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
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 ,
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. Washington, D.C.
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 http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/19/2618498/first-look-nc-right-to-life-rally.html. For more information about North Carolina Right to Life, visit http://ncrtl.org/.