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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

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