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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

North Carolina Right to Life Celebrates Another Year of Pro-Life Activity

As the country approaches the 40 year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, North Carolina citizens continue to demonstrate an ongoing determination to speak for the vulnerable unborn children, their mothers, and the elderly.  This past Saturday, January 19th, an estimated 1,500 people gathered in downtown Raleigh to protest abortion, celebrate life, and reaffirm their commitment to the cause.

The day’s activities began with the 14th Annual Prayer Breakfast for Life. Among the 300 attendees there were people of all ages, including families, legislators, college students, and representatives from numerous religious traditions.  Pastor Perry Tankard, founder of Power in the Word, gave the Invocation, describing the joy his nine children have brought into the world and praying that more people would realize that children are blessings. Ramona Timm sang America the Beautiful and God Bless America as the participants sang along with her. Olivia Gans Turner, director of American Victims of Abortion and president of Virginia Society for Human Life, was the featured speaker. She noted that abortion leaves no one untouched, and emphasized the importance of reaching out to those who have been injured by, or are considering, abortion. Finally, she encouraged everyone to continue to speak the truth, no matter what the obstacles.

Later, a crowd gathered at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh for the Rally and March for Life. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, gave the Invocation and remarked upon the number of young people at the event. Ramona Timm sang the National Anthem after the Knights of Columbus Color Guard presented the colors and Dave Onofrio led everyone in the pledge. Featured speakers Sarah Urdzik and Teresa Pincus, leaders of their respective Students for Life groups at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University and recent graduates of the National Right to Life Academy in Washington, D.C., also addressed the youth specifically. Urdzik described the Academy experience and expressed her gratitude for the knowledge she accumulated, especially the confidence that she gained. She told the young people they are not only future leaders, they are also current leaders of the pro-life movement. Pincus also talked about the benefit of her Academy education, explaining how it encouraged her to begin sidewalk counseling at a local abortion facility. She reminded the audience that they have a duty to be educated pro-lifers, and ended her speech with a call to action. Olivia Gans Turner followed, repeating her message of perseverance in the face of adversity.

After the rally, the crowd marched through the streets of Raleigh, waving signs, chanting pro-life slogans, and praying for an end to abortion. The day’s activities concluded at Sacred Heart Cathedral, where participants enjoyed refreshments, socialized with one another, and perused pro-life literature. 

(Contributor: Erin Karlovich, NCRTL Assistant Director)

To see the photos taken by the News and Observer, visit For more information about North Carolina Right to Life, visit

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten Reasons to Attend the North Carolina Rally and March for Life

Some pro-lifers think that there are better ways to spend our time, money, and energy in the fight to defend human life than to hold and participate in a March for Life.  They argue that we should be spending more time in prayer, not waving signs. Others say that if we really wanted to make a difference, we wouldn’t be marching down a street. If marching is all pro-lifers did, I might tend to agree with them. But, the March for Life in NC and DC has purpose and meaning in relation to all other pro-life work. Here are ten reasons why you should participate in a March for Life:

1. Show the world

Even if the mainstream media chooses to ignore the presence of thousands of people choosing to represent life, whoever sees you in the city won’t! This is a good way of showing others that people really do care about the cause of life.  Our lawmakers take note of our presence. After all, we want them to see that the pro-life movement is alive and growing.  The more pro-lifers that attend, the bigger the impact for the pro-life legislation we want to pass.

2. Spend time with friends

This can be a great bonding experience with like-minded people. Bring a friend and enjoy supporting a shared cause together. Encourage your youth group or church to march under its banner and make it a group function. 

3. Be encouraged

Abortion is a tragedy, and it can be easy to get discouraged. However, seeing crowds of enthusiastic young people, hearing some inspiring talks, and hanging out with thousands of other passionately pro-life people might be just what you need to recharge your hope. 

4. Learn something new

Between the multitude of signs, speakers, and free materials, chances are you’ll pick up a fact or two to help your knowledge of the pro-life world grow.

5. Network

Events like these bring out all kinds of people, and you never know who you’ll meet . Opportunities to make connections abound—and pro-lifers are typically excited to know and support people within the cause. 

6. It's fun!

We’re not just protesting abortion, we’re celebrating LIFE! So smile and enjoy yourself. We’re not crazy right wing terrorists who want to take away “rights,” we’re people who care deeply about other people, and the smile on your face will do more than all the anger in the world ever could. 

7. Everybody's doin' it

There are Marches for Life held across the country and internationally every January. Ours in North Carolina draws about 1,500 pro-lifers from across the state. The Washington, D.C. March attracts upwards of 250,000 people every year, and estimates place the 2011 attendance at 400,000! 

8. Peaceful but powerful

The D.C. March for Life, which is the inspiration for the NC March for Life and others across our country, is the longest-running peaceful protest in history. Every step you take is part of a historical event, and joining thousands of others in peaceful and prayerful demonstration is incredibly moving.

9. You never know who will see you

Sometimes our efforts feel fruitless, but you never know who will see you and be influenced for the better. Maybe that woman watching from a coffee shop is facing an unplanned pregnancy and needs to be reminded she’s not alone. Maybe six months from now the young man driving by will remember your “Men Regret Lost Fatherhood” sign when his girlfriend gets pregnant. Who knows whose life you can change, just by being there? 

10. It's a good cause

Ultimately, it’s all about the unborn babies and their mothers. They need our help, our support, our prayers, and our protection. Take some time to join others in this March for Life, and know that it’s not about you.

As for all those people who complain about the March for Life as an inefficient use of resources, they’d be right if this was all we did. But it’s not. The overwhelming majority of participants are those who live their pro-life convictions, and their attendance at the March is only one day out of the year. So don’t feel bad about taking time out of your day to attend—the babies will thank you. 
(Contributor: Erin Karlovich, NCRTL Assistant Director)