Southern Baptist Pastor J.D. Greear slammed abortion as the “greatest moral tragedy of our day” on Friday as Americans mourn for the millions of unborn babies who have been legally killed in abortions since Roe v. Wade.

Greear, a North Carolina pastor and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was one of several speakers at the 2021 March for Life. The Baptist Press reports Greear is the first Southern Baptist president to speak at the national pro-life event.

The March for Life is held annually on or near the anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, which forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Since then, about 62.5 million unborn babies have been aborted in the United States.

Greear urged people to speak up for unborn babies because abortion is a matter of “dire urgency,” according to the report.

“Do you want to protect the innocent? Do you want to defend the vulnerable? Are you committed to social justice? Do you want to fight systemic injustice?” he asked. “There are few places where dire urgency meets such moral clarity and such clear opportunity as with the cause of the protection of children in the womb. Speak up, Scripture says. Speak up for the voiceless. Defend the cause of the poor and needy.”

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Greear said one of his great joys was hearing how a sermon that he preached helped a mother choose life for her baby.

“As I got to hold that little baby that day, I knew, I knew that life was worth it because we’re not talking about a political reality,” he said. “We’re talking about individuals. So why do I march? I march because actual lives are at stake. I march because our words matter.”

He also encouraged women who have had abortions to seek forgiveness and healing in Christ.

“Maybe you’re listening in today and you’ve had an abortion, or maybe you’re considering it,” Greear said. “If you look to Him, you’re not going to find an angry judge pointing a finger at you to condemn you. You’re going to find a compassionate Savior with open arms ready to receive you. And we’re here, too.”

Greear also joined about 50 pro-life leaders who marched to the U.S. Supreme Court building on Friday to call on the government to restore protections for babies in the womb.

The national March for Life in Washington, D.C. was Friday. Organizers canceled the in-person event in January due to concerns about the coronavirus and political unrest in the capital. In its place, the March for Life held a virtual rally to mark 48 years of legalized abortion and to call for protections for babies in the womb.

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