GREENVILLE — The 2,000 crosses enhancing the front yard of the Greenville Baptist Temple on Children’s Home-Bradford Road, east of State Route 118, represent the number of abortions monthly in the state of Ohio.
The members of the church decided to put out this visual to make the public aware of the issue.
“At the first of the year, I threw it out there” said the pastor Daniel Berdine. “That was during the time between the transition of Ohio governors. The heart beat bill was vetoed by John Kasich and we were promised by the new governor, Mike DeWine, that he would sign it, and he did.”
Since its passage, the six-week abortion ban known as the “heartbeat bill” makes Ohio the sixth state in the nation to attempt to outlaw abortions at the point heartbeat activity can be detected.
DeWine signed the bill just one day after it passed the Republican-led General Assembly. The law is slated to take effect in 90 days, unless blocked by a federal judge.
Now known as the “Human Rights Protection Act,” SB 23 outlaws abortions as early as five or six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant. It is one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
“One of the men in our church built the crosses and the women of the church painted them,” Berdine said. “We started placing them a week ago Saturday. We wanted to create something visual.”
They came up with the number of crosses to be made after researching the latest statistics on abortions from 2004-17.
“Over 357,000 abortions took place in Ohio,” Berdine said. “We did an average from 2008-17 and narrowed it down to monthly and we came up with 2,000 abortions for a month in Ohio. And Ohio is on the low side.”
Berdine went on, “Babies don’t have a grave, Who knows where they go. You hear all kinds of things. Life begins at conception; it’s not just a fetus, it’s life. This is a memorial for them.”
Passersby will also see two “Memorial For the Unborn” banners on each side of the rows of crosses; one is pink and the other is blue. On it is directions to the scripture for Jeremiah 1:5 which reads: “Before I formed you in womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“God is a sovereign God,” the pastor said. “We are individuals. God gives and takes life. That’s not our job. This is something we have to leave in God’s hands.”
Berdine said this was a church project…a group effort.
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.