As 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade looms, thousands around the U.S. gather for pro-life marches
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 20, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – January 22 will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the controversial 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion throughout the United States. As hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists prepare to descend upon the nation’s capital Wednesday for their 40th annual March for Life, thousands more who could not travel to Washington gathered over the weekend in their hometowns or state capitals to hold marches and rallies of their own, demanding an end to abortion.
Several thousand people attended one such march on the Louisiana State Capitol Saturday, reported NOLA.com. The march was themed “Adoption: The Power of Possibility,” and promoted adoption as a loving alternative to abortion. The event featured speeches by Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Bill Cassidy, both Republicans. Also in attendance were a number of state legislators and a candidate for U.S. Senate, Robert Maness.
“You all are going to be the ones who make the difference to finally end abortion in America,” Vitter told the lively crowd of mostly young people. “It’s up to you to change the hearts and minds of your friends, of your peers, of your schoolmates, of your neighbors.” The senator said he was proud that his seventeen-year-old twins were on their way to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national March for Life, and that pro-life young people “are the leaders we are counting on.”
In Arkansas, thousands more pro-life citizens marched on their state capitol Sunday, for the 36th consecutive year. In marked contrast to the boisterous Louisiana march, the Arkansas march was somber, as participants sought to represent victims of abortion, who have no voice.
Wayne Mays, president of Arkansas Right to Life, told KATV, “We all meet together peacefully, quietly, reverently, silently. We just want to speak for the unborn."
Hundreds more marchers battled cold, winds and wet weather in Iowa for the Midwest March for Life. Jennifer Bowen of Iowa Right to Life told WOI-TV, “You have the east coast and west coast [marches], but what's happening here in the Midwest? Many people can't make the trip to either coast so we wanted to give them the opportunity to come and stand up for life.”
Bryan Kemper of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach said winter conditions were no deterrent to committed pro-life activists, telling WOI-TV, “We have to do it no matter what the elements are or what's going on. It's time to end it. We've had 41 years of decriminalized abortions and decriminalized child killing.”
Hundreds of marchers in Green Bay, Wisconsin displayed similar grit, braving snowy streets and highs in the teens as they marched from the Brown County Courthouse to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that many marchers held empty picture frames high above their heads as they walked, representing people whose lives were never lived because they were cut short by abortion.
“This is not about condemning people, this is not about judging people, this is about taking a stand for life,” Roman Catholic Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay told the crowd. The bishop said he hoped the event would “[help] the next generation to say yes to life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.”
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, over a thousand people gathered in support of the unborn, including Angela Minter, executive director of Sisters for Life Ministries, who told the crowd that before her freshman year of college, she had already aborted two babies she had conceived with her high school sweetheart.
When they became pregnant a third time during her first year in college, she was prepared to undergo a third abortion, but then her dad found out about it.
“He told me, ‘Don't kill your baby,’” Minter said. “I needed to hear that from my daddy.” Minter and her boyfriend got married and had a daughter, Erin, who is now 28, along with two more children.
Years later, Minter told the crowd, her father – who had so strongly objected to her decision to abort – confessed that he had taken her mother to get an abortion once. Her mother had endured the procedure, he said, but it didn’t work. The survivor of that abortion? Angela herself, who has dedicated her career to helping vulnerable young pregnant women choose life.
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