(LifeSiteNews) — Freezing temperatures and snow failed to keep pro-life Alaskans from marching for the sanctity of life in late January.
On January 28, 150 pro-lifers took part in a March for Life in Anchorage, Alaska, trekking a full four miles in zero-degree weather and continual snowfall. Mary Kemper, one of the event organizers, told LifeSiteNews:
The March was cold, beautiful, and inspiring. It was zero degrees and snowing the entire time. Moms and dads carried babies in front packs and backpacks – teenagers and young adults carried banners and signs, talking and laughing as they walked – veteran pro-lifers carried flags and walking sticks – clergy, pastors, and chaplains carried the message of Christ – and little children bravely and cheerfully kept up. I counted 75 people walking the March, which wasn’t just 3.5 miles as advertised, but a full 4 miles! The marchers arrived to the cemetery late (and apologetic) to a cheering crowd of approximately 75 more souls, making the group total about 150 people. An impressive showing, considering the relatively late planning and the very Alaskan weather God gave us.
Pro-life speakers addressed the marchers at the Anchorage Memorial for Unborn Children. Among the speakers, Blake Hart, a Christian pastor and military chaplain serving in Anchorage, offered a call to action to Christian men, challenging them to “stand in the breach” on behalf of the unborn. Directing his remarks primarily to men of faith, he said:
Since 1973, over 63 million children have been killed under the protection of law. We stand here 50 years later, and our pre-born neighbors still cry out in silence, their voices unheard, their rights unclaimed, their justice unserved, as more pre-born lives continue to be sacrificed on the altar of choice and convenience. The call of the Lord beckons us today, ‘Where are the men who will stand in the breach for the lives of their pre-born neighbors?’ The myth of the subject of abortion being only a woman’s issue. That men are to remain silent and sidelined on this matter can no longer be perpetuated.
The slaughter of image-bearers in the womb is not a woman’s issue; it is a humanity issue. And to say that men cannot stand up for these children and the lives of the men and women who are fractured by the killing of them is like saying that white men and women could not stand with their black brothers and sisters in the fight for justice during the civil rights movement.
Men, we have a central role in this fight for life because no child who is aborted is without a father. The child to be aborted is not an isolated unit but the fruit of both a mother and a father.
Secondly, we bear much of the responsibility for the creation of a culture that celebrates consequence-less promiscuity. Negligent men/fathers are a huge factor behind the astronomical abortion rates. The reason that the supply of abortion, pornography, and human sex trafficking exists is that there is a demand, and in a much more significant proportion, men are the ones who have supplied that demand. The most evident display of our repentance is undermining the demand that has produced this wicked supply.
Lastly, men, we are specifically designed for this fight, for I can think of no other reason that masculinity was architected by our creator than to stand for, care for, and fight for the most vulnerable of humanity, of which our pre-born neighbors stand as the clearest example.
Friends, the rights of liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless, where the right to life is not cherished and protected. The very fabric of our society unravels when life, the most fundamental right, is not defended. Men, it is our duty to protect, to serve, and to stand in the breach for those who cannot stand for themselves.
Kemper offered marchers a rousing encouragement that called to mind the strengths of the pro-life movement. Drawing attention to the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., to which Kemper had traveled all the way from Alaska the weekend before, she emphasized, “The pro-life movement is HUGE. We may be silenced by the media, but we’re so huge that in an all-day snowstorm in D.C. that shut down schools, nearly 100,000 diverse, happy people rallied on the National Mall for an hour and then walked for 3 hours in the defense of the babies. They walked along the streets of DC with song, prayer, and the meeting and making of new friends along the way.”
The pro-life movement has hundreds of organizations, each with its own mission and each with hundreds or thousands of active members. The pro-life movement is not some fringe, extremist group. Although, even if we were to become a small fringe group, we’d still be here in the cold, because we’re also the joyful pro-life movement! Joy comes from knowing and following the truth – knowing and following that Person who is the Truth and the Way, the One who gives each of us our dignity.
Abortion has wreaked havoc on our nation, destroying the family and giving rise to all the ills against which the family protects. Today we gather to grieve and repent over the more than 63 million legal abortions that have happened since 1973.
The thought of a single abortion should honestly bring us to tears. But amid that grief, and under that grief and over that grief, there is joy. There is joy because we know the truth and we work for the truth, the Truth that is outside of ourselves – the objective, scientific truth about the beginnings of human life, as well as the spiritual truth of the dignity of each human life as a precious child of God.
There is also great joy working alongside each other so that no baby is ever again killed in its mother’s womb – certainly not by legal means! There is joy in working for a world where no mother is ever again brought to that brink where she thinks that aborting her child is her only way out of a desperate situation, and there is joy working so no father is left wondering where his place is as a man, as the father.
If your joy ever wanes a bit, stare for a few moments at a picture of a tiny human embryo, and ponder over one precious person who we stand here today to protect.
And lastly, we are not just a huge movement and not just a joyful movement, but we are an INSISTENT movement. We are insistent because the abortion industry is insistent. And we are insistent because unborn babies cannot insist on anything for themselves.
The babies are silent – they can’t speak at a march like this to demand their right to stay alive. They are unseen, unable to hold signs on the sidewalk asking for help. And they are ‘trapped’ in what should be the safest place in the world, unable to swat at the instruments used to kill them and unable to swim away from the chemicals used to starve them of oxygen.
Let us every day, perhaps as part of our daily prayer, take a few moments to picture the child who is being aborted, picture the mother lying there convinced that this is her only way, picture the lost father who is either told to stay out of the decision or who stays away out of his own weakness… let us keep this trio of precious human beings alive in our imaginations, because these people not imaginary. The plight of this trio of persons needs our huge, joyful insistence that abortion is not in anyone’s best interest.
Also among the speakers at the Anchorage March was abortion survivor Priscilla Hurley, whose twin was killed by abortion. After two abortions herself and three years working at an abortion clinic, Hurley underwent a spiritual conversion to Christ. She expressed her deep gratitude to the mercy of God, recounting how she has been blessed now with “three beautiful children, and 11 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren, all of whom would not be here, nor the generations to follow, Lord willing, without God first saving me in the womb.”
“He is the God of the big miracles and the everyday miracles,” she said. “He will use His methods in the time allowed to bring His children to Himself. Let us all pray to be fruitful in whatever role we have. Salvation and healing is desperately needed.”