in the Black community in the near and potentially distant future.

“I’m not concerned as much about us finding ways to meet needs, as much as I am concerned about what might be the collateral damage of people who feel this level of despair and hopelessness such that they go some dangerous route trying to accomplish what they feel is something that is necessary,” he said.

Rev. Fisher feels this issue purely about power and that the decision was and is government overreach that will disproportionately impact Black women.

According to the most recent data from TDH, black women already make up roughly 80% of the abortions performed in Shelby County.

“This is about us getting beyond what I call the tyranny of an immoral majority of the people in the country, the majority of people in Memphis and Shelby county, all believe a woman should have access to these services,” Rev. Fisher said.

Reverend Fisher says he will be doing all he can to provide support to members in his congregation and community, through prayer and resources, hoping his pro-life neighbors will do more to support life after birth.

Fisher is also a leader with the group Up the Vote 901, a group aimed at increasing Shelby County voter turnout.

He’s interested in the upcoming elections in August and November to see if the overturning of Roe will play out in the number of people going to the polls.

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